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DWR Archived News -- 2016 News Announcements

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Public Affairs Office
1416 9th Street, Room 204
Sacramento CA 95814
Phone: (916) 653-6192
Fax:  (916) 653-4684
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NOTE: This information may have been superseded by later news releases. These items are listed here for archive purposes, only.

DWR Releases Perris Dam Draft Environmental Impact Report
SACRAMENTO -- The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has released the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for a proposed new Lake Perris emergency release facility, as construction continues to upgrade the seismic safety of the State’s reservoir and dam in Riverside County. (09/12/2016)
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DWR Seeks Proposals for Habitat Restoration Projects in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
SACRAMENTO--In an effort to quicken the pace of habitat restoration in California’s biggest estuary, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) today invited private companies, non-profit groups and individuals to submit proposals to create wetlands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. (09/12/2016)
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DWR’s Display at Tulare County Fair Will Feature Multi-Room House with Water Conservation Advice
SACRAMENTO – Tulare County has been hit hard by California’s five-year drought and is often called drought’s “ground zero.” With no end in sight, the imperative for water conservation continues in the county and throughout California. The Department of Water Resource (DWR) will have an exhibit at the Tulare County Fair to help attendees learn how they can conserve water in the home. (09/09/2016)
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DWR Flood Experts and Local Elected Officials to Discuss Strategies
As more than 280,000 Central Valley property owners this week are notified they are at risk of catastrophic flooding and should prepare, California flood officials and local elected officials gather in Sacramento to discuss the best steps toward reducing that risk in coming years. (09/06/2016)
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Proposed Delta Tidal Habitat Restoration Project Environmental Review Documents Released
SACRAMENTO – As it works to restore some of the rich tidal wetland habitat that once dominated the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta landscape, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) today released the Prospect Island Tidal Habitat Restoration Project Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for a 45-day public review period. (08/23/2016)
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Silverwood Lake Cleared for Recreation; Algal Bloom Test Results Fall below Caution Levels
SACRAMENTO – Swimming, boating and other water activities can resume at Silverwood Lake, a State Water Project reservoir in San Bernardino County, according to the Department of Water Resources (DWR). A no-swimming advisory was issued for Silverwood Lake on August 4 based on tests that found potentially harmful levels of microtoxins. Testing this week revealed those levels have fallen below the caution level. (08/19/2016)
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East Porterville Homes Connected to Water System
EAST PORTERVILLE, CA – Dozens of East Porterville residents in Tulare County, often called “ground zero” of California’s drought, are now being connected to a new, permanent, sustainable source of water that will eliminate the need for State emergency water deliveries to homeowners with dry or contaminated wells.
As many as 1,800 homes in East Porterville with either no water or undrinkable contaminated water in their wells are expected to be connected to the City of Porterville’s water system by the end of 2017. Now under way is the project’s Phase 1A, during which up to 70 homes will receive water from City of Porterville distribution lines that were previously laid in East Porterville streets but had not been connected to homes. The first connection was made today. (08/19/2016)
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First East Porterville Homes to Be Connected to Water System
Dozens of East Porterville residents soon will be connected to a new, permanent, sustainable source of water through the East Porterville Water Supply Project led by the California Department of Water Resources. The first connection is being made at 510 East River Avenue in East Porterville. The media are invited to observe and interview a homeowner, State and local agency participants and East Porterville community members. (08/18/2016)
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Blue-Green Algal Bloom Persists in Silverwood Lake; Stay Out of the Water until Further Notice
SACRAMENTO – The cyanobacteria (blue-green) algal bloom in Silverwood Lake is persisting, according to the Department of Water Resources (DWR). Recent sampling for microcystin toxins in the water showed that levels have increased, and DWR and California State Parks are warning the public to stay out of the water until further notice. All water activity is prohibited, including swimming, wading, boating, waterskiing and jet-skiing. (08/09/2016)
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Donner Lake Will Benefit from Water Exchange under Truckee River Operating Agreement
SACRAMENTO – The Truckee River Operating Agreement (TROA) implemented in December 2015 provides new mechanisms for federal, states (California and Nevada), tribal and local agencies to address unique and challenging water management issues. This week, parties to TROA exhibited flexibility and cooperation by agreeing to a series of water exchange transactions, allowed under TROA, to maintain higher water levels at Donner Lake through August. (08/09/2016)
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Blue-Green Algae Blooms in Silverwood Lake; No-Swimming Advisory in Effect
