MCWRA Regional Water Symposium (February 24) – Members RSVP Today

February 7, 2017

The New Trump Administration – A View from the Top

At MCWRA’s first regional event of 2017, meet Federal and State representatives in person and hear their views on the new Trump Administration on regional water interests.  In the afternoon, we have put together a regional panel of top managers to provide their views.  Panelists will also discuss challenges and opportunities and how to work with our state and federal partners to enhance local and regional interests in the mountain counties region.

Date:  Friday, February 24, 2017

Time:  9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Doors Open at 8:45 a.m.

Location:  The Ridge Golf Course and Event Center, 2020 Golf Course Rd, Auburn, CA 95602

Contact:  John Kingsbury (530)957-7879 –  johnkingsbury.mcwra@gmail.com

Registration Open (Members Only) – RSVP today: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2803083


 

United States Congressman Doug LaMalfa

 

 

 

 

 

United States Congressman Tom McClintock

 

 

 

 

 

California State Senator Tom Berryhill

 

 

 

 

 

California State Senator Ted Gaines 

 

 

 

 

California State Senator Jim Nielsen

 

 

 

 

California State Assembly Member Kevin Kiley

 


Afternoon Water Manager Panel 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

  • Shannon Cotulla, Assistant General Manager, South Tahoe Public Utility District
  • Einar Maisch, General Manager, Placer County Water Agency
  • Ken Payne, Interim General Manager, El Dorado County Water Agency
  • Marcus Yasutake, Environmental and Water Resources Director, City of Folsom

Moderator: Brian Poulsen, General Counsel, El Dorado Irrigation District


Event Sponsored and Underwritten by: SAGE and HDR

…..AND…..

Registration Open (Members Only) – RSVP today:http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2803083

State & Local Officials Continue to Urge Governor to End Drought Declaration

February 6, 2017

Senator Jim Nielsen’s Office, California’s 4th District holds PRESS ADVISORY.

Today, Senator Jim Nielsen, Assembly Members’  Brian Dahle, and Kevin Kiley held a Press Advisory via a conference call and in his Capitol office calling on the regulators to end the declared drought emergency.  Water Officials participating with Senator Nielsen in his office included:  John Kingsbury (Mountain Counties Water Resources Association, MCWRA), Supervisor Jim Holmes (County of Placer and Director of MCWRA), Barbara Balen (Vice Chair, Tuolumne Utilities District and Vice President, MCWRA), Dave Breninger (Ambassador, MCWRA), Bill George (Ex Officio, MCWRA), and Todd Manley (Northern California Water Association)

The State Water Resources Control Board is scheduled to vote Wednesday, February 8 on the continuation of the most restrictive water conservation in the nation. In spite of the abundance of rain and snow, state regulators are asking the Water Board to force Californians to conserve water.

This Press Advisory follows a letter signed by several legislators and regional water officials asking Governor to end the emergency drought proclamation.

With more rain and snow in the forecast and trillions of gallons of water flushing to the ocean, Northern California lawmakers and local water agencies have asked Governor Brown to end the emergency drought proclamation. In their letter, officials stated the following:

“Through your emergency declaration and outreach efforts, Californians are now more mindful and aware of the scarcity of our water. “Californians dutifully conserved water during the drought. We took out our lawns and substituted drought tolerant plants. We took shorter showers. We used more efficient watering systems on our gardens and farms. Perhaps most painfully, we fallowed our land and sold off our livestock out-of-state. “You asked us to do our part to save. We dutifully complied. “In fact, conservation had become widely practiced, particularly in agriculture, even before this most recent devastating and prolonged drought. “Californians have done their part. Let’s do our part and end the drought.”

Click here to view the letter to Governor Brown

MCWRA and several members and partners continue to send the Governor and State Water Board Officials letters calling for the emergency drought declaration to end. As of common concern, this is a statewide issue. Two recent letters, not previously posted, include a letter from northern California district member, El Dorado Irrigation District, and a letter from one of our southern California partner’s, Mesa Water District.  And, colleagues from the The Municipal Water District of Orange County declares drought over in Orange County

EID Comments on Proposed Water Conservation

Mesa Water to Governor Brown – Executive Order B-37-16

MWDOC Board Declares Drought Emergency Over in Orange County

Drought, Flood and Flow – Time for Changes

February 4, 2017

Opinion: Drought, Flood and Flow – Time for Changes

By:  John Kingsbury, Executive Director

 In California, drought and flood cycles seem to go hand in hand. It is part of nature.  Citizens are forced to ration water one year and watch it go out the Golden Gate the next year.  For decades, State officials rally around a water crisis, yet grapple with making hard decisions to reduce risk of the next water crisis.  This year is no different.  Now the state has more water than it can store.  Drought over? You would think, but not necessarily.

