Topic: Drinking Water

Overview

Drinking Water

Finding and maintaining a clean water supply for drinking and other uses has been a constant challenge throughout human history.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Oceanside leads county with plan to make recycled water safe to drink

Oceanside celebrated the start of construction Wednesday on a project that could make it the first city in San Diego County to be drinking recycled water by 2022. At least two other cities or water districts are close behind on similar projects, and several more agencies are considering plans to make potable recycled water a significant portion of their supply.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

EPA closer to regulating PFAS in drinking water

The EPA has made an initial determination that it will eventually set legal limits for levels of two key PFAS chemicals in drinking water, the agency announced Thursday. … That announcement could still be months away.

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Aquafornia news Foothills Sun Gazette

Online tool assesses drought risk for residents on private wells, public water systems

California is doing more to preserve its groundwater levels than ever before, but a new, interactive tool by a local water advocacy group suggests it may not be enough. Last Wednesday, Visalia-based Community Water Center … argued that California will experience longer, more severe droughts due to climate change.

Aquafornia news Times of San Diego

City of Oceanside to break ground on Pure Water Oceanside

Marking a historic moment for the city of Oceanside and the region, city officials and water industry leaders will break ground on Pure Water Oceanside on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 10 a.m. at the San Luis Rey Water Reclamation Facility. Scheduled to be completed before the end of 2021, Pure Water Oceanside will be on the map as the first operating recycled water project in San Diego County.

Aquafornia news MyValleyNews.com

Local water supplies impacted by new state guidance on PFAS

Though sampling indicated levels of PFOS and PFOA in a couple of local sources of water, Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District is currently not producing drinking water from impacted sources. EVMWD is evaluating options to meet these new regulations including importing water to offset local supplies and in the long term, considering construction of treatment systems if water sources exceed state mandated response levels.

Aquafornia news KPIX

San Jose residents say it took months to be notified of tainted well water

11,000 households in San Jose’s Willow Glen and Williams Road neighborhoods received letters in the mail beginning in late January from the San Jose Water Company warning that the wells that provide them with drinking water tested positive for elevated levels of per-flouro-octane sulfonic acid, known as PFOS.

Aquafornia news Half Moon Bay Review

Schools plan to improve safety of drinking water

In response to concerns about lead in the water at schools in Cabrillo Unified School District, the district is moving forward with a plan to get 25 filtered water bottle filling stations installed across Cabrillo campuses.

Aquafornia news Merced Sun-Star

Cleaning Atwater’s contaminated water is city’s highest priority, says council

The Atwater City Council this week unanimously declared its highest priority public improvement project to be restoring the city’s clean water. The urgent resolution came after a carcinogenic chemical, 1,2,3-Trichloropropane (TCP), was found in several Atwater wells — and in quantities exceeding state-approved maximum contaminant levels.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Experts criticize EPA lead and copper rule revisions

Experts and advocates on Tuesday criticized the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to combat lead in the water supply, calling for the agency to require that service lines containing lead be replaced.

Aquafornia news Visalia Times Delta

Water bill designed to help bring clean water to Central Valley gets Republican opposition

A bill that could help disadvantaged Central Valley towns including ones in Tulare County provide safe and affordable drinking water is facing opposition by Republican critics, including GOP representatives from California. In December 2019, Rep. TJ Cox (D-Fresno) unveiled a $100 million proposal to make improvements in small towns suffering from contaminated drinking water.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

‘Forever chemicals’ trigger widespread closures of water wells

The state lowered the acceptable levels for two PFAS toxins in drinking water on Thursday, triggering the closure of wells throughout the California — including 33 in Orange County, which has been particularly plagued by the so-called “forever chemical.”

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Western Water Gary Pitzer California Water Map Gary Pitzer

Meet the Veteran Insider Who’s Shepherding Gov. Newsom’s Plan to Bring Climate Resilience to California Water
WESTERN WATER Q&A: Former journalist Nancy Vogel explains how the draft California Water Resilience Portfolio came together and why it’s expected to guide future state decisions

Nancy Vogel, director of the Governor’s Water Portfolio Program, highlights key points in the draft Water Resilience Portfolio last month for the Water Education Foundation's 2020 Water Leaders class. Shortly after taking office in 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom called on state agencies to deliver a Water Resilience Portfolio to meet California’s urgent challenges — unsafe drinking water, flood and drought risks from a changing climate, severely depleted groundwater aquifers and native fish populations threatened with extinction.

Within days, he appointed Nancy Vogel, a former journalist and veteran water communicator, as director of the Governor’s Water Portfolio Program to help shepherd the monumental task of compiling all the information necessary for the portfolio. The three state agencies tasked with preparing the document delivered the draft Water Resilience Portfolio Jan. 3. The document, which Vogel said will help guide policy and investment decisions related to water resilience, is nearing the end of its comment period, which goes through Friday, Feb. 7.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Why California’s environmental policies aren’t enough for this state lawmaker

Assemblyman Rob Bonta is proposing a far-reaching California Green New Deal to address climate change while prioritizing historically marginalized groups… The bill would extend the rights of Californians to include things like access to clean air and water; justice for institutional – including environmental – racism; debt-free public education through college, and affordable health care.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Trump administration eyes changes to environmental enforcement

The White House issued a notice [Thursday] seeking input on efforts to “reform enforcement” — a potential boon for the energy industry. … [Thursday's] memo, which appears in the Federal Register, states that federal enforcement has ballooned in recent decades but protections for defendants has not.

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Aquafornia news The Pajaronian

Watsonville’s water system needs more than $100M in upgrades, repairs

The plan, put together with the help of Carollo Engineers, Inc., lays out a 20-year road map of projects needed to maintain and improve the city’s reservoirs, water tanks, wells, underground pipes and pump stations.

Aquafornia news Porterville Recorder

Friant-Kern, drinking water reviewed: Subcommittee hearing on two Cox bills

Congress began the process of providing relief to the San Joaquin Valley when it comes to the Friant-Kern Canal and clean drinking water in rural communities when a subcommittee held a hearing on two bills sponsored by T.J. Cox.

Aquafornia news Poway News Chieftain

Poway water customers may be getting credits

Poway water customers may be in line for small credits on an upcoming bill because the recent six-day boil-water advisory late last year.

Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

Program preps communities for next drought

In preparation for the inevitable, Self-Help Enterprises … has launched a new and innovative Emergency Services Division that will reach and engage diverse and vulnerable populations around natural disasters, such as drought, fire, flood and earthquake. The program will also help families receive urgent access to clean water, help with water well replacement and water filtration services as needed.

Aquafornia news Reuters

U.S. drinking water widely contaminated with ‘forever chemicals’: environment watchdog

The findings by the Environmental Working Group show the group’s previous estimate in 2018, based on unpublished U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data, that 110 million Americans may be contaminated with PFAS, could be far too low.

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Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Opinion: To protect children, schools must lead the effort to prevent lead poisoning

Fresno County contains eight of the top 50 census districts in California with the highest numbers of kids with lead poisoning, according to a recent article in The Fresno Bee. This is completely unacceptable.

Aquafornia news Visalia Times Delta

Two Tulare County towns will be testing ground for ‘innovative’ arsenic-tainted water treatment

A $30,000 grant will bring together 20 high school students from Allensworth and Alpaugh to learn about safe drinking water, conduct hands-on testing of arsenic treatment, and present findings… The students will work with a UC Berkeley lab to test the technology, Electrochemical Arsenic Remediation…

Aquafornia news City Watch LA

Ways to win the water wars

The Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant, located just south of LAX, purifies water and injects it into the ground to act as a barrier between seawater and fresh groundwater. … But the idea is to one day recycle wastewater into drinking water and put it right back into the system. The industry is moving cautiously, though, given what you might call a considerable “ick” factor for the public.

