Urban Water Institute’s Spring Water Conference, February 7-9, 2018

January 18, 2018

 

By:  John Kingsbury, Executive Director, MCWRA and Urban Water Institute Board Member

 

On behalf of Greg Quist, Urban Water Institute Chairman and my fellow Board members, I would like to invite you to the Urban Water Institute upcoming conference in Palm Springs, which takes place February 7-9, 2018.

The conference will feature mountain counties participation from Tom Haglund, General Manager, Tuolumne Utilities and Rem Scherzinger, General Manager, Nevada Irrigation District

Program Agenda, click link:  https://www.urbanwater.com/program-agenda/

Conference Registration, click link:  https://www.urbanwater.com/conference-registration/

Greg Quist, Chairman, Urban Water Institute
So much is changing around us as water managers, governing officials, and expert consultants.  We have a completely different Federal landscape in Washington; during the last drought the California State Water Resources Control Board for the first time required mandated statewide delivery reductions for M&I customers; water utilities are facing crumbling infrastructure while dealing with tight budgets. Given this dynamic water world, the UWI Program Planning Committee has done another outstanding job in pulling this conference together around the theme “Who’s in Control?”

I invite each of you to take time to attend and participate, and I suggest you also bring one or two colleagues.

Just a sampling of our program and range of topics:

  • A special address by Senator Bob Hertzberg, Chairman of the Natural Resources and Water Committee in the State Senate
  • What is the Future of Dams in California?
  • The Affordable Water Rates and the Water Rate Payer
  • Unintended Consequences of the most Epic Drought in Recorded History
  • Dr. Jerry Schubel, CEO & President of the Aquarium of the Pacific who will address Climate Change & It’s Impact on Water Supply
  • A California Multi-Agency Analysis of the Relationship between Water Sales and Pricing During the Drought
  • A unique City View from the top on the Control of Water
  • How is Conservation going to be a way of life?
  • What’s Going on with the Salton Sea?

There’s a wealth of experience and insight to be shared with our conference participants.

Greg Quist
Chairman

Urban Water Institute

Program Agenda, click link:  https://www.urbanwater.com/program-agenda/

EID General Counsel to Lead ACWA State Legislative Committee

January 16, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jesse Saich, Public Information Officer, (530) 642-4127jsaich@eid.org

General Counsel, Brian Poulsen, appointed chairman of Association of California Water Agencies’ (ACWA) State Legislative Committee

 

 

 

Placerville, Calif. — On January 3, 2018, EID General Counsel, Brian Poulsen, was appointed as chairman of the Association of California Water Agencies’ (ACWA) State Legislative Committee.

ACWA is the largest statewide coalition of public water agencies in the country. Its more than 430 public agency members collectively are responsible for 90 percent of the water delivered to cities, farms, and businesses in California.

The 40-member State Legislative Committee is comprised of four members from each of ACWA’s 10 regions (EID is in Region 3) and sets official state legislative policy positions on behalf of the association.

ACWA State Legislative Relations Department advocates and analysts review relevant introduced and amended legislation and create policy analyses with accompanying recommendations. The committee reviews this information and approves positions on the legislation. The committee also provides recommendations to the ACWA Board of Directors on ballot measures and other major statewide policy issues.

“Brian’s leadership in this committee solidifies EID’s place at the statewide table regarding legislation that could affect our ratepayers,” said EID General Manager Jim Abercrombie. “Brian’s expertise in California water law and his position within this influential committee is a benefit to EID and its ratepayers.”

In addition to the State Legislative Committee, Poulsen also serves on ACWA’s Legal Affairs Committee.

“I’m pleased to take up this honor,” said Poulsen. “ACWA’s committees are peopled with diverse members from all corners of California.  The State Legislative Committee includes some of the brightest and most talented public servants in our industry and I’m proud to represent our region and add our collective voice to the mix.”

For more than a century, ACWA’s mission has been to help its members promote the development, management, and use of good quality water at the lowest practical cost and in an environmentally responsible manner.

ACWA serves the water industry and the public by promoting local agencies as the most efficient means of providing water service; sharing reliable scientific and technical information; tracking and shaping state and federal water policy; advocating for sound legislation and regulation; and facilitating cooperation and consensus among all interest groups.