Unless the posturing changes, State Water Officials appear determined to continue the emergency drought mandate for another 270 days.  Why, you might ask?  The surface water drought has been eliminated in northern California, as well as, the so-called snow-drought. Now it is because of the ground water basin deficit.

In those parts of the state where groundwater has been abused, it should be a wake-up call and a reflection that those customers need to dramatically cutback and to address and solve their self-imposed water crisis. But it is ill conceived thinking by State Water Officials to impose cutbacks upon northern California surface water utilities and customers to try to solve groundwater use abusers’ problems elsewhere in California.

Northern California’s drought has ‘evaporated’.  Flooding and levee breaks, full reservoirs across the state, and a snowpack in the Sierra Nevada at 173 percent of average. Equally impressive is the statewide average for Colorado, which is at 147 percent of normal.  Reaching a milestone of 150 percent of average for Colorado has happened in only three winters in the past 40 years.  This is relevant because, beyond local and regional developed supplies, southern California depends on 50 percent of its water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta river and tributary system and 50 percent from the Colorado system. Lack of water from the Colorado system means more coming from the Sacramento-SanJoaquin system.

It is time now to end the State water emergency for surface water users in northern California.  And, the talk by State Water Officials proposing to ration water use in northern California is unwarranted, unnecessary and breaks the public’s trust of those State officials. Further the State’s intended actions over-reaches local public officials’ ‘control’ over their water utilities and customers’ interests.

The emergency drought proclamation, first pronounced in January, 2014, has given regulators temporary, but broad sweeping powers and authority.  Powers and authority not easy to give up.  There is mounting pressure from environmental groups for the state to implement permanent indoor and outdoor water conservation budgets and targets for rural, urban, and agricultural communities, either by mandate or legislative action. Followed by enforcement.

Conserving and using water for beneficial uses is the norm for farmers, businesses and residents in the State’s area-of-origin counties, cities and communities.  State officials should not succumb to pressure to determine what is best for a local utility and its community.  The California Water Action Plan, The Delta Plan, The California Water Plan, Update 2013, promote regional self-reliance and that must come with assurances and not be undermined.

The state is also poised to mandate 35-75 percent of unimpaired flows from the Sacramento and San-Joaquin waterways.  The 2009 Delta Reform Act, requires the State Board to “develop, implement and enforce” flow objectives for the Delta and flow criteria for high priority tributaries in the Delta watershed.  These activities serve the purpose of squeezing more water out of the upstream tributaries for fish.  Rather than reducing the demand downstream, it’s a tactical maneuver to begin unraveling the water right priority system aimed at the areas-of-origin counties.

Fish need more than just flow for the sake of flow.  Fish need flow at the right time or what is referred to as, “functional flow”.  Fish also require a safe healthy environment in which to grow.  Given the current condition of the Delta, more flow just pushes fish quicker to their predators.  We need to create that healthy environment in the Delta for the fish, not just add water.

There must also be a strong commitment to build new regional water supply, and restoration of the headwaters of the foothills and forest; questionably, this is often left out of the Delta watershed ecosystem discussion.

A healthy watershed ecosystem coupled with increased surface water supply will reduce ground water extraction and subsidence in the Delta.  Additional storage provides a buffer for new urban and municipal uses, drought preparedness, downstream flood protection, and provides that additional cold water for the fish when they need it.

Water Suppliers have spent billions of dollars to properly manage their lands, invest in purple pipe, implement water conservation programs and tiered water rate structures, made upgrades to water and wastewater treatment plant facilities, established leak detection and replacement programs, conjunctive use programs, and developed statewide partnerships for water transfers.  The list goes on and on.  Certainly, a credit to the local water suppliers and their ratepayers

After decades of forest mismanagement and no major water supply facility constructed since San Luis Reservoir in 1967, it is time we take our state and federal officials to task to streamline environmental and regulatory processes and to develop a means by which to achieve the water management goals that are in the best interest of the state.

As the population continues to grow and the climate warms, there be will more historic droughts and floods for the record books.  The clock is ticking.

