Recharge Fresno: The City of Fresno completed construction of Recharge Fresno, a major water system upgrade, last month. The cornerstones of the project are construction of a surface water treatment plant in Southeast Fresno, a 13 mile pipeline to deliver Kings River water to the plant, and new water mains to distribute the treated water throughout Fresno. The goal is to utilize the City’s allocation of Kings River water to reduce groundwater pumping that has resulted in a 100 foot drop in groundwater levels over the last 100 years. It is important to maintain groundwater levels so that groundwater will continue to be our “savings account” in drought years. In 2014/2015 LWVF actively supported approval of Recharge Fresno by speaking at public hearings and an op-ed in the Fresno Bee.
Implementation of the Bay Delta Plan for the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta stirs debate among League members around the state. In Phase 1 of the plan, the State Water Resources Control Board proposes to dramatically increase flows on the Lower San Joaquin River and its tributaries (the Merced, Tuolumne, and Stanislaus Rivers) to support the environment and water quality in the Delta. Phase 2, involving increased flows from the Sacramento River and its tributaries, will follow. As a result, there are a number of new items for posting under Natural Resources on the LWVC website. https://lwvc.org/issues/california-water-resources This includes a piece entitled “Bay Delta Water Quality Control Plan” and a “Review of and Comments on League Positions Relative to Water, Agriculture, and the Environment.” Legislation to establish a Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund did not pass during the current legislative session. Environmental social justice organizations will continue to pursue this type of legislation in the 2019- 2020 session.