Daily Digest: Climate change, water flowing uphill, curtailments, water use by county and by residence and more, plus SAWPA’s Celeste Cantú on what’s missing from the debate

Daily DigestIn California water news today, climate change being felt across the United States, new report says; Water flows uphill? Maybe, in California drought; ‘Curtailments’ and other woes tighten supplies; California’s water use by county; Or how about use by residence?  Valencia Water Company announces personal drought report for residential customers; Drought wreaks havoc on almond growers as water prices skyrocket; Think this drought is hot and dry? Imagine 10 degrees hotter, says Berkeley Lab; Logue backs water bond bill; Dublin, parts of San Ramon to see higher water rates and tougher restrictions to counter drought; and National report highlights climate change risk of drought, water shortages for Southwest, plus missing from this year’s water debate: Celeste Cantú knows a cheaper, better way

In the news today …

  • Climate change being felt across the United States, new report says: “Climate change is rapidly turning America the beautiful into America the stormy, sneezy, costly and dangerous, according to a comprehensive federal scientific report released Tuesday.  Climate change’s assorted harms “are expected to become increasingly disruptive across the nation throughout this century and beyond,” the National Climate Assessment concluded Tuesday. The report emphasizes that warming and all-too-wild weather are changing daily lives, using the phrase “climate disruption” as another way of saying global warming. … ”  Read more from the Mercury News here: Climate change being felt across the United States, new report says
  • Water flows uphill? Maybe, in California drought:Water has flowed from Northern California’s snow-capped peaks to the south’s parched cities ever since the California Aqueduct was built in the 1960s. Now, amid one of the worst droughts in history, state officials are considering an audacious plan to send some of the water back uphill.  State water engineers say using pumps to reverse the flow of the aqueduct would be a first in a drought. It would also be a complex engineering challenge that could cost millions of dollars.  Still, water agencies in the desperately dry farmlands around Bakersfield say the investment is worth it to keep grapevines, pistachios and pomegranate trees alive. Agencies as far north as the San Francisco Bay Area are talking about a similar project. … ”  Read more here:  Water flows uphill? Maybe, in California drought
  • ‘Curtailments’ and other woes tighten supplies:  “Facing severe drought, California farmers and ranchers are bracing for an increasing flow of bad news about water supplies.  State officials said last week they’re preparing to curtail diversions to holders of certain water rights; federal authorities said they have no immediate plans to increase the “zero” allocation for most of their farm water customers; and a new report detailed the pressure surface-water shortages have placed on California groundwater basins.  The State Water Resources Control Board said it is preparing to curtail water diversions from watersheds that drain into the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, the Tulare Lake Basin, and the Russian and Eel rivers. … ”  Read more from the California Farm Bureau Federation here: ‘Curtailments’ and other woes tighten supplies
  • California’s water use by county: “In 2005, utilities supplied water to 92 percent of Californians, compared with 86 percent nationally, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Water delivered to California homes, though, barely made up 9 percent of the state’s total water withdrawals. Most of California’s fresh water was directed to agriculture.  As is the case globally, farms are California’s biggest water users, accounting for more than half of total water withdrawals. … ”  Read more from the Circle of Blue here: California’s water use by county
  • Or how about use by residence?  Valencia Water Company Announces Personal Drought Report for Residential Customers:Valencia Water Company customers will soon receive a “personal drought report” that specifies exactly how much water they need to save this year to meet Governor Brown’s call to save 20 percent during the state’s unprecedented drought.  The drought report, utilizing a computer program analyzing individual water use and other factors, will first be mailed to customers then made available thereafter online through monthly progress reports. … ”  Read more from the Santa Clarita Signal here: Valencia Water Company Announces Personal Drought Report for Residential Customers
  • Drought Wreaks Havoc On Almond Growers As Water Prices Skyrocket:”Almond growers are desperately looking for irrigation water as the drought is takes a toll on California’s almond crop – and not just for this year. Almonds are grown in California from Chico to Bakersfield, and most of the orchards from Tracy south are in dire need of water — with little or no allotments this year. … ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here: Drought Wreaks Havoc On Almond Growers As Water Prices Skyrocket

  • Think this drought is hot and dry? Imagine 10 degrees hotter, says Berkeley Lab:  As California sweats its way through what some scientists think will be its hottest, driest summer in 500 years, a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researcher says average temperatures could rise by 10 or more degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century.  “Today’s rare weather events will become commonplace,” said the lab’s Michael Wehner, a lead author of the National Climate Assessment. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Business Times here: Think this drought is hot and dry? Imagine 10 degrees hotter, says Berkeley Lab
  • Logue backs water bond bill:North State Assemblyman and Chief Republican Whip Dan Logue has announced he will be a principal co-author on Assemblyman Henry T. Perea’s, D-Fresno, water bond bill, AB 2686. Logue was the first Republican legislator to join Perea on this bill, and he has pulled his own water legislation, AB 1445.  “I am pleased to be among the first Republican members of the legislature to be a principle co-author of Assemblyman Perea’s water bond legislation, AB 2686,” said Logue. “I commend Assemblyman Perea and his efforts to put forward this bill. AB 2686 has one of the fundamental components that my bill did, which is water storage. Assemblyman Perea’s bill calls for $3 billion in groundwater storage, which is what California needs.” … ” Read more from the Appeal Democrat here:  Logue backs water bond bill
  • Dublin, parts of San Ramon to see higher water rates and tougher restrictions to counter drought:Seeing little improvement from voluntary conservation measures, Dublin and parts of San Ramon have joined the list of East Bay communities whose residents will pay more for water if they don’t cut back.  Enacting a series of emergency drought actions, the Dublin San Ramon Services District board on Monday voted unanimously to raise water rates and issue mandatory restrictions on usage — moves designed to reduce overall consumption by 35 percent. … ”  Read more from the Contra Costa Times here: Dublin, parts of San Ramon to see higher water rates and tougher restrictions to counter drought
  • National report highlights climate change risk of drought, water shortages for Southwest:Called a scare tactic by some but heralded by others, the comprehensive National Climate Assessment released Tuesday predicts a hot, dry future for Utah marked by more wildfires, drought, greater air pollution and scarcity of water due to climate change.  In other words, a business-as-usual approach for fossil fuel emissions will drive scary developments in the state, of which the entire western half is projected to be at “high risk” for having enough water by 2050, according to the report. … ”  Read more from the Deseret News here: National report highlights climate change risk of drought, water shortages for Southwest

In commentary today …

  • Missing from this year’s water debate: Celeste Cantú knows a cheaper, better way: Celeste Cantú thought it would be settled by now—especially with the drought revealing just how much a bold gamble on a new, collaborative approach to managing water has paid off in some parts of the state. But more than a decade after California made its first successful investment in integrating water-related projects—encouraging water districts in the Santa Ana River watershed to pool resources to better manage their projects, an effort that has protected 5.9 million people from the prospect of water shortages—lawmakers are still wrestling with how to make this straightforward approach work in other regions. … ”  Read more from the California Economic Summit blog here: Missing from this year’s water debate: Celeste Cantú knows a cheaper, better way

weatherPrecipitation watch …

  • From the National Weather Service: “NorCal will be in between weather systems today with dry and mild weather. Clouds will begin to increase across the region tonight and Thursday, and light precipitation will begin to spread inland across much of interior NorCal by Thursday night into Friday.”

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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