The Edwards Aquifer Authority Board of Directors, at its regular meeting August 14, voted to name long-time deputy general manager Velma R. Danielson as the agency’s next general manager.
Danielson will succeed Robert Potts, who announced his resignation earlier this summer. She won’t officially assume the responsibilities of general manager however, until a formal employment contract is approved. In the meantime, Potts will continue to serve as general manager through the end of the month to facilitate the transition in leadership.
Contact: Roland Ruiz, (210) 477-5143 or (800) 292-1047, ext. 143
Cadiz Inc. (Nasdaq: CDZI) announced August 30 an update on its litigation against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. As previously reported, the Los Angeles County Superior Court had scheduled a hearing for August 30, to hear Motions for Summary Judgment brought by both Cadiz and Metropolitan. By the Court’s order, the hearing has been rescheduled for October 4, 2007. The trial will now commence April 7, 2008.
Cadiz filed litigation against Metropolitan in November 2005 seeking damages for Metropolitan’s failure to complete the environmental review of the Cadiz Groundwater Storage and Dry-Year Supply Program including its failure to accept permits that had been offered by the U.S. Department of the Interior that would have allowed the Cadiz Program to be implemented with other participating water agencies. Full details of the litigation can be found in the Company’s public filings.
Originally proposed in 1997, the Cadiz Program would have built and operated facilities for conjunctive-use aquifer storage of imported Colorado River water, and for extraction and delivery of stored Colorado River water and indigenous groundwater to Metropolitan’s service area.
Despite Metropolitan’s decision not to proceed with the Program in 2002 and the ongoing litigation, the Company has continued to pursue the implementation of the Cadiz Program. In early 2007, we filed permit applications and updated environmental documents with San Bernardino County in an effort to complete the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) review of the Program. In August, the County deemed those applications complete and is now preparing a schedule for CEQA review.
Cadiz Inc.?Courtney Degener, Investor Relations Manager?213.271.1600; Bob Muir, (213) 217-6930; (213) 324-5213, mobile
At their August 21 Board meeting, Washoe County Commissioners approved an interlocal agreement which will provide for the formation of the Interim Western Regional Water Commission. The Western Regional Water Commission is being created as a result of SB 487, which provides for the commission to oversee water planning and other water resources management activities in Washoe County. Under the provisions of SB 487, the WRWC does not become effective until April 1, 2008. The Interim WRWC will be responsible for developing recommendations for collaborative and cooperative efforts in managing an integrated water resources management plan for the WRWC member agencies (the cities of Reno and Sparks, the Truckee Meadows Water Authority, Washoe County, the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility, the Sun Valley General Improvement District and the South Truckee Meadows General Improvement District).
The staff work group, made up of the same agencies that will be represented on the Interim WRWC, is pursuing the goal of the WRWC leading collaborative and cooperative efforts aimed at a holistic approach to stewardship of our water resources. Key points include: Developing and implementing an integrated water resource optimization and management plan; building understanding and trust among the many stakeholders involved in developing, managing and implementing water resource programs and policies in the region; accomplishing important region-wide objectives and providing a forum for dialogue and resolution of important water resources public policy issues.
Each of the involved agencies will consider the interlocal agreement and appoint interim commission members by the end of August. At their August 21 Board meeting, the Washoe County Board of Commissioner appointed Commissioner Bonnie Weber to join Chairman Bob Larkin to represent TMWA on the interim WRWC. The Board will also consider appointing either Commissioner Galloway or Commissioner Humke as STMGID’s appointee next week. If approved by all parties and implemented, the interlocal agreement will terminate on March 31, 2008, before the WRWC becomes effective April 1, 2008.
For more information about the Interim WRWC, contact PIO Kim Evans at 775-328-2730 or Water Resources Director Rosemary Menard at 954-4666.
Kathy Carter?(775) 328-6169 Washoe County
The Department of Land and Natural Resources Commission on Water Resource Management this summer has received reports of streams drying up, and unpermitted diversions from streams on Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Maui, and the Big Island.
These situations may be due, at least in part, to the low rainfall conditions experienced statewide this year.
In general, most of Hawai‘i’s streams are supplied directly from rainfall. With rainfall this year about half of normal, stream flows have been reduced accordingly.
“With a few exceptions, rainfall totals on all islands in the state have been well below normal since the beginning of 2007 (based on year-to-date rainfall from January through July 2007),” said Ken Kawahara, Water Commission deputy director.
“Water is a precious resource, not only for consumptive uses, but to preserve the life of our native aquatic wildlife such as the ‘o‘opu, and ‘opae. Especially during this period of drought conditions we strongly encourage water conservation. Water is a public trust resource and all residents, businesses, private and public agencies must do their part by not wasting water and being conscious of how much water they are using,” Kawahara said.
The Commission is also reminding the public that any stream channel alteration or any new, or expanded diversion of water from a stream requires the proper permits from the Commission.
