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Null S.E.,Utah State University | Ligare S.T.,California State Water Resources Control Board | Viers J.H.,University of California at Davis
Journal of the American Water Resources Association | Year: 2013

This article provides a method for examining mesoscale water quality objectives downstream of dams with anticipated climate change using a multimodel approach. Coldwater habitat for species such as trout and salmon has been reduced by water regulation, dam building, and land use change that alter stream temperatures. Climate change is an additional threat. Changing hydroclimatic conditions will likely impact water temperatures below dams and affect downstream ecology. We model reservoir thermal dynamics and release operations (assuming that operations remain unchanged through time) of hypothetical reservoirs of different sizes, elevations, and latitudes with climate-forced inflow hydrologies to examine the potential to manage water temperatures for coldwater habitat. All models are one dimensional and operate on a weekly timestep. Results are presented as water temperature change from the historical time period and indicate that reservoirs release water that is cooler than upstream conditions, although the absolute temperatures of reaches below dams warm with climate change. Stream temperatures are sensitive to changes in reservoir volume, elevation, and latitude. Our approach is presented as a proof of concept study to evaluate reservoir regulation effects on stream temperatures and coldwater habitat with climate change. © 2013 American Water Resources Association.


Moore M.T.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Denton D.L.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Cooper C.M.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Wrysinski J.,Yolo County Resource Conservation District | And 5 more authors.
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry | Year: 2011

Irrigation and storm water runoff from agricultural fields has the potential to cause impairment to downstream aquatic receiving systems. Over the last several years, scientists have discovered the benefit of using edge-of-field practices, such as vegetated agricultural drainage ditches, in the mitigation of pesticides and sediment. After demonstrating this practice's feasibility in California, field trials were initiated to document irrigation runoff pesticide mitigation in California alfalfa and tomato fields. In the alfalfa field, chlorpyrifos concentration was decreased by 20% from the inflow to the ditch outflow. Thirty-two percent of the measured chlorpyrifos mass was associated with ditch plant material. In the tomato field, permethrin concentration was decreased by 67% and there was a 35% reduction in suspended sediment concentration from inflow to the ditch outflow. When surface water was not present in the ditch systems, the sediment was a significant repository for pesticides. Based on the field trials, vegetated agricultural drainage ditches can be successfully used as part of a suite of management practices to reduce pesticide and sediment runoff into aquatic receiving systems. © 2011 SETAC.


