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ACWA digital

ACWA’s • Member • Newsletter    

San Luis Reservoir was at just 18% of capacity on July 17. The unusually dry year and pumping restrictions in the Delta are to blame. Photo by Chris Austin.

Declining Reservoirs Raise Alarm for California’s Water Supply if 2014 Is Another Dry Year Some of California’s reservoirs continue to drop this summer to levels not seen in several years, a consequence of the extremely dry winter and spring, and pumping restrictions in the Delta. Water managers and state officials have been careful to avoid using the “D-word,” but a drought might be on the way next year if conditions don’t improve. Some places are in worse shape than others. Agricultural irrigators in the Central Valley are being forced to make tough choices, with key storage south of the Delta in San Luis Reser-

voir projected to be at a record low level at the end of the month — even lower than during a dry spell in 1977. As of July 31, San Luis was filled to only 16% of its total capacity, just 31% of average for the date. New Melones reservoir east of Stockton also is expected to drop to its lowest level since 1995. On July 31, New Melones was less than half full, only 80% of average for the date. Tom Boardman, the chief hydrologist for the San Luis and Delta-Mendota Water Authority, said reservoirs across California are being Reservoir Continued on page 6

ACWA Board Approves CEQA Modernization Principles, Receives Water Bond Update The ACWA Board of Directors approved draft policy principles for modernizing the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and heard updates on the 2014 water bond and other topics at its July 26 meeting in Sacramento. Board members also heard a report on implementation of ACWA’s Reorganization and Revitalization Plan, which launched a little over a year ago on July 1, 2012. Steady progress has been made to improve the organization’s staff structure, operations, effectiveness and culture over the past year, with results readily visible throughout the association,

ACWA Deputy Director for External Affairs and Operations Jennifer Persike reported at the start of the meeting. Progress also is being made to advance the 2013 Strategic and Business Plan adopted by the Board earlier this year, Persike said.

CEQA Principles Approved The CEQA modernization policy principles, developed by a working group launched at the direction of the Board in March, are aimed at guiding ACWA’s position and input on legislative proposals to amend or “modernize” CEQA. ACWA Board meeting Continued on page 5

2 Volume 41 | Digital August 2, 2013

Spreading the Word on the Water-Energy Connection


Plan Approved to Improve Disbursement of Safe Drinking Water Funds


Water-Wise Landscaping Featured at the California State Fair


August is ACWA’s Inaugural Member Appreciation Month

ACWA News is a publication of the Association of California Water Agencies 910 K Street, Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95814-3512 Periodicals postage paid at Sacramento, CA. POSTMASTER: send address changes and subscription requests to ACWA News, 910 K Street, Suite 100 Sacramento, CA 95814-3514 Phone: 916.441.4545 Fax: 916.561.7124 Website: Executive Director Timothy Quinn Deputy Executive Director for External Affairs and Operations Jennifer Persike Director of Communications Lisa Lien-Mager Communications Specialist Pamela Martineau Communications Specialist Matt Williams Graphic Designer Katherine Causland Outreach & Social Media Specialist Ellen Martin Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved. Call ACWA for Permission to Reprint. USPS 334030 Digital Only

Questions on Classified Ads? ACWA public agency members may post job descriptions, RFPs, items for sale and other miscellaneous classified ads in ACWA News and/ or online at More information is at or contact Director of Communications Lisa Lien-Mager at or 916.441.4545. Connect with us:


Vol. 41 | Digital

Spreading the Word on the Water-Energy Connection This Summer in California By Jennifer Persike, ACWA Deputy Executive Director for External Affairs and Operations For many Californians, the long hot days of summer are synonymous with air conditioners and outdoor watering. While everyone knows it takes energy to run that air conditioner, few people realize it takes energy to deliver water to homes and businesses. This summer, water agencies and electric utilities are teaming up to remind consumers of the link between water and energy use, especially during heat waves, when demand for both energy and water are highest. The message is especially important in 2013 due to dry conditions and the permanent shut-down of a key electricity generation station in Southern California. In mid-May, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research reached out to ACWA to enlist our support in an outreach effort reminding consumers to save both water and energy this summer. Since then, ACWA has been working with representatives of the Governor’s Office, the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE), water agencies and electric utilities to develop and coordinate a statewide education and outreach program that launched last week. The effort, branded “Save Water & Energy This Summer,” asks consumers to be especially conservation-minded to help keep the electric grid stable and reliable during hot weather. The branding for the effort features the familiar “Save Our Water” logo as well as the “Energy Upgrade California” logo for a program coordinated by the CCSE. The Save Our Water website serves as the primary portal for information on how consumers can save water, while the Energy Upgrade California website is the portal for specific energy-saving information.

ACWA members and electric utilities are working to get the word out through a variety of channels this summer to help stretch our water supply and lessen the strain on the electricity grid during peak times. A key message is that heavy water use at peak times during hot weather means additional energy demand. And when energy demand exceeds the energy available, we risk an interruption in service. The good news is that consumers can help manage peak energy demands in California by turning off all unnecessary lights, postponing use of major appliances until after 6 p.m., and turning the air conditioning thermostat up to 78° or higher. They can also hold off on washing dishes and clothes during the hottest part of the day, and save outdoor water use for the early morning hours. Consumers can check with their local water agencies for specific advice on when it’s best to water outdoors. To help ACWA members spread the word, a communications toolkit is available at with an array of materials and resources, including a sample mailer, sample blog, sample newsletter, sample messaging options, graphics, fact sheets and additional resources. All of the materials — except the logo — can be adapted by ACWA members. This week, Spanish-language materials have been added to the toolkit. I encourage ACWA members to make use of the tools and help get the word out this summer. Together, we can help Californians enjoy summer while keeping the electric grid stable and conserving our water resources during those inevitable heat waves.

