County of El Dorado honors a founder of MCWRA – Eugene Chappie

June 21, 2016

Chappie-GeneThe California Department of Transportation officials have installed Memorial Highway signs to honor long-time El Dorado County resident Eugene “Gene” Chappie, in recognition of his four decades of service representing the residents of El Dorado County and the state of California.  Chappie died on May 31, 1992, at age 72 at his home in Georgetown, CA.

Gene was also a founder of the Mountain Counties Water Resources Association and Georgetown Divide Public Utilities District.

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Michael Ranalli, Supervisor, County of El Dorado and John Kingsbury, Executive Director, Mountain Counties Water Resources Association. Photo by: Wally Dubois


On Saturday, June 18, 2016, County of El Dorado Supervisor Michael Ranalli hosted the ceremony to recognize Eugene Chappie’s service to El Dorado County, the region, and to California.

Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 2 Eugene “Gene” Chappie Memorial Highway

Interview with EUGENE A. CHAPPlE: California state Archives state Government Oral History Program Oral History 

Story from the Mountain Democrat

MCWRA program remarks: Gene Chappie

TUD Phoenix Lake project – Next Phase

June 19, 2016


SONORA, CA: The Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD) is moving forward with design and permitting for the Phoenix Lake Preservation and Restoration Project (Project), which will improve the water quality and storage capacity of the lake.

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Contact: Lisa Westbrook June 16, 2016 Public Relations (209) 532-5536, x501

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Climate change and the potential effects on water operations

June 16, 2016

From the Mountain Counties Water Resources Association Event:

PCWA’s Andy Fecko looks at what projections for sea level rise and warming temperatures could potentially mean for water operations at Folsom and in the Delta

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Climate change models predict a wide range of impacts that a warming climate will bring; most often discussed are warming temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, reduced snowpack, and rising sea levels.  In this presentation from the recent Mountain Counties Water Resources Association event, Andy Fecko, Director of Resource Development for the Placer County Water Agency, built his case for how these climate change impacts could affect operations at Folsom Reservoir and in the Delta.

Link to Mavens Notebook.  Here’s what Andy had to say.

Click here to see all of Mavens Notebook’s coverage on MCWRA 

Phil Isenberg – MCWRA Keynote Speaker

June 13, 2016

Phil2016 May 18 Program 091 Isenberg with parting words of advice: ‘Whether the tunnels are built or not, the underlying problems must be addressed’

Phil Isenberg recently announced his retirement from the Delta Stewardship Counil, ending fifty years of public service in a career that has spanned from being mayor of Sacramento, serving in the state assembly, to chairing the Marine Life Protection Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force, and most recently, the Delta Stewardship Council.

At the recent Mountain Counties Water Resources Association,MCWRA Isenberg awardMr. Isenberg was given an award commemorating his many years of service.  Mountain Counties Ambassador Dave Breninger presented him with a plaque, calling him “great water warrior, and a gentleman who knows about the power of influence and the power of persuasion.”

The event also featured Phil Isenberg as the keynote speaker.  Here’s what Mr. Isenberg had to say. , by Mavens Notebook

See the Video by Gene Beley, Stockton

Left to Right: Dave Breninger, MCWRA Ambassador, Honorable Phil Isenberg, Scott Ratterman, Director, Calaveras County Water District & Vice President, MCWRA, John Kingsbury, Executive Director, MCWRA



Sites Reservoir Project – Call for Participants

June 7, 2016

The Sites Project, Joint Powers Authority is seeking additional entities to participate in the development of the Sites Reservoir Project.

Agencies interested in participating in the development of the Sites Reservoir Project should review the accompanying information and submit the requested documentation by 4:00 PM on July 29, 2016.  Current participation is being requested to support the Authority’s efforts to prepare an application to the California Water Commission in accordance with the requirements of Proposition 1, Chapter 8: Statewide Water System Operational Improvement and Drought Preparedness…..more

or contact:

Jim Watson, PE, General Manager, Sites Project Authority

For more from Jim Watson on the proposed Sites Reservoir, watch the video from the Mountain Counties Water Resources Association program:  THE CONQUEST FOR AND HISTORY OF “CALIFORNIA WATER” PAST-PRESENT-FUTURE

Video by: Gene Beley, Stockton:

Sierra Nevada Conservancy – Funding Opportunities

June 3, 2016

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From: Elisa Brown at the Sierra Nevada Conservancy

Grant Research Memos – Have you checked them out?

Over the past year, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) Funding Team has produced nine grant research memos on subjects including environmental education, parks and trails, fuel reduction and forest restoration, and abandoned mine land remediation. Each research memo provides a summary of relevant funding opportunities, tips for successful applications, and a link to the appropriate web site. If you are looking for funding for your projects, this is a great place to start. You can find these memos on the Funding Opportunities Web Page.