Regulators with the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) announced in January that they plan to halt oil and gas wastewater injection in 475 oil wells in the Golden State — but also that they will continue to allow injections into federally protected aquifers at another 1,650 wells. According to the environmental advocacy group Clean Water Action, the announcement appears to be in violation of DOGGR’s own compliance schedule, adopted by regulation in 2014, which requires all injection well operators that have not obtained an aquifer exemption from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to cease injection by February 15, 2017. DOGGR’s decision covers illegal injection operations in aquifers in 29 oilfields, which will continue past the February 15 deadline while the oil companies responsible for them apply for an exemption from the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act. California officials and the EPA must review the merits of each exemption application. There is no set timeline for this process and it could take months, Clean Water Action said. Keith Nakatani, Oil and Gas Program Manager for Clean Water Action, said that the group applauds DOGGR’s decision to shut down 475 illegal injection wells that are threatening drinking water sources. “But 1,650 other wells continue injecting in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act,” he added. “These wells should have never been permitted, and they continue to put potential drinking water sources at risk.” Don Drysdale, a spokesman for the California Department of Conservation, of which DOGGR is a sub-department, said that the February 15 deadline was established through discussions between the EPA, DOGGR, and the California State Water Resources Control Board. “All three parties were aware that the deadline was ambitious and have been in constant communication about the efforts to bring California into full compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act,” Drysdale said. “U.S. EPA on January 26 transmitted a letter approving the State’s current approach.” Previously, over 20 injection wells were shut down by DOGGR (11 in 2014 and 12 in 2015) as the scale of the problem with the state’s Underground Injection Control Program was first coming to light. More recently, seven companies, including oil and gas behemoth Chevron, were forced to stop injecting wastewater into 11 California aquifers by December 31, 2016. Those 11 aquifers should have been protected by the state of California all along, but officials erroneously believed that the oil companies had obtained exemptions from Safe Drinking Water Act protections from the EPA. It only emerged in 2014, after the companies had been injecting wastewater into those aquifers for three decades, that the EPA had never granted any such exemptions. In March of 2015, as revelations were still emerging that regulators at DOGGR had improperly permitted thousands of wells to inject fluids from “enhanced oil recovery techniques,” such as acidization, cyclic steam injection, and fracking, into protected aquifers, California state legislators “called the agency’s historic practices corrupt, inept, and woefully mismanaged,” according to the LA Times. When asked how DOGGR had ensured that injection operations had ceased in all 11 of the aquifers “historically treated as exempt,” which were subject to the December 31 deadline, Drysdale responded: “Initially, there were 98 injection wells listed in the aquifers facing the December deadline; injection into 71 of those was idled in advance of the deadline. The operators were very aware of the deadline and either have made or are making arrangements to dispose of produced water into other exempted zones. The Division will spot-check injection activities in those fields in addition to confirming during annual inspections and closely reviewing mandatory injection reports.” DOGGR found that all but one of the 11 aquifers “historically treated as exempt” do not meet state and federal exemption criteria. Unauthorized injection can result in a $25,000-per-day civil penalty, Drysdale noted: “[T]hat should be an ample deterrent to unauthorized injection.” The one exception is an aquifer known as the Walker Formation, which underlies the Round Mountain Field and is the subject of an aquifer exemption proposal submitted to the EPA on November 30, 2016. In a letter to the EPA dated January 17, 2017, DOGGR wrote that it has received exemption proposals for another 42 fields in all, covering more than 2,000 wells. Some 13 of those fields, covering 460 wells, are subject to the February 15 deadline because the operators provided insufficient data to support their exemption proposal. Another 10 fields covering approximately 15 wells where injection was occurring in non-exempt aquifers will also be subject to the February 15 deadline because no data was provided to support an exemption. All told, DOGGR says in the letter, 155 wells that were found to be injecting into aquifers suitable for drinking water have already been “brought into compliance.” Spot-checks and record reviews will be used to ensure compliance by the companies with ongoing injection activities in those wells that are subject to the February 15 deadline, Drysdale said. “However,” he added, “DOGGR will inspect all the wells as quickly as resources allow. Again, operators have been made aware of the deadlines and the penalties that will result from non-compliance.” DOGGR says that it has received sufficient data to evaluate the 29 other aquifer exemption proposals it has received, which would affect the 1,650 injection wells that aren’t subject to the February 15 deadline, and deemed them to have sufficient merit to be fully developed and forwarded to the State Water Control Resources Board for review. Those wells “will not be shut down because the Division and the State Water Board either currently concur that the exemption proposal meets the State and federal criteria for exemption or agree that the proposal appears to have merit warranting ultimate submission to US EPA,” according to the letter. As of the date of the letter, the State Water Resources Control Board had preliminarily concurred on seven of the proposals, four of which were finalized and submitted to the EPA for approval. In the letter, DOGGR regulators add that they anticipate another nine aquifer exemption proposals will receive preliminary concurrence from the state, either in whole or part, by February 15, 2017. In other words, DOGGR and the State Water Board expect to have at least preliminary concurrence on 16 of the 29 exemption proposals by the February 15 deadline, which they are not required to comply with in any case. “We believe that this approach will bring the State into compliance and protect public health and the environment, while avoiding unnecessarily disrupting oil and gas production in instances where the State has already done an evaluation of a proposal and believes the aquifer exemption as submitted by the State (or anticipated to be submitted by the State) will receive US EPA approval,” according to the DOGGR letter. Clean Water Action’s Nakatani responded to DOGGR’s rationale for keeping more than 1,000 injection wells in operation, saying, “The state has had more than two years to address this problem and giving oil companies more time to illegally inject is unacceptable.” Main image: A pump jack in California is used to mechanically lift liquid out of the well if there is not enough bottom hole pressure for the liquid to flow all the way to the surface. Credit: Sanjay Acharya, CC BY–SA 3.0


