Daily Digest: Water projects, habitat, non-native vegetation and more in today’s news …

Daily DigestIn California water news today, seminar panelist says there will be no new big water projects built, Stockton East now ‘swimming’ in storage, Spanos Company sets aside 140 acres and the habitat is thriving, Fight against non-native vegetation in Salinas River has begun, Ground-breaking survey maps coastal saltwater intrusion, San Gabriel Valley getting graded on local ground water basin usage, gritty Santa Ana River is streaming back towards restoration, and nine things to know about San Diego’s new drought rules

In the news today …

  • Seminar panelist says there will be no new big water projects built: Near the conclusion of the first panel discussion at Stanford University on “Shopping for Water: How the Market can mitigate water shortages in the American West,” an audience member asked why we couldn’t use pipelines to transfer water from places like the Great Lakes to arid areas. He said oil has long traveled that way, so he couldn’t figure out why we couldn’t use pipelines for water, too.  “We could do it with water,” began University of Arizona law professor and author Robert Glennon, “and there are some people who would like to do it with water, and those who fear we will do it with water.” … ”  Read more from the Central Valley Business Times here:  Seminar panelist says there will be no new big water projects built
  • Stockton East now ‘swimming’ in storage:  “That big hole in the ground has turned into a giant, 10-million-gallon “swimming pool.”  The Stockton East Water District recently finished a new concrete-lined reservoir that helps secure Stockton’s water supply and also prepares for the city’s future growth.  Originally budgeted at $13 million, the project came in at $11.8 million, said Scot Moody, Stockton East’s general manager. ... ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here:  Stockton East now ‘swimming’ in storage
  • Spanos Company sets aside 140 acres, and the habitat is thriving:  “These cottonwood trees were spindly little sticks when schoolchildren first poked them into the ground.  Five years later, some of the trees are pushing 20 feet tall, and some of the schoolchildren are pushing adulthood.  Give nature a nudge, and quite often, she’ll handle it from there — even if it does take a while. ... ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here:  Spanos Company sets aside 140 acres, and the habitat is thriving
  • Fight against non-native vegetation in Salinas River has begun:  ” …On Oct. 10 growers and landowners on the Salinas River began conducting maintenance work. This is significant since work hadn’t been conducted since 2008 due to changes in the ways environmental laws and regulations are enforced. The river has become so overgrown with invasive species such as Arundo that fears of flooding in this part of the channel are constant and real, especially with the potential of major rains coming this winter.  Just under 12 river miles will benefit from this type of maintenance this fall, with work concluding no later than November 15, depending on when rains come. … ”  Read more from the Salinas Californian here:  Fight against non-native vegetation in the Salinas River has begun
  • Ground-breaking survey maps coastal saltwater intrusion:A team of researchers from Stanford and the University of Calgary say a ground-breaking geophysical survey of saltwater intrusion into groundwater tables along 25 miles of Monterey Bay coastline shows the wells are running a deficit.  Santa Cruz and Monterey counties pump the majority of their fresh water from wells that tap into river-like groundwater aquifers. Normally, water from winter rains soaks into the ground then percolates toward the sea through the aquifers, and only a fraction is removed for domestic and agricultural use. … ”  Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here:  Ground-breaking survey maps coastal saltwater intrusion
  • San Gabriel Valley getting graded on local ground water basin usage: Nearly 1.8 million San Gabriel Valley water users are being put to the test.  In an effort to shine a light on the effects of the drought, the San Gabriel Valley Water Association is tallying the amount of water drawn from wells in local ground water basins every week, then handing out grades. If the region used less water that week as compared to one year ago, it receives a “passing” grade. More water use yields an “alert,” according to the Association.  So far, results have been up and down. … ”  Read more from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune here: San Gabriel Valley getting graded on local ground water basin usage
  • Gritty Santa Ana River is streaming back towards restoration:  “The Santa Ana River, born of snowmelt and natural springs near Big Bear Lake, flows through Southern California as one of the region’s most scenic rivers — until it hits Orange County.  After cutting through a deep, lush canyon and flowing through the city of Riverside, the Santa Ana spills into riprap and the county’s dreary concrete flood control channel extending 26 miles to the Pacific Ocean. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Gritty Santa Ana River is streaming back towards restoration
  • Nine things to know about San Diego’s new drought rules:  “The city of San Diego’s vote for mandatory water limits took no one by surprise in light of what is shaping up to be a four-year dry spell.  The vote was an obvious step following the record hot summer, “the reality of alarmingly low water supplies statewide, and 2014 being declared the fourth driest year on record,” since the 1920s, city spokeswoman Robyn Bullard said.  The details of those rules, however, puzzled city residents, ... ”  Read more from U-T San Diego here:  Nine things to know about San Diego’s new drought rules

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

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

One Response

  1. Stephan Becker

    Hi,
    one remark to one of the articles:

    The one about the thriving cottonwood trees in Stockton (“Spanos Company sets aside 140 acres, and the habitat is thriving”) somehow disappeared?
    Not even with Google i found any other similar article.

    How are hydraulic construction buildings able to create water? In no way. So i think spending money on this subject is quite worthless.

    Better is to help nature bringing back the water by planting trees, trees, trees (e.g. by integrating agroforestry into usual farming).
    How many rivers are flowing in the Sahara? None (at least no perennial ones). But there are no trees which can steal the water from the rivers!
    In the Amazon there are billions and billions of trees. But nevertheless there is the biggest river on earth coming out of the Amazon and flowing into the Atlantic Ocean.

    Here is an article about a new theory, which was published already in 2007:

    Revolutionary new theory overturns modern meteorology with claim that forests move rain
    Jeremy Hance, April 01, 2009

    While this model has widespread implications for numerous sciences, none of them are larger than the importance of conserving forests, which are shown to be crucial to ‘pumping’ precipitation from one place to another. The theory explains, among other mysteries, why deforestation around coastal regions tends to lead to drying in the interior.
    http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0401-hance_revolutionarytheory.html

    Only a little correction has to be made: Main driver for the movement of humid air is just the lesser weight of humid air in relation to dry air (water vapor molecules push away molecules of oxygen or nitrogen ((main elements of air with together 99% share)) and are a lot lighter than them: 2u against 32u respectively 28u).

    The following drawing explains the principle of the tree water pumps (together with a good text):
    http://www.seafriends.org.nz/enviro/soil/soil72.gif
    (from here: http://www.seafriends.org.nz/enviro/soil/sustain.htm ).

    Trees produce oxygen, water vapor, volatile organic compounds (VOC) or gases, which contributes to building clouds, hold dust, spend shade, hold water with their roots, are wind breakers, breeding places for birds, habitats for a lot of animals like e.g. insects, deliver timber and are a blessing for the eyes.

    The low snow cover in the Sierra Nevada last winter together with the reduced area of irrigated farm land and reduced lawn irrigation led to increased temperatures in summer (reduced evaporation means less cooling).

    There is a great project going on in Saudi Arabia. It’s called the Al Baydha project, a bit south of Mekka. It’s goal is to help the Bedouin there, which were settled down by the state, to survive in the very dry and harsh environment.

    http://www.albaydha.org/blog.html (see also the videos of user albaydha at Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/albaydha ).

    In the Sonora desert in Arizona a miracle happened (just by moving a bit of earth about 80 years ago):

    http://permaculturenews.org/2014/10/11/discovering-oasis-american-desert/

    Here you can see how this area looked like about 20 years ago (from 02:00 min):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4w2-dgPBZs

    Stephan Becker (from Germany)

    Reply

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