July 2018

The Great Era of California Dam Building May Be Over. Here's What's Next

During the height of the California's 5-year drought, state voters approved new funding for water storage as part of Proposition 1. This week, the California Water Commission will allocate those funds to the eight projects that have qualified after a lengthy analysis. Some projects are classic dams, but several won't get the windfall they'd been hoping for. Instead, next-generation projects are in the running, like using the state's vast network of natural underground aquifers for water storage.

KQED, July 23, 2018

New California water plan aimed at boosting fish habitat

California water officials on Friday released a plan to increase flows through a major central California river, an effort that would save salmon and other fish but deliver less water to farmers in the state's agricultural heartland.

San Francisco Chronicle, July 6, 2018

June 2018

These fish are at the heart of California's water debate. But extinction could be close

State biologists have found hardly any Delta smelt in their sampling nets in the past two years. Consecutive surveys in late April and early May found no smelt at all.

Sacramento Bee, June 1, 2018

May 2018

California Sued Over Delta Tunnels Project Changes

Environmental organizations sued the California agency in charge of managing a massive water project Friday, saying the state illegally altered the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta management plan to favor the project over environmental restoration.

Courthouse News Service, May 25, 2018

Why a bill before Congress is such a big threat to the Delta

Backed by southern California interests, the House Appropriations Committee just unveiled the fiscal year 2019 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. It includes language that would prohibit any judicial review of anything associated with the disastrous twin tunnels project, also known as California WaterFix, under federal or state laws.

Sacramento Bee, May 17, 2018

This one stretch of river could decide the future of Shasta Dam

Now the $1.3 billion project has returned with force. Congress in March appropriated $20 million for pre-construction planning. The appropriation, part of a massive federal budget bill signed into law by President Donald Trump, was enough to touch off a political fracas stretching from Washington to Sacramento.

Sacramento Bee, May 7, 2018

Separating water and politics isn't easy in California

The challenge of California water "is that we expect more than there is to get," said Doug Obegi, a Natural Resources Defense Council attorney who attended the hearings."Prop 1 tried to depoliticize that by making it about specific public benefits. But over and over again you saw the commission struggling with the broader implications."

Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2018

Editorial: More water storage doesn't mean build more dams

The commission -- and all Californians -- should bear in mind that water storage doesn't necessarily mean a dam with water behind it. The commission's charge is not to fund the biggest new dam but to fund projects with the greatest net benefits to California cities, farms and wildlife.

San Francisco Chronicle, May 2, 2018

California is dammed enough already

The largest river in Southern California, measured by volume and flow, is the Santa Ana, which empties into the ocean near Huntington Beach. But the second largest, again in terms of volume and flow of water, is the virtual river that flows out of the Hyperion sewage treatment plant. Hyperion is, in fact, the major component of L.A.'s sanitation system and its water is -- to put it gingerly -- dirty. But it is water, it can be cleaned, it can be stored, distributed and reused. When we have bond funding for storage projects, it makes sense to spend it where the water is, and it's increasingly in urban outflow.

Los Angeles Times, May 1, 2018