The State Water Code, Chapter 174C, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes, authorizes the Commission to require permits for stream alterations and diversions to provide for and protect fishery, wildlife, recreational, aesthetic, scenic, and other beneficial instream uses.
The permit process also protects existing users where there are competing interests.
The Commission is also authorized to fine any person who violates any provision of the State Water Code up to $5,000 for each violation. For a continuing offense, each day during which the offense is committed can be considered a separate violation.
In addition, permits or other conditions may be required or imposed by other county, state, or federal agencies.
Anyone with a question regarding stream channel alterations or stream diversions, should contact the Water Commission’s stream protection and management branch at 587-0234, or call toll free from the neighbor islands as follows: ??from Kauai – 274-3141 ext 70234; ?from Maui – 984-2400 ext 70234; ?from Hawaii – 974-4000 ext 70234; and ?from Molokai & Lanai – 1-800-468-4644 ext 70234.
For residential water saving tips visit the website WaterUseItWisely.com.
For further information about water resource management and stream diversion, go to Commission’s web site at: www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/cwrm
Deborah Ward ?DLNR Public Information specialist ?Phone: (808) 587-0320 August 23
Nevada water officials filed legal papers early in August saying that the federal officials who have used water for the nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain were violating state-federal agreements and have to stop that use.
The legal case open significant new questions for the federal project, which is reliant on use of Nevada water.
Senior Deputy Attorney General Marta Adams told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the federal Department of energy “has been using water for at least a year in violation of the understanding the parties had. And now, incredibly, DOE continues to use Nevada’s water for a purpose outside the agreement and unsupported in federal law.”
The new filing is part of a state attempt in federal district court to obtain a retraining order against federal use of the water – part, in turn, of a larger effort against development of the nuclear project overall.
The Department of Energy has maintained that it is operating within the terms of the federal-state agreement and that loss of the water will cost the federal agency a large amount of money.
At hearing on the issue August 15, District Judge Roger Hunt appeared critical of the federal effort, questioning the abruptly increased speed by the Department of Energy in moving ahead on the project. He also said the agency had ignored state orders to quit using the water, which is governed by the state.
Senator Harry Reif od Nevada weighed in with his state’s water agency. He told the Review Journal that “The Department of Energy, for lack of a better description, has cheated us for years now. And we want the world to know about this . . . Quite frankly, we’re waiting until Bush is out of office. Once he’s gone, we’re in really good shape.”
[see Las Vegas Review Journal, August 1, August 16, August 24.]
Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne on August 30 announced a new grant program under the Department of the Interior’s Water 2025 initiative that will enable water users to perform broad studies of the efficiency of their water delivery systems. Water users must submit grant proposals to Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation by Dec. 4, 2007, to compete for funds for a System Optimization Review.
The Bureau of Reclamation will award the funds for System Optimization Reviews, each of which will result in a plan of action that will focus on improving efficiency and operations on a regional or basin perspective. Most improvements identified in the reviews will be eligible to apply to the Water 2025 Challenge Grant Program for additional funding.”
System Optimization Reviews will involve a multi-step process that will gather information about the system being reviewed; identify issues and priorities; establish water conservation goals; examine water management, water marketing and ways to prevent conflicts over water; identify and evaluate potential improvements; define a plan of action; and prepare a final report.
Water 2025 encourages voluntary water banks and other market-based measures as authorized under state law, promotes the use of new technology for water conservation and efficiency and removes institutional barriers to increase cooperation and collaboration among federal, state, tribal and private organizations.
To be eligible for one of the new System Optimization Review grants, applicants must represent an irrigation or water district, tribal water authority, state governmental entity with water management authority, or organizations created under state law with water delivery authority; be located in the seventeen western states; provide a 50/50 cost-share; request no more than $300,000 federal cost-share; and be scheduled for completion in 24 months.
To learn more about the System Optimization Review Grants, the Challenge Grant Program, or Water 2025, please visit www.doi.gov/water2025.
Contact:?Kip White (Reclamation) 202-513-0684?Joan Moody (Interior) 202-208-6416
State water managers have extended for another five years a moratorium on geothermal ground water in the Twin Falls area, the Idaho Department of Water Resources announced August 17.
The moratorium was originally put in place in 1987 after IDWR officials determined the geothermal ground water system was experiencing a significant decline in artesian pressure. IDWR extended the moratorium three times in 1992, 1997, and again in 2002.
Data collected during the past 20 years indicates that, although the rate of decline in artesian pressure has slowed, it has yet to fully stabilize.
The moratorium essentially stops issuance of permits for any new water right development, and limits development of existing permits for the heated water coming from the geothermal aquifer. The aquifer covers an area of approximately 140 square miles around Twin Falls south of the Snake River.
The College of Southern Idaho petitioned IDWR on June 12, to extend the moratorium for another five years to protect the aquifer and to allow additional technical data to be collected. Aquifer conditions have not changed since the last public meeting about the issue in June 2002, and the Department has not received a request to schedule a new public meeting.
