Daily Digest: Gov. Brown looks to solidify his legacy with tunnels and trains, wildlife suffers in drought, Showdown looms as state eyes pesticide plan, and more …

Daily DigestIn California water news today, Governor Jerry Brown looks to solidify his legacy with tunnels and trains, California wildlife suffers in drought, The future of California’s drought, Showdown looms as California eyes pesticide plan, California’s sweeping new groundwater legislation, Heat, drought worsen smog in California, stalling decades of progress and more …

In the news today …

  • Governor Jerry Brown looks to solidify his legacy with tunnels and trains:Fresh off winning a historic fourth term as governor, Jerry Brown plans to push ahead with a pair of projects that could transform the California landscape: high-speed rail and delta water tunnels. The ventures have strong critics. But having soared into office with 59 percent of the vote and no concern about winning another term, Brown is in a unique position to solidify the legacy he’s seeking: as a fiscal steward who built historic projects for the state. “I do come from a long line of people who have achieved something, and I feel I have a lot to live up to. And I’m going to make sure during these next four years I maximize that opportunity,” Brown said Wednesday. ... ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Jerry Brown looks to solidify legacy with big state projects See also: Jerry Brown Sets California on a Course of Public Works, from Bloomberg News
  • Parched:  California wildlife suffers in drought: As Californians look to the sky, fingers crossed for a wet winter, three brutally dry years are harming millions of animals that depend on rivers, streams and wetlands for survival.  They range from salmon and snakes, to birds that migrate from as far away as the Arctic.  For untold millions of migrating ducks and geese, California wetlands serve as a crucial rest stop along a kind of freeway known as the Pacific Flyway. Dave Shuford, senior biologist for Point Blue Conservation Science, says irrigated farmlands are also crucial. … ”  Read more from KQED here:  Parched: California wildlife suffers in drought
  • The future of California’s drought: Droughts are what test both Californians and the state’s vast engineered water system, Jay Lund, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of California, Davis, told the California State Board of Food and Agriculture last week.  “We just had a test,” he said of the drought, noting that no one knows if this winter might see enough rain and snow to finally end three years of drought. … ”  Read more from the Central Valley Business Times here:  The future of California’s drought
  • Showdown looms as California eyes pesticide plan:  “Organic farmers and environmentalists are challenging California’s strategy on pesticides and crop pests.  More than 30 organic groups, environmental organizations and regional water boards registered concerns over the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s pest-management plan by the Oct. 31 deadline. ... ”  Read more from News 10 here:  Showdown looms as California eyes pesticide plan
  • Hydrology hypothesis: Can we make our own water?  “Imagine harvesting your own water — no water utility, no monthly water bill. Instead, you have equipped your home with a rain catchment system or atmospheric water generator, and connected it to your tap.  Monterey will soon be a site for just such an experiment. ... ”  Read more from the Monterey County Herald here:  Hydrology hypothesis: Can we make our own water?
  • Heat, drought worsen smog in California, stalling decades of progress:  “Heat and extreme drought have worsened smog in California over the last year, stalling decades of progress toward cleaner air and increasing health risks. The state’s prolonged dry spells have brought more temperature inversions, with a layer of warmer air trapping cooler air below, concentrating pollution near the ground. Mother Nature could clear away much of the bad air with rain or wind, but high-pressure systems have resulted in fewer storms, less circulation and unusually stagnant conditions. … ”  Read more from the Los Angeles Times here:  Heat, drought worsen smog in California, stalling decades of progress

In commentary today …

  • Californians should channel inner water wonk to help create a better water future, says the San Gabriel Valley Tribune:  They write:  “The good news for ensuring a reliable water supply in California is the passage of Proposition 1 last week. The bad news is that we’ll be spending hundreds of billions more to ensure a damp-enough future.  The $7.12 billion bond measure, crafted in the Legislature as a compromise between supply-siders and conservationists, was approved by two-thirds of the state’s voters on Tuesday. It will pay for both dams and “purple pipe” recycling projects, both shoring-up of conveyance systems and for education programs about how to use less of what we don’t have much of. Such infrastructure bonds have been passed before down the decades, probably as an afterthought for most voters; never has one been proposed and passed in the teeth of a severe four-year drought such as California and Californians are suffering through now. ... ”  Continue reading at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune here:  Californians should channel inner water wonk to help create a better water future