State Relations

Plan Approved to Improve Disbursement of Safe Drinking Water Funds The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in late July approved the corrective action plan submitted by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) that aims to double the rate of disbursement of funds from the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. In a letter dated July 23, Jared Blumenfeld, regional administrator for U.S. EPA Region 9, notified Ron Chapman, director of CDPH, that the EPA approves of the plan CDPH developed to improve disbursement of funds from the State Revolving Fund. “The EPA appreciates the CDPH’s responsiveness to the EPA notice of non-compliance and the changes in program management and financial oversight reflected in the approved corrective action plan,” Blumenfeld wrote in the letter. “Implementation of the CAP will advance our mutual goal of optimizing use of the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program to provide

safe drinking water and improve public health throughout California,” Blumenfeld continued. Under the terms of the CAP, the CDPH will disburse at least $878 million by June 30, 2016. This reflects a more than doubling of the CDPH’s current rate of disbursement. In an April 19 letter to the CDPH, EPA noted $455 million in unspent federal funds allocated to the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund as of September 2012. The EPA issued a notice of non-compliance to CDPH for its unspent federal funds and requested the department submit a CAP. The CDPH’s subsequent action plan reflected the distribution of $84 million by the end of June of this year to water projects across the state. The department will disburse nearly $200 million in total funds in fiscal year 2013-14 and in the following two fiscal years, will disburse an additional $600 million to assist water systems, putting the

DPH on track to meet the targets set by EPA, according to the terms of the CAP. According to a statement by CDPH, numerous changes have been made to improve the flow of funding assistance to communities. Changes include offering funding for planning as well as construction, facilitating greater opportunity for grant funding for public water systems that serve disadvantaged and severely disadvantaged communities, and streamlining the application processes. “The increased focus on building small water system capacity will help those projects to become shovel-ready sooner,” Chapman wrote in a June 24 letter to the EPA. “In short, CDPH will maximize the use of all available funds for drinking water projects, while still supporting the needs and addressing the unique funding challenges faced by small water systems in disadvantaged communities.” The corrective action plan is available on the CDPH website.

AB 145 Set for Aug. 12 Hearing in Senate Appropriations Committee An ACWA-opposed bill that would move the state’s entire drinking water program from the Department of Public Health to the State Water Resources Control Board has been set for an Aug. 12 hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill, by Assembly Member Henry Perea (D-Fresno), seeks to assist disadvantaged communities that are currently without a sustainable supply of safe drinking water. Opponents of the bill, including ACWA, the California Municipal Utilities Association, the California Water Association and the Health Officers Association of California, believe that moving the entire drinking water program to the State Board would

undermine the program’s focus on public health, disrupt key functions and force the program to compete with other critical priorities before the State Board.

are continuing on a number of fronts to seek an outcome that works for water agencies. ACWA members should stay tuned for updates in the near future.

ACWA and other opponents are calling for the bill to be amended to focus on improving management of the state’s Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF). They suggest a more targeted solution would be to transfer only the administration of the SRF to the State Board, while leaving the rest of the drinking water program at CDPH.

ACWA is requesting that its members send opposition letters on AB 145 to the Senate Appropriations Committee no later than Aug. 5.

The Brown Administration recently indicated it supports moving the entire program to the State Board. Discussions

Visit ACWA’s online Outreach Center to edit and send the sample letter to members of the committee. Questions on AB 145 may be directed to Cindy Tuck, ACWA’s Deputy Executive Director for Government Relations, at

August 2, 2013 • 3

ACWA Board Meeting & Workshop

(From left to right): (L-photo) ACWA Vice President John Coleman; Paul Gosselin, director of the Department of Water and Resource Conservation, Butte County; Dave Orth, general manager, Kings River Conservation District, and ACWA President Randy Record participate in a panel on groundwater conditions at a special Board workshop July 25. (center photo) Board members listen to panelists at ACWA’s Board workshop. (R-photo) Debbie Davis, community and rural affairs advisor for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research; ACWA Energy Committee Chair Martha Davis and ACWA President Randy Record participate in a panel on the water-energy nexus.

ACWA Board Briefed on Statewide Water Action Plan, Groundwater Issues and Water-Energy Nexus at July 25 Half-Day Workshop The status of a statewide water action plan, regional groundwater challenges and efforts to educate consumers about the water-energy nexus were the focus of a half-day workshop July 25 for the ACWA Board of Directors. Department of Water Resources Director Mark Cowin joined a panel of ACWA members discussing the statewide water action plan, a framework currently being drafted to identify statewide actions that can be broadly supported by the water community. ACWA and the Department of Water Resources have been convening a series of informal meetings this summer to produce a succinct plan that can serve as a sustainable path forward for California. The draft plan taking shape outlines actions such as expanding surface and groundwater storage capacity, increasing water use efficiency, protecting water rights, promoting improved regional self-reliance and enhancing water quality. The goal is to complete the plan later this summer and transmit it to the Department of Water Resources. The process is one of many avenues through which DWR is seeking input from stakeholders, including conservation groups, on a statewide plan. Cowin described the effort as an “opportunity to help set Governor Brown’s agenda.” “This is a good opportunity to refo4 • ACWA NEWS

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cus what we are doing and prioritize,” said Cowin, who noted the action plan process represents the first time since the comprehensive legislative water package was crafted in 2009 that members of the water community have worked together to set statewide goals. Various members of ACWA have been meeting to discuss principles that might be included in the plan. Jeff Kightlinger, general manager of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, said many agencies have been focused on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, but the fact is there are many other issues that must be addressed. “At the end of the day we have a host of issues statewide that we have to tackle and address,” Kightlinger said. Dave Brent, director of utilities for the City of Sacramento, said “we’ve got to commit to a statewide solution.” “There are problems that we need to deal with right now and solutions that are available to us,” said Brent. Board members also heard from a three-member panel that outlined challenges in managing local groundwater resources. Moderator Dave Orth, general manager of the Kings River Conservation District, said a “perfect storm” of “dry conditions, reduced surface water reliability and growth in demand” has led to increased

pressure on groundwater and increased subsidence. Orth said the California Water Plan Update, which is expected to be released in draft form by DWR later this year, will include assessments of every groundwater basin in the state. “ACWA saw this coming,” Orth said of the new state groundwater assessment, adding that the association “created the groundwater framework to make the case that local and regional groundwater management are the preferred alternatives.” Chris White, general manager of the Central California Irrigation District, described how his agency is working with local landowners to reduce groundwater pumping and subsidence. He said his agency is trying to deliver water to landowners and growers so they can use it in lieu of pumping. Mark Larson, general manager of Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District, described subsidence of about 10 inches a year in some parts of his district. Some cities have taken steps to address the problem, he said. The City of Visalia passed an ordinance requiring developers who want to develop land to pay a fee to pay for water purchases to make up for lost water from agricultural recharge due to development. Martha Davis, chair of the ACWA Energy Committee, introduced a panel that talked about a new public education Continued on page 5

