Daily Digest: Governor Brown pitches $6B water bond, what does California need – more water storage or better water management?, 7 weird ways to save water and more …

Daily DigestIn California water news today, Governor Brown pitches $6B water bond, what does California need – more water storage or better water management?, local management effective for groundwater, excessive water pumping leaves aquifers vulnerable to pollution, Conan O’Brien urges Californians to save water, Millerton Lake drought photo comparison, drought-ravaged West sprouts a massive pyrocumulus, 7 weird ways to save water, why is California always such a mess?, and feds face backlash trying to regulate wetlands that often aren’t wet, plus plenty more news and commentary ….

On webcast today …

  • Workshop on desalination amendments to the State Water Board’s Ocean Plan:  Today, beginning at 9AM, the State Water Resources Control Board will hold a public workshop on proposed amendments to the Ocean Plan addressing the intakes and brine discharges from ocean desalination facilities.  Click here for the meeting noticeClick here for the webcast.
  • Join Sunset Magazine for a drought twitter chat today at 11AM: As California continues to experience one of the worst drought seasons on record, the editors at Sunset decided we couldn’t just stand by and watch. On Wednesday, August 6, at 11 a.m. PDT, we’ll be hosting a Twitter chat about water usage, as well as the policies we should have in place regarding future seasons like this.Exactly which communities are doing a good job at water saving? How can we apply their practices where we live? Join our editors, along with a host of experts, in a live conversation. It’s bound to get interesting.”  Click here for more information.
– See more at: http://westphoria.sunset.com/2014/08/04/join-our-drought-chat-this-wednesday/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2Fsunset%2Ffresh_dirt+%28Sunset%3A+Fresh+Dirt%29#sthash.1Yuj8aJR.dpuf

In the news today …

  • In rare campaign email, Gov. Jerry Brown pitches $6-billion water bond: Seeking to balance the state’s water needs with his reputation for fiscal caution, Gov. Jerry Brown called for a “no-frills, no pork” $6-billion water bond in an email to campaign supporters Tuesday afternoon.  Brown kicked off the letter by noting that “drought conditions in California grow more serious by the day,” and acknowledging more must be done for the state’s water infrastructure. … ”  Read more from the Los Angeles Times here: In rare campaign email, Gov. Jerry Brown pitches $6-billion water bond
  • Governor proposes $6B water bond for California: California Governor Jerry Brown called on lawmakers to put a $6 billion “no-frills” bond measure on the November ballot, about half the size of a pending proposal, to secure the water supply amid a record drought.  …  “I’m proposing a no-frills, no-pork water bond that invests in the most critical projects without breaking the bank,” Brown, 76, a Democrat who’s running for re-election, said yesterday in a message on his campaign website. … ”  Read more from Bloomberg News here:  Governor proposes $6B water bond for California
  • What Does California Need? More Water Storage or Better Water Management?: “Is the question more water storage or better management of our water resources in California?  “I think it’s gonna take both. You got a water system for 20 million and we have 36 or 37 million,” Assemblyman Dan Logue said. Logue is taking fellow Legislators on a tour of what would be the Sites Reservoir in Colusa County. … ”  Read more from KFBK here:  What Does California Need? More Water Storage or Better Water Management?
  • For groundwater, local management proves effective:  “As the state Legislature considers statewide groundwater legislation in the midst of a severe drought, water agencies and water users say local groundwater management has yielded sustainable and positive results.  “Recent discussions may have left people with the impression that California has no groundwater management, but dozens of local and regional plans are in place and work well,” said Danny Merkley, California Farm Bureau Federation director of water resources. … ”  Read more from the California Farm Bureau here:  For groundwater, local management proves effective
  • Excessive Water Pumping Leaves Aquifers Vulnerable to Pollution:  “As reservoir levels dwindle, many regions are pumping water from underground. On the Central Coast, that’s causing ocean water to pollute underground aquifers. The seawater is making groundwater unusable for crops like strawberries.”  Listen to the show here: Excessive water pumping leaves aquifers vulnerable to pollution
  • Conan O’Brien Urges Californians to Save Water in New PSAs:  Comedian and television talk show host Conan O’Brien is featured in a series of new public service announcements (PSAs) released today that call on Californians to conserve water during the state’s historic drought.  Six videos were released today featuring O’Brien and his sidekick Andy Richter talking about simple ways to save water so Californians can to do their part in cutting personal water use by 20%. ... ”  Read more from ACWA’s Water News here:  Conan O’Brien Urges Californians to Save Water in New PSAs
  • Millerton Lake drought picture comparison:  “The effects of California’s drought are noticeable everywhere, but not more than in this mouseover image of the historic Millerton Courthouse as it sits atop a bluff overlooking Millerton Lake.”  Check it out here: Millerton Lake: drought comparison
  • Photos: The Drought-Ravaged West Sprouts a Massive Pyrocumulus:  While you’re looking at pictures, check out this stunning pyrocumulus cloud generated by updraft from wildfires:  “With their tornadoes, hurricanes, and hailstorms, America’s East and Midwest hog a lot of the eye-popping weather phenomena. But the West just proved it can generate spectacular airborne sights, too, with a flame-fed pyrocumulus cloud billowing over the land like a Cold War nuclear test. … ”  More here: The Drought-Ravaged West Sprouts a Massive Pyrocumulus
  • Residents painting their lawns green:  “For Jay Torres, the hardest part of California’s devastating drought wasn’t the shorter showers or the fact that he couldn’t wash his car. It was looking at his lawn, which withered and died when he cut back on watering. So he got creative. The San Bernardino resident hired someone to paint his grass green.  “It became a real eyesore, and we live in an area where everyone keeps their yard really nice,” Torres said. “I heard about a service where people paint your lawn so it looks like the real thing and thought, why not? “ … ”  Read more from the National Journal here:  California residents painting their lawns green
  • 7 Weird Ways to Save Water:  Check them out, courtesy of National Geographic, here:  7 Weird Ways to Save Water
  • California Catastrophes: Why is the Golden State Always a Mess?  First it’s droughts, then wildfires, then mudslides. But despite how it seems, the coast isn’t really cursed.  California is burning. In several places. Of course, this is news, especially since lives and property are at risk—but in a sense, it isn’t news at all. California burns every year at around this time. California is also sliding downhill. That isn’t really a headline either, since mudslides are annual events too, as a result of torrential rains in the non-burning part of the state. So far this year the slides have caused one death. ... ”  Read more from TIME Magazine here: California Catastrophes: Why is the Golden State Always a Mess?
  • Feds face backlash trying to regulate wetlands that often aren’t wet:When is a ditch just a ditch? And when is a plot of woodland without a stitch of visible water actually a “water of the U.S.”?  For federal officials working on contentious regulations to clarify what the 42-year-old Clean Water Act really means, the debate is more than a simple is-the-ditch-half-full-or-half-empty exercise. … ”  Read more from McClatchy News here: Feds face backlash trying to regulate wetlands that often aren’t wet