Western Water Douglas E. Beeman Layperson's Guide to Groundwater Douglas E. Beeman

Water Resource Innovation, Hard-Earned Lessons and Colorado River Challenges — Western Water Year in Review
WESTERN WATER NOTEBOOK-Our 2019 articles spanned the gamut from groundwater sustainability and drought resiliency to collaboration and innovation

Smoke from the 2018 Camp Fire as viewed from Lake Oroville in Northern California. Innovative efforts to accelerate restoration of headwater forests and to improve a river for the benefit of both farmers and fish. Hard-earned lessons for water agencies from a string of devastating California wildfires. Efforts to drought-proof a chronically water-short region of California. And a broad debate surrounding how best to address persistent challenges facing the Colorado River. 

These were among the issues Western Water explored in 2019, and are still worth taking a look at in case you missed them.

Aquafornia news Politico

Trump set to gut water protections

The Trump administration is preparing to further dismantle environmental regulations by vastly reducing the reach of federal protections for streams and wetlands — delivering a major win for farmers, developers, miners and oil and gas producers.

Aquafornia news Bay City News

SF City Hall to swap out bottled water for tap under new pilot program

San Francisco city officials and employees will no longer be sipping bottled water, but instead tap water provided by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission under a new pilot program announced Thursday. The program aims to install new reusable five-gallon containers at nine departments with offices within City Hall, filled with tap water from the city’s water system.

Aquafornia news Dana Point Times

Talking desalination dollars

South Coast Water District will gear up to undertake its next milestone for desalination: financing the project. On Thursday, Jan. 9, after press time, General Manager Rick Shintaku requested authorization from SCWD’s Board of Directors to enter into an agreement with Clean Energy Capital to conduct a cost analysis for the proposed desalination project.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

House passes PFAS chemicals bill to push water standards

House lawmakers passed a bill Friday for U.S. regulators to designate chemicals found in cooking spray, cosmetics and other grease-resistant products as health hazards. Known as polyfluoroalkyl and perfluorooctanoic substances (PFAS and PFOS), the chemicals have been found in groundwater sites across the nation.

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Aquafornia news Associated Press

Water company pleads guilty to hazardous waste violations

A California company that produces Crystal Geyser bottled water pleaded guilty Thursday to illegally storing and transporting hazardous waste and agreed to a $5 million fine, federal prosecutors said. The waste was produced by filtering arsenic out of Sierra Nevada spring water at CG Roxane LLC’s facility in Owens Valley, authorities said.

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Aquafornia news City Watch LA

Opinion: Dirty water – dirty politics

Who can deny the value of potable water to every living thing in this city, this county, this state? Four million residential and industrial customers in 43 cities in the Los Angeles, San Gabriel and San Fernando Basins are dependent on multiple water sources – groundwater pumped from below them, by aqueduct from the Colorado River, the Sierra Nevada snowpack, Mono Lake, the Owens Valley and recycled from wastewater treatment plants.

Aquafornia news Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Santa Clarita Valley Water releases report on wells

The majority of groundwater wells drawing water for Santa Clarita Valley Water contain enough of a non-stick chemical, which is a suspected carcinogen, that water officials are now required by the state to notify the county about the find. Of the agency’s 45 operational wells, 29 of them were found to contain tiny amounts of of perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid. 

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Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

The rope behind Poway’s water problems had been there a long time

Nobody seems to know why a rope that caused a nearly weeklong boil-water advisory in Poway was there in the first place. The rope had been hanging on a wall in a vault adjacent to the clearwell drinking water reservoir and a stormwater drain. When heavy rains on Nov. 28 and 29 caused the stormwater to surge and back up into the vault, somehow the rope became lodged in a swing gate allowing muddy water to leak into the reservoir…

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

1.4 million California kids have not received mandatory lead poisoning tests

More than 1.4 million children covered by California’s Medicaid health care program have not received the required testing for lead poisoning, state auditors reported Tuesday, and the two agencies charged with administering tests and preventing future exposure have fallen short on their responsibilities.

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Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Rope ‘inexplicably’ caused Poway water problems; claims filed seeking compensation

A piece of rope “inexplicably” became lodged in a valve separating a 10-million gallon reservoir from a storm drain in late November, causing a nearly week-long, costly boil-water advisory in Poway, a report prepared by the city for the state concludes.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Providing safe drinking water in the face of disasters: Lessons from Lake County

Climate change is already affecting water management across the state. Small rural communities with ongoing drinking water challenges are especially vulnerable to greater extremes brought on by a warming climate. We talked to Jan Coppinger, a special district administrator from Lake County, about how the county’s small water systems have dealt with an especially devastating string of natural disasters.

Aquafornia news Ventura County Star

Groups fight against opening up 1 million acres for drilling, fracking

Environmental groups say they plan to fight a Trump administration decision that cleared the way for new oil and gas leases on more than 1 million acres in California. … The final supplemental environmental report released recently said the BLM found no adverse impacts of hydraulic fracturing that could not be alleviated. Several groups and state officials, however, disagree and have called the analysis flawed.

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Aquafornia news The Guardian

Rainwater in parts of US contains high levels of PFAS chemical, says study

New data shows that rainwater in some parts of the US contains high enough levels of potentially toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to possibly affect human health and may, if found in drinking water, in some cases be high enough to trigger regulatory action.

Aquafornia news Phys.org

Q&A: Wildfire’s impact on water quality

As an appointee to the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board, Newsha Ajami has worked with local, state and federal agencies to monitor and ensure water quality in areas affected by wildfires. Ajami is director of urban water policy at Stanford’s Water in the West program, and co-leads the Urban Water Systems & Institutions Thrust at Re-Inventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt), a National Science Foundation engineering research center based at Stanford. She discussed wildfire’s threat to water quality with Stanford Report.

Aquafornia news Antelope Valley Press

Replacing asbestos concrete water pipes

The Rosamond Community Services District will replace the last large areas of asbestos concrete water pipes in a project slated to start early next year. On Wednesday, the Board of Directors awarded a contract to California Compaction for $2.3 million to complete the pipe replacement project.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

EPA lead proposal, derided as weak, may be sneakily strong

A provision tucked within the EPA’s proposal to overhaul the way it regulates lead in drinking water—initially derided as toothless—could have far-reaching consequences for public health, municipal policies, and even real estate transactions, water industry insiders now say. The proposal would require all water utilities across the country to inventory the location of all of their lead pipes and then make that information public.

Aquafornia news Environmental Defense Fund

Blog: Which faucets and fixtures have the lowest lead levels? California asks plumbing manufacturers

The Board plans to make the compiled responses publicly available and encourage the 14,000 licensed child care centers in the state to buy new fixtures from those on the list when water testing indicates the fixture should be replaced.

Aquafornia news Phys.org

Sustainable sand pulls pollutants from stormwater

UC Berkeley engineers have developed a mineral-coated sand that can soak up toxic metals like lead and cadmium from water. Along with its ability to destroy organic pollutants like bisphenol A, this material could help cities tap into stormwater, an abundant but underused water source.

Aquafornia news ABC News San Diego

Inspection found 12 flaws in Poway’s water delivery system

A state inspection found 12 flaws in Poway’s drinking water delivery system less than three months before the city’s precautionary boil water advisory. City officials remain adamant that the issues raised by the inspection had nothing to do with the nearly week-long advisory that ended Dec. 6.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Congress to halt military use of toxic foam contaminating drinking water

Congress has reached a deal on a spending bill that would require the military to stop using firefighting foam containing toxic chemicals linked to cancer, but would abandon efforts to place stronger regulations on the chemicals.

Aquafornia news Reuters

Most U.S. states have cut environmental budgets and staffing since 2008: study

The report by the Environmental Integrity Project released on Thursday showed some 30 states have reduced funding for pollution control programs, 16 of them by more than 20%. Forty states, meanwhile, have cut staffing at environmental agencies, half of them by at least 10%, the report showed.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

EPA considering second round of national PFAS testing

Water suppliers across the nation could be required to sample for manmade “forever chemicals” in an attempt to gauge just how prevalent the contaminants are in drinking supplies. … Every five years the Environmental Protection Agency can order large water suppliers and a sampling of smaller districts to test for up 30 chemicals that aren’t currently regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Poway’s water woes due to out-of-compliance infrastructure, state official says

A state official said Wednesday he intends to notify the city of Poway that its water storage reservoir is out of compliance, a situation he said directly contributed to last week’s storm water overflow that has left the entire community under a boil-water advisory and temporarily shuttered nearly 200 businesses.