SACRAMENTO – Swimmers, boaters and recreational users are urged to avoid direct contact with Silverwood Lake in San Bernardino County until further notice because of a cyanobacteria (blue-green) algal bloom. DWR continues to test the water and will update this advisory if conditions change. (08/04/2016)
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Blue-Green Algal Bloom Declining in Pyramid Lake; Swimming Now Allowed with Caution
SACRAMENTO – The cyanobacteria (blue-green) algal bloom that was first detected in Pyramid Lake in late June is subsiding, according to the Department of Water Resources (DWR). Recent sampling for microcystin toxins in the water showed that levels have declined, and there are no recreational restrictions at the lake at this time. However, the public is advised to use caution as cyanobacteria may still be present in the lake. Because algal blooms can form and die off fairly rapidly, DWR continues to test the water and will update this advisory if conditions change. (07/25/2016)
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Blue-Green Algal Bloom Persists in Pyramid Lake; No-Swimming Advisory Remains in Effect
SACRAMENTO – The cyanobacteria (blue-green) algal bloom that was first detected in Pyramid Lake in late June is continuing, according to the Department of Water Resources (DWR). Recent sampling for microcystin toxins in the water showed levels high enough for DWR to continue its warning to the public to not swim in the lake until further notice. (07/22/2016)
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Public Urged To Avoid Algal Bloom in Pyramid Lake
A large algal bloom has developed in Pyramid Lake, located in Los Angeles County, and the public is advised to avoid body contact with the water and take precautions during recreation at the lake. (07/13/2016)
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DWR/Local Groundwater Monitoring Partnership Expands and Improves
The latest update on California’s efforts to track groundwater shows that 94 percent of the State’s 127 high- and medium-priority groundwater basins are fully monitored (07/12/2016)
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DWR Unveils Conservation: The California Lifestyle at State Fair
Making conservation a way of life in California is the focus of three beautiful, information-packed exhibits by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) at the California State Fair in Sacramento.
The exhibits, entitled Conservation: The California Lifestyle, are on display over the next 17 days for State Fair attendees who want to learn how to embrace water conservation as a way of life. (07/08/2016)
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Caution Urged along Feather River in Oroville
Flows on the Feather River through Oroville are higher than usual, and anglers, swimmers, kayakers, and other river users are asked to use caution this holiday weekend.
The flow in the section of the Feather River that runs through Oroville increased this week from 3,200 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 4,000 cfs as the Department of Water Resources releases water from Lake Oroville to meet water supply needs downstream. Visitors to the river are urged to wear properly fitting life jackets and be aware of the increased risk from higher, stronger currents. (07/01/2016)
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DWR Welcomes the Public to the Independence Day Celebration at Lake Oroville
The skies over Lake Oroville in Northern California will sparkle with red, white and blue as DWR proudly supports Oroville's 2016 Fourth of July fireworks celebration.
The Tallest Dam Independence Day Celebration, organized by the Rotary Club of Oroville, will occur on Monday, July 4th. Food and drink vendors will be set up on the dam and in the Spillway parking lot by late-afternoon. Free parking is available at the Oroville Dam Overlook parking lots and Visitors Center beginning at 9 a.m. Traffic on top of Oroville Dam will become one way (going in) at 3 p.m. Oroville Dam will close to all vehicular traffic at 5 p.m., or earlier if the Spillway parking lot is full. (07/01/2016)
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DWR Releases Draft of Approved Changes to California Groundwater Basin Boundaries
SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) today released a draft of its approved changes to California’s groundwater basin boundaries, taking an essential step in implementing the historic Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and empowering local agencies to bring groundwater basins into sustainable patterns of pumping and recharge. (07/01/2016)
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State Agencies to Give East Porterville Water Project Update
SACRAMENTO – On Wednesday, June 22, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) will address the State’s efforts to provide permanent, safe and reliable household water supplies to the Tulare County community of East Porterville, “ground zero” of California’s five-year drought. The focus of the call is to provide an update on the project, which began in 2014, and preview the draft feasibility study for the construction of a new water distribution system, which will be discussed at a community meeting Thursday, June 23, in Porterville. (06/22/2016)
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DWR Announces ‘Catch A Special Thrill’ for Kids Event at Lake Oroville
SACRAMENTO – A day of outdoor recreation and fishing for disabled children will be held at Lake Oroville State Recreation Area at the Spillway Marina in Butte County on Saturday, June 18. Event sponsors are the Department of Water Resources (DWR), Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal-Fire), Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), Division of boating and Waterways (DBW) and the “Catch A Special Thrill” (C.A.S.T.) for Kids Foundation. (06/16/2016)
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Collecting Tree-Ring Samples to Understand Drought Risk