Plenty more news and commentary in the weekend Daily Digest …

In regional news and commentary today …

  • Commentary: Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement puts California tribes sovereign rights at risk: Diane Virgil Masten, chairwoman of the Hoopa Valley Tribe, writes in response to a recent editorial:  ” … the so called Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) should be alarming to anyone who prizes the sovereign values of tribal self governance and self determination, particularly the five federally recognized tribes in the Klamath River Basin in California.  Your editorial ignores California, where more than half of the Klamath River Basin lies. The Hoopa Valley Tribe is one of only two Indian tribes (both in California) who legally own the Indian allocation right to 50 percent of the Klamath/Trinity fishery, resources that are protected by federal law. … ”  Continue reading from the Herald and News here: Calif. Tribes’ sovereign rights at risk
  • Meteorologists in wait-and-see mode regarding Bering Sea storm’s impact on Northern California:  “Meteorologists are in wait-and-see mode when it comes to the potential local impact of the Bering Sea storm which developed this past Friday.  More specifically, the National Weather Service is waiting for waves to cross a few more buoys before making a final call.  “We’re still watching that,” said meteorologist Brian Garcia. “From model data, it looks like it will barely clip us. … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Herald here:  Meteorologists in wait-and-see mode regarding Bering Sea storm’s impact on Northern California
  • Keeping tabs on North Coast water use:  “People are using twice as much water in the city of Sonoma as they are along the Russian River, with residents of five other cities and one water district in Sonoma County falling between the two extremes, according to a state report that calculates per capita water use for the first time.  With drought-stricken California striving to curb consumption by its 38 million residents, Sonoma residents used 148 gallons of water per person per day in September. ... ”  Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here:  Keeping tabs on North Coast water use
  • Yolo County: Drought lecture quenches thirst for information on Yolo County’s water:  “The season’s first Yolo Basin Foundation Flyaway Night talks was anything but dry, even if the topic was the drought.  Tim O’Halloran, director of the Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District (YCFCWCD), gave a talk on how the drought is affecting groundwater and the potential implications of the groundwater management bill package signed by Governor Jerry Brown earlier this year. … ”  Read more from the Davis Enterprise here: Drought lecture quenches thirst for information on Yolo County’s water
  • Commentary: Paso Robles quiet title action supports constitutional rights:  ” … When I served in the military and again when I was employed for many years as a defense contractor I took binding oaths to protect this country and its Constitution. I still believe that the freedoms and liberties handed down to us are well worth defending. That for me is the “common good.”  Mr. Brown stated in this article that those who have filed the ‘quiet title’ action “possess a selfish sense of entitlement.” He completely ignores the fact that the Protect Our Water Rights (POWR) members did not file a lawsuit at all. They have simply requested a court to affirm their constitutional right to the reasonable use of the water under their property by granting a quiet title to that end. … ” Read more from Cal Coast News here: Quiet title action supports constitutional rights
  • Cambria desalination plant to start operating soon:  “Officials with the Cambria Community Services District plan to flip the switch Nov. 15 on a $9 million desalination plant that will provide the community with a desperately needed new supply of drinking water.  When that happens, Cambria will join an elite group of coastal communities in California that rely on purified seawater as an important part of their domestic needs. Sand City in Monterey County, Avalon on Catalina Island and Orange County are the only other communities in the state that regularly use desalinated water. … ”  Read more from the San Luis Obispo Tribune here:  Cambria desalination plant to start operating soon
  • Some San Fernando Valley officials increased water use during the worst drought year:  “Some San Fernando Valley officials who set the city’s water policy consume more than twice the water as the average Angeleno when comparing their households. Records show two Valley-based City Council members actually increased their usage after Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought state of emergency in January and called for conservation.  Those officials, Mitchell Englander and Bob Blumenfield, top the list of current council members for average water use during the drought. ... ”  Read more from the Los Angeles Daily News here:  Some San Fernando Valley officials increased water use during the worst drought year
  • Glen Canyon release will send Colorado River surging:  “The lower Colorado River will swell to an unseasonably high level this coming week as part of an annual “high flow experiment” that federal river managers say improves the ecosystem and recreational opportunities downstream of Glen Canyon Dam.  The experiment involves a four-day release of a large pulse of water — about 130,000 acre feet — from Lake Powell meant to raise water levels in the Colorado River and sweep sediment from its tributaries into the main stem. That sediment helps build up sandbars, which are important for wildlife and recreators alike, as well as maintain other ecosystems like that of the nonnative rainbow trout just downstream of the dam. … ”  Read more from the Arizona Sun here: Glen Canyon release will send Colorado River surging

weatherPrecipitation watch …

  • From the National Weather Service in Sacramento:Mild, dry weather with above normal temperatures for the next couple of days. By mid-week, the pattern changes as an incoming weather system brings showers to NorCal. Brunt of precipitation will arrive Wednesday night into Thursday morning and snow levels will lower to near pass levels by Thursday morning.”

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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The diary of a confessed obsessive-compulsive California water news junkie

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