ACWA Board Meeting & Workshop Continued from page 4

campaign that was launched by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, ACWA and the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE). The effort seeks to educate consumers about the link between water and energy use. “We think it’s the beginning of a lot of opportunity over the years to communicate with consumers about conserving these two resources,” said Siobhan Foley, director of education and outreach at CCSE. Heather Sanders, director of regulatory affairs for the California Independent

System Operator, described how the grid is changing as renewables such as solar and wind power become a larger part of the state’s energy portfolio. “We need to think about how we use energy,” Sanders said. “Traditional usage patterns don’t match with when these sources are available.” Kevin Wattier, general manager of the Long Beach Water Department, said half of the city’s water comes from groundwater, while the other half is imported through Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The two sources are

very different in terms of their energy portfolio, he said. “We can turn our system from all MWD to all groundwater in 30 minutes because we have a lot of storage,” he said, noting that the city “can shift a few megawatts” of energy usage without too much difficulty. “That’s not huge, but it’s not meaningless, either,” Wattier said. Sanders and other speakers suggested the changing grid creates opportunities for water agencies and others to look for more flexibility in their systems to respond to new supply and demand profiles.

ACWA Board Meeting Continued from page 1

The working group held its first meeting May 2 and met several times subsequently. Following Board input given at its May 31 meeting, the principles were modified to avoid being Delta focused, to ensure that water agency projects are not held up by other agencies and to add energy infrastructure and plans.

Government Relations Update ACWA Deputy Executive Director for Government Relations Cindy Tuck briefed the Board on the timing of negotiations for a 2014 water bond. Tuck said it is unclear whether negotiations will start in earnest in August or September, be part of a special session or be put over until next year. Tuck noted that the Board directed staff earlier this year to support reductions to the current $11.14 billion bond measure while prioritizing funding for elements that have statewide significance. Funding for additional surface and groundwater storage remains a key element, she said. ACWA’s go-forward direction on the bond generally has been well received in meetings with legislators and others, she said. Executive Director Timothy Quinn has briefed ACWA members around the state on the go-forward direction, and the association also has provided comments to Assembly Member Anthony

Rendon (D-Lakewood) on bond principles developed by Assembly Democrats earlier this summer.

External Affairs and Operations Update In other action, the Board approved an implementation proposal for a new customer relations management software system that will improve ACWA’s overall data management and service to members. Persike, ACWA’s deputy executive director for external affairs and operations, said the new CRM system ultimately will result in significant annual savings by allowing the organization to consolidate some functions, such as online event registration and grassroots outreach, currently handled through contracts with outside vendors. “It’s going to give us everything we need to handle all of our member contacts, all of our events…” said Persike. “It will allow us instant, up-to-date information.” Persike also updated the Board on ACWA’s role in a new public education and outreach program that seeks to educate consumers about the connection between water usage and energy usage. The effort, which rolled out in mid-July, was developed through a partnership that includes the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, ACWA and the

California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE). “The Governor’s Office approached ACWA in May to assist with the messaging and reaching out to ACWA members,” said Persike, adding that ACWA assisted in developing a communications toolkit for utilities and water agencies to use for outreach. “It was a very quick effort, but very important,” Persike said, adding the effort likely will continue in 2014. Information and materials are available on ACWA’s website. Persike also updated the Board on the status of the new Powerhouse Science Center in Sacramento, currently in the planning stages. “Water right now is getting the most attention,” she said of the planned exhibits. “The Liquid Gold exhibit will be the first among eight galleries to be completed at the Powerhouse.” The center will break ground early next year. On another topic, the Board agreed to appoint a work group to review and evaluate ACWA’s sponsorship program as well as its Preferred Provider Program and recommend potential changes to improve the programs and enhance non-dues revenue. The work group is expected to begin meeting this fall. August 2, 2013 • 5

State Fair

Water-Wise Landscaping Featured at the California State Fair in July The Save Our Water program hosted an exhibit and garden at this year’s California State Fair July 12-28 in Sacramento. The exhibit focused on the basics of waterefficient landscaping with its theme: “Water-Wise Landscaping: It’s as Easy as 1-2-3.” The exhibit was located in The Farm section of the Cal Expo fairgrounds. Visitors learned the three easy steps of water-wise landscaping:

• Step 1: Be Efficient (fix broken sprinklers, install drip, check sprinklers, etc.) • Step 2: Be Smart (invest in a smart controller) • Step 3: Be Green (pick the right plants, shrink lawn, use mulch) In addition to the educational exhibit, fairgoers visited the beautiful Save Our Water demonstration gardens, which are planted with water-wise plants and use

drip irrigation to maximize plant health and minimize water use. This year the garden featured plants donated by the Sunset Western Garden Collection. Throughout the fair’s run, Save Our Water hosted workshops on waterwise gardening basics, water-efficient irrigation, how to select water-wise plants, and more. Speakers included experts from Toro, Rain Bird, Sunset Western Garden Collection and the Regional Water Authority. In addition, children had an opportunity to learn how to plant water-wise plants through a hands-on planting activity hosted by the Department of Water Resources. For more information on the Save Our Water exhibit and demonstration garden, visit the “About Us” section on the Save Our Water website at