Media invited to witness the collection of tree- ring samples from conifers in the Angeles National Forest. Samples are collected using increment borers to obtain cores from groups of trees. Interview opportunities with California water official and university research staff to be offered at the site during the collection of tree-ring samples. (06/10/2016)
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Analysis of California WaterFix Potential Effects Submitted to State Water Resources Control Board
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Yesterday, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and Bureau of Reclamation submitted testimony to the State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) as required for the upcoming public hearings on a request to add three new points of diversion to the State Water Project, with coordinated operations for the Central Valley Project, for California WaterFix. (06/01/2016)
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DWR and WEF Provide Briefing on San Joaquin Valley Groundwater Conditions
SACRAMENTO –Water year 2016 is an improvement over the previous four severely dry years, but drought conditions persist in the San Joaquin Valley. As growers confront reduced surface water allocations, they continue to turn to groundwater. This heavy reliance on groundwater has resulted in declining water levels, increased overdraft and a heightened awareness of the new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). (05/23/2016)
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DWR Regulations to Guide Local Sustainable Groundwater Management Plans Approved by CWC
SACRAMENTO – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) regulations that will guide local groundwater sustainability agency management and regulation of California’s groundwater basins as outlined in the historic Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) enacted by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in 2014 were approved by the California Water Commission today. The approved emergency regulations now will be filed with the Office of Administrative Law and go into effect June 2016. (05/18/2016)
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CWC Approves Regulations to Guide the Sustainable Groundwater Management Plans
SACRAMENTO – California today moved a big step closer to implementation of an historic law to protect groundwater basins from overdraft, as the California Water Commission approved regulations that will guide creation of sustainability plans by local groundwater agencies. (05/18/2016)
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New Regulations Will Guide the Sustainable Groundwater Management Plans of California Communities
SACRAMENTO – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today released proposed regulations that will guide local groundwater sustainability agency management and regulation of California’s groundwater basins as outlined in the historic Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) enacted by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in 2014. Improving Sustainable Groundwater Management is also a key element of the California Water Action Plan. These regulations will move California toward successful implementation of SGMA and more sustainable management of our groundwater resources. (05/11/2016)
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Boating Scheduled to Resume at Pyramid Lake on May 2
SACRAMENTO – Pyramid Lake’s water level will have risen enough following a planned drawdown over the past week that boating on the lake will resume on May 2, the Department of Water Resources announced today. (04/28/2016)
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Pyramid Lake Closed to Boats for Approximately One Week
SACRAMENTO – Pyramid Lake, a popular recreational boating site 14 miles north of Castaic along Interstate Highway 5 in Southern California, will remain closed to boating beginning today until approximately April 29 during maintenance work at the nearby Castaic Lake Powerplant. (04/22/2016)
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State Water Project Allocation Increased
SACRAMENTO – With runoff from spring storms boosting reservoir levels, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) today increased its water delivery estimate for most recipients to 60 percent of requests for the calendar year.

DWR’s initial State Water Project (SWP) allocation, announced in December, was 10 percent of requests. As storms developed, the allocation was increased to 15 percent on January 26, then to 30 percent on February 24 and 45 percent on March 17. (04/21/2016)
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Access Road Maintenance & Improvements to Occur Near Wilbur Rd Boat Ramp at the Thermalito Afterbay
OROVILLE – Maintenance work and improvements will occur at two access roads to the Wilbur Road Boat Ramp, located at the northeastern corner of the Thermalito Afterbay near Oroville. Rotating, temporary closures of the access roads from Tuesday, April 12 through Thursday, April 14, 2016 will be necessary to accomplish the work, which will be done by California Department of Water Resources crews. (04/08/2016)
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Survey Finds Snowpack Water Content below Average
SACRAMENTO – California’s statewide snowpack usually reaches its peak depth and water content each year around the first of April, after which the snow begins to melt as the sun’s path across the sky moves a little further north each day. Therefore, conditions today were just about as good as they’re going to get this year when the Department of Water Resources (DWR) conducted its media-oriented snow survey at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada east of Sacramento. (03/30/2016)
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DWR Agreement with Contra Costa Water District Addresses Concerns Related to California WaterFix
SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Water Resources announced today an agreement with the Contra Costa Water District related to potential water quality impacts to its water supply in the event California WaterFix is built.