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Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Lead in drinking water may go beyond California schools

California authorities are addressing the problem of lead in drinking water at public schools through a statewide program to test pipes and upgrade plumbing, but experts warn the threat goes well beyond schools – and nearby homes and businesses may unknowingly be affected.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Lead in drinking water may go beyond California schools

California authorities are addressing the problem of lead in drinking water at public schools through a statewide program to test pipes and upgrade plumbing, but experts warn the threat goes well beyond schools – and nearby homes and businesses may unknowingly be affected.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Dirty water too pricey to fix for many Central Valley cities. Is this idea the answer?

Cities like Huron, with a population of 6,926 and a $22,802 median household income, are often too small to expand water access projects that could lower utility rates. While cities like Delano are too big to qualify for rural development projects from the federal government. But a new proposal could soon alleviate those pains.

Aquafornia news KPBS

Backed-up storm drain caused Poway’s water contamination

Rains caused storm drains to back up into Poway’s water treatment facility, officials said. Crews are working around the clock to clean and flush the system, which may take two to five days before the water is declared safe. The county health department ordered the closing of all restaurants in the city and residents are being advised to boil their tap water before drinking it or using it for cooking, city officials said.

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Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

Napa city and county to begin water monitoring in reservoir areas

Napa city leaders have advocated for detailed water monitoring in order to safeguard a watershed area that lies largely outside its direct control. Some 34,000 acres in rural Napa County, as far north as Angwin, drain into Lake Hennessey, but the city owns only 2,822 acres.

Aquafornia news Chico News & Review

Testing the water

Back in 2016, California Water Service Co. took two of its groundwater wells in Chico out of service after tests showed they were contaminated with toxic flourinated chemicals known as PFAS—or per- and polyfluoralkyl substances—that have been linked to cancer and other adverse health effects. The move was done quietly.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Pioneertown residents now have clean tap water — for the first time in decades

For three years, residents of the unincorporated San Bernardino County desert town have used twice-a-month shipments of bottled water because local wells were no longer meeting state standards for drinking water. … That changed in September, when work finished on a new pipeline that pulls clean water from a well 4 miles away in Yucca Valley.

Aquafornia news The Guardian

Californians are turning to vending machines for safer water. Are they being swindled?

The kiosks take city tap water – which must be clean enough to meet state and federal quality standards – run it through a filtration system that removes chemicals such as chlorine to improve taste, then dispense it to customers at an 8,000% to 10,000% mark-up. Vended water is cheaper than individually sealed, store-bought bottles, but many times more expensive than tap water.

Aquafornia news USA Today

White House, CDC feuding over study about PFAS in drinking water

A multimillion-dollar federal study on toxic chemicals in drinking water is facing delays because of a dispute within the Trump administration, according to several people involved in the study… The dispute has implications for more than half a dozen communities where drinking water has been heavily contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

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Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Do too many CA products have Proposition 65 warning labels?

Environmental advocates say the law has compelled companies to quietly make their products and emissions less toxic. But some economists who are critical of government regulation argue the law has gone too far, plastering the state with warnings so ubiquitous that they’ve become meaningless to most consumers.

Aquafornia news The Hill

EPA weighs greater reporting of ‘forever chemicals’

EPA’s announcement Monday asked the public to weigh in on a proposal to add PFAS to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), which would push municipalities to alert people right away if the substance has been found in tap water. It would also require manufacturers who use PFAS to report annually how much of each chemical is released to the environment.

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Aquafornia news Champion Newspapers

Chino Hills wells could be offline three more years

It will be two years in December that the city of Chino Hills shut down its wells because of a new contamination level set by the state for the chemical 1,2,3-TCP (TCP) and it could take another three years before a filtration system can be built to treat the chemical and put the wells back in service, according to public works officials.

Aquafornia news Hanford Sentinel

Lemoore breaks ground on ‘life-changing’ drinking water project

City officials gathered Thursday afternoon in Lemoore to break ground on construction of a new groundwater treatment plant project. … The City obtains all of its drinking water from local groundwater resources that are challenged by naturally-occurring water quality issues. These issues include elevated levels of arsenic, iron, ammonia, total organic carbon and color…

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Preliminary findings show that harmful contaminants in burn scar plumbing are rare

Water experts are still finding traces of harmful chemicals in parts of the water systems burned by the Camp Fire and in interior plumbing more than a year after the disaster, but the cases are rare. … An outside team of researchers … has found only a few cases where volatile organic compounds that are harmful to human health seeped into home plumbing from the water system. Most of those cases tested largely below unsafe levels.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Opinion: Health of our families, communities depends on safe water

California took a historic step forward this summer with the passage of the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. This fund seeks to provide new targeted investments to end the state’s drinking water crisis, where one million Californians are impacted by unsafe water each year. Unfortunately, successful implementation of the fund is on a potential collision course with another California law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act…

Aquafornia news Torrance Daily Breeze

West Basin Municipal Water District to weigh proposed desalination plant in El Segundo

A proposed desalination plant in El Segundo could soon be one step closer to reality. The West Basin Municipal Water District will hold a special meeting in Carson on Monday, Nov. 18, where the board will weigh whether to certify an Environmental Impact Report for the proposal. … The board has not yet selected a company to build the proposed plant, which could cost more than $400 million.

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Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Are atmospheric rivers the reason for Northern California’s extreme weather?

Sasha Gershunov, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, is one of the nation’s experts on atmospheric rivers. ARs are one of the planet’s most extreme weather events, he said, and their impact on the state is both good and bad. They’re a critical source of water for the Golden State’s bountiful agriculture, thick forests and ecosystems, snowpack and drinking supplies, dropping 50% to 60% of the entire state’s annual precipitation.

Aquafornia news San Clemente Times

City, local agencies dispute claims of cancer-causing contaminants found in tap water

An ongoing study on the quality of the country’s drinking water conducted by a national environmental group shows that several contaminants found in San Clemente’s tap water exceeded the nonprofit’s recommended safety standards.

Aquafornia news Monterey Herald

Consultant: Cal Am purchase can be paid for with rate savings

It will cost Monterey Peninsula ratepayers about $574.5 million, all in, to acquire California American Water’s local water system, but that cost can be covered in rate savings under public ownership with some leftover to lower local customers’ water bills.

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Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

Public trust in tap water may hinge on fluoride link to child IQ

A federal agency’s preliminary finding that high concentrations of fluoride may decrease children’s IQ will, if finalized, be hard to explain to the public, scientists said Nov. 6. … Few people will read the report’s other finding: It’s unclear whether the mineral would harm children drinking typical concentrations of fluoride added to drinking water to help tooth decay…

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

Tijuana and Rosarito to ration water supply for the next two months

Starting Monday, authorities in Tijuana and Rosarito will ration water for the next two months because of a limited supply, according to the Baja California Public Service Commission. Roughly 140,000 households and business in the border cities will go without water service for up to 36 hours every four days.

Aquafornia news U.S. Green Building Council

Blog: Deploying on-site water reuse in California and nationwide

How do we mitigate the “yuck factor” that many people have about reclaimed water use, when it’s been proven safe and effective elsewhere? These concerns were discussed at GreenerBuilder 2019, USGBC’s conference in the Pacific region, hosted in San Francisco, where industry experts from across the state led a panel discussion on tactics to improve onsite water reuse.

Aquafornia news Environmental Defense Fund

Blog: Broken pipes. Complex funding applications. The water challenges facing California’s disadvantaged communities.

California might have the fifth largest economy in the world, but many people in the state’s disadvantaged communities feel like they are living in a third world country because they don’t have safe, clean and affordable drinking water.