Reservoir Continued from page 1

tapped hard, and that concern is real about the water supply for 2014. “There is virtually no cushion going into next year,” Boardman said. San Luis should end up with about 300,000 acre-feet at the end of the season, which Boardman said is actually more than what was projected this spring. The region should be able to survive the rest of the year because it’s the tail end of the growing season and there is less demand for water, he said. But even with an average water year in 2014, it might take several months to restore storage levels, Boardman said. And there’s always a chance that pumping restrictions designed to protect Delta smelt could be imposed as they were this year, preventing Delta water from moving into San Luis. “The worries for next year are just as much about the fish problem as they are about the flows,” Boardman said. It’s not just a local issue. The State Water Resources Control Board recently notified water diverters of a surface water shortage for 2013 and encouraged them 6 • ACWA NEWS

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to implement appropriate conservation measures. In the July 15 notice, the State Water Board said permit, license and registration holders may have their water diversions restricted if water supply conditions don’t improve. “In view of the current hydrologic situation, water in the fall for uses such as planting winter crops may only be available to the most senior water right holders,” the notice said. “In addition, the State Water Resources Control Board believes that it is important to remind all water right holders that these conditions may continue into the next year. It may even become necessary in some parts of the state to restrict more senior water rights, such as riparian rights or pre-1914 rights.” Concerns extend into the north state, where major reservoirs such as Shasta, Oroville and Trinity are all at below average levels. The Bureau of Reclamation is reducing flows from Lake Shasta in an attempt to protect the cold water pool needed to protect spawning salmon.

Meanwhile, officials believe Folsom Lake will drop to its lowest level in five years by the end of the year, with only 241,000 acre-feet — about a quarter full. San Juan Water District, which draws its supply from Folsom Lake, notes that the projection is well below the 400,000 feet the lake held going into a severe drought in 1976 and 1977. “If Reclamation continues to drop the lake as planned and we don’t have a wet winter, our customers will be in serious trouble next year,” the water district said in a July 16 notice. Southern California water agencies also are cognizant of the challenges ahead. Metropolitan Water District plans to draw 500,000 acre-feet this year of its 2.7 million in combined surface and groundwater storage to cope with the dry conditions. The same amount could be tapped in 2014 if precipitation doesn’t come. “It goes to show how quickly things can change,” Brent Yamasaki, MWD’s operations and planning manager, said about California’s water outlook.

State Fair

Exhibit Honoring the Late Huell Howser a Big Draw at State Fair Thousands of Californians who attended the State Fair this year learned about the legacy of the late TV host Huell Howser, who worked in partnership with ACWA for several years on the popular public television series California’s Water. His life’s work was on display at the fair in a new 1,000-square-foot exhibit space called “That’s Amazing: A Celebration of Huell Howser.” The exhibit featured memorabilia from Howser’s many TV

episodes, photographs chronicling his life and career, clips from his shows — even a life-size cardboard cutout of the larger-than-life TV host, who was known for his unwavering enthusiasm and homespun sayings. Howser succumbed to cancer in January. He donated his archives and personal effects to Chapman University, which has launched a website where all of Howser’s TV episodes, including the flagship California’s Gold series, can be

viewed free of charge. The university also is awarding an endowed scholarship in Howser’s name In recognition of Howser’s vital role as a champion of California water issues, ACWA recently renamed its Huell Howser Best in Blue Award, which honors outstanding public water agency efforts in communicating with customers, legislators, media, the public and others.

Calling All Nominations ACWA

Emissary award 2013 Recognizing Remarkable Contributions


The award recognizes individual ACWA member volunteers who have advanced ACWA’s mission and goals through their direct involvement. Individuals demonstrate: • Leadership in the course of service on ACWA committees • Advocacy / outreach at local, state and / or federal levels • Commitment of time and expertise for the benefit of an ACWA program or issue

Who Is Eligible?

Any ACWA committee member, ACWA region board member or ACWA Board member who is employed by an ACWA public agency member is eligible to nominate any staff, consultant or board member of an ACWA public agency member.

When Are Nominations Due?

Nominations must be received at the ACWA offices by September 3, 2013. An official nomination form and further details about the award, eligibility and selection process are available at

2012 Chet Anderson 2011 Greg Zlotnick 2010

David Orth

2009 Randy Fiorini 2008 Jess Senecal August 2, 2013 • 7


A New Dynamic Map Is Available for Tracing America’s Rivers The National Atlas of the United States has introduced a new online tool that traces the downstream and upstream paths of America’s major rivers and streams.

The online service, called Streamer, is organized much like popular websites and phone apps that give road directions with a highlighted route. One big

difference though, is that streams are only one-way. Water flows downhill. Users can search Streamer in a variety of ways, including latitude and longitude coordinates, stream or place names, the identification numbers of stream gages, and more. When a trace is inputted, Streamer feeds back data such as the origin stream; the outlet water body; the elevation start and finish; and the number of state and localities the traced stream passes through. Streamer is powered by hydrographic data at one million-scale (an inch is approximately 15.8 miles on the land surface). Development of the national atlas is led by the U.S. Geologic Survey’s National Geospatial Program.

AB 72 Will Reduce ‘Lame Duck’ Period on Water District Boards A bill sponsored by Three Valleys Municipal Water District to reduce water board members’ “lame duck” period passed unanimously through both houses of the state Legislature and was signed in

Assembly Member Chris Holden (left) and Three Valleys Municipal Water District Board President Bob Kuhn (right) celebrate the successful signing of AB 72.


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June by Gov. Jerry Brown. Taking effect in January 2014, Assembly Bill 72 amends Section 71253 of the Water Code pertaining to the timing in which elected directors of municipal water districts are sworn into office. Existing state statute required that newly elected members not be sworn in until the first Monday after January 1, nearly 60 days after the election. Assembly Bill 72 requires newly elected members to be sworn in on the first Friday in December, after certification of the election. Authored by Assembly Members Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) and Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina), AB 72 generated bipartisan support with multiple co-authors from both houses at the Capitol, including Assembly Members Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills) and Ian Calderon (D-Whittier), along with State Sens. Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) and Carol Liu (D-La Canada Flintridge).

