Voices on Water Blog

Senate Bill Presents Opportunity to Redefine Federal, State Relationship on Water

Since passage of historic water legislation in 2009, the core tenet of California water policy is managing for the coequal goals of improving both water supply reliability and ecosystem health.

It’s “Go Time” for Improving California’s Voluntary Water Market

As we have seen over the past few years, droughts have a way of spurring leadership on important policy issues. In the past two years alone, ACWA and its members have played a leading role in putting substantive proposals on the table to address key issues including sustainable groundwater management, headwaters health and water storage investments.

Conservation a Hot Topic as Water Community Converges on Monterey

As the water community gathers in Monterey this week, the State Water Board will be getting its monthly update in Sacramento on urban conservation under the state’s emergency regulation.

In what has become a familiar drill, State Water Board staff will report the latest water use figures on how much Californians have reduced urban water use over the same month in 2013. This time, however, the report comes as the water community anticipates action later this month to adjust the emergency regulation to reflect improved water supply conditions in many parts of the state.

Boost in Flows Underscores Need for Delta Improvements

With a series of recent downpours sending huge volumes of water into rivers, streams and reservoirs, drought-weary Northern Californians are seeing images they haven’t seen in years.

Lake Shasta picked up about 1 million acre-feet of storage in two weeks, while the Bureau of Reclamation is making flood control releases from Folsom Reservoir, which was at near-historic lows just two months ago. Sacramento River water flowed into the Yolo Bypass for the first time since 2012, and the statewide snowpack is close to average.

When it Comes to Drought Readiness, 2016 is a Far Cry from 1991

In January 1991, local water managers were bracing for a fifth year of drought. Key reservoirs were at just 50% of historic average and steep cutbacks were announced for both the State Water Project (SWP) and the Central Valley Project (CVP).

Proposed Emergency Urban Water Conservation Regulation Framework’s “No Stacking Rule” Could Undermine Regional Water Planning

On Dec. 21, State Water Resources Control Board staff lifted the curtain a bit and shared their initial thinking on what could be in store for emergency drought regulation in 2016. While the draft framework for the next version of the emergency urban conservation regulation provides a cursory nod to the notion that local conditions should be accounted for in the state’s drought plan, the proposal turns a blind eye to the sea change that has occurred in 21st century water management in California. We can do better.

Let’s Get the Right Approach to Drought Response in 2016

There is no question that California is in a drought of epic proportions. By now, the statistics are well known: driest sequence of water years in a millennium; lowest April 1 snowpack in 600 years; hottest temperatures on record.

In early 2015, there was broad agreement that we faced a drought emergency that required statewide action. The State Water Resources Control Board – at the direction of Gov. Jerry Brown – responded by implementing the first-ever mandatory statewide reductions in urban water use.

Region 9 Event Examines Managing California’s Historic Drought

By Region 9 Chair Harvey Ryan

More than 70 ACWA members gathered September 18 at the Inland Empire Utilities Agency in Chino for a one-day Region 9 program, “The Heat is On! Managing the Drought.”

The event opened with ACWA Region 9 Vice Chair Craig Ewing welcoming the attendees and giving an overview of the day.

San Joaquin Valley Members Tackle the Big Issues

by Region 6 Chair Matt Hurley

Regions 6 & 7 jointly hosted their annual San Joaquin Valley Water Forum once again in Visalia on October 16th.  The event garnered 70 attendees from throughout the Valley heard updates from the Capitol and learned critical detail about the current issues facing the San Joaquin Valley.

Lake Cachuma Project – Past, Present, Future

By Region 5 Chair Dick Quigley

ACWA Region 5 hosted an event in Buellton titled, “The Lake Cachuma Project – Past, Present, Future” on October 25 & 26. The event, which focused on one of Santa Barbara County’s major surface water supplies, attracted more than 70 attendees.

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