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Water Quality


News about the quality of water in our rivers and what we are doing to protect our most valuable natural resource.

Climate Change Data is In! Geos Institute releases study for Southern Sierra

The GEOS Institute issued a DWR funded report “Future Climate, Hydrology, Vegetation, and Wildfire Projections for the Southern Sierra Nevada, California” in May 2014. This was the first information I have seen integrating global and local models into basic climate change data for our watersheds in the San Joaquin Valley. The data provided is significant to all Californians and should be reviewed and understood by water managers throughout the State. Planning today can help us to identify our vulnerabilities and strategies for adaptation to the changes that are already occurring. The term “Irreversible Climate Change” identifies that there are positive feedbacks in our climate system that kick in to such an extent that emission reductions are no longer effective.

The early data released in this report is shocking! Using widely accepted climate models, and integrating these projections with local hydrology data, we begin to see a range of possible or likely changes in our hydrologic system. The report emphasized how dominant evapotranspiration rates were to the potential for hydrologic change (changes in precipitation do not translate directly to changes in water supply). The following represent some standout data released under the ‘business as usual’ climate projections for Southern Sierra:

  • Changes to Sierra Nevada hydrology are already occurring (15.8% declines in snow water equivalents, increased wildfires, 16% increase in frequency and intensity of very heavy precipitation, spring runoff occurring 1 to 3 weeks earlier)
  • Increase in average annual temperature of up to 4.1 degrees Celsius by 2099 (up to 11 degrees Fahrenheit in Summer months)
  • An average of 75% reduced runoff in Summer months (May through September, and reaching up to 95%-97% reduction in late summer)
  • Broad agreement in models of 82% - 86% reduction in annual average snowpack

The report emphasized that the resource models we use today can no longer rely on historic data anticipate future conditions. We

Revive the San Joaquin Wins Court Battle!

With our legal partners the Dumna Tribal Council and Madera Oversight Coalition, Revive the San Joaquin just got word that we won our lawsuit against the poorly planned Tesoro Viejo Development along the river in Madera County. This State Appellate Court decision will reverse County approvals for a master planned community of 15,000 residents that would have dumped wastewater to the river, paved over impo

Westlands district pulls out of delta water plan

Posted at 11:13 PM on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010
By Mark Grossi / The Fresno Bee
 
After investing millions of dollars, Westlands Water District is pulling out of an extensive planning effort to heal the troubled Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, saying high-ranking federal officials are derailing it.

The draft of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan offers hope of restoring slumping water deliveries to west Valley farmers, Westlands officials said this week.

EPA will limit pesticides near salmon streams

North County Times-5/17/10

By Jeff Barnard  -- Associated press


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday it will impose restrictions on spraying three agricultural pesticides to keep them out of salmon streams after manufacturers refused to adopt the limits voluntarily.


EPA will develop new rules for applying the chemicals diazinon, malathion and chlorpyrifos that will include no-spray zones along streams and restrictions on spraying depending on weather conditions, EPA spokesman Dale Kemery said in an e-mail.

Madera Co. faces $500k fine for road project


Published online on Tuesday, Sep.

Calif. river system is nation's most endangered

Tuesday, Apr. 07, 2009
By GARANCE BURKE - Associated Press Writer

FRESNO, Calif.

Drug traces found in fish near 5 sewage treatment plants

The study prompts the EPA to expand research to more than 150 locations. Experts downplay the risk to humans but cite danger to fish, frogs and other aquatic species.

Associated Press – 3/26/09

Fish caught near wastewater treatment plants serving five major U.S. cities had residues of pharmaceuticals in them, including medicines used to treat high cholesterol, allergies, high blood pressure, bipolar disorder and depression, researchers reported Wednesday.

Ocean 'indicators' help develop forecasts

The Columbia Basin Bulletin
March 20, 2009

Sacramento River's chinook face double whammy

The San Francisco Chronicle
By Jane Kay
March 19, 2009

KMJ hosts water forum

KMJ host Chris Daniel hosted a 2hr water forum on Wednesday night from 5-7pm. Guests included Tom Birmingham of Westlands Water District, Revive's Chris Acree, Bill Diedrich of San Luis Water District, Robert Silva Mayor of Mendota, John Shelton of CA Fish and Game, and Steve Haze representing the San Joaquin Valley Water Leadership Forum. The forum was a moderated discussion about the current status of water and water management in the San Joaquin Valley. The forum was a great oppotunity to introduce restoration of the San Joaquin River as a possible solution to our water management woes.

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