Western Water Gary Pitzer Douglas E. Beeman Layperson's Guide to Climate Change and Water Resources Gary PitzerDouglas E. Beeman

As Wildfires Grow More Intense, California Water Managers Are Learning To Rewrite Their Emergency Playbook
WESTERN WATER IN-DEPTH: Agencies share lessons learned as they recover from fires that destroyed facilities, contaminated supplies and devastated their customers

Debris from the Camp Fire that swept through the Sierra foothills town of Paradise  in November 2018.

By Gary Pitzer and Douglas E. Beeman

It’s been a year since two devastating wildfires on opposite ends of California underscored the harsh new realities facing water districts and cities serving communities in or adjacent to the state’s fire-prone wildlands. Fire doesn’t just level homes, it can contaminate water, scorch watersheds, damage delivery systems and upend an agency’s finances.

Aquafornia news KAZU

Public takeover of Cal Am appears feasible

A newly released study finds a public takeover of California American Water’s local system is feasible. Voters ordered this study with the approval of a local ballot measure, Measure J, one year ago. The Monterey Peninsula Water Management District released the study Wednesday.

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Aquafornia news Vox.com

Prop. 65 was meant to protect residents from toxic water. Is that what it did?

The initial selling point of Prop. 65 — that it would eliminate toxins in the water supply by holding big business liable for its leaks — has largely been forgotten in 2019. These days, the law is better known for requiring eyebrow-raising warning labels on everything from bread to steering wheel covers to — briefly — Starbucks coffee, and it has turned into a national punchline.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

For California well owners, clean water is hard to get as state, local hurdles remain

As the state focuses on providing clean and affordable drinking water for millions of residents, those on private wells typically face an uphill battle. Private well owners confront significant financial challenges digging new wells, and connecting to a public water system involves a daunting local and state bureaucratic process…

Aquafornia news San Luis Obispo Tribune

County drinking water wells contaminated by chemicals

Drinking water wells in two areas of San Luis Obispo County are contaminated with potentially toxic “forever chemicals,” according to recently released results of state water testing. The local testing found that 15 wells in San Luis Obispo and Atascadero had levels high enough to require notification to water system governing boards.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Environmental prosecutions drop to lowest level in decades

Prosecutions of environmental crimes dropped to historic lows under the Trump administration last fiscal year and one legal expert believes that could endanger public health. “There’s a risk that unenforced violations could lead to fires, leaks, spills, and contamination,” said Ethan Elkind, climate program director at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

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Aquafornia news Stanford School of Engineering

Q&A: How do we develop new sources of usable water?

Late last month, the U.S. Department of Energy announced a $100 million research grant to the National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) to lead an Energy-Water Desalination Hub. Meagan Mauter explains how this very large and potentially transformative project will work, and Stanford’s role in the work.

Aquafornia news Public Policy Institute of California

Blog: Taking on tough challenges at the State Water Board

The State Water Board is central to addressing many of California’s major water challenges, including protecting water quality for drinking and for the environment, addressing drought and water conservation, and managing the allocation of surface water. We talked to Sean Maguire, a civil engineer who was appointed to the board by former governor Brown in December 2018, about priority issues.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

Disadvantaged communities claim a stake in state groundwater overhaul

A tiny community on the outskirts of the City of Sanger, Tombstone is a bellwether for groundwater issues… Most of the community’s 40 or so homes get their drinking water from shallow domestic wells, which can be vulnerable to both aquifer contaminants and falling groundwater levels.

Aquafornia news The Revelator

Blog: Tap water safety: There’s good news and bad news

We spoke with Environmental Working Group senior scientist Tasha Stoiber about what we know and don’t know about the safety of our drinking water — and what steps communities can take protect themselves.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Worried about PFAS water contamination? Here’s what to do

After The Times reported last week that nearly 300 drinking water wells and other water sources in California had been contaminated with toxic chemicals linked to cancer, readers wanted to know what they could do. … We talked to industry experts, and the following are their best answers to some of the most often-asked questions we received.

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Aquafornia news UCLA

News release: On water sustainability, L.A. County earns C+ from UCLA environmental report card

Dismal grades for polluted groundwater and water bodies like the Los Angeles River brought down the overall average grade in the 2019 Sustainable LA Grand Challenge Environmental Report Card for Los Angeles County on Water.

Aquafornia news Business Insider

Environmental group finds arsenic and chromium in tap water in all 50 U.S. states

A newly updated database from the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) documents nearly 280 contaminants lurking in US drinking water. Two of the most prevalent and concerning chemicals, arsenic and hexavalent chromium, were found in drinking water in all 50 states. Both chemicals are known carcinogens commonly found in California taps.

Aquafornia news Axios

The water crisis U.S. cities don’t see coming

Aging water treatment systems, failing pipes and a slew of unregulated contaminants threaten to undermine water quality in U.S. cities of all sizes. … Still, with only a handful of exceptions, “water systems aren’t designed to focus on health, they’re focused on cost-containment,” says Seth Siegel, whose book “Troubled Water,” released this month, examines the precarious state of water infrastructure in the U.S.

Aquafornia news CNBC

Money from socially responsible investors flows into US water stocks

A growth in sustainable funds is lifting share prices for U.S. water utilities as investors seek to inject more money into socially responsible companies.

Aquafornia news The Conversation

Blog: Why we need to treat wildfire as a public health issue in California

Deadly fires across California over the past several years have shown how wildfire has become a serious public health and safety issue. Health effects from fires close to or in populated areas range from smoke exposure to drinking water contaminated by chemicals like benzene to limited options for the medically vulnerable. These kinds of threats are becoming major, statewide concerns.

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Aquafornia news Visalia Times Delta

Opinion: Poor Central Valley communities deserve safe, affordable water service

Access to safe and affordable water is a basic human right. Many of our communities have been without safe water for years or even decades because of contamination of our drinking water sources. Living in communities without safe water is a public health crisis. It is also a crisis of basic justice and equity.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: California finds widespread PFAS contamination in water sources

Nearly 300 drinking water wells and other water sources in California have traces of toxic chemicals linked to cancer, new state testing has found. … State officials released the water quality results on Monday, the first step in what’s likely to be a years-long effort to track the scale of the contamination and pinpoint its sources.

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Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Deadly bacteria Legionella still in California prison water

A bacteria outbreak at a state prison in Stockton has cost California $8.5 million and doesn’t appear to be going away seven months after it infected two inmates, one of whom died.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

State water officials to vote on valley-wide plan to reduce nitrate and salt

Later this week, the State Water Resources Control Board will vote on a long-anticipated plan to reduce some of the pollutants flowing into Central Valley water. However, not everyone agrees on the details.

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Aquafornia news CALMatters

Monday Top of the Scroll: Cleaning up Paradise as a grim anniversary nears

Almost a year after wildfire ravaged the small wooded town, residents are still advised not to drink or bathe with tap water. Crews have hauled away more debris than workers took from the World Trade Center after 9/11. They’re nearly done.

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Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Arsenic in well water draws EPA to Oasis Mobile Home Park

Conditions tipped from bleak into officially alarming in late August when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that the water residents drink, cook with and bathe in had been contaminated with arsenic at 10 times the allowable limit…

Aquafornia news The New York Times

New EPA lead standards would slow replacement of dangerous pipes

The draft plan … includes some provisions designed to strengthen oversight of lead in drinking water. But it skips a pricey safety proposal advocated by public health groups and water utilities: the immediate replacement of six million lead pipes that connect homes to main water pipes. The proposed new rule would also more than double the amount of time allotted to replace lead pipes …

Aquafornia news ABC News

Driven by Flint water crisis, EPA issues new rule to tackle lead in drinking water

Partially inspired by the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a new rule to reduce exposure to lead from drinking water around the country on Thursday. … Wheeler said the new rule will help remove the most corrosive pipes with the highest risk of releasing lead first.

