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DWR Archived News -- 2011 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NOTE: This information may have been superseded by later news releases.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.

First 2012 Snow Survey Scheduled for January 3
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will conduct this winter's first snow survey on January 3. One center of attention will be the manual survey scheduled for 11 a.m. off Highway 50 near Echo Summit. This and other manual and electronic surveys up and down the state will determine the amount of water in the early winter snowpack. Statewide electronic readings indicate that today's snowpack water content -- near the end of an unusually dry December -- is only 24 percent of normal for the date. At this time last year (December 27), the statewide snowpack water content was 202 percent of average. (12/28/2011)
    News Release...
DWR Releases Final Round 2 Planning Grant Proposal Solicitation Package
The Department of Water Resources has released the Final Round 2 Planning Grant Proposal Solicitation Package (PSP) from the Integrated Regional Water Management Grant Program. The PSP will be used to disburse Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) planning grant funding pursuant to the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006 (Proposition 84). (12/22/2011)
    Announcement...
DWR and Task Force to Present Water Conservation Measures for Urban Water Users
The Department of Water Resources and the Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional Task Force, following SBX7-7, are releasing alternative water conservation measures to reduce urban demand. The proposed alternative "best management practices" (BMPs) are intended to guide water users in how to operate more efficiently in order to better conserve water. (12/19/2011)
    News Release...
Federal-State Partnership Helps Water Managers Plan for Climate Change
A consortium of agencies today released a publication designed to help water resources professionals navigate the complexities of climate change management. Entitled Climate Change Handbook for Regional Water Planning, the handbook provides resources and tools to guide water resource managers and planners as they adapt to the changing climate. It was produced by the California Department of Water Resources, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Resources Legacy Fund, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (12/01/2011)
    News Release...
DWR Certifies Perris Dam Remediation Program Final EIR
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has certified and adopted the Perris Dam Remediation Program final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR). DWR anticipates completing the dam remediation design by the end of 2013, and to construct repairs from 2014 to 2015. In 2005, DWR identified potential seismic safety risks in the foundation of Perris Dam, located in northeastern Riverside County, 11 miles southeast of Riverside and 60 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. While there was no imminent threat to life or property, in the interest of ensuring public safety, the state lowered the water level of Lake Perris to conduct the EIR process and complete repairs. Once repairs are completed in 2015, DWR will be allowed to refill the lake to the previous level. (12/01/2011)
    News Release...
DWR Releases Final Phase of Online System for California Statewide Groundwater Elevation Monitoring
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has released the final phase of the online system for implementation of the California Statewide Groundwater Elevation Monitoring (CASGEM) program. Enacted in 2009 with the passage of Senate Bill X7 6, CASGEM establishes a basis for collaboration between local monitoring parties and DWR to collect groundwater elevation information statewide and make that information available to the public. The legislation does not call for mandatory groundwater regulation; it is a voluntary program. (11/23/2011)
    News Release...
DWR Announces Initial Water Delivery Estimate for 2012
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced an initial allocation of 60 percent of requested deliveries to State Water Project contractors for 2012. The initial allocation -- or water delivery estimate -- is always conservative because it is made before the major winter storms that supply reservoir storage. Today's initial 60 percent allocation is relatively high due to carryover storage from unusually wet conditions last winter. (11/18/2011)
    News Release...
DWR Schedules Workshops on Quantifying Efficiency of Agricultural Water Use
Three workshops will be held this month to discuss the Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) proposed methodology for quantifying the efficiency of agricultural water use. Public input is sought at the workshops, to be held jointly with the Agricultural Water Management Council (AWMC). DWR is required by 2009 legislation (Senate Bill X 7-7) to develop efficiency of agricultural water use methodology in consultation with the AWMC, academic experts and environmental stakeholders. (11/16/2011)
    News Release...
