Daily Digest: Groundwater legislation not an instant fix, Dry creeks now flowing after Napa quake, drought won’t dampen Morro Bay’s avocado party, and more news and commentary …

Daily DigestIn California water news today, groundwater legislation not an instant fix for aquifers, Dry creeks now flowing after Napa quake, Temperance Flat project moves ahead, Californians become creative as drought dries out their lawns, and more news and commentary …

In the news today …

  • Groundwater legislation not an instant fix for aquifers:  “California is finally about to join the rest of the West in regulating groundwater supplies. But the package of bills awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature is not an instant fix for the state’s shrinking, over-pumped aquifers.  It could be decades, experts say, before the most depleted groundwater basins recover under the legislation, which is a historic step in a state that long resisted managing a key water source. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Bills regulating state’s groundwater not an instant fix for aquifers
  • Surprise bonanza since Napa quake: Dry creeks now flowing:Spring water spurts out of rocks and trickles down the moss- and vine-covered cliffs in Solano County’s Green Valley – an oasis in a canyon that was parched by drought only two weeks ago.  That was before Napa’s magnitude 6.0 earthquake.  It turns out that the earth’s mighty shifting – which caused about $400 million in damage to Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties – also mysteriously forced groundwater to the surface and into several dry or nearly dry creeks and streams in the region. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  Surprise bonanza since Napa quake: Dry creeks now flowing  See also: Napa earthquake shakes loose unknown groundwater, from the Sacramento Bee
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  • Temperance Flat project moves ahead: A plan put in motion more than 10 years ago that some officials say will help offset the effects of future droughts took a step forward Friday when officials from the Bureau of Reclamation released the draft environmental impact report for a proposed reservoir near Fresno.  Pitched as a way to store more water during wet years, the proposed dam would be constructed at Temperance Flat, about 25 miles northeast of Fresno. … ”  Read more from the Visalia Times-Delta here:  Temperance Flat project moves ahead  (For more information on the EIR from Maven’s Notebook, go here:  Reclamation releases draft EIS for Temperance Flat reservoir for public review)
  • Californians become creative as drought dries out their lawns: “As Californians struggle with one of the worst droughts in their history, the landscape of the state is changing. Increasingly, in laws and backyards, homeowners are choosing a new look. Green is out. Brown is in.  Los Angeles landscape designer Francesa Corra says California’s historic dryspell is actually good for business. ... ”  Read more from CBS News here:  Californians become creative as drought dries out their lawns

In commentary today …

  • Water law takes a new and scary turn, says the Chico Enterprise-Record:  They write:  “The package of bills passed by the Legislature Aug. 29 to regulate California groundwater usage were called the biggest change in water law in our lifetimes by Butte County’s top water official. And there’s not a bit of hyperbole in that.  What the state did is assume authority over the water beneath our feet. It assumed authority over the water beneath your property, if you’re a landowner. ... ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Editorial: Water law takes a new and scary turn
  • Unelected bureaucrats and boards continue to acquire more power, says Dan Walters:  He writes: “Last weekend, as the Legislature’s biennial session was grinding to a close, The Sacramento Bee published a commentary by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, invoking the 2,000th anniversary of Roman dictator Caesar Augustus’ death and decrying the expanding powers of unelected bureaucrats and political appointees.  Gatto wrote, “Now it is the executive branch that makes most ‘laws.’ They are called regulations, but they have the effect of law and are just as binding. Yet these bureaucrats were never elected and do not answer to the people. … ”  Read more from Dan Walters at the Sacramento Bee here:  Dan Walters: Unelected bureaucrats and boards continue to acquire more power

