Daily Digest: Drought creates headaches for recreation, bad news for Delta smelt in new report and more news and commentary

Daily DigestIn California water news this morning, drought creates headaches for recreation, new report says Delta smelt on scaffold of extinction, AquaAlliance presses on despite being denied injunction for water transfers, UC Davis scientists to present forecast on drought’s cost to California economy, long wait continues as El Niño lagging, and your almond habit is sucking California dry, plus hefty fines would make it clear California’s in a drought, says the Sacramento Bee, and Stockton may become Venice but but at least LA gets the water, says Dennis Wyatt

In the news today …

  • Drought creates headaches for recreation:  “Barbara Padilla’s traditional family camping trip in a San Mateo County redwood park was canceled because of the drought.  Jim Travis’ annual spring charity rubber ducky race in Livermore was relocated to a high school swimming pool when a stream dried up.  A Southern California rafting company called off its season on the Kern River.  California’s drought is taking a toll on recreation, disrupting boating, rafting, swimming and camping in some places as the third dry year in a row erodes water supplies in creeks, rivers and lakes. … ”  Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here:  Drought creates headache for recreation
  • Delta smelt on the scaffold of extinction, says new report:Cable TV and talk radio bloviators and politicians may soon have no more Delta smelt to ridicule.  The minnow-like fish, which lives only in the waters of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, is on the precipice of extinction, says a report Monday from the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance.  Its analysis of government data says the population of the small fish has dropped to near-extinction levels.  “A species that existed in this estuary for thousands of years and was the most abundant fish in the Delta is on the scaffold,” says the report. … ”  Read more from the Central Valley Business Times here:  Delta smelt on the scaffold of extinction, says new report
  • AquaAlliance denied injunction for water transfers, presses on:The federal District Court in Fresno denied a legal effort by Chico’s AquAlliance and the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance to stop water transfers this year.  The transfers under dispute were a proposed package of transfers by San Luis and Delta Mendota Water Authority. …AquaAlliance and CSPA argued through legal documents that federal environmental review was inadequate  … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  AquaAlliance denied injunction for water transfers, presses on
  • UC Davis scientists to present forecast on drought’s cost to California economy: Scientists from the University of California Davis on Tuesday will release a comprehensive forecast the California drought’s economic impacts on agriculture.  The state is in its third year of drought, and forecasts don’t look promising for 2015. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Business Journal here: UC Davis scientists to present forecast on drought’s cost to California economy
  • Long Wait Continues as El Niño Lagging: “The months-long wait for El Niño continues: The latest update from the Climate Prediction Center, issued Thursday, finds that conditions still aren’t quite in place to declare a full-blown El Niño, though forecasters still expect one to emerge by the fall. If and when it does, it is expected to impact weather and climate across the world and could push 2014 or 2015 to be the hottest year on record.  While the atmospheric characteristics that indicate an El Niño have been evident intermittently, they have yet to firmly take hold. … ”  Read more from Climate Central here: Long Wait Continues as El Niño Lagging
  • Your almond habit is sucking California dry:  “California farmers will reap a record 2.1 billion pounds of almonds this year, the USDA estimates—three times as much as they did in 2000. That’s great news for the world’s growing horde of almond eaters, because the state’s groves supply 80 percent of the global harvest. As this chart shows, California has been planting more and more almonds over the past two decades ... ”  Read more from Mother Jones here: Your Almond Habit Is Sucking California Dry

Plenty more news and commentary in the weekend edition of the Daily Digest …

In commentary today …

  • Hefty fines would make it clear California’s in a drought:We’ve all seen an overwatered lawn: water flowing over the sidewalk and into the gutter. We shake our heads and ask: Don’t they know we’re in the middle of a severe drought?  Some cities have strict rules for people who waste water. Others have imposed mandatory cutbacks. But violators don’t face serious consequences. Now, state water officials are proposing to change that laissez-faire mindset.  It’s about time. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Editorial: Hefty fines would make it clear California’s in a drought
  • Stockton may become Venice but but at least LA gets the water, says Dennis Wyatt:  He writes:  “It is nice to know that the Bay Delta Conservation Plan has taken into account potential sea level increases in designing the Twin Tunnels to “avoid water supply disruptions and protect water quality.”  Those are the words of a BDCP representative responding to a letter on this page last Thursday from Manteca resident Stephen Breacain.  Breacain argued it would make more sense to build dikes and sea walls than the Twin Tunnels given the general consensus among government types about climate change and rising seas.  … ”  Continue reading at the Manteca Bulletin here: Stockton may become Venice but at least LA gets water

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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