AB 72 was created to address the dilemma of municipal water district board members who continue to serve for two months after the voters have selected a replacement. In some instances, the outgoing directors may be disinclined to productively carry out the people’s business during their remaining time in office. Along with a large number of supporting municipal water districts, county water districts and surrounding cities, AB 72 received the support of the ACWA, the California Special Districts Association (CSDA) and the California Municipal Utilities Association (CMUA). TVMWD Board President Bob Kuhn noted, “AB 72 establishes good governance and restores consistency within the Water Code. We commend the Governor’s signing of this bill and appreciate the Legislature’s foresight in moving so rapidly to make AB 72 a success.”

For more than 100 years, ACWA has provided leadership and a unified voice as California has confronted the biggest water issues of the day. Over the years, the association has grown, evolved and adapted through the participation and unwavering commitment of its membership. ACWA would not be what it is today without you. August is ACWA’s inaugural Member Appreciation Month, a time when we’ll reflect on how fortunate we are to work with such passionate, dedicated and knowledgeable people within our 440-plus member agencies. We are truly lucky to work with you in advancing ACWA’s core mission: delivering high quality water to the cities, farms and businesses of California.


you — The staff of ACWA


Western MWD Holds Down Water, Sewer Rates with Solar Power Western Municipal Water District (WMWD) celebrated its new solar panel array at the district’s El Sobrante Operations Center on July 18. The 916-kilowatt solar power system is expected to deliver up to $4.6 million in savings over the next two decades. In 2009, WMWD contracted with a developer to open a 1-megawatt solar power system at the Western Riverside County Wastewater Treatment Plant, a WMWD-administrated and operated joint powers authority facility. WMWD financed the system through a power purchase agreement. Under terms of the agreement, a bank owns the system that a private company designed, built, and will operate and maintain. WMWD is buying the electricity at rates that are competitive with retail electricity, minimizing the effect of rising electricity costs with no capital investment. WMWD will not retain the renewable

energy credits associated with the system.

services we provide to our customers.”

“Hosting solar panels that will save an estimated $110,000 per year in electricity costs was an easy decision,” said WMWD’s GM John Rossi. “The investment will help hold down our rates for the

WMWD’s new system is expected to avoid 944 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, according to information provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

CVWD Celebrates Smart Irrigation Month with Outreach Effort Smart Irrigation Month, initiated by the Irrigation Association, is celebrated every July to increase public awareness about water efficiency and water saving

irrigation devices. Cucamonga Valley Water District takes this opportunity to step up outreach efforts and remind the public to be aware of their water use during the warm summer months.

The Cucamonga Valley Water District (CVWD) celebrated Smart Irrigation Month by presenting a Proclamation to the Toro Company at its Board Meeting, July 23. From left to right: Martin E. Zvirbulis, GM/CEO; Luis Cetina, director; Kathleen J. Tiegs, director; Oscar Gonzalez, president; Mike Baron, Toro Company; James V. Curatalo Jr., vice president; Randall James Reed, director.


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CVWD customers can visit www. for plant lists, sample landscape designs, information on rebates, and a recommended seasonal watering schedule. Website visitors also will find useful tips about smart irrigation, as well as a list of available landscape workshops. CVWD provides all the materials necessary

for customers to be water efficient this summer and year round. “CVWD celebrates Smart Irrigation Month in July as a reminder to customers to make sure their sprinkler systems are working the way they should be,” said Oscar Gonzalez, President for the CVWD Board of Directors. “We are experiencing our warmest temperatures right now and not expecting rain any time soon. Customers are encouraged to do their part to save water at their homes every month, and checking your irrigation system this summer is a good place to start.” CVWD asks residents to join in the celebration by checking for broken and misaligned sprinkler heads — both big water-wasters. Customers also may consider installing water saving devices such as weather sensitive irrigation timers and high efficiency sprinkler heads, and to check to see if rebates are available.


Grant Received to Advance Sonoma Valley Groundwater Recharge The Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) has received a $158,000 grant from the Department of Water Resources to support the continued implementation of the Sonoma Valley Groundwater Management Program (GWMP). The grant will fund the construction of groundwater monitoring wells to evaluate the feasibility of techniques to recharge underground aquifers with wintertime Russian River water and local stormwater in Sonoma Valley.

County Supervisor and Water Agency Director Susan Gorin. “This is a key component to our groundwater management program.”

“This grant funding will help us explore integrated water management for the Sonoma Valley,” said Sonoma

Groundwater recharge is one component in a series of actions identified in the Sonoma Valley

SCWA is one of 26 applicants who will receive funding (from a competitive field of 98 statewide applications) from DWR, through the Local Groundwater Assistance (LGA) program. The LGA program is funded through Proposition 84, commonly known as the Safe Drinking Water Act.

GWMP, which was prepared in 2007 by local stakeholders. Among other recommendations, the GWMP identified groundwater recharge as a primary strategy to enhance the sustainability of the Sonoma Valley Groundwater Basin. In addition to aquifer recharge feasibility studies, the wells will increase the monitoring of groundwater levels and quality, and potential saline water intrusion. For more information on the LGA Program visit lgagrant/.

Pilot Program Addresses Wildfire Impact on Western Water A series of pilot projects in the western U.S. is aiming to reduce the impact of wildfires on regional water supplies, under a new public-private partnership announced July 19. In recent years, western water agencies and utilities have spent millions of dollars in the aftermath of large wildfires to repair facilities, treat water, dredge and control erosion. The accumulation of ash and debris in streams and reservoirs is a common problem. Through the newly created Western Watershed Enhancement Partnership, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of the Interior will work together with local water users and

agencies to identify and mitigate wildfire risks to the nation’s water supply, irrigation and hydroelectric facilities. The first pilot project is under way in northern Colorado, with five other projects planned in California, Arizona Idaho, Montana and Washington state. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the new program last Friday at an event in Fort Collins, Colo., near Horsetooth Reservoir. “This partnership will increase forest resilience, improve water quality, and reduce the risk of catastrophic damage from wildfire. This is good news for anyone who pays a water bill, and it is good

news for our environment,” Vilsack said. According to the USDA, the Western Watershed Enhancement Partnership’s goal is “to restore forest and watershed health and to proactively plan for postwildfire response actions intended to protect municipal and agricultural water supplies, infrastructures and facilities, water delivery capabilities and hydroelectric power generation.” The partnership is one facet of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan announced last month. The plan directs the federal government to take steps to cut carbon pollution and prepare the country for climate change impacts.

