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DWR Archived News -- 2015 News Announcements

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NOTE: This information may have been superseded by later news releases.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

Retired Department of Water Resources Electrician Receives Medal of Valor, State’s Highest Honor
SACRAMENTO – The Kevin Mefford, a former hydroelectric plant electrician at the Department of Water Resources (DWR), is among 52 current and former state employees who will be awarded a Silver Medal of Valor today “for demonstrating extraordinary acts of bravery and heroism in order to save the life of another.” Nancy McFadden, Executive Secretary to Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., was scheduled to present the awards in an afternoon ceremony at the California Highway Patrol Academy in West Sacramento. The Medal of Valor is the highest honor given to state employees. (04/23/2015)
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Groundwater Update Reports Posted, Will Support Implementation of New Groundwater Sustainability Act
SACRAMENTO – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has completed the Groundwater Update to the California Water Plan Update 2013 with essential data, information and analyses that will be important to the successful implementation of a statewide groundwater sustainability management process. (04/16/2015)
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Drought Triggers Need for Installation of Emergency Salinity Barrier on Delta Channel
SACRAMENTO—Faced with potentially insufficient water supplies to repel salinity in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), in consultation with federal and state water and wildlife agencies, is moving to install an emergency, temporary rock barrier across a Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta channel. DWR seeks to install a single emergency salinity barrier across West False River in May, to be removed six months later in November. State and federal water and wildlife officials, working as a Real-Time Drought Operations Management Team, have determined that the barrier would help deter the tidal push of saltwater from San Francisco Bay into the central Delta. (04/15/2015)
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State Climatologist Mike Anderson To Participate in '2015 Drought Briefing–Four Years and Counting'
SACRAMENTO – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) are among the agencies that will present a morning-long briefing on California’s drought on Thursday April 9, 2015 titled “2015 Drought Briefing – Four Years and Counting: Impacts and Actions.” Among the presenters will be DWR’s Mike Anderson, California State Climatologist, whose presentation – “How Bad Is It? Drought Conditions Overview” – is scheduled to begin at 9:05 a.m. (04/08/2015)
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Sierra Nevada Snowpack Is Virtually Gone; Water Content Now Is Only 5 Percent of Historic Average
SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) found no snow whatsoever today during its manual survey for the media at 6,800 feet in the Sierra Nevada. This was the first time in 75 years of early-April measurements at the Phillips snow course that no snow was found there. (04/01/2015)
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DWR Announces Draft Funding Recommendations for Grants to Save Water and Energy
Sacramento – Strengthening California’s response to drought and long-term climate change, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced draft recommendations for the award of $19 million to 15 entities for projects that save both water and energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (03/30/2015)
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DWR Schedules Next Manual Snow Survey on April 1; Snowpack May Set Record for Meager Water Content
SACRAMENTO – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will conduct this year’s fourth manual snow survey for the media on April 1 just off Highway 50 near Sierra-at-Tahoe Road approximately 90 miles east of Sacramento. Electronic readings show that the Sierra Nevada snowpack’s water content is lower than any year in records going back to 1950 – just 8 percent of the historical average in late March. (A list of the statewide snow water equivalents on April 1 from 1950 through 2014 can be found at the end of this advisory.) (03/27/2015)
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DWR Report Describes Past and Ongoing Droughts
SACRAMENTO -- Severe droughts are nothing new to California, home to the highest variable precipitation in the United States. In the midst of a fourth dry year, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has released an in-depth report comparing the severity and impacts of California’s most significant droughts, which stretched from 1929 to 1934, 1976 to 1977 and 1987 to 1992. The report also details the ongoing drought, which began in 2012. (03/25/2015)
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DWR Develops Draft Strategic Plan for Implementing Historic Groundwater Laws
SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) seeks public input on a draft strategic plan for its role in carrying out the historic sustainable groundwater laws enacted last fall by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. (03/20/2015)
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82 Percent of Californians Say Residents Should Conserve Water – Drought or No Drought, Poll Shows
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – As California enters a fourth year of drought, a new statewide poll reveals that the vast majority of Californians – some 90 percent – are willing to make significant changes to conserve water both inside and out, and more than 80 percent believe it’s important to conserve water regardless of whether the state is in drought or whether conservation is mandated by local water agencies. The statewide poll of 801 registered voters – commissioned by the Association of California Water Agencies in partnership with the statewide conservation education program Save Our Water – also found that more than 80 percent of Californians view the drought and water shortages as “extremely” or “very” serious problems. Some 86 percent of polled residents believe that California is in a state of persistent water shortage. (03/17/2015)
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Third Manual Survey Confirms Shrinking Water Content
SACRAMENTO – The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which Californians rely on heavily during the dry summer months for their water needs, continues to disappoint this winter. Despite the snowfall in the Sierra Nevada Range over the weekend that gladdened ski and snowboard enthusiasts, it was not enough to offset weeks with no snow at all. Today’s manual survey by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) at the Phillips snow course in the mountains 90 miles east of Sacramento found 0.9 inches of water content in the snow, just 5 percent of the March 3 historical average for that site. (03/03/2015)
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State Water Project Deliveries Increased Slightly
