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Water-related stories written for E&E News's Greenwire and Land Letter during 2005-07:
Yosemite struggles to manage visitor crunch, protect attractions Traffic through the Yosemite Valley slows to a crawl in the late afternoon. On a mid-summer day, as many as 15,000 daily visitors crowd the two-lane road that rings the valley, frequently stopping to catch a last glimpse of such world-famous landmarks as Half Dome, El Capitan and Yosemite Falls. [Read the full story].
12/20/07 Fed program for restoring S.F. Bay salt ponds to begin in 2008
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- This is the time of year when millions of migrating birds pay a visit to San Francisco Bay. Standing alone on the rocks or floating in flocks numbering in the thousands, they can be found at scores of sites along the bay's 1,000 miles of shoreline -- resting, nesting or foraging for food in the channels and marshes of the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge system. Over time they will have another local playground here, in the form of restored tidal wetlands created from the 15,000 acres of commercial salt ponds that state and federal agencies bought for $200 million from the Cargill Corp. in 2003. As part of a 50-year South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, three expanses of bay wetlands -- some still used for commercial salt production -- will slowly transform from managed ponds to predominantly saltwater tidal habitat. Follow the flock.
12/20/07 Calif. communities scramble for new supplies following judge's order
Judge Oliver Wanger dropped the other shoe last week, and the impacts are still reverberating throughout California. Judge Wanger of the U.S. District Court's Eastern District in Fresno last Friday ordered state and federal water officials to limit pumping operations at the head of the California aqueduct system in order to protect what remains of the endangered delta smelt population in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta. The order confirms what many communities and water users feared most: inevitable changes to pumping operations that could severely cut the amount of water flowing to Southern California. Feel flows.
12/13/07 Calif. gauges the health of its river, levee systems
On a brisk December morning, crews from the California Department of Water Resources are preparing for another day on this stretch of the Sacramento River, measuring the depth of these narrow channels. As the small research vessel "Julie Ann" pulls out from the dock, the crew is less focused on the serene late-autumn scene than on the data being collected from the river floor below. Go fissure.
11/29/07 Court affirms Calif. listing for coho
A California appeals court this month rejected attempts to nullify California Endangered Species Act protections for coho salmon, upholding the state Fish and Game Commission's listing in 2004 of Northern California Coast coho as threatened and Central California Coast coho as endangered under state law. The ruling, issued Nov. 20, affirmed a trial court's finding on the matter. Coho-ho-ho.
11/15/07 Oil spill's larger implications come in waves The freighter Cosco Busan lays anchored in San Francisco Bay, ringed by spotlights in the turquoise evening. The ship, with a 90-foot-long gash set well above the water mark, has been impounded as investigators from three federal agency teams try to resolve the many unanswered questions about the Nov. 7 incident in which the Cosco Busan scraped a support tower of the Bay Bridge while trying to navigate through heavy fog. The collision ripped through the hull, quickly releasing some 58,000 gallons of fuel oil into the vulnerable bay ecosystem. One week after the incident, the political ramifications appear to be outweighing the actual environmental impacts. Sop up the latest.
10/11/07 Calif. lawmakers sink storage bond bills; Gov. Schwarzenegger OKs flood control, ocean protections
Three weeks into a special session called by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger(R) to craft a solution to California's deepening water woes, the state Legislature has come up dry. The state Senate on Tuesday rejected a bill sponsored by its President Pro-Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland) that would have floated a $6.8 billion bond package February. The measure failed on a 23-12 vote, without gaining a single Republican vote. The Republican caucus favors some version of the governor's $9.1 billion plan for water infrastructure, levee repairs and programs meant to boost the health of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta. The governor's plan has not yet been put to a vote, and Sacramento sources say it is increasingly unlikely there will be a deal reached, as lawmakers need to move on to healthcare issues in the special session. Impasse awaits.
10/11/07 Great Lakes sites pose diverse resource challenges
As part of its first comprehensive review of the status of parks in the Great Lakes region, the National Parks Conservation Association this week released a report highlighting challenges facing six popular lakeshore destinations that indicate both a wide variety of existing problems and common framework for meeting future challenges. While the list of issues uncovered by NPCA at the sites includes invasive species, water and ground pollution, crumbling infrastructure and diminished staffing, the potential solutions boil down to increased public awareness and more stable funding. Dip into the report.