News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwired - Feb 23, 2017) - California Water Service Group ( : CWT) today announced net income of $48.7 million and diluted earnings per share of $1.01 for 2016, compared to net income of $45.0 million and earnings per share of $0.94 in 2015. The $3.7 million increase in net income was primarily a result of a $2.8 million net resolution of several regulatory memorandum and balancing accounts in the California Water Service Company (Cal Water) 2015 General Rate Case (GRC) settlement agreement, a $1.9 million increase from the recovery of prior years' incremental drought program costs, a resolution of litigation proceeds in the GRC settlement agreement, and a $1.7 million increase in estimated unbilled revenue in 2016. These increases were partially offset by increases in other operations expense, which included a GRC settlement agreement to write-off $3.2 million associated with a cancelled water supply project in Bakersfield which was recognized in the third quarter, increases in depreciation and amortization, maintenance, property tax, employee wage, and net interest expenses. "Although 2016 was one of the more challenging years in the Company's recent history, we achieved many successes," said President and Chief Executive Officer Martin A. Kropelnicki. "The Company's key accomplishments included partnering with customers to achieve significant water savings during the California drought; responding effectively to the Erskine fire in Kern River Valley; investing a record $228.9 million to improve and upgrade critical water system infrastructure; increasing the dividend by three percent, which was our 49th consecutive annual increase; and being ranked highest in overall satisfaction among water utilities in the western United States in J.D. Powers' inaugural water utility residential customer satisfaction survey. "We ended 2016 with the CPUC's timely approval of our 2015 General Rate Case. The parties involved worked diligently in drafting a fair and reasonable settlement. The authorizations in the GRC, including $658.8 million of capital investment over three years, ensure we can continue improving the quality of life for customers and communities we serve," he said. Additional Financial Results for 2016 Total revenue increased 3.6% to $609.4 million in 2016 compared to $588.4 million in 2015, primarily due to rate increases to offset increases in purchased water quantities and wholesale water rates. Total operating expenses increased $16.0 million, or 3.1%, to $533.2 million in 2016 compared to the prior year. Water production expenses increased $12.1 million, or 5.8 %, to $220.0 million in 2016, primarily due to increases in purchased water quantities and higher wholesale water rates. As designed, the California revenue decoupling mechanisms record an increase to revenue equal to the increase in California water production costs. Administrative & general and other operations expenses decreased slightly to $178.6 million in 2016, primarily due to decreases in employee benefit costs, incremental drought program expenses, and a decrease in uninsured loss costs. These cost decreases were partially offset by an increase in costs associated with the realization of operating revenue that was deferred in prior years, a third-quarter write-off of $3.2 million of capital costs, increases in conservation program costs, and employee wages. Changes in employee pension benefits, employee and retiree medical costs, and water conservation program costs for regulated California operations generally do not affect earnings, as the Company is allowed by the CPUC to record these costs in balancing accounts for future recovery, creating a corresponding change to revenue. Incremental California drought program operating expenses were approximately $4.3 million in 2016, the same as in 2015. These expenses were included in administrative & general, other operations, and maintenance expenses. Further, all incremental drought costs are recorded in a CPUC authorized memorandum account that is recoverable after CPUC reasonableness review and approval. Maintenance expenses increased $1.5 million, or 7.1%, to $23.0 million in 2016, due to increased costs for repairs of reservoirs, tanks, and services. Income taxes increased $0.3 million, or 1.1%, to $24.8 million in 2016, due primarily to an increase in net operating income, which was partially offset by an increase in the tax benefit from the flow through method of accounting for "repairs" deductions on the Company's state income tax filings. The estimated effective tax rate for 2016 is 35.5%. Other income, net of income taxes, increased $1.9 million in 2016, due primarily to the recognition of $1.5 million of litigation proceeds approved in the Cal Water 2015 GRC settlement agreement and an unrealized gain on our benefit plan insurance investments. Fourth Quarter 2016 Results For the fourth quarter of 2016, net income increased $6.6 million, or 78.0%, to $15.1 million, and diluted earnings per share increased $0.13, or 72.2%, to $0.31 per diluted share compared to the fourth quarter of 2015. The increase in net income was due primarily to increases from the resolution of several regulatory memorandum and balancing accounts in the Cal Water 2015 GRC settlement agreement, CPUC authorization to recover prior year incremental drought program costs, and an increase in other income in 2016. These increases were partially offset by increases in other operations, depreciation and amortization, property tax, and net interest expenses. Revenue for the fourth quarter increased $12.5 million, or 9.0%, to $150.9 million mostly due to rate increases and changes to various balancing accounts, which were authorized in the California GRC decision. Total operating expenses for the quarter increased $6.1 million, or 5.0%, to $129.6 million. Water production expenses increased $1.9 million mostly due to increases in purchased water quantities