Protection of State Water Project From Encroachment to be Discussed
Proposed requirements for encroaching on property around State Water Project facilities will be discussed at a public meeting in San Luis Obispo, November 17. Input will help the Department of Water Resources (DWR) develop encroachment permit specifics, as well as address mitigation for encroachments that interfere with inspection, repair, operation or maintenance of State Water Project (SWP) facilities. Encroachments include unauthorized buildings or other structures on right-of-way property. (11/10/2011)
    News Release...
DWR Invites Input on Funding for Integrated Flood Management Conservation Projects
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has scheduled three workshops to solicit comments on draft guidelines to direct Proposition 1E funding to flood management projects and activities in support of the Central Valley Flood System Conservation Strategy. Workshops will be held December 6, 7, and 14 in Modesto, West Sacramento, and Chico respectively. (11/03/2011)
    News Release...
DWR Invites Statements of Qualifications for Climate Change Technical Advisory Group
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) requests Statements of Qualifications to serve on its Climate Change Technical Advisory Group (CCTAG). The selected climate change experts will work with DWR on incorporating climate change into water resources planning and management, including the California Water Plan Update, the Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) program, and various flood management planning processes. In particular, the CCTAG will be charged with advising DWR on the scientific aspects of climate change, its impacts on water resources, the use and creation of planning approaches and analytical tools, and the development of adaptation responses for California’s water sector. (11/01/2011)
    News Release...
Benthic BioGuide
The Benthic BioGuide is a living document to provide Biological, ecological, and identification information for Common and important benthic invertebrates in the SF Estuary. The guide will be periodically updated as new information becomes available. Go here to see the Benthic BioGuide website, or here for a printable pdf version of the Benthic BioGuide. (11/01/2011)
DWR Invites Applications for Delta Bulk Levee Mitigation Credits
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) invites qualified agencies involved in Delta levee work to apply for bulk acquisition of mitigation credits. Such credits are intended to expedite mitigation for habitat losses resulting from necessary Delta levee repairs and maintenance. (10/28/2011)
    Newsrelease...
DWR Hosts Plenary Meeting on Water Plan Update
A two-day meeting in Sacramento this week will advance the process of preparing California Water Plan Update 2013. Published at five-year intervals by the Department of Water Resources (DWR), the California Water Plan provides a comprehensive report on water supply, demand and management in California. The plan is an authoritative document and data source for water managers and agencies, researchers and analysts, academics and members of the public. (10/25/2011)
    News Release...
DWR Climate Change Exhibit Opens in Long Beach
Potential impacts of climate change on water supply are the focus of a Department of Water Resources exhibit at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Theme of the exhibit -- which has a grand opening from 7 - 8:30 tonight – is that California’s climate and water conditions have always been subject to change. This includes extreme droughts long before the relative climate stability of the last hundred years. (10/24/2011)
    News Release...
Adapt, Flee, or Perish: Responses to Climate Change for California’s Water Sector
The Sierra College Natural History Museum will present an illustrated lecture entitled “Adapt, Flee, or Perish: Responses to Climate Change for California’s Water Sector” by Department of Water Resources Assistant Deputy Director John Andrew on Friday, October 21, at 7:30 PM in Sewell Hall, Room 111 on the Sierra College Rocklin Campus. (10/20/2011)
    Press Release...
DWR Releases Draft Proposal Solicitation Package for Proposition 84 Planning Grant, Round 2
The Department of Water Resources has released a draft Proposal Solicitation Package for Proposition 84 funding to assist development of Integrated Regional Water Management Plans. During November, the Department will hold three workshops to present information on the draft PSP and to receive public comment. The public comment period begins today (October 18), and will close on November 18, at 5 p.m. (10/18/2011)
    News Release...
San Luis Reservoir, O’Neill Forebay Open for Recreation Despite Public Closure of Sisk, O’Neill Dams
Fishing, boating and pedestrian access will continue at San Luis Reservoir and the O'Neill Forebay despite the scheduled public closure of Sisk and O'Neill Dams. An interest in improved security necessitated closure of the dams slated for Oct. 10, 2011. State water officials announced today that the closure will have little or no impact on the reservoir and forebay, both popular recreation destinations in the San Joaquin Valley. (10/06/2011)
    News Release...
