Tim Quinn's blog

Taking a Stand for the Future We Want in California

With California water at a tipping point once again, ACWA’s Board of Directors is taking a public stand in favor of collaborative, comprehensive solutions that protect and promote both water supply reliability and ecosystem health.

The policy statement on Bay-Delta flow requirements adopted by the Board on March 10 carries a powerful message about a path to a better future. It also makes it clear that the State Water Resources Control Board’s singular focus on “unimpaired flow” is incompatible with that path.


National Geographic Documentary Distorts California’s Water History

There is no easy narrative when it comes to California water, but the producers of National Geographic’s newly released documentary on our state’s water system seem to think there is. The filmmakers relied on a Hollywood trope to tell the complicated story of California’s water history and water rights. Any idea what that trope might be? You guessed it – the film Chinatown. Yes, really.

Executive Director's Blog: New Administration Brings New Opportunities for Solutions

Many people in the water community have been asking me the same question these past few weeks – What will a Trump Administration mean for California water? No one knows the answer for sure, but as we move forward, as always, ACWA will stick to its core values. And the template for those core values is the coequal goals of advancing a water policy that benefits both California’s economy and environment.


Improving ACWA's Relevance to Agricultural Water Agency Members

There is no better venue than an ACWA conference to get the pulse of local water agency managers and directors. Between the formal panel discussions and the informal conversations throughout the week, our conferences are rich with opportunities to hear the concerns and opinions of folks on the front lines of providing water to cities and farms in California.


Is 2017 the Year for Water Policy Breakthrough?

As the water community gathers in Anaheim next week for ACWA’s 2016 Fall Conference & Exhibition, change will be a prominent theme.

From the transition to a new federal administration to developments on key policy issues, I expect plenty of lively dialog as we take stock of the uncertainties, challenges and opportunities ahead in 2017.

Don’t Lose Sight of the Real Goal: Drought Preparedness and Efficiency

You don’t have to look hard for proof that Californians are making permanent changes to the way they use water. In communities up and down the state, turf removal is a common sight as homeowners say goodbye to lawns and hello to water-wise landscapes.

Aided by hundreds of millions of dollars in rebates offered by local agencies, urban water customers are taking concrete action outdoors as well as changing out toilets and appliances indoors. These actions translate into meaningful water use reductions that can be sustained into the future.

Flow Proposal Points to Need for Comprehensive Approach

Since 2009, the hallmark of California water policy has been a commitment to the coequal goals of improving both water supply reliability and ecosystem health. While this commitment remains as vital today as it was in 2009, recent actions suggest we’re due for a refresher course on what it really means.


Historically Low San Luis Reservoir Highlights Broken Water System

If you need a sign that the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is broken, look no further than San Luis Reservoir. Despite near-average precipitation this year and healthy storage in other north state reservoirs, San Luis is so precipitously low that deliveries were nearly shutoff in early August.

Meanwhile Shasta Lake, the state’s largest reservoir, sits at 109% of its historic average for the date.

What’s wrong with this picture? In a nutshell, we have a water system that is broken from a physical and policy standpoint.


“Stress Test” Results Are a Good News Story

On Tuesday, the State Water Resources Control Board released the first month of conservation data under new state rules that emphasize drought preparedness and local discretion regarding conservation activities. Not surprisingly, the data demonstrates that Californians are making a habit of using water efficiently both indoors and outdoors.


New Strategy on Delta Smelt a Step in the Right Direction

Over the past few months, California water has seen its share of policy shifts. This month brought a development that many hope will set us on a course to better manage aquatic resources with a comprehensive set of tools.

With the release of the Delta Smelt Resiliency Strategy, state and federal agencies have outlined a comprehensive plan that centers on more than just pumping restrictions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. ACWA and its member agencies have advocated for such a strategy for the better part of two decades.

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