Tim Quinn's blog

Ultra-Low Folsom Lake Underscores Power of 2014 Drought

I had a chance to hike down to Folsom Lake on Martin Luther King Jr. Day under sunny skies and a daytime high temperature of about 68 degrees. My wife and I were curious to witness what thousands of people have been trekking out to see as the shrinking lake reveals acre after acre of dry lake bed and even the remnants of a long-submerged Gold Rush-era town. We stood there by a tree stumped more than half a century ago when the lake was filled, a stump that this time of year should be 100 feet under water.

Looking Back at a Busy 2013

With the year nearly over, it’s a good time to look back at what was a busy and productive 2013 for ACWA. Above all, our members once again came together to foster agreement on some of the state’s most complex water issues, choosing to build consensus rather than focusing on differences.

ACWA Board Sends Powerful Message with Statewide Water Action Plan

Last month, the ACWA Board of Directors voted unanimously and enthusiastically to approve a Statewide Water Action Plan (SWAP) for California. The vote capped an intensive five-month effort convened by ACWA with the goal of crafting a specific plan that could be broadly supported by water interests and serve as a sustainable path forward for California.

First Half of 2013-’14 Legislative Session Yields Some Progress on Water Bond

The Legislature wrapped up its work for 2013 in the early hours of Sept. 13, capping a legislative year that saw ACWA and its coalition partners play an effective role on legislation that could have significant impacts on its member agencies.

While ACWA spent significant time and energy opposing a move to transfer the state’s entire drinking water program to the State Water Resources Control Board (AB 145) and worked on many other bills, including California Environmental Quality Act reform, we also played a leadership role in advancing the dialog on the 2014 water bond.

It’s Time for the Water Community to Unite around a Statewide Water Action Plan

With state and federal agencies working toward the release a public draft of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, much attention is focused on the Delta and the need for long-term solutions. We all know a Delta solution is critical to the state’s water future, but it is just one component of a broader set of actions needed to address overall water supply reliability and ecosystem health in California.

Once Again, Water Supply Cutbacks Show Need for New Approach

In a scenario played out far too often in recent years, water supplies are being curtailed once again to protect Delta smelt.

As state officials announced Feb. 12, pumping curtailments to protect smelt have reduced water deliveries to water districts in the Central Valley, Southern California and San Francisco Bay Area by more than 700,000 acre-feet since mid-December. That’s water that could have irrigated more than 200,000 acres of farmland this year or met the needs of 1.4 million households.

Resist the "Bumper Sticker" Mentality: Delta Fix is Part of Getting to a Sustainable Water System

As state and federal agencies gear up to release a public draft of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan later this year, one message bears repeating: A long-term Delta fix is not an option; it’s an essential part of a comprehensive plan to address the state’s water supply needs.

DSC Letter May Signal More Constructive Approach on Delta Flows

Call me an optimist, but it looks like the policy debate over Delta flows may be moving in the right direction.

That’s my take on a recent letter by the Delta Stewardship Council to the State Water Resources Control Board regarding the role of flows in addressing a suite of problems affecting the Delta ecosystem and key species such as smelt and salmon.

The State Board has launched a process to evaluate potential changes to Delta outflow and inflow requirements and other measures as part of its review of water quality objectives for the Bay-Delta.

Flow Discussion Must Be Part of Broad Strategy to Improve Ecosystem Health and Water Supply

With the next staff draft of the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Plan due to be released soon, the coming weeks will be pivotal for ACWA members and others working to move the council in a direction that can truly meet the coequal goals of improved ecosystem health and water supply reliability.

Educating Public on Connection Between Reliable Water, Economy an Important Task

ACWA has been holding a series of forums around the state to update its local water agency members on plans and activities for the year.

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