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
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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.
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

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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 (www.mountaincountieswater.com) 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

Emergency Conservation Regulation Comment Letters

May 15, 2016

On May 9, Governor Brown issued a new Executive Order directing actions aimed at using water wisely, reducing water waste, and improving water use efficiency. The Executive Order, in part, directs the State Water Board to extend the emergency regulations for urban water conservation through the end of January, 2017. These revised regulations are set for consideration May 18,

Link to the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Staff Proposal for Extended Emergency Regulation for Urban Water Conservation: Proposed Text of Emergency Regulation

In response to the SWRCB staff proposal, Mountain Counties Water Resources Association, El Dorado Irrigation District, Placer County Water Agency, and South Tahoe Public Utility District provided comment letters.

MCWRA comments: SWRCB Reg Comments May 15 2015

El Dorado Irrigation District Comments

Placer County Water Agency Comments

South Tahoe Public Utility District Comments

 

 

EID Lifts Drought Emergency, Watering Restrictions

May 10, 2016

EID Logo (4)Contact: Jesse Saich, (530) 642-4127, jsaich@eid.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Placerville, Calif. — At its May 9, 2016 meeting, the EID Board of Directors voted unanimously to rescind the district’s Stage 2 Drought Emergency that had been in effect since February 4, 2014. In addition, the watering restrictions in place since April of 2015 have been lifted effective immediately.

“We are very pleased to remove these state-mandated restrictions,” said EID General Manager Jim Abercrombie. “Prudent investment in infrastructure and the acquisition of additional water supplies have played an important role developing EID’s resilient water portfolio. And that supply has helped us get though some of the worst years of drought in California history.”

Also on May 9, Governor Brown issued a new executive order directing continued action aimed at using water wisely, reducing water waste, and improving water use efficiency statewide.

The executive order, in part, directs the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) to extend the emergency regulations for urban water conservation through the end of January 2017.

The State Water Board’s amended emergency regulation proposes replacing the state-developed standards with locally developed conservation standards based upon each agency’s specific circumstances.

The proposed regulation would require individual urban water suppliers like EID to self-certify the level of available water supplies they have assuming three additional dry years, and the level of conservation necessary to assure adequate supply over that time.

“Based on our supplies, we do not anticipate enacting mandatory conservation under the Governor’s new executive order,” said Abercrombie. “Our customers have done a tremendous job in conserving when we needed to meet the state-mandated requirements and I am encouraged to see the Governor acknowledge that long-term water use efficiency practices should be guided by local resources and conditions, rather than a broad statewide approach.”

The Governor’s order makes permanent some water waste restrictions that were initiated in 2015, 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.

EID’s Water Waste Prohibition (Administrative Regulation 1041) remains in effect all year and under all conditions. The regulation gives the district the ability to enforce prohibitions against water waste. To read the regulation, go to www.eid.org/waterwaste.

The district will continue to commit to maximizing water efficiency and conservation opportunities set forth in the State of California’s 20×2020 Water Conservation Plan. This plan provides a roadmap for maximizing the state’s urban water efficiency and conservation opportunities—including setting in motion a range of activities designed to achieve a 20 percent per capita reduction in urban water demand—between 2009 and 2020, and beyond.

MCWRA Program May 18 – Registration closing this week – RSVP today

May 8, 2016

THE CONQUEST FOR AND HISTORY OF “CALIFORNIA WATER” PAST-PRESENT-FUTURE

YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS PROGRAM

See the list below of the top water professionals planning to be in attendance.  Get your questions answered as to the future of California water.

Agenda

When:  Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Where:  The Ridge Golf Course and Event Center in Auburn

Time:  Doors open at 8:30 a,m. – Program starts at 9:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

RSVP:  Click Here to Register

You will hear about the history of California water and their District from Westlands Water District and San Luis & Delta-Mendota Authority

  • Westlands Water District is the largest agricultural water district in the United States, made up of more than 1,000 square miles of prime farmland in western Fresno and Kings Counties.
  • San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority represents approximately 2,100,000 acres of 29 federal and exchange water service contractors within the western San Joaquin Valley, San Benito and Santa Clara counties.