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Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Firefighting foam leaves toxic legacy in Californians’ drinking water

After morning services, Florin Ciuriuc joined the line of worshipers waiting to fill their jugs with gallons of free drinking water from a well on the property, a practice church leaders had encouraged. Church leaders boasted it was the cleanest water in Sacramento, according to Ciuriuc. In fact, test results showed the water contained toxic chemicals from firefighting foam used for decades on a now-shuttered Air Force base a mile away.

Aquafornia news Business Insider

Orange County’s pure drinking water comes from filtered sewage

Whenever I visit my hometown of Orange County, California, I get to sip some of the purest drinking water in the US. The quality is sometimes hard to spot, since many drinking-water contaminants are odorless, tasteless, and invisible to the human eye. Even in cities where the water is contaminated with lead, residents have reported that their taps are crystal clear. But in Orange County, the water is actually as clean as it looks.

Aquafornia news National Law Review

Blog: California groundwater contaminant notice levels & public water system testing

California has embarked on a statewide assessment to identify the scope of PFAS contamination in the state, focusing primarily on PFOA and PFAS. … Most recently, on August 23, 2019 the State Water Board lowered notification levels for PFOA and PFOS to 5.1 ppt and 6.5 ppt, respectively. The announcement also stated that response levels for these contaminants will be updated this fall.

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Aquafornia news Pasadena Star-News

Opinion: Protecting California’s clean waters

There should be no “acceptable” amount of risk we’re willing to take when it comes to water quality or the health of our children and families. From Los Angeles to Sacramento to Washington, D.C. — in all the places I’ve worked — this belief has fueled my desire to fight for clean and safe water in our communities.

Aquafornia news Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Local water officials tackle emerging national problem

On Tuesday night, members of the agency’s board received official word from staffers that trace amounts of a chemical called PFAS, or polyfluoroalkyl substances, were found in 17 of its wells, requiring them to now notify key agencies about the discovery.

Aquafornia news Natural Resources Defense Council

Blog: Newsom administration faces difficult tests on water this fall

While I’m deeply disappointed that Governor Newsom vetoed SB 1, the governor’s veto is also a troubling sign for several big tests on California water coming this fall…

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

Water vending businesses tap into customer fears over water quality

Water vending machine companies compete aggressively to sell water outside of supermarkets and pharmacies at an incredible markup. The industry is only lightly regulated – last year the California Department of Public Health inspected just two machines in San Diego County.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Monday Top of the Scroll: SB1: Newsom vetoes bill to block Trump Endangered Species Act rollback

Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill on Friday that would have allowed California to preserve Obama-era endangered species protections and water-pumping restrictions for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta should they be dismantled by the Trump administration, a move scorned by environmental groups that have been among the governor’s most important political allies.

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Aquafornia news Maven's Notebook

Brown bag seminar: Managing water quality across boundaries

There are numerous agencies involved in water quality issues that are focused on the San Francisco Bay and the Delta. In this brown bag seminar, Stephanie Fong, Interagency Ecological Program Coordinator Chair, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, discussed the technical, geographical, and political boundaries that separate water quality monitoring in the Bay and the Delta.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Report details extent of water contamination in California

A report released Wednesday by the Environmental Working Group found variants of the chemicals known as PFAS in 74 community water systems between 2013 and 2019, according to data from state and federal regulators. More than 40 percent of the systems had at least one sample that exceeded the health advisory level set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: Newsom should sign SB 1 into law. Without its environmental protections, Californians will suffer

At least 85 different federal laws and regulations affecting California have been weakened or undermined by the Trump administration since January 2017. … That’s why I, along with many proponents, believe that Senate Bill 1 would safeguard our state …

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Aquafornia news Undark.org

Opinion: Amid a water crisis, California officials fan flames of confusion

Ten months after the Camp Fire, the region’s major drinking water systems — Paradise Irrigation District and Del Oro Water Company — still contained unsafe levels of cancer-causing chemicals. … Even today, there is still a general state of confusion about the safety of residential drinking water.

Aquafornia news CBS Sacramento

Hundreds of California schools haven’t released results of water testing for lead

The law said schools had to test by July, but many schools still hadn’t submitted the results by the deadline. As of September 9, about a quarter of California schools now report detectable levels of lead in school drinking water but it appears many schools in our area still haven’t submitted the results.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

Who runs your water system? UC Davis research shows why water governance matters

A new article on UC Davis’s California Water Blog shines a light on just how complicated water governance can be and why it matters… For more, listen to this interview with Kristin Dobbin, one of the article’s co-authors and a UC Davis Ph.D. student studying regional water management and drinking water disparities in California.

Aquafornia news San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Is the San Gabriel Valley’s water at risk due to homeless camps along the San Gabriel Riverbed?

A report that the homeless living along the San Gabriel Riverbed may have contaminated the water supply has city and water officials scrambling to spread the message that the water in the east San Gabriel Valley is safe to drink, officials said.

Aquafornia news Hanford Sentinel

Opinion: Water victory shows power of people

In 2019, at long last, justice was finally achieved; it was secured through the combined power of the people and allies who said it was finally time to bring safe water to all Californians. On July 24, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation that will make sure all Californians have access to safe, affordable drinking water.

Aquafornia news USA Today

Is your tap water safe? Study claims cancer risk even in ’safe’ water

In a peer-reviewed study published in the journal Heliyon Thursday, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that 22 carcinogens commonly found in tap water — including arsenic, byproducts of water disinfectants and radionuclides such as uranium and radium — could cumulatively result in over 100,000 cancer cases over the span of a lifetime.

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Aquafornia news Lake County News

Opinion: How to address America’s lead crisis and provide safe drinking water for all

Our research group studies long-term trends in drinking-water quality and what factors cause unsafe water. Our studies have shown that this public health crisis can be corrected through better enforcement, stricter sampling protocols, revised federal regulations and more funding for state agencies.

Aquafornia news UCLA

News release: UCLA to assess California drinking water systems to identify risks and solutions

Through a $3 million contract with the California State Water Resources Board, the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation will conduct a statewide drinking water needs analysis to identify risks and solutions for water systems and private wells throughout the state.

Aquafornia news Hi Desert Star

New pipeline replaces contaminated wells in Pioneertown

Most of the county-run wells in Pioneertown were taken out of service due to high concentrations of uranium and arsenic. The new pipeline connects the existing Pioneertown water distribution system to a Hi-Desert Water District well through the installation of approximately 4 miles of transmission pipeline and two booster stations.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Opinion: East Coachella Valley residents, demand a cleaner environment

The state’s moves open up more opportunities for extension of drinking water service, operations and maintenance for domestic wells, and even demands action for Salton Sea conservation. The myriad issues east valley residents face are exacerbated by the public health impacts of the receding Salton Sea.

Aquafornia news Hanford Sentinel

Hurtado’s bill to provide relief for families without reliable access to water heads to governor’s desk

Senate Bill 513, authored by Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger), is headed towards Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk for approval. The bill, which received bi-partisan support, will provide relief for families without reliable access to water by delivering a temporary alternative source of water supply.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Sentinel

New UCLA study: State makes progress on goal to guarantee water as a human right

In 2012, California became the first state in the country to declare that “Every human being has the right to safe, clean, affordable and accessible water” when the state legislature inserted that statement into its state water code. Now, a new UCLA study finds, the state may be making progress on turning that goal into a reality.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Exeter says it won’t help community fix dirty water problem

The Exeter City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to scrap plans to connect Exeter’s water system with Tooleville, a rural community of about 80 households that has struggled for years with dirty water.

Aquafornia news Western Farm Press

Opinion: Can California water woes be solved?

Can California’s water woes be solved? Some think that all it takes is money, which is exactly what the California Legislature may ask voters in 2020 for in the name of clean drinking water.