10/11/07 Feds must reconsider endangered species status of coho, judge rules
Rejecting appeals by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Oregon state government, U.S. District Court Judge Garr King this week upheld a July ruling from a federal magistrate requiring a new science-based decision on whether to restore Endangered Species Act protections for Oregon coast coho salmon. In that decision, Stewart found that state and federal agencies ignored the best available science when deciding to delist coho. Hoho, coho.
09/20/07 Coal ash contaminating groundwater, group claims
A commonly used method to reduce acid drainage at coal mines may be causing more harm than the problem it is supposed to fix, according to a report issued this week. A review of state monitoring statistics for 15 active or abandoned mines in Pennsylvania indicates that in at least 10 instances, coal combustion waste appears to be leeching arsenic and heavy metals into nearby groundwater and streams in unsafe levels. Stop the leaks.
09/20/07 Gov. Schwarzenegger revives dam, Bay Delta hopes in special session
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) brought lawmakers back to Sacramento this week for a special session to deal with two contentious issues left undone during the regular legislative session -- health care and water. To spur what will likely be spirited negotiations with the Democratic majority on how to address water matters, Schwarzenegger proposed a $9 billion bond measure that he hopes to place on the presidential primary ballot Feb. 5. Be special.
09/13/07 Ambitious $1.4B plan for San Francisco Bay caps decades of effort
Over the past decade, federal, state and local agencies have devoted well over $370 million to acquire and begin restoration of some 36,176 acres of wetlands and shorelines around the San Francisco Bay. Now the community organization that helped start the drive over 45 years ago recommends an even deeper investment -- amounting to $1.43 billion over the next 50 years. Join the crusade.
09/06/07 Calif. braces for cutbacks after Bay Delta ruling
Communities throughout California are taking another look at their emergency water management plans this week after a federal judge ordered state officials to prepare for reduced flows through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Bay Delta starting in December and lasting until a new federal biological opinion on protections for the endangered delta smelt can be put into effect. Feel flows.
08/23/07 Calif. officials press for Delta solutions
If nothing else, the well-publicized problems affecting the environmental health and economic viability of California's Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta have forced state and federal government officials into a rare consensus: The delta ecosystem is in a crisis, and it would take massive amounts of money and possibly decades to achieve any kind of lasting solutions. Exactly what those solutions might be is a matter still to be resolved. Reach the summit.
08/16/07 San Francisco targets Yosemite Slough as restoration beachhead
SAN FRANCISCO -- Working from a map, it seems easy enough to access Yosemite Slough from the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood. But most streets in this heavily industrialized section of San Francisco meet with a dead end of concrete and chain-link fencing topped with razor wire. And while a greenbelt of trees and bay grasses beckon just beyond these urban borders, a visitor needs an active imagination to envision how acres of illegally dumped garbage, construction debris and other refuse can be cleaned up and transformed into a welcoming state park and shoreline recreation area. Restore the shore.
08/02/07 Oil spill leads to habitat protections for Pacific shore birds
The sinking of the New Carissa cargo ship off the Oregon coast nearly a decade ago has led to acquisition of a new habitat for the threatened marbled murrelet and other Northwest forest species. In an agreement finalized this week, over 3,850 acres of forested land will be transferred from private timber companies to the Confederated Tribe of Siletz Indians to be managed as a habitat for murrelets. Nest by the sea.
07/19/07 Schwarzenegger orders emergency actions for delta; pushes dams, canal Faced with an increasingly dire situation regarding a deepening drought in the southern half of the state, water supply constraints in the north, and continued threats to the environmental health and economic viability of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger this week ordered water officials to take immediate actions to fix problems in the delta. At the same time, the Republican governor used every opportunity to promote a proposed $5.9 billion issue of state bonds that would pay for construction of dams, reservoirs and underground water storage. Stand with Arnold.
06/14/07 Utah offers many possibilities for Wild & Scenic designation
Until now, the state of Utah has not had a single stretch of free-flowing waterway given the "wild and scenic" designation by Congress. That is likely to change in the next few years, as the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management are currently in the process of preparing the environmental documentation to make recommendations to lawmakers sometime next year. The two agencies have evaluated thousands of miles of rivers and creeks that flow though their lands, winnowing down the list of river segments that meet eligibility criteria to nearly 230 river segments totaling over 2,000 miles. Go wild in Utah.