CCWD-DWR Agreement Summary
CCWD-DWR Agreement
(03/29/2016)
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March 30 Snow Survey Will Help Reveal State’s Water Health
SACRAMENTO – California’s snowpack usually reaches its peak in the early spring each year near the first of April. Melting of the snowpack increases as the sun’s path across the sky moves a little northward each day and solar radiation intensifies on the ground. (03/25/2016)
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DWR Awards $6.7 Million in Grants to Launch Sustainable Groundwater Management Planning Efforts
SACRAMENTO, CA – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced it is awarding 21 counties a total of $6.7 million in grants to help with sustainable groundwater planning. The Proposition 1 Sustainable Groundwater Planning Grant Program provides funding for county projects that will develop groundwater plans consistent with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) enacted by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. in 2014. The awards were made to counties with high and medium priority groundwater basins, some of which are in critical over-draft. (03/23/2016)
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DWR Presents Key Draft Groundwater Regulations and Solicits Public Comment
SACRAMENTO – Historic legislation enacted by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. last year empowers local agencies to bring groundwater basins into sustainable patterns of pumping and recharge. The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will hold three public meetings this week to present draft regulations that include how it will evaluate the development and implementation of Groundwater Sustainability Plans, alternatives, and coordination agreements by local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies. DWR continues to solicit public comment through April 1, 2016. By June 1, 2016, DWR is required to adopt these emergency regulations. (03/21/2016)
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State Water Project Allocation Increased
SACRAMENTO – With March storms boosting reservoir levels, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) today increased its water delivery estimate (allocation) for most recipients to 45 percent of requests for the calendar year. (03/17/2016)
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Temporary Closure of Thermalito Afterbay River Outlet Boat Ramp
SACRAMENTO – The Thermalito Afterbay River Outlet Boat Ramp, located in the Oroville Wildlife Area south of Larkin Road, will be closed to the public from Wednesday, March 16 through Friday, March 18, 2016 for maintenance and improvement of the ramp. (03/16/2016)
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Media Advisory: DWR Honored with Second National Climate Leadership Award
SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has been honored by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its organizational leadership in addressing climate change. (03/09/2016)
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Snowpack Water Content Less than Average
SACRAMENTO –The statewide snowpack – source of much of the California’s water supply – is only 83 percent of the March 1 average, the result of moderate precipitation since last October and relatively warm temperatures. “Mother Nature is not living up to predictions by some that a ‘Godzilla’ El Niño would produce much more precipitation than usual this winter,” said DWR Director Mark Cowin. “We need conservation as much as ever.” (03/01/2016)
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State Water Project Allocation Increased: Supply Outlook Improves, but State Remains in Drought
SACRAMENTO –The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today increased its water delivery estimate (allocation) for most recipients to 30 percent of requests for the calendar year. However, recipients are being warned that extended dry weather could force an allocation reduction. (02/24/2016)
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DWR ANNOUNCES SCIENCE SERVICE AWARDS: Three NASA Scientists Honored for Subsidence Mapping Work
SACRAMENTO – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) presented its Remote Sensing and Drought Science Service awards at today’s Water Operations Briefing in Sacramento sponsored by DWR and the Water Education Foundation. The purpose of the awards is to recognize ongoing assistance provided by researchers who have been working closely with DWR on drought or climate science projects. (02/24/2016)
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Media Advisory: DWR’s Next Media-Focused Snow Survey Scheduled for March 1
SACRAMENTO – News media are invited to the Department of Water Resources March 1 media-oriented snow survey at Phillips Station off Highway 50 near Sierra-at-Tahoe Road approximately 90 miles east of Sacramento. This will be DWR’s third such survey of the winter. (02/23/2016)
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DWR Releases Draft Regulations for Managing Groundwater Basins Sustainably
SACRAMENTO – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today released draft regulations that will assist local public agencies and groundwater sustainability agencies to manage and regulate California’s groundwater basins (02/18/2016)
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California Snowpack Holds More Water than Last Year
SACRAMENTO – Results of the winter’s second media-oriented manual snow survey by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) confirmed what Californians have been saying for weeks: It’s raining and snowing much more this winter than last. (02/02/2016)
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2016 Annual IEP Workshop
