Interior Secretary Tours Federal Water Facilities
ACWA’s • Member • Newsletter
Volume 42 | No. 3 March 21, 2014
During a visit March 11 to south-of-Delta water facilities, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell (left) reiterated the federal government’s commitment to partnering with the state of California to provide drought relief to affected communities. Jewell and state officials toured the federal C.W. “Bill” Jones Pumping Plant near Tracy and met with local agricultural water users who rely on exports from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, the pumping plant provides irrigation water to the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
Drought Focuses Attention on a 2014 Water Bond 2014 is proving to be an active year for water bond legislation, and ACWA is firmly engaged in the discussions. With the close of the Feb. 21 deadline for introducing bills, the number of water bond bills now stands at 12 – with 10 still alive at this writing. A chart comparing the 12 measures is available on ACWA’s website. ACWA supports the current version of the water bond set to be on the November 2014 ballot. However, ACWA’s Board of Directors
has recognized that modifications to reduce the size and remove the earmarks from the $11.14 billion bond will improve its chance of passage. ACWA believes the water bond should be modified and passed this year since funding needs identified in 2009 when the Legislature passed the original bond legislation have grown, and the drought has underscored the dire need for investment in water supply reliability. Water bond Continued on page 6
Brown Administration Releases Transition Plan for Reorganization of State’s Drinking Water Program The Brown Administration on March 14 released a transition plan detailing the proposed transfer of the state’s drinking water program from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to the State Water Resources Control Board. The Drinking Water Reorganization Transition Plan was developed by a transition team consisting of staff from the California Health and Human Services Agency, California Environmental Protection Agency, CDPH and the State Board. The plan notes that, “The Administration has evaluated the current governance structure of the state’s drinking water and water quality
Beer Executive to Speak at ACWA’s 2014 Spring Conference
ACWA’s Drought Action Group Spearheading Local Impacts Database
activities and concluded that aligning the state’s drinking water and water quality programs in an integrated organizational structure would best position the state to both effectively protect water quality and the public health as it relates to water quality, while meeting current needs and future demands on water supplies.” The Brown Administration is proposing to transfer the program in 2014 via the state budget process. If the Legislature agrees with the transfer, it will go into effect on July 1, 2014. Since October 2013, ACWA has been working Drinking Water Continued on page 5
Save Our Water Launches ‘Californians Don’t Waste’ PSA Campaign
11 Capitol Hearing Explores Sustainable Groundwater Management
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: acwa.com 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 Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved. Call ACWA for Permission to Reprint. USPS 334030 Digital Only
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MillerCoors Executive Set to Address Water Stewardship at ACWA’s 2014 Spring Conference Some of the world’s biggest corporations are learning that water conservation and efficiency are good for business. This is especially true in the beverage industry, which relies on water for the main ingredient and the manufacturing process. Kim Marotta, director of sustainability for MillerCoors, LLC, will keynote the Wednesday luncheon at ACWA’s 2014 Spring Conference & Exhibition in Monterey on May 7. Marotta, who joined MillerCoors in 2004, will share with attendees the company’s efforts and successes in protecting and preserving local water resources through its nationwide water stewardship program. At MillerCoors, water stewardship is a priority. The company is making great strides toward reducing water usage by 15% to 3.5 barrels of water per barrel of beer. The company also has partnered with The Nature Conservancy and barley farmers in Idaho’s Silver Creek watershed to improve practices of these suppliers in an effort to protect vital freshwater systems. Marotta currently serves on The Nature Conservancy’s Wisconsin Board of Trustees and was elected in 2013 to serve on the board of directors of The Sustainability Consortium. She previously worked as a criminal defense attorney and was an adjunct professor at Marquette University Law School. The deadline to register online for ACWA’s 2014 Spring Conference & Exhibition is April 10. This year’s conference theme is “Running on Empty: Investing to Move the Needle.” Marotta’s keynote is one of more than 80 meeting and program sessions in the works for the conference on May 6-9 in picturesque Monterey. Here is a glance at some of the programs in store for conference attendees:
Statewide Issue Forums • Proposals for Action on Groundwater Sustainability – Wednesday, May 7, Vol. 42 No. 3
10 – 11:30 a.m. This program will explore various proposals for advancing sustainable management of the state’s groundwater resources, including recommendations by ACWA’s Groundwater Sustainability Task Force, the State Water Resources Control Board’s work plan and concepts under discussion by the Brown Administration and the Legislature. • Getting to the Water: Solving the Water Transfers Puzzle – Thursday, May 8, 9:30 – 11 a.m. This expert panel will discuss the state’s current and previous water transfer markets, the connection between transfers and investments in additional storage, and what needs to happen. • The Past, Present and Future of Drinking Water Regulations – Thursday, May 8, 2 p.m. – 3 :15 p.m. This program will look at the transfer of the state’s drinking water program, development of new drinking water standards and contaminants of emerging concern.
Water Trends Programs • What’s Next for Conservation Water Rates? – Wednesday, May 7, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Hear about alternative approaches, unresolved issues and what’s ahead. • A River Will Run Through It – Wednesday, May 7, 2 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Stakeholders working to advance a project on the Carmel River will discuss challenges, collaboration and how the drought is affecting operations. • Surviving the Drought – Thursday, May 8, 2 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Water leaders describe lessons learned from past droughts and offer ideas for agencies facing unprecedented conditions in 2014. Visit acwa.com for registration, a conference brochure, and exhibitor and sponsorship information.
Appeals Courts Issue Two Key Rulings Involving Delta Smelt, Land Access Two appeals courts — one federal and one state — issued separate rulings involving the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta on March 13. The federal ruling impacts flows to protect Delta/Smelt, while the state ruling addresses the access to private land in the estuary. In the federal ruling, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court decision that found major flaws with a 2008 plan for protecting Delta smelt. The 2-1 ruling written by 9th Circuit Judge Jay Bybee could further limit water deliveries from the state and federal projects. In the state ruling, the 3rd District Court of Appeal held that the state must use the eminent domain process to gain access to private property in the Delta in order to take soil samples or conduct environmental surveys for state projects such as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). The panel held that such work amounts to a “taking” under the California Constitution. Officials with the California Depart-
ment of Water Resources (DWR) said the state ruling will not impact work on BDCP because DWR already has been utilizing the eminent domain process as required by a lower court ruling in 2011. In the federal opinion involving the Delta smelt, Bybee wrote that the lower court should have paid more heed to a 2008 biological opinion issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that recommended limited exports of water to farmers and southern California in order to protect the threatened Delta smelt. San Luis & Delta Mendota Water Authority and other public water agencies had challenged the 2008 biological opinion. In 2011, the Eastern District Court ruled in favor of the water agencies, calling the federal biological opinion “arbitrary and capricious.” But on March 13, a majority of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the lower court’s ruling. “We recognize the enormous practical implications of this decision,” Bybee
wrote, “but the consequences were prescribed when Congress determined that these species of fish, wildlife, and plants are of esthetic, ecological, educational, historical, recreational, and scientific value to the Nation and its people.” Reaction to the ruling was swift. “Today’s decision will make it more difficult for water agencies to recover from the present drought by preventing us from capturing and storing excess water when it is available in wet years,” Terry Erlewine, general manager of the State Water Contractors, said in a statement. “Without the flexibility to capture and store water during those years, we are left with less water and fewer options when we face unprecedented drought conditions like those we’re experiencing today. The ruling today, and the regulations it brings back, underscore the need for a comprehensive solution in the Delta.”
