#102 Nov 22, 2013
Managing Water: Avoiding Crisis in California
By Dorothy Green
University of California Press 2007
see pg 29 for Central Basin
32 for contamination plume, brownfields
31 imported water
#103 Nov 22, 2013
service Letters are scams
California is drowning in ancient and unfair water rules: Editorial
(only if it's not your water rights)
#104 Nov 22, 2013
History makes a strong case for California Delta water plan: Tim Rutten
If you dragged yourself through our long dry summer by looking forward to the relief a cool, wet winter would bring, you might want to dial back your expectations.
It also might move you to take a much more serious look at the expansion and overhaul of the California water system that is among Gov. Jerry Brown’s most ambitious — and controversial — proposals.
Last week, the National Weather Service’s Oxnard facility issued its formal prediction on the coming winter’s precipitation, and the forecast is for “below normal rainfall” in Southern California and along the Central Coast. If the prediction is accurate, we’re looking at the third consecutive rainy season in which the moisture level fails to meet recent historical expectations. Last January and February, in fact, were the driest on record in Los Angeles. That matters, because 75 percent of our annual rainfall occurs between November and March and half of that usually happens December through February.
WAs this posted before
still worth a read
#105 Nov 23, 2013
Dire' prediction for state water allocation
As the first significant rain of the season fell on Northern California Wednesday, the state Department of Water Resources issued an ominous water supply estimate that makes it clear that much more precipitation is needed this winter.
In its annual water allocation estimate, usually issued around Dec. 1, the department projects that it will be able to fill only 5 percent of the water requests it has received from the 29 water agencies it contracts with - agencies that serve about two-thirds of California's population. Only once before - in 2010 - did the department issue a similarly low estimate of available water.
"No drought has been declared," said Ted Thomas, a spokesman for the department. "But it is not a good figure to start."
The initial allocation is a conservative estimate, he said, based primarily on water storage in the state's major reservoirs. Lake Oroville, the State Water Project's main reservoir, is at 41 percent of capacity compared with a historical average of 66 percent. Other reservoirs are at similarly low levels after the driest rainy season on record.
"We hope things improve with this winter's storms," said Mark Cowin, department director. "But there is no guarantee that 2014 won't be our third consecutive dry year. Today's allocation is a stark reminder that California's fickle weather demands that we make year-round conservation a way of life."
The initial allocation is an estimate of how much water the State Water Project will be able to deliver to its contracting agencies, which include five that serve farmers in the southern San Joaquin Valley and 24 municipal water agencies, including five in the Bay Area. For most of those agencies, which serve 25 million Californians and 700,000 acres of farmland, the state water supplements local or other imported supplies.
As rain continues to fall, and reservoir levels rise, Thomas said, the allocation projections will increase as well.
In 2010, when the allocation also began at 5 percent, it gradually rose to 50 percent. Last year, despite the dry season, the allocation was 35 percent. The last time the State Water Project satisfied all requests was in 2006.
Paul Wenger, a Modesto nut farmer and president of the California Farm Bureau, said the low allocation was not a surprise but is still a dire sign.
"It's very minimal," he said. "We'll have to wait to see what the (federal) Central Valley Project allocates. Some people are expecting zero."
With low state and federal water shipments, farmers will probably tap into groundwater - an increasingly controversial source - and cut back on seasonal plantings, Wenger predicted. Crops likely to be affected, he said, are tomatoes, peppers, melons and cotton.
"Pretty soon, if it doesn't look like the allocations are going to be changing,"
he said, "they won't make their orders for starts (young plants). They'll skip a season."
In addition to California's often-dry and always unpredictable precipitation patterns,
farmers also blame the state's outdated water infrastructure and environmental policies that require a certain amount of water to be pumped through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to protect fish.
"We lost an opportunity earlier this year to capture a significant amount of water due to our outdated water system," said Terry Erlewine, general manager of the State Water Contractors.
"If we had a more modern water delivery system in place, like that proposed under the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, we would have more water in storage, and today's low allocation announcement wouldn't be so dire."
#106 Nov 23, 2013
Kern pols outraged over water-allotment estimate
By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Local lawmakers decried state water officials' announcement Wednesday that they may only deliver 5 percent of requested State Water Project allotments in 2014.
The Department of Water Resources, however, had stressed in its announcement that the initial allocation is a conservative estimate of what it can give public water agencies that contract for supplies.
In Kern County, State Water Project water is primarily used by agriculture.
A small amount is used for drinking water in Bakersfield.
The lowest previous initial state water allocation, also 5 percent, was for 2010,
the department said.
The allocation eventually rose to 50 percent.
