E-Newsletter: CA WaterFix, Drought & Water-Energy Nexus
October 17, 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 jackman@socalwater.org.

For event details and to purchase tickets, please visit: http://www.socalwater.org/event-calendar/1566/annual-meeting-and-dinner#cal.

California WaterFix Update

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

Ten years ago, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan – known now as California WaterFix and EcoRestore – was launched. It is a reminder of the ability of diverse interests to find common ground, writes Tom Philp of the Metropolitan Water District:

“California WaterFix and EcoRestore can seem like a mood ring. There are many days when things from the inside look dark and ominous. So much acrimony. So great a challenge. Yet there are the intoxicating days of hope.”

“Something led all those water warriors and government agencies to sign on that dotted line 10 years ago to work toward a noble solution. Inside California water are individuals and agencies and stakeholders of great and worthy missions. There is tremendous capacity to find common ground.”

To read the full article, click here.

Water-Energy Nexus News

Often viewed as separate issues, water and energy sustainability are interconnected and paramount to California’s future as impacts of drought and climate change persist. With water and energy challenges closely tied to one another, solutions should be as well. It’s the reason SCWC formed a Water Energy Task Force in 2016, and SCWC member agencies are increasingly considering the impact of storage systems on electrical utilities.

  • Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD) recently announced a partnership with Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) to install the largest energy storage system of its kind at a public water agency in the U.S. Not only will the project reduce the costs of IRWD’s own operations, but will also allow the District to play a larger role in helping to reduce peak demand on the region’s grid.


Of the project, IRWD General Manager Paul Cook said, “AMS’s magic is the technology that enables a “bumpless” transition from grid to battery and back to grid without having any interruption in operations. It gets us to where we can be more self-reliant.”

Read more about the IRWD/AMS partnership via Water Deeply’s “Energy Storage Is Saving Water Utilities Money and Easing Grid Demand.”

  • The Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) is another example of a member agency making significant investments in energy efficiency, renewable generation and sustainable water management practices. In 2015, IEUA was the first public water agency to launch a water-energy project using advanced energy storage systems to integrate solar, wind, biogas and grid resources – also in partnership with AMS.

About IEUA’s future energy goals, Board President Terry Catlin said, “Using energy storage to optimize those [clean, efficient] resources and dynamically control consumption is the next crucial step forward in IEUA’s strategic energy plan to go ‘Gridless’ by 2020 with almost no capital outlay by the Agency.”

Read more about IEUA’s landmark project here via The Washington Post.

For more information on SCWC’s Water Energy Task Force, please contact jackman@socalwater.org.

CA Drought

That’s a wrap! Water Year 2016 has come to a close and California was officially listed in the record books as ‘Dry’ statewide. In fact, sixty percent of the state currently remains in severe or extreme drought. While mandatory water restrictions today vary across California, and the forecast for Water Year 2017 is uncertain, Californians continue to demonstrate that we in the Golden State have made water conservation a way of life.

“It’s clear the drought is not over for California and SCWC remains committed to promoting the importance of conservation, building up local water supply resources and securing supplies from the State Water Project. After five years, Southern Californians have embraced conservation as a way of life, but that’s not to say we can ease our collective foot off the pedal. The best results will come from everyone playing a role,” said SCWC Executive Director Charley Wilson.


ICMYI: CA DWR Reports 2016 Water Year Results — “Water Year 2016 Ends, California Suffered ‘Snow Drought’”

SACRAMENTO -- California’s 2016 Water Year draws to a close tomorrow, ending a fifth consecutive year marked by meager precipitation that fell more often as rain than snow.

…Water Year 2016 is officially listed in the record books as ‘Dry’ statewide, even though parts of Northern California experienced average to slightly above average precipitation.

The forecast for Water Year 2017 is uncertain. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center currently sees slightly better than even odds that weak La Niña conditions will develop this fall and winter… There are no guarantees for substantial La Niña rainfall.

Sixty percent of the state currently remains in severe or extreme drought. While mandatory water restrictions today vary across California, making water conservation a California way of life remains a statewide goal and a top priority in Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s State Water Action Plan. Furthermore, responding to climate change is vital to minimizing conditions that likely lead to more frequent, prolonged and severe droughts.

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

Other Recent News

Rich Atwater, SCWC’s Policy Strategist and Past Executive Director, named a Water Deeply "Ten Experts to Watch on Urban Water Policy and Infrastructure"

Richard Atwater
…"Richard Atwater is the executive director of the Southern California Water Committee, a nonprofit working to develop consensus recommendations and public education on regional water issues. Atwater has had a long career in water management, including more than a decade as the general manager of the Inland Empire Utilities Agency. At Inland Empire, Atwater became known for innovative water recycling, renewable energy and biosolids composting projects. In 1994, Atwater received the Department of the Interior’s Conservation Service Award, the highest citizen award for natural resources management."

