Daily Digest: Recent storms send Yosemite waterfalls rushing back, wet start expected for 2015, drought-fighting drones, job killing hyacinth and more …

Daily DigestIn California water news today, Recent storms send Yosemite waterfalls rushing back, As flooding strikes, wet start expected for 2015, Western research team builds drought-fighting drone to seed rainclouds, Atmospheric rivers to soak California as climate warms, Mt. Tam reservoirs near capacity, Leave it to beavers: California joins other states in embracing the rodent, 4500 jobs threatened by water hyacinth, Drought stressed town tries new, controversial water plan, and with a flush aquifer, Coachella Valley golf courses slow to conserve

In the news today …

Recent storms send Yosemite waterfalls rushing back:  “The water dropped, a pure white ribbon fluttering down-down-down a towering granite wall.  In other winters it was a sight to behold, but to be expected. This year, the return of Yosemite’s waterfalls was more.  Because they had disappeared. ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Recent storms send Yosemite waterfalls rushing back

As flooding strikes, wet start expected for 2015: “While still more rain is needed to end California’s drought, an excess of it flooded roadways and closed parks this afternoon in Humboldt County.  The Humboldt County office of the California Highway Patrol reported flooding at the Old Arcata Road and Indianola Cutoff intersection on its Twitter feed today. The CHP also reported mud, dirt and rock debris in the roadway at Azalea Avenue and Chapel Hill Road. … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here: As flooding strikes, wet start expected for 2015

Western Research Team Builds Drought-Fighting Drone To Seed Rainclouds: “California communities suffering from extreme drought could soon get help from an unlikely source — unmanned aerial vehicles, a.k.a. drones.  For years, ground-based machines have injected tiny silver iodide particles into passing storm clouds — a process called cloud seeding. The process can squeeze about 10% more precipitation during a storm. ... ”  Continue reading from CBS Bay Area here: Western Research Team Builds Drought-Fighting Drone To Seed Rainclouds

Atmospheric rivers to soak California as climate warms:  “A river of rain flowing from the tropics to California this month finally eased the Golden State’s extreme drought, as storm after storm pushed precipitation levels in the region above normal for the first time in years.  Under current climate scenarios, such drought-busting “atmospheric rivers” will hit Northern California twice as often by 2100 as they do now, said U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist Mike Dettinger. “When the atmosphere is warmer, it holds more water vapor, so there is a huge increase in the number of these atmospheric rivers,” Dettinger said here Wednesday (Dec. 17) at the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting. ... ”  Read more from Live Science here:  Atmospheric rivers to soak California as climate warms

Mt. Tam reservoirs near capacity:  “Unlike the rest of California, the drought is over for the moment in Marin County.  A cascade of storms that swamped the region for two weeks fell short of setting rainfall records for December, but runoff filled county reservoirs in what seemed like lightning speed.  Marin Municipal Water District reservoirs were brimming at 99.8 percent capacity Sunday, and the water level continued to rise at Kent Lake as the last significant storm on the horizon for a week blew through. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here:  Mt. Tam reservoirs near capacity

Leave it to beavers: California joins other states in embracing the rodent:Californians are crossing their fingers for more rain after three punishing years of drought have left streams, rivers and wetland parched.  One animal has the potential to restore these dry landscapes.  With their industrial buck teeth and flat tails, beavers and their dams offer a defense against drought, a solution to reversing the effects of climate change. The rodents are known as ecosystem engineers. And they once populated most of California (and the Bay Area) until fur traders nearly wiped them out in the 19th century. ... ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Leave it to beavers: California joins other states in embracing the rodent

4500 jobs threatened by water hyacinth:  ““I wish hyacinth wasn’t a part of my life,” Jeffrey Wingfield, director of environmental, government and public affairs at the Port of Stockton, told a standing room only crowd at a recent town hall meeting on invasive weeds in the California Delta.  He said the port did about four million tons of cargo this year or over one billion commodities in the Stockton Port docks.  “To compete we are asking ships to bypass five other ports that are closer to the ocean to get to Stockton,” he said. “So when we have an issue like the water hyacinth, which is an annual problem, and we go out to do our marketing, and we don’t have a reliable channel, that can pose a problem for us. We provide 4,500 jobs for this area. We value those jobs and we want to make sure we bring as much cargo and keep those ship channels open as much as possible. The past three years the hyacinth has really been impacting us.” ... ”  Read more from the Central Valley Business Times here:  4500 jobs threatened by water hyacinth

Drought stressed town tries new, controversial water plan: The coastal tourist town of Cambria, located just below Big Sur and adjacent to Hearst Castle on California’s central coast, will begin pumping about 300 gallons a minute of treated water into the local aquifer this week. The new water source is part of a controversial emergency solution—built just this fall—to keep the community from running dry.  The town’s water agency says three years of drought have pushed Cambria’s only water source, two local creek basins, to the brink of exhaustion. Officials with the Cambria Community Services District (CCSD) say this new facility will solve the crisis, one that built up not just during the current drought but over two decades of political battles about the town’s growth. … ”  Read more from KQED here:  Drought stressed town tries new, controversial water plan

With a flush aquifer, Coachella Valley golf courses slow to conserve: At brunch on a recent Thursday, Sunny Butler nibbled at an omelet and considered playing a round later that afternoon. Part of the joy of living on the 18th hole of the Citrus Club in the Coachella Valley, Butler said, is the verdant green landscape just beyond the back door.  “We consider it part of our yard,” she said.  And with membership dues and fees of about $1,500 a month — on top of the $30,000 initiation fee — she added, “You sort of feel like you’re paying for the grounds and the greens, so if anybody starts to tamper with that — that’s a problem.” … ”  Read more from the Los Angeles Times here:  With a flush aquifer, Coachella Valley golf courses slow to conserve

More news and commentary in the weekend edition of the Daily Digest …

Daily Digest, weekend edition: A first for Delta pumping: Voluntary cutback to protect fish, BDCP refined to lessen impacts, and state celebrates 100 years of administering water rights system, plus Peter Gleick, Jeff Kightlinger, and more …

weatherPrecipitation watch …

Quick hitting system on Christmas Eve:  From the National Weather Service: “More snow is on the way for the northern Sierra Nevada Christmas Eve into early Christmas Day with potential for travel delays through the passes. The quick moving system will be out of the area by Christmas afternoon.”

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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