ACWA’s Drought Action Group Spearheading Local Impacts Database In the midst of California’s continuing dry conditions, ACWA’s Drought Action Group (DAG) is hard at work leveraging its collective knowledge of drought impacts and activities to recommend specific actions that could be undertaken to combat this and future droughts.
region selected a point person at the group’s first meeting to spearhead the collection of local information. The Department of Water Resources and California Department of Public Health also provided updates to inform this effort.
Composed of 40 water agency experts throughout the state, DAG is working to develop a database that will identify and catalog serious drought conditions; water supply alternatives for affected agencies; potential immediate, short- and longterm solutions; and how those actions might impact other stakeholders.
DAG has met twice, on Feb. 14 and March 13, to discuss expectations, strategy and deliverables for the group. In addition to the database and accompanying report, DAG is working cooperatively with state agencies and ACWA members to assess human health and safety needs for water this year and in 2015.
The database also will include agencies that could have sufficient water supplies for 2014 given existing demands but are encouraging conservation and looking for opportunities to ensure a sustainable water supply in future dry times. DAG representatives within each ACWA
ACWA anticipates the drought impacts database and report will be completed and submitted to the Brown Administration in mid-April, followed shortly thereafter by the health and safety needs assessment.
(left to right) Cindy Tuck, ACWA deputy executive director of government relations; ACWA President John Coleman; Drought Action Group Chair Dave Brent, Vice Chair Taj Dufour and ACWA Executive Director Timothy Quinn listen to a speaker at the group’s Feb. 14 meeting.
If you have not submitted information on the status of your agency for inclusion in ACWA’s Drought Impacts and Solutions Database, or if you have questions, please contact Danielle Blacet, ACWA special projects manager, at 916441-4545 or email@example.com. March 21, 2014 • 3
Save Our Water Launches ‘Californians Don’t Waste’ PSA Campaign Save Our Water — a partnership between ACWA and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) — has launched a ‘Californians Don’t Waste’ public service announcement (PSA) campaign to bring awareness to ways citizens can save water every day. The public service campaign kicked off the week of March 16 with the release of several short videos focused on the simple, yet critical, message: “We Are Californians and We Don’t Waste.” The new PSA effort was praised by some of California’s water leaders. “Our California economy, environment and daily lifestyle depend on water to flourish,” said Mark Cowin, director of DWR. “These PSAs not only raise awareness of how easy it is to conserve, they appeal to a trait that is common across the state — Californians Don’t Waste.” “These PSAs provide practical tips to help all of us save water,” said Tim
Quinn, executive director of ACWA, the Association of California Water Agencies. “California’s local public water agencies are also a great resource for anyone looking for more information on how to conserve inside and outside.” The videos, produced by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services(Cal OES), emphasize water use efficiency and conservation at home, in the workplace, at school or anywhere. Everyone is encouraged to share these PSAs, available at http://bit.ly/waterpsa,to keep water conservation top of mind and demonstrate how simple change of habits can help every Californian, now and in the future. The campaign also aims to tap into Californians’ creativity by encouraging the public to share their methods to conserve water. Californians can take videos or photos through Instagram or Twitter (photos only) using #SaveOurWater or
ACWA’s Avon Alfaro and her son Mateo are the stars in a new Save Our Water public service announcement.
simply upload their videos or photos directly through the Save Our Water Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/ saveourwater. Save Our Water will showcase publicly created content as part of the ‘Californians Don’t Waste’ campaign. Save Our Water also has resources available in Spanish. Visit www. saveourh2o.org to learn more.
ACWA Drought Activities Continue at Brisk Pace On Several Fronts As drought continues its hold on California, ACWA remains fully engaged on several fronts to assist members, coordinate with outside groups, serve as an information clearinghouse and provide consumerfocused conservation information through the Save Our Water program.
ACWA sponsored a major statewide drought briefing on Feb. 14 in Sacramento that attracted attract about 200 in physical attendance and more than 1,400 via webcast, including participants from across the country. (See the Feb. 21 issue of ACWA News for in-depth coverage.)
On the statewide coordination front, ACWA continues to convene representatives from several state and federal agencies to coordinate information, messaging, outreach and events. Participants include staff from the Governor’s office, the California Department of Water Resources, Office of Emergency Services, California State Association of Counties, League of California Cities, California Farm Bureau Federation, California Farm Water Coalition, State Water Contractors, CalFire, California Department of Public Health and the Bureau of Reclamation.
On the information front, ACWA continues to serve as the primary information source for local impacts and actions related to drought. The drought portal on ACWA’s website is constantly updated with information. Since the Governor’s drought proclamation on Jan. 17 through March 13, visits to the site have exploded to 136,000 page views compared with 88,000 for the same time frame last year.
Working with the above groups, 4 • ACWA NEWS
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ACWA’s interactive map has become the “go-to” source for specific information on local agency impacts and actions in the categories of mandatory conservation / restrictions, voluntary
measures, drought emergency / water shortage declarations and agricultural impacts. It is updated daily by Communications Dept. staff. Agencies, news organizations and many other groups are now embedding the map on their websites in a widget developed by ACWA. The map has seen more than 8,000 page views since January 17. Staff also is responding daily to both state and national media requests, and is developing a series of fact sheets on such topics as protocols for taking action at the local public agency level, rates and droughts, projects to combat droughts impacts, and more. A member toolkit is also planned for roll-out in early April. ACWA also is working on a second member survey to query members on some of the questions now being asked by media and others as the drought continues into spring and summer.
California’s Water System Faces Funding Drought, PPIC Reports Says California needs to spend an additional $2 billion to $3 billion annually to improve and maintain critical elements of its water system including drinking water systems in disadvantaged communities, flood protection, stormwater runoff management and other areas.
Hanak, PPIC senior fellow and one of the authors of the report said in a written statement. “With a bold, concerted effort by state and local leaders, Californians can sustainably manage this critical resource—despite increasing water scarcity, population growth, and climate change.”
That is the upshot of an 80-page report released March 12 by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). The report — titled Paying for Water in California — estimates that each household in the state would need to increase spending on water systems from $150 to $230 a year to fill the funding gap of $2 billion to $3 billion.
The report offered some good news, however, revealing that water and wastewater utilities are successfully providing safe drinking water and collecting and treating wastewater primarily through fees on ratepayers. The report cautioned, though, that looming legal challenges related to Proposition 218 could jeopardize utilities’ ability to provide some discounts such as “lifeline” discounts to low-income households.
