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Aug 26 2014

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Daily Digest: Groundwater bills opposed by farmers, drought cutting off water to poor, keeping your car clean without water, 9 before and after photos that show impact of drought, and more …

Daily DigestIn California water news today, bills to regulate groundwater opposed by farmers, Army Corps inspects dams following Napa quake, quake early warning system could be built with water bond funds, scientists study other faults and drought after Napa quake, California's drought cutting off water supplies to state's poor, nine before and after photos that show impact of California's drought, San Joaquin County Supervisors give water bond qualified support, how to keep your car clean without water during a drought, and more news and commentary … 

In the news today …

  • Bills to regulate groundwater opposed by farmers:  “A package of bills aimed at regulating drought-parched California's stressed groundwater supplies has come under fire from agricultural interests, injecting doubt into the measures' fates in the waning days of the state's legislative session this week.  The bills, which would allow the state to take over management of underground aquifers and water accessed via wells, tighten oversight of water at a time when groundwater levels are shrinking in the third year of a catastrophic drought. … ”  Read more from Reuters here:  Bills to regulate groundwater opposed by farmers
  • Kings County advisory groups go against groundwater bills:Say “no” to two landmark bills that would comprehensively regulate groundwater in California.  That was the message the Kings County Water Commission and the Kings County Agricultural Advisory Committee sent Monday night. Meeting in a special joint session, committee members voted unanimously to oppose the legislation. … ”  Read more from the Hanford Sentinel here:  Kings County advisory groups go against groundwater bills
  • US Army Corps inspects dams following Napa quake: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-owned dams, including Coyote Dam in Ukiah, were inspected following the 6.0 earthquake near Napa and were found undamaged, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps engineers verified in site inspections Sunday and Monday.  Inspected Corps dams included Coyote Valley and Warm Springs dams, the nearest Corps dams to the earthquake's epicenter, managed by the Corps' San Francisco District; and New Hogan and Farmington dams east of Stockton, managed by the Corps' Sacramento District. … ”  Read more from the Ukiah Daily News here:  US Army Corps inspects dams following Napa quake
  • Quake early warning system could be built with water bond funds: “The money needed to complete California's proposed earthquake early-warning system could well come from the billion-dollar water bond issue now on the November ballot, lawmakers in Sacramento and the scientists developing it said Monday.  Sunday's early-morning Napa quake could serve as the impetus for locking down the estimated $80 million it would take to build the warning system that was approved by the Legislature last year and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown without funding. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  Quake early warning system could be built with water bond funds
  • Scientists study other faults, drought after Napa quake:  “Sunday’s earthquake occurred along the West Napa fault. But two others faults are close by, the Hayward Fault and the Rodgers Creek fault.  USGS scientist Fred Pollitz says scientists are keeping an eye on the Hayward Fault because it’s constantly accumulating stress. ... ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:  Scientists study other faults, drought after Napa quake
  • Napa Rushes to Fix Quake Mess as Drought Quickens Harvest: Wineries and hospitality businesses in and around Napa, California, near the epicenter of the worst earthquake to hit the area in 25 years, rushed to clean up rubble and broken glass ahead of the expected influx of tourists for a drought-accelerated grape harvest.  “We are right in the thick of it,” said Steve Matthiasson, a Napa-based grape grower and vintner who produces wine under the Matthiasson label. “It could not be a worse time” for a quake. … ”  Read more from Bloomberg News here: Napa Rushes to Fix Quake Mess as Drought Quickens Harvest
  • California’s Dogged Drought Cutting Off Water Supplies to State’s Poor: “Just as summer in the San Joaquin Valley was reaching a full boil in June, the Colunga family lost its water and its connection to the modern world.  Like a reliable workhorse suddenly stressed beyond its limit, the family’s 70-year-old water well coughed, gasped, and, in a final dusty breath, died. For more than two months, often in 100-degree heat, Gladys and Jorge Colunga and their six children, ages six months to 16 years, have lived without running water. They are one of at least eight families in this unincorporated Tulare County community of 30-odd homes whose wells have gone dry this year. ... ”  Read more from the Circle of Blue here:  California’s Dogged Drought Cutting Off Water Supplies to State’s Poor
  • These 9 before and after photos show the impact of California’s drought:In these before-and-after images, full water levels are visible around Lake Oroville in Oroville, California and Folsom Lake in El Folsom, California on July 20, 2011 and low water levels are visible on August 19, 2014.  As the severe drought in California continues for a third straight year, water levels in the state’s lakes and reservoirs are reaching historic lows. Lake Oroville is currently at 32 percent of its total 3,537,577 acre feet. Folsom Lake is currently at 40 percent of its total capacity of 977,000 acre feet.  … ”  View the drought interactive here: These 9 before and after photos show the impact of California’s drought
  • San Joaquin County Supervisors give $7.5B water bond qualified support: “A coalition of Delta counties has endorsed the new $7.5 billion water bond to be decided by voters in November.  Overall, however, local groups that are normally closely aligned on Delta issues are divided over this one.  The coalition includes San Joaquin County supervisors and water specialists Larry Ruhstaller and Ken Vogel, who are now publicly backing the bond. Their cautious support comes with the caveat that the money must not advance the governor’s controversial twin tunnels project. … ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here:  Supervisors give $7.5B water bond qualified support
  • Keeping your car clean without water during the drought:  “The drought continues. Does that mean you have to neglect keeping your car clean? Not at all.  “There are great ways to maintain your car's finish without using water,” said Edmunds.com Automotive Editor Mark Takahashi. ... ”  Read more here:  Keeping your car clean without water during the drought