In regional news today …

  • Irrigation cut off to some Klamath Project farms: “Water is being cut off to about a third of the farms on a federal irrigation project in the drought-parched Klamath Basin of Oregon and California.  A July 31 letter from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to irrigation districts says that the flows into the Klamath Reclamation Project’s primary reservoir have been below pre-season forecasts from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, forcing a reduction in releases to districts with junior claims on water in order to meet minimum water levels for endangered fish. ... ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Irrigation cut off to some Klamath Project farms
  • Redding adopts emergency measures to restrict water use:  The Redding City Council on Tuesday approved a series of emergency drought-related measures  in response to California’s mandatory water restrictions.  The new regulations ban overwatering lawns to the point that runoffs are created on pavement, using a hose without shut-off nozzles to wash cars, washing driveways and sidewalks and using running water in decorative fountains. … ”  Read more from the Record Searchlight here: Redding adopts emergency measures to restrict water use
  • Butte County:  Rain is good for state but not for farmers:  “If you’ve been among the many hoping for rain, you received a brief fulfillment of your wish Tuesday.  However, farmers don’t necessarily want rain as they near harvest.  In fact, some of the earlier varieties of almonds have already been harvested and received an unwanted soaking. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Rain is good for state but not for farmers
  • Eureka City Council approves water shortage plan: “In response to a statewide order, the Eureka City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to implement its emergency water shortage plan with the intention to hold back on some of the harder enforcement measures due to the city’s ample water supply.  “As you are aware, the city’s water supplies are not in an emergency condition. What we’re going to try to do is make this as educational as we can,” city Public Works Department Director Bruce Young told the council. ... ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Herald here:   Eureka City Council approves water shortage plan
  • Mandatory restrictions for Santa Rosa water users:  “Santa Rosa imposed mandatory restrictions on water use Tuesday as part of its ongoing water conservation efforts, but it won’t be handing out $500 tickets to water wasters just yet.  The city is instead relying on education and friendly reminders to encourage residents to help it reach the goal of a 20 percent communitywide reduction in water use. ... ”  Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here:  Mandatory restrictions for Santa Rosa water users
  • Woodland-Davis water project replaces century-old intake:  “A century-old water intake on the Sacramento River in Yolo County is making way for a new facility designed to protect threatened and endangered fish species even as it diverts millions of gallons for the cities of Davis and Woodland.  Construction began on the $44 million joint intake and fish screen project in late June to replace what is now the largest unscreened intake on the Sacramento River north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Woodland-Davis water project replaces century-old intake
  • Woodland: Flightless geese rescued from dried up pond: As an extreme drought tightens its vise grip on Northern California, images of peeling dirt where bodies of water once covered mud have become commonplace. But in the town of Woodland, the drought has sparked a rescue operation.  In the past few weeks, a pond that was once about 200 yards long by 100 yards wide has dried up, leaving roughly two dozen geese stranded. The birds, which don’t fly, not only are thirsty but also lack the protection the pond offers from natural predators. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Flightless geese rescued from dried up pond
  • Solano County closely watches water bond: The state legislature is back in session for one month and their actions are being closely watched by Solano County leaders.  Tuesday, the Solano County Board of Supervisors received an update on what could happen at the state level during the last legislative session of the year.  Legislative consultant to the county Paul Yoder explained that there is still a chance the governor’s water bond, Proposition 43, could be “punted” off the November ballot for a future election. Proposition 43 is known the Safe, Clean and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act. ... ”  Read more from The Reporter here:  Solano County watches water bond
