Managed retreat—the process of moving people and property away from the shoreline—is an unpopular but increasingly accepted response to rising sea-levels. In the inaugural issue of Nossaman’s California Water Views – 2023 Outlook, we discuss the saga of Morro Bay’s efforts to relocate and reopen its wastewater treatment plant farther inland at the direction of the California Coastal Commission. After many fits and starts, the Morro Bay plant opened in February 2023 and cost $161 million to build. The Morro Bay case is relevant because similarly situated coastal ...
On January 10, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom announced his $297 billion budget proposal for 2023-2024, which includes a $22.5 billion budget deficit. Despite environmental/climate change programs facing $6 billion in cuts, Governor Newsom’s proposed budget includes relatively few negative impacts to water projects. In fact, the drought response and water resilience section, which includes the vast majority of water-related funding, only faces a cut of two percent, from $8.7 billion to $8.6 billion. That two percent reduction is the lowest of any environmental category. ...
On December 19, 2022, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps), Sacramento District released its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Delta Conveyance Project. The Army Corps is the federal agency tasked with evaluating the Delta Conveyance Project for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. Cooperating federal agencies include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. …
On December 6, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by a bipartisan vote of 350-80. The NDAA includes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022, which includes nearly $38 billion in funding for the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). (The text of the WRDA begins on page 3160 of the NDAA.) The WRDA is biennial legislation that provides the Corps with funding to address navigation, flood control, and ecosystem restoration. This year’s bill authorizes projects in all 50 states. On the same day, a bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives announced that they reached an agreement on the WRDA. On December 15, 2022, the Senate passed the NDAA. …
A key priority of the Newsom administration – the Delta Conveyance Project – has officially entered its next chapter. On July 22, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) released its draft environmental impact report (Draft EIR) for the Delta Conveyance Project.
The Delta Conveyance Project is DWR’s and Governor Newsom’s plan to build an underground tunnel to bring water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the State Water Project pumps near Tracy in order to reduce the risk from earthquakes and climate change to the State’s water supplies. It is intended to protect ...
At a board meeting on April 26, 2022, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (“the Met”) announced it would be requiring reductions in water usage from retail water suppliers that are dependent on water from the State Water Project. The reduction, which the Met took as a result of the severity of the state’s current drought, will apply to six million Californians covering Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties. The impacted retail water suppliers are Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Three Valleys Municipal Water District, Upper San Gabriel ...
The past few weeks have been active ones for California in assessing the severity of its current drought and how it plans to manage its water during the third year of that drought. On top of other, more localized action, California released its report on 2021 groundwater conditions, evaluated current snowpack conditions and Governor Newsom issued an executive order directing action affecting 2022 water usage.
2021 Groundwater Conditions Report
On April 4, 2022, the California Department of Water Resources (“DWR”) issued its Groundwater Conditions Report for Water Year 2021 ...
On May 27, Nossaman’s Water Industry Group hosted a webinar to discuss the potential impacts of sea level rise on infrastructure and private property, as well as current legislation seeking to address the impacts of sea level rise.
This post is not intended to summarize the topics discussed during the webinar, so if you missed the presentation and want to catch up, you can download the slide deck or watch a recording of the webinar here.
Over the course of the webinar, we asked a few poll questions to get to know more about our audience and their concerns about sea level rise. We found the ...
With the recent flurry of coastal law bills before the California State Legislature and the myriad headlines advising that we must retreat from the shore, sea level rise (SLR) and related climate change topics remain front and center in California. Join our Water Industry Group on May 27, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT for "Living on the Edge: Managing Sea Level Rise in California" as we sort through the pending legislation and discuss the basis for this ever-increasing concern with the encroaching ocean.
Comprised of attorneys from Nossaman’s Water, Environment & Land Use and ...
The first 100 days of a new administration can define what lies ahead for the next four years. Join our panel of Nossaman Environment & Land Use attorneys from across the U.S. on April 15, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PT as we review and evaluate the Biden administration’s first 100 days of policy moves involving environmental and natural resources management.
We will discuss efforts to fill leadership roles at CEQ, EPA, Interior, DOT and other federal agencies. Updates and analysis will be provided regarding key areas of policy, legislation and regulation, including:
- Climate ...
Earlier this month, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) released the draft California’s Groundwater – Update 2020. According to DWR’s website:
“This version of California’s Groundwater provides a comprehensive look at statewide groundwater activities, compiling technical information and data from 2003 to 2020. This bulletin recognizes the historic passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014 and builds a statewide framework to share new information and progress made by locals who are managing groundwater basins across the state. It ...
As of December 7, 2020, water has been included as a traded commodity on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (“the Merc”). According to a recent Chicago magazine article, “Now cities and farmers can buy futures in California’s water, meaning they can hedge against (or bet on) rising water prices out west, based on the Nasdaq Veles California Water Index [ticker symbol: NQH2O], which tracks the current market price of the five largest water supplies in the state…So far, only the Golden State’s water supply is being traded; it’s sort of a test run.”
Some see this move at the ...
Congratulations to Water Law Group Associate Willis Hon who completed the Water Education Foundation’s Water Leaders program at the end of 2020. Members of the 2020 Water Leaders class examined how to adapt water management to climate change. Read their policy recommendations in the class report, Adapting California Water Management to Climate Change: Charting a Path Forward, to learn more.
The William R. Gianelli Water Leaders Class is California’s premiere water leadership program aimed at early to mid-career, up-and-coming community leaders from diverse backgrounds ...
Governor Gavin Newsom recently released the final version of the Water Resilience Portfolio, which identifies 142 specific state actions to be taken in order to help build a climate-resilient water system for California in the face of climate change. The Water Resilience Portfolio is meant to serve as the Newsom Administration’s blueprint for helping the State adapt to impacts of climate change on its water, including more extreme droughts and floods, rising temperatures, declining fish populations, over-reliance on groundwater and other challenges.
In April 2019, Governor ...
World Water Day is an annual United Nations international observance day that highlights the importance of freshwater. The U.N. chooses a theme for the day each year, and for 2020 the theme is “Water and Climate Change." The goal of World Water Day is to inspire people around the world to learn more about water-related issues and to take action to make a difference. In 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an additional focus on hand washing and hygiene. World Water Day is celebrated around the world through political, artistic, and educational events, as well as ...
California Water Views provides timely and insightful updates on the water sector in the state. We relay information on how water legislation and policy from the nation’s capital, Sacramento, and around the U.S. affect California’s water utilities, agencies, practitioners, and consumers. We also write about important events, conferences, legal cases, and other key happenings involving all things water in and around California.
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