and wholesale water rates. Administrative & general and other operations expenses increased $1.7 million, or 3.8%, to $45.8 million due to an increase in costs associated with the realization of operating revenue that was deferred in prior years, and increases in conservation program costs, which were partially offset by decreases in employee benefit costs and incremental drought program expenses. Maintenance expense decreased $0.3 million, or 4.8%, to $5.5 million. Other income, net of income taxes, increased $0.7 million, or 74.2%, to $1.6 million mostly due to the recognition of $1.5 million of litigation proceeds. Net interest expense increased $0.4 million, or 6.0%, to $7.9 million. The under-collected net receivable balance in the WRAM and MCBA mechanism was $36.6 million as of December 31, 2016, a decrease of 8.5%, or $3.4 million, from the balance of $40.0 million as of December 31, 2015. Regulatory Update On December 15, 2016, the CPUC voted to approve Cal Water's 2015 GRC settlement agreement. The approved decision, which was proposed by the presiding Administrative Law Judge in November 2016, authorizes Cal Water to increase gross revenue by approximately $45.0 million in 2017, $17.2 million in 2018, and $16.3 million in 2019, and up to $30.0 million upon completion and approval of the Company's advice letter projects. The 2018 and 2019 revenue increases are subject to the CPUC's earning test protocol. The CPUC's decision also authorizes Cal Water to invest $658.8 million in water system improvements throughout California over the three-year period of 2016-2018 in order to continue to provide safe and reliable water to its customers. This figure includes $197.3 million of water system infrastructure improvements that will be subject to the CPUC's advice letter procedure. Other Information All stockholders and interested investors are invited to listen to the 2016 year-end and fourth quarter conference call on February 23, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. PST (11:00 a.m. EST) by dialing 1-888-806-6208 or 1-913-312-1516 and keying in ID #7406571. A replay of the call will be available from 11:00 a.m. PST (2:00 p.m. EST) on February 23, 2017 through April 23, 2017, at 1-888-203-1112 or 1-719-457-0820, ID #7406571. The replay will also be available under the investor relations tab at www.calwatergroup.com. Prior to the call, Cal Water will post a slide presentation on its website. The presentation can be found at www.calwatergroup.com/docs/2016q4slides.pdf after 6:00 a.m. PDT. The call will be hosted by President and Chief Executive Officer Martin A. Kropelnicki, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Thomas F. Smegal III, and Vice President of Regulatory Matters Paul G. Townsley. California Water Service Group is the parent company of California Water Service, Washington Water Service, New Mexico Water Service, Hawaii Water Service, CWS Utility Services, and HWS Utility Services. Together, these companies provide regulated and non-regulated water service to nearly 2 million people in California, Washington, New Mexico, and Hawaii. California Water Service was ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Water Utilities in the West" in 2016 by J.D. Power in its inaugural Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study. California Water Service Group's common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "CWT." Additional information is available online at www.calwatergroup.com. This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 ("Act"). The forward-looking statements are intended to qualify under provisions of the federal securities laws for "safe harbor" treatment established by the Act. Forward-looking statements are based on currently available information, expectations, estimates, assumptions and projections, and management's judgment about the Company, the water utility industry and general economic conditions. Such words as would, expects, intends, plans, believes, estimates, assumes, anticipates, projects, predicts, forecasts or variations of such words or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. They are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may vary materially from what is contained in a forward-looking statement. Factors that may cause a result different than expected or anticipated include, but are not limited to: governmental and regulatory commissions' decisions; consequences of eminent domain actions relating to our water systems; changes in regulatory commissions' policies and procedures; the timeliness of regulatory commissions' actions concerning rate relief; inability to renew leases to operate city water systems on beneficial terms; changes in California State Water Resources Control Board water quality standards; changes in environmental compliance and water quality requirements; electric power interruptions; changes in customer water use patterns and the effects of conservation; the impact of weather and climate on water availability, water sales and operating results; the unknown impact of contagious diseases, such as Zika, avian flu, H1N1 flu and severe acute respiratory syndrome, on the Company's operations; civil disturbances or terrorist threats or acts, or apprehension about the possible future occurrences of acts of this type; labor relations matters as we negotiate with the unions; restrictive covenants in or changes to the credit ratings on our current or future debt that could increase our financing costs or affect our ability to borrow, make payments on debt or pay dividends; and, other risks and unforeseen events. When considering forward-looking statements, you should keep in mind the cautionary statements included in this paragraph, as well as the annual 10-K, Quarterly 10-Q, and other reports filed from time-to-time with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Company assumes no obligation to provide public updates of forward-looking statements.


SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 26, 2016) - At its meeting today, the California Water Service Group ( : CWT) Board of Directors declared the company's 287th consecutive quarterly dividend in the amount of $0.1725 per common share. It will be payable on November 18, 2016, to stockholders of record on November 7, 2016. California Water Service Group is the parent company of California Water Service, Washington Water Service Company, New Mexico Water Service Company, Hawaii Water Service Company, Inc., CWS Utility Services, and HWS Utility Services. Together these companies provide regulated and non-regulated water service to nearly 2 million people in California, Washington, New Mexico, and Hawaii. Group's common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "CWT." This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 ("Act"). The forward-looking statements are intended to qualify under provisions of the federal securities laws for "safe harbor" treatment established by the Act. Forward-looking statements are based on currently available information, expectations, estimates, assumptions and projections, and management's judgment about the Company, the water utility industry and general economic conditions. Such words as would, expects, intends, plans, believes, estimates, assumes, anticipates, projects, predicts, forecasts or variations of such words or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. They are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may vary materially from what is contained in a forward-looking statement. Factors that may cause a result different than expected or anticipated include, but are not limited to: governmental and regulatory commissions' decisions; consequences of eminent domain actions relating to our water systems; changes in regulatory commissions' policies and procedures; the timeliness of regulatory commissions' actions concerning rate relief; inability to renew leases to operate city water systems on beneficial terms; changes in California State Water Resources Control Board water quality standards; changes in environmental compliance and water quality requirements; electric power interruptions; changes in customer water use patterns and the effects of conservation; the impact of weather and climate on water availability, water sales and operating results; the unknown impact of contagious diseases, such as Zika, avian flu, H1N1 flu and severe acute respiratory syndrome, on the Company's operations; civil disturbances or terrorist threats or acts, or apprehension about the possible future occurrences of acts of this type; labor relations matters as we negotiate with the unions; restrictive covenants in or changes to the credit ratings on our current or future debt that could increase our financing costs or affect our ability to borrow, make payments on debt or pay dividends; and, other risks and unforeseen events. When considering forward-looking statements, you should keep in mind the cautionary statements included in this paragraph, as well as the annual 10-K, Quarterly 10-Q, and other reports filed from time-to-time with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Company assumes no obligation to provide public updates of forward-looking statements.