This moratorium takes effect today and expires after another five-year period on Sept. 1, 2012. Any petition for reconsideration or exceptions to this order, or a request for hearing must be filed with the Department on or before Aug. 31.
Contact:?Bob McLaughlin ?(208) 287-4828 Idaho Department of Water Resources
Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed into law August 17 legislation that puts Illinois on record as the region’s second state to officially endorse landmark water use standards as part of a Great Lakes water use compact.
“The Great Lakes are the lifeblood of our region,” said Cameron Davis, Alliance president. “With Gov. Blagojevich’s signature today, it’s now up to the remaining six Great Lakes states to do their part to endorse uniform, binding Compact legislation so that we can conserve our region’s waters.”
The legislation all but bans diversions of water that would leave the Great Lakes and sharply limits water withdrawals that would stay within the Lakes’ ecosystem. Minnesota in February became the first state to endorse the Compact.
The Alliance worked with legislative leaders Rep. Harry Osterman (D-Chicago) and Sen. John Cullerton (D-Chicago) to pass the Compact legislation in Illinois. The Illinois Environmental Council, Environment Illinois and Openlands Project helped greatly with the effort.
“The Great Lakes are a resource for us to use and protect, not a commodity to sell to the highest bidder,” Davis testified before Illinois House and Senate committees earlier this year. “They are not a resource to be squandered by any one industry, person or community at the expense of all of us. We all have a responsibility to protect the Lakes, not for a single interest, but for our families and future generations.”
Signed by the governors of all eight Great Lakes states in December 2005, the Compact will provide a set of uniform, binding water use standards for the region. Once endorsed by the legislatures of all the Great Lakes states, the Compact moves to the U.S. Congress for final ratification. The Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec are considering a complementary agreement that mirrors the Compact.
Major funding for the Alliance’s water conservation program is generously provided by the Brunswick Public Foundation and Oberweiler Foundation in Illinois, Brico Fund in Milwaukee and members of the Alliance.
August 17 Cameron Davis: 312-375-2004 (cell) http://www.greatlakes.org/news/press081807.asp
North Dakota Governor John Hoeven on August 13 met at Fort Stevenson State Park with Army Corps of Engineers officials and members of the Mississippi River Commission to stress the need for drought conservation throughout the Missouri River Basin.
Hoeven said lower Missouri River and Mississippi River interests want water for barge traffic. Good drought management practices enable higher and more stable water levels in the Missouri River basin, while providing greater predictability for the lower reaches of the Missouri River and the Mississippi, according to Hoeven.
“Shortening the navigation season early in a drought cycle, instead of waiting until the region is deep into it, will help protect fisheries, recreational interests, water intakes and other vital uses in the upper basin, resulting in greater predictability for navigation downstream,” Hoeven said. “If reservoirs are drawn down too far, it results in a ‘preclude,’ which means adverse impacts to upstream interests, and no navigation season at all downstream. That serves nobody’s interest.”
The seven-member panel appointed by the president is touring the entire Missouri River system, which runs 2,341 miles from its origins near Missouri River Headwaters State Park near Three Forks, Montana, through North Dakota and other states until it meets the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Missouri.
North Dakota Governor John Hoeven
.S.-Mexico Agreement on Lower Colorado
Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced August 13 that the Government of Mexico and the Government of the United States have renewed their commitment to cooperate and collaborate on issues related to the Colorado River. The announcement follows a recent meeting between Secretary Kempthorne and Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan of Mexico.
The Department of the Interior, through the Bureau of Reclamation, is responsible for the domestic management of the Colorado River, the waters of which are shared by seven U.S. basin states and Mexico. Mexico’s Colorado River allocation is governed by the 1944 Treaty Relating to the Utilization of the Waters of the Colorado and Tijuana Rivers and of the Rio Grande, which is administered by the International Boundary and Water Commission.
The U.S. and Mexican authorities have agreed that cooperative, innovative and holistic measures should be considered to ensure that the Colorado River is able to continue to meet environmental, agricultural and urban demands of both nations. Mexican authorities stressed the importance of ensuring that the needs of all stakeholders in the lower portion of the Colorado River are understood and considered by leaders of both nations.
The U.S. authorities acknowledged the growing national and international focus on the Colorado River as a result of the ongoing historic drought in the basin. The U.S. authorities also noted recent innovative agreements among the seven U.S. states that rely on the Colorado River.
Among the issues expected to be addressed are: Continued needs of both nations for water for urban, agricultural and environmental purposes, the study of the hydrological system and potential impacts of climate change, including the effects of the ongoing historic Colorado River drought; environmental priorities, including Colorado River Delta habitat protection and enhancement; opportunities for water conservation, storage and supply augmentation, such as seawater desalination and reuse; strategies aimed to ease variations in the Colorado River system; and potential opportunities for more efficient Colorado River water deliveries to Mexico.
Joan Moody (202) 208-6416?(en Español) Isabel Benemelis (202) 208-7975 US Department of the Interior http://www.doi.gov/news/07_News_Releases/070813_statement.html