Daily Digest: Winter forecasts, subsidence, and the costly Salton Sea, Lois Henry on the BDCP plus DSC on webcast

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 DigestOn webcast today …

  • The Delta Stewardship Council continues meeting today:  On the agenda, an overview of Delta Plan implementation activities for the year ahead, a presentation on the California Water Action Plan, and a discussion of possible surface storage recommendations.  The meeting is scheduled to start at 9AM, but no need to show up to your computer until 11AM as the Council will be meeting in closed session to discuss pending litigation …  Click here for the agenda and click here for the webcast.

In the news today …

  • Who knows what the winter will bring:  NOAA’s forecast issued yesterday’s a little different than the big story at the beginning of the week:  “With all the gray clouds and cooler temperatures this week, it certainly feels like winter’s on the way.  But are we in for a wet winter or a dry one?  Scientists can’t really say for sure, thanks to a weather pattern sometimes called La Nada, or “the nothing” in Spanish. … ”  Read more from SCPR here:  El Niño? La Niña? Nope. This winter, it’s La Nada
  • Rain barely puts dent in drought:  “This week’s storm will help bring some relief to water agencies in an unusually dry year, but better-than-average rainfall in the Central Valley and snowfall in the Sierra are needed to avoid a major water crisis. …  “If we don’t get an average snowfall in the mountains by February, the situation could become dire,” said Frances Mizuno, a Tracy resident who is assistant executive of the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, which operates the Tracy pumps and the canal. “Even with an average snowfall, the situation would be grim. We need a wet year.” … ”  Read more from the Tracy Press here:  Rainstorm does little to ease water worries

  • Skiers and snowboarders would be thrilled with an ‘average’ season:  ” … Going into this season, we’re feeling pretty good, because forecasters have been calling for, in their words, ‘an average winter season,’ but to skiers and snowboarders, that’s actually really good news,” she said.  The first noticeable rainfall since late September swept through the Bay Area this week, bringing with it some traces of natural snow to resorts as close as Bear Valley and into the Tahoe region, setting in motion the opening of the new season. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Examiner here:  Local ski resorts looking forward to a normal year for snow after drought
  • The Central Valley’s sinking feeling:  “The earth sank at a rate of nearly 1 foot per year in a portion of the San Joaquin Valley during the state’s most recent drought, scientists announced Thursday, adding that the problem is likely to persist and could threaten large aqueducts that ship water south from the Delta.  The sinking land has also slowed down the planned restoration of the San Joaquin River. And it could affect the outlook for proposed multibillion-dollar twin tunnels to carry water to Southern California. … ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here:  Sinking even in drought
  • EPA disappointed by lack of progress on contaminated drinking water in Central Valley:  “The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that she was disappointed by the slow progress state, federal and local governments have made in bringing potable drinking water to small towns in the San Joaquin Valley.  “We’ve got rural communities that don’t have clean water and there’s no plan on how to get it to them,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a meeting with Los Angeles Times editors and reporters.  McCarthy’s comments follow the federal government’s threat this spring to cut off clean drinking water funding because state officials have been sitting on more than $455 million in unspent federal money. The EPA also faulted the state Department of Public Health for a lack of financial accountability with the funds. ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here: EPA head laments lack of clean water in San Joaquin Valley
  • State must start focusing on Salton Sea or face hundreds of millions of dollars in extra costs down the line, warns the California State Auditor:  “California officials need to start focusing on restoring the ailing Salton Sea or else the state faces hundreds of millions of dollars in new costs as early as 2025, according to a new state audit.The sea, the state’s largest body of water, has been steadily shrinking, exposing the polluted seabed to desert winds. Experts say air-quality risks will increase beginning in 2017, when the sea stops receiving extra water as part of a landmark 2003 pact that reduces the flow the state receives from the Colorado River. … ”  Read more from the San Luis Obispo Tribune here:  California auditor raises concerns about Salton Sea strategy
  • Woman continues fight against $16K water bill:  “An Escondido woman who filed a lawsuit against the city over a $16,000 water bill is revamping her legal strategy following a recent setback in court.  Margaret Kreusser filed the suit in May, alleging a faulty meter caused her monthly water bill in February to skyrocket from its typical $125. City officials said the bill was accurate and a large leak on Kreusser’s property caused her water usage to spike from an average of 143 gallons a day to as much as 87,000 gallons. … ”  Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here: Lawyers wrangle over $16K water bill

In commentary today …

  • Lois Henry discusses the tunnels on radio:  And you can watch it on YouTube:  “California is currently waiting on the final environmental impact report on Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to move water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta via two tunnels. Wednesday on “First Look with Scott Cox,” Californian columnist Lois Henry talked about the potential problems this decision could have.”  Watch it here: FIRST LOOK: Lois Henry – November 20, 2013

Precipitation watch …

  • Per the National Weather Service, nothing but wind for the north state, but snow expected in the San Gabriel Mountains and the Antelope Valley tonight.

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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. 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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