06/07/07 Dearth of delta smelt shuts Calif. pumps
Citing the continued precipitous decline in the numbers of a tiny fish used as an indicator of ecosystem health, the California Department of Water Resources has declared an emergency shut down of massive pumps used to push water along the state aqueduct to Southern California. Pump up.
05/31/07 Northwest plan sets new targets for fish survival but keeps dams
As difficult as it is for Pacific Northwest salmon to complete their round trip journey from the upper reaches of the Columbia River and Snake River systems to the Pacific Ocean and back to spawn a next generation, it is proving nearly as hard for federal agencies to establish a consensus plan to protect the iconic fish from depletion. Swim upstream.
05/24/07 Yosemite tries, tries again on Merced River plan
If it sometimes appears that Yosemite National Park is engaged in an endless feedback loop of planning, public meetings and litigation, that's because it is. Park officials this month began a series of public workshops on their third version since 2000 of the Merced Wild and Scenic River Comprehensive Management Plan. "We're under a court order to do this," explained park planner Linda Dahl during a sparsely attended workshop in San Francisco on May 17. "But every time we do one of these processes, we do it a little better." Plan for the future here.
05/10/07 Calif. diversion project benefits from compromise, community outreach
As water district officials from Sacramento and Oakland turned shovels of dirt this week during a groundbreaking ceremony for the $900 million Freeport Regional Water Project, they were also burying a dispute over water rights that stretches back 35 years. Along the way, litigation turned to compromise and community buy-in, allowing something of a consensus to guide development of the state's largest water diversion projects in decades. Even the environmental analysis documentation has been hailed as a national model for its clarity and thoroughness in exploring alternatives, while laying the foundation for future agreements that could involve novel groundwater banking programs as fresh water supplies become even more precious. Flow here.
04/26/07 N.J. proposes strict limits to river developments
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection this week proposed sweeping limits on development near rivers and reservoirs that supply drinking water and fishing opportunities. The plan would apply "Category One" status to more than 900 miles of waterways and some 1,300 acres of reservoirs in 11 counties, said DEP Commissioner Lisa Jackson. Category One is the state's highest level of water-quality protection and entails a near total ban on development. See what's at stake.
04/19/07 Calif. creates 29 ocean refuges
With a unanimous vote, the California Fish and Game Commission on April 13 adopted a plan to create 29 marine protection areas along the Pacific Ocean coastline. The new sanctuaries represent 204 square miles, 18 percent of state waters, with 85 square miles of that designated as "no-take" zones where commercial fishing will be prohibited or severely restricted. Dive in to the details.
04/12/07 Calif. tries to prevent delta pump shutdown
California water officials headed back to court this week, trying to convince Alameda Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch not to finalize an order that could result in shuttering operations of a major pumping facility on the State Water Project. The judge on March 23 ruled that the state Department of Water Resources was in violation of the California Endangered Species Act because the vulnerable delta smelt and salmon were being killed by operations of the Harvey O. Banks pumping station, near Tracy. Get briefed.
03/29/07 Calif. resource officials offer $6B Salton Sea alternative
The California Resources Agency this week unveiled a new preferred alternative design for restoration of the Salton Sea in Southern California that will try to combine many of the most desired elements of several plans that had been under consideration. Not only would the new plan try to preserve a recreation-oriented marine sea at the northern end of the Salton Sea, it would also greatly increase the size of a salt-water wildlife habitat on the south end to accommodate migrating birds that use the sea as a stopping point along the Pacific Flyway. Stop over at the sea.
03/29/07 Calif. project at risk from court ruling on fish kills
In a preliminary decision issued March 22, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch ruled that operations at a critical water pumping facility on the California State Water Project system are killing chinook salmon and delta smelt in violation of the California Endangered Species Act. He declared that the Department of Water Resource has never obtained an incidental take permit covering the affected species. The judge gave DWR 60 days to obtain such a permit from the Department of Fish and Game or to otherwise make a showing that it is in compliance with the law, or risk shutting down the Harvey O. Banks pumping station, near Tracy. Such a move could jeopardize state water exports to millions of people, farms and business in Central and Southern California. Pump it up.
03/22/07 Court denies emergency appeal by Army Corps for Alaskan project
In a harshly written ruling, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has maintained an injunction against further construction work at the planned Kensington Gold Mine on Lower Slate Lake in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. The court on March 16 issued a preliminary ruling that rejects an emergency motion from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that would have allowed mine owner Coeur Alaska to build a diversion ditch to protect a temporary dam that it built last summer. The court also signaled its intention to vacate permits that had been issued for the overall project. See what the judges had to say.