“Our water challenges seem daunting, but this is a fixable problem,” Ellen
The report cited five specific areas where the funding gaps occur. They are: •
Safe drinking water for small disadvantaged communities. The report estimates that 80,000 to 160,000 Californians live in rural communities that have difficulty providing safe drinking water. An additional $30 million to $160 million per year is needed to address the problem, the report estimates.
Flood protection. The report estimates that 25% of the state’s residents live in a flood plain that is at increased risk of flooding due to climate change. New capital investments of $800 million to $1 billion a year are needed to address the issue, the report states. Continued on page 6
Drinking water Continued from page 1
with the Administration to make sure the transfer does not disrupt a program that generally works well. The Brown Administration created the Drinking Water Reorganization Task Force last fall to advise the Administration on various aspects of the transfer. A variety of stakeholders were represented on the task force, including representatives of water agencies, environmental and community groups, local health officers, local environmental health directors, utilities, environmental justice organizations and legislative staff. Zone 7 Water Agency General Manager Jill Duerig, chair of ACWA’s Water Quality Committee and a member of ACWA’s Board of Directors, represented ACWA on the task force. The group met a total of seven times to provide input on key elements of the proposed transition, including: the regulatory functions of the drinking water program and the need to maintain the program’s focus on public health, financial assistance for drinking water projects (including projects in disadvantaged communities), Maximum
Contaminant Level (MCL) rulemakings, and issues related to recycled water. During the process, ACWA held meetings with the water agency representatives on the task force, and the water community was able to present unified recommendations at the meetings. For example, at one meeting the group submitted a joint position paper that urged the agencies to have an advisory group continue to meet after the transfer takes place. Following the conclusion of the task force process, ACWA and the other water community representatives on the task force submitted a joint comment letter on Jan. 14 to the Brown Administration that detailed a set of key recommendations to the transition team as it worked to produce the transition plan. ACWA Deputy Executive Director for Government Relations Cindy Tuck testified at the Administration’s Jan. 15 public meeting regarding the drinking water program transfer. The just-released transition plan includes many of the recommendations that ACWA suggested during the task force
process, including provisions stating that: •
No Drinking Water Program implementation authority will be given to the Regional Water Quality Control Boards.
Maximum Contaminant Levels will continue to be established under the regular rulemaking process of the Administrative Procedures Act.
There will be a transition advisory group consisting of various key stakeholder groups which will meet regularly to advise the State Board on the transition for a period of at least two years.
ACWA is monitoring the state budget process relative to the drinking water program transfer. The transfer of staff positions and funding is proposed in the Governor’s budget. Other details may be addressed in budget trailer bills. If you have any questions regarding ACWA’s work on the transfer of the Drinking Water Program, please contact Cindy Tuck at firstname.lastname@example.org or ACWA State Regulatory Advocate Adam Walukiewicz at email@example.com. March 21, 2014 • 5
WAter Bond water bond Continued from page 1
In late 2012 and early 2013, ACWA’s Board-level California Water Finance Task Force developed ACWA’s proposal for a modified 2014 water bond. The proposal prioritizes certain funding categories, such as Delta sustainability and storage. The proposal also retains substantial funding for disadvantaged communities that do not have safe drinking water and local resource development (e.g., Integrated Regional Water Management, recycling and water conservation). The proposal provides the foundation for ACWA’s work on the water bond.
Recent Activity Most of the hearing activity to date has been on SB 848 by Sen. Lois Wolk (D-Davis). The measure currently awaits action in the Senate Appropriations Committee after clearing three policy committees in the Senate (the Natural Resources and Water Committee, the Environmental Quality Committee and the Governance and Finance Committee). ACWA has an oppose-unlessamended position on the bill because it does not include sufficient funding for Delta sustainability, storage and groundwater cleanup. Assembly Member Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), who chairs the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, is carrying AB 1331. The Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee plans to hear the bill on March 25. ACWA has an oppose-unless-amended position on AB 1331. Consistent with ACWA’s proposal for a modified 2014 water
bond, and with significant input from ACWA’s State Legislative Committee, ACWA submitted detailed suggested amendments to the author in a mockup to AB 1331 on Feb. 12. He amended the bill on March 5 to increase the proposed storage dollars from $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion. (ACWA is recommending $3 billion in storage dollars, continuously appropriated, consistent with the current version of the 2014 water bond.) The increase in the proposed storage dollars was a step in the right direction, but the March 5 version did not address ACWA’s many concerns with AB 1331 or fully address the storage issues.
As is obvious from the assortment of introduced water bond bills, there are legislators on both sides of the aisle in both houses who want to work on a successful water bond. ACWA is working on a bipartisan basis with members in both houses to build support around measures that can succeed in the Legislature and with the electorate. ACWA continues to partner with its member agencies, agriculture, organized labor, business interests and others in proactive advocacy on the bond. If you have questions regarding ACWA’s work on the 2014 water bond, please contact ACWA Deputy Executive Director for Government Relations Cindy Tuck at firstname.lastname@example.org or State Relations Analyst Amanda Brown at email@example.com.
ACWA updated the mockup to reflect the March 5 version of the bill and input from the State Legislative Committee and coalition partners in labor, business, and agriculture. ACWA and its partners finalized the new mockup and Bill Number/Author met with Rendon’s staff on March 13. Based on that discussion and AB 1331 (Rendon) a March 4 meeting with ACWA, Rendon has indicated plans to AB 1445 (Logue) amend the bill prior to the Senate AB 2043 (Bigelow and Conway) Natural Resources and Water ComAB 1674 (Bigelow) mittee hearing on the measure. The AB 2686 (Perea) amendments are expected to help address various policy concerns SB 40 (Pavley) raised by the bill, but they are not SB 42 (Wolk) expected to address the core issues SB 848 (Wolk) (such as the need for increased SB 927 (Cannella and Vidak) Delta sustainability funding and SB 1080 (Fuller) groundwater cleanup funding). The author’s amendments will help SB 1250 (Hueso) define the universe of issues that SB 1370 (Galgiani) remain to be resolved.
Total Investment (in billions) $8.000 $5.800 $7.935 Not Specified $9.250 Not Specified $6.475 $6.825 $9.217 Not Specified Not Specified $5.100
Continued from page 5
Management of stormwater and other polluted runoff. To meet more stringent regulations, stormwater agencies need an additional $500 million to $800 million per year. Aquatic ecosystem management. Recovery plans for endangered species, habitat conservation and other restoration projects need an
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additional $400 million to $700 million each year, the report states. •
Integrated water management. An additional $200 million to $300 million would help to develop more collaboration across agencies.
“California will need to better align its funding laws with the goals for modern water management to address
funding gaps and prevent new ones from forming,” report co-author Brian Gray, professor at the University of California, Hastings College of Law, said in a written statement. A copy of the report is available at http://www.ppic.org/.
