May 2017

California needs to stop letting farm-water suppliers ignore the law

Agriculture accounts for roughly 80 percent of the water used by people in California. "Roughly" because, unlike urban water districts, farm-water suppliers reveal little about how much of the state's most precious resource goes into irrigation ditches and fields.

Sacramento Bee, May 25, 2017

Water extraction project would be destructive to California's Mojave Desert

California's public lands and resources are under siege by a powerful corporation and its allies in Washington. Congressional Republicans used a recent must-pass government spending bill to pave the way for the Cadiz water extraction project, a particularly destructive project in California's Mojave Desert.

Sacramento Bee, May 24, 2017

The ludicrous plan to pump Mojave water to L.A.

Cadiz claims the project has been delayed because of environmental obstructionism and burdensome regulations. In fact, the project has struggled because it fails on its merits. While technically feasible and legal, it presents significant economic, engineering, quality, sustainability and environmental challenges, and is made even less desirable by a recent surge in cheaper, less risky alternatives. Southern California would be wise to move beyond the outdated methods of the Cadiz project and welcome a new generation of ideas for securing water.

Los Angeles Times, May 21, 2017

Most California farm-water suppliers are breaking this law. Why doesn't the state act?

During California's epic five-year drought, most of the state's irrigation districts didn't comply with a 2007 law that requires them to account for how much water they're delivering directly to farmers, a Bee investigation has found.

Sacramento Bee, May 21, 2017

California's trout, salmon species could be mostly gone in a century, report says

Nearly half of California's diverse types of native salmon, steelhead and trout are headed toward extinction in 50 years unless environmental trends are reversed, a team of scientists warn in a new report.

San Jose Mercury News, May 16, 2017

California asks federal taxpayers to fund repairs at dam

California is asking the federal government to pay 75 percent of the hundreds of millions of dollars in repairs to the badly damaged spillways at the nation's tallest dam, a state water agency spokeswoman said Monday.

Capital Press, May 9, 2017

Oh, well. California water info can remain secret, court rules

Crucial details about the location and depth of certain California water wells can be kept secret, and out of the hands of an environmental group, a top federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

Sacrmaento Bee, May 9, 2017

Break in California Levee System Could Contaminate Bay Area Drinking Water Supply

The report also indicates 60 percent of the levees that protect the state's rural areas from flooding -- roughly 1,230 miles in all -- are at high risk of failure from seepage, boils, structural instability, erosion and even rodents; that includes the levees that protect the drinking water aqueducts for the Bay Area and Southern California.

NBC, May 1, 2017

April 2017

Lobbyist who once sued Interior named to be department's No. 2 official

Bernhardt's nomination, however, is already drawing fire from critics, who note that Trump, as a candidate, promised to "drain the swamp" of lobbyists' influence over the White House and Congress. As president, Trump has placed lobbyists in key positions on his transition team and in his administration, and has adopted ethics rules looser than those of the Obama administration for appointees.

Charlotte Observer, april 28, 2017

USGS finds vast reserves of salty water underground in California

Untreated brackish water can replace fresh water for some uses, but would have to be desalinated for municipal use. A recent study by the Oakland-based Pacific Institute found that the costs of doing that were competitive with other methods of adding water capacity.

San Jose Mercury News, April 15, 2017

California governor declares historic drought over for now

Still, lifting the emergency drought order is a largely symbolic measure that doesn't remove most of the restrictions. Officials insisted they're holding onto some conservation rules for the 40 million residents of the nation's most populous state.

Associated Press, April 8, 2017

Mighty L.A. water agency wants a share of Valley's Sites Reservoir -- and is willing to pay

Southern California's most powerful water agency is prepared to invest in Sacramento Valley's proposed Sites Reservoir, a move that could broaden support for the $4.4 billion project but also raise alarms about a south state "water grab."

Sacramento Bee, April 6, 2017

Trump eases the way for a controversial water pumping project in a California desert

In another U-turn from existing environmental policy, the Trump administration has eased the way for a controversial California desert water project that President Obama's team had blocked. Federal directives drafted under Obama had erected a major obstacle to Cadiz Inc.'s long-standing plans to pump Mojave Desert groundwater and sell it to urban Southern California.

Los Angeles Times, April 5, 2017