News Briefs: Colorado Lawmakers Tout Turf-Replacement Program Amid Megadrought

Also in this week's sewer and water news, engineers in California measure the lowest April 1 snowpack the Sierra Nevada has seen in seven years, and the sixth lowest recorded in state history

As the western United States continues to face an ongoing megadrought, Colorado politicians are proposing a turf-replacement program that would pay homeowners and business owners to replace their lawns with landscapes better suited to the dry climate in the state.

The bill would incentivize property owners to help manage the state’s water, according to officials. Similar programs could soon become more common throughout the West.

California Measures Lowest Snowpack in Seven Years

In related megadrought news, engineers in California recently measured the lowest April 1 snowpack the Sierra Nevada has seen in seven years, and the sixth lowest recorded in state history.

The snowpack provides a third of California’s water supply and state officials measured a snowpack containing 4% of the location’s average water content, according to Los Angeles Daily News.

California Sites Reservoir Awarded $25 Million Additional Funding

The California Water Commission recently announced increased funding for Proposition 1 bond recipients, including $38 million for Sites Reservoir, bringing the total amount to $875 million in Proposition 1 funds for the stormwater reuse project.

Additional funds became available due to another project withdrawing from the program, and the CWC was able to increase the investment for all projects to partially account for inflation and, specifically for Sites, make up for previous funding shortages. As background, Sites Reservoir is eligible for Proposition 1 because of its significant public benefits, including a dedicated source of water for the environment.

“Sites Reservoir has some real momentum right now with the recent announcement of a WIFIA loan and now additional Proposal 1 funding,” says Fritz Durst, chairman of the Sites Project Authority. “We’re grateful the California Water Commission was able to give Sites Reservoir and all of the storage projects a funding boost and we look forward to delivering substantial benefits for California.”


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