Daily Digest for November 13: State revises cost estimates for portfolio alternative; coverage from last night’s Delta panel, Peter Gleick on the BDCP and more

News and commentary from the mainstream press, plus weather, webcasts, events and more …
Everything you need to know about what’s going on in the world of water today!

Daily DigestIn the news today …

  • State adjusts cost estimate for 3,000 single-bore tunnel (aka the ‘portfolio alternative’) downward: Citing the revised tunnel alignment as one factor, the estimated cost in 2012 dollars is now $8.6 billion, down from the previous $9.2 billion estimate. Other costs have been updated as well. More here: Revised Capital Cost for 3,000 cfs Single Bore Tunnel (You can find the original cost estimates here.)
  • Lois Kazakoff moderates Delta Panel with Ellen Hanak, Russell van Loben Sels, and Joan Maher:The California Delta is connected to everything in the state, Lois Kazakoff, the deputy editorial page editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, told a crowd at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. It also forms a large part of the state’s water supply. But in a recent survey of Californians, 78 percent of respondents said they didn’t know what the Delta was and had never heard of it.Kazakoff was moderating a panel co-presented by Occidental College—featuring a Delta farmer, a water policy expert, a conservationist, and a water resources manager and engineer—to discuss how the Delta can be saved and whether the latest plan for its future, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, is going to work. … ” Read more from Zocalo Public Square here: That’s My Water. No, Mine!
  • Laird meets with California Latino Water Coalition members: ” … Coalition members set up the meeting because they are concerned with the current predictions of yet another dry winter, and no new water storage facilities built. Members say with even tighter pumping restrictions, the threat of farmers going out of business is real. Latino Water Coalition Executive Director, Mario Santoyo says, “For the farmers who are struggling from year to year trying to get money from the bankers to agree to give them money, even though they can’t guarantee water, it becomes more and more challenging. They can’t wait 10 years, we need an action plan now. We recommendation that he put a task force together and find out who do we deal with that. I think Secretary heard our message.” …. ” Read more from KMPH here: California Water Secretary Pays Visit To Valley See also: Laird reports on Bay Delta Conservation Plan

  • Department of Fish and Wildlife on the hook to counties for millions of dollars: “Thirty six California counties say the Department of Fish and Wildlife owes them millions of dollars and the department is not denying it. One county has even sent the department a bill. … ” Read more from Capital Radio here: Fish and Wildlife Owes Counties Millions of Dollars
  • Salmon return to San Joaquin River: Salmon were released last weekend: “It was the centerpiece of an event held last Saturday called Salmonfest, which brought together fishermen and conservationists to celebrate the effort to bring salmon back to the river after nearly 70 years. As Gerald Hatler, program manager with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife explains, it’s kind of like a salmon bucket brigade. “We’re releasing salmon directly in the San Joaquin River [near Friant] that we’ve trapped further downstream in the San Joaquin,” says Hatler. … ” Read more from Valley Public Radio here: San Joaquin River Restoration Brings Spawning Salmon Back to Fresno
  • Subsurface intakes at issue as Huntington Beach desal plant goes before the Coastal Commission today: Staff have recommended Poseidon redesign its plant to use subsurface intakes: ” … “If you want to do desalination, there’s an environmentally benign way to do it,” said Tom Luster, an environmental scientist at the commission. But infiltration galleries used to draw water beneath the ocean floor won’t work in Huntington Beach, Poseidon officials say, due to the volume of water required and the prohibitive cost of the technology. California coastal authorities have already signed off on a similar plant under construction in Carlsbad that uses an open intake and more than twice the amount of ocean water to produce the same amount of tap. “There are no large-scale plants that use a subsurface intake,” said Scott Maloni, Poseidon’s vice president of development. “It’s a poison pill.”... ” Read more from the Modesto Bee here: Calif. board weighs disputed desalination plant See also: Company urges coastal commission to ignore staff on desalination plan
  • Las Vegas, get in line: Guess who else wants that pipeline from the Missouri River: This guy’s got a plan: “In Kaufman’s vision, Kansas becomes a hydrological keystone for the West, facilitating water transfers that could affect at least 10 states and Mexico. “We’d hopscotch water across Kansas and sell it to communities in the state,” Kaufman told me during a phone interview last month, explaining the benefit to his home territory. Construction of the pipeline would also supply jobs to Leavenworth, where the intake facilities would be located. At least one groundwater district in western Kansas is advocating for a similar concept, a Missouri River pipeline to the High Plains to compensate for declines in the Ogallala Aquifer, an essential source for irrigation. Kaufman has presented his idea to state and local officials several times this year. … ” Read more from the Circle of Blue Water News here: Guess Who Proposed the Missouri River Pipeline in the Federal Government’s Colorado River Basin Study?

In commentary today …

  • Peter Gleick further expands on his views on the BDCP: Peter Gleick says he’s ambivalent about the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, and says there’s a lot of things that should be known by now that aren’t. He further explains his position in this 17 minute interview on Valley Public Radio. You can listen to the radio show segment here: Peter Gleick: We Need To Know More About Bay Delta Conservation Plan See also: The Importance of Information and Transparency in Water Policy
  • Tejon Ranch getting into the water business: “The first question I had when I learned of Tejon Ranch’s plans to build 12,000 homes at the foot of the Grapevine was, “Where are they getting the water?” Turns out, they found it right here in Kern County. It’s a circuitous route, but Tejon apparently will be watering that development, and possibly much more, with Kern River water owned by the Nickel Family LLC. … ” Follow the water with columnist Lois Henry at the Bakersfield Californian here: As deals trickle in, Tejon gets into the water biz

On the calendar today …

  • Brown Bag Seminar today: Flow, Sediment, and Water Quality Monitoring in the Delta: A Case for a High-Frequency, Flux-Based Monitoring Program: For details, click here.

Added to the calendar …

  • Public meeting and technical workshop on Central Valley Project cost allocation study next week:The Bureau of Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Region will hold a public meeting followed by a technical workshop on Tuesday, Nov. 19, to update customers, stakeholders and the public on the ongoing Central Valley Project Cost Allocation Study. The public meeting will focus on the importance of including historical benefits in the study. The technical workshop will focus on the six models that may be used in the study: (1) Farm Budget Tool (irrigation), (2) Statewide Agricultural Production Model (SWAP – irrigation), (3) Least-Cost Planning Simulation Model (LCPSIM – Municipal & Industrial), (4) M&I Demand Model, (5) PLEXOS (Power), and (6) CalSim (Hydrology).” More information from the Bureau of Reclamation here: Reclamation to Hold Public Meeting and Technical Workshop on the CVP Cost Allocation Study on Tuesday, Nov. 19

About the Daily Digest: The Daily Digest is a collection of selected news articles, commentaries and editorials appearing in the mainstream press. Articles are generally selected to follow the focus of the Notebook blog. Articles behind paywalls are not included, because if I can’t see them, I figure you can’t, so I don’t want to waste your time. (If I send you to something you cannot access, please do let me know! Email Maven)

The Daily Digest is published every weekday with a weekend edition posting on Sundays.

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