Funding Opportunities: Wildfire Mitigation~ WaterSMART Grants~ Forestry Funding

January 15, 2018

Cal OES grant program has opportunities for California wildfire mitigation projects

The Cal OES Hazard Mitigation Grant Program has funding available for projects related to last October’s wildfires in California. To be eligible for the funding, a notice of interest (NOI) must be submitted by Tuesday, Jan. 30. The NOI form and instructions are available on the program’s website.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has announced two funding opportunities through its WaterSMART program

The first would fund projects that increase water management flexibility and improve the resiliency of water resources. The other would provide up to $200,000 for efforts to develop a drought contingency plan.

Forestry grants made available through two CAL FIRE programs

CAL FIRE has started a new round of grant program funding.  The Forest Health Grant Program will accept concept proposals through Feb. 21 for projects that help reduce greenhouse gases and protect watersheds. And, the Urban and Community Forestry Program will accept proposals through Feb. 26. It works to mimic forest conditions in neighborhoods.

______________

For more information on these funding opportunities, click the Department of Water Resources (DWR) website link:  http://www.water.ca.gov/waterplan/docs/enews/2018/cwp_e-news011018.pdf 

Protect Hydroelectric Generation and Transmission Facilities

January 13, 2018

In Support of Legislation to Protect Hydroelectric Generation and Transmission Facilities, Located in Federal Watersheds, from the Threat of Catastrophic Wildfires

Resolution 17-05
Sponsors: Placer County Water Agency; Northern California Power Agency

Under Section 10(e)(1) of the Federal Power Act, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) assesses annual charges for federal land use by hydropower project licensees.  In 2015, FERC collected approximately $11.5 million.  After FERC collects the fees, they are allocated 12.5 percent to the U.S. Treasury, 50 percent to the federal reclamation fund, and 37.5 percent to the states in which the projects are located.  There is no direct nexus to the collection of these charges and active management of the federal lands where the hydropower projects are located.

Read More:  https://www.publicpower.org/policy/protect-hydroelectric-generation-and-transmission-facilities

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

January 11, 2018

 

Sierra Nevada Conservancy

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES NEWSLETTER

February-March 2018

Elissa.Brown@sierranevada.ca.gov 

Upcoming Grants that Might be of Interest:

Interested in other funding for fuel reduction, parks and trails, habitat preservation, or environmental education? Grant Research Memos on a variety of topics are available on the SNC funding opportunities webpage.

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.

 

Op-Ed: The Centennial Reservoir Project thoughts and process

January 9, 2018

By: Nevada Irrigation District Director Nick Wilcox

As a Nevada Irrigation District Director, I have the responsibility to ensure our water supply into the future.  Climate change is shrinking the snowpack, our largest reservoir, and NID must adapt and plan for the future.

Increasing the District’s storage capacity in wet years, to carry us over multiple critically dry years, is a key strategy for adapting to climate change and lost snowpack. (The California Department of Water Resources has just reported that based on the first snow survey, snowpack this year is 3 percent of average. Hopefully this will change for the better). To that end, NID has proposed and is studying the possibility of building a new reservoir to capture direct winter runoff. There are many steps to this process.

The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed Centennial Reservoir Project is currently being developed by expert consultants. The EIR documents will provide a detailed Project description, outline the purpose and need, study alternatives, and determine the environmental consequences of the proposed Project. The EIR is the means by which the NID Board of Directors will make an informed decision about whether to proceed with the Project.

Many alternatives to the Project have been suggested by the public, such as imposing extreme conservation, canal encasement and greater reliance on groundwater. These as well as other alternatives will all be studied and analyzed for the amount of “real” water they produce. If, taken together, the alternatives do not compensate for the lost snowpack, then they are not truly alternatives to the proposed Project.

Preparation of the EIR is taking longer than initially anticipated to allow more time for thorough study, fact finding and careful examination of alternatives to the Centennial Project. Our constituents and community expect nothing less. An accurate financial analysis cannot be done before the EIR is complete and the potential environmental mitigation costs established. Only after the EIR is final and subsequent cost and funding analyses are determined, will the Board make a final decision about moving forward with the Project.

The draft EIR is expected to be released next fall. The public will have a minimum of 45 days to review and submit written comments on the document. There will also likely be a noticed public hearing in which oral comments can be submitted. NID is required by law to respond to all written and oral comments, which are then incorporated into the Final EIR.