Want to know what grants are coming up? The Funding Opportunities web page has an updated calendar of funding opportunities expected over the next several months.

 Upcoming grants that might be of interest:

  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Watershed Restoration Grant Program (deadline June 24) provides planning, implementation, and acquisition funding for multi-benefit water quality, river, and watershed protection and restoration projects of statewide importance outside of the Delta area.
  • National Park Service Rivers and Trails Conservation Grant (deadline June 30) provides facilitation and technical assistance for parks, rivers, trails, and greenways projects.
  • Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Grant (deadline July 12) provides funding for projects that mitigate impacts caused by highway construction in the vicinity of recreational lands. These include acquisition or enhancement of watersheds, wildlife habitat, wetlands, forests, or other significant natural areas.
  • The Joseph and Vera Long Foundation (deadline August 29) seeks to conserve the natural environment of Northern California and Hawaii by supporting efforts in the areas of habitat preservation, access to public lands, environmental education, and scientific research. The Foundation supports projects that have realistic goals and benefits, and that are responsive to the needs of the local economy and community.
  • Wildlife Conservation Board Streamflow Enhancement Grant (deadline August 31) focuses on enhancing stream flow in streams that support anadromous fish; support special status, threatened, endangered, or at-risk species; or provide resilience to climate change.
  • CDFW Environmental Enhancement Fund Grant (deadline August 31) supports environmental enhancement projects that benefit fish and wildlife and are located within or immediately adjacent to any surface waters within the boundaries of the state.

Congratulations to the Fall River Resource Conservation District, the Mariposa Resource Conservation District, and the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment, all of which received U.S. Forest Service Wood Innovations grants for their biomass energy projects. In addition, the Northern California Community Loan Fund received a Wood Innovations grant to provide financing technical assistance to biomass and bioenergy projects. This will be a big boost to the biomass/bioenergy industry in the Region.

Your SNC Area Representative can help you set up an individual consultation with the SNC Funding Team to get advice about specific funding opportunities or general fund development strategies. To take advantage of this resource,contact your Area Representative.

Grant Writing Workshops are available to help build the capacity of organizations that serve the Sierra Nevada Region. If you are interested in organizing or attending a workshop, contact your Area Representative.


Amador Water Agency lifts water conservation restrictions

May 30, 2016

AWA logo transparent copy (2)Amador Water Agency New Release:

Contact:    Gene Mancebo, General Manager, Amador Water Agency, 209-223-3018

(Sutter Creek)   At its May 26, 2016 meeting, the Amador Water Agency Board of Directors voted unanimously (4-0-1, Director Paul Molinelli absent) to declare an end to the Agency’s Stage 2 Drought Water Warning conservation restrictions in effect since April 9, 2015. In addition, the Water Shortage Surcharge approved in July, 2015 will be lifted, with no drought surcharge appearing on any water bill beginning July 1, 2016.

“We are very pleased to remove these state-mandated restrictions,” said AWA General Manager Gene Mancebo. “Customers are welcome to return to their normal landscape watering and use in homes and businesses, but encouraged to continue to use water wisely.”

This decision came after the State Water Resources Control Board made significant changes to statewide water conservation emergency regulations on May 18, which now allow water agencies to set conservation targets based on local water supplies.

AWA calculated its water supply based on the State Board’s guidelines and determined the Agency has an adequate supply of water and, even if the next three years are dry, will not experience a supply shortage. The Mokelumne River Basin received a little over 100% of average rain and snow this winter with Amador County storage reservoirs at capacity or filling.

“Our customers have done a tremendous job in conserving water to meet the state-mandated requirements and the Agency has made significant investment in infrastructure, resulting in millions of gallons of water conserved,” said Mancebo. “This has helped us get though some of the worst years of drought in California history.”

The Governor’s order makes permanent some water waste prohibitions, including irrigating lawns in a way that causes runoff, using non-recirculated water in a fountain or other decorative water feature, watering within 48 hours of precipitation, hosing off sidewalks and driveways, washing automobiles with hoses that do not have a shut-off nozzle, and the use of potable water to irrigate turf in street medians.

Water saving devices, including water conserving showerheads, toilet kits and faucet restrictors are available free to AWA customers at the AWA office. Additionally, customers in Lake Camanche, Amador City, Sutter Creek and Pioneer are eligible for free high-efficiency toilets and shower heads through the Vintage Home Retrofit program for disadvantaged communities, paid for by a grant from the Upper Mokelumne River Water Authority.

AWA’s Water Waste Prohibition remains in effect all year. The regulation gives the agency the ability to enforce prohibitions against water waste, with fines under certain circumstances.