END THE DROUGHT DECLARATION

January 30, 2017

Senators Jim Nielsen, Ted Gaines, Assembly Members Brian Dahle, James Gallagher, and Kevin Kiley sent a letter along with several signatories urging Governor Brown to end the drought declaration.

“On behalf of the people and water districts of Northern California, we urge you to end your emergency drought proclamation, first pronounced in 2014, and call an end to the mandatory conservation measures imposed on Californians…”

Click here to view the letter to Governor Brown

El Dorado Irrigation District & Weimar Water Company send letters to Governor – End Emergency Drought Proclamation

January 29, 2017

 

Gerry LaBuddie, General Manager, Weimar Water Company

Dear Governor Brown: On behalf of the people and water districts of Northern California, we urge you to end your emergency drought proclamation, first pronounced in 2012, and call an end to the mandatory conservation measures imposed on Californians….

Letter: Weimar Water Company letter to Governor

 

Tom Cumpston, Acting General Manager, El Dorado Irrigation District

…We recognize that there remain limited areas in California where drought conditions are still in effect.  We therefore will advocate that the SWRCB focus its assistance on those areas in meeting their water needs and conservation requirements.  However, where drought conditions have ceased to exist like at EID, we will urge the SWRCB to rescind the emergency conservation regulation completely or let it expire in February, and restore local control.

Letter: EIDs letter to Governor Brown

Placer County Water Agency and the City of Roseville join proposed Sites Reservoir project

January 28, 2017

Contact: Ross Branch, Public Affairs Manager, PCWA (530) 823-1937

 

 

Roseville’s City Council and Placer County Water Agency’s (PCWA) Board of Directors has opted into the initial phase of the Sites Reservoir project—a proposed off stream surface water facility west of the Sacramento River. With this approval, both water agencies will officially invest into the project and join other water districts in providing necessary backing to cover a portion of the project costs. The merits of the project comport with Roseville and PCWA’s longstanding commitment of improving water supply reliability for customers and creating projects that promote environmental sustainability.

“We have a commitment towards water supply stewardship,” said Susan Rohan, City of Roseville Mayor. “Both Roseville and PCWA believe in a project like this because it offers tremendous opportunity to capture and store rainfall and put it to good use – for both water supply and the environment.”

The proposed project would divert water from the Sacramento River and its tributaries. Water would fill the off-stream reservoir during times of high flow, including the winter months when surplus water is usually available, with up to 1.8 million acre-feet of water. If Sites had been in place in 2016, about 500,000 acre-feet could have been captured and stored—a much-needed boost to overall state water supplies in the middle of the recent historic drought.

“As recent dry years have shown, continued reliance on the American River to meet statewide demands necessitates the need for storage alternatives,” said Gray Allen, PCWA District 1 Director. “The Sites Reservoir project is a critically important effort to increase overall surface water storage north of the Delta, and benefits the citizens of Placer County by easing the constraints created by drought. Sites Reservoir will enhance our communities’ economies and provide tangible environmental benefits.”

Looking ahead, the project is envisioned to alleviate some of the burden often felt when water is released from Folsom Reservoir for environmental purposes through coordination and integration with the Central Valley Project statewide system, which includes Folsom Reservoir.  Ostensibly, Sites Reservoir would expand the pool of available water resources and used to meet environmental benefits in the Delta, which would effectively increase the amount of water available in Folsom Reservoir year-round.

“In order to obtain approval and eventually build a project of this magnitude, it requires strategic partnerships like we’ve been able to attain with Roseville and PCWA,” said Jim Watson, general manager at Sites Project Authority. “We are assembling a critical mass of water agencies who see the vision and need of creating another water supply asset that has lasting statewide benefits.”

By opting into the project, both Roseville and PCWA will participate on the Sites Joint Powers Authority Board.  The water agencies will share a board seat, rotating annually, and participate in technical support work needed to develop plans to operate the proposed reservoir. While Roseville and PCWA do not intend to obtain water allocations from this project, both agencies see the benefit of increased water supply reliability for its customers by reducing reliance on the American River.

