ACWA e-News for June 20, 2012

ACWA's e-Newsletter is a weekly roundup of California water news and events. 

Changes to BDCP Conveyance, Findings of Benefits Analysis Outlined at Public Meeting

Proposed changes in conveyance facilities and initial findings of an economic benefits analysis of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan were outlined Wednesday at a public meeting attended by more than 100 in Sacramento.

DFG Launches New Science Website

A new website unveiled by the Department of Fish and Game today features reports, studies and other scientific research conducted by the department in a user-friendly format.

The site,, represents phase one of the department’s new Science Institute, with future phases to include an archive of scientific presentations, professional development tools, better access to outside science and scientific literature and a science symposium.

DWR Submits Final Ag Water Use Efficiency Report to Legislature

A report sent to the Legislature today identifies methods for quantifying agricultural water use efficiency and provides other indicators of efficiencies in irrigation systems.

Prepared by the Department of Water Resources as a requirement of SBX7 7, the water conservation arm of the comprehensive water package passed in 2009, the report proposes four methods for quantifying agricultural water efficiency and a plan for implementation, including costs and the data required.

Senate Committee to Hear Covered Actions Exemption Bill

Legislation that would exempt some developments and projects in the Delta from having to comply with the proposed Delta Plan is set for hearing June 26 in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee.

Lawmakers Continue Work on State Budget; RDA Pass-Through Issue Unresolved

Legislative leaders say work will continue this week on a host of trailer bills to implement the main budget bill passed by the Legislature on Friday.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said Monday he expects lawmakers to reach agreement on remaining differences over spending cuts and other issues and act on numerous accompanying bills that are still pending.

House Passes Rep. Denham’s Merced River Water Storage Bill

The House passed “The Conservation and Economic Growth Act," a package of fourteen Natural Resources Committee bills that includes Rep. Jeff Denham’s (R-19), H.R. 2578.

The bill would allow the Merced Irrigation District to raise New Exchequer Dam spillways, and removes some long-standing "wild and scenic" river protections.

"It's a small step," Denham said. "We need thousands of jobs in the Central Valley, and we need many more projects like this."

House Resources Committee Holds ESA Hearing

Continuing a series of hearings exploring how to improve and update the Endangered Species Act, the House Natural Resources committee held a hearing Tuesday titled “Taxpayer Funded Litigation, Benefitting Lawyers and Harming Species, Jobs and Schools”. The hearing’s main focus was to explore ESA litigation and how attorneys’ fees are being used by certain organizations to continue endless lawsuits, and to detail where ESA lawsuits have blocked or delayed projects, including an elementary school in San Diego.

House Appropriations Bill Slashes SRF Funding

The House Appropriations Committee released its FY 2013 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill on June 19.  The bill cuts the Environmental Protection Agency's budget by $1.4 billion, or 17 percent, to $7 billion in fiscal year 2013. The bulk of this cut comes from a drastic reduction to EPA’s State Revolving Loan Fund used to finance drinking water and waste water projects. The House bill only allocates $689 million for the clean water fund, over $710 million less than in FY 2012.

Aging Infrastructure, Capital Costs Seen as Top Concerns for Water Utilities

A new report by Black & Veatch identifies aging infrastructure, new regulatory standards and changes to traditional funding streams as key concerns for U.S. water utility leaders.

The report, “Strategic Directions in the U.S. Water Utility Industry,”  says finds that water utilities face a number of interconnected challenges. Budget constraints and other financial issues are front and center, and most utility leaders believe customers will have to pay more for water in the future.

Public Meeting on CVP Cost Allocation Study

The Bureau of Reclamation will provide an update on the cost allocation study for the Central Valley Project during a public meeting on June 29.

Council to Finalize Direction on Delta Plan Development

The Delta Stewardship Council will give final direction to its staff in the development of the last draft Delta Plan at its meeting June 28-29 in West Sacramento.

At its meeting last week, the council heard input from a stakeholder panel on various aspects of the sixth and final staff draft of the plan. ACWA’s Regulatory Affairs Director Mark Rentz and members of the association’s Ag Urban II Coalition participated on the two-day panel.

