Natural Resources and Science

Natural Resources and Science

News articles ranging from water and energy issues, and restoration projects to science and technology are found here.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Testing nitrate levels in well water

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A new interactive online search tool, called “Is My Property Near a Nitrate-Impacted Water Well”, was recently posted by the State Water Resources Control Board. The tool alerts users if privately owned water wells are located within 2,000 feet of a nitrate-impacted well - defined as a water well with at least one detection of nitrate pollutant at a level above the health standard since 2000.

This interactive tool and a FAQ sheet about nitrates in groundwater can be found at: www.waterboards.ca.gov/nitrate_tool.

The Water Resources Control Board recommends that private well owners test their wells annually using an accredited drinking water laboratory.

Use the player below to hear a report on this story by Kerry Reynolds, including an interview with John Borkovich, Chief of Ground Water Monitoring and Assessment for the Water Resources Control Board.



The current drought in California has prompted a streamlined approval process for installation of storage tanks by landowners in several regions of the state, including Del Norte, Humboldt, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama and Trinity counties. According to a press release from the Calif. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, "...CDFW has essentially 'pre-approved' the installation of storage tanks that meet the general criteria. The State Water Board has agreed to incorporate these criteria as conditions of approval, and to expedite the issuance of the registrations."

The press release applauded local conservation efforts saying, "Today’s action was the direct result of suggestions made by local communities and fish conservation organizations such as Trout Unlimited, Mattole River Sanctuary Forest and the Salmonid Restoration Federation."

This streamlined approval process is limited to parties that are diverting and storing water to be used only for domestic purposes and fire protection. Further requirements include: tank design (must be rigid type, as opposed to collapsible type); storage tank(s) capacity must be at least that which would constitute a 60-day supply; and agreement by the applicant to use the stored water as a substitute for withdrawing additional water during the summer when flows are lowest. Click here to view the complete press release.

The State Water Resources Control Board has set up a website explaining the new Small Domestic Registration Process-click here connect to that site.

Click here to download the Dept. of Calif. Fish and Wildlife conditions that apply to registrations that meet the criteria for Emergency Tank Storage Registrations.

Click here to download the State Water Board form for Registering Small Domestic Use Tank Storage.

On March 14, 2014, KMUD News Director, Terri Klemetson, interviewed Dana Stolzman, Executive Director of the Salmonid Restoration Federation for more information about this new change in water storage requirements. The audio from this interview can be heard using the player below.



Use the player below to hear Jane Arnold from the Dept. of Fish & wildlife as she clarifies some of the new tank storage policy changes. Ms. Arnold was a guest on the Thurs. March 18, edition of the KMUD Environment Show hosted by Scott Greacen, Executive Director of Friends of the Eel River.

A gathering of Calif. state and federal agency officials presented information and answered questions at a Joint Press Conference hosted by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and United States Bureau of Reclamation. Mark Cowin, Director of DWR, (shown in the photo pointing to the map) opened the press conference by reviewing the present extent of the drought in California, saying, "We should all be clear by now that this is not a coming crisis. This is not an evolving crisis. This is a current crisis." Other speakers included David Murillo, Regional Director for the Mid-Pacific Region of the Bureau of Reclamation, Felicia Marcus Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), and Tom Howard Executive Director of SWCRB. After the presentations, questions were taken from media present at the press conference followed by a round of phone-in questions.

Immediately below is a report on the press conference submitted by KMUD Correspondent, Kelly Lincoln, which aired on the KMUD Local News on Jan. 1, 2014. Below that are players containing audio segments from the press conference. These segments were recorded and edited by Kelly Lincoln. Click here for more photos of the press conference and here for a video of the conference. Additional associated information can be viewed on the SWRCB website.


Press Conference Audio Below:

Mark Cowin, Director of California Department of Water Resources - introductions and opening remarks

David Murillo, Regional Director for the Mid-Pacific Region of the Bureau of Reclamation

Felicia Marcus Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board

Tom Howard Executive Director State Water Resources Control Board

Q&A from media present

Q&A from phone-in participants

A full day of information, food, conversation, and fun took place last Sat., Feb 1, 2014 at the Beginnings Octagon and Briceland Vineyard in Briceland. Jointly sponsored by Salmonid Restoration Federation and Sanctuary Forest, the event began at 10 am, was well-attended, and was broadcast live on KMUD. Dana Stolzman, Executive Director of the Salmonid Restoration Federation, opened the workshop with introductions and an explanation of the day's schedule which included presentations, a panel discussion, a lunch, and in the afternoon, a Water Rights Clinic, tour of water conservation projects at Briceland Vineyards, and concluded with a free wine tasting at the vineyard. Topics covered in the presentations and panel discussion included: How to Navigate Water Rights, Conserving Water in a Time of Drought, Resources for Rural Landowners and Local & Regional Water Conservation Efforts.
The workshop audio was recorded by KMUD and can be heard using the players below. KMUD Technical Director, Simon Frech, edited the audio into the various segments, according to speaker. Photos are by Bob Froehlich. Tune to KMUD Local News weekdays at 6 pm (and rebroadcast at 8 am) to hear additional reports by Kelly Lincoln on this Water and Solutions Workshop.

Speakers are shown in the photo below: (from right to left)  Sara Schremmer (standing), Scott Greacen, Tasha McKee, Matt Cocking, Mark Lancaster, and Brian Johnson.

Audio Segments - Note: To download a segment click on the "SOUNDCLOUD" link (top right corner of each segment). This takes you to thye KMUD NEWS SoundCloud page where you will see a download button.

1) Dana Stolzman, Executive Director, Salmonid Restoration Federation opens the Workshop.


2) Scott Greacen, Executive Director, Friends of the Eel River

3) Tasha McKee, Executive Director, Sanctuary Forest


4) Matt Cocking Forester for the National Resources Conservation Service


5) Comments: Dana Stolzman


6) Sara Schremmer - Project Coordinator, Salmonid Restoration Federation


8) Mark Lancaster- Program Director, Five Counties Salmonid Conservation Program


9) Brian Johnson, California Director, Trout Unlimited


10) Panel discussion and Q&A


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