Daily Digest: Drought plan eases standards for Delta, Army Corps seeking comment on Delta dams, California lobbying for drought aid in DC and more …

Daily DigestIn California water news today, latest state drought plan eases standards for Delta; California water plan unveils hardships as drought persists; Army Corps seeking comment on Delta dams; Water is the word as California lobbies Washington for drought aid; Feinstein’s pressure helps farms over fish; Water allocations remain at 0 pending study; “No doubt there will be a tremendous impact on agriculture this year,” says Secretary Karen Ross; Assemblyman Frazier pulls BDCP bill from the legislative calendar and more

On webcast today …

  • Paying for Water in California (Sacramento):  The Public Policy Institute of California will host a half-day event today beginning at 9 am.  California’s latest drought highlights the need to improve how we manage and pay for our precious water resources. At this event, participants will discuss where California’s water finance system is failing, how we might fill the gaps, and whether significant reforms are needed to enable our water resources to support a healthy economy, society, and environment. This event follows the release of a new PPIC report, Paying for Water in California.  Click here to watch by webcast.

In the news today …

  • Latest state drought plan eases standards for Delta:  “State officials unveiled a longer-term plan to deal with the drought Wednesday, one which relaxes some water-quality standards and endangered species protections in the Delta to allow for more water to be sent south to parched cities and farms.Officials described the plan as a “balance” that attempts to bolster supplies to the extent possible while minimizing harm to fish … ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here:  Latest state drought plan eases standards for Delta
  • California water plan unveils hardships as drought persists: “As California’s drought stretches toward the hot summer months, state and federal officials are planning extraordinary measures to protect drinking water supplies and endangered Sacramento River salmon, according to a plan unveiled Wednesday.  The “Drought Operations Plan” was released by the state Department of Water Resources and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operate the primary systems of water reservoirs and canals in California. ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: California water plan unveils hardships as drought persists
  • Army Corps seeking comment on Delta dams:  “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking public comment on an emergency proposal by California water officials to temporarily dam three channels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in response to the drought.  The proposal by the California Department of Water Resources calls for constructing rock dams across Sutter and Steamboat sloughs, which branch off the Sacramento River near Courtland. A third barrier is proposed on another channel, called False River, where it joins the San Joaquin River near Oakley. … ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here:  Feds seek comment on plan to dam three Delta waterways
  • Water is the word as California lobbies Washington for drought aid“San Joaquin Valley lobbying priorities this week can be summed up simply.  “Water, water, water,” Brenda Veenendaal, senior regional planner with the Fresno Council of Governments, said Wednesday on Capitol Hill.  In separate, but overlapping lobbying trips that formally began Monday, officials from both Fresno and Tulare counties have been seeking support from elected lawmakers, all-important staff and Obama administration higher-ups. These are annual ventures that this year took on a different, wetter cast. ... ”  Read more from the Lake Wylie Pilot here: Water is the magic word as Californians lobby Congress for aid
  • Feinstein’s pressure helps farms over fish:  “Feinstein sits on the Appropriations Committee, which funds the agencies that she lobbied last month. She said the survival of farms that help feed the country and form the economic backbone of the San Joaquin Valley were at stake.  “I have lived in California all my life and never have I seen drier conditions,” Feinstein said in a written response to questions about her actions. “At least a half-million acres are being fallowed, drinking water is endangered and countless jobs are at risk. For months I have been advocating that federal agencies use whatever flexibilities are available to them to pump as much water as they can within the law and human health and safety requirements, and I continue to stand by that position.” … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  California drought: Feinstein pressure helps farms over fish
  • Water allocations remain at 0 pending study:  brief story from the Modesto Bee by clicking here.
  • “No doubt there will be a tremendous impact on agriculture this year,” says Secretary Karen Ross: brief story from Capitol Weekly here:  Farms feel drought’s wrath
  • Assemblyman Frazier pulls BDCP bill from the legislative calendar:  “An ACWA-opposed bill that would require legislative authorization for construction of conveyance facilities as part of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan was pulled from the legislative calendar today at the author’s request. … ”  Read more from ACWA’s Water News here:  AB 1671 Pulled from Calendar, May Be Set Later This Month
  • Feather River Fish Hatchery in Oroville releases young salmon in San Francisco Bay at Tiburon: “The journey to the ocean was quicker than usual for hundreds of tiny chinook salmon that were released into the San Francisco Bay today.  For another batch of the young fish, the trip will take longer via the Sacramento River.  This week 300,000 juvenile salmon, called smolts, were released by the Feather River Fish Hatchery through an experimental program designed to see if fish released into the bay survive better than those planted in the river. … ”  Read more from the Oroville Mercury-Register here: Feather River Fish Hatchery in Oroville releases young salmon in San Francisco Bay at Tiburon
  • Feds order state water transfers stopped:  “With Lake Cachuma’s water level plunging in one of the worst droughts to hit the South Coast, the federal Bureau of Reclamation ordered the Central Coast Water Authority (CCWA) to stop depositing 50 acre-feet a day of highly coveted State Water Project water into the Cachuma reservoir. Likewise, the bureau ​— ​which built and owns the dam ​— ​ordered the Cachuma Operation and Maintenance Board (COMB) to stop accepting the water. The call came last Friday at 7:30 a.m. “There was absolutely no forewarning,” said Randy Ward, COMB manager. “None.” Ray Stokes of CCWA was similarly appalled. “This is ridiculous,” he said. “I don’t want to be in the position of buying some of the water that’s available around the state and then not being able to get it here.” … ”  Read more from the Santa Barbara Independent here:  Feds Order State Water Transfers Stopped
  • New desalination technique could help in drought:  “Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Lab have come up with an innovative plan to preserve fresh drinking water during this drought. Scientists have a new way to take the salt out of saltwater.  The Delta is Antioch’s drinking water source. “We have more water than we can possibly use in terms of water rights,” said Antioch City Manager Steve Duran. ... ”  Read more from CBS here:  New Desalinization Method From Livermore Lab Could Help California Through Drought
  • River runs through 2-year study:  “This was no one-time, random field trip to the lake.  Thirty-two students at Heritage Elementary School in Lodi have been immersed for two years in a thorough study of the entire lower Mokelumne River watershed.  That unique study continued Wednesday as the students hunted for critters at Lodi Lake with the help of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist. … ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here:  River runs through 2-year science study

