Daily Digest: Water news for November 1, 2013

Daily DigestIn the news today …

  • Governor releases his 5-year  water plan:  The plan focuses on water conservation, habitat restoration, flood protection, and drinking water.  ” … “We’ve been dealing with many of these issues for many many years,” says Matt Rodriquez, Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency.  “What’s added here is a sense of urgency because we see there are going to be even greater demands or pressures on our water resources, due to population growth, due to increased demand, due to climate change,” he says. … “  Read more from Capital Public Radio by clicking here.  See also: Draft California water plan is short on action (LA Times); State moves to coordinate work on water issues (Stockton Record), California water plan outlines broad goals (Desert Sun)
  • Crane controversy continues:  The Staten Island preserve has the abundant food and privacy that the sandhill cranes thrive on:  ” …  “They’re not disturbed much here, and that’s partly why they like it,” land manager Dawit Zeleke said at sunset earlier this week as his car slowed to a stop adjacent to a flooded field. Even his quiet Prius was enough to startle some of the cranes into taking flight. Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed water diversion tunnels would pass perhaps 150 feet beneath this very spot, raising questions among crane admirers how this majestic and ancient species – whose numbers have declined over the decades – could coexist with a multiyear industrial project of that magnitude. … ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here:  Cranes’ Delta habitat in peril?
  • Slow start to Klamath river spawning: Fewer than half the salmon expected to enter the Klamath River in California this year have moved inland, but environmental scientist Sara Borok said water conditions are favorable and it’s still too early to gauge the final count.  Only about 106,000 fish have made it into the Klamath and its tributaries, Borok, a scientist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said.  “It’s not as many as last year, but it’s not poor,” she said. “The water is cool and clear, but low. That’s not uncommon for this time of year.” … ”  Read more from the Herald & News here:  Slow start to salmon spawn
  • Shasta Chinook counts up:  ” As salmon journey to their spawning grounds in the Klamath River’s tributaries, preliminary counts are coming in higher than the 38-year average.  The annual adult salmon escapement count occurs from about September to early January, according to Morgan Knechtle of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Knechtle and his team monitor the three weirs on Bogus Creek and the Shasta and Scott rivers, compiling data that will be used in the formulation of the following year’s ocean abundance and harvest allowance estimates. … ”  Read more here from the Siskiyou Daily News:  Shasta Chinook counts higher than 38-year average

  • Central Coast wine country running out of groundwater:  ” … Paso Robles’ vineyards support a $1.8 billion local economy, and cultivation is up sharply. But as vineyards proliferate around this farm town halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, residential wells are starting to go dry. Some are calling the plight of Paso Robles a good example of what’s wrong with California’s unregulated groundwater supply. … ”  Read more from Quest here:  Water is Running Out in Central California Wine Country
  • New book gives multidisciplinary perspective on drought:  From an economic standpoint, the most costly natural disasters are drought – a slow moving disaster that affects crop production, ecosystems, policies, and the lives of many Americans.  A new book provides a “multidisciplinary and cross country perspective on ecological, economic, hydrological, agronomical, and policy-related issues arising from water scarcity and drought. “There’s a significant amount of meteorological and climate research suggesting that the frequency and intensity of drought is going to increase worldwide,” Schwabe said. “We can either wait for a drought, and experiment with costly and lengthy ways to mitigate its effects, or we can learn from the collective successes and failures of countries that have tried to manage it.”  Read more from UCI Riverside here:  New Book Addresses Consequences of Drought in Arid Regions
  • Subsurface intakes could kill Huntington Beach desalination project:  “The staff of the California Coastal Commission has recommended the approval of a proposed desalination plant in Huntington Beach but with several conditions.  One would require desalination company Poseidon Water to use subsurface intakes — intakes on the sea floor — to bring water into the plant and to discharge waste back into the ocean.  Poseidon contends the requirement would kill the project. … ”  Read more from KPCC here:  Staff approval of Huntington Beach desalination plant called ‘cynical ploy’ to kill project
  • State gives Army Corps 60 days to submit plan to LA River habitat or it will sue:  The LA Regional Water Board says the Corps lacked authorization to plow the 49 acres:  “The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board ordered the corps to mitigate the unauthorized dredge and fill operations at the Verdugo Wash in Glendale and Sepulveda Basin in the San Fernando Valley in a manner that will support the water quality, vegetation and wildlife that existed before they were graded.  “If satisfactory resolution of this matter is not forthcoming,” the agency warned in a letter signed by Sam Unger, executive officer of the board, “the water board intends to sue the Army Corps in the United States District Court.” … ”  Read more from Los Angeles Times:  State wants Army Corps to restore damaged L.A. River habitat
  • Secretary Jewell outlines long-term conservation plan:  “Interior Secretary Sally Jewell called Thursday for a long-term conservation strategy that balances development of public lands with protection of wild spaces, saying her agency will ensure that both goals are pursued during a period of climate change, tight budgets and increasing demands on the nation’s land and water.  But she promised that with Congress refusing to set aside even a single acre of wilderness for protection since 2010, President Barack Obama would use the Antiquities Act to preserve additional national monuments, as he has nine times since he took office. And, she said, certain areas, such as Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which she has visited, should never be open to drilling for oil and gas. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Interior Secretary Jewell outlines plan to protect US land
  • Removing nanoparticles from water:  ” … The use of nanoparticles has become more widespread in recent years, and they can be found in thousands of consumer products ranging from sunscreen to food packaging.  Scientists have yet to fully understand where these particles end up, and their effect on human and environmental health.  That’s why researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Hebrew University of Jerusalem are working together on how best to detect and remove such nanoparticles from water, especially using low-cost, readily available materials. … ”  Read more from EcoBusiness here:  Big task to remove tiny particles in water

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