"A 5 percent water allocation for our valley is unconscionable; it will wipe out any hope of a thriving agriculture community and the jobs it brings," state Sen.
Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, said in a news release.
He blamed the dismal allotment number on environmental policies for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta designed to protect animals and fish and the vital ecosystem generally.
State Sen. Jean Fuller, R-Bakersfield, said the announcement highlights the need to ensure more reliable water supplies.
She noted that water storage levels are also extremely low and said discussions of a water bond scheduled to go to voters next November must include plans for future storage.
"Five percent of contracted water supply is simply not enough for 25 million residents and 750,000 acres of farmland," she said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, said he sent a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker demanding they increase federal water supplies for Central and Southern California.
He pointed to a number of other ways the federal government can help develop immediate and long-term plans to maximize federal and state water allotments.
McCarthy said upcoming water allocations could be as low as 0 percent for federal Central Valley Project contractors.
Other than Arvin-Edison Water District, most Kern County ag water districts don't receive federal water.
"We look forward to your timely response and to working with you to increase water supplies in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley, to ensure America's breadbasket is not jeopardized, and in Southern California, to protect its trillion-dollar economy, in time to avoid the consequences of a man-made disaster in our state," the letter, co-signed by five House colleagues including Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, concluded.
#107 Nov 23, 2013
U.S. Ag Department Declares 57 California Counties Primary Natural Disaster Areas from 2013 Drought
November 15, 2013 - On October 30, 2013, the United States Department of Agriculture Secretary declared 57 of the 58 California counties as primary natural disaster areas due to extensive drought conditions between February and August 21 of this year. This new designation makes affected counties eligible for assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), including FSA emergency loans.
On May 28, 2013, Cal OES Mark Ghilarducci applied for the Secretarial disaster designation. San Francisco county was not considered a primary natural disaster, but was included in the Secretarial disaster designation as a contiguous disaster county—making it eligible for an emergency loan as well.
Text of the official response from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is below"
Dear Governor Brown: Thank you for the letter of May 28, 2013, signed by Mark S. Ghilarducci, Secretary of the California Emergency Management Agency, requesting disaster designations for all eligible California counties, due to losses caused by drought in 2013.
Between February 27 and August 21, 2013, I designated 57 California counties as primary natural disaster areas, due to a recent drought, in accordance with 7 CFR 759.5(a). According to the U.S. Drought Monitor (see Drought Monitor), those counties suffered from a drought intensity value during the growing season of:(1) D2 (Drought-Severe) for 8 or more consecutive weeks; or (2) D3 (Drought-Extreme) or D4 (Drought-Exceptional).
Consequently, all California counties, except San Francisco County have been named as primary natural disaster areas. In accordance with section 321(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, San Francisco County was named as a contiguous disaster county.
A Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operations in primary counties and those counties contiguous to such primary counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. This assistance includes FSA emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have 8 months from the date of a Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans. FSA considers each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses on the farm, and the security and repayment ability of the operator.
Local FSA offices can provided affected farmers with further information.
Thomas J. Vilsack Secretary
#108 Nov 23, 2013
Will Gov. Brown’s ‘small is beautiful’ sink water plan?
#110 Nov 23, 2013
Mike Tyson commented
Consultant do work for us that we don’t have the expertise for…like designing a computer program or designing a website for example. Some are very legit. And then others are complete hogwash, such as:
Tom Calderon’s $11,666 a month. Baldy’s contract is as BS as they come! He literally is paid to find ways to pay other consultants who kick back money to him. It’s insane. The idiot know nothing about water and cares less than that about water. His big accomplishment is finding fools like the old Board to keep paying him. Of course, he accomplishes this by dangling his two brothers in front of us like they have some super powers…now he’s doing that with his nephew Ian and by telling everyone his brother Ron will resign early from the Senate so he can win the seat easier at a special election. I mean, these guys are scum.
Bob Garcia double dips at $7,500 for his company (Golden State Advocacy) and another $3,000 for himself personally. Nice enough guy, but this guy has been peddling Calderon driven BS in Sacramento for years and let’s face it, who would still take him seriously up there. Plus, this guy also has Bob Apodaca on top of his Christmas gift list. Got to feed the pig!
These are just a few examples Smitty, but let me tell you about the biggest crime that survives at CMMWD to this day.
Gil Cedillo Jr. makes $115,000 a year plus benefits and the District has pre-paid his college tuition for TWO YEARS for him to take Master courses! They guard this gift closely but I believe the tuition payment was for $50,000.
I’ve been looking for it monthly when the Board votes to pay it’s bill, but it’s being hid (like everything else around this place).