Aquafornia news Torrance Daily Breeze

Lomita drains its $13 million water reservoir because of cancer-causing chemicals

Lomita has stopped using a 5 million-gallon emergency reservoir that blends local groundwater and more expensive imported water, another fallout from the discovery of cancer-causing chemicals in the water supply…

Aquafornia news San Joaquin Valley Sun

Opinion: On two critical water bills, we can hear praise and silence

Why would a Valley lawmaker who authored a bill to save jobs, irrigate farms, and ensure communities receive clean water, then vote to pass a different bill which denies all of that?

Aquafornia news The Ceres Courier

New Keyes plant filters out arsenic

Keyes’ problems with unacceptable high levels of arsenic arose in late 2006 when the district was issued a Notice of Non-Compliance from the California Department of Public Health. … The quality of Keyes’ drinking water had not deteriorated but the Environmental Protection Agency had lowered the maximum allowable contaminant level for arsenic from 50 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion. Three of four Keyes wells were testing at 12 to 14 parts per billion.

Aquafornia news Orange County Register

Friday Top of the Scroll: PFAS toxins found in drinking water throughout Southern California

Wells of nearly two dozen Southern California water agencies have reportable levels of PFAS, a chemical family increasingly linked to cancer, liver and kidney damage, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, low fertility, low birth weight and ulcerative colitis. Six of those agencies have shut down wells in the past year because of those chemicals and two more plan closures…

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Aquafornia news KESQ TV

Thermal residents say kids got sick after EPA reports high arsenic levels in water

Wednesday, the EPA issued an emergency order saying the water for nearly 2,000 residents was contaminated with dangerously high levels of arsenic, a cancer-causing compound occurring naturally in groundwater. The contamination is causing concern of children in the community getting sick with symptoms that match those of arsenic poisoning.

Aquafornia news City News Service

Arsenic in Thermal mobile home park’s drinking water prompt federal response

A mobile home park on the Torres Martinez Indian Reservation in Thermal had elevated levels of arsenic in the water system, prompting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to direct the park’s owner to make fresh water available to residents and find ways to mitigate the contaminants, the federal agency said Wednesday.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

Opinion: Legislature, rethink SB 1. It will hurt water management

If not amended, Senate Bill 1 will perpetuate California’s water and environmental troubles, not help to resolve them, as its proponents claim.

Aquafornia news KCRW

There’s lead in California’s tap water. What you need to know

The state passed a law a few years ago that required public schools built before 2010 to test for lead in their drinking fountains before July 2019. Nearly 80% of schools have reported some testing. Of those, one in five school sites found lead levels of more than five parts per billion.

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Aquafornia news KHTS Radio

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: State Water Board strengthens notification requirements for potential carcinogen

The California State Water Resources Control Board has strengthened notification requirements for a potential carcinogen found in wells across the state, including Santa Clarita, officials said Monday. The state water board updated guidelines for local water agencies … to follow in detecting and reporting perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in drinking water.

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Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

Audio: Should California insulate itself from federal rollbacks of environmental laws?

Moderator Kathleen Schock spoke with advocates on both sides of the issue, John Harris of Harris Farms and Kim Delfino with Defenders of Wildlife. Dr. Lisa Bryant, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Fresno State also joined the conversation.

Aquafornia news KAZU

Monterey County community organizes for clean tap water

A lot of money will soon be flowing into California communities with contaminated drinking water thanks to the new Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. Today at its meeting, the State Water Board will talk about how to implement that $1.4-billion program. One community that could use the help is north of Moss Landing.

Aquafornia news Courthouse News Service

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: California Water Board OKs $1.3 billion for clean drinking water

California’s water regulator voted Tuesday to spend $1.3 billion over the next 10 years to provide safe drinking water to communities throughout California. The money allocated by the State Water Resources Control Board comes from the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund, created last month when Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 200.

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Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

Tuesday Top of the Scroll: California set to authorize $1.3 billion safe drinking water program

The more than 1 million Californians without access to safe, affordable drinking water may soon see money flowing for water districts to regionalize, consolidate, install treatment, or take other actions to improve water quality.

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Aquafornia news KCRA TV

Parent raises concerns over unsafe water at Stockton school

Waverly Elementary School has levels of a chemical called TCP in its drinking water that are above state standards. The Linden Unified School District, which the school is part of, tests for water contaminants throughout the year and found that between April of 2018 and March of 2019 the water violated the drinking standard.

Aquafornia news ABC23 Bakersfield

Cal Water working on new regulation to keep water flowing when power goes off

Cal Water needs power in order to meet state and federal water quality standards. But meeting those standards got more difficult for Cal Water. The California Public Utilities Commission gave power companies the ability to turn off the power to prevent wildfires after last year’s deadly wildfires in Paradise, California.

Aquafornia news The Delano Record

Opinion: Bringing clean water home to Kern County

The State Water Project helped make Kern County the number one agricultural county in the nation and ensures Bakersfield always has a clean, high quality supply of drinking water while protecting our region against drought. The State Water Project reflects our past generation’s drive to make California the great state it is today.

Aquafornia news KQED Science

Monday Top of the Scroll: California will check on ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water. What you need to know

There are nearly 5,000 of these chemicals in a class called PFAS, for perfluoralkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances. We’re just beginning to understand the risk they pose. What chemists know is that the tough carbon-fluorine bonds in these “forever chemicals” make them break down very slowly in the environment — posing a persistent risk to water supplies.

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Aquafornia news Inside Climate News

EPA plans to rewrite Clean Water Act rules to fast-track pipelines

The proposed changes to Clean Water Act permitting rules, announced Friday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, would limit the amount of time states and tribes can take to review new project proposals… It also would limit states to considering only water quality and allow the federal government to override states’ decisions to deny permits for projects in some situations.

Aquafornia news Bakersfield Californian

Opinion: Will free markets clean up California’s dirty water?

There’s no law of nature nor of economics that says water must be delivered by a government agency. Yet in California, nearly every drop of flowing water is under the boot of a public authority — local boards, state authorities and federal regulators.

Aquafornia news Rancho Santa Fe Review

Santa Fe Irrigation District weighs options for water rate structures

Last December, the board voted not to adopt a proposal to raise rates by an average of 3 percent over the three years, sending the district back to work with its consultants to come up with a different plan that would be best for ratepayers.

Aquafornia news The Hill

Six states sue EPA over pesticide tied to brain damage

California, New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Maryland and Vermont argued in court documents that chlorpyrifos, a common pesticide, should be banned due to the dangers associated with it.

Aquafornia news CityLab

Where Americans lack running water, mapped

Across the United States, more than 460,000 households, or nearly 1.5 million people, lack a plumbed connection to drinking water or sewers. … A new study in the Annals of the American Association of Geographers takes a detailed look at the persistence of “plumbing poverty” in the U.S. …

Aquafornia news Environmental Defense Fund

Blog: California leaders finally stepped up on clean, affordable water. One small water district explains this challenge

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed long-overdue legislation to dedicate up to $130 million a year to provide clean, affordable drinking water to more than 1 million Californians who still lack access to this vital resource. … The Seeley County Water District, located in Imperial County approximately 20 miles from Mexican border, is one of these communities.

Aquafornia news Legal Newsline

Blog: California is testing its water, so PFAS defendants could face Prop 65 lawsuits soon

Given that a fair number of environmental observers have called PFAS “the new asbestos,” the potential for legal action could be far-reaching.

Aquafornia news Pasadena Star-News

Opinion: Clean drinking water is a social justice crisis and AB792 is the wrong way forward

For years, bottled water has served as one of the only dependable options for consumption and sanitary needs, serving as a simple way for communities to access affordable and available water. Yet, a proposed bill in the California state legislature, Assembly Bill 792, has the potential to impose a de facto tax on bottled water, leading to significant jump in cost, and making it unaffordable for many disadvantaged families.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Environment

New EPA lead standards to give utilities wide latitude

A forthcoming EPA overhaul of standards for lead in drinking water will essentially ban partial lead pipe replacement, in which part of a lead pipe is removed but another part is allowed to remain, Bloomberg Environment has learned.

