Author Archives: Uma Hinman

UC scientists test inexpensive way to capture El Nino rains – 11/12/15

Amy Graff, SFGate – Researchers from UC Davis and UC Cooperative Extension are testing a new method for capturing some of that underutilized water by diverting it from rivers into the network of canals running through Central Valley farmland. This irrigation system sits empty during the rainy months, and the scientists are looking at filling some canals with water and directing it onto suitable farmland where it can seep underground. Click here for full article.

California Water Plan ENews – 11/10/15

This week’s Water Plan eNews includes:

  • Process guide offers a look at the development of California Water Plan Update 2013
  • Draft guidelines posted for $10 million worth of water use efficiency loans
  • Comment period for flood reduction program runs through Dec. 11
  • DWR provides guidelines for local agencies looking to form GSAs
  • Naturally occurring water contaminants to be discussed at two-day symposium
  • California Water Commission changes this month’s meeting date to Nov. 19
  • Delta interagency committee meeting next week in Sacramento

2015-16 State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fund Grant Applications Now Available – 11/9/15

CAL FIRE has just announced $5,000,000 available through the State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fund for projects that reduce the wildfire threat to habitable structures in a State Responsibility Area (SRA).   The maximum grant is $100,000, of which no more than $40,000 can be for equipment.  No match is required, though it does add to the competitiveness of the proposed project.  Eligible grantees include local government, fire districts, community services districts, water districts, special districts, certified local conservation corps, Fire Safe Councils, and other 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.

Qualifying projects and activities include those related to hazardous fuel reduction, fire prevention planning, fire prevention education, and training that reduce the risk and potential impact of wildfire on habitable structures in the SRA. Examples include, but are not limited to:

Hazardous Fuel Reduction

  • Vegetation clearance in critical locations to reduce wildfire intensity and rate of spread
  • Creation or maintenance of fuel breaks in strategic locations, as identified in CAL FIRE Unit Fire Plans, a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP), or similar strategic planning document
  • Removing ladder fuels to reduce the risk of crown fires
  • Removing dead and dying trees
  • Community level fire prevention programs, such as community chipping days, roadside chipping, and green waste bin programs
  • Elective tree removal (thinning) to improve forest health to withstand wildfire
  • Modification of vegetation adjacent to roads to provide for safer ingress and egress of evacuating residents and responding emergency personnel
  • Reduction of fuel loading around critical firefighting infrastructure such as fire hydrants, water drafting locations, and staging areas

 Fire Prevention Education and Training

  • Fire prevention public education

 Fire Prevention Planning

  • Wildfire risk or related mapping
  • Creation of strategic wildfire planning documents, such as a CWPP

Applications are due on January 7, 2016.  Please review the web site and the Procedural Guide for more information.

California Water Plan ENews – 11/04/15

This week’s Water Plan eNews includes:

  • $231 million of integrated water management projects recommended for funding
  • All appendices for California’s Groundwater Update 2013 posted online
  • Applications being accepted from counties with stressed basins
  • SWRCB sets new date for groundwater sustainability workshop
  • Webinar on outdoor water use and water-efficient landscape offered tomorrow
  • Drought response training being offered by the Local Government Commission
  • DWR to host 10 UWMP workshops for water suppliers beginning Nov. 13

California Water Plan ENews – 10/28/15

This week’s Water Plan eNews includes:

  • CWC adopts groundwater basin boundary regulations, DWR to accept requests Jan. 1
  • A lesson on how models and data fit into the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
  • New mapping tool will help identify economically distressed areas in California
  • Delta Plan performance measures to be discussed during public workshop
  • Levee program accepting public comments on draft list of approved projects
  • Climate-smart conservation workshop set for next month in San Diego
  • Local Government Commission posts updated version of The Ahwahnee Water Principles

Damning California’s Future – 10/21/15

Hoping to capitalize on the epic drought, the state’s water industry wants to usher in a new era of dam-building in the state. But environmentalists say it would cost billions and do more harm than good.

‘Inside Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond that California voters enthusiastically approved last November, is a provision requiring the expenditure of $2.7 billion on water storage projects. Many environmentalists had hoped that a substantial amount of those funds would be used for groundwater storage, but according to some close observers, it appears increasingly likely that most, if not all, of the money will go to dam-building. In addition, US Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, both D-California, introduced a $1.3 billion emergency drought relief bill in July of this year to “support communities affected by drought.”

This senate bill, as presently drafted, would authorize $600 million of spending on “Calfed storage projects,” in reference to four dam-expansion and construction projects that the state and federal governments have studied since 2004: Sites, Temperance Flat, Shasta, and Los Vaqueros. The first three of these projects are in various parts of the vast Central Valley, while Los Vaqueros is located in eastern Contra Costa County.’

Click here for full article by Will Parish, East Bay Express.

Sierra Nevada Conservancy Funding Opportunities Newsletter – Oct/Nov 2015

This month’s research memo:  A new research memo covers funding for CEQA and NEPA costs associated with restoration projects.  In addition, four of the grant research memos on the funding opportunities website have been updated:

  • Riparian and wetland restoration
  • Recreation and tourism development
  • Habitat preservation and restoration funding
  • Parks and trails funding

There are several new grant programs in these memos, including Proposition 1 funding for streamflow enhancement and environmental restoration.  Also keep an eye out for an upcoming research memo on funding for fuel reduction on public and private property.

Want to know what grants are coming up? The Funding Webpage has an updated calendar of funding opportunities expected over the several months.

Upcoming grants that might be of interest:

  • The Museums for America program provides up to $150,000 in funding for educational programs, collections, and community programs. Requests under $25,000 do not require a match.  The deadline is December 1.
  • The National Forest Foundation’s Community Capacity and Land Stewardship program provides $24,000 grants to help collaboratives and community-based organizations address capacity building needs that will further their on-the-ground watershed restoration projects.  The deadline is December 16.
  • The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation provides small grants to support projects or general operating costs to community-based organizations throughout the United States for which a small amount of funding would make a big difference. Target areas include museums, cultural programs, environmental and wildlife protection activities.  The deadline for applications is November 10.

California Water Plan ENews – 10/14/15

This week’s Water Plan eNews includes:

  • Applications being accepted for grants to help with agricultural water management plans
  • Basin regulations released, will be considered at next water commission meeting
  • Comment period opens for draft California climate adaptation plan
  • Workshop for small water systems will focus on limiting water loss
  • Water justice celebration will recognize the effort of drought leaders
  • Annual meeting and forum to highlight Sacramento River watershed issues
  • Direct Potable Reuse Advisory Group will meet next week in Richmond

California Water Plan ENews – 10/7/15

This week’s Water Plan eNews includes:

  • Workshops set for draft guidelines of agricultural water efficiency grants
  • Water commission hosting three public meetings to discuss WSIP
  • Central Valley conservation strategy to be discussed at workshop this week
  • Integrated regional development plan on agenda for Strategic Growth Council
  • Water district workshop focuses on water portfolio for Southern California
  • Teaming up to provide $6 million in water technology development
  • Environmental data sharing vision posted by Delta Science Program

California Water Plan ENews – 9/30/15

This week’s Water Plan eNews includes:

  • Meetings scheduled to discuss implementation of Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
  • Webcast of latest meeting on groundwater sustainability regulations available online
  • Water utility rate design up for discussion at utilities commission workshops
  • Technical panel sets two-day meeting to review final landscape water use report
  • EPA accepting proposals for urban water projects that address runoff pollution
  • Concern over ballast water prompts DSC to consider feasibility of treatment plants
  • Workshop on surface water datasets being held in Davis next month
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