Daily Digest: Did drought lead to the Napa quake?, Groundwater free-for-all attacked by two bills, Lifestyles of the rich and parched, and more

Daily DigestIn California water news today, thousands in Napa could be without water for week after quake, did drought lead to the Napa quake?, Groundwater free-for-all attacked by two bills, Lifestyles of the rich and parched, climate change and drought forcing us to change our water supply systems, Californians tearing out lawns to cope with drought, some San Joaquin Valley homes without water, and more news and commentary

In the news today …

  • Thousands in Napa could be without water for a week: “Hours after the earthquake struck, thousands of Napa city residents were facing life without water and power, with no notion of when their situation would improve.  “The restoration of water is critical,” said Barry Martin, Napa city spokesman. “We’re ready to set up some stations to supply drinking water to people from trucks.” Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here:Thousands in Napa could be without water for week after quake
  • Did Drought Lead to 6.0 Quake in California? Residents Wonder:In the wake of a disruptive 6.0-magnitude earthquake that caused widespread injuries and property damage to California’s wine country, scientists aren’t yet blaming the drought for the event, but residents are worried.  Recent reports that the earth’s crust covering the Golden State region has risen a sixth of an inch, due to loss of groundwater amid the crippling drought throughout the western United States, has prompted residents in the Greater Los Angeles to start wondering if the lack of water was at least partly responsible for the latest shaker. … ”  Read more from the Latin Post here:  Did drought lead to 6.0 quake in California?
  • Groundwater free-for-all attacked by two bills:  “As thermometers surged toward 90 and sticky air seemed to mock the drought, Susan Guilford alerted the city of Orange that a neighbor’s grass was being watered daily, despite official pleas for conservation.  No worries, a city worker said. The neighbor’s usage is actually quite low, and besides – Orange does not have a water problem. Most isn’t imported from afar: Instead, it comes from wells in the ground.Guilford was incensed. … ”  Read more from the OC Register here:  Groundwater free-for-all attacked by two bills
  • Lifestyles of the rich and parched: How the Golden State’s one percenters are avoiding the drought:  “Many mornings, just before 7 a.m., a large tanker truck pulls up to the grand gates of Oprah Winfrey’s 40-acre estate in Montecito, California. Inside is neither merchandise nor produce – just water.  A year ago, Oprah’s annual bill from the Montecito Water District was just shy of $125,000. This year, it is less than half. Like many in this wealthy enclave, Oprah has cut back on her consumption of district water. That said, her property has its own wells and a small lake and, according to neighbors, there are the trucks. … ”  Read more from Politco Magazine here:  Lifestyles of the Rich and Parched
  • Climate change and drought are forcing us to upgrade our water systems: “Climate change predictions and areas of severe drought in the US and around the globe have put water high on the list of global crises. The answer is “Water 4.0,” argues David Sedlak, a professor of civil engineering at the University of California-Berkeley.  What’s Water 1.0? To understand that, you have to understand how we got the water system we have now — and where it might be going. ... ”  Read more from Public Radio International here:  Climate change and drought are forcing us to upgrade our water systems
  • Californians tear out lawns to cope with drought: “Rick Blankenship was tired of an insatiable lawn he couldn’t keep green, no matter how he watered it, so he decided to tear it out.  Three years later, he brims with pride at his new front yard in Long Beach, California, carpeted with natural sage- and emerald green-colored ground covers and shaded by flowering magnolia and peppermint willow trees. … ”  Read more from the AP here:  Californians tear out lawns to cope with drought
  • How tearing out a lawn pencils out:  “As more Californians tear out their lawns and plant drought-friendly gardens, many homeowners wonder how the effort will pencil out.  In some areas, at least half of the daily water use is for lawns and outdoor landscaping, according to the State Water Resources Control Board. Between 1998 and 2010, homes used an average of 2.7 million acre-feet of water indoors and 3 million acre-feet outdoors, together accounting for nearly 13 percent of the state’s water use, state figures show.  … ”  Read more from Fox Business here:  Here’s more information on how tearing out a lawn pencils out

In regional news today …

  • East Porterville: Drought leaves California homes without water: Hundreds of rural San Joaquin Valley residents no longer can get drinking water from their home faucets because California’s extreme drought has dried up their individual wells, government officials and community groups said.  The situation has become so dire that the Tulare County Office of Emergency Services had 12-gallon-per person rations of bottled water delivered on Friday in East Porterville, where at least 182 of the 1,400 households have reported having no or not enough water, according to the Porterville Recorder … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Drought leaves California homes without water
  • Santa Barbara County:  Oil and water mix in Measure P controversy: “It’s a common saying that oil and water don’t mix.  Those two valuable liquids are often found together underground, however, and they are the focus of Measure P, a voter-driven initiative to ban enhanced oil extraction in Santa Barbara County. … ”  Read more from the Lompoc Record here:  Oil and water mix in Measure P controversy
  • San Diego: Poseidon desal plant set to go online in a year: “The Poseidon desalination plant in Carlsbad is set to deliver a new source of water for San Diego County when it’s completed late next year, but it will be a limited portion of the region’s water menu for years to come.  The facility is one of three local projects that are scheduled to provide desalinated water for greater San Diego in years to come. ... ”  Read more from the U-T San Diego here: First big desal plant for thirsty County
  • San Diego: Private proposal for binational desal plant in Rosarito moves forward: “Could water flowing through San Diego taps one day come from across the border in Mexico?  The answer is yes, if proposals to desalinate seawater in Rosarito Beach and pipe it to the United States become a reality.  “Power, gas, commerce, families, everything moves back and forth,” said Mark Watton, general manager of the Otay Water District. “Why not water?” ... ”  Read more from U-T San Diego here:  One desal plant, two countries?
  • Amid Drought, University Offers Water-Management Certificate: “With California facing the most severe drought in decades, California State University San Marcos will offer a new certificate program in water leadership and management.  The university said its Water Leadership & Management certificate is designed for those currently working, or interested in working, in the water management industry and prepares middle-level managers for leadership roles. … ”  Read more from the Times of San Diego here: Amid Drought, University Offers Water-Management Certificate

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

In commentary today …

  • California agriculture needs groundwater reform, says Miles Reiter: He writes: “Reliable groundwater supplies in California are essential to the health and well-being of all Americans. Much of the food consumed in the United States, including about half of the fruits and vegetables, is grown in California. Without an improved management system of groundwater in the state, California’s agricultural capacity will become smaller and unreliable. The healthiest elements of the nation’s food supply will become highly variable in availability and cost, with some items almost disappearing entirely. … ”  Read more from the Monterey County Herald here:  California agriculture needs groundwater reform
  • Sensible tiered water rates needed to curb water use, says Robert Glennon:  He writes: “Most Americans take water for granted. When we turn on the tap, out comes a limitless supply of potable water for less money than we pay for cellphone service or cable television. So, it’s no surprise that Californians failed to heed Gov. Jerry Brown’s plea to reduce water use. That failure prompted the State Water Resources Control Board to enact emergency regulations that impose tough new restrictions on outdoor water use. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: Sensible tiered water rates needed to curb water use

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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One comment

  • Jessica Denning

    I heard that the Seagram’s Whiskey distillery in the Napa Valley has drawn down the groundwater to below the 200 foot root level of the valley oaks…. glad the legislator is addressing the groundwater issue.

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