All CUWCC News Feeds

Research to aid Californian drought response

Monday, July 06, 2015

The worsening drought in California has prompted US agencies to turn to Australian researchers to identify the most effective strategies Australian utilities and agencies used to survive the Millennium Drought. 

Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) researchers based at UTS will evaluate the strategies used to cope with Australia's devastating, decade-long drought to help inform policies being developed in California.

The research will be conducted in collaboration with US-based water efficiency experts at the Alliance for Water Efficiency and the Pacific Institute. US partners funding the research include the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and the Water Research Foundation.

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Drought Sends U.S. Water Agency Back to Drawing Board

Monday, July 06, 2015

Drew Lessard stood on top of Folsom Dam and gazed at the Sierra Nevada, which in late spring usually gushes enough melting snow into the reservoir to provide water for a million people. But the mountains were bare, and the snowpack to date remains the lowest on measured record.

“If there’s no snowpack, there’s no water,” said Mr. Lessard, a regional manager for the Bureau of Reclamation, the federal agency that built and operates a vast network of 476 dams, 348 reservoirs and 8,116 miles of aqueducts across the Western United States.

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California’s Water Rates Rise

Monday, July 06, 2015

Millions of Californians expecting relief on their water bills for taking conservation measures instead are experiencing higher rates and drought surcharges.

Water departments are increasing rates and adding fees because they are losing money as their customers conserve. They say they still have to pay for fixed costs including repairing pipelines, customer service and enforcing water restrictions—and those costs aren’t decreasing.

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California drought: State's water restrictions face court tests

Wednesday, July 01, 2015
Four lawsuits over restrictions for 'senior' water users in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River watersheds, as well as a lawsuit by the city of Riverside, challenge state control over local water rights amid the California drought. 

Four years into a record-breaking drought, California is suddenly awash in lawsuits challenging the state's water-saving directives, especially the 25 percent mandatory statewide cutbacks ordered by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.

Less than a month after those mandatory restrictions went into effect, one city about 50 miles east of Los Angeles is the first municipality to challenge state control over local water rights in the courts. 

Riverside is suing the state, claiming that the new restrictions unfairly affect the community. 

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Free recycled water programs expanding throughout East Contra Costa

Wednesday, July 01, 2015


With mandatory water restrictions in place throughout California, "brown is the new green" has become the slogan of the day. But residents in East Contra Costa -- among the driest regions in the Bay Area -- will no longer have to chose between conserving water and keeping their lawns or gardens green.

That's because officials throughout the region have been working to put in place a series of separately operated recycled water fill stations that will be available to residents from Bay Point through Oakley and the far eastern regions of the county.

Recycled water is nonpotable, and officials make it clear that it's to be used only for irrigation, and not for drinking, filling backyard pools, bathing or cooking. But it will keep your lawn green and your garden alive.
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