Plenty more news and commentary in the weekend edition …

In regional news and commentary today …

  • State, federal study finds trace amounts of health hazardous elements in Klamath groundwater:A recent federal and state study on the quality of untreated groundwater in the Klamath Mountains — including parts of Humboldt County — found a small percentage of wells had higher concentrations of health hazardous elements than allowable in drinking water, but less than the state average.  Within the 8,800 square mile study area that included six northern California counties, the U.S. Geological Survey and California Water Resources Control Board collected data from 40 wells sampled for naturally and anthropogenic — human derived — contaminants…. ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Herald here: State, federal study finds trace amounts of health hazardous elements in Klamath groundwater
  • Marin County: Dwindling water on Mill Valley’s Horse Hill prompts search for supply:  “The iconic horses on Horse Hill — a reminder of Marin’s agricultural past — are running out of water and an effort is underway to string a pipeline to the site to get them the precious resource.  The horses are often visible from Highway 101 between Corte Madera and Mill Valley atop the hill on the west side of the freeway. ... ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here:  Dwindling water on Mill Valley’s Horse Hill prompts search for supply
  • What's on the calendar this week and beyond?  Click here to find out.

    What’s on the calendar this week and beyond? Click here to find out.

    Placer County residents cutting water use:  “Placer County residents are doing their part when it comes to conserving water during the current drought and helping to ensure best possible conditions if the drought continues into 2015.   This was a message delivered by Tony Firenzi, drought project manager for the Placer County Water Agency, at Thursday’s (Sept. 4) meeting of the PCWA Board of Directors. … ”  Read more from Roseville and Rocklin Today here:  Placer County residents cutting water use

  • Manteca: Aquifer levels will fall ten feet:Groundwater in the Manteca, Ripon and Lathrop areas is projected to drop 10 feet this year when the traditional irrigation season ends on Sept. 30.  But as South San Joaquin Irrigation District General Manager Jeff Shields points out, that is not nearly as steep of a drop as much of the rest of the county were the expectation is to see aquifer levels plunge 15 feet. … ”  Read more from the Manteca Bulletin here:  Aquifer levels will fall ten feet
  • Fierce winds push Yosemite fire to 700 acres:  “Fierce winds pushed a small and slow-burning fire to spread across 700 acres of Yosemite National Park on Sunday, forcing evacuations and trail closures.  More than 100 hikers and climbers were evacuated, including 40 from Half Dome, as six elite fire suppression crews and seven helicopters sought to control the blaze, said Tim Ludington, a park spokesman.  … ”  Read more from the Los Angeles Times here:  Fierce winds push Yosemite fire to 700 acres
  • Drought won’t dampen Morro Bay’s avocado party:  ““I  don’t need an El Niño — just normal rainfall,” said Bill Coy, a Cayucos avocado rancher who brought the California Avocado Commission and Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce together eight years ago to create the popular Avocado and Margarita Festival.  “Our industry will survive,” he said. “We’re hurting right now and doing all we can to continue productivity. Some of us have more water than others. I’m stumping trees and moving water around the ranch. If we can get some rain within a year, an avocado tree has so much energy in the roots, it can survive this drought.” … ”  Read more from the San Luis Obispo Tribune here:  Drought won’t dampen Morro Bay’s avocado party
  • Santa Clarita’s water supply hit hard by mega-drought:  “California’s drought is taking a major toll on the Santa Clarita Valley.  Water officials said they’ve had to shut down some of the wells that supply water for home and businesses because they’re drying up.  CBS2/KCAL9’s Laurie Perez spoke to one company that’s turning to its back-up reservoir and warning customers that it can’t last forever. … ”  Read more from CBS News here:  Santa Clarita’s water supply hit hard by mega-drought
  • Riverside, Inland Empire hit with tropical downpours: Drenching rains in southern California, enhanced by distant Tropical Storm Norbert, caused roadways to flood, downed trees and snapped power lines in Riverside on Sunday afternoon, the Press Enterprise reports.Images on social media showed cars submerged up to their roofs and torrential floods turning city streets into rivers.  “Very rich tropical moisture originating from Tropical Storm Norbert pushed north into the Desert Southwest Sunday,” said weather.com meteorologist Nick Wiltgen. “That led to thunderstorms with torrential downpours of 2 inches per hour – and in an area of Southern California that’s both rugged in its terrain and unaccustomed to extreme rainfall, that has led to serious flooding and the threat of landslides.” …”  Read more from Weather Underground here:  Riverside, Inland Empire Hit With Tropical Downpours

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.

hard_working_on_computer_anim_150_clr_7364Maven’s Notebook
The diary of a confessed obsessive-compulsive California water news junkie

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