Water Commission Schedules Water Storage Workshop
The California Water Commission will host its second public workshop on the future of the state's water storage projects on October 25, 2011. The purpose of this event is to provide a forum for discussion of the benefits, costs, and consequences of various water storage projects in California, and to consider future uncertainties, such as climate change. (10/06/2011)
    News Release...
Water Commission Honors Former Department of Water Resources Director Ronald B. Robie
Ronald B. Robie, an influential leader in California's water history, has been given a special State Water Project honor. The California Water Commission has unanimously voted to re-name the State Water Project's (SWP) Thermalito Pumping-Generating Plant at Oroville to commemorate Justice Robie's distinguished water service to California. (10/05/2011)
    News Release...     Video...
DWR-Rice Farmers Resolve Water Temperature Issue
Rice growers near Oroville Dam are benefiting from a creative fiscal solution to a water temperature problem. The State Department of Water Resources (DWR), which operates the dam, announced that a $2.4 million payment to several water districts is going to rice growers in those districts, compensating for complaints that Oroville water releases were too cold for ideal rice growing. Funding comes from State Water Project contractors. (09/30/2011)
    News Release...
DWR Releases Draft Funding Recommendations for Prop.1E Round 1 Stormwater Flood Grant Program
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has announced the release of draft funding recommendations for the first round of Stormwater Flood Management (SWFM) grants. Eighteen proposals are recommended for a total funding of $163.25 million. Funding for the SWFM grant program is available through the Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention Bond Act of 2006 (Article 4, Proposition 1E), which was passed by California voters in November 2006, and authorized the Legislature to appropriate $300 million for statewide SWFM projects. The SWFM grant program is a component of DWR’s Integrated Regional Water Management Program. (09/22/2011)
    Announcement...
Stockton Diverting Canal Fish Passage Restoration Project Groundbreaking
Stockton, State and federal officials will participate in tomorrow’s (September 7) groundbreaking ceremony for a fish passage improvement project in the Stockton Diverting Canal. Cooperating in the project are the Stockton East Water District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, California Department of Fish and Game and California Department of Water Resources. (09/06/2011)
    Stockton East Water District Press Release...
DWR Announces $204.9 Million Award in Proposition 84 IRWM Implementation Grants
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has awarded $204.9 million in Proposition 84 Implementation Grant Funding to 25 applicants. This is part of the first round of DWR’s Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Implementation Grant Program. DWR Director Mark Cowin approved the final funding awards on August 16. The grant funding will support approximately 190 individual projects, located throughout California, with an estimated total project cost of approximately $1 billion. IRWM Regions will use the funds to implement water supply, water quality, stormwater management, flood management, water conservation, watershed protection, ecosystem restoration, groundwater/conjunctive use, and water recycling projects. (08/19/2011)
    News Release...
Draft Environmental Study for Salton Sea Habitat Released
Secretary for Natural Resources, John Laird, announced today the release of the draft Salton Sea Species Conservation Habitat (SCH) Project Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR). The release of the study, which was prepared jointly with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, opens a 60-day public comment period on the SCH Project, including alternative methods of restoring habitat at the Salton Sea and their impacts. (08/17/2011)
    News Release...
