Daily Digest: First rainfall sets some records, but recovery is still far off, California’s water innovation problem, Fresno developer puts housing development on hold to plant almond orchards instead, and more …

Daily DigestIn California water news today, First rainfall sets some records, but recovery is still far off, California’s water innovation problem, Tomato demand spurs record crop amid drought, Drought may have prevented Central Valley flooding, With winter approaching, trees need water, Californians Will Vote on Big Water Bond Not Knowing Exactly What They Are Buying, Sacramento Valley farmers needed to flood fields for birds, DWR out of compliance with water quality, North Delta Water Agency says, Small town in Stanislaus County wondering whether its water is safe, Fresno developer puts housing development on hold; will plant almond orchards instead, Fourth water tally shows San Gabriel Valley residents not conserving, and more …

In the news today …

  • First rainfall sets some records, but recovery is still far off: The first rainstorm of the just-started season provided some much needed moisture to California, though some areas got more than others. And it was not enough to make much of a dent in the drought.  Northern and Central California got the most rain, with Monterey setting a new record for Oct. 31 with 1.35 inches, according to the National Weather Service. In the San Francisco Bay Area more areas recorded well below an inch of rain. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  First rainfall sets some records, but recovery is still far off
  • California’s water innovation problem:  “At a recent gathering of young professionals in the Bay Area, Scott Bryan, the chief operating officer of Imagine H2O, asked the 60-strong crowd how many were considering going into the water business.  Just one hand went up. About a third were interested in energy and the rest of the crowd planned to enter tech and social media.  California is in the depths of a historic, disastrous drought that has cost the state $7.5 billion and sucked some communities dry. But there’s a startling lack of progress in water technology, be that new desalination systems, intelligent meters or water recycling. … ”  Read more from Mashable here:  California’s water innovation problem
  • Tomato demand spurs record crop amid drought:  “California farmers who grow a third of the world’s processing tomatoes, the kind used for pasta sauce and soups, nurtured a record crop this year even as the state’s drought damped production of other vegetables.  An estimated 14 million tons of processing tomatoes were harvested in California this year, the most ever and up 16 percent from last year, according to the California Tomato Growers Association, a trade group for the $1 billion-a-year industry. Canneries such as Campbell Soup Co. (CPB) paid $83 a ton, also the most ever. ... ”  Read more from Bloomberg News here:  Tomato demand spurs record crop amid drought
  • Drought may have prevented Central Valley flooding:  “Who would have thought that the Valley’s drought could be a blessing?  It turns out the dry conditions here likely prevented severe flooding after a strong storm hit the Valley on Friday night and dropped more than an inch of rain here through much of Saturday.  “And in Visalia, 1.2 inches of rain fell with this system, from yesterday through this this evening with the heaviest rainfall occurring overnight,” Scott Borgioli, a meteorologist and owner of WeatherAg.com, a Visalia-based forecasting service for the agricultural industry, said Saturday. … ”  Read more from the Visalia Times-Delta here:  Drought may have prevented Valley flooding
  • With winter approaching, trees need water:  “As California’s drought has dragged on during the past three years, trees all over the state have been under stress, surviving on less water than they are used to.  Even with the rainy season approaching, trees aren’t out of the woods, horticulturalists and landscape experts say. … ”  Read more from the Redding Searchlight Record here:  With winter approaching, trees need water
  • Californians Will Vote on Big Water Bond Not Knowing Exactly What They Are Buying:When Californians close the musty drapes of the voting booth on Tuesday, they will face a $US 7.5 billion question: Should the perpetually water-worried state, in the midst of a record drought, use its taxing authority to pay for another set of state-funded water projects?  If the voters say yes – as the polls suggest is likely – Proposition 1 will be the seventh and most expensive water-related bond passed in California since 2000. The bond will finance a host of initiatives, from projects to clean up polluted aquifers and revive wetlands, to investments in rebuilding dilapidated levees.  But voters will mark their ballot without knowing how the most controversial slice of the funds – money dedicated to storing more water – will be spent. … ”  Read more from Circle of Blue here:  Californians Will Vote on Big Water Bond Not Knowing Exactly What They Are Buying Related story: Turnout for election could be worst ever in state, from the San Francisco Chronicle
  • Sacramento Valley farmers needed to flood fields for birds:  “The Sacramento Valley is a resting stop for millions of birds in the Pacific Flyway.  Wet weather in Canada earlier this year is predicted to bring a record number of birds. And they’ll face a landscape with little water.  … ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:  Sacramento Valley farmers needed to flood fields for birds
  • DWR out of compliance with water quality, North Delta Water Agency says:  “The North Delta Water Agency Board of Directors is holding special meetings telling their landowners that the California Department of Water Resources is not complying with their water quality control contract commitments. Landowners were told at a meeting in Courtland this week that they might be eligible in the future for compensation, but that it would be a tough sell even if all punitive requirements in the 1981 contract were met. NDWA legal counsel Kevin O’Brien met with the DWR Oct. 29. The day afterwards, he said he would not feel comfortable discussing the meeting with CVBT. ... ”  Read more from the Central Valley Business Times here:  DWR out of compliance with water quality, water district says
  • Small town in Stanislaus County wondering whether its water is safe:  “There are two wells for nearly 150 homes in the Crows Landing community – one well went out several months, the second one went out twice this week.  “And now even when I wash dishes I’m thinking, ‘Well they said boil water, are our dishes safe? Do you sterilize them too?’ It’s very frustrating,” Roxane Martinez said. … ”  Read more from CBS News here:  Small town in Stanislaus County wondering whether its water is safe
  • Fresno developer puts housing development on hold; will plant almond orchards instead:  “A master-planned Fresno community with a private lake billed to be a “destination” in an otherwise arid and sporadically developed area west of Highway 99 is on hold for what could be another decade.  Developer Darius Assemi, president of Granville Homes, said the timing isn’t right for his Westlake development, which lies beyond Fresno’s city limits. The cost to build is too high and he’s waiting to see the city of Fresno’s growth plan for the area before moving ahead with the project.  In the meantime, Assemi will plant almond trees on the land. … ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here:  Assemi’s Westlake project in Fresno’s frontier on hold
  • Fourth water tally shows San Gabriel Valley residents not conserving:  “That is the preliminary conclusion arrived at by the San Gabriel Valley Water Association on Friday after the fourth week of water watching revealed the region used 182 million gallons more water this week than the same week last year.  “Overall, there is not overwhelming conservation,” said Adan Ortega, a consultant hired to work on this campaign by the Association. “If so, you would see that number going down.” … ”  Read more from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune here:  Fourth water tally shows San Gabriel Valley residents not conserving
  • San Diego: Saving water means sea change at home:In the man-made oasis of San Diego, calls for water conservation are a sea change in daily life.  This semi-arid coastal region gets just enough rainfall in average years to avoid classification as a desert. Despite a three-year drought, though, our neighborhoods still look more like Maui than the Mojave. … ”  Read more from U-T San Diego here:  Saving water means sea change at home