News Article | October 28, 2016
Site: www.marketwired.com

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 27, 2016) - California Water Service Group ( : CWT) today announced 2016 third quarter net income of $22.9 million or $0.48 per diluted common share, compared to net income of $25.1 million or $0.52 per diluted common share for the same period last year. The $2.2 million decrease was primarily attributed to a write-off of $3.2 million of capital costs that are not expected to be recovered as part of the California general rate case (GRC) settlement the company filed on September 2, a decrease in accrued unbilled revenue, an increase in depreciation & amortization, and an increase in net interest expenses which were partially offset by decreases in uninsured loss and maintenance expenses. Total revenue increased $0.7 million to $184.3 million, compared to revenue of $183.6 million for the third quarter of 2015. Rate increases added $8.3 million, of which $6.2 million was related to water production cost increases. During the quarter, the accrued unbilled revenue declined $5.1 million driven by customer bill rate changes. Revenue decoupling mechanisms and other balancing accounts reduced revenue $2.9 million. The water revenue adjustment mechanism (WRAM) account records changes in billed revenue. Unbilled revenue is an accounting estimate that is accrued at the end of the quarter. The unbilled revenue accrual is subject to consumption changes and will fluctuate on a quarter-to-quarter basis. Total operating expenses increased $2.9 million, or 1.9%, to $154.2 million in the third quarter of 2016 compared to operating expenses of $151.3 million in the third quarter of 2015, principally due to a $9.7 million or 16.1% increase in water production costs. The increase in water production costs was primarily due to a 7.7% increase in blended purchased water rates from water wholesalers and a 10.3% increase in the use of purchased water to meet customer demand. Administrative & general and other operations expenses decreased $5.2 million, or 10.7%, to $43.4 million, primarily due to decreases in employee benefits, uninsured loss expenses, and California drought and water conservation program costs, which were partially offset by the write-off of $3.2 million of capital costs that are not expected to be recovered as part of the California GRC. The write-off of capital costs were for engineering design costs for a cancelled Cal Water and City of Bakersfield water treatment plant project, previously recorded as property held for future use. Water conservation program costs are affected by seasonal patterns and customer demand. Changes in employee pension and other postretirement benefits and water conservation program expenses for regulated California operations do not affect net income, because the Company is permitted by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to record these costs in balancing accounts for future recovery, which creates a corresponding change to operating revenue. Drought program costs are tracked in a CPUC-approved memorandum account and require CPUC review before they become recoverable. Income taxes decreased $2.1 million, or 13.4%, to $13.2 million in the third quarter of 2016 compared to the third quarter of 2015, primarily due to a decrease in pre-tax income in the third quarter of 2016 as compared to the prior year. The Company's estimated effective tax rate for fiscal year 2016 is 38%. Net other income increased $0.9 million to net other income of $0.5 million in the third quarter of 2016, as compared to a net loss of $0.4 million in the third quarter of 2015, principally due to an unrealized gain on our benefit plan insurance investments. Net interest expense increased $1.0 million, or 15.0%, to $7.7 million in the third quarter of 2016 due mostly to 2015 and 2016 financing activities. According to President and Chief Executive Officer Martin A. Kropelnicki, "The third quarter of 2016 was extremely busy for us. We continued to deal with the historic California drought, filed our settlement for the California GRC, helped our customers affected by the Erskine Fire in Kern County, and announced our successful bid to operate the water system at Travis Air Force Base. Further, during the quarter, as filed in our GRC settlement, the company recorded the impairment of design costs from a joint water treatment plant project with the City of Bakersfield that the City was no longer interested in completing. Now with the settlement pending approval by the CPUC, we look forward to getting the rate case completed before year-end and moving forward with our capital programs to improve infrastructure for the benefit of our customers." Year-to-Date Results For the nine-month period ended September 30, 2016, net income was $33.6 million or $0.70 per diluted common share, compared to net income of $36.5 million or $0.76 per diluted common share for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2015. The $2.9 million decrease in net income was primarily due to a write-off of $3.2 million of capital costs that are not expected to be recovered as part of the California GRC settlement and increases in maintenance, drought-related costs, depreciation and amortization and net interest expenses which were partially offset by an increase in accrued unbilled revenue and a decrease in uninsured loss expenses. Water System Infrastructure Improvements During the first nine months of 2016, the total company-funded and developer-funded investment was $166.4 million in utility plant, up 40.7%, or $48.1 million, from $118.3 million in the first nine months of 2015. 2015 California GRC As previously reported, in July 2015, California Water Service Company (Cal Water) filed a GRC application seeking rate increases in all regulated operating districts in California effective January 1, 2017. The 2015 GRC application requests increased revenues of $94.8 million for 2017, $23.0 million for 2018, and $22.6 million for 2019. The primary reason for the requested revenue increase was a proposed capital program of $693.0 million in districts throughout California over the three-year period from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2018. The GRC process considers the views of several intervenors, including the CPUC's Office of Ratepayer Advocates (ORA). On September 2, 2016, Cal Water entered into a settlement agreement with the ORA and other parties to its 2015 GRC. The Commission may or may not adopt the settlement agreement as proposed by the parties. If the settlement agreement is approved as proposed, Cal Water would be authorized to invest $658.8 million in districts throughout California over the three-year period from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2018 in order to provide a safe and reliable water supply to its customers. Included in the $658.8 million in water system infrastructure improvements is $197.3 million that would be recovered through the CPUC's advice letter procedure upon completion of qualified projects. Under the terms of the settlement, the Company would be authorized to increase revenue by approximately $45.0 million in 2017, $17.2 million in 2018, and $16.3 million in 2019, and up to $30.0 million upon completion and approval of the company's advice letter projects. The GRC is being processed according to the adopted schedule which would allow for a decision at the end of 2016. Any rate change as a result of this filing is expected to be effective on January 1, 2017. In the event of a delay in a final decision, Cal Water would be allowed to implement interim rates beginning January 1, 2017 under the CPUC's policies. Recovery of Incremental Drought Expenses On July 15, 2016, Cal Water filed an advice letter to recover $4.2 million of incremental drought expenses associated with calendar years 2014 and 2015. During the third quarter of 2016, the Company discussed the request with interested parties including ORA. Cal Water filed a revised advice letter on October 12, 2016 to recover $2.9 million in incremental costs related to 2014 and 2015 expenses, which will be recoverable to the extent approved by the CPUC in a future period. During the first nine months of 2016 drought costs were $4.0 million, up 48.1% from drought costs of $2.7 million during the first nine months of 2015. Recovery of net WRAM and MCBA receivable balance The under-collected net receivable balance in the WRAM and MCBA mechanism was $30.6 million at the end of the third quarter, up 5.5% or $1.6 million from the balance at the end of the second quarter. Due to the Company's drought response including drought surcharges, the under-collected balance has decreased by $17.5 million or 36.4% since the second quarter of 2015. Other Information All stockholders and interested investors are invited to listen to the third quarter of 2016 conference call on October 27, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. PDT (11:00 a.m. EDT) by dialing 1-877-604-9665 and keying in ID #7228386. A replay of the call will be available from 11:00 a.m. PDT (2:00 p.m. EDT) on October 27, 2016 through December 27, 2016, at 1-888-203-1112 or 1-719-457-0820, ID #7228386. The replay will also be available under the investor relations tab at www.calwatergroup.com. Prior to the call, Cal Water will post a slide presentation on its website. The presentation can be found at www.calwatergroup.com/docs/earningsslidesseptember2016.pdf after 6:00 a.m. PDT. The call will be hosted by President and Chief Executive Officer Martin A. Kropelnicki, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Thomas F. Smegal III, and Vice President of Regulatory Matters Paul G. Townsley. California Water Service Group is the parent company of California Water Service Company, Washington Water Service Company, New Mexico Water Service Company, Hawaii Water Service Company, Inc., CWS Utility Services, and HWS Utility Services, LLC. Together these companies provide regulated and non-regulated water service to approximately 2 million people in more than 100 California, Washington, New Mexico and Hawaii communities. Group's common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "CWT." Additional information is available online at www.calwatergroup.com. This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 ("Act"). The forward-looking statements are intended to qualify under provisions of the federal securities laws for "safe harbor" treatment established by the Act. Forward-looking statements are based on currently available information, expectations, estimates, assumptions and projections, and management's judgment about the Company, the water utility industry and general economic conditions. Such words as would, expects, intends, plans, believes, estimates, assumes, anticipates, projects, predicts, forecasts or variations of such words or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. They are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may vary materially from what is contained in a forward-looking statement. Factors that may cause a result different than expected or anticipated include, but are not limited to: governmental and regulatory commissions' decisions; consequences of eminent domain actions relating to our water systems; changes in regulatory commissions' policies and procedures; the timeliness of regulatory commissions' actions concerning rate relief; inability to renew leases to operate city water systems on beneficial terms; changes in California State Water Resources Control Board water quality standards; changes in environmental compliance and water quality requirements; electric power interruptions; changes in customer water use patterns and the effects of conservation; the impact of weather and climate on water availability, water sales and operating results; the unknown impact of contagious diseases, such as Zika, avian flu, H1N1 flu and severe acute respiratory syndrome, on the Company's operations; civil disturbances or terrorist threats or acts, or apprehension about the possible future occurrences of acts of this type; labor relations matters as we negotiate with the unions; restrictive covenants in or changes to the credit ratings on our current or future debt that could increase our financing costs or affect our ability to borrow, make payments on debt or pay dividends; and, other risks and unforeseen events. When considering forward-looking statements, you should keep in mind the cautionary statements included in this paragraph, as well as the annual 10-K, Quarterly 10-Q, and other reports filed from time-to-time with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Company assumes no obligation to provide public updates of forward-looking statements.