The Interagency Ecological Program will be holding the 2016 Annual IEP Workshop on April 20-22, 2016 at the Lake Natoma Inn in Folsom, CA. For registration and additional information on this workshop click the link below. (02/01/2016)
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California Water Commission Begins Formal Rulemaking Process
SACRAMENTO – The California Water Commission today began the formal rulemaking process with the Office of Administrative Law for the first draft regulations for the Water Storage Investment Program. Today also begins a 45- day comment period on the draft regulations, with written public comments accepted through March 14, 2016. (01/29/2016)
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Statement of DWR Director on Water Rights Petition
Statement from Department of Water Resources Director Mark W. Cowin on the State Water Resources Control Board pre-hearing conference today on the DWR and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation petition requesting changes in water rights for the California WaterFix: (01/28/2016)
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State Water Project Allocation Boosted
SACRAMENTO – With winter storms slowly boosting water supply, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) today increased its water delivery estimate for most recipients from 10 percent of requests for the calendar year, as announced in December, to 15 percent. (01/26/2016)
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DWR Sets Media Snow Survey on February 2
SACRAMENTO – The second media-oriented snow survey of the winter will be conducted by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) on Tuesday, February 2 at Phillips Station off Highway 50 near Sierra-at-Tahoe Road approximately 90 miles east of Sacramento (01/26/2016)
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DWR invests $681,739 in Bakersfield’s Water and Energy Savings Project
BAKERSFIELD -- The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) today ceremoniously awarded the City of Bakersfield more than $600,000, using proceeds from California’s cap-and-trade program for combating climate change. The money will fund the installation of a state-of-art water and energy saving irrigation system across the city. (01/22/2016)
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21 Groundwater Basins Identified as Critically Overdrafted
SACRAMENTO, CA – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has identified 21 groundwater basins and subbasins in which excessive groundwater pumping has resulted in significant overdraft. Overdraft impacts can include seawater intrusion and land subsidence, in addition to chronically lowered groundwater levels. As a result, those basins and subbasins fall under the earliest deadlines required by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). (01/21/2016)
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Boat Ramps Reopening at Lake Oroville
SACRAMENTO – A California Department of Water Resources (DWR) project to extend the Bidwell Canyon stage three boat ramp more than 100 feet farther into Lake Oroville was completed in January. After allowing for concrete curing time, State Parks’ crews opened the three-lane concrete boat ramp to the public on Monday, January 18. (01/20/2016)
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DWR Will Add Solar Facility to Its Power Inventory
SACRAMENTO – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has executed agreements to purchase solar energy from a 9.5 Megawatt (MW) photovoltaic facility that will be built, owned and operated by SunPower Corporation on DWR’s property near its existing Pearblossom Pumping Plant in Los Angeles County. (01/14/2016)
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DWR Redirects Fishing from Aqueduct Pool near Taft
SACRAMENTO – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is repairing the lining and underlying embankment of the California Aqueduct near Taft in Kern County. Repairs on a leak in the lining began January 11 and are expected to be completed by mid-February. There will be no interruptions in deliveries to State Water Project water contractors; Southern California contractors will be supplied by DWR reservoirs south of the Tehachapi Mountains while repairs are underway. (01/13/2016)
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DWR Announces $232 Million in Grants to Improve Water Management across California
SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced approximately $232 million in grant funding of 26 proposals for Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) projects that will leverage hundreds of millions of additional local and federal dollars. (01/13/2016)
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New Laws Bring Changes to Sustainable Groundwater Management Act; DWR Continues Outreach
SACRAMENTO –New amendments to the landmark Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) modify and clarify some of the rules that local agencies will need to address when forming a groundwater sustainability agency (GSA). The SGMA amendments also change the Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) role in reviewing, posting, and tracking GSA formation notices. DWR is continuing its technical, financial and facilitation assistance to local agencies as they adapt to the changes. (01/12/2016)
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Truckee River Operating Agreement Implementation resolves over a century of water rights conflict
SACRAMENTO –After more than a century of conflict, the troubled waters of the scenic Truckee River that have both united and divided California, Nevada, the federal government, tribal and other interests along its 145-mile course are now flowing toward a less controversial future. (01/05/2016)
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