Voices on Water Blog

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.


ACWA Fall Conference: Where the Water Community Comes Together

Looking for the latest on El Niño? Wondering what the State Water Resources Control Board plans to do next on emergency drought regulations? Need ideas for engaging your customers?

These topics and more are on tap at the ACWA 2015 Fall Conference & Exhibition, Dec. 1-4 in Indian Wells, themed “2015: A Game Changer.”

Drought Shows Value of Investments, Need for Statewide Solutions

The latest conservation figures from the State Water Resources Control Board show Californians are continuing to heed the call to cut back on outdoor watering this summer.

In addition to letting their lawns go “California golden” and taking shorter showers, Californians are signaling their interest in making permanent changes to the way they use water indoors and outdoors. ACWA member agencies report a surge in interest in turf rebates, water-wise house calls and incentives to install water-efficient appliances and fixtures in place of thirstier models.

Region 1 Forum Focuses on Marin Water Management

By Judy Mirbegian 

ACWA Members met in Tiburon on July 24 for a Marin Water Forum. The 2015 Region 1 program drew a crowd of more than 50 and highlighted water management in Marin County.


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