Learn about the Sites Reservoir project.  It has been on the books for decades. Can it fit into the framework of California’s water infrastructure puzzle?

Get the perspective on the future of California’s integrated water supply system, agriculture and northern California considering the weather pattern changes.

Reflections and the future of California Water from a true water warrior  – Our Keynote Lunch Speaker: The Honorable Phil Isenberg

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Ara Azhderian,Water Policy Administrator, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Authority
  • Tom Birmingham, General Manager, Westlands Water District (Afternoon Panelist)
  • Andy Fecko, Director Resource Development, Placer County Water Agency (Morning Presenter)
  • David Guy, President, Northern California Water Association (Afternoon Panelist)
  • Brent Hastey, Director, Yuba County Water Agency & Vice President, ACWA
  • The Honorable Phil Isenberg, Retired – Keynote Lunch Speaker
  • Einar Maisch, General Manager, Placer County Water Agency (Afternoon Panel Moderator) (Afternoon Panelist)
  • Jason Peltier, General Manager, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Authority (Morning Presenter and Afternoon Panelist)
  • Deven Upadhyay, Manager, Water Resources Management Group, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
  • James Watson, General Manager, Sites Project Authority (Morning Presenter and Afternoon Panelist)
  • Phil Williams, Deputy General Counsel, Westlands Water District (Morning Presenter and Afternoon Panelist

Agenda

RSVP:  Click Here to Register

PLEASE RECOGNIZE AND THANK OUR PROGRAM HOST: 

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My Turn – On Water Management!

April 26, 2016

By:  John Kingsbury, Executive Director

If you’re like most consumers, you are weary from coping with the drought and the accompanying emergency water-use restrictions.  You likely have a desire to get your landscape back, and probably don’t want your water district telling you when and how much water to use.  Your water district is in the same boat.  Their interest and responsibility is to provide reliable high quality water at a cost-effective rate for your beneficial use.

With water now flowing over reservoir spillways in the north, the water districts are anxious to gain back “local control” of their water supply portfolios.  Now, as conditions return to normal in many parts of the state, regulators are considering whether to rescind the emergency restrictions.  They should do so.

What’s next?  The immediate answer is not to continue with landscape restrictions, higher water rates, and a change in the quality of life.

Statewide, average water use is roughly 10% urban, 40% agricultural, and 50% for the aquatic environment. Urban consumers conserved one quarter of the statewide urban water demand. This significant effort accounted for only a 2.5% savings of the total statewide water demand.  Yet, the state and federal agencies did little to conserve a portion of the 50% aquatic environmental water.

State and federal regulators should balance social-economic impacts of urban and agricultural water users when determining how and when to allocate water to the environment during a drought.

Also, it’s disheartening to see the state’s largest storage reservoirs, Shasta, Oroville, and Folsom flush millions of gallons of fresh water to the ocean.  In doing so, the state and federal agencies robbed agricultural interests and homes in both northern and southern California of water that could be put to beneficial use.  Rather than wasting the water, state and federal agencies should implement projects to capture and store winter’s excess flood flows as a water “bank” for later use in the summer and fall.  Of course, others will argue that this water is more appropriately needed for fish and to flush the Delta.  Long-term water management is more than flow for fish.

Last year, the Delta Independent Science Board (Delta ISB) released a report about flows and fishes in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  The Delta ISB reported that “flow is but one factor affecting fishes and its effects are confounded by other drivers of fish production in the ecosystem.”  “The five drivers (or stressors) include habitat alteration and loss, resource use and exploitation, invasive species, pollution, and climate.”

The California Legislature established the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Reform Act and the Delta ISB in 2009.  The Delta ISB is a standing board of prominent national and international scientists with the appropriate expertise to evaluate a broad range of scientific programs that support adaptive management of water resources in the Delta.