DWR Director Mark Cowin Issues Statement on the Passing of Tom Clark
The death of Tom Clark, longtime leader of the Kern County Water Agency (KCWA), is mourned by water officials who worked closely with him. On behalf of DWR, I extend our sympathies to his family. KCWA’s General Manager from 1990 to 2005, Clark was an influential leader among State Water Project contractors, especially in efforts to improve water supply reliability. During this era, he worked closely with David Kennedy, DWR Director from 1983-1998. After severe drought conditions led to a 1991 cutoff of agricultural water to State Water Project contractors, Clark helped develop strategies to improve water supply reliability. These efforts helped produce the Bay-Delta Accord of 1994. Clark was also instrumental also in negotiating the 1994 Monterey Amendments to state water contracts, resolving with DWR several issues of concern to water agencies. A 30-year KCWA employee, Clark retired in 2005, but continued to make valuable contributions to California water policy and programs. (07/25/2011)
Delta Levees Program Draft Mitigation Credits Project
DWR's Delta Levees Program is releasing a draft Project Solicitation Package for the Bulk Acquisition of Mitigation Credits. The Delta Levees Program wants to purchase existing, Wildlife Agency-approved mitigation credits that will then be available for Local Agencies participating in the Program to purchase. The intent is for the Local Agencies to satisfy their mitigation obligations due to levee maintenance and repair habitat impacts at a cost savings. All comments are due to the Delta Levees Program by COB Friday, September 2, 2011. Comments and questions should be directed to Jennifer Hogan, DWR Staff Environmental Scientist, Delta Ecosystem Enhancement Program, FESSRO, 1416 Ninth Street Room 1641, Sacramento, CA 95814, jhogan@water.ca.gov, 916-651-7005. (07/20/2011)
    Project Website......
Moderate Feather River Flow Increases in Oroville This Week Will Benefit Fish
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) tonight will increase flows in the Feather River through the City of Oroville to benefit Spring-run Chinook salmon. Flows will rise from 600 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 2,500 cfs by sunrise Tuesday. (06/20/2011)
    Press Release...
Notice of Intent to File a CEQA Document
The objectives of the project are to rehabilitate the outfall gates structure and to upgrade its control mechanism by correcting existing deficiencies at the Knights Landing Outfall Gates and returning it to its designed operating parameters. (05/16/2011)
    Announcement Memorandum...
California Water Commission to meet - May 18
The California Water Commission will hold a regular meeting on May 18 in Sacramento. This meeting will be open to the public. Please see the attached meeting notice and agenda for more information. (05/06/2011)
    Agenda ...
DWR Announces Results of Final Snow Survey of 2010-2011Season
Manual and electronic readings today show that California’s near-record snowpack is slowly melting with warming spring weather. But snowpack water content is still 144 percent of the April 1 full season average. Today's readings will help hydrologists forecast spring and summer snowmelt runoff into rivers and reservoirs. The melting snow supplies approximately one-third of the water used by Californians. “All indications are that we’re moving toward summer with a good water supply for our farms and cities,” said DWR Director Mark Cowin. “We must be aware, however, that California can quickly turn from wet to dry, and we can’t afford to forget the lessons of conservation that we learned in the 2007-2009 drought.” (05/02/2011)
    News Release...     Video (English)...     Video (Spanish)...
DWR's Fifth and Final Snow Survey of the 2010-2011 Season in Place for Next Week
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will conduct its fifth and final manual snow survey of the season, Monday, May 2, at 11 a.m. off Highway 50, near Echo Summit. Electronic readings currently indicate that snowpack water content has dipped, as anticipated, to 151 percent of the April 1, full season average. May snow survey figures are normally lower than April readings, and used to forecast the spring and summer runoff. April 1 readings recorded 165 percent of the April 1 full season average, due to heavy storms in late February and March. (04/28/2011)
    News Release...
State Water Project Allocation Increased to 80 Percent
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today increased the 2011 State Water Project (SWP) water allocation to 80 percent of contractors' requests, up 30 percent from last year's final allocation. "This is very good news," said DWR Director Mark Cowin. "Near-record precipitation and water content in our mountain snowpack have given us a good supply year. We should not forget, however, that this state can slip back toward drought conditions any given year and conservation needs to be a lifelong habit." This year's allocation is 3,337,701 acre-feet. In 2010, the State Water Project delivered 2,086,000 acre-feet, 50 percent of a requested 4,172,126 acre-feet, up from a record-low initial projection of 5 percent due to lingering effects of the 2007-2009 drought. (04/20/2011)
    News Release...