ACWA Regions Off to a Running Start in 2014 ACWA’s 10 Regions wasted no time getting started this year, with all region boards holding their first board meeting of the 2014-’15 term in January. At the meetings, the boards received an orientation on the role of the regions and made regional appointments alternate chair, alternate vice chair, outreach captain and committee reporters developed work plans and discussed regional activities for 2014. The regions also have been quick to get involved in ACWA’s policy activities. In an effort to keep members informed and to prepare for upcoming State Legislative Committee meetings, region boards are meeting with their committee representatives to ensure their representatives are informed about their region’s positions. Region chairs and vice chairs also are meeting with their boards to get feedback on items that will be discussed at the ACWA Board level. Many of the 10 regions have started to plan their regional programs or have hosted an event already. • Region 1 will invite members to Humboldt this year for a program on the effects of climate change on North Coast resources. Details about the event are still being developed. • Region 2 has invited members to its March 21 board meeting to discuss storage and transfer issues affecting the region, as well as to hear an update from ACWA on the most recent water bond legislation.
• On March 11, Region 3 held a joint information program with Mountain Counties Water Resources Association (MCWRA) titled “Drought: A View from the Top.” More than 100 attendees listened to sessions on statewide and regional responses to California’s drought from ACWA and external partners, an update on the Governor’s Drought Task Force, and other topics. MCWRA and ACWA are planning another special event in June with presentations from various California water leaders. • Region 4 will host a program at ACWA’s Spring Conference in Monterey called “Sustainable Water Supply: Something for Everyone.” The program will tell the story of the Davis-Woodland Water Supply Project and demonstrate the interconnected nature of water supply planning and implementation. • Region 5 is planning two events this year, the first one March 23-24 in Santa Cruz titled “Working Together in Dry Times – How the Santa Cruz Community is Collaborating for Solutions.” The region will host its second event of the year in Livermore on Oct. 5-6. • Regions 6 & 7 are planning their annual Joint Water Forum in Visalia on Oct. 17. This forum will highlight San Joaquin Valley policy issues and feature local elected officials.
At top, ACWA’s Jennifer Persike (right), moderates a Region 3 panel discussion on calls for action in response to drought among regional water agencies. Below, event attendees listen to Frances SpiveyWeber, vice chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, discuss the board’s upcoming priorities.
• Regions 8, 9 and 10 are forming a planning committee to present a joint ACWA event in the fall. The topics of this event are to be determined by the region boards. Region 9 also is hosting an ACWA Spring Conference program with a panel discussion on earthquake and disaster response practices. All of ACWA’s regions will hold their first membership meeting of the term at ACWA’s Spring Conference in Monterey on May 8 at 3:30 p.m. For updated information on all region activities, please visit www.acwa.com.
Governor’s Office Creates Drought Toolkit for Local Agencies The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) has created a new toolkit for local governments that provides guidance for coordinating on drought response and meeting the governor’s call for a 20% reduction in water use. The document contains a list of regional contacts for the Office of Emergency Services, State Water Board and other water-related state agencies; templates for a proclamation declaring a
local drought emergency or a resolution calling for voluntary water conservation; web links to drought information and resources for local governments; and water-related curricula for grades K-12. The tools were designed with city and counties in mind, and are appropriate for use by water districts, officials said. Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration is encouraging local governments to enact water use reduction plans at
their facilities, share well data, pursue emergency drinking water grants if necessary, and update local ordinances to encourage water conservation. OPR has launched a Local Drought Clearinghouse to ensure local governments can quickly access the toolkit and other resources. For more information, contact Debbie Davis, local drought liaison, at (916) 327-0068 or firstname.lastname@example.org. March 21, 2014 • 7
D.C. Conference Wrap-up
(left to right) Saundra Jacobs and Charles Gibson, board members for Santa Margarita Water District; Cathy Green of Orange County Water District; Larry McKenney, board member for Moulton Niguel Water District and Mary Aileen Matheis of Irvine Ranch Water District at ACWA’s Washington D.C. Conference. (center) Congressman Jared Huffman (D-2) address the conference attendees. At right, ACWA Executive Director Timothy Quinn, Congressman David Valadao (R-21),and ACWA President John Coleman discussed the need for legislation addressing the drought.
Obama Administration Representatives Highlight Federal Drought Response Actions at ACWA’s Annual D.C. Conference Feb. 25-27 More than 100 ACWA members endured wet weather, ice and snow in Washington, D.C., for ACWA’s 2014 D.C. Conference on Feb. 25-27 to learn about the federal response to California’s drought. Conference attendees heard from Obama administration officials and members of the California congressional delegation about their efforts to help alleviate the drought.
EPA will conduct “unprecedented” outreach on a region-by-region basis to receive feedback. He reported that EPA’s scientific report on water bodies’ connectivity won’t be completed before the draft rule is released for public comment. This study, which EPA previously stated would provide the scientific basis for the rule, will inform the final regulation but not the proposed draft.
A snowstorm blanketed D.C. the morning of Feb. 26, snarling traffic and creating gridlock. The wet weather delayed the arrival of the Obama Administration speakers, but it didn’t deter them from delivering remarks to ACWA members.
Following his remarks, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Mike Connor — speaking one day before being confirmed as the deputy secretary of Interior — discussed how focused President Obama is on the drought in the West and highlighted Obama’s recent trip to California. He also encouraged ACWA attendees to visit the National Drought Resilience Partnership website to access more information on federal actions.
Ken Kapocis, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency assistant administrator designate for water, led off the program with a discussion about the National Drought Resilience Partnership (NDRP), a recently launched program designed to help people easily access federal drought assistance and information on programs across all federal agencies. People in need of assistance can visit www.drought.gov. Kapocis also talked about EPA’s draft proposed rule on Clean Water Act jurisdiction. He indicated that the Office of Management and Budget is going to release the draft rule soon and 8 • ACWA NEWS
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To help alleviate the drought impacts in the short term, Connor said Reclamation is operating pumps at the maximum limits under the biological opinions. In addition, Reclamation secured approval to reduce environmental flows for the San Joaquin River restoration a month earlier than would have been allowed under the settlement agreement. Connor also noted long-term solutions such as Reclamation’s
partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to jointly fund conservation and efficiency projects, and investments in the Title XVI water recycling program. Connor also called the Bay Delta Conservation Plan a key component in providing flexibility needed to move water around the Delta. However, he described the process of putting it together as “roller coaster ride” and noted his optimism about its success “goes up and down.” Michael Boots, acting chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, highlighted President Obama’s trip to Fresno in February. He reported that the President’s advice following the trip was that California water is framed right now as a “zero sum game,” and that should change. “We need to ignore past differences and focus on near-term solutions,” Boots said. Boots also touched on EPA’s effort to work climate change into the State Revolving Fund program to promote long-term thinking and the need for better methods of funding green infrastructure projects. Additionally, Boots noted that by the end of the year the Council on Environmental Quality will give recommendations to Obama on
D.C. Conference Wrap-up revisions to the Principles and Guidelines for federal water resources.