After the EIR is complete, NID will have a clearer picture of environmental mitigation costs. The Board will then contract for an independent analysis of the cost, including financing costs. Only after these analyses are completed, will the Board be able to make an informed decision on the Project.

Any claims by opponents regarding the Project, including water gained from proposed alternatives, costs, and funding mechanisms are premature and completely speculative at this point.  The information is not yet available. As a retired professional scientist, I will make my decision based on all of the facts, detailed analysis, and careful deliberation.

In my own mind, there are four conditions that must be met for the Centennial Project to move forward: 1) the geotechnical analysis must show that the site will be safe, 2) the hydrologic analysis must show that there is available water to fill the reservoir, 3) the Project must be financially feasible and 4) the environmental impacts must not be unreasonable or immitigable, and not outweigh the societal benefits of the project.

There are those who categorically oppose all dams. I understand that.  I once felt the same way. But as an NID Director, I must take a broader view, look long-term, and consider the public interest and needs of both the environment and of urban and agricultural water users within the District. I urge the public to stay involved with the process but to also exercise patience. In the end, FACTS will matter.

Nick Wilcox lives in Penn Valley and has served as NID Division 5 director for nine years. He is a retired Environmental Scientist from the State Water Resources Control Board.

Open Letter -Ron Ringen – Oct 27, 2017 MCWRA Symposium

November 10, 2017

November 7, 2017

Open Letter to the MCWRA Board of Directors, Executive Director John Kingsbury and Ginny Borkowski

 

 

Ron W. Ringen, Director, Tuolumne Utilities District, Sonora, CA

First, I want to thank you, John, and Ginny whole heartedly for all the work and planning to make the October 27, 2017 Symposium be the huge success that it was.  And, I want to thank the MCWRA Board of Directors for supporting the Symposium and giving all of the attending members and associates the opportunity to hear firsthand the many various issues (‘stressors’) and viewpoints of the Sierra Nevada and the Delta connection surrounding the fish and water flow dilemma. With such a large number of high caliber speakers/presenters with such different, and, in some cases divergent views on a subject that is so politicized, complex, and convoluted, I feel that you were able to give all of them (the presenters) ample and equal time to provide us with their views and knowledge of the multitude of issues at hand.

The feeling I got was there is just no honest, straight forward plan that will permanently ‘fix’ the multitude of issues that plague the Delta and the Sierra Nevada tributaries. Jim Branham, Executive Officer of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and Doug Demko, President of FISHBIO, laid out the most comprehensive “fix” issues and “fixes”, but all of the speakers were good. There are a cluster of, as I said, divergent view points and narrow agendas, but little done to ascertain real hard facts and find reasonable middle-ground, common-sense solutions that will correct the problems at hand. The fact that the entities that are attempting to undertake bona fide river/stream/fish/water studies/evaluations to provide accurate and adequate information to allow good decisions to be made are being thwarted by overbearing, unreasonable and outrageously expensive permits from numerous government entities just adds salt to the open wound!

Yes, as the program moved into the afternoon panel discussion, the conversation became more about the fish (salmon and steelhead) depletion, but let’s face it, they are the indicators driving all of the conversation for more water from the Sierra Nevada tributaries for ‘fish flows’ and ‘pulse’ flows that are so egregious and harmful to the area-of-origin, and, have proven to be ineffectual if not harmful to the fish!

So, again, a big thank you for putting on a superb learning event!

Changes in California dam safety regulations

November 7, 2017

is a MCWRA Associate Member and co-sponsor of the recent MCWRA Symposium.

By Rahul Ranade:

In a previous article posted in July 2017, we reported on the new dam safety regime in California brought about by the passage of Senate Bill 92. This piece of legislation was aimed at enhancing dam safety by requiring inundation maps and emergency action plans for jurisdictional dams, and by providing enforcement powers to the state’s Department of Water Resources.

Immediately after the passage of SB 92, DWR initiated the process of promulgating emergency regulations under the authority granted by the legislation. The new regulations prominently affect four areas of inundation mapping as prescribed in Title 23 of the California Code of Regulations: (a) hazard potential classification, (b) timing of updates, (c) technical study requirements and (d) map production requirements.