Got an outreach program worth talking about?

Calling for Entries

Enter your agency’s outstanding public relations efforts in ACWA’s Huell Howser Best in Blue Award this fall! The award recognizes outstanding achievements by public water agencies in communicating with customers, legislators, media and the public. The award will be presented at ACWA’s 2013 Fall Conference & Exhibition in Los Angeles. Entries must be submitted by Sept. 3. Details and entry forms are at

August 2, 2013 • 11


Recycled Water Retrofit Project Feted in Central Dublin Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) celebrated the completion of the Central Dublin Recycled Water Retrofit Project on July 29 at Kolb Park. The project extended the district’s network of recycled water pipelines and retrofitted sprinkler systems at parks and schools in central Dublin. Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti, representatives of state and federal legislators, the California Department of Water Resources, and others involved in obtaining and providing project funding attended the festivities. State and federal grants paid about 25% of the project’s $3.9 million cost. The Zone 7 Water Agency contributed $39,000 from state water conservation grants to retrofit sprinkler systems at the schools. “Water recycling plays the leading role in the water conservation story in Dublin and San Ramon,” said DSRSD Assistant

General Manager and District Engineer David Requa. “Nearly 20% of all the water used in the district in the last year was recycled, and that number will only go up as we complete more retrofits like the Central Dublin Project. Because our community has embraced recycled water, we are already meeting the state’s 2020 goal to reduce potable water use by 20% per person. In fact, as of June 2013, DSRSD has reduced its potable water use by 24.3%.” Recycled water distribution systems are completely separate from potable water systems and are colored purple for easy identification. DSRSD requires new developments to be plumbed from the start for recycled water irrigation at parks, schools, golf courses, commercial areas, and other large landscapes. Older neighborhoods in the DSRSD service area are being retrofitted as funding

Kolb Park is one of three parks in Central Dublin that now use recycled water for irrigation instead of scarce potable water.

becomes available. The Central Dublin Project was DSRSD’s first major retrofit. Contractors installed 1.5 miles of recycled water distribution pipes under residential streets last fall and converted sprinkler systems at the parks and schools in early 2013.


Positions Open General Manager Joshua Basin Water District Salary depending on experience and qualifications. Open until filled. Joshua Basin Water District (JBWD) is seeking a highly qualified and experienced individual for the position of General Manager. JBWD, a special district in the community of Joshua Tree, serves approximately 4,500 connections within a geographic area of about 100 square miles. JBWD is governed by a five-member Board of Directors and has about 20 employees. The ideal candidate: has a strong history of public sector management including experience in financial management and budgeting, operational analysis, staff development and team building, and program planning; has a proven record of leading and planning long- and shortrange efforts that involve multiple agencies and complex programs to achieve goals. A substantial track record demonstrating the ability to lead and succeed as general


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manager, assistant manager or equivalent high-level administrative position. Understands complex water supply and groundwater issues, with a focus on specific district functions and experience in wastewater treatment operations. Has a history of working with governing boards to establish clear channels of communication, build trust, define roles and develop positive, open relations. Demonstrated ability to develop solid Board/Management relations. A history of setting up systems and procedures that ensure accountability while providing the flexibility to meet the water management requirements of the community. Has the ability to recruit, hire and develop the best staff and the ability to know when and how to terminate an employee who is not meeting the District’s requirements. Has vision – creates an exciting vision for employees; can work with various parts of the community to develop an agency vision

that is a consensus of very diverse interests. Successful experience in management of consultants and contractors. An understanding of the importance of developing working partnerships with businesses and community groups. A person who gets out from behind the desk and works at bringing people together to get things done. Understanding of environmental and permitting issues. A good manager of time and resources. A willingness to delegate, where appropriate. Able to communicate clearly both orally and in writing. Willing to work long hours. A bachelors degree in public administration, engineering, business administration or similar is required. Submit resumes to: Joshua Basin Water District, PO Box 725, Joshua Tree, CA 92252; or email to Job description available at the District website: No phone calls please. EOE Continued on page 16

CALENDAR August 14

Energy and Water Nexus Summit 2 is Thursday, Sept. 12 at the Aquarium of the Bay, Pier 39, San Francisco. This all-day event will explore the developments, challenges, innovations and considerations around energy and water in Northern California. For registration and more information go to


ACWA Region 9 Tour & Program is Friday, Sept. 13, at East Valley Water District, Highland. Registration is available online Aug. 5 at For more information contact ACWA Regional Affairs Representatives Marcia Wulff at


Steve Hall Fierce Competitor Golf Tournament, annual tournament in honor of former ACWA Executive Director Steve Hall, will take place at Darkhorse Golf Club, Auburn, CA on Friday, Sept. 20. Tournament entry forms are due Aug. 30. For more information visit cfm?

October 3 – 4

ACWA’s 2013 Continuing Legal Education Workshop (CLE) is Oct. 3 – 4 at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach. For more information contact ACWA’s Member Services and Events Department at events@ or 916.441.4545.

8 – 9

29th Biennial Groundwater Conference & Groundwater Resources Association Annual Meeting is Oct. 8 – 9 in Sacramento. For more information visit

16 – 18

Water Education Foundation will host a 3-day Northern California Tour traveling the length of the Sacramento Valley on Oct. 16 – 18. Stops include Oroville and Shasta dams, Red Bluff Fish Passage Improvement Project, Feather River Fish Hatchery, Clear Creek restoration site, GCID’s fish screen and Delevan Wildlife Refuge. For more information go to asp?id=841&parentID=821.