California Water Commission to meet - April 20
The California Water Commission will hold a regular meeting on April 20 in Sacramento. This meeting will be open to the public and webcast live. Please see the attached meeting notice and agenda for more information. (04/08/2011)
    Agenda ...     Webcast...     More Information...
DWR Announces Results of Fourth Snow Survey of 2010-2011 Season
Department of Water Resources (DWR) hydrologists today announced that water content in California's mountain snowpack is 165 percent of the April 1 full season average. "Recent storms have significantly contributed to the above-average snowpack, helping to stabilize California's water supply for the year," said DWR Director Mark Cowin. "While this is beneficial for California's farms, businesses and communities, we remind residents to practice sensible water use and conservation as we transition to warmer weather." (03/30/2011)
    News Release...     Video (English)...     Video (Spanish)...
DWR's Fourth Snow Survey of 2010-2011 Season Set for Next Week
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will conduct its fourth manual snow survey, Wednesday, March 30, at 11 a.m. near Echo Summit off Highway 50. "We are looking at a good water supply year as we prepare for this summer's peak demand period," said DWR Director Mark Cowin. "This is great news so long as we can control floodwaters. Our up-and-down cycles -- drought followed by flood threats -- remind us that assuring an adequate water supply in California is always a juggling act, and we can't afford to forget the lessons of conservation even in brief periods of plenty." (03/25/2011)
    News Release...
State Water Project Allocation Increases to 70 Percent
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today increased the 2011 State Water Project (SWP) allocation to 70 percent of contractors' requests, up 10 percent from the January figure. "As a result of recent precipitation and good water supply conditions, we have increased the allocation,” said DWR Director Mark Cowin. "However, we will continue to conservatively plan for future water needs as we progress through the remainder of the rainy season." The State Water Project water allocation will increase from 2,503,276 acre-feet to 2,920,488 acre-feet attributable to recent precipitation, runoff and the above-average snowpack. (03/16/2011)
    News Release...
California Water Commission to meet - March 16
The California Water Commission will hold a regular meeting on March 16 in Sacramento. This meeting will be open to the public and webcast live. Please see the attached meeting notice and agenda for more information. (03/04/2011)
    Meeting Notice and Agenda...     Webcast ...
DWR Announces Results of Third Snow Survey of 2010-2011 Season
Department of Water Resources (DWR) hydrologists today confirmed that water content in California’s mountain snowpack is well above average. Manual and electronic readings indicate that statewide, water content is 124 percent of normal for the date, and 109 percent of the April 1 seasonal average. (03/01/2011)
    Press Release...     Video...     Video [español]...
DWR Schedules Third Snow Survey of 2010-2011 Season
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will conduct its third manual snow survey of the winter at 11 a.m., Tuesday, March 1 near Echo Summit on Highway 50, not far from Lake Tahoe. (02/24/2011)
    Public Release...
CVFPP Program Environmental Impact Report Scoping Report Released
The Final Public Scoping Report for the 2012 CVFPP Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) documents scoping activities that occurred for development of the PEIR. It describes the scoping process steps, including the October 27, 2010, release of the Notice of Preparation, the location and results of scoping meetings, and the comments received during this process. (02/24/2011)
    Download the CVFPP PEIR (PDF, 10MB)...
DWR Hopes Underwater Light and Sound Show Will Keep Salmon in Safer Waters
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) hopes that underwater strobe lights and offensive electronic sounds contained within a curtain of bubbles will keep migrating salmon on the straight-and-narrow in the Delta. The "bubble barrier" is intended to deter ocean-bound Chinook salmon from leaving the main channel of the Sacramento River near Walnut Grove to take a risky detour into Georgiana Slough. Georgiana Slough leads young salmon through the predator-infested waters of the interior Delta toward huge state and federal water export pumps. (02/23/2011)
    News Release...