Click link for more: https://meadhunt.com/dam-safety-regs/

 

Symposium this Friday – Sacramento San Joaquin Delta and the Sierra Nevada Tributaries

October 24, 2017

Attendees:  Arrive early to get a good seat.  You will want to stay for the afternoon panel;  powerful, educational, and entertaining

Jeffrey Mount, Ph.D, Senior Fellow, Public Policy Institute in California (PPIC) will present and moderate a panel of experts on the stressors in the Sierra and Delta and how to fix the problems. 

What does the science show about flow, fish, the stressors and the fix necessary to achieve a healthy and sustainable Delta.   

Friday, October 27, 2017 at The Ridge Golf Course & Events Center, 2020 Golf Course Road, Auburn, CA 95602

Late Registration closes Wednesday, October 25 at 5:00 p.m.

NO WALK-IN REGISTRATION ON OCTOBER 27

RSVP:http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3077276

Doors open at 8:45 and program starts on-time at 9:15 a.m – 3:30 p.m.

Agenda-1027

SPECIAL GUEST

The Honorable Kevin Kiley, Assembly Member, State of California

 

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Michael Patrick George, Delta Watermaster

 

 

 

Jose D. Setka, Manager Fisheries & Wildlife Division, East Bay Municipal Utility District

“A SUCCESS STORY ON THE MOKELUMNE RIVER “

 

 

Eileen Sobeck, The new Executive Director for the State Water Resources Control Board

 

“CHALLENGES FACING THE WATER BOARD”

What does the science show about flow, fish, the stressors and the fix necessary to achieve a healthy and sustainable Delta….STARTING at its source!

 

Jim Branham, Executive Officer, Sierra Nevada Conservancy

 

 

 

 

Doug Demko, President, FISHBIO

 

 

 

 

Dr. Bruce Herbold Ph.D, Fish Biologist, Retired, USEPA

 

 

 

 

Jay Lund, Ph.D, Board Member & Past Chair, Delta Stewardship Council Independent Science Board

 

 

 

 

Jeffrey Mount, Ph.D, Senior Fellow, Public Policy Institute in California (PPIC)

*Presenter and Panel Moderator*

 


 

Late Registration closes Wednesday, October 25 at 5:00 p.m.

NO WALK-IN REGISTRATION ON OCTOBER 27

RSVP:http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3077276

 

 

MCWRA – Symposium – Thanks to our SPONSORS

October 19, 2017

Programs like this upcoming MCWRA symposium couldn’t happen without sponsorship from our Associate Members.  Members helping Members!

 

 

Arrive early to get a good seat.

Sacramento San Joaquin Delta and the Sierra Nevada Tributaries

“The Stressors and the Fix”

What does the science show about flow, fish, the stressors and the fix necessary to achieve a healthy and sustainable Delta.  Get the information first-hand from top experts in their field.  

Friday, October 27, 2017 at The Ridge Golf Course & Events Center, 2020 Golf Course Road, Auburn, CA 95602

Doors open at 8:45 and program starts on-time at 9:15 a.m – 3:30 p.m.

Agenda-1027

 

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Michael Patrick George, Delta Watermaster

 

 

 

Jose D. Setka, Manager Fisheries & Wildlife Division, East Bay Municipal Utility District

“A SUCCESS STORY ON THE MOKELUMNE RIVER “

 

 

Eileen Sobeck, The new Executive Director for the State Water Resources Control Board

 

 

“CHALLENGES FACING THE WATER BOARD”

What does the science show about flow, fish, the stressors and the fix necessary to achieve a healthy and sustainable Delta….STARTING at its source!

 

Jim Branham, Executive Officer, Sierra Nevada Conservancy

 

 

 

 

Doug Demko, President, FISHBIO

 

 

 

 

Dr. Bruce Herbold Ph.D, Fish Biologist, Retired, USEPA

 

 

 

 

Jay Lund, Ph.D, Board Member & Past Chair, Delta Stewardship Council Independent Science Board

 

 

 

Jeffrey Mount, Ph.D, Senior Fellow, Public Policy Institute in California (PPIC)

*Presenter and Panel Moderator*

 


SPECIAL GUEST

The Honorable Kevin Kiley, Assembly Member, State of California

“CHALLENGES IN SACRAMENTO”

 


Late Registration currently open, closing soon

RSVP:http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3077276

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