Daily Digest, early edition: Groundwater fixes require local control, state backstop, and comprehensive water planning, speakers say; San Francisco considers mandatory rationing and more news, plus groundwater legislation could be checkmate, says farm bureau president

Daily DigestIn California water news today, groundwater fixes require local control with state backstop and comprehensive water planning, speakers say; Junior water-right holders receive notices of curtailment; San Francisco Public Utilities Commission considers mandatory rationing; Mokelumne River Wild and Scenic Bill passes through the Senate; Water finally reaching growers in Fresno Irrigation District; Merced Irrigation District growers to receive increased water supply, and One in four of the world’s big cities is water stressed, plus groundwater legislation could be checkmate, says Paul Wenger of the California Farm Bureau Federation
It’s an early edition today as I am on the road early today … if I missed anything, it will be included in tomorrow’s Daily Digest.  If you’re attending the Environmental Data Summit, I’ll see you there!

In the news today …

  • Groundwater Fixes Require Local Control with State Backstop, Comprehensive Water Planning, Speakers Say: Improving California’s groundwater sustainability requires strong oversight by local entities with backup support from the state, as well as comprehensive statewide water planning that improves surface water availability.  Those were some of the key messages delivered June 3 to the California State Board of Food and Agriculture during a meeting that focused on ways to manage the state’s groundwater sustainably.  … ”  Read more from ACWA’s Water News here: Groundwater Fixes Require Local Control with State Backstop, Comprehensive Water Planning, Speakers Say
  • Junior water-right holders receive notices of curtailment:  “In a cascade of notices, the State Water Resources Control Board told junior water-rights holders in the state’s major watersheds last week to immediately stop diverting water. The board said extreme drought leaves the watersheds without enough water to serve all water-rights holders.  Cutoff notices went to about 2,700 junior water-rights holders in the Sacramento River watershed and northern delta; nearly 700 in the Russian River watershed, upstream of the Dry Creek confluence; and about 1,600 junior water-rights holders in the San Joaquin River watershed and southern delta. … ”  Read more from the California Farm Bureau Federation here: More water users receive notices of curtailment
  • San Francisco Public Utilities Commission considers mandatory rationing: The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is considering mandatory water rationing due to California’s severe drought.  If the commission were to impose mandatory conservation, all water districts getting supplies from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir would have to reduce consumption by a yet-to-be determined percentage, officials said.. … ”  Read more from NBC News here: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Considers Mandatory Water Rationing
  • Mokelumne River Wild and Scenic Bill passes through the Senate:”Senate Bill 1199, which designates a portion of the Mokelumne River as Wild and Scenic, was passed by a 22-12 vote in the Senate May 29.  “I’m very happy with its passage,” said District 2 Supervisor Chris Wright, who has advocated for the bill at the county level. “This is good for our community, the environment and most importantly, the economy.”  The bill will move on to the Assembly, likely to the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, according to Eileen Ricker, communications director for Sen. Tom Berryhill, who represents Calaveras County and is opposed to the designation. … ”  Read more from the Calaveras Enterprise here:  Mokelumne River Wild and Scenic Bill passes through the Senate
  • Water finally reaching growers in Fresno Irrigation District:  “Growers in the Fresno Irrigation District are relieved to see irrigation water finally being delivered to their farms.  In a normal year, farmers would see water delivered for six months in the Fresno Irrigation District. This year, they’re getting a fraction of that but that still beats the zero allocation some growers are getting. .. ”  Read more from ABC 30 here:  Water finally reaching growers in Fresno Irrigation District
  • Merced Irrigation District growers to receive increased water supply: Merced Irrigation District officials say growers in the district will receive additional surface water, after action taken Tuesday by MID’s board of directors.  The increased water supply is the direct result of regulatory relief MID received from the state after months of planning a multibenefit water management action for the Merced River, according to a press release from Mike Jensen, MID spokesman. … ”  Read more here from the Sacramento Bee: Merced Irrigation District growers to receive increased water supply
  • One in four of the world’s big cities is water stressed:  “The first global database of urban water sources and stress, published online this week in Global Environmental Change, estimates that cities move 504 billion litres of water a distance of 27,000 kilometers every day. Laid end to end, all those canals and pipes would stretch halfway around the world. While large cities occupy only 1% of the Earth’s land surface, their source watersheds cover 41% of that surface, so the raw water quality of large cities depends on the land use in this much larger area. … ”  Read more from McGill here: One in four of world’s big cities water-stressedRead more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/06/03/6455458/growers-to-receive-increased-water.html#storylink=cpy

In commentary today …

  • Groundwater legislation could be checkmate, says Paul Wenger of the California Farm Bureau Federation:  “Everywhere you turn, the impacts of Drought 2014 are front and center. News reports compete to describe dire circumstances, whether high food prices, water rationing or limited recreation on lakes and reservoirs. Most of the reports fail to focus on why and how California finds itself in this terrible situation.  As the old saying goes, “No one plans to fail, they just fail to plan.” What California is experiencing today should be a wake-up call to those who have the responsibility to provide for our state’s populace and economy. Droughts are as natural as rain, and not being prepared for the inevitable is a dereliction of responsibility. … ”  Read more from the California Farm Bureau Federation here:  Groundwater legislation could be checkmate
  • Column: Time to take the big picture in dealing with California’s droughts:  Columnist Diana Diamond writes:   “Let’s not keep telling people to conserve more water, take fewer showers or recycle their washing machine with gray water. We need to do something much more dramatic to handle what, most likely, will be continuing droughts in our arid state.  A horrible idea? … ”  Continue reading at the San Jose Mercury News here:  Diana Diamond column: Time to take the big picture in dealing with California’s droughts

 

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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