03/15/07 Costly Reclamation plan would retire 194,000 farming acres in Calif.
The Bureau of Reclamation this month signed off on a $2.5 billion plan to control salt- and selenium-laden agricultural runoff in California's San Joaquin Valley that would involve the purchase and retirement of more than 194,000 acres of prime farmland, as well as a 20-year project to build evaporation ponds, treatment plants and other facilities. Even as Reclamation officials tallied up the costs for the San Luis Drainage Feature re-evaluation project, they are working on a separate agreement that could involve transferring ownership -- and much of the cost for cleanup -- to local water districts. Check it out.
02/15/07 Minn. lawmakers advance multi-state water management compact
Minnesota is expected to become the first state to enact provisions of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact following action in the state Senate this week to pass S.F. 38. Earlier this month, the House passed its version of the measure, H.F. 110, setting the matter up for quick approval by Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), who has already endorsed the compact, along with seven other governors and the heads of two Canadian provinces. Dive into the details.
02/08/07 Report urges fresh thinking to solve Calif. delta problems
A fundamental change is needed in thinking about policies to restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta region, a California think-tank declared this week. Instead of trying to forge incremental, consensus-based solutions to what have proven to be intractable problems, the state should consider giving up on its long-held belief that the delta should be managed as a freshwater resource devoted to agriculture and drinking water exports to Southern California. Dip into the report.
02/08/07 Montana takes Yellowstone River allocation dispute to Supreme Court
Fed up with having its requests ignored for a full allocation of water under a 1950 agreement, Montana officials this week petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in its dispute with the state of Wyoming. At issue are water supplies from the Tongue and Powder rivers, which are shared by the two states as part of the Yellowstone River Compact, signed along with North Dakota 57 years ago. Get the brief.
01/25/07 Calif. officials struggle to rid Lake Davis of stubborn pike
Ten years and $20 million later, California fish and game officials are once again planning to inject a powerful poison into Lake Davis and kill off all fishlife there in an attempt to eradicate the invasive northern pike before it spreads into key waterways. A similar effort in 1997 not only ended in failure but also raised significant community opposition to the complete poisoning of the lake, which is part of a reservoir system on U.S. Forest Service land in Plumas County. Cast your net for the story.
01/11/07 Calif. governor wants new storage projects
Though he barely mentioned it during his "state of the state" speech Tuesday night, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has proposed spending nearly $6 billion for new water storage facilities, water conservation and habitat restoration programs as part of a new $40 billion "Strategic Growth Plan" revealed this week. "We must invest in public safety, water supply, courts, education and transportation," the governor said in his speech, after alluding to a projected 30 percent growth in population in the next few decades. "Building California is not a burden; it's not a chore; it's a privilege." Find the rest.
01/11/07 Whitewater enthusiasts test the waters of the Upper Chattooga
For the first time in 30 years, a group of kayakers was allowed to experience a run down the upper reaches of the Chattooga River this week. They were taking part in a unique Forest Service study on whether to remove a long-standing ban on boaters along the portion of the river, imposed when a 57-mile stretch of the Chattooga flowing through parts of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia was granted "wild and scenic river" status in 1976. Run the river.
01/04/07 Ariz. utility resorts to eminent domain to secure supply for power plant
An Arizona judge has scheduled a July trial date for a case in which Arizona Public Service Co. is trying to acquire through condemnation some 7,000 acres of land from the Aztec Land and Cattle Co. While the undeveloped property itself has a relatively modest value, the real issue is APS's attempt to secure groundwater for its Cholla coal-fired power plant near Joseph City. Check out the dispute.
12/07/06 Stronger safeguards needed to protect water quality near extraction A new study released today concludes that federal agencies that issue mining permits frequently fail to accurately assess the potential for acids and toxic metals to leak into rivers, and that, in a majority of cases conditions meant to mitigate contamination are ineffective. Dig into the story here.
11/16/06 Emergency restrictions imposed at Golden Gate beaches to minimize snowy plover disturbances
One of the longest-running disputes at the National Park Service's Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) flared up again this month, as park officials imposed emergency restrictions on beach access to protect two sites used by western snowy plovers. In particular, owners of dogs that were previously allowed to run and play "under voice control" at Ocean Beach and along Chrissy Field on San Francisco Bay, must keep their dogs on leash in two portions of those areas. Run with the dogs here.
