Daily Digest: Drought is taking California back to the wild, wild west, Drought monitor authors encourage grower’s input; Govt wants farmers to flood their fields, and more …

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In California water news on this Veteran’s Day, Drought is taking California back to the wild, wild west; Drought monitor authors encourage grower’s input, Water levels in California’s reservoirs continue to drop, Why the government wants drought-stricken farmers to flood their fields, Will El Nino bring end to California’s drought?, Preserving an accident, the Salton Sea, for the good of nature, Stanford report finds Water sector ripe for innovation and investment, and more …

In the news today …

  • Drought is taking California back to the wild, wild west:  “Mary Madden feels paranoid.  Last fall Madden noticed something suspicious. The water filling the tanks outside her veterinary clinic in Los Gatos, Calif., was disappearing at an alarming rate. Madden checked for leaks but found none. Then she realized: Someone was stealing her water.  “I just couldn’t believe it,” she said. “You never imagine anyone would do something like that but there it was, vanishing right before our eyes.” ... ”  Read more from the National Journal here:  Drought is taking California back to the wild, wild west
  • Drought monitor authors encourage grower’s input:  “Authors of the federal Drought Monitor are encouraging growers to send emails or join reporting teams to help make their maps more accurate.  The 15-year-old monitor analyzes weather data and on-the-ground reports from hundreds of observers to develop the weekly drought maps, which can affect growers’ disaster-relief payments, taxes and insurance rates.  “Our process is open and transparent,” said Mark Svoboda, a program leader for the Lincoln, Neb.-based National Drought Mitigation Center. “We welcome emails … We’re not trying to hide behind a big curtain.” ... ”  Read more from the Capital Ag Press here: Drought Monitor authors encourage growers’ input
  • Water levels in California’s reservoirs continue to drop:  “Statewide all reservoirs – more than150 of them – hold about 57-percent of the water they normally do.  The amount is measured in acre-feet.  One acre foot is enough to supply a typical residential household for a year. Right now reservoirs hold about 12 million acre feet. … ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:  Water levels in California’s reservoirs continue to drop
  • Why the government wants drought-stricken farmers to flood their fields:  “What’s a duck to do? Spring nesting season was so successful in Alaska and Canada that a record number of ducks and geese are expected to migrate south this winter along the Pacific Flyway, stopping in California for rest and relaxation in the rice fields that are normally flooded by now.  Except many of those fields—which are crucial to the survival of migrating waterfowl such as mallards, pintails, and gadwalls—remain dry because of the state’s epic drought. ... ”  Read more from Take Part here:  Why the government wants drought-stricken farmers to flood their fields
  • Will El Nino bring end to California’s drought?: “El Nino is the famous Pacific Ocean phenomenon that can change global weather patterns and bring rain to California.  Might that happen this winter?  Our entire way of life is threatened if we don’t get significant rainfall.  I explain what is needed and whether the hoped for changes are likely. Even if El Nino fizzles, I have some encouraging news.”  Watch the newscast here: Will El Nino bring end to California’s drought?
  • Preserving an accident, the Salton Sea, for the good of nature:  “The area around this town of date palms attracts two kinds of migrants — hundreds of humans who work the land, and millions of birds that stop to rest and gorge at the nearby Salton Sea. The sea is a 110-year-old, increasingly briny, shallow lake that covers 350 square miles but is dwindling fast.  It was actually an accident, created when Colorado River floods overwhelmed flimsy dikes, but it now fills crucial ecological niches in southeastern California. Its wetlands and fish attract as many as 400 species of migrating birds. As it disappears, officials are scrambling to fend off the consequences. ... ”  Continue reading at the New York Times here:  Preserving an accident, the Salton Sea of California, for the good of nature
  • Water sector ripe for innovation and investment, finds Stanford report: “Investors looking for promising growth markets would do well to consider their water bill. “While the offers many opportunities to innovate and deploy new technologies, in practice the sector has barely tapped the potential those technologies offer,” conclude the authors of a new Stanford-led report, “The Path to Water Innovation,” which recommends spurring innovation by revising pricing policies, regulatory frameworks and financing. ... ”  Read more from PhysOrg here:  Water sector ripe for innovation and investment, finds Stanford report

In commentary today …

  • Can’t afford to wait for Prop 1’s projects to be built, say Andy Vought and Alix Hobbs:  They write: “Last Tuesday marked a watershed day for California, both literally and figuratively.  After years of legislative gridlock and public indifference, voters agreed to start fixing our state’s broken water system. Though not perfect, Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond, sets the stage for a more sustainable California.  But we can’t afford to wait for funded projects to be built. ... ”  Read more from the Los Angeles Daily News here:  Can’t afford to wait for Prop 1’s projects to be built

In regional news and commentary today …

  • Bering Sea storm sends waves toward North Coast: “Waves from a storm off the coast of Alaska are expected to roll past the North Coast on Tuesday afternoon, possibly causing hazards for local mariners — and the risk of sneaker waves later in the week.  Formerly a tropical cyclone, the storm traveled from the coast of Japan to the Bering Sea, said Brian Garcia, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.  “What was tropical storm Nuri went up into the Bering Sea and its remnants are still lingering there, it has become a big wheel up in the Bering Sea but it is slowly filling and getting weaker and weaker,” he said. … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here: Bering Sea storm sends waves toward North Coast
  • Lodi: Kayakers take to the Mokelumne River during the sandhill crane festival:  “Fourteen birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts set out on the Mokelumne River via Lodi Lake, armed with sturdy kayaks, strong paddles and sharp eyes. Everything was lined up perfectly: Friendly people, a knowledgeable guide and beautiful twilight scenery. But for all that, would we actually see any Sandhill cranes? … ”  Read more from the Lodi News-Sentinel here:  Kayakers take to the Moklumne River during the sandhill crane festival
  • Taxpayer costs for Fresno water-system upgrade remains a tough sell: “When it comes to water security well into the 21st century, Fresno is home free.  The only possible glitch — Fresnans may prefer their money to home and water.  That was the clear message that came out of Monday’s water forum, City Hall’s fourth and final public gathering to review issues surrounding water. ... ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here: Taxpayer costs for Fresno water-system upgrade remains a tough sell
  • Hanford: Green in a time of brown: Homeowners battle for nice lawns amid drought:  “Talk to Pro Turf owner Derik Jakusz long enough, and lawns start to sound like ailing patients in the hospital.  Jakusz promotes and uses a product called Turf Medix, a sprayed-on formulation designed to rescue lawns nearly done in by drought, high temperatures and tough watering restrictions.  The goal? Make lawns at least look green, keep the roots alive and hope for better things to come. … ”  Read more from the Hanford Sentinel here:  Green in a time of brown: Homeowners battle for nice lawns amid drought

weatherPrecipitation watch …

  • From the National Weather Service:  “Another day of dry and mild weather today for Veteran’s Day. The weather pattern will then begin to transition on Wednesday as clouds increase and temperatures cool with an approaching cold front. The main precipitation is expected to occur Wednesday night and continue into Thursday. On Friday there could be some lingering light showers over the mountains, otherwise the rest of our region will return to dry and mild conditions.”

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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