To read the full article via Water Deeply, click here.


Announcement: NWRI Seeks New Executive Director

The National Water Research Institute (NWRI), a 501c3 nonprofit, is seeking a dynamic, forward-thinking leader to serve as its new Executive Director.

The role of the Executive Director is to plan and implement NWRI’s activities and growth in promoting innovation and practical solutions to water supply and resource challenges. Some activities will include collaborating with agencies and others to support research, workshops/conferences, and publications on leading-edge topics in in water, wastewater, water reuse, and water resources.

A skilled manager and facilitator, the Executive Director also will coordinate special services, like Independent Advisory Panels, to help guide efforts with projects and policies that may be complex, unprecedented, or both.

This full-time position provides a stimulating and meaningful opportunity for a water industry professional to guide an innovative applied research program. Among the resources available to the new Executive Director will be NWRI’s network of nationally and internationally-recognized experts to serve as researchers, peer reviewers, and advisors for research, pilot projects, and programs in the water industry. In addition, a Board of Directors representing six key water and wastewater agencies in Southern California provide support and guidance.

The full job description is available at http://www.nwri-usa.org/jobs.htm.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume in confidence to Brandi Caskey at bcaskey@nwri-usa.org.


USGS Report: Earthquake Outlook for the San Francisco Bay Region 2014-2043

The USGS recently released an updated earthquake outlook report for the San Francisco Bay Region, the results of which reinforce the need for California to invest in our statewide water infrastructure – particularly the California WaterFix project.

According to the report, “There is a 72 percent probability (or likelihood) of at least one earthquake of magnitude 6.7 or greater striking somewhere in this area before 2043.”

With 30 percent of Southern California’s water supply flowing from the Sierra Nevada Mountains through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, it’s a high stakes gamble to rely on an outdated water distribution system, i.e. antiquated dirt levees, when facing a very likely 6.7+ magnitude shaker. In order to protect our local water supply resources, this issue needs to be a high-priority statewide.

For information on how you can get involved with SCWC’s Delta Issues Task Force, please contact jackman@socalwater.org.

To view the full USGS report, click here.

Upcoming SCWC Events

Workshop on Drought Vulnerability & 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.
  • RSVP & Agenda
  • 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!

The Annual Meeting and Dinner is only two weeks away! Set 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 jackman@socalwater.org.

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, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Where: LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI), 525 S. Hewitt Street, LA 90013

For additional details and registration, click here.


Southern California Salinity Management Summit – November 17

  • What: The Southern California Salinity Coalition (SCSC) is partnering with NWRI and Southern California Water Committee (SCWC) to present the Southern California Salinity Management Summit. The Summit is a forum in which water and wastewater agencies in Southern California may share current practices for managing salinity in the water supply and discuss how the current drought has affected water quality in California. 
  • When: November 17, 2016 – 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 pm. [Lunch to be provided]
  • Where: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, in Los Angeles
  • RSVP: E-mail Eileen Chao at echao@nwri-usa.org with the following:
    • Name:
    • Title:
    • Agency (or other affiliation):
    • E-mail:
    • Phone:
    • Do you plan to attend lunch? Y/N

Other Upcoming Events

The Science Enterprise Workshop: Supporting and Implementing Collaborative Science – November 1 & 2

  • What: Co-hosted by the Delta Stewardship Council and USGS. Scientists, science-policy experts, and stakeholders will gather for a two-day workshop to better understand how collaborative science is being managed, funded, and communicated in several high-profile ecosystems around the country. The program is designed to identify common themes and differences in the approaches being used across the systems, and to provide a foundation for discussion of how to best provide science support to managers working to improve the long-term health and viability of the nation’s high-profile ecosystems.
  • When: November 1-2, 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. each day (with an evening reception November 1)

Where: UC Davis—ACR Ballroom A

For additional details and registration, click here.

Lawn Dude Conservation Corner

Hi Friends, it's me, Lawn Dude! As you ready yourselves to cast your ballots over the next few weeks, I wanted to remind you of my own campaign platform -- Conserve, Conserve, Conserve! Even though temperatures are dropping, we must all continue to live that California [i.e. conservation] lifestyle. So, remember my slogan, 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!

To learn ways to conserve, check out my conservation pledge here! And follow me on Twitter!

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