Congressional Delegation Gives Perspectives on California Water Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and U.S. Rep. David Valadao (R-21) discussed their different approaches to alleviate California’s drought. Feinstein said her legislation, the California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014 (S 2016), is designed to increase water supplies in California beginning this year. In her words, the bill “would cut red tape and free up federal agencies to operate with maximum flexibility and speed so they can move water to those who need it.” It also “allows the federal government more flexibility in pumping decisions as long as it doesn’t harm endangered species.” Valadao’s bill, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Drought Relief Act (HR 3964), passed the House by a 229 to 191 vote on Feb. 5. Valadao said his bill restores water reliability to California communities by codifying the Bay-Delta Accord and reforming federal laws that have severely curtailed water deliveries. Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-1) spoke of the need for storage projects and urged ACWA to help California’s congressional delegation craft a bipartisan deal on storage. He reiterated his support for keeping storage in California’s water bond and discussed the need for smarter stewardship of forests. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-15) discussed his work on the House Homeland Security Committee. His work on cybersecurity issues has led him to believe there are two types of people in this world: “those that have been hacked and know it, and those that have been hacked and don’t know it.” Rep. Tom McClintock (R-4) began his remarks by saying “we need to build more dams” and return to a time when water “abundance was our central objective.” McClintock also voiced his
objections to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, criticizing the high cost of the project and saying it would not produce new water. Rep. John Garamendi (D-3) directed ACWA members to his comprehensive water plan for California. He spoke out against the size of the proposed Delta tunnels, saying all they need is a “little sip, not a big gulp.” He voiced support for south-of-Delta storage and touted the benefits of conservation and recycling. Rep. Ken Calvert (R-42) highlighted recent success in trimming the federal budget and noted that EPA staffing levels were being brought back to where they were in 1989. On water issues, Calvert said agreement about storage is coalescing but he mused that lawsuits would probably slow down whatever momentum exists. Rep. Jim Costa (D-16) delovered wide-ranging remarks that included a plea to handle the drought crisis and find a bipartisan solution “before events supersede our ability.” He noted that the Obama Administration is more focused than ever on the drought and that ultimately the water users in California will make the determination if the Bay Delta Conservation Plan is going to happen. Costa urged water agencies to put their battles behind them and fix the water system so that California can “continue to be the Golden State.”
Quinn said that you know a drought is serious when even senior water rights holders are impacted. Quinn then highlighted ACWA’s outreach efforts on the drought, including the Save Our Water website, www.saveourh2o.org, the Drought Watch page on ACWA’s website, and other turnkey materials available to ACWA members. Tuck emphasized to ACWA members that Gov. Jerry Brown is very focused on the drought. She discussed the state’s emergency drought legislation, the status of water bond legislation, and activities of ACWA’s Drought Action Group The two panelists from federal agencies plugged NDRP and drought.gov in their remarks. Hanlin noted that “it is hard to build drought resilience in the middle of a drought.” He encouraged ACWA members to not only focus on short-term strategies, but on how to manage future droughts. He touched on the various Natural Resources Conservation Service programs that are available to help farmers complete water supply and conservation projects. Hanlin also highlighted the new Regional Conservation Partnership Program. Schwichtenberg highlighted the Army Corps’ flood control work in California and encouraged ACWA members to develop relationships with their district offices.
Drought Panel Closes Out Conference The conference ended with a panel discussion on drought response moderated by ACWA Vice President Kathy Tiegs. The state perspective was provided by ACWA Executive Director Timothy Quinn and Cindy Tuck, ACWA’s deputy executive director for government relations. Kirk Hanlin, assistant chief of the USDA National Resource Conservation Service and Bradd Schwichtenberg of the Army Corps of Engineers provided a federal perspective.
March 21, 2014 • 9
Court Decision Reaffirms Rate-Setting Powers of Water Districts By Arden Wallum and John Pinkney Mission Springs Water District (MSWD) — encompassing North Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs and some unincorporated areas of Riverside County — experienced robust growth for a decade until 2007. During the growth spurt, MSWD significantly expanded its facilities to keep up with the demand created by nearly $1 billion in new development and construction. In less than five years, MSWD’s assets grew from $90 million to over $150 million as the district built new infrastructure to keep up with increased demand. But the Great Recession stopped economic momentum in MSWD’s service area almost overnight. MSWD’s revenues declined by millions, but the district still had to maintain its new and expanded infrastructure. On top of that, regulations requiring a new solids removal and treatment process in one of the district’s production wells added nearly $1 million annually to operating costs. Like other public agencies in California, MSWD quickly found itself facing a challenging position. The district aggressively cut costs — including staff layoffs, a salary freeze and other measures — to reduce operating expenses. But it was not enough, and raising water and sewer rates became inevitable. So MSWD initiated and completed a Proposition 218 rate increase process and held eight public meetings to garner extensive community input. Most of the meeting participants supported the proposed rate increase, and less than 0.2% of those receiving rate increase notices objected to the proposed new rates. Even the local daily newspaper publicly endorsed the proposal. MSWD maintained some of the lowest rates in the region, even after the rate increase went into effect at the start of 2011. After the new rates were implemented, a small group began circulating petitions 10 • ACWA NEWS
Vol. 42 No. 3
Arden Wallum (left) is the general Manager and chief engineer at Mission Springs Water District. John Pinkney (right) was lead trial and appellate counsel in Mission Springs Water District v. Verjil, 218 Cal.App.4th 892 (2013) and is a partner with the law firm of Slovak Baron Empey Murphy & Pinkney, LLP.