  • Sacramento region cuts water use 18% in 2014:  “The Sacramento Regional Water Authority said Tuesday that water use in the region has been reduced by 18 percent from January through June compared to the same time period in 2013.  The Authority’s Water Efficiency Program Manager, Amy Talbot said the water use reductions come from 1.9 million water users in “a large portion of Sacramento County, Placer County, El Dorado County and in Yolo County (West Sacramento).” … ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:  Sacramento region cuts water use 18% in 2014
  • Twain Harte Lake closes for the summer:  “Twain Harte Lake will end its 2014 season early because of a leak at the small dam that created the private swimming spot in 1928.  The leak, detected Sunday morning, will mean no more use during the current season, which was to run through Labor Day, according to the Twain Harte Lake Association. … ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here:  Twain Harte Lake closes for the summer
  • UC Merced students working on water issues: Spending a summer finding ways to make toilet water reusable and trying to extract urine from wastewater might not sound glamorous.  But the results of the work two UC Merced students are doing through a prestigious research partnership could be very important to a state in a severe drought and for the future of water security. ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  UC Merced students working on water issues
  • Paso Robles: Bill to form North County water district regains supervisor’s support:  “In what could be a watershed moment, a bill in the California Legislature has been amended one last time to make it easier to allow for the formation of a Paso Robles groundwater management district.  More importantly, this final version of the bill has won back support from a key member of the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors, Frank Mecham, whose district covers most of the basin. … ”  Read more from the San Luis Obispo Tribune here: Bill to form North County water district regains supervisor’s support
  • Paso Robles:  Protect Our Water Rights files second amended complaint:  “Concerns over sweeping changes to private property rights has brought tremendous support from the rural community for the Protect Our Water Rights (POWR) quiet title action, the group says in a press release today. The group filed an amended complaint July 31st in Superior Court of Santa Clara County. The POWR group now stands at 250 landowner members and 12,800 acres, according to the statement.  Quiet title is a legal procedure which allows landowners large and small to confirm their groundwater rights protected by California law against claims by local agencies which seek to take these protected groundwater rights … ”  Read more from the Paso Robles Daily News here:  Protect Our Water Rights files second amended complaint
Read more here: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2014/08/05/3182834/paso-robles-water-district-legislation.html?sp=/99/100/&ihp=1#storylink=cpy

In commentary today …

  • LA Times editorial: A watered down water bond for California:  They write:  “California lawmakers pulled an $11.1-billion water bond from the 2010 ballot because they knew it was too big to pass. They did the same thing with the same measure in 2012.  Now that same bond is headed toward November’s ballot despite Gov. Jerry Brown’s warning that he would support only a smaller, $6-billion version. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Editorial: A watered-down water bond for California
  • Column: Growing A Solution to California’s Groundwater Crisis:  Peyton Fleming with Ceres writes: “Three years before the California drought became a national crisis, national berry giant Driscoll’s, on the state’s Central Coast, knew it had a major problem with water.  It was disappearing. As a result, water rights lawsuits had become commonplace, water rates were rising again and the precious liquid seemed to be vanishing before growers’ eyes. Groundwater, which provides all of Pajaro Valley’s water, was being pumped at twice the rate the aquifer could provide – the equivalent of about 12,000 acre-feet a year (an acre-foot is the volume of water covering one acre one foot deep.) The problem was especially dire for coastal berry growers whose overdrawn wells were also being contaminated by saltwater intrusion from nearby Monterey Bay. … ”  Read more from National Geographic here: Growing A Solution To California’s Groundwater Crisis

weatherPrecipitation watch …

  • Light morning showers, mountain thunderstorms:  From the National Weather Service: “Unsettled weather continues today before weak low pressure system moves slowly east starting Thursday. Focus of shower and thunderstorm activity shifts into the northern Sierra and Coast Range for the next several days. This morning, mountain valleys will see local patchy dense fog from the recent rainfall and increased moisture. Areas of cloudiness will continue to moderate temperatures today, but less cloud cover the next few days will allow for temperatures to return to near/above normal the remainder of the week.

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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