Thursday, October 16, 2008

Water and Climate in California as reported by ACWA

Delta Vision Strategic Plan to be DiscussedThe fifth and final staff draft of a strategic plan for the Delta was released Friday by the Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force. The task force will meet this Thursday and Friday to discuss the plan. Once finalized, it will be sent to a cabinet-level Delta Vision Committee charged with making recommendations to the governor and the Legislature.ACWA submitted formal comments last month on the fourth draft of the plan. ACWA’s comments are available here. The fifth staff draft is available here.The task force meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17, at the West Sacramento City Hall Galleria, 1110 West Capitol Avenue, West Sacramento.Visit for more information.

MWD Closes Boat Ramps at Diamond Valley, Warns of RationingThe Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which serves nearly 18 million people, closed the boat ramps at Diamond Valley Lake in Riverside County due to low water level. The lake is at 60% capacity. Opened in 2003, Diamond Valley was meant to be the major drinking-water storage facility for Southern California, as well as an insurance policy against a traumatic cutoff of water. MWD General Manager Jeff Kightlinger said that the district’s board will soon be considering rationing, either by “easing into it” in 2009 or cutting “steeply” in 2010.

New Report Says California's Heating UpAverage temperatures are on the rise in California and especially in the Central Valley, according to a new report released today by Environment California Research & Policy Center. The report, “Feeling the Heat: Global Warming and Rising Temperatures in the United States,” compares government temperature data for the years 2000-2007 with average temperatures for the preceding 30 years. It finds that Central Valley cities such as Redding, Stockton and Fresno recorded average temperatures up to 1.8° F above the historical average in 2000-2007. In 2007 alone, the average temperature was 1.4° F above normal in Redding and 1.6° F in Fresno.The report cites a recent report by the Bush administration that identified water shortages from early snowmelt, degraded air quality, wildfires, drought, extreme rainfall with flooding and sea-level rise as particular risks for California and the Pacific region if warming continues as projected.The Environment California report is available here.

Some Bottled Water Exceeds State Limits, Tests FindOakland-based Environmental Working Group has tested 10 brands of bottled water and found that several contained chemical levels that exceeded legal limits in California.The tests discovered an average of eight contaminants in each brand. Four brands including Wal-Mart's Sam’s Choice also were contaminated with bacteria.The environmental group filed a notice of intent to sue Wal-Mart Tuesday, alleging that the mega-chain failed to warn the public of illegal concentrations of trihalomethanes, which are cancer-causing chemicals.

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