to place initiatives on an upcoming ballot that would reduce MSWD’s revenues by as much as 40%. One of the initiatives’ proponents made comments to the local press that the initiatives were intended to force MSWD into insolvency with the intent the district would then be taken over by neighboring agencies. MSWD’s financial analysis concluded that the district would be rendered insolvent and unable to continue providing water and sewer services if voters approved the initiatives. The MSWD board and its general manager had serious concerns not only about the impact of the initiatives themselves, but also about whether a small group of voters could misuse the initiative process as a means to drive a public agency into insolvency. Consequently, MSWD evaluated its legal options. One concern was that the initiatives violated the mandates of California Water Code Section 31007, which requires that water rates be set at levels that are sufficient to cover the cost of providing services, service debt and set aside reasonable reserves. Amid an election year, the MSWD board made the politically difficult decision to file a lawsuit challenging the legality of the initiatives on several grounds. The initiatives’ proponents, via representation from the the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, responded to MSWD’s lawsuit by filing a demurrer and a SLAPP motion. Jarvis argued that MSWD had acted without legal authority in failing to place the initiatives on the ballot and argued that the initiatives could not be challenged before
the election. MSWD countered that there is no constitutional right to place an unlawful measure on the ballot and the district further argued that postelection initiative challenges that result in successful measures being overturned by courts have the tendency to erode voter confidence. Accordingly, MSWD argued that where a ballot initiative contains serious legal flaws, the better approach is to permit pre-election judicial review of the initiatives. The trial court ruled in favor of MSWD on both the demurrer and SLAPP motion, and thus, refused to dismiss MSWD’s lawsuit. In response, Jarvis filed an appeal with the Fourth District Court of Appeal, which ruled that a measure may be kept off the ballot if it represents an effort to exercise a power which the electorate does not possess. The Court of Appeal agreed with MSWD’s position that the initiative proponents lacked the power to exempt themselves from the requirements of Water Code Section 31007. Thereafter, Jarvis filed a petition for review with the California Supreme Court, which was denied. As a result, the Fourth District Court of Appeal’s published opinion remains good law. (See Mission Springs Water District v. Verjil (2013) 218 Cal.App.4th 892.) The case presented some fascinating constitutional issues, primarily whether a group of local voters may rely on the constitutional right of initiative to essentially override a state statute mandating that water rates be set at a minimum level. The Jarvis organization argued to the Fourth Continued on page 11
Capitol Hearing Explores Sustainable Groundwater Management Groundwater management should remain under the purview of local agencies and the state should step in only as a “back stop” when local efforts aren’t proving sufficient. That was the overarching message from state officials March 11 during a joint legislative hearing on improving management of the state’s groundwater resources. Several local and state officials addressed the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, which met jointly with Assembly Budget Committee #3 on Resources and Transportation. Speakers described the overdraft of the state’s groundwater, saying that the drought only exacerbates the problem. The California Department of Water Resources estimates that California is overdrafting its groundwater at a rate of 1.5 million acre-feet a year. NASA estimates that groundwater overdraft in the state may be closer to 4.4 million acre-feet. Steve Moore, a member of the State Water Resources Control Board, updated lawmakers on the state’s efforts to build a support system for local entities to help them monitor and maintain sustainable groundwater management programs. Moore said groundwater is best monitored locally. “It requires local knowledge and local management,” Moore said. Moore added that in October 2013 the State Board released a concept paper in which it outlined five key areas where the state may be of assistance in helping local, regional and, if needed, state
entities manage groundwater. Those areas are: establishing sustainable thresholds, monitoring and assessment, governance, funding, and oversight and enforcement. Also, Moore said, expanding groundwater storage capacity and improving groundwater management is a major objective of the Brown Administration’s California Water Action Plan (CWAP). Local officials also described their agencies’ efforts in managing groundwater resources. Michael R. Markus, general manager of the Orange County Water District, said his board sets rates for groundwater pumping. If landowners or other entities exceed a certain threshold for pumping, they must pay a higher rate to pump. “So there is an economic incentive not to (over pump),” said Markus. Markus added that his agency purchases untreated water from Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to use to recharge its aquifers. Joan Maher, deputy operating officer for Santa Clara Valley Water District, said that “successful groundwater management is really about successful water management.” Promoting sustainability in all areas of water management — surface and below ground — helps to protect the resource, she said. Maher added that her county has been doing conjunctive use water management for years. Whitnie Wiley, senior legislative advocate for ACWA, told lawmakers
that ACWA published a groundwater framework in 2011 that outlines recommendations that local and state agencies can take for groundwater sustainability. She said ACWA Past President Randy Record last year established a groundwater sustainability task force that will release its recommendations in mid-April. Wiley said ACWA believes strongly that groundwater should be managed at the local level. “Local and regional agencies are the most knowledgeable about local issues and challenges,” said Wiley. “We do recognize that the state may need to act as a back stop,” she added. Wiley said ACWA and its members stand ready to collaborate further with other entities on developing groundwater sustainability guidelines. The meeting agenda, a report from the Legislative Analyst’s Office and other background materials are available at http://awpw.assembly.ca.gov/.
Continued from page 10
District that initiatives could be used to involuntarily bankrupt a public agency. Based on the court’s published decision, the answer is clearly that the initiative power has limitations and that when voters step into the shoes of a local agency’s legislative body to pass an initiative, the
voters are subject to the same laws and limitations as the legislative body. While the initiative process remains alive and well after Mission Springs Water District vs. Verjil, the case confirms that a public agency may seek pre-election review of an invalid
initiative. The case also makes clear that where a state statute mandates that an agency set rates at a level sufficient to cover the cost of services, the initiative process cannot be used to set rates below that level.
March 21, 2014 • 11
Pleasanton Turns to Recycled Water for Irrigating Popular Park Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) and the City of Pleasanton expect to save more than 18 million gallons of potable water annually by irrigating a local park with recycled water, a move officials say is a “new normal” for landscaping in the city. One of Pleasanton’s largest and most popular parks, 15-acre Val Vista Park, is the first location in the City of Pleasanton to receive recycled water for irrigation. DSRSD began irrigating with recycled water in Dublin and San Ramon several years ago. Pleasanton is now irrigating most of Val Vista park’s landscaping and fields
with recycled water provided by DSRSD. Val Vista Park features three sand-based soccer fields, two water play features, a skate park, in-line hockey rink, play structure with a climbing wall, restrooms and a picnic area. Areas that will not receive recycled water include the park’s community garden, drinking fountains, restroom, water play feature and circulating creek — both of which may be deactivated this summer due to the drought. “This project is also a great example of working together regionally to use a valuable resource, recycled water,” said Pleasanton Operations Services Director
Daniel Smith. “It’s a win for everyone. The community gets a green park during a drought, the City of Pleasanton saves 18.5 million gallons of potable water, and DSRSD avoids having to dump a valuable resource into San Francisco Bay.”
Butterfly Festival Celebrates New Pavilion in Water Garden The Water Conservation Garden in El Cajon is inviting the public to celebrate the opening of the Dorcas E. Utter Memorial Butterfly Pavilion at a festival on April 5, 2014, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The 644-square-foot pavilion, also known as a vivarium, houses six species of butterflies native or endemic to Southern California and the droughttolerant plants that attract them. The model ecosystem will offer educational opportunities for thousands of children and adults annually, helping them learn about plant and animal relationships, the butterfly life cycle, the role of butterflies
in the ecosystem, and how they can nurture and observe butterflies in their personal gardens. Festival details are available at www.thegarden.org/butterfly. The Water Conservation Garden was opened in response to drought
conditions in the early 1990s and is dedicated to helping Southern Californian’s learn about water-wise landscaping. For more information, please visit www.thegarden.org.