SNC Grant Opportunities

January 27, 2017

 

Sierra Nevada Conservancy

For more information contact Elisa Brown at Elissa.Brown@sierranevada.ca.gov

Upcoming grants that might be of interest:

  • The Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART Phase II Grants (due February 15) provide up to $100,000 to address critical water supply needs, water quality, and ecological resilience. The purpose of this program is to support established watershed groups in implementing on-the-ground watershed management projects.
  • The Rose Foundation California Wildlands Grassroots Fund (due February 15) provides funding to grassroots conservation organizations advocating for the permanent protection of intact wildlands to help preserve California’s wilderness and native biological diversity. The Fund’s program includes support for restoration and stewardship.
  • Strong Foundation grants (due February 15) support efforts that instill an ecological ethic in individuals and communities, and that encourage grassroots environmental action.
  • The California Arts Council Local Impact Grant Program (due February 17) provides project and partnership support for small arts organizations reaching communities that have limited access to the arts, including rural areas.
  • The Off-Highway Vehicle Grant Programs (due March 6) provide funding for planning, development, maintenance, and restoration of motorized recreational trails.
  • The Farmers Market Promotion Program grants (due March 27) support the development, improvement, and expansion of farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, and agritourism activities.
  • The Federal Lands Access Program (due April 7) develops transportation and infrastructure projects (roads, parking, bike trails, etc.) that provide access to federal public lands, particularly those with high recreation use.
  • The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation In-Lieu Fee Program helps fund on‑the-ground wetland restoration, establishment, and enhancement projects in priority service areas. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

 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.

 

 

MCWRA EVENT – RSVP today

January 26, 2017

The New Trump Administration – A View from the Top

At MCWRA’s first regional event of 2017, meet Federal and State representatives in person and hear their views on the new Trump Administration.  In the afternoon, we have put together a regional panel of top managers to provide their views.  Panelists will also discuss challenges and opportunities and how to work with our state and federal partners to enhance local and regional interests in the mountain counties region.

Date:  Friday, February 24, 2017

Time:  9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Doors Open at 8:45 a.m.

Location:  The Ridge Golf Course and Event Center, 2020 Golf Course Rd, Auburn, CA 95602

Contact:  John Kingsbury (530)957-7879 –  johnkingsbury.mcwra@gmail.com

Registration Open – RSVP today: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2803083


 

 

United States Congressman Doug LaMalfa

 

 

 

 

United States Congressman Tom McClintock

 

 

 

 

 

California State Senator Tom Berryhill

 

 

 

 

 

California State Senator Ted Gaines 

 

 

 

 

 

California State Senator Jim Nielsen

 

 

 

 

 

California State Assembly Member Kevin Kiley

 

 


Afternoon Panel 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

  • Sean Bigley,  Public Affairs Administrator, City of Roseville
  • Shannon Cotulla, Assistant General Manager, South Tahoe Public Utility District
  • Einar Maisch, General Manager, Placer County Water Agency
  • Ken Payne, Interim General Manager, El Dorado County Water Agency
  • Marcus Yasutake, Environmental and Water Resources Director, City of Folsom

Moderator: Brian Poulsen, General Counsel, El Dorado Irrigation District


Event Sponsored and Underwritten by: SAGE and HDR

…..AND…..

Registration Open – RSVP today:http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2803083

SAVE the DATE: The New Trump Administration

January 18, 2017

The New Trump Administration – A View from the Top

At MCWRA’s first regional event of 2017, meet  federal and State representatives and hear their views on the new Trump Administration.  In the afternoon, we have put together a regional panel of top managers to provide their views.  Panelists will also discuss challenges and opportunities and how to work with our state and federal partners to enhance local and regional interests in the mountain counties region.

Date:  Friday, February 24, 2017

Time:  9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Location:  The Ridge Golf Course and Event Center, 2020 Golf Course Rd, Auburn, CA 95602

Contact:  John Kingsbury (530)957-7879 –  johnkingsbury.mcwra@gmail.com

Registration Open – RSVP today: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2803083


United States Congressman Doug LaMalfa

State Senator Jim Nielsen

State Assembly Member Kevin Kiley

Also other invited guests to be announced


Afternoon Panel 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

  • Sean Bigley,  Public Affairs Administrator, City of Roseville
  • Shannon Cotulla, Assistant General Manager, South Tahoe Public Utility District
  • Ken Payne, Interim General Manager, El Dorado County Water Agency
  • Einar Maisch, General Manager, Placer County Water Agency
  • Marcus Yasutake, Environmental and Water Resources Director, City of Folsom

Moderator: Brian Poulsen, General Counsel, El Dorado Irrigation District


Event Sponsored and Underwritten by: HDR and SAGE

   

Registration Open – RSVP today:http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2803083

Calaveras County Water District Comment Letter to the SWRCB

January 17, 2017

 

The webpost yesterday inadvertently left off the Calaveras County Water District SWRCB Workshop Comment Letter.

 

CCWD SWRCB Workshop Comment Letter

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