Other Events


ACWA Region 3 / Mountain Counties Water Resources Association will hold a joint meeting Friday, Oct. 18, at The Ridge Golf Club and Events Center, Auburn. For more information visit http:// upcoming-meetings/ or contact Executive Director John Kingsbury at johnkingsbury.

24 – 25

ACWA Regions 2 & 4 will host a Regional Water Forum & Bike Tour Oct. 24 – 25. Registration will be available online Sept. 6 at For more information contact ACWA Regional Affairs Representatives Marcia Wulff at marciaw@acwa. com or Katie Dahl at

ACWA 2013 Regulatory Summit is Aug. 14 at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach, Oxnard. The program’s focus will be groundwater. Registration is available online at For more information, contact ACWA’s Member Services and Events Department at or 916.441.4545.

September 12

ACWA Events

November 7 – 8

Water Education Foundation’s San Joaquin River Restoration Tour is Nov. 7 – 8. The tour includes stops at Friant Dam, Interim San Joaquin River Salmon Conservation and Research Facility, Chowchilla Bifurcation and Canal, Mendota Pool, Sack Dam, Sand Slough Control Structure, and the Merced National Wildlife Refuge. For more information go to http://www.watereducation. org/toursdetail.asp?id=845&parentID=821.

December 3 – 6

ACWA’s 2013 Fall Conference & Exhibition is Dec. 3 – 6 at the JW Marriott LA Live, Los Angeles. For more information contact ACWA’s Member Services and Events Department at events@acwa. com or 916.441.4545.

2014 February 3 – 6

March 14

ACWA’s 2014 Washington D.C. Conference is Feb. 25 – 27 at the Liaison Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. For more information contact ACWA’s Member Services and Events Department at or 916.441.4545.

ACWA Region 3 / Mountain Counties Water Resources Association will hold a joint meeting Friday, March 14 at the El Dorado Irrigation District, Placerville. For more information visit meeting-schedule/upcoming-meetings/ or contact Executive Director John Kingsbury at

August 2, 2013 • 13

People News Obituaries

WRD of Southern California Mourns Passing of Lillian Kawasaki The Water Replenishment District of Southern California is mourning the loss of Director Lillian Kawasaki, who served on the board for six years. Kawasaki built a statewide reputation as an expert on the nexus between water and energy, the importance of stormwater capture for beneficial use, and the relationship between water supply in Southern California and ecosystem restoration. Through her career with the City of Los Angeles and her membership on multiple state and federal water policy committees over the years, she brought expertise to WRD and made an imprint on the district’s policies and programs. In January 2003, Kawasaki was appointed as the assistant general

manager of environmental affairs and economic development for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. She also was a member of the California Bay-Delta Public Advisory Committee. Prior to her tenure at LADWP, Kawasaki served as general manager of the Los Angeles Community Development Department for three years. In 1990, Kawasaki was appointed to head the newly created Los Angeles City Environmental Affairs Department (EAD). She also became the first Asian American woman to become a general manager for the City of Los Angeles. The EAD advised the city on environmental policies and programs. Kawasaki also worked at the Port of Los Angeles for 12 years in the Environmental Management Division. Prior to that, she was a researcher at UCLA on a wastewater nutrient recycling project.

“Lillian was a force of nature, continually effervescent, always cheerful, always on the run, always interested in how she could help others. Her personality was a constant and welcome presence,” said WRD Board President Rob Katherman. Kawasaki was a tenacious advocate for sustainable landscaping and conservation practices, resulting in the creation of the WRD’s ECO Gardener program, which has since been renamed in her honor. The WRD Board had also previously named the extensive native landscaping at its headquarters the Lillian Kawasaki Educational Urban Landscape Demonstration Site. In addition to her husband Craig Carter and father, Kawasaki is survived by her younger brother, Glenn, of Seattle and younger sister, Nancy, of Elgin, Ill. She was 62.

Water, Capitol Communities Mourn Loss of Former Reporter Taugher Mike Taugher, a long-time water reporter who joined the communications staff of the Department of Fish and Wildlife last year, died July 27 during a family vacation in Hawaii. He was 50. In his 12 years with the Contra Costa Times, Taugher covered water issues and garnered a reputation as a thorough reporter who took pains to understand complicated topics such as the Delta and produce even-handed, in-depth stories. Taugher worked as a reporter for the Tahoe Daily Tribune, the Greeley (Colo.) Tribune and the Albuquerque Journal before joining the Contra Costa Times in 2000. In May 2012, he was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to serve as assistant deputy director of communications, education and outreach for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. 14 • ACWA NEWS

Vol. 41 | Digital

In a statement, California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird said he had worked with Taugher in his roles as a reporter and a spokesperson at Fish and Wildlife.

ACWA Deputy Executive Director for External Affairs and Operations Jennifer Persike said Taugher’s professionalism and attention to detail were widely recognized in the water community.

“It was clear that the Contra Costa Times was lucky to have him as a reporter, and we were equally as lucky to work with such a talented media professional,” Laird said.

“Mike’s reporting was very in-depth and thorough,” Persike said. “You could count on him to do his homework and ask detailed questions to really understand the issues. He cared about getting the story right and was a pleasure to work with.”

Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Chuck Bonham called Taugher an exceptional man whose loss will be felt throughout the department. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, two children and extended family who have lost their husband and father at far too young of an age,” Bonham said in a statement. “Mike was a friend and a colleague. He made our department a much better place and was all the things we as Californians hope to see in public servants.”

In May 2010, Taugher participated in a panel discussion on covering California water at the ACWA Spring Conference & Exhibition in Monterey. Taugher and other reporters shared insights on the evolution of water news over the years and changing methods public water agencies are using to get their message out.

Registration Registration is available online at acwa.eventready. com/events/CL13. Regular registration and cancellation deadline is Sept. 18, 2013, 4:30 p.m. (PST).