California has a complex integrated water plumbing system. Consider a three legged stool. You can’t properly upright and level a stool unless all three legs of equal length and strength are connected to the seat.  Otherwise, it just won’t work. This is no different than California’s plumbing system.  California’s water system has three legs; water supply, water demand and the environment. To achieve balance and stability, all three legs must be equal.

Admittedly we need to advance our water use efficiency practices through advancing technologies. We also must balance the environmental and water supply legs of the stool.  If not, the statewide water system will never achieve equilibrium.

We can’t balance this stool focusing on water conservation.

The state and federal agencies need do a better job of mitigating the drivers or stressors of the Delta and its watershed, and implement projects to build additional water supply.

I’ve worked in the California water world for nearly 30 years. In my opinion, we’re headed down the wrong path, regulatorily speaking.  We keep doing the same thing over and over, while expecting a different result.  As we move past this drought emergency, it’s time to encourage state and federal agencies to return local control to the water districts, refocus, collaborate effectively, and implement a fair, balanced, and comprehensive long-term statewide water management strategy. It is unreasonable and unfair to keep kicking this can down the road to the next generation.

Reminder to RSVP Today for the next MCWRA Program

April 25, 2016

THE CONQUEST FOR AND HISTORY OF “CALIFORNIA WATER” PAST-PRESENT-FUTURE

Hear about the past, present, and the future of California’s integrated water system from 11 top water managers.  Learn how our complex integrated system developed and what the future has in store for California and this region. 

YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS PROGRAM

Agenda

When:  Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Where:  The Ridge Golf Course and Event Center in Auburn

Time:  Doors open at 8:30 a,m. – Program starts at 9:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

RSVP:  Click Here to Register

You will hear about the history of California water and their District from Westlands Water District and San Luis & Delta-Mendota Authority

  • Westlands Water District is the largest agricultural water district in the United States, made up of more than 1,000 square miles of prime farmland in western Fresno and Kings Counties.
  • San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority represents approximately 2,100,000 acres of 29 federal and exchange water service contractors within the western San Joaquin Valley, San Benito and Santa Clara counties.

Learn about the Sites Reservoir project.  It has been on the books for decades. Can it fit into the framework of California’s water infrastructure puzzle?

Get the perspective on the future of California’s integrated water supply system, agriculture and northern California considering the weather pattern changes.

Reflections and the future of California Water from a true water warrior  – Our Keynote Lunch Speaker: The Honorable Phil Isenberg

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Ara Azhderian,Water Policy Administrator, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Authority
  • Tom Birmingham, General Manager, Westlands Water District (Afternoon Panelist)
  • Andy Fecko, Director Resource Development, Placer County Water Agency (Morning Presenter)
  • David Guy, President, Northern California Water Association (Afternoon Panelist)
  • Brent Hastey, Director, Yuba County Water Agency & Vice President, ACWA
  • The Honorable Phil Isenberg, Retired – Keynote Lunch Speaker
  • Einar Maisch, General Manager, Placer County Water Agency (Afternoon Panel Moderator) (Afternoon Panelist)
  • Jason Peltier, General Manager, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Authority (Morning Presenter and Afternoon Panelist)
  • Deven Upadhyay, Manager, Water Resources Management Group, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
  • James Watson, General Manager, Sites Project Authority (Morning Presenter and Afternoon Panelist)
  • Phil Williams, Deputy General Counsel, Westlands Water District (Morning Presenter and Afternoon Panelist

Agenda

RSVP:  Click Here to Register

PLEASE RECOGNIZE AND THANK OUR PROGRAM HOST: PCWA Logo

AND OUR PROGRAM SPONSORS:

WEST YOSTSAGELogo_CMYKParjanaENERCON_Logo_TaglineProvost Pritchard LOGODark BlueDomenchelliMeadHunt-Vrt_ColorHEP_2C Pos VDudek_PMSBlack & Veatch

 

Time to RSVP – Speakers Added: The Honorable Phillip L. Isenberg, Tom Birmingham, Brent Hastey

April 17, 2016

THE CONQUEST FOR AND HISTORY OF “CALIFORNIA WATER” PAST-PRESENT-FUTURE

Hear about the past, present, and the future of California’s integrated water system from top water managers.  Learn how our complex integrated system developed and what the future has in store for California and this region. 

YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS THIS PROGRAM

When:  Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Where:  The Ridge Golf Course and Event Center in Auburn

Time:  Doors open at 8:30 a,m. – Program starts at 9:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

RSVP:  Click Here to Register

You will hear about the history of California water and their District from Westlands Water District and San Luis & Delta-Mendota Authority

  • Westlands Water District is the largest agricultural water district in the United States, made up of more than 1,000 square miles of prime farmland in western Fresno and Kings Counties.
  • San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority represents approximately 2,100,000 acres of 29 federal and exchange water service contractors within the western San Joaquin Valley, San Benito and Santa Clara counties.

Learn about the Sites Reservoir project.  It has been on the books for decades. Can it fit into the framework of California’s water infrastructure puzzle?

Get the perspective on the future of California’s integrated water supply system, agriculture and northern California considering the weather pattern changes.

Reflections and the future of California Water from a true water warrior  – Our Keynote Lunch Speaker: The Honorable Phil Isenberg

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Tom Birmingham, General Manager, Westlands Water District (Afternoon Panelist)
  • Andy Fecko, Director Resource Development, Placer County Water Agency (Morning Presenter)
  • David Guy, President, Northern California Water Association (Afternoon Panelist)
  • Brent Hastey, Director, Yuba County Water Agency & Vice President, ACWA
  • The Honorable Phil Isenberg, Retired – Keynote Lunch Speaker
  • Einar Maisch, General Manager, Placer County Water Agency (Afternoon Panel Moderator) (Afternoon Panelist)
  • Jason Peltier, General Manager, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Authority (Morning Presenter and Afternoon Panelist)
  • Roger Patterson, Assistant General Manager, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
  • James Watson, General Manager, Sites Project Authority (Morning Presenter and Afternoon Panelist)
  • Phil Williams, Deputy General Counsel, Westlands Water District (Morning Presenter and Afternoon Panelist)

AGENDA COMING REAL SOON!!

RSVP:  Click Here to Register

PLEASE RECOGNIZE AND THANK OUR PROGRAM HOST: PCWA Logo

AND OUR PROGRAM SPONSORS:

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Time to RSVP for MCWRA May 18 Program

April 12, 2016

When:  Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Where:  The Ridge Golf Course and Event Center in Auburn

Time:  Doors open at 9:00 a,m, – Program starts at 9:30 a.m.

RSVP:  Click Here to Register

Join us to hear from some of California’s top water leaders.  Westlands Water District, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Authority, Sites Project Authority and how the pieces fit together for northern California…and more!  

  • Sites Project Authority – the proposed Sites Reservoir would be a large offstream reservoir in the Sacramento Valley in Northern California
  • San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority represents approximately 2,100,000 acres of 29 federal and exchange water service contractors within the western San Joaquin Valley, San Benito and Santa Clara counties.
  • Westlands Water District is the largest agricultural water district in the United States, made up of more than 1,000 square miles of prime farmland in western Fresno and Kings Counties.

Why Sites Reservoir now ? – What does it mean to Northern California, California Agriculture, and the effects of climate change, past, present, and the future! 

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Andy Fecko, Director Resource Development, Placer County Water Agency (Morning Presenter)
  • David Guy, President, Northern California Water Association (Afternoon Panelist)
  • Einar Maisch, General Manager, Placer County Water Agency (Afternoon Panel Moderator) (Afternoon Panelist)
  • Jason Peltier, General Manager, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Authority (Morning Presenter and Afternoon Panelist)
  • Roger Patterson, Assistant General Manager, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
  • James Watson, General Manager, Sites Project Authority (Morning Presenter and Afternoon Panelist)
  • Phil Williams, Deputy General Counsel, Westlands Water District (Morning Presenter and Afternoon Panelist)

AGENDA COMING SOON!!

RSVP:  Click Here to Register

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