In commentary today …

  • Politics won’t end drought, says the San Francisco Chronicle:  “Sen. Dianne Feinstein is fast-tracking a bipartisan bill through the Senate that seeks to unravel decades of carefully crafted protections for the San Francisco Bay estuary in an effort to divert more water to Southern California farms and cities.  Feinstein’s call for more “flexibility” in when and where more water is captured benefits Central Valley interests but undermines two decades of hard-won decisions to protect sufficient flows for salmon. ... ”  Read more from the San Franscisco Chronicle here:  Politics won’t end state’s drought
  • California should embrace groundwater management breakthrough, says the San Jose Mercury News: “In a remarkable turn of events, California’s devastating drought could produce one of the state’s biggest environmental breakthroughs in decades.  Lawmakers need to seize the moment and enact groundwater management legislation to halt the draining of the aquifer under the state’s most fertile farmland, a deepening crisis that the Mercury News’ Lisa Krieger vividly described in a Page One story in March. … ” Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Mercury News editorial: California should embrace breakthrough on groundwater protection  Similar editorial from the Daily Democrat here:  We must protect our groundwater

Precipitation watch …

  • weatherFrom the National Weather Service:  “Well above normal temperatures expected today, and even Friday. The upper low will track through southern California Friday and Saturday with a potential for some showers and/or thunderstorms over the mountains, especially the Sierra Nevada. “

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

Get the Notebook blog by email and never miss a post!

  • Sign up for daily emails and get all the Notebook’s aggregated and original water news content delivered to your email box by 9AM. Breaking news alerts, too. Sign me up!

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.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: