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DWR Archived News -- 2012 News Announcements

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Sacramento CA 95814
Phone: (916) 653-6192
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NOTE: This information may have been superseded by later news releases. These items are listed here for archive purposes, only.

First 2013 Snow Survey Scheduled for January 2
SACRAMENTO -- The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will conduct this winter’s first snow survey on January 2. A traditional center of attention will be the manual survey scheduled for 11 a.m. off Highway 50 near Echo Summit. This and other manual and electronic readings up and down the state will determine the amount of water in the early winter snowpack. Thanks to early season storms, electronic readings indicate that statewide, today’s snowpack water content is 146 percent of normal for the date. The snowpack normally provides about a third of the water for California’s households, farms and industries as it slowly melts into streams, reservoirs and aquifers in spring and early summer. (12/26/2012)
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DWR Increases Water Delivery Estimate for 2013
SACRAMENTO -- Thanks to early season storms, the Department of Water Resources today increased its water delivery estimate for calendar year 2013 from 30 to 40 percent of requested State Water Project water. Today’s delivery estimate – or allocation – of SWP water is expected to further increase as more winter storms roll in. The state normally receives more than 90 percent of its snow and rain from December through April. Storms last month and those currently sweeping California have replenished reservoirs and deepened the mountain snowpack that normally provides a third of our water as it slowly melts in the spring and early summer. (12/21/2012)
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NOAA, California partner to improve forecasts of powerful “atmospheric river” winter storms
NOAA scientists and colleagues are installing the first of four long-term “atmospheric river observatories” in coastal California this month to better monitor and predict the impacts of landfalling atmospheric rivers. These powerful winter systems, sometimes called “pineapple express” storms, can be beneficial, in that they help to fill the state’s reservoirs, but they can also cause destructive floods and debris flows. The coastal observatories, which are arrays of custom instruments, are being installed in collaboration with theCalifornia Department of Water Resources and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego. The observatories will give weather forecasters, emergency managers and water resource experts detailedinformation about incoming storms such as winds and water content. (12/04/2012)
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DWR Announces Initial Water Delivery Estimate for 2013
SACRAMENTO -- The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced an initial allocation of 30 percent of requested deliveries to State Water Project (SWP) contractors in calendar year 2013. The initial allocation – or water delivery estimate – is always conservative because it is made early in the storm cycle. The state normally receives more than 90 percent of its snow and rain from December through April and today’s allocation is expected to increase as more storms roll in. “This week’s storms are giving us an early water supply boost, while at the same time putting our flood center on alert,” said DWR Director Mark Cowin. (11/30/2012)
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Fire at State Water Project Pumping-Generating Plant Controlled
SACRAMENTO -- Firefighters today were mopping up a fire of undetermined origin that broke out Thursday morning in the State Water Project’s Ronald B. Robie Thermalito Pumping-Generating plant near Oroville. There were no injuries in the fire, which will not affect water deliveries. Fire at the plant, four miles west of Oroville in Butte County, was detected about 7 a.m. Thanksgiving day, and was responded to by CAL FIRE and local agency firefighters, who brought the flames under control late this morning. .Firefighters on Thursday were forced out of the burning building by life-threatening dangers from collapsing equipment, zero visibility and other conditions. There were no personnel in the plant when the fire started. (11/23/2012)
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Fire Damages State Water Project Pumping-Generating Plant
SACRAMENTO -- Fire of undetermined origin broke out in the State Water Project’sRonald B. Robie Thermalito Pumping-Generating plant near Oroville early this morning, but is not expected to interrupt water deliveries and there were no injuries. No personnel were in the plant when the fire started. Fire at the plant, four miles west of Oroville in Butte County, was detected about 7 a.m., and was responded to by CAL FIRE. Crews fighting the fire eventually had to exit the facility due to life-threatening dangers from collapsing equipment, zero visibility and other conditions.The fire was stil burning Thursday night. CAL FIRE and DWR continue to monitor the situation. (11/22/2012)
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A Guidebook to Assist Agricultural Water Suppliers
The final version of A Guidebook to Assist Agricultural Water Suppliers to Prepare a 2012 Agricultural Water Management Plan and related documents have been posted on the DWR website. The guidebook offers explanations and suggestions to help agricultural water suppliers comply with requirements of the California Water Code and the California Code of Regulations. Use of the book is not mandatory. (11/09/2012)
    Guidebook Site...
State, Federal Agencies Advise How to Prepare for Flood
At least once in the last 20 years, every county in California has had a federal flood disaster declared in its borders, and with winter storms looming, government agencies are urging Californians to learn their risk and prepare for the worst. California's first-ever Flood Preparedness Week kicks off today, October 15, with a blitz of social media messages and the launch of a new educational website sponsored by State and federal agencies. The flood preparedness education campaign is a joint effort by the California Department of Water Resources, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the California Emergency Management Agency, the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration's National Weather Service, and Sacramento County. (10/15/2012)
    News Release...
State, Federal Agencies Advise How to Prepare for Flood
At least once in the last 20 years, every county in California has had a federal flood disaster declared in its borders, and with winter storms looming, government agencies are urging Californians to learn their risk and prepare for the worst. California's first-ever Flood Preparedness Week kicks off today, October 15, with a blitz of social media messages and the launch of a new educational website sponsored by State and federal agencies. The flood preparedness education campaign is a joint effort by the California Department of Water Resources, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the California Emergency Management Agency, the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration's National Weather Service, and Sacramento County. (10/15/2012)
    News Release...
DWR Adds Green Energy for the State Water Project
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR), in an effort to "green" the energy portfolio of the State Water Project, has entered into a renewable power purchase agreement with Alameda Municipal Power. The agreement runs for slightly more than four years, from October 15, 2012 through December 31, 2016. The renewable power procured under this agreement will help fill the energy gap for the State Water Project with a much cleaner resource than an expiring DWR contract for coal-fired generation. The new contract will provide 33 megawatts (MW) of certified renewable energy with 28.3 MW from an existing geothermal project and 5.3 MW from landfill gas energy. Under this agreement, DWR will receive an estimated 183,000 megawatt-hours of annual generation. (10/10/2012)
    News Release...
Beginning of the New Water Year
October 1st marks the beginning of the new water year, which represents the wet season in California. In this episode of the Aquacast, DWR’s Interstate Resources Manager Jeanine Jones explains what the water year means, the status of current water conditions, and what to expect if 2013 turns out to be a dry year. (10/05/2012)
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Forecasts Mixed as New Water Year Begins But Conservation Always Important
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) marks a new water year by reminding Californians of the importance of making water conservation a way of life. Water Year 2012-13 officially begins October 1, 2012 and runs through September 30, 2013. Water Year 2011-12 now goes on record as the driest year since the 2007-09 drought. But, early weather forecasts for this winter are split and suggest that this year’s weather is anyone’s guess. Conservation is the consistent, year-to-year message in drought-prone California, where wet winters often are followed by dry periods that draw down storage reservoirs. (09/28/2012)
    News Release...
DWR’s Underwater Light and Sound Show Keeps Salmon in Safer Waters
An underwater light and sound show apparently is keeping juvenile salmon on the right path in the Delta. An evaluation by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and other agencies indicated that its “bubble barrier” of underwater strobe lights and electronic sounds kept approximately two-thirds of ocean-bound Chinook salmon from taking a risky detour into Georgiana Slough from the relatively safe main channel of the Sacramento River. Studies indicate that 65 percent of the salmon smolt that swim into Georgiana Slough near Walnut Grove don’t survive to reach the ocean. The slough leads young salmon through the predator-infested waters of the interior Delta toward the huge export pumps of the State Water Project and federal Central Valley Project. (09/27/2012)
    News Release...
Secretary Laird’s remarks at the Lodi Energy Center (Video)
The new Lodi Energy Center was recently completed, providing clean natural gas energy to many parts of California, including the State Water Project. To learn more about the Department's investments in sustainable energy, take a look at this video of California Natural Resource Agency Secretary John Laird's remarks from the ribbon cutting ceremony. (09/14/2012)
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DWR makes up to $25 million in Prop 1E funding available for Environmental Stewardship Projects
DWR is making available up to $25 million in Proposition 1E funding for environmental stewardship projects that support the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan (CVFPP). These projects will integrate environmental stewardship and sustainability principles into flood management activities. The first Proposal Solicitation Package (PSP) under the Central Valley Flood System Conservation Framework and Strategy Guidelines is now released. (09/13/2012)
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DWR Co-Sponsoring Workshop on Reauthorizing Drought Early-Warning System
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) this month will co-sponsor a workshop discussion of the merits of federal reauthorization of the nation's drought early-warning system. The September 24-26 workshop in San Diego will review the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and other federal agency drought programs from the perspective of states. This will include discussions of gaps in the prediction and early warning of droughts. (09/11/2012)
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Sacramento County Honors DWR for Reducing Pollution
Sacramento County today honored the Department of Water Resources for environmental practices that reduce pollution. DWR was recognized specifically for “green building” practices that save energy and money. The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors praised DWR -- and 11 other businesses and government entities -- in a resolution awarding them “Sustainable Business of the Year” honors. The awards are intended to honor entities “demonstrating environmental excellence and proactive leadership” and encourage practices that support “a clean, safe and healthful environment,” according to county officials. (09/06/2012)
    News Release...
Agricultural Farm-Gate Water Delivery Reporting Requirements Spelled Out
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is hereby providing information for agricultural water suppliers to comply with the Aggregated Farm-Gate Delivery Reporting requirements of the California Water Code. All agricultural water suppliers are required to measure water deliveries to their customers and report the monthly or bimonthly aggregated farm-gate delivery to DWR on an annual basis. (09/06/2012)
    Reporting Requirements...
DWR Awarded Top Honors for Central Valley Flood Protection Plan
Western flood management experts will recognize the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) Wednesday for its comprehensive plan to protect lives and property in the Central Valley. At its annual conference, held this week in Sacramento, the Floodplain Management Association will give its "Award for Excellence" to DWR for its Central Valley Flood Protection Plan. The association's members work to reduce flood damages through planning and infrastructure. (09/04/2012)
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DWR Notifies Central Valley Property Owners: "You're at Risk of Flooding"
Today, seven years after Hurricane Katrina overwhelmed the flood defenses of New Orleans, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) announces it is notifying nearly 275,000 California property owners that they’re at risk of flooding and should prepare. DWR is mailing flood risk notifications to owners across 17 counties in the Central Valley whose property is located behind a State-Federal levee and within a Levee Flood Protection Zone (LFPZ). The zones include portions of Sacramento, San Joaquin, Yolo, Sutter, Yuba, Butte, Fresno, Merced, Tehama, Colusa, Glenn, Solano, Stanislaus, Lake, Placer, Plumas, and Madera counties. (08/29/2012)
    News Release...     Flooding Map...
Researchers Shake Delta Soil to Better Understand Earthquake Risk
Researchers will simulate the shaking of an earthquake on a remote part of Sherman Island today to better understand how the unique peat soil of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta may respond to a seismic event. The engineering researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles conducted a similar shaking test last year on dry peat soil. This year, their test will monitor the response of saturated peat soil. "We hope to learn how the peaty organic Delta soil will contribute to seismic levee performance," said Scott Brandenberg, Vice Chair of the UCLA Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and leader of the research team. "We already know that liquefaction of inorganic sandy soils is an important problem in the Delta, but we don't know as much about the peat." (08/15/2012)
    News Release...     Fact Sheet...     Video (28 MB)...
Agricultural Grant Workshops Scheduled for Fresno, Sacramento
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will conduct public workshops in Fresno on September 17 and Sacramento on September 21 to receive public comments on the recently released Draft 2012 Agricultural Water Use Efficiency Proposal Solicitation Package (PSP). (08/14/2012)
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Video of JFK-Governor 'Pat' Brown 1962 Event on 50th Anniversary of San Luis Ground-breaking
On Saturday, August 18, California will observe a historic date in Western water development. On that date in 1962, President John F. Kennedy joined California Governor Edmund G. (Pat) Brown, Sr. in Merced County to mark the ground-breaking for the San Luis Complex, a dam and reservoir that would be used by both federal and State water systems to improve water supply deliveries in California. (08/14/2012)
    Advisory...     Brochure...     Video (16 KB)...
Earthquake Experiment to be Conducted on Delta's Sherman Island
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, will “shake” an artificial levee in order to study how underlying peat soil responds to the motion. Engineers with the California Department of Water Resources hope the test results will help researchers better understand the risk earthquakes pose to Delta levees. These levees protect valuable infrastructure and farmland and are part of the state and federal major water delivery systems. (08/13/2012)
    Advisory...     Map...
New Lodi Energy Plant Will Help California's State Water Project Cut Emissions, Go Greener
A new natural gas energy plant opening here today will enable California's State Water Project to substantially cut greenhouse gas emissions. The new, 296-megawatt Lodi Energy Center will provide the Department of Water Resources (DWR), which operates the State Water Project, cleaner energy to replace a portion of its power needs now served by coal-fired generation. "This action will reduce DWR's greenhouse gas emissions, moving us closer to our goal of reducing emissions by 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2020," reported Veronica Hicks, Chief of DWR's Power and Risk Office. She noted that, "Energy supplied to DWR from this new plant will release 68 percent less emissions than the same amount of energy supplied through DWR's coal contract, which ends in July 2013." (08/10/2012)
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Save Our Water -- Water Wise Gardens
The Save Our Water campaign reminds us that California homeowners use 60% of their water outside for landscaping. Take a look and learn what people are saying about their water wise gardens. (08/07/2012)
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Genetic Detection of Predation on Larval Delta Smelt in the North Delta
Schreier, B. M., M. R. Baerwald, G. Schumer, and B. May. 2010. Detecting predation of larval delta smelt by silversides using genetic techniques (PDF, 6.80 MB). (08/03/2012)
Governor Brown and Obama Administration Outline Path Forward for Bay Delta Conservation Plan
California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Assistant Administrator for Fisheries Eric Schwaab today outlined revisions to the proposed Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) that, along with a full range of alternative proposals, will undergo a rigorous public environmental review in the coming months. In announcing the path forward for an enhanced BDCP process, the officials emphasized that California’s water system is unsustainable from an environmental and economic perspective, and that the BDCP is a key part of a comprehensive solution to achieve the dual goals of a reliable water supply for California and a healthy California Bay Delta ecosystem that supports the State’s economy. (07/25/2012)
    News Release...     Goals Poster...     Fish Poster...     Habitat Poster...     Conveyance Poster...     Announcement Video -- Long (190 MB)...     Announcement Video -- Short (34.6 MB)...
California State Fair -- Wet 'n Wild California
As the California State Fair draws to a close this weekend, be sure to not miss DWR’s indoor exhibit, "Wet 'n Wild California". We partnered with the California Department of Fish and Game this year to feature live animals and highlight the importance of water to our state wildlife. For a glimpse of what you can expect to see, check out our video. (07/23/2012)
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DWR Releases State Water Project Delivery Reliability Report
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has released the 2011 State Water Project (SWP) Delivery Reliability Report. The 2011 report is the latest in a series of reports on the delivery reliability of California's State Water Project, the largest state-built and operated water and power system in the United States. "California faces a future of increased population growth, coupled with the potential for water shortages and pressures on the Delta," states the summary. The newest report updates estimates of current (2011) and future (through 2031) SWP deliveries, taking into account pumping restraints to protect Delta smelt, salmon, and other fish species as well as variations in precipitation and impacts of climate change. (07/20/2012)
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Agricultural Water Measurement Regulation Approved
Water legislation of 2009 (California Water Code section 10608.48(i)) required the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to adopt an agricultural water measurement regulation water suppliers may use to measure water deliveries to their customers. DWR conducted multiple agricultural stakeholder committee meetings and public hearings over the past year in developing the regulation. The California Water Commission adopted the regulation at its July 6 meeting. The Regulation was approved by the Office of Administrative Law on July 11, 2012 and is in effect. (07/12/2012)
    Regulation......
Extreme Weather Events: Science, Planning and Preparedness-Workshop
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is co-sponsoring a workshop with the Western States Water Council, in coordination with the Western Governors’ Association, on extreme weather events. The workshop will be held July 30 - August 1 at the Doubletree Hotel at 1646 Front Street, San Diego. Logistics information and the agenda may be found here. (07/05/2012)
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The Biomass of Corbula and Corbicula Poster
The poster “The biomass of Corbula and Corbicula in the low salinity zone in August 2011” was delivered by Heather Fuller (Environmental Scientist in the DWR “Bay-Delta Monitoring and Analysis” Unit) at the 2012 IEP Workshop at the Lake Natoma Inn on Thursday, April 19 to release the results of monitoring done on the invasive bivalves Corbula amurensis and Corbicula fluminea to determine if high flow events in the Spring of 2011 resulted in significant changes in their biomass. (07/03/2012)
Chief Deputy Director Announcement
Dale Hoffman-Floerke, former acting Deputy Director of Delta and Statewide Water Management since 2010, was appointed as Chief Deputy Director for DWR. With DWR since 1977, Dale has worked for the San Joaquin District and the Divisions of Planning and Local Assistance, Environmental Services, and Executive’s Colorado River and Salton Sea Office. (07/02/2012)
DWR Decreases Feather River Flows Through Oroville
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is decreasing flows to the Feather River through the City of Oroville. From June 14 through June 22, flows to the river through Oroville were increased to attract spring-run Chinook salmon to the Feather River Fish Hatchery and to facilitate maintenance on Thermalito Afterbay river outlet gates. By Friday, June 29 the river through the city will be reduced to its normal flow of approximately 600 cubic feet per second (cfs). (06/26/2012)
    News Release...
DWR Increasing Feather River Flows Through Oroville
The Department of Water Resources will increase flows to the Feather River through the City of Oroville as early as tomorrow, June 14. Flows will increase gradually over several days from 600 cubic feet per second (cfs) to approximately 5,000 cfs, raising the level of the river from one to three feet, depending on location. The flow increase -- lasting two to three weeks -- is being made to attract additional spring-run Chinook salmon to the Feather River Fish Hatchery and to facilitate maintenance on the Thermalito Afterbay river outlet gates. Spring-run Chinook are listed as a threatened species. (06/13/2012)
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DWR Director Approves Climate Action Plan To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The Department of Water Resources released a plan this week to dramatically curtail its greenhouse gas emissions in coming decades. The plan approved recently by DWR Director Mark Cowin shows how the department can cut release of gases linked to global warming by 50 percent below 1990 levels within the next seven years. The plan also sets the stage for an 80 percent emissions reduction by 2050. DWR operates the 700-mile-long State Water Project, which pumps water from Northern California rivers to the San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley, Southern California cities, and Central Valley farms. The department both uses and generates large amounts of electricity in the course of moving water. DWR estimates that its total greenhouse gas emissions in 1990 were nearly 3.5 million metric tons, roughly equivalent to the emissions of 680,000 cars operating for a year. (06/11/2012)
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Wet April Boosts State Water Project Deliveries
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today estimated it will be able to deliver 65 percent of requested State Water Project (SWP) water this year. This is up from the 60 percent delivery estimate -- or allocation -- announced on April 16. Originally, DWR projected in November that it would be able to supply 60 percent of the slightly more than 4 million acre-feet of SWP water requested, but a dry December, January and February dropped that figure to 50 percent. A wet March and above-average reservoir storage boosted the allocation back up to 60 percent in April, and today’s increase to 65 percent is due to April’s wetter-than-usual weather. A 65 percent allocation is not unusually low. (05/23/2012)
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Siberian Freshwater Prawn
The talk "Introduction of the Siberian prawn, Exopalaemon modestus, to the San Francisco Estuary: Ten Years later" was delivered by Tiffany Brown, (Environmental Scientist in the DWR "Bay-Delta Monitoring and Analysis" Unit) at the 2012 IEP Workshop at the Lake Natoma Inn on Friday, April 20 to update information on monitoring of the establishment and rapid expansion of this introduced shrimp throughout the SF Estuary. (05/16/2012)
DWR Celebrates 50 years of Moving Water through the State Water Project
On May 10, 1962, top water leaders joined then-Governor Pat Brown as he lifted a plank to start the flow of water into the State Water Project’s South Bay Aqueduct. A half-century later, with Pat Brown’s son Governor Jerry Brown serving in office, we celebrate 50 years of moving California’s water through the State Water Project. (05/15/2012)
    News Release...     Bethany Reservoir Display...     Video...
Webcast: Winter 2011-12 Water Conditions Wrap-up
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will hold a webcast on Wednesday, May 9 to review this winter’s weather conditions and water supply implications. The one-hour workshop will begin at 10 a.m. To view the webcast, go to: http://cawater.rmxpres.com/webcast/data/dwr05092012/main.htm With the winter rainy season over, it is clear that California is experiencing dry conditions. The Colorado River Basin, an important source of imported supplies for Southern California, is also dry. Impacts of the dry water year will be minimized for most water users who have access to water supplied from reservoirs and groundwater basins, thanks to good carry-over storage from a wet 2011. Impacts of a single dry year are most pronounced for those who rely on unmanaged water supplies (such as dryland grazing or non-irrigated agriculture), and small water systems using unreliable fractured rock groundwater sources. (05/07/2012)
    News Advisory...
California Water Conservation Efforts Get Top National Ranking
California’s laws and policies promoting water use efficiency have received national recognition. The State received top marks from the non-profit Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) in a new draft report ranking all 50 states on policies such as water conservation requirements, conservation planning and program implementation, funding sources for water efficiency and conservation programs, and other informational resources. California ranked first, along with Texas, on the report’s scorecard. Both states got a grade of “A-.” “The Department of Water Resources is proud to have played a leading role in promoting water use efficiency, in particular through the development and implementation of the 20x2020 Water Conservation Plan,” said Department of Water Resources (DWR) Director Mark Cowin. “It’s gratifying to know that our efforts may provide a framework for other states to follow.” (05/04/2012)
    News Release...
California Water Plan Update 2013 Draft Assumptions and Estimates Report
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has released a draft of the Assumptions and Estimates (A&E) Report for the California Water Plan Update 2013. This report, which consists of a brochure and companion web page, describes significant data, methods, and references that DWR plans to use to prepare the update. Several key technical components of Update 2013 are described in the brochure with web links to the assumptions and estimates that are being used to develop them. (05/02/2012)
    News Release...
Final Snow Survey of 2012 Shows Low Water Content
Manual and electronic readings today show that California's drier than usual mountain snowpack is steadily melting with warming spring weather. Statewide, snowpack water content is only 40 percent of normal for the date, and was only 55 percent of normal the first of April, the time of year when it is historically at its peak. "The fact that we just had a dry winter right after an unusually wet season last year shows that we must be prepared for all types of weather," said DWR Director Mark Cowin. "Reservoir storage will mitigate the impact of dry conditions on water supply this summer, but we have to plan for the possibility of a consecutive dry year in 2013, both by practicing conservation, continuing to develop alternative local water supplies, and working toward improved water storage and conveyance." (05/01/2012)
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Final Snow Survey of 2012 Set for May 1
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will conduct this year's fifth and final snow survey on May 1. One focus of media attention will be the manual survey scheduled for 11 a.m. off Highway 50 near Echo Summit about 90 miles east of Sacramento. Manual surveys up and down the state will be combined with electronic readings from remote sensors to indicate the rate at which the mountain snowpack is melting into the state's streams, reservoirs and aquifers. The snowpack normally provides about a third of the water for California's homes, industry and agriculture. April 2 measurements showed that water content in the winter snowpack -- often called California's frozen reservoir -- was only 55 percent of normal at the time of year when it historically is at its peak. Today, it is 46 percent of normal. (04/26/2012)
    News Release...
May is Water Awareness Month in California
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) urges Californians to observe “Water Awareness Month” in May. “Water is a vital necessity for California’s people, wildlife, ecosystems and economy,” stated DWR Director Mark Cowin. Water Awareness Month originated as a joint effort of DWR and the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) during California’s 1987-1992 drought to educate the public about water use efficiency and conservation. (04/25/2012)
    News Release...
DWR Final Grant Awards for the Urban Streams Restoration Program
The Department of Water Resources, Urban Streams Restoration Program (USRP) has released the list of final grant awards from the 2008 solicitation. Twelve grant awards have been approved for a total of $8,840,335 from Propositions 84 and 40. The final grant awards can be found at the USRP Website: http://www.water.ca.gov/urbanstreams/ The USRP provides grants to local community projects that reduce flooding and erosion and associated property damages; restore, enhance, or protect the natural ecological values of streams, and promote community involvement, education, and stewardship. Additional information regarding the USRP, including the guidelines and enabling legislation (California Water Code Section 7048), are available on the website noted above. (04/19/2012)
    Announcement...
DWR Increases State Water Project Allocation to 60 Percent
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today estimated it will be able to deliver 60 percent of requested State Water Project (SWP) water this year. This is up from the 50 percent delivery estimate -- or allocation -- announced on February 22. Originally, DWR projected in November that it would be able to supply 60 percent of the slightly more than 4 million acre-feet of SWP water requested, but a dry December, January and February dropped that figure to 50 percent. Today's increase is due to an unusually wet March and higher-than-average reservoir storage carried over from last winter. (04/16/2012)
    News Release...
Gov. Brown Appoints Mark Cowin Director of Water Resources
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today appointed Mark Cowin as director of the Department of Water Resources (DWR). “With over three decades of experience at the Department of Water Resources, Mark Cowin has the track record to lead this truly vital part of our infrastructure,” said California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird. “Tens of millions of Californians rely on water from DWR and the State Water Project for use in their homes, on their farms, and other businesses – Cowin understands the importance of keeping the system running at peak efficiency.” Cowin has been acting director and director of DWR since February of 2010. Mr. Cowin has extensive experience with California water resources management and has worked at DWR for over 30 years. (04/13/2012)
    News Release...
California Water Plan Update 2009 Highlights in Spanish
The California Water Plan Update 2009 Highlights was recently translated to Spanish and is now available at the link below. To obtain a copy of the plan in Spanish, contact DWR News. (04/06/2012)
    CWP Update 2009 Highlights (Spanish)...
DWR's Fourth Snow Survey of 2012 Shows Dry Conditions
Department of Water Resources (DWR) hydrologists today announced that water content in California's mountain snowpack is only 55 percent of the April 1 full season average. (04/02/2012)
    Newsrelease...     Video...
Flood Board Schedules Public Meetings on Draft Flood Protection Plan
The Central Valley Flood Protection Board is holding public meetings in Sacramento this month and next on a draft, valley-wide flood protection plan. The meetings -- scheduled for March 22-23 and April 5-11 -- are steps in the Board's review of the flood plan submitted to it on December 30 by the Department of Water Resources (DWR). Under the Central Valley Flood Protection Act of 2008, the Board is scheduled to adopt the plan by July 1. (03/16/2012)
    News Release...
Comments Sought on Draft EIR for the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has announced a 45-day public comment period on the Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (DPEIR) for the Public Draft 2012 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan (CVFPP). Released on March 6, the DPEIR describes potential program-level environmental effects and mitigation measures related to components of the CVFPP. Comments on the DPEIR must be received no later than 5 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time), Friday, April 20, 2012. (03/08/2012)
    News Release...
DWR Climate Action Plan Released for Public Comment
DWR, in an effort to reduce its impact on the environment and lead by example, is developing a Department-wide Climate Action Plan/Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan which will guide project development and decision making with respect to energy use and GHG emissions. The Plan and its associated CEQA documents are now available for public comment. (03/05/2012)
    Climate Action Plan...
Updated Oroville Recreation Website Goes Live!
Check out the latest in fishing, boating and more for the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area. The area has extensive recreational facilities and planning is under way for additional enhancements. The new web pages feature in-depth information about events and opportunities including an interactive map of Lake Oroville with user-friendly access to recreation information. (02/29/2012)
    News Release...
DWR's Third Snow Survey of 2012 Shows Continuing Dry Conditions
Department of Water Resources snow surveyors today confirmed that California's mountain snowpack holds far less water than normal for this time of year. Manual and electronic readings show that statewide, snowpack water content is only 30 percent of historic readings for the date. That is a mere 26 percent of the average April 1 measurement, when the snowpack is normally at its peak before it begins to melt with rising spring temperatures. (02/28/2012)
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Central Valley Flood Protection Board Meeting Friday-Focus on Central Valley Flood Protection Plan
The Central Valley Flood Protection Board’s meeting in Sacramento tomorrow (February 24) will focus on the draft Central Valley Flood Protection Plan. The plan is a systemic approach to improving flood management throughout the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. (02/23/2012)
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Third 2012 Snow Survey Scheduled for February 28
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will conduct this winter’s third snow survey on February 28. It is expected that manual measurements of snowpack water content will corroborate the low electronic readings from remote sensors up and down the state’s mountain ranges. (02/23/2012)
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DWR Reduces State Water Project Allocation
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today reduced its estimate of the amount of water the State Water Project will deliver this year. DWR dropped its projected delivery total, or allocation, from 60 percent to 50 percent of the requested amount of slightly more than 4 million acre-feet. (02/22/2012)
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DWR Announces Climate Change Technical Advisory Group
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has announced the panelists who will serve on its Climate Change Technical Advisory Group (CCTAG). These experts will work with DWR on incorporating climate change into water resources planning and management, with a particular focus on climate adaptation and extreme events. (02/13/2012)
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DWR Draft Urban Streams 2008 Funding Recommendations Available for Public Review
The Department of Water Resources, Urban Streams Restoration Program (USRP) has released the list of draft funding recommendations from the 2008 solicitation. The list is available for public review, with the public comment period closing at 5 p.m. on February 25. The draft funding recommendations may be found at :http://www.water.ca.gov/urbanstreams/. (02/10/2012)
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DWR Releases Draft Guidelines & Proposal Solicitation Package for Local Groundwater Grant Program
The Department of Water Resources has scheduled a meeting for comments on draft guidelines and a proposal solicitation package prepared for local groundwater assistance funding. The meeting will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 23 in the Coastal Hearing Room of the California EPA Building at 1001 I Street, Sacramento. A webcast of the meeting will be available at http://www.calepa.ca.gov/broadcast/. During the webcast, questions or comments may be emailed to DWR_IRWM@water.ca.gov. (02/10/2012)
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DWR Continues Assistance to Fremont Residents After Pipeline Incident
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today completed most cleanup work after Friday night’s unintentional release of water from a pipeline in Fremont. The pipeline is part of the State Water Project aqueduct system. The water release, which occurred at approximately 11 p.m. Friday, February 3, flooded the backyards and garages of several homes. DWR responded to the incident shortly after midnight, shut down the pipeline, and assessed the impact. Cleanup work began later in the morning. DWR pumped water and mud from beneath homes, backyards and garages. There apparently was no damage to the interior of homes. Sidewalks and streets also were cleaned. DWR staff will remain available to further assist affected residents. (02/07/2012)
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DWR Continues Wabana Street Cleanup, Resident Assistance in Fremont
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today continues its cleanup and assistance to residents on Wabana Street in Fremont. DWR’s efforts follow the unintentional release of water from a pipeline Friday night. The pipeline is part of the State Water Project aqueduct system. The release was stopped after two hours. There were no injuries. Several residents temporarily displaced from their homes, returned yesterday morning. The cause of the release remains under investigation. (02/05/2012)
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DWR Statement on Water Release from State Water Project Pipeline in Fremont
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today is assisting residents on Wabana Street in Fremont impacted by water unintentionally released from a pipeline last night. The pipeline is part of the State Water Project aqueduct system. The release was stopped after two hours. There were no injuries and any residents temporarily displaced have returned to their homes. The cause of the release is under investigation. (02/04/2012)
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Additional CVFPP Technical Attachments Available
The Central Valley Flood Planning Office posted today several technical attachments of the Public Draft 2012 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan. Organized into five volumes, 24 of 30 technical attachments to the CVFPP are now available. The CVFPO anticipates it will release the remaining technical attachments by mid-February. To view the technical attachments, visit the "Publications" page or click HERE. Guidelines for submitting comments to the Public Draft 2012 CVFPP and its technical attachments are available on the Central Valley Flood Protection Board’s web site or click HERE. (02/03/2012)
DWR Issues Draft State Water Project Reliability Report
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has issued its Draft State Water Project (SWP) Delivery Reliability Report for 2011. This report updates estimates of SWP delivery reliability. It incorporates restrictions on SWP and federal Central Valley Project Delta operations in accordance with biological opinions issued by federal agencies. The public comment period closes on March 12, 2012. The report may be accessed at this site: (02/03/2012)