SACRAMENTO – Few storms have graced California so far this winter, but those that did – in mid-December and early February – will allow the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to increase water deliveries to most customers of the State Water Project (SWP) by an additional 204,000 acre-feet (AF). (03/02/2015)
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Next Manual Snow Survey Set for March 3
SACRAMENTO – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will conduct this winter’s third manual snow survey on March 3 just off Highway 50 near Sierra-at-Tahoe Road approximately 90 miles east of Sacramento. (The date was moved from March 2; media that had inquired within the past few days about the survey are urged to note the change.) (02/26/2015)
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DWR Honored with National Climate Leadership Award
SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has been honored by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Center for Corporate Climate Leadership for its actions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. (02/24/2015)
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Public Comment Period Extended for Emergency Drought Barriers
SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Water Resources has extended from February 25 to March 18 the public comment period on its analysis of the effects of temporary emergency drought barriers in three channels of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. (02/13/2015)
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Public Meeting on State Preparations for Emergency Drought Barriers
SACRAMENTO -- Last month, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) submitted an application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers seeking a programmatic permit to allow the installation of temporary, emergency drought barriers across three channels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The temporary rock barriers would be installed only in the event of drought conditions so severe that physical salinity control structures are needed to conserve water in upstream reservoirs for health and safety and critical environmental purposes. (02/04/2015)
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2015 Interagency Ecological Program (IEP) Workshop
The Interagency Ecological Program (IEP) for the San Francisco Estuary will hold its 2015 Annual Workshop at the Lake Natoma Inn, Folsom, Ca. on March 18, 19, and 20. (02/02/2015)
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Scant Precipitation, Warm Temperatures Produce Weak Snowpack
SACRAMENTO –The absence of precipitation in January, normally California’s wettest month, has combined with warmer-than-average temperatures to produce a dismally meager snowpack for a drought-stricken state.
Today’s second manual snow survey of the season found a snow water equivalent of just 2.3 inches in the scant snowpack near Echo summit approximately 90 miles east of Sacramento. That is just 12 percent of the long-term average for this time of year at that particular snow course. Statewide, the snow water equivalent as measured by more than 100 sensors was 4 inches today, or 25 percent of the historical average. That’s down from December 30 when DWR conducted the winter’s first manual survey; the statewide snow water equivalent was 50 percent of that date’s long-term average. (01/29/2015)
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Winter’s Second Manual Snow Survey Set for January 29
SACRAMENTO – Department of Water Resources (DWR) snow surveyors are likely to encounter above-normal temperatures and below-normal snowpack when they conduct their second survey of the wet season on January 29. (01/26/2015)
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DWR Plans for Possible Need of Delta Salinity Control Barriers
SACRAMENTO – It may be necessary to install emergency salinity control barriers across three channels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta if the weather stays exceedingly dry through spring. In order to prepare for worst-case drought conditions, and after an extensive environmental analysis and more than nine months of discussion with Delta residents and local water district managers, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that would allow for the temporary installation of rock barriers at intervals over the next 10 years when saltwater threatens deep intrusion into the Delta. (01/26/2015)
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DWR Announces $150 Million Available for Central Valley Urban Flood Protection Projects
SACRAMENTO -- Supporting goals set forth in Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s California Water Action Plan, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) has announced $150 million is now available to Sacramento and San Joaquin valley agencies seeking to reduce flood risk in cities and suburbs. (01/26/2015)
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Statement from California Water Commission on Proposition 1 Funding for Water Storage Projects
SACRAMENTO – In November 2014, California voters passed Proposition 1, a $7.5 billion water bond that will make needed investments in the state’s water management systems and support the goals of the California Water Action Plan. The bond provides $2.7 billion to increase the state’s water storage capacity and designates the California Water Commission as the state agency responsible for developing and adopting a program to appropriately allocate these funds for the public benefits of eligible water storage projects. (01/21/2015)
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DWR Increases 2015 Allocation to Water Contractors
SACRAMENTO – December storm runoff and close coordination among federal and state agencies to take advantage of it will allow the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to increase expected water deliveries in 2015 to most customers of the State Water Project (SWP) from 10 percent of their requested amounts to 15 percent. The new allocation replaces the initial allocation of 10 percent announced on December 1. (01/15/2015)
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DWR Adds “Green Power” To Energize State Water Project
SACRAMENTO -- The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is now receiving renewable power from a purchase agreement with Dominion Solar Holdings. The emission-free energy will be used for operation of the State Water Project (SWP).
Dominion’s RE Camelot Solar Photovoltaic Project near Mojave, CA in southeastern Kern County went into full commercial operation and began delivering power to the California Independent System Operator grid to meet SWP pump loads on December 23, 2014. (01/08/2015)
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DWR Issues Final 2013 State Water Project Reliability Report
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has issued its Final State Water Project (SWP) Delivery Reliability Report (DRR) for 2013. The draft 2013 report was released in December 2013. The final report has been updated to include public comments received in the comment period, which ended January 17, 2014. The report may be accessed at the link below: (01/07/2015)
    State Water Project Delivery Reliability Report...