The bad thing is is that Cedillo literally doesn’t do a damn thing here. He’s Business Development Mgr. but he hasn’t delivered a thing in over a year and a half. He sits in his dark office and plays on the computer all day. O
f course, he doesn’t come in until 10:30am and takes a two hour lunch and leaves around 4pm, BUT HE IS GIL CEDILLO’S SON!
This place makes me sick, but we don’t have to do much with all the consultants hired to do our jobs:) Wait till you hear about Dir. Vasquez’ girlfriend Jasmine doing “crisis management”. She just got a $3,000 consultant gig on Monday and is laughing all the way to the bank.
Scott Collins Wrote
It is time that we clean this BS up.
Where I come from people need to justify their means.
Gil Cedillo Sr. has been living off of taxpayers for too long and now his son is doing it.
As for the wanna-be Kennedy’s, Calderons,
it is time to end their free ride too!
#111 Nov 23, 2013
Which all leads up to
Los Angeles Times Withheld Information, Facts on Central Basin Water Scheme Involving Calderon, Speaker Perez, and Villaraigosa
November 22, 2013
California State Assembly Speaker John Perez Implicated in Central Basin Water Scheme
Dirty Water: Roybal, Apodaca and Vasquez Eliminate Central Basin Ethics Committee
Central Basin Ethics Committee Findings Prompt GM to Ask FPPC and L.A. District Attorney to Investigate Director Bob Apodaca
#112 Dec 2, 2013
December Water news
As San Diego County labors to squeeze water from its arid landscape and secure enough supply through its far-flung pipelines, one thing is clear: Water won’t be getting cheaper.
The region imports three-quarters of its water from the Colorado River and Northern California, and has seen those supplies grow scarcer and pricier. On Thursday, the San Diego City Council approved a nearly 15 percent water rate hike over two years to cover expected water price increases and recoup past expenses.
Water officials acknowledge there’s no easy fix, but point to a suite of improvements and investments aimed at securing enough water in years to come. Those projects, ranging from desalination to water recycling, come at a cost.
“The next increment of water is much more expensive than the water today,” said Sandy Kerl, deputy general manager of the San Diego County Water Authority.“The tradeoff for that is the reliability of those sources of water, which are not subject to the vagaries of Sacramento or Washington, D.C. or climate change. They’re directly controlled locally.”
Throughout the county, the water authority and its member agencies are trying to stabilize water prices and secure supply by cutting operational costs, purifying wastewater and seawater, and mining the region’s scant groundwater supplies.
Here are some of those plans.
see the story- What are Montebello's Plans?
#113 Dec 2, 2013
Water authority master plan open for review
The plans will cover the authority’s plans to adjust to reductions in water usage, as well as dwindling supplies of imported water. And they project how the region’s water supplies and demand will be affected by a hotter, drier climate
The documents are available online on the water authority website.
#114 Dec 2, 2013
KEY TO SAN DIEGO’S WATER WOES IS CONSERVATION
By Cary Lowe
San Diego’s water supply has long been a topic of concern and in 2012 the City Council established a water policy task force to develop goals in addressing the issue.
The state as a whole is impacted by the combination of reduced flows in the Colorado River, reduced snowmelt from the Sierra Nevada, reduced availability from the Bay Delta, and reduced rainfall resulting from climate change.
San Diego City Council has adopted an extensive set of water policies to create a context for the city’s long-range water master planning. Now a Water Policy Implementation Task Force, appointed by the council, has identified specific actions the city should take to implement those policies.
The most reliable and least expensive gallon of water is the one we don’t use in the first place. That makes water conservation the top priority. The state has mandated a 20 percent reduction in water use by the year 2020, but much more is needed.
Two-thirds of domestic water use goes to irrigating landscaping, so there is a huge opportunity to conserve by using native, drought-resistant plantings and improving the efficiency of irrigation systems.
Newer homes and businesses have efficient indoor water systems, but thousands of older ones need to be retrofitted with more efficient fixtures.
The next greatest opportunity is in recycling water after using it, rather than minimally cleaning it and sending it into the ocean
The city also has taken steps to facilitate use of gray water from sinks and washers for on-site irrigation, and that should be actively promoted. New facilities are needed for treating and recycling stormwater, and also for using it to replenish groundwater basins, rather than allowing it, too, to flow into the ocean
Lowe is a land-use lawyer and mediator who chaired the San Diego City Council’s Water Policy Implementation Task Force.
#116 Dec 4, 2013
Voters acknowledge serious water supply problems but balk when told the multibillion-dollar price tags to address them, poll finds
Californians say the state's water supply system has serious problems that require improvement, but they are unwilling to spend billions of dollars in ratepayer and taxpayer funds on the task, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.