Business, Labor Groups Urge Decisions on BDCP

Calling the status quo a grave threat to the Delta, business and labor groups are urging state and federal agencies to move ahead with decisions on the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan as soon as possible in the coming year.

Proposed 2012 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan Now Available Online

The proposed 2012 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan is now available online, triggering a two-week public review period before final adoption on June 29.

The Central Valley Flood Protection Board accepted public input until June 8 and incorporated the comments into the proposed adoption resolution available for review. The board will consider final comments at its meeting on June 29 and is scheduled to vote on final adoption of the plan and the complete adoption package at the same meeting.

Services Set for Longtime ACWA Committee Chair Jess Senecal

A memorial service for longtime water attorney Jess Senecal is planned for 2 p.m. July 7 at La Cañada Presbyterian Church, 626 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada.

Senecal, a senior partner of the law firm Lagerlof, Senecal, Gosney & Kruse LLP, chaired the ACWA State Legislative Committee from 1970 to 2007. He was also a member of the ACWA Legal Affairs Committee and served several terms on the ACWA Board of Directors.

He died June 6 at the age of 81 while recovering from a stroke.

New PPIC Reports Examine Delta Ecosystem Management

Two new reports from the Public Policy Institute of California examine the Delta ecosystem, its stressors and ways to manage it more effectively in the future.

In Where the Wild Things Aren’t: Making the Delta a Better Place for Native Species, the authors propose a strategy for realistically achieving co-equal goals of water supply reliability and ecosystem protection in this troubled region.

Latest Issue of ACWA News Now Available Online

An internal reorganization plan for ACWA, comments on the sixth staff draft Delta Plan and the latest at the State Capitol are highlights of the most recent issue of ACWA News, now available online.

Other highlights in this issue:

'Save Our Water' Adorns Sunset's Water-Wise Plant Collection

The water-wise plants in Sunset magazine’s new Sunset Western Garden Collection are now distinguished by the Save Our Water logo.

The collection, a line of top-performing plants for the Western gardener available in stores starting this week, features 29 plants, 20 of which are California-friendly, low-water use plants. Sunset has plans to expand the collection in coming months.

ACWA Region 1 Program & Tour Take it From the Tap: Developing a Regional Drink Local Water Campaign

Fri, 06/22/2012 - 9:00am - 3:00pm
Santa Rosa Utilities Field Office 35 Stony Point Rd., Santa Rosa, CA

Due to health, environmental, waste reduction and numerous other reasons, the importance of switching from bottled water and other sugary drinks to local tap water as the drink of choice is gaining momentum. To capitalize on this movement, Region 1 will be hosting a forum to discuss how to develop and implement a regional Local Tap Water Campaign.

Salt Nutrient Management Plans: What You Need to Know!

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 9:00am
East Valley Water District - Highland, CA

ACWA Region 9 Presents

Salt Nutrient Management Plans:

What you need to know!

ACWA Regions 6 & 7 Joint Membership Meeting - July 2012

Fri, 07/13/2012 - 10:00am - 2:00pm
Fresno County Farm Bureau

 ACWA Joint Regions 6 & 7 Member Forum

Irrigated Lands Regulatory Issues &

Groundwater Quality

ACWA Regulatory Summit

Wed, 08/15/2012
Doubletree by Hilton Sonoma Wine Country

Steve Hall Fierce Competitor Golf Tournament

Fri, 09/21/2012
DarkHorse Golf Club, Auburn
The tournament in Steve Hall's honor will take place at DarkHorse Golf Club (24150 Darkhorse Drive, Auburn, CA 95602). DarkHorse was Steve's favorite golf course and where he hit his first and only hole in one.
  • Check-in registration opens at 8:30 a.m. A continental breakfast will also be available at that time.
  • Shotgun start at 9:30 a.m.

ACWA Continuing Legal Education

Thu, 10/04/2012 - Fri, 10/05/2012
Napa Valley Marriott

ACWA 2012 Fall Conference & Exhibition

Tue, 12/04/2012 - Fri, 12/07/2012
Manchester Grand Hyatt; San Diego

ACWA's 2012 Fall Conference & Exhibition took place Dec. 4-7 in at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.

View Conference Presentations