Aquafornia news Napa Valley Register

Napa’s water quality scores high, amid struggles in other California regions

Where Napa’s water quality is concerned, no news may be good news. A three-year analysis of the city’s water sources showed reservoirs meeting all federal and state limits on a variety of contaminants, a recently released report states.

Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

California may be first to compel water suppliers to notify customers of PFAS ‘forever chemicals’

Gov. Gavin Newsom has until Wednesday to decide on a bill that would make California the first state in the nation to require water suppliers who monitor a broad class of toxic “forever chemicals” to notify customers if they’re present in drinking water.

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Aquafornia news CBS Sacramento

Sutter County ordered to reduce arsenic levels in drinking water

Sutter County has been ordered to reduce arsenic levels in its drinking water or face some steep penalties from the Environmental Protection Agency. … If the county doesn’t comply, it could be fined more than $32,000 for each violation.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Podcast: Speaking Of Water with Peter Gleick

I’m here with Dr. Peter Gleick, co-founder and president emeritus of the Pacific Institute. Peter serves on the Circle of Blue Board of Trustees from his base in California, where Governor Gavin Newsom just signed a bill directing some $130 million to improve access to clean drinking water for many state residents.

Aquafornia news Civil Eats

Monday Top of the Scroll: Will California’s new water fund bring safe tap water to farm country?

In the state’s rural agriculture belt, many communities of color can’t drink the water in their homes. Fixing the problem may require more than money.

Aquafornia news KGET TV

Boil advisory in effect for some northeast Bakersfield residents

California Water Service announced a precautionary boil advisory for residents in northeast Bakersfield. Around 5 p.m. Saturday, the utility service received reports of low-water pressure, or none at all. Crews confirmed the issue was caused by malfunction in the computerized system that tracks tank levels and regulates the pressurized water system.

Aquafornia news KRON TV

Water districts prepare as wildfire threats could mean days-long power outages

The East Bay Municipal Utility District now has a back-up plan that includes filling water tanks to capacity during Red Flag Warnings… Portable generators would go in cities like Berkeley, Castro Valley, and San Ramon starting on Aug. 1. Other Bay Area water agencies also have plans in place.

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Aquafornia news San Luis Obispo Tribune

Defense secretary attacks military water contamination

The Pentagon is launching a task force to look at the potential impact and dangers that chemical compounds used in military firefighting foam have had on military bases and the families who live there, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced on his first day in office.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Thursday Top of the Scroll: Newsom signs clean water bill in Fresno County

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday signed into law the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund bill in the tiny Fresno County community of Tombstone Territory — where residents rely on bottled water because their private wells are contaminated. Starting next year, Senate Bill 200 will provide $130 million annually to clean up drinking water in California communities like Tombstone that lack access to safe water.

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Aquafornia news The New York Times

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: The crisis lurking in Californians’ taps: How 1,000 water systems may be at risk

As many as 1,000 community water systems in California may be at high risk of failing to deliver potable water — one out of every three — according to a previously undisclosed estimate by senior officials at the California State Water Resources Control Board… With little oversight, they face problems ranging from bankruptcy to sudden interruptions in water capacity, to harmful toxins being delivered through taps.

Aquafornia news Torrance Daily Breeze

Contaminated groundwater found beneath Lomita homes

Pollution from a source of contaminated groundwater near Torrance Airport — which exceeds state drinking-water standards and generates potentially harmful chemical vapors — has spread beneath Lomita, officials with the tiny city recently learned, though state officials have long known about it. The contaminants have spread both through the groundwater and the soil.

Aquafornia news PBS NewsHour

Kamala Harris proposes bill to invest in safe drinking water

The “Water Justice Act” would invest nearly $220 billion in clean and safe drinking water programs, with priority given to high-risk communities and schools. As part of that, Harris’ plan would declare a drinking water infrastructure emergency, devoting $50 billion toward communities and schools where water is contaminated…

Aquafornia news ABC7 News

Volunteers on horseback inform residents on upgrades to water system serving Compton, Willowbrook

Compton’s equestrian community had riders on horseback going around the neighborhood, handing out flyers with information to residents who live in the old Sativa Water District… “We’ve really tried to hit the outreach hard to make sure the folks understand what we’re doing…” Russ Bryden, administrator of L.A. County Public Works, said.

Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Temecula-area water technicians helping Paradise recover after Camp Fire

In Paradise, which was nearly leveled by the fire, many water lines were declared unsafe to drink from… The local irrigation district has worked to replace the pipes. When it asked for more help across the state, Rancho California Water District answered from more than 500 miles away, sending a caravan of trucks, tools and equipment — along with five employees — to the charred Sierra Nevada foothills.

Aquafornia news The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego suing state over costs of tests for toxic lead in schools

San Diego is suing the state for refusing to cover the costs of lead tests in water at hundreds of local schools. The city says it’s an unfunded state mandate that could set a troubling precedent for city taxpayers.

Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Water district OKs deal with Santa Cruz

The Soquel Creek Water District board met … voted unanimously to approve an agreement with the city of Santa Cruz to build a tertiary treatment plant for its Pure Water Soquel project onsite at the city’s Wastewater Treatment Facility, which also will supply the water supply for the project.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Opinion: All Californians should have safe, clean water. But How?

When Gov. Gavin Newsom called for constructing and maintaining delivery systems to get water to at-risk communities in his State of the State address, he received widespread support. But the fight over funding for the project got divisive – and fast.

Aquafornia news ABC7 News

Compton, Willowbrook residents can look forward to clean tap water after dealing with ‘contaminated’ water

Nearly 7,000 customers who live in the old Sativa Water District complained for months about murky brown water with a foul odor coming from their pipes. … Los Angeles County, which now has control of the water district, is taking old wells offline and connecting them to a neighboring water company.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Opinion: Should cap-and-trade funds be used to solve California’s water crisis? That depends

California Influencers this week answered one or both of the following the questions: What are your thoughts regarding Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature’s decision to use money from the state’s cap-and-trade funding to improve drinking water for at-risk Californians? How can California best provide safe and clean water for all of us?

Aquafornia news California Health Report

Opinion: State water agreement is a victory for health equity

Moving forward, we have an opportunity and an obligation to build on this agreement by addressing the barriers that confront small water systems that often have the most difficulty delivering safe, clean water. As advocates and organizers work to ensure that investments go to the communities with greatest needs, the public health community has the responsibility to step forward and align itself with the struggle for water as a human right.

Aquafornia news The Washington Post

EPA will not ban use of controversial pesticide linked to children’s health problems

The Environmental Protection Agency rejected a petition by environmental and public health groups Thursday to ban a widely used pesticide that has been linked to neurological damage in children, even though a federal court said last year there was “no justification” for such a decision.

Related article:

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Water safe to drink in quake-shaken California town

Residents of a small Southern California desert community hit hard by this month’s big earthquakes no longer need to boil tap water. San Bernardino County authorities announced Wednesday the boil-water notice for Trona and neighboring areas has been lifted and citizens do not need to rely on bottled water.

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Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Service lines with contaminated water are getting replaced

State and local officials believe benzene contamination in the water systems in areas burned by the Camp Fire is limited to isolated pockets after ongoing testing, they said at a community meeting on Monday. … A no-drink advisory in the Paradise Irrigation District will be lifted at each location as testing confirms no unsafe levels of the chemicals in the service lines.

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Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

California’s 2019-2020 budget has millions for water projects and healthcare programs

Brokered in large part by rookie state senator for California’s 14 Senate District, Melissa Hurtado, the southern portion of the Valley has gained tens of millions of dollars of investment in drinking water, asthma mitigation, aging and disability resource centers and Valley Fever research.

Aquafornia news Somach Simmons & Dunn

Blog: Five things you need to know about SB-200: california’s proposed clean drinking water fund

The California Legislature recently passed SB-200 that will create an annual fund of $130 million to tackle the state’s drinking water problems. Here are five things you need to know about SB-200…

Aquafornia news KALW

The town that refuses to die

When drinking water gets contaminated, there’s usually a polluter to blame. Most likely it’s the fault of big industry spewing out toxic fertilizers or synthetic chemicals. But in nearly 100 communities in California, this isn’t the case. They have water that is contaminated with a naturally occurring chemical: Arsenic. Allensworth, California is one of those communities.