The results suggest an uphill fight for proponents of a state water bond and for a proposal to replumb the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the transfer point for Northern California supplies delivered to the San Joaquin Valley and urban Southern California.
Reluctance to pay for big public works projects was reflected throughout the survey, which also questioned voters on the California prison system and the high-speed rail project.
Pollsters said the flip in support demonstrated two things: Voters continue to have serious pocketbook concerns as the state crawls out of recession, and most Californians don't think the state's water problems are urgent.
"You turn on your faucet and the water comes out. They don't see an immediate problem," said David Kanevsky of American Viewpoint, the Republican half of a bipartisan pair of polling firms that conducted the survey for the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles Times.
A statewide vote on the water bond, which was originally set at $11 billion, has been postponed several times as legislators whittle down the amount and wait for the economy to improve. They are still drafting the latest version, which is scheduled to go on the ballot next year and is expected to be about half its initial size.
The delta proposal, backed by Gov. Jerry Brown's administration, is for a smaller, subterranean version of the peripheral canal that voters quashed in 1982. It calls for the long-term restoration of more than 100,000 acres of delta habitat and construction of a new, north delta diversion point on the Sacramento River that would feed two 30-mile tunnels carrying water to existing export facilities in the south delta.
San Joaquin Valley irrigation districts and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California say the project is necessary to halt cuts in water deliveries that have been imposed to protect imperiled native fish in the delta.
The poll found that support for the project was strongest in Los Angeles County. But the survey findings did not strictly hew to the north-south lines that typically divide California on water issues.
More than half of those surveyed in the San Francisco Bay region also favored the delta proposal before they were told the cost.(In both areas, support dropped to well below half when cost was included in the question.)
Opposition was greatest in the north half of the state outside of the Bay Area. It was also strong in the San Joaquin Valley — even though valley agricultural interests have been some of the tunnel proposal's biggest proponents.
"I think there is an ideologic and partisan component to this," said Drew Lieberman of the Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. He noted that Republicans were more opposed to the bond borrowing and tunnel project than Democrats.
Mark Kettlewell, who lives in the San Diego suburb of Santee, was against both the delta plan and the water bond. "It's just giving them money which we'll be paying off and my children will be paying off forever," said Kettlewell, 57.
He was among the 42% of respondents who characterized the state's water situation as a major problem. An additional 21% said it was a crisis.
He was also among the 81% who said they have changed their household habits to reduce water use. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed said they were watering their lawns less, and nearly a quarter said they had removed lawns and replaced them with drought tolerant plants.
#117 Dec 7, 2013
Columbia University's water scarcity study showed most of California, from San Diego all the way to Santa Barbara, at high risk for water problems.
And CIRES' study showed much of the same areas with high to moderate stress on regional watersheds from the coast and all the way inland. Los Angeles relies on importing much of its water from the Colorado River system which has long provided the American West with water --
seven states in all that are home to almost 40 million people.
But demands on the river are often cited as unsustainable, due to predicted population increases and climate change.
A recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation predicts a water supply and demand gap in the Colorado River of about 3.2 million-acre feet by 2060 -- roughly five times the amount of water that Los Angeles uses in a year.
L.A. was listed as the top American city running out of water by 24/7 Wall St. due to increasing population and drought as the city continues to increase water demands which are believed to be unsustainable.
The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana region of Southern California was ranked as 6th most at-risk city for water vulnerability issues, by University of Florida in 2012.
Estimated population: 3,857,799 (2nd most populous city in the U.S.),
metro: 16,400,000 (2nd most populous in U.S.).
#118 Dec 7, 2013
For decades scientists have been saying that the United States' lakes, rivers and aquifers are going to have a hard time quenching the thirst of a growing population in a warming world.
A recent report from NOAA's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences does not alleviate those fears. It showed that nearly one in 10 watersheds in the U.S. is "stressed," with demand for water exceeding natural supply -- a trend that, researchers say, appears likely to become the new normal.
"By midcentury, we expect to see less reliable surface water supplies in several regions of the United States," said Kristen Averyt, associate director for science at CIRES and one of the authors of the study.“This is likely to create growing challenges for agriculture, electrical suppliers and municipalities, as there may be more demand for water and less to go around.”
And a recent Columbia University Water Center study on water scarcity in the U.S. showed that it's not just climate change that is putting stress on water supply, it's also a surging population. Since 1950 there has been a 99 percent increase in population in the U.S. combined with a 127 percent increase in water usage.