10/26/06 No perfect solution for Salton Sea restoration, but many options
The Salton Sea, California's largest lake and long a desert refuge for vacationers and hundreds of species of migrating birds, will inevitably shrink in volume and lose surface area over the next two decades, as about half of current inflows are diverted to help quench Southern California's unflagging thirst for water. Exactly how to prevent or mitigate the worst problems associated with this situation -- increased salinity, worsening air quality, continued threats to the local economy and the virtual elimination of fish and wildlife -- has become a top priority for government officials, agricultural groups, Indian tribes and environmentalists. But it is also a conundrum, as starkly differing visions of how to preserve and restore this inland sea have made it difficult to reach consensus on a workable strategy. Read all about it here.
8/24/06 Water, energy bills confront legislative turmoil as end of session nears
SACRAMENTO -- With a little more than a week left to California's legislative session, failure to reach agreement on some major issues appears to be dimming prospects for a host of bills related to water and energy. Among the victims might be a package of eight flood-control bills that have been put into the deep freeze by Senate President Don Perata (D). Perata this week signaled that he does not want to devote more time to the bills and will not accept amendments proposed by Schwarzenegger. He also rejected dealing with the measures individually.
07/12/06 Global warming would worsen Calif. water problems, study warns
Global warming means depleted reservoirs in Northern California while causing increased spring flooding and prolonged drought periods, the state Department of Natural Resources warned. The study foresees changes in snowpack that could reduce water storage levels by 5 million acre-feet or more each year and altered precipitation raising the likelihood of severe flooding as well as extended droughts. A significant rise in sea levels could inundate coastal marches and estuaries while increasing salinity content of freshwater flows in the San Francisco Bay-San Joaquin Delta.
07/03/06 Settlement will restore San Joaquin River flows
The Federal government, environmental groups and agricultural water users have put an end to 18 years of litigation over water flows on California's San Joaquin River. A settlement announced late on June 30 "will launch one of the nation's most ambitious and expensive river and fishery restoration projects ever," reported Ron Jacobsma, general manager of the Friant Water Users Authority. While terms of the agreement will remain confidential until approved by U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Karlton, the settlement will re-establish more natural flows from Friant Dam, a Bureau of Reclamation facility near Fresno, to the Merced River.
06/15/06 U.S. proposes $725M land purchase to solve Calif. drainage problem
The federal government would pay about $725 million to retire more than 300,000 acres of highly valuable California farm land under a newly issued environmental impact statement for the San Luis Drainage Feature. The government would buy about half the land within the Westlands Water District.
06/15/06 Calif. desalination project advances
The Carlsbad, Calif., council this week approved land-use permits for a $270 million ocean-water desalination facility proposed by Poseidon Resources that would be one of North America's largest, producing up to 50 million gallons per day of drinking water by 2009. The Carlsbad project is nearly identical to Poseidon development at Huntington Beach that recently won local permits. Walter Winrow, president and CEO of Connecticut-based Poseidon, told Greenwire that about 70 percent of the water from the Carlsbad facility has already been contracted.
05/16/06 Largest Calif. lake 'on brink of collapse'
The Salton Sea -- California's largest lake and a critical oasis for migrating birds -- is facing a precipitous decline in both water quantity and quality over the next decade, a group of government and environmental researchers said in a report released Monday. Recent agreements to transfer water out of the lake and other actions have both increased the amount of water taken from the Sea and are expected to reduce inflows by 50 percent over the next 30 years.
05/16/06 California facing a flood of bond measures
MONTEREY, Calif. -- California voters will find two separate initiatives devoted to water project spending on their November ballots that, combined, would raise up to $8.5 billion for a variety of clean water, levee repair and fish restoration projects. And that's not all. An association of public water agencies is already working on a separate ballot measure for 2008 that could add another $8.5 billion in water-related spending. Even if all three are approved, Steve Hall, executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies, maintained more might be needed. "We don't believe it solves California's water problems, and we don't believe it's all the investment we should make," he said.
05/05/06 Calif. water board will reconsider stay of Boeing pollution enforcement
Bowing to pressure from a key state lawmaker, the California Water Resources Control Board this week promised to reconsider a recent decision to stay enforcement of effluent discharge limits at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) near Canoga Park in Ventura County. However, the head of a local environmental watchdog group fears that the sudden reversal "may be less than meets the eye."