Agreement signed to protect Mokelumne River Watershed / CCWD Board of Directors Lift Water Conservation Restrictions

May 25, 2016

Contact:         Gene Mancebo, General Manager
Amador Water Agency, 209-223-3018

The Amador Water Agency, with its partners in the Upper Mokelumne River Watershed Authority (UMRWA), on May 18 signed a 10-year agreement with the U.S. Forest Service that will thin forests to reduce wildfire risk, protect water quality and improve water yield. The agreement was signed by Randy Moore, Pacific Southwest Regional Forester for the U.S. Forest Service and Terry Woodrow, vice chair of UMRWA and Alpine County supervisor.
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The deal paves the way for millions of dollars in grants to fund forest restoration and watershed management in Amador, Calaveras and Alpine counties. The goal is to protect water quality and enhance water supply by reducing hazardous fuels. “Clean water is one of our most important and valuable forest products,” said Moore. “Through this agreement, we are committing to restoring and protecting these valuable resources for generations to come.” According to Moore, the Forest Service plans to double the amount of forest restoration in California, from 240,000 acres a year being treated now to 500,000 acres a year. The work is expected to bring new jobs to the region as well.
“The biggest threat to the Mokelumne River is catastrophic wild fire, resulting in polluted water,” said AWA Director Rich Farrington, who attended the signing ceremony in West Point. The Mokelumne River is Amador County’s primary water source. Farrington said Sierra Nevada headwater forests are suffering from four years of drought, death from insect attack, overgrowth from a history of fire suppression, and climate change. “This stewardship agreement between the USFS and UMWRA can be a model for making mountain communities safer and improving watershed health throughout California,” said Farrington.
The Upper Mokelumne River Watershed Authority is comprised of six water agencies and three counties: Amador Water Agency, Calaveras County Water District, Calaveras Public Utility District, East Bay Municipal Utility District, Jackson Valley Irrigation District and Alpine County Water Agency, and the counties of Amador, Calaveras and Alpine.
Also contributing to the agreement were the Amador-Calaveras Consensus Group and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, a branch of the California Natural Resources Agency
PHOTO (signing of the May 18 USFS – UMRWA Partnership Agreement in West Point.) Left to right: Terry Woodrow, Vice Chair of the Upper Mokelumne River Watershed Authority and Alpine County Supervisor, and Randy Moore, Regional Forester, Pacific Southwest Region, US Forest Service.

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The Calaveras County Water District Board of Directors voted to remove all water conservation restrictions at today’s Board meeting (Read the resolution here), meaning all CCWD customers are now at a 0% conservation level. This decision came after the State Water Resources Control Board made significant changes to statewide water conservation emergency regulations on May 18, which now allow water agencies to set conservation targets based on local water supplies. CCWD calculated its supplies based on the State Board’s guidelines and determined the District does not currently have a supply shortage and, even if the next three years are dry, will not experience a supply shortage.

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From left, Scott Ratterman, Dennis Mills, Bertha Underhill and Jeff Davidson.


Urban Water Institute Welcomes Mountain Counties Water Resources Association (MCWRA) As New Member

May 19, 2016


As part of Urban Water Institute’s ongoing exploration of water policy and economic issues the Urban Water Institute has had the opportunity to welcome members of the Mountain County Water Resources Association ( as participants and speakers at our recent conferences.  UWI representatives have also had the opportunity for a tour of the recent King Fire burn area and a very informative briefing arranged by MCWRA.  Leadership within both organizations recognized the potential for improved water management insight through continued dialogue.  The two organizations recently agreed to exchange membership in their respective organizations in order to promote further communication and understanding of mutually concerning issues.

For many of UWI’s members, the source watershed for at least of a portion of their water supply originates in California’s mountain counties area.  MCWRA has been pursuing a number of key policy issues, including meadow restoration and forestry management, which could have an impact on the quantity, timing and quality of water from these vitally important watersheds.  The principles of resource management may also hold promise for the local watersheds in the mountains of central and southern California.  We welcome this opportunity to continue the mutual dialogue and find areas where UWI and MCWRA can continue to work together to advance awareness and understanding of key watershed management techniques and objectives that may be mutually beneficial to “areas of origin” and “areas of use” in the field of California water policy development.

Water Transfer Provides Funding for Million Gallon Water Storage Tank

May 16, 2016

Foresthill PUDThe Foresthill Public Utility District (FPUD) announced today the approval of a contract with Paso Robles Tank Company for construction of a new treated water storage tank.

The cost to construct the tank is $998,551. Located at the FPUD treatment plant on Foresthill Road, the one million gallon storage tank will replace three older tanks which are leaking and at the end of their useful life. The tank is critical for fire protection and drinking water storage for the Foresthill community.

“Funding for the project was made possible by a 2015 transfer of water from Sugar Pine Reservoir,” said Board President Helen Rogers West. “We wouldn’t be able to do this project without the money from that sale.”

NEWS RELEASE:  Foresthill PUD – Press Release

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