"All cities and all businesses require water, yet in many regions, they need more water than is actually available — and that demand is growing," said Upmanu Lall, director, Columbia Water Center said to Business Insider. "The new study reveals that certain areas face exposure to drought, which will magnify existing problems of water supply and demand."
Far from a complete list of regions that may develop potential water scarcity issues across the nation (just take a look at either CIRES' or Columbia University's maps to see how widespread this issue could be in the U.S.), here are 11 major U.S. cities, listed in order of population, that could be deeply effected by water shortages in the not too distant future:
#119 Dec 7, 2013
Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink
Many people are familiar with this line from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”
However, it may transcend from poem to reality sooner than people think. Texas and Australia both suffered 100-year droughts in 2013 and there is evidence that the snow packs that provide fresh water for most population centers around the world are shrinking.
Being familiar with this trend, our venture firm just invested in an innovative company that provides “social behavior” software to water utilities.
WaterSmart, which has already signed contracts with 12 utilities throughout the U.S., shows utility customers how much water they are using compared to their neighbors and gives them helpful advice tailored to their own apartment or house on how they can save water.
If we run low on electricity we can always build a power plant, but that is not the case when we run low on water, and companies like WaterSmart play an important role in helping people conserve this vital resource.
By the way, water bills are rising 9% a year compared to just 2-3% a year for energy.
Get ready to hear a lot more about water.
#120 Dec 10, 2013
How the Big One would destroy Southern California’s infrastructure: Editorial
Far more vulnerable is our underground infrastructure of utilities. Municipal water lines were installed as much as a century ago. They are decaying and would break in a quake.
Old water pipes are already breaking down, as we know from the many big leaks in recent years. We need to invest in shoring up all that infrastructure.
“We’re all in this together,” Jones concluded. And together we ought to heed her words.
#121 Dec 10, 2013
How the Big One would destroy Southern California’s infrastructure: Editorial
The irony of the venue for seismologist Lucy Jones’ talk Sunday to the American Geophysical Union —“Imagine America Without Los Angeles”— was doubtless not lost on its audience.
But theatrics aside, Jones’ point was very serious, and something Southern California leaders ought to add to a seismic preparedness agenda right away.
Jones’ current research centers not so much on earthquake survival, but on the ways Californians might fare in the aftermath.
And her prognosis is grim: After the imminent Big One, urban society is at risk.
Jones said that at this point, with our new reliance on technology to sustain us in the medium and long run after an earthquake,
we simply can’t point to the stash of water and food in our garages and say,
“OK, I’m done.”
Perhaps 1 in 100 buildings in this region would collapse after the Big One.
Far more vulnerable is our underground infrastructure of utilities.
Municipal water lines were installed as much as a century ago.
They are decaying and would break in a quake.
We increasingly rely on the Internet and cellular telephone technology for communication, and there is no guarantee those would be up after a big earthquake — especially,
Jones said, because there’s no legal requirement that cell towers be seismically strong.
It’s not just personal communication; grocery stores and others use the Internet for their stocking and ordering.
Plus the warehouses that store food in the Inland Empire are far from the urban core, and roadways are at risk.
Panic is not the answer. Hard work is.
And there are some obvious vulnerabilities. Jones notes in particular that two-thirds of the fiber-optic cables connecting Southern California cross the San Andreas, as do all the natural gas lines.
The first fix she suggests, and one that is financially doable right now: the gas lines. Next, everything else.
“We’re all in this together,” Jones concluded. And together we ought to heed her words.
Terrashake I uncovered the problem with the San Andres in 2005
Montebello has done NOTHING
#122 Dec 11, 2013
Finally, water will be the biggest problem of all.
The study estimates that it will take six months to get water restored,
and much longer where entire water systems need to be reconstructed.
other water news
Proposed delta tunnels may not satisfy water needs, documents say
A $25-billion proposal to re-engineer the hub of California's sprawling water system may not yield all the water that San Joaquin Valley farmers and Southland cities want.
The draft environmental reviews published online Monday
Roger Patterson, assistant general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which imports delta water to the Southland called the document release "a huge step forward.
It's the first time we have a draft plan out there. We know the range of water supplies and the estimated cost."
Next will come a four-month public comment period
#123 Dec 12, 2013
In Sierra Madre, the yellow tap water is a turnoff
City officials say the temporary use of imported supplies from the Metropolitan Water District is to blame for the off-putting color.
the MWD uses chloramines to disinfect the water it pulls from the Colorado River and the California Aqueduct. A mixture of chlorine and ammonia, chloramines interact with the rust in steel water pipes to produce the yellowish color.
Chloramines kill plants and fish
taste of what's to come if pollution plume fouls Montebello's wells
SGV water company (and others) have overpumped the basin!
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