AB 32 driving energy costs higher

By Susan M. Trager

May 3 saw 807,946 signatures submitted to the California Secretary of State to qualify for the November ballot the California Jobs Initiative. If approved by voters, it would suspend AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, until unemployment in California dropped from its current high level, 12.6 percent in March, to 5.5 percent or lower for four consecutive quarters. AB32 supposedly would reduce global warming caused by greenhouse gases.

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Pacific may be gearing up for return of La Niña; Forecaster calls it ‘diva of drought’

Goodbye, El Niño. Hello, La Niña?

It’s by no means guaranteed, but conditions in the Pacific Ocean seem to be shifting toward the periodic phenomenon that almost always robs rain from Southern California and the Southwest.

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Water Resources Center Archives are at risk

If you live in Northern California and are interested in water issues, you may have visited the Water Resources Center Archives at some point. It’s a great library on the UC Berkeley campus dedicated to water resources, and it features an extensive collection filled with all sorts of fascinating material pertaining to water that you would not find at any other library. This 52-year old collection is an invaluable resource for Northern California, a region that is home to many serious and varied water issues, and this library is the best of its kind that I have run across here in the Bay Area.

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Salmon release changed to American River to prevent ’straying’

For most fall-run chinook salmon in Central Valley rivers, youth is more akin to a factory assembly line than some aquatic nirvana.

Life begins in the concrete tanks of a hatchery on a four-month diet of manufactured food pellets. Teenage independence comes in the spring, with a tanker truck ride to Vallejo and a trip through a giant hose into San Pablo Bay.

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Congressional Briefing: Contaminants In Sources Of Drinking Water From Public Wells

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) along with co-sponsors, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF), invite you to a briefing on the quality of water from public supply wells in the United States. At this briefing, the USGS National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program will release new information on the prevalence of naturally occurring and man-made contaminants in public wells around the country. This assessment is particularly significant because more than a third of the nation’s population depends on drinking water from public water systems that rely on groundwater pumped from public wells.

State gives Sunbird residents a break on water rates

Residents of the Sunbird Mobile Home Park in Thermal took a trip to testify before state lawmakers last month, and it’s paying off.

Residents of the park, at 84-950 Echol Road, will avoid what some there have described as “unconscionably high” water rates — at least for a while — thanks to a temporary ruling last week by the state’s public utilities commission.

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California okays coastal power-plant modifications

California water resource regulators, seeking to protect marine life, approved a policy late on Tuesday that will force closure or costly changes at 19 coastal power plants that use ocean water to cool equipment.

The policy, which calls for reduction of ocean water use by 93 percent over a period of years, would affect power plants totaling 23,000 megawatts.

This is more than one-third of the installed capacity in the state and would include California’s two nuclear stations….

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