In commentary today …

  • Rob Santos: Why I still oppose the water bond:  He writes: “After sharing my concerns about Proposition 1, the California Water Bond, several prominent proponents of the Bond presented their opposing viewpoints. Public debate is wonderful, and I appreciate the chance to engage in this type of conversation. I want to address two particular op-ed pieces.  The first, “Why the Water Bond Must Pass,” by Mike Dunbar correctly points out that while he and I agree on how the Bay Delta Conservation Plan will affect our area, we draw very different conclusions about how the Water Bond may impact the BDCP. ... ”  Read more from the Turlock Journal here: Rob Santos, DVM: Why I STILL oppose the California Water Bond
  • Commentary:  Just how bad is your dog for the environment? Judith Lewis Mernit writes: “Who are you people? I never see you, though you must exist, because I witness daily what you leave behind: fetid brown piles of feces, which I hope issued from your dog and not from you (I live in Venice Beach; you never know).  What, were you staring at your iPhone, dragging the dog behind? Daydreaming? Or are you with Sydney, Jason Segel’s character in “I Love You, Man,” thinking that dog doo actually benefits the environment. (“It’s got tons of nutrients.”)  That’s true, in a way. … ”  Continue reading at the LA Times here:  Just how bad is your dog for the environment?

Plenty more news and commentary in the weekend edition …

Precipitation watch …

  • Goodbye rain and snow, hello warm and dry as high pressure moves in.  No other wet stuff on the horizon, so far …

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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