Metropolitan Water District Launches Drought Outreach Campaign On March 11, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California approved a regional communications, outreach and advertising campaign in response to the statewide drought and its own Water Alert declaration issued in February. Metropolitan’s board authorized up to $5.5 million annually for a three-year campaign that will include radio, television, print, online and outdoor advertising, along with an extensive community relations effort. The focus will be on 12 • ACWA NEWS
Vol. 42 No. 3
the value of water, the need to conserve and the importance of investing now in water-use efficiency to prepare for the future. The funds allocated for the campaign were part of a $20 million increase in the district’s annual conservation and outreach budget. “While there are no supply restrictions planned in Southern California this year, the unprecedented dry conditions throughout the state serve as a stark reminder that we all have a responsibility
to do more with less,” said Metropolitan General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger. “Southern Californians have stepped up to the plate and made extensive regional investments over the past 20 years to diversify supplies and solidify water reliability, but there is no doubt the current drought is a call to re-double our conservation efforts,” Kightlinger added.
PCWA, East Bay Municipal Working Together in Drought Times Managing California’s complex water storage and delivery system is a never-ending balancing act between supply, demand, and environmental considerations, especially during a severe water shortage. This system leads to complex delivery agreements that provide benefits as well as obligations to all involved. These detailed agreements generally receive little attention from the public until times like these. The Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) normally gets water for its customers from reservoirs operated by PG&E in the Yuba River watershed. This year’s supply from that source will be well below normal. To augment our Yuba River supply this year, PCWA will maximize its pumping of American River water as well as utilize groundwater wells in western Placer to help meet our customers’ needs. Still, these combined sources will not be enough to alleviate shortages. We will need our customers’ help to conserve water so we all make it through this drought. PCWA’s ability to utilize American
River water comes with stewardship commitments. One of those commitments led to the agency’s decision to sell 20,000 acre-feet of water to East Bay Municipal Utility District, consistent with Sacramento-area Water Forum Agreement signed in 2000. Under terms of this agreement, PCWA was allowed to build the American River Pump Station. The pump station regularly provides the agency’s customers with water in dry years and has proven critically important during past emergencies such as the Bear River Canal failure in 2011. While the construction of the agency’s pump station greatly increased our capability to use American River water, it cannot completely alleviate the current shortages from the Yuba River system. In exchange for the right to pump water out of the American River, PCWA committed in the Water Forum Agreement that under certain conditions during dry years, we would release water to the American River from our reservoirs to help sustain water flows in the lower American River. Our stewardship commitment to release additional water is contingent on the
agency finding a buyer that can use the water after it has benefitted the lower American River. With this year’s drought, the lower American River — that area downstream from Folsom Lake running to the Sacramento River — is in need of that additional water. So PCWA intends to honor its commitment under the Water Forum Agreement and provide additional flow. And, because we are part of the Water Forum Agreement, the water is able to be purchased and used by the East Bay Municipal Utility District. Depending on the volume of American River water used by the Agency’s customers this year, additional transfers may be needed to complete our stewardship commitment. Even after these releases, the Agency will maintain adequate storage levels in our reservoirs. This partnership between PCWA and the East Bay Municipal Utility District is one example of how two water agencies can work together to use available resources to maximize the beneficial use of water. — David A. Breninger, general manager of the Placer County Water Agency
ACWA Asks Members to Take Survey on Water Infrastructure Projects The California Water Commission, Delta Stewardship Council, Department of Water Resources, and Association of California Water Agencies are working together to collect information from local agencies regarding potential water projects and programs that can add new or expand existing surface or groundwater storage capacity, improve water supply reliability and improve operational efficiency. Your agency’s participation is needed to make the survey results as comprehensive as possible. Please respond to the survey by Monday, March 31. Go to acwa.com and click on the “Water Projects Survey” button to take the survey.
The goal of this effort is to identify and compile a comprehensive inventory of projects that includes existing CALFED surface storage projects such as Sites Reservoir, Temperance Flat and the enlargement of Shasta Reservoir, in addition to other local and regional projects that can significantly improve storage capacity, flood protection, water supply reliability, hydroelectric generation, ecosystem health, water quality and recreation. The information collected through this survey will be used to help ongoing planning efforts, support integrated water planning and inform actions by the State
of California that respond to current and future needs. ACWA also will utilize the results to assist in the implementation of ACWA’s Statewide Water Action Plan and advocate to the Brown Administration on the California Water Action Plan. The data your agency provides in this survey will be made available to various state and/or federal agencies and may be made public. Questions? Please contact Danielle Blacet, ACWA special projects manager, at 916-441-4545 or danielleb@acwa. com, or Sue Sims, California Water Commission executive officer, at 916653-5544 or email@example.com.
March 21, 2014 • 13
Public Member Agencies Del Puerto and West Stanislaus Water Districts Bill Harrison stepped down on Feb. 28 as general manager of the Del Puerto and West Stanislaus Water Districts on Feb. 28, culminating a 37-year career in the water industry West-side farmers and water users are well acquainted with the Harrison family. Bill Harrison took over management after his father Lawrence “Lodi” Harrison retired in 1978. According to the Patterson Irrigator, “Harrison helped renegotiate the original water contracts his father had negotiated in the late 1940s and 1950s for water usage and the development of the Delta-Mendota Canal and federal water projects. Those renegotiations took 10 years to fulfill and culminated in ratification in 2005.” Bill Harrison grew up in Patterson, graduated from Patterson High School and attended Stanford University. Anthea Hansen will take over as general manager of the water districts. She has worked at the districts for the past 14 years.
Eastern Municipal Water District Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) announced on March 11 the appointment of Nick Kanetis as the district’s deputy general manager for operations and maintenance.
Kanetis comes to EMWD from the Orange County Sanitation District, where he has served as director of engineering. During his tenure there, Kanetis led a 125-person Engineering Department and helped oversee the district’s $2 billion Capital Improvement Program. Kanetis also has spent more than a decade in the private sector, providing engineering consulting services for many municipal water and wastewater agencies throughout Southern California, and previously worked as deputy director and chief engineer for the City of San Diego’s water department. In addition to Kanetis, EMWD recently promoted Debby Cherney to deputy general manager for finance and administration. Cherney previously served as EMWD’s assistant general manager for finance. Prior to her arrival at EMWD in 2012, Cherney spent seven years at Irvine Ranch Water District, where she most recently served as executive director of finance.
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Compton City Council member Yvonne Arceneaux and general
engineering contractor Steve Blois were seated March 11 as new members of the Metropolitan Water District’s Board of Directors. Arceneaux returns to Metropolitan’s 37-member board, where she represented the city of Compton from April 2009 to September 2010. She replaces Dianne Sanchez. Arceneaux chairs the Compton Creek Task Force and is currently serving her sixth term on the Compton City Council. In 2002, she retired after 26 years with the Compton Unified School District. Blois follows Gail L. Pringle as Calleguas Municipal Water District’s representative on the Metropolitan board. Pringle served on the Met board since December 2012. A resident of Camarillo, Blois is a licensed general engineering contractor and managed Blois Construction for 20 years before retiring in 2003. He maintains a consulting practice serving the construction industry. In 2008, Blois was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, where he served a four-year term. He also was a board member and secretary of Crestview Mutual Water Company from 1996 to 2014.
