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Renewable Energy, Microgrids and Conservation

If you are in the business of moving or treating water, you know that it takes a lot of energy to do that work. And if you have been watching long-term climate change projections, then you know that climate change may result in too little rainfall in some areas and too much rainfall in others. … Continue Reading »

Expansion of Public Meeting Teleconferencing During Pandemic Set to Expire in California

In response to public agencies’ urgent need to adapt to the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, in March 2020, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-29-20 (amending in part Executive Order N-25-20) to suspend portions of the Brown Act that ordinarily limit the use of teleconferencing public meetings. In anticipation of California’s so-called … Continue Reading »

Biden Administration Releases Unified Agenda, Outlining Regulatory Priorities

On June 11, the Biden administration released its first Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, an outline of agency priorities released every fall and spring. The unified agendas set nonbinding goals for regulatory actions, providing insight into the administration’s priorities for the upcoming year. The goals outlined in the Unified Agenda may never … Continue Reading »

WOTUS Woes Continue: EPA to Modify the Navigable Waters Protection Rule

Proposed regulatory changes will increase the extent of lands throughout the country that will be designated, and regulated, as wetlands. On June 9, 2021, the Department of the Army and the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) (together, “the Agencies”) announced their intent to replace the Trump administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule (“NWPR”). The Agencies intend to … Continue Reading »

GSAs Shooting 50% on GSPs—DWR Releases First GSP Assessment Results for High Priority Basins

The wait is over for some Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs). The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) released the first Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) assessments for four basins yesterday, June 3, 2021. DWR approved the 180/400 Foot Aquifer Subbasin in Salinas Valley and the Santa Cruz Mid-County Basin. DWR determined both GSPs “satisf[y] the objectives … Continue Reading »

Bridging Intention and Outcomes

Panel discussion takeaways on the intersection of environmental justice, groundwater management and how to better include diverse stakeholders in natural resource issues. On March 24, 2021, the Groundwater Resources Association of California and California Groundwater Coalition hosted the virtual 2021 Groundwater Law & Legislation Forum, featuring a keynote address from California’s Natural Resources Secretary Wade … Continue Reading »

CEQA News You Can Use

Brownstein’s quarterly CEQA News You Can Use production includes a Regional Water Quality Control Board update we thought you may be interested in. This publication provides quick, useful bites of CEQA news, which we hope can be a resource to your real-time business decisions. That said, it is not and cannot be construed to be … Continue Reading »

USDA Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry: Request for Comments

Fluctuating water supply and reliability throughout the U.S. has the potential to have major implications for rural communities, farmers, agricultural operators, ranchers, forest owners, and other stakeholders. Adapting to this future will require changes to current operations. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is currently seeking public comment to inform its strategy on climate-smart … Continue Reading »

SWRCB Notifies Water Users of Potential Shortages; DWR reduces SWP Allocations

SWRCB: Notifies Water Users to Plan for Cutbacks and Conserve Water; Cuts Possible for Junior Appropriators On Monday, March 22, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Division of Water Rights mailed letters to rights holders regarding the dry conditions in the state, advising water users to prepare for shortages. The Division of Water Rights … Continue Reading »

Increased restrictions or new water availability? What we can count on is change.

California State Water Resources Control Board Response to Climate Change in Permitting Process Deadline to Provide Comments: March 31, 2021 Climate change is rapidly altering California’s hydrology. The wet season is expected to become shorter and wetter, while the dry season longer and drier. As temperatures rise, California will see more precipitation fall as rain … Continue Reading »