05/04/06 Calif. wins federal support for critical levee repairs
Three federal agencies have reached a deal with California's Department of Water Resources to expedite environmental reviews necessary to begin repairs for 29 "critical" levee improvement projects by June 21, so that work can be completed by Nov. 1.
04/18/06 Calif. bans once-through water cooling at coastal power plants
The California State Lands Commission voted unanimously yesterday to ban the use of once-through water cooling at coastal power plants in a bid to stop "killing large numbers of fish and other wildlife, larvae and eggs" in the facilities' cooling systems. The ban, which takes effect immediately, would prevent power plants from obtaining leases from the Lands Commission unless they employ alternative cooling methods. It also could force costly cooling technology upgrades at nearly two dozen existing power stations, including four nuclear units, when those projects seek to renew leases or permits from key state agencies.
04/17/06 Frustration mounts over missing CalFed action plan
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Four months after its members voted to disband, the California Bay-Delta Authority is still waiting for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) to issue a 10-year action plan to determine the fate of the CalFed program that the authority oversees. During a meeting of the panel here Thursday, members heard with dismay that their recommendations concerning future governance of the joint state-federal effort to manage California's most crucial waterways have been eliminated from the latest version of the plan.
03/31/06 Californians explore link between water, energy conservation
California could achieve most of its ambitious energy efficiency goals for regulated utilities in the next two years at a greatly reduced cost by targeting water conservation, experts told several agencies at a hearing this week. Figures indicate that water-related energy use accounts for 19 percent of total electricity consumed in the state, 30 percent of natural gas, and 88 billion gallons of diesel fuel each year.
02/24/06 Lawmakers criticize governor's water-fee plan
SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal to collect user fees for a new $5 billion water investment fund found little support and much criticism during a hearing this week of the Democrat-controlled California Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. The fee -- a monthly capacity charge ranging from $3 for households to $10 for larger water users -- is one component of the $35 billion in new water spending over 10 years that the Republican governor has proposed as part of his ambitious $222 billion strategic investment plan.
01/23/06 Court-ordered NW spills may cost $60M this year, BPA exec says
The latest judicial ruling in a long-running dispute over Northwest salmon recovery efforts is expected to cost Bonneville Power Administration an additional $60 million in foregone power generation revenues this year, according to a BPA executive. Steve Oliver, BPA's vice president of generation supply, told an industry conference last week that U.S. District Judge James Redden's Dec. 29 order to continue spilling water over dams on the Snake and Columbia rivers could adversely affect system flexibility and reduce surplus power-sales revenues.
01/06/06 Governor, lawmakers weigh options for troubled CalFed project
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pledged $35 billion to water and flood control projects as one component of his proposed $222 billion "Strategic Growth Plan" during a politically conciliatory State of the State address last night. The plan would leverage $9 billion in general obligation bonds with $26 billion in non-state funding resources to improve water storage and delivery capacity and to bolster deteriorating levees in the Sacramento region. Still unknown is what the administration intends to do about the structure, funding and governance issues surrounding CalFed -- the troubled joint state-federal effort to manage crucial water supplies from the San Francisco Bay-San Joaquin River Delta region.
12/09/05 Calif. community faces loss of primary reservoir
After failing to strike a deal with California officials last week, a small mountain town is facing the loss of its primary reservoir and a possible doubling or tripling of water rates. The Lake Arrowhead Community Services District (LACSD) is awaiting a ruling from two California State Water Resources Control Board hearing officers on whether it will lose access to its primary water source.
11/10/05 Cal Am survives takeover measure, but ownership questions loom
Voters in Monterey County on Tuesday resoundingly defeated Measure W, which would have approved funding to study the potential public takeover of California American Water's local distribution system. However, the future of Cal Am ownership was thrown in doubt last week when officials of German conglomerate RWE Aktiengesellschaft announced plans to divest water utility holdings in the United States and England to concentrate on European energy operations. RWE bought Cal Am's parent company, American Water Works, in January 2003.
9/16/05 Californians can cut water consumption 20 percent by 2030
California could reduce its total use of water by more than 20 percent over the next 25 years through better education efforts, planning and the use of existing technologies, according to a new report by the Pacific Institute. This think tank's forecast stands in stark contrast to the State Water Plan currently being promoted by the Department of Water Resources, which -- at best -- foresees near-constant water consumption through the year 2030.
All above articles are Copyright 2005-07, E&E Publishing, Inc.
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