Obama Nominates Estevan Lopez for Reclamation Commissioner President Obama announced on March 6 his intention to nominate Estevan Lopez as the next commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation. If confirmed by the Senate, Lopez will succeed Mike Connor, who was recently confirmed
14 • ACWA NEWS
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to become the deputy secretary of the Interior. Lopez currently serves as director of the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, a position he has held since 2003. Prior to that, he served as county manager of Santa Fe County from 2001 to 2003 and Land Use and Utilities Department director of Santa
Fe County from 2000 to 2001. Lopez has also worked at Arco Alaska Inc. as an operations engineer and then a well work supervisor. If confirmed, Lopez would lead an agency with an annual budget of over $1 billion and a workforce of more than 5,000 employees.
26 – 27
April 3 – 4
7 – 9
Children’s Water Education Festival presented by the Orange County Water District, Disneyland Resort, National Water Research Institute and the OCWD Groundwater Guardian Team on March 26-27. The festival presents a unique opportunity to educate Orange County’s third, fourth and fifth grade students about water and the environment. More than 7,000 students are expected to attend. Volunteers, presenters and sponsors are needed to support this educational event. Learn more at www. childrenwaterfestival.com.
The California Water Policy Conference is set for April 3-4 at The Roberts Environmental Center at Claremont McKenna College. Now in its 23rd year, the California Water Policy Conference is the premier event in the State that brings together leaders from the agricultural, urban water and environmental communities to discuss the current policy issues impacting California’s water. For more information and registration go to http://www.cawaterpolicy.org/ index.htm. Green California Summit and Exposition is set for April 7-9 at the Sacramento Convention Center. For registration and more information go to http://www. green-technology.org/gcsummit/education-program. html.
16 The 2nd Annual Climate Change Water and Society (CCWAS) IGERT State of the Science workshop is set for April 16. “Climate Change and the Future of Groundwater in California” aims to bring together scientists, water managers, policy and decision makers, engineers and other interested stakeholders to identify key challenges and solutions for a sustainable groundwater future. More details can be found in the attached flyer and at http://ccwas. ucdavis.edu/State_of_the_Science_and_Policy_ Workshop/2014/.
6 – 9
ACWA’s 2014 Spring Conference & Exhibition is May 6-9 at the Portola and Marriott Hotels, Monterey. Register online at www.acwa.com. Registration deadline is April 10. For more information contact ACWA’s Member Services and Events Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 916.441.4545.
O.C. Water Summit on May 16 will bring together more than 500 Southern California business professionals with international, national and state
water industry stakeholders, elected officials, environmentalists, scientists and community leaders to discuss ongoing global water issues and how water supply challenges impact our economy and public safety. Prominent authors, world-renowned experts and distinguished speakers also will be a part of this critical dialog. Visit www.ocwatersummit.com for more information.
MCWRA & ACWA Region 3 Joint Program is set for June 6 at Wedgewood Sequoia Mansion, Placerville. For more information please contact Regional Affairs Representative Katie Dahl at email@example.com or Regional & Member Services Specialist Ana Torres at firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 9 – 12
The International Water Association is holding a specialists’ conference for water basin science and management Sept. 9 to 12 in San Francisco. More information on the conference is http://iwa2014sanfrancisco.org/. Questions may be directed to Chelsea Spier at 209.946.2595, email@example.com.
December 2 – 5
ACWA’s 2014 Fall Conference & Exhibition is Dec. 2 – 5 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego. For more information contact ACWA’s Member Services and Events Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 916.441.4545.
March 21, 2014 • 15
Water Education Executive Director Sudman Retiring; Bowles Named as Replacement
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Rita Schmidt Sudman, executive director of the Water Education Foundation, is retiring after 34 years of heading the nonprofit organization that raises awareness of water issues in California and the Southwest. Under Sudman’s leadership, the foundation has become a leading organization for water education, known for its flagship publication, the bimonthly Western Water magazine, water tours, school programs, conferences examining key water issues and Emmy award-winning public television documentaries.
Sudman has served on numerous boards including the President’s Advisory CommisCE SPACE sion onFOR WaterLEASE for the University of California and the board of Water For People, an international program assisting people in e-in ready office space. developing countries to obtain safe drinking 2003,State she received the Lifetime blockwater. fromInthe Capitol. Achievement Award from the Groundwa300 ±2,200 Rentable SF ter Resources Association of California. 350 ±1,850 Rentable SF In 2005, she $1.65 per RSF, FSGreceived the Service to the Water Industry Award from the American eat Downtown CBD location, only one block to the Water Works Association (AWWA), te Capitol Section, rfect forCalifornia-Nevada lobbyists and professional firms in recognition alking distance restaurants, hotels, and professional of hertodedication to leading and educating vices drinking water professionals.
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party for Sudman is being in Sacramento at the Vizcaya Inn. Find more information about this procurring broker event at http://bit.ly/1fDsQuj. Jennifer Bowles, an award-winning journalist and a former communications strategist for a major California water law firm, has been named as Executive Director ofone the Water Educablock to ê tion Foundation. In addition to hiring Capitol! Bowles, the foundation’s board of directors promoted Sue McClurg to deputy executive director in recognition of her 20-plus years of dedicated service.
ORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
“Rita is leaving the foundation in a solid
financial position. Her dedication, energy and creativity have helped make the organization an internationally recognized force in water education and the board is confident that Jennifer’s background in marketing and journalism will help grow 910 the foundation and maintain K STREET its high level of integrity,” said Bill Mills, SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA president of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
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graduate, Bowles began her journalism career as a reporter and later an editor during the 1990s, garnering awards for
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“The foundation’s efforts to educate and broaden understanding of water issues through impartial dissemination was very attractive to me as a former journalist,” Bowles said. “I can’t think of a more interesting and challenging year to join the foundation with the drought that has placed a spotlight on water issues in California and the need for conservation.” Three suites available in Sacramento, one block from the State Capital (910 K Street). • Suite 350 – 1,850 sq. ft. | Suite 300 – 2,200 sq. ft. | Suite 340 – 578 sq. ft. • Move-in ready office space • Immediate access to Interstate 5 and Interstate 80 • Walking distance to Westfield Downtown Shopping Center, restaurants, and hotels • Centrally located in the heart of the Sacramento Central Business District For more information, contact Mark Tabak: 916.288.4818 or email@example.com
Position Open Media and Communications Specialist City of Sacramento The City of Sacramento, Department of Utilities has an immediate opening for a Media and Communications Specialist. This position will serve as the department’s main spokesperson, community liaison, and
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her coverage of California water issues while working for The Associated Press and The Press-Enterprise. She joined Best, Best & Krieger in 2008 where she worked as a writer and communications strategist.
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marketing strategist, marketing the City’s innovative and progressive water resources, outreach and regulatory programs, such as stormwater, floodplain and sanitary sewer management and water conservation. For more information and to apply, go to www.cityofsacramento.org/personnel. Final Filing Deadline: 4/18/14. EOE