2-Day Registration Advantage Regular/Onsite – $460/$490 Standard Regular/Onsite – $685/$730 1 Day Thursday Only Advantage Regular/Onsite – $280/$300 Standard Regular/Onsite – $415/$445

Newport Beach, California

October | 3rd & 4th | 2013

1 Day Friday Only Advantage Regular/Onsite – $200/$210 Standard Regular/Onsite – $295/$310 To be eligible for “Advantage” Pricing you MUST be an ACWA Public Agency member, Associate or Affiliate.

Hotel Hyatt Regency Newport Beach 1107 Jamboree Rd, Newport Beach, CA

Join us for the ACWA CLE, 2-day continuing legal education workshop for water professionals, on October 3 and 4 at Hyatt Regency Newport Beach. The workshop will include programs such as: • • • • • • • • • •

Recent Trends in CEQA Compliance/CEQA 101 QSA Ruling: CEQA Issues Significant to Upholding Historic Water Accord Water Development Words Do Matter — Especially in Your Public Works Contracts Mitigating for Species Delta Plan EIR Lawsuit CEQA Modernization Top 10 Tips for a Trouble-Free Construction Project NEPA and CEQA: Coordinating State and Federal Environmental Reviews Substance Abuse: Detection, Prevention and Treatment

The cut-off date to receive this special rate is Sept. 6, 2013. For reservations, call the hotel directly at 949.729.1234 or 800.233.1234 (ask for ACWA CLE rate).


Full description of the sessions are available at Continental breakfast for both days and Thursday lunch are included.

Questions? Please contact ACWA’s Member Services & Events at or 916.441.4545. Find us on Facebook >>

Group Rate: $159/night – complimentary shuttle to and from airport, hotel parking, and in-room Internet access.

Follow us on Twitter >>

You can earn up to 11.5 hours of general credit and 1 hour of substance abuse credit by attending these workshops.

We’ve invited an array of leading legal professionals from firms / agencies including: Allen Matkins Bergman Dacey Goldsmith Best Best & Krieger Brownstein Hyatt Farber & Schreck Downey Brand Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard Liebert Cassidy Whitmore Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Nossaman Perkins Coie Riverside Corona Resources Conservation District San Luis & Delta Mendota Water Authority State Water Resource Control Board

Continued from page 12

General Manager Browns Valley Irrigation District Browns Valley Irrigation District, located approximately 55 miles north of Sacramento, CA, is seeking an exceptional candidate for the position of General Manager. The District provides irrigation water, to both valley floor ag lands and foothill homesteads through a diverse system of irrigation canals, pipelines and hydroelectric generation. This is a great opportunity to join one of the oldest California irrigation districts with both senior Yuba River water rights and a District owned reservoir. POSITION: The General Manager reports to a five member elected Board and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the District. This position has overall responsibility for policy development, water resource planning, distribution, fiscal management, employee relations, engineering, administration and operation of all district functions, programs and activities. The incumbent is responsible for accomplishing District goals and objectives, implementing the policies of the Board of Directors, and representing the Board’s policies with employees, community organizations and the general public. DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS: Any combination of education and experience which would likely provide the necessary knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be: Education/Experience: A Bachelor’s degree in public administration, business administration or closely related field from an accredited college or university is desirable. Broad and extensive work experience in a management or administrative position in a public agency, requiring the responsibility for the formulation and implementation of programs, budgets, and administrative operations. Experience in working with an elected board or commission is desirable. SALARY: The salary range for this position is highly competitive with an excellent benefits package, including CalPERS retirement (2% @ 55). Interested candidates should immediately submit a resume, compelling cover letter of interest, salary history, and professional references via email to Donna@ This position is open until filled; however, candidates are encouraged to apply early for optimal consideration. Confidential inquiries are welcome to Mr. Walter Cotter at (530) 743-5703.

Association of California Water Agencies 910 K Street, Suite 100 Sacramento, CA 95814-3577

Periodicals Postage Paid at Sacramento, CA

Time Valued Material

General Manager Yorba Linda Water District Salary: $164,550 - $200,489 annually, plus excellent benefits. The General Manager is an at-will, exempt position. Under the direction of the Board of Directors, plans, manages, directs and reviews the activities and operations of the Yorba Linda Water District; coordinates District services and activities among District Departments and with outside agencies; provides highly responsible and complex administrative support to the Board of Directors; manages politically sensitive, confidential and complex assignments; represents the Board of Directors and the District at meetings, hearings and at specific functions; provides detailed information to the public media regarding District programs and projects; exercises direct supervision over management staff. The ideal candidate will have ten (10) years of increasingly responsible professional management experience, including five (5) years of responsible managerial and/ or administrative responsibility working with elected officials or an equivalent combination of training and experience. Education requirements may be met through graduation from a four-year college or university accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, the Accrediting Counsel for Independent Colleges and Schools, or other national accreditation organization recognized by the United States Department of Education or the Counsel for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), with a degree in Public/Business Administration, Engineering, Water

Management Political Science or other related field. A Master’s degree is preferred. APPLY BY: August 19, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. A completed Yorba Linda Water District application, cover letter, resume, degrees and certifications must be submitted online for this position. The job posting and application are available online at Please click on JOBS to access the complete job description, list of benefits and the application. Resumes submitted in lieu of a District application will not be considered. Please contact Human Resources at (714) 701-3034 with any questions.

HR Manager El Toro Water District El Toro Water District, a government entity, seeks an HR manager to handle all aspects of HR responsibilities. Only applicants with a completed application and resume will be considered. If interested, please visit our website at for further details and to apply.

Senior Civil Engineer Fresno Irrigation District Fresno Irrigation District is looking for a Civil Engineer to help their team in its continued efforts to manage water resources. The Civil Engineer provides highly technical engineering services, aids in the planning, design and construction of District structures and facilities; performs a variety of office and field duties; ensures the safety of District facilities; ensures compliance with regulations or contractual obligations; provides direction for engineering staff; serves as resident engineer on construction projects; and provides assistance to customers, construction personnel, outside agencies and others. Visit the Fresno Irrigation District website for detailed information and application. Open until filled.

ACWA News for Aug. 2, 2013  

ACWA's member newsletter

ACWA News for Aug. 2, 2013  

ACWA's member newsletter