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Second 2012 Snow Survey Shows Continuing Dry Conditions
Snow surveyors today confirmed that water content in California's mountain snowpack is far below normal for this time of year. Manual and electronic readings record the snowpack's statewide water content at only 37 percent of normal for the date. That is just 23 percent of the average April 1 reading, when the snowpack normally is at its peak before the spring melt. "So far, we just haven't received a decent number of winter storms," said DWR Director Mark Cowin. "We have good reservoir storage thanks to wet conditions last year, but we also need more rain and snow this winter." (02/01/2012)
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Second 2012 Snow Survey Scheduled for February 1
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will conduct this winter's second snow survey on February 1. One focus of attention will be the manual survey scheduled for 11 a.m. off Highway 50 near Echo Summit This and other manual surveys up and down the state as well as electronic readings from remote sensors will determine the water content in the snowpack. Electronic readings today indicate that water content in the statewide snowpack is just 38 percent of normal. That is 23 percent of the average April 1 reading, when the snowpack is normally at its peak before the spring melt. Still, this is an improvement over results of this winter's January 3 survey, which recorded snowpack water content at 19 percent of normal for that date, and only 7 percent of the average April 1 reading. (01/30/2012)
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DWR Seeks More Green Energy for State Water Project
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is continuing to increase the amount of green energy in the State Water Project (SWP) power portfolio. DWR has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to purchase up to 180,000 MWh of energy a year from qualified renewable energy sources. This was announced by Veronica Hicks, Chief of the DWR's State Water Project Power and Risk Office. This is anticipated to be the first in a series of requests to further supplement with renewable energy the SWP energy portfolio, half of which already, on average, consists of clean hydropower. "The purchase of renewable energy will assist DWR in meeting its goal of reducing its greenhouse gas footprint to 50 percent below its 1990 emissions," stated Mark Cowin, DWR Director. "This step also helps achieve the Governor's goal of increasing the use of renewable energy in California." (01/30/2012)
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Flood Board Outlines Process, Timeline for Review, Adoption of New Flood Protection Plan
The Central Valley Flood Protection Board today began a five-month process of reviewing the draft Central Valley Flood Protection Plan, with adoption scheduled for June 2012. Officials of the Department of Water Resources made a detailed presentation of the sweeping plan to improve Central Valley flood safety at the Board’s morning meeting in Sacramento. (01/27/2012)
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DWR to Present Public Draft 2012 CVFPP At CVFPB Public Meeting
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) Central Valley Flood Planning Office will present the Public Draft 2012 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan (CVFPP) and related supporting documents during the January 27, 2012 Central Valley Flood Protection Board (Board) meeting. During this meeting, the Board will announce its adoption schedule, the process for document review, and protocols for receiving public and agency comments. To view details of the public meeting, visit the Board’s website at the below link. (01/26/2012)
    Public Draft 2012 CVFPP and December FCSSR...      Central Valley Flood Protection Board Website...     News Release...
Central Valley Flood Protection Board Celebrates First Century of Service
California's Central Valley Flood Protection Board is celebrating its frist century of flood protection. On Friday, January 27, a centennial ceremony is scheduled at the California State History Museum, 1020 O Street, Sacramento, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Flood experts from various agencies will speak at this historic event and share their perspectives about the accomplishments and challenges of flood management in the Central Valley. (01/25/2012)
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Workshop: Climate Change, Extreme Weather, and Central Valley Floods
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will hold a climate change workshop in West Sacramento on February 14. The focus will be on the state of the science regarding potential climate change impacts on Central Valley floods, and examples of ongoing programs to reduce flood risk. The workshop is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Department of Water Resources office, 3500 Industrial Boulevard. This workshop is being held as a complementary event to Governor Brown's December 15 conference on extreme climate risks and California's future, which focused on the threats of extreme weather events to the state's economy, business sectors, public health, and natural resources. For background on the Governor's conference, see: http://gov.ca.gov/ecrcf.php. (01/13/2012)
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Workshop: Climate Change, Extreme Weather, and Southern California Floods
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will hold a climate change workshop in Alhambra on January 31. The focus will be on potential climate change impacts on Southern California floods, and examples of ongoing programs to reduce flood risk. The workshop is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works Headquarters, 900 S. Fremont Avenue. (01/05/2012)
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First Snow Survey of 2012 Shows Dry Conditions
Snow surveyors today reported that California’s mountain snowpack is among the driest for the date on record.

Manual and electronic readings today record the snowpack’s statewide water content at 19 percent of the January 3 average. That is only 7 percent of the average April 1 measurement, when the snowpack is normally at its peak before the spring melt. (01/03/2012)
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