In regional news today …

  • Siskiyou County: Roseburg Forest Products file suit over water rights:  “Roseburg Forest Products filed a complaint with the Siskiyou County Superior Court Friday asking that the court restore water rights it believes the Scott Valley and Shasta Valley Watermaster District improperly allocated to someone else.  Provided in the complaint is a long history of Roseburg’s appropriative right to a series of springs in the Shasta River valley known as the Beaughan Waters. … ”  Read more from the Siskiyou Daily News here:  Roseburg Forest Products file suit over water rights
  • Placer County Water Agency sees opportunity in water bond:  “Funding for water resource improvements in Placer County could be possible if California voters support the $7.12 billion bond issue on the Nov. 4 ballot, it was reported at Thursday’s (Aug. 21) meeting of the Placer County Water Agency Board of Directors. PCWA leaders have been studying the funding opportunities following the State Legislature’s Aug. 13 action to place the water bonds on the ballot. … ”  Read more from Placer County Online here: Placer County Water Agency sees opportunity in water bond
  • West Sac’s supervisor says this region played big role in shaping state water bond:  Yolo County Supervisor Oscar Villegas says this region played a big role in deciding what to keep and what to throw away as the upcoming $7.2 billion state water bond was drafted for the November ballot.  Villegas, who represents Clarksburg and most of West Sacramento, joined fellow Yolo supervisor Jim Provenza in a subcommittee that worked with other regional and state officials on the bond. … ”  Read more from the News-Ledger here:  West Sac’s supervisor says this region played big role in shaping state water bond
  • Rural legislators set tone on water bond negotiations: “Albert Einstein said, “Example isn’t another way to teach, it is the only way to teach.”  Legislators from rural California, particularly those from the Central Valley, put partisan bickering aside and stood firm on what was right for our region and, by extension, all of California. How ironic, those of us from the so-called tumbleweeds actually led the way, demonstrating to the rest of the Legislature what can be done when sights are set on what is right for all of California, and not our individual selves. … ”  Read more from the Calaveras Enterprise here: Rural legislators set tone on water bond negotiations
  • Take a lode off: Moke water overpromised:  “California Senate Bill 1199, which would have protected 37 miles of the upper Mokelumne River under the state Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, died recently after being relegated to the Assembly Appropriations Committee suspense file – a sad fate for a passionate piece of legislation.  Given California’s gross over-allocation of water, Wild and Scenic designation was the best hope for us and the Mokelumne. Our county-of-origin water districts may end up regretting their opposition to the designation, as the state Water Resources Control Board already expects the Mokelumne to give 142 percent. … ”  Read more from the Calaveras Enterprise here:  Take a lode off: Moke water overpromised
  • As Don Pedro Reservoir drops, what will it reveal?: “Last winter, Don Pedro Reservoir’s water level had dropped so much that the Eagle-Shawmut Mine’s stamp mill foundation emerged from the drink. The mine is on the eastern side of the lake, alongside the Woods Creek tributary arm of the reservoir.  It became the rage for tourists, kayakers and TV crews who shot footage and then moved on to the next sound/visual bite to accentuate the drought. … ”  Read more the Modesto Bee here: As Don Pedro Reservoir drops, what will it reveal?
  • Merced Irrigation District growers have more time to irrigate: Merced Irrigation District officials said late last week water allocations for growers would last at least two weeks longer than expected.  Earlier this month, MID officials urged growers to use their water allocations by mid-September. However, on Friday, officials said growers could count on using their allocations until Oct. 1. … ”  Read more from the Merced Sun-Star here:  Merced Irrigation District growers have more time to irrigate
    Read more here: http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2014/08/25/3812561_mid-growers-have-two-more-weeks.html?sp=/99/100/&rh=1#storylink=cpy
    Read more here: http://www.modbee.com/2014/08/25/3503865_as-don-pedro-reservoir-drops-what.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
  • Officials say water bond benefits Kern County:  “The $7.5 billion water bond on the November ballot is laden with funds to enhance ecosystems and safe drinking water programs, and increase storage — all of which directly or indirectly benefit Kern County, two local officials said Monday.  California's historic three-year drought could motivate voters to change water use by setting policy now, Melissa Poole, director of government affairs and counsel for Paramount Farming Co., and Jim Beck, general manager for the Kern County Water Agency, told an audience of more than 80 during a Chamber of Commerce forum. … ”  Read more from the Bakersfield Californian here:  Safe drinking water, storage in bond
  • Despite drought, Indio development requires grass: While agencies throughout the Coachella Valley and across California are issuing mandatory water restrictions in a desperate response to the state's historic drought, one homeowners' association in Indio is moving forward with regulations requiring land owners to install and water grass in undeveloped lots. … ”  Read more from the Desert Sun here: Despite drought, Indio development requires grass
  • San Diego: When do the water cops show up? Back in 2009, a thin crystal-blue line of “water cops” patrolled San Diego in search of leaky pipes, renegade car-washers and outlaw irrigation. A couple years later, the jobs vanished as drought restrictions loosened, and the city went back to enforcing its rules with less hoopla.  Now we’re back where we were then with mandatory restrictions on water use. The city hasn’t hiring another crew of water cops again, however, and no one’s been fined for violating drought laws regarding water use.  But things could change. ... ”  Read more from the Voice of San Diego here:  When do the water cops show up?

