Infrastructure

Groundwater war breaks out

Sunday, July 27th, 2014
wyatt earp

  Future historians might mark July 20 as the date when a full scale war broke out over California's groundwater. On July 20 in the Los Angeles Times, George Skelton, the dean of California journalists, said it was unfair to tell him he can’t hose off his driveway or water his lawn while ...

Lawsuit could expand state control of groundwater

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
Adjudicated water basins, DWR

  Sacramento Superior Court Judge Allen Sumner just issued a preliminary ruling that Siskiyou County must regulate groundwater well permits along the Scott River in accordance with "Public Trust Doctrine." This means the water now mainly used by hay farmers also will have to be divided among...

LA and SF dogfight over transport visions

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
great streets

In San Francisco, a bus project over a decade in the making finally receives its massive environmental impact report. In Los Angeles, the mayor announces his first executive directive, launching a "Great Streets" program. It's a tale of two cities -- and two visions of the future of urban planning. ...

Judge rules smelt can’t stop water sales

Monday, July 14th, 2014

  On June 13, a coalition of sports fishermen and Northern California groundwater users sued to stop water sales to the parched Central Valley. They contended conveying water through the Delta would kill Delta Smelt fish. But that didn’t convince a federal judge after two highly qualifi...

Fresno water rate referendum headed for ballot

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Fresno residents will have the final say on the city's controversial plan to double water rates in the coming years. On Tuesday, election officials certified that the petition drive spearheaded by former Fresno County Supervisor Doug Vagim has enough valid signatures to place the referendum on th...

CA economic ranking renews debate

Thursday, July 10th, 2014
california topographic map, wikimedia

For those who put a lot of stock in statistics, it's a good month for California. The Golden State has returned to take its former position among the world's largest economies. World Bank calculations show California -- if it were considered a country -- placing eighth in size worldwide. That's...

Smelt suit threatens water markets

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
Delta smelt, wikimedia

  On June 11, 2014, a coalition of sports fishermen and Northern California groundwater users filed a lawsuit to stop a water transfer from Shasta Lake to California’s parched Central Valley.  The basis of the suit is to protect the Delta smelt fish, which is 200 miles away from Shasta La...

Water shortage could bring electricity grid failure

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
California statewide power plants

  California’s Big Three energy regulating agencies just warned in a joint letter to the California Water Resources Control Board that planned water curtailments for 2014 would present a danger to grid reliability and create “substantial potential for serious public health and safety i...

Water bond drowns in Legislature

Monday, June 30th, 2014
Drought map

A $10.5 billion water bond apparently drowned in the California Senate this past week for the third time since 2010, even though the Central Valley faces a dire drought this summer. But the Legislature still might perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and waive the June 26 deadline for putting the ...

Brown cuts down size, scope of water bond

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

  Would half a water bond sell better to voters than the full $11 billion bond scheduled to be on the ballot in November? That's what's now before the California Legislature in a new proposal from Gov. Jerry Brown. In 2009 the  Legislature passed Assembly Bill 29, the Safe, Clean Reliab...