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E-Newsletter: Legislative Updates, Annual Mtg & Dinner, CA WaterFix Blog Post & More!

September 21, 2016

2 Weeks To Go — RSVP Today for SCWC’s Annual Dinner!

Sponsorship opportunities available! If interested, contact Julie Ackman at (714) 335-7500 or

California WaterFix Updates 
ICYMI: Metropolitan Water District’s Tom Philp’s Water Deeply Op-ed – “Happy 10th Birthday to California’s Most Ambitious Water Project”

California is not a state to rest on its laurels, and with a bevy of natural forces in play – drought, earthquake, fire and flood – we need to take action to secure our water supply. The Golden State’s history with environmental upheaval reveals that we can never accurately know when a natural disaster situation will crop up unexpectedly – however, we can be confident that gambling with California’s water supply should be an absolute non-starter.

The State Water Project is woefully unprepared for the inevitable assaults that it will encounter in the coming years. Antiquated levees and an outdated water delivery system are responsible for delivering 30 percent of Southern California’s water, and as efficient as Southern California has become with recent investments in water conservation and local supplies, those savings won’t be enough if the levees fail. And the risk is high.

How do we know this? Because experts tell us that an earthquake of a 6.7 magnitude or higher is due before 2030, and an earthquake of only a 6.5 magnitude could trigger devastating damage in the Delta, allowing saltwater to contaminate freshwater supplies. More than five years into California’s drought, a risk of losing 30 percent of our supply is no small concern. Now is the time to address what can be done.

Thankfully, we have a plan. A decade’s worth of research has gone into the development of California WaterFix, a plan to create a modern pipeline that will run under the Delta, ensuring water supplies are safe from earthquakes and allowing us to deliver water when it’s available during normal and wet years.

Additionally, while the tunnels don’t create more water, they do optimize the amount of water we can collect and store during high rainfall years to best position ourselves for inevitable future dry periods. This inevitability is a fact not lost on Southern Californians, investments have already been made to improve water efficiency as the drought has worn on. Forgoing modernization of the Delta and the State Water Project would diminish these investments.

The environment is well armed, its arsenal full with rising sea levels, earthquakes, and drought – only one of which is needed to overpower California’s water system in its current state. Such a tally makes the necessity of enhancing our preparations for the future clear.

We have the facts to show the full breadth of the issue. We should commit ourselves to defending California’s – all of California’s – water supply. We need to move forward with California WaterFix. For more information, please visit


ICYMI: California Natural Resources Agency Announces “New Strategy to Improve Conditions for Delta Smelt Shows Promising Results” 
YOLO BYPASS WILDLIFE AREA – The initial monitoring of a new strategy to improve conditions for the endangered Delta smelt shows significant promise in creating a bloom in the plankton that nourish these imperiled fish. State and federal leaders were joined today by Sacramento Valley farmers and water providers along the banks of the Yolo Bypass to describe the successful experiment and deliver the first update on the State’s comprehensive Delta Smelt Resiliency Strategy. The effort is intended to improve ecosystem conditions so more young Delta smelt survive this year and reproduce.

“Acting on a scientific hunch with cooperation that extended deep into the Sacramento Valley, we moved quickly to see if we could boost the Delta smelt food supply in the western Delta in this fifth year of drought,” said Charlton H. Bonham, Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. He added, “The results surpassed our expectations and give us hope that in future years we can relatively quickly and easily take advantage of the Yolo Bypass floodplain to improve conditions for a species on the brink of extinction.”

…“This effort provides a good example of the application of scientific research to address complex management issues,” said Dr. Ted Sommer, lead scientist for the California Department of Water Resources. He added, “The overall strategy of the smelt plan was based on an intensive effort by a multi-agency team to isolate the major factors affecting different life stages of Delta smelt and to identify the habitat, environmental and landscape conditions that could be improved to support better growth, health and reproduction.”

…The Delta Smelt Resiliency Strategy is being implemented by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the California Department of Water Resources, the Division of Boating and Waterways, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The smelt food production plan is being executed through a partnership involving local, state and federal agencies teaming up with Sacramento Valley agricultural water users and farmers. This is the latest chapter of cooperation involving a coalition of farmers, water providers, conservationists and regulators who are driven by the mindset to “fix it” rather than “fight it” to improve fish and wildlife habitat throughout the Sacramento River region.

Read the full press release from the Department of Water Resources here.

 Upcoming SCWC Events

SCWC Stormwater Task Force Workshop – September 29

  • What: In conjunction with Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, “Drought Proof Strategy—Integrated Regional Strategies for Groundwater Storage of Stormwater, Recycled and Imported Supplies”
  • When: September 29, 2016
  • Time: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Where: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California 
  • Address: 700 N. Alameda Street Los Angeles, CA 90012


Workshop on Drought Vulnerability and Tools for Improving Water Resilience – October 19-20

  • What: NWRI, California Department of Water Resources (DWR), and Southern California Water Committee (SCWC) will present a two-day workshop in Los Angeles on October 19-20, 2016, focusing on the importance of predicting precipitation and improving the resilience of water resources in California.
  • Panel discussions to include:

          – Managing Groundwater Basins in Southern California for Drought

          – Stormwater Capture and Integrated Regional Water Management Plans

          – NGO and Industry Perspectives on Sustainability of Water Resources in Urban Environments


 2016 SCWC Annual Meeting & Dinner – October 27 — RSVP Today 
Fall is coming up quick and that means SCWC’s Annual Meeting and Dinner is too! Planned for Thursday, October 27 at Discovery Cube Orange County in Santa Ana, this is one event you won’t want to miss. The SCWC Annual Meeting and Dinner is the region’s premiere networking event for water, business, agriculture, local government, labor and environmental leaders. Sponsorship opportunities are still available! If interested contact Julie Ackman at (714) 335-7500 or

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit SCWC’s website, here. Save your spot, RSVP today!


Innovate x Water – “Working Together To Build A Sustainable Future” – November 15 

  • What: CORO, in partnership with LACI and SCWC, presents a one-day conference featuring three panels and three conference speakers to explore how water plays into the civic fabric of the Greater Southern California Region.
  • When: November 15, 2016
  • Time: 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Where: LA CIeantech Incubator (LACI)
        – 525 S. Hewitt Street, LA 90013
  • For additional details and registration, click here.

 Other Upcoming Events

SoCal ECA New Water Projects & California Drought Solutions Panel Discussion – September 22
The Southern California Engineering Contractors’ Association (SoCal ECA) will host a panel discussion including Richard Nagel, General Manager West Basin Water District and Scott Slater, CEO & President Cadiz, Inc., and moderated by SCWC’s own Executive Director & CEO, Charley Wilson. Topics to be discussed include the West Basin Water District’s Ocean Water Desalination Program, updates on the Cadiz Valley Water Project and information on the MWD’s latest infrastructure projects.

For additional details and registration, click here.


IEUA Water Association Leadership Breakfast – October 13
The Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) will host a leadership breakfast featuring a presentation by SCWC’s Executive Director and CEO, Charley Wilson on Regional Water Reliability.

For additional details and registration, click here.

Lawn Dude Conservation Corner
Hi Friends, Lawn Dude here – back in action. Summer might be over, but that doesn’t mean we can take our feet off the conservation pedal! We must all continue to live that California [i.e. conservation] lifestyle. Remember my slogan — conserve, conserve, conserve! Check your local water agency’s conservation targets and limit the number of days you water outdoors. Together we can kick grass and take names!

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