Renewable Energy for the State Water Project
The Department of Water Resources is taking action to develop renewable energy in an effort to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and achieve AB 32 goals. In addition to executing power contracts for the output from wind and solar projects constructed by others, DWR is exploring ways it can develop solar on its own property. (02/11/2011)
    Read more...
DWR Awards Grant to Combat Chromium 6 in Drinking Water
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has awarded a $2.5 million grant to the City of Glendale to conduct a pilot study on lowering chromium 6 levels in the city’s drinking water. Hexavalent chromium (chromium 6), the chemical made famous by the 2000 film "Erin Brockovich" and labeled a “probable carcinogen” by U.S. National Institute of Health, has affected Glendale’s drinking water for over a decade. Results of the DWR-funded pilot study will help the State establish a specific standard for chromium 6 in drinking water. (02/08/2011)
    News Release...
California Water Commission to meet - February 16
The California Water Commission will hold a regular meeting on February 16 in Sacramento. This meeting will be open to the public and webcast live. Please see the attached meeting notice and agenda for more information. (02/04/2011)
    Meeting Notice and Agenda...     Webcast ...
DWR Announces Results of Second Snow Survey of 2010-2011 Season
Manual and electronic readings today indicate that California’s mountain snowpack is holding above average water content despite a dry January. Statewide, real-time sensors show that snowpack water content is 78 percent of the April 1 seasonal average. This compares to an average reading of 55 percent for today’s date. The above-average readings are due to heavy storms in October, November and December. January so far has recorded only about 13 percent of average precipitation for the month. “We are still optimistic for a good water supply, but realize that we can come up short any given year,” said DWR Director Mark Cowin. “Our unpredictable weather and delivery restrictions make it clear that conservation must always be one of our top priorities."DWR estimates it will be able to deliver 60 percent of requested State Water Project (SWP) water this year. The estimate will be adjusted as hydrologic and regulatory conditions continue to develop. (01/28/2011)
    News Release...     Video...
DWR Schedules Second Snow Survey of 2010-2011 Season
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will conduct its second manual snow survey of the winter at 11 a.m. Friday, January 28, near Lake Tahoe. Electronic readings indicate that snowpack water content has changed little this month, so far gaining only about an inch since January 1. The water content is 79 percent of the April 1 seasonal average. This compares to an average reading of 55 percent for today’s date. (01/25/2011)
    News Release...
State Water Project Allocation Increases to 60 Percent
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today increased its projected 2011 deliveries of State Water Project water to 60 percent of contractors' requests, up 10 percent from the December forecast. In 2010, the State Water Project (SWP) delivered 50 percent of a requested 4,172,126 acre-feet, up from a record-low initial projection of 5 percent due to lingering effects of the 2007-2009 drought. "Today's allocation increase reflects robust early winter precipitation and an impressive Sierra snowpack," said DWR Director Mark Cowin. "But prudent water planning dictates caution as we monitor the rest of California's rainy season." (01/21/2011)
    News Release...
Dec. 9 Valleywide Forum Materials Available
The Central Valley Flood Management Planning Program Valleywide Forum was held on Thursday, December 9, 2010, in West Sacramento and via live webcast. The forum marked the end of Phase 2 in the development of the 2012 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan (CVFPP). The forum’s purpose was to develop a common understanding among agency partners, work group members, and other event participants about the status and expected content of the 2012 CVFPP and the role of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Central Valley Integrated Flood Management Study in the context of managing flood risk in California’s Central Valley. Please use the link below to view the webcast and access documents presented at the forum. (01/10/2011)
    Valleywide Forum Agenda...     Presentation: FloodSAFE Update...     Presentation: CVFMP Program Update...     Presentation: CV Integrated Flood Mgmt. Study...     Valleywide Forum Webcast...
California Water Commission to meet January 19, 2011
The California Water Commission will hold a regular meeting in Sacramento on January 19, 2011. For more information, please follow the link to the Commission's website. (01/07/2011)
    California Water Commission...     Meeting Notice and Agenda ...