In commentary today …

  • Stop the delays; pass groundwater regulation, says the Sacramento Bee:Bills to create a system for managing groundwater are being undermined before they come up for final votes as early as today in the Senate and Assembly.  Senate Bill 1168 by Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, and Assembly Bill 1739 by Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, have been through a process beginning early this year that engages various water users and organizations. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Editorial: Stop the delays; pass groundwater regulation
  • We must protect our water, above and below ground, says the Modesto Bee: They write: “Taken by itself, the legislation known as Pavley-Dickinson is a desperately needed attempt to create a sustainable supply of groundwater. But just as creeks connect to rivers and rivers to oceans, groundwater is inextricably connected to the water that flows through our region. And no plan that ignores that essential fact can succeed for us. ... ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here:  We must protect our water, above and below ground
  • BDCP twin tunnel plan would benefit Northern Californians, says Jim Fiedler: He writes:”Community leaders in the 20th century made wise investments in the State Water Project that helped transform our region into the thriving economy of Silicon Valley. Since 1965, the project has met needs of growing communities, built groundwater reserves, prevented saltwater intrusion and halted land subsidence. The quality of life we enjoy here today would not be possible without imported water. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: Jim Fiedler: BDCP twin tunnel plan would benefit Northern Californians
  • Use water bond to fund earthquake early warning system, says Richard Allen:  He writes: “During Sunday's Napa earthquake, a warning was issued. It provided a warning of seconds to tens of seconds to a few selected users across Bay Area. Yet, the public did not get the warning. The technology exists; there should be a public warning system just as there is in Mexico, Japan and China. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  Use water bond to fund earthquake early warning system
  • Glen Colusa Irrigation District cares about a healthy river, says the Chico Enterprise Record:  They write: “The Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District, which supplies water to farmers on the west side of the Sacramento River, is spending a significant amount of money to help salmon in the river.  That the water district is doing this willingly may confound a few people. Why would a water district for farmers help fund a $250,000 project way up in Redding that has, on the face of things, nothing to do with farmland irrigation down in the mid-valley?  It's because the water district knows the value of a healthy river. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Glen Colusa water agency cares about a healthy river
  • Fracking threatens LA's water supply, says Timothy Krantz:  He writes: “Fracking may be happening beneath your feet and you don’t even know it. From the Beverly Hills Oil Field to Montebello and Yorba Linda, from Long Beach to Santa Monica, the Greater Los Angeles area overlies the southern extension of the Monterey Shale deposits — ground zero for California with regard to hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” to produce natural gas and oil.  ... ”  Read more from Timothy Krantz here:  Fracking threatens LA’s water supply

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

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About the Daily Digest: The Daily Digest is a collection of selected news articles, commentaries and editorials appearing in the mainstream press. Items are generally selected to follow the focus of the Notebook blog. The Daily Digest is published every weekday with a weekend edition posting on Sundays.

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