Maruya K.A.,Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Authority | Dodder N.G.,Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Authority | Schaffner R.A.,Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Authority | Weisberg S.B.,Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Authority | And 8 more authors.
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2014

To expand the utility of the Mussel Watch Program, local, regional and state agencies in California partnered with NOAA to design a pilot study that targeted contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). Native mussels (Mytilus spp.) from 68 stations, stratified by land use and discharge scenario, were collected in 2009-10 and analyzed for 167 individual pharmaceuticals, industrial and commercial chemicals and current use pesticides. Passive sampling devices (PSDs) and caged Mytilus were co-deployed to expand the list of CECs, and to assess the ability of PSDs to mimic bioaccumulation by Mytilus. A performance-based quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) approach was developed to ensure a high degree of data quality, consistency and comparability. Data management and analysis were streamlined and standardized using automated software tools. This pioneering study will help shape future monitoring efforts in California's coastal ecosystems, while serving as a model for monitoring CECs within the region and across the nation. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Maruya K.A.,Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Authority | Dodder N.G.,Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Authority | Weisberg S.B.,Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Authority | Gregorio D.,California State Water Resources Control Board | And 8 more authors.
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2014

A multiagency pilot study on mussels (Mytilus spp.) collected at 68 stations in California revealed that 98% of targeted contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) were infrequently detectable at concentrations ≤1. ng/g. Selected chemicals found in commercial and consumer products were more frequently detected at mean concentrations up to 470. ng/g dry wt. The number of CECs detected and their concentrations were greatest for stations categorized as urban or influenced by storm water discharge. Exposure to a broader suite of CECs was also characterized by passive sampling devices (PSDs), with estimated water concentrations of hydrophobic compounds correlated with Mytilus concentrations. The results underscore the need for focused CEC monitoring in coastal ecosystems and suggest that PSDs are complementary to bivalves in assessing water quality. Moreover, the partnership established among participating agencies led to increased spatial coverage, an expanded list of analytes and a more efficient use of available resources. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


News Article | October 27, 2016
Site: co.newswire.com

Based on data collected from the California State Water Resources Control Board, a study by SERVIZ grades water usage of Southern California cities to help educate residents on the drought.


News Article | November 2, 2016
Site: www.sej.org

"California on Tuesday moved to ease water conservation rules for farmers in the northern and central parts of the state, a sign that a wet fall may portend an easing of the state's five-year drought. The decision to temporarily stop requiring mostly agricultural users from detailing how much they take from key watersheds comes as new data show that conservation among urban Californians was up slightly in September over August. Felicia Marcus, chair of the California State Water Resources Control Board, said she welcomed rain that drenched cities throughout the state in October, but warned that the state's crushing drought was not yet over."

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