Aquafornia news E&E News

Lawmakers brawl over PFAS riders

House Democrats are at odds with the White House, Senate Republicans and each other over provisions in defense policy legislation that aim to address toxic chemicals found in drinking water. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS … have been linked to thyroid issues, birth defects and other health problems.

Aquafornia news Denver Post

Denver Water proposes to replace all lead pipes in system

Denver Water will propose the removal of lead service pipes from homes across the metro area — an action rarely seen in the United States and one that could cost roughly $500 million and take 15 years. “Cost is not an issue. Public health is the issue,” Denver Water CEO Jim Lochhead said in an interview…

Western Water California Water Map

Your Don’t-Miss Roundup of Summer Reading From Western Water

Dear Western Water reader, 

Clockwise, from top: Lake Powell, on a drought-stressed Colorado River; Subsidence-affected bridge over the Friant-Kern Canal in the San Joaquin Valley;  A homeless camp along the Sacramento River near Old Town Sacramento; Water from a desalination plant in Southern California.Summer is a good time to take a break, relax and enjoy some of the great beaches, waterways and watersheds around California and the West. We hope you’re getting a chance to do plenty of that this July.

But in the weekly sprint through work, it’s easy to miss some interesting nuggets you might want to read. So while we’re taking a publishing break to work on other water articles planned for later this year, we want to help you catch up on Western Water stories from the first half of this year that you might have missed. 

Aquafornia news Las Vegas Sun

Aftershocks continue in California desert; community remains without water

The U.S. Geological Survey said the chance of a quake larger than Friday’s 7.1 temblor is less than 1% and the chance of a magnitude 6 or higher is down to 6%. … Trona, which has about 1,800 residents, lost power until Monday and remained without water on Wednesday.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Opinion: California moves to block Trump from rolling back its environmental protections

There’s a new twist in the California-Trump brawl in the state Legislature. It’s aimed at overriding the president’s power to weaken environmental protections. Put simply, any federal protections President Trump tried to gut would immediately become state regulations in their original, strong form.

Aquafornia news KRCR TV

EPA issues emergency order for Glenn County drinking water

The EPA ordered the Grindstone Indian Rancheria in Elk Creek to provide alternative drinking water, disinfect the system’s water and monitor the water for contamination. … The EPA said Stony Creek has numerous potential contaminants from agricultural, municipal and industrial operations.

Aquafornia news KQED Science

Why this Bay Area senator was the sole no vote on Newsom’s clean water plan

Bob Wieckowski was the only state senator to vote against Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to clean up dirty drinking water in the California’s poorest communities… To be clear, Wieckowski thinks clean water is an important priority. His quibble is that California will pay for it with revenue generated from the state’s cap-and-trade auction.

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Aquafornia news The Conversation

At least 2% of US public water systems are like Flint’s – Americans just don’t hear about them

Water systems, especially in rural areas, can report much higher levels of lead than the EPA cutoff. In 2017, for example, an elementary school in Tulare County, California, home to agricultural laborers, reported lead levels of 4,600 ppb. The school distributed bottled water to its students and replaced its well.

Aquafornia news Half Moon Bay Review

Cañada Cove residents without drinkable water

Residents in the Cañada Cove neighborhood started their Independence Day holiday with some unexpected news: Water would be turned off for about 12 hours. Five days later, the water is flowing again, but they still cannot drink it.

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

Local water providers have racked up dozens of violations

Regulators have issued dozens of water-quality citations to over 100 different San Diego water providers in the past five years, according to state and county records. Most violations were issued to small districts, which can have a harder time maintaining and upgrading equipment.

Aquafornia news Voice of San Diego

The state cited San Diego water officials for water treatment failure

For the better part of a day this April, San Diego’s main drinking water treatment plant wasn’t doing everything it was supposed to do to kill viruses and a nasty parasite known as Giardia… The April risk, however small, is an extraordinary one for a water supplier as large as the Water Authority.

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Aquafornia news Associated Press

Senate approves clean drinking water fund

The California Senate on Monday sent legislation to Gov. Gavin Newsom that will spend $130 million a year over the next decade to improve drinking water for about a million people. … Newsom had proposed a tax on most residential water bills to address the problem. Instead, the Senate approved a bill that would authorize spending up to $130 million each year on the state’s distressed water districts, with most of it coming from a fund aimed at fighting climate change.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Lead found in school drinking water, state says. Is your local campus on the list?

Almost two years of tests have revealed excessive levels of lead in drinking fountains and faucets in California’s schools. But state officials and an environmental organization can’t agree on how pervasive the problem is.

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Aquafornia news CBS Sacramento

California Assembly OKs clean drinking water fund

Legislative leaders reached a compromise with Newsom to take some money out of a fund used to improve air quality and use it for drinking water. … The state Assembly approved the proposal on Friday by a vote of 67-0. It now heads to the state Senate.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

The California coast is disappearing under the rising sea. Our choices are grim

Wildfire and drought dominate the climate change debates in the state. Yet this less-talked-about reality has California cornered. The coastline is eroding with every tide and storm, but everything built before we knew better — Pacific Coast Highway, multimillion-dollar homes in Malibu, the rail line to San Diego — is fixed in place with nowhere to go.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

Opinion: Why California’s fight against climate change must include clean water

California’s political leaders have made the long-overdue decision to clean up the Central Valley’s contaminated drinking water, and help cash-strapped rural water districts. The catch: rather than assess a fee on water users or tapping into the state’s budget surplus, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature relied on cap-and-trade money to pay for a portion of the operation.

Aquafornia news Valley Public Radio

After more than a decade, Lanare’s water is finally safe to drink

The unincorporated Fresno County community of Lanare has long been a poster child for California’s widespread contaminated drinking water. For the past 13 years, Lanare’s water had tested higher than the state limit for arsenic, but that changed in February, when the water received a passing grade after a $3.8 million state grant paid for two new drinking water wells.

Aquafornia news California Health Report

California environmental group warns of high arsenic levels in two bottled water brands

An Oakland-based environmental health group is threatening to sue the manufacturers and retailers behind two bottled water brands for failing to warn consumers about allegedly high levels of arsenic in their products.

Aquafornia news CBS Sacramento

Report: One in five California schools found detectable levels of lead in drinking water

Nearly one in five California schools found detectable levels of lead in the drinking water, according to recent data from the State Water Board. … Monday was the deadline, under a 2017 law, for local water districts to test school drinking water for lead. CBS13 found there is still no testing data for at least 100 schools in our area, but many local schools tested well above the limit.

Western Water Gary Pitzer California Water Map Gary Pitzer

Can Providing Bathrooms to Homeless Protect California’s Water Quality?
WESTERN WATER IN-DEPTH: The connection between homelessness and water is gaining attention under California human right to water law and water quality concerns

A homeless camp set up along the Sacramento River near downtown Sacramento. Each day, people living on the streets and camping along waterways across California face the same struggle – finding clean drinking water and a place to wash and go to the bathroom.

Some find friendly businesses willing to help, or public restrooms and drinking water fountains. Yet for many homeless people, accessing the water and sanitation that most people take for granted remains a daily struggle.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

Plumbing experts question California’s post-fire water testing guidance

The State Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Drinking Water published guidance for testing the plumbing in buildings that survived the fire. But that document is drawing criticism from academic researchers who say that the recommendations, published on June 14, are not thorough enough to detect all potential instances of water contamination from plumbing within a building.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

State budget sets the stage for solving part of California’s water crisis

Over 10 years, it would funnel $1.4 billion to the fund for clean water solutions. The budget has been approved by the California Legislature, but still needs Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature to pass. It also still needs trailer bills that authorize some of the spending – including the drinking water fund.

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