Daily Digest: Mystery goo killing Bay Area birds, Delta water weeds problems the worst in years, salmon survival in drought, and more …

Daily DigestIn California water news today, Mystery goo (not oil) kills Bay Area birds, baffles state officials, Delta water weed problems called the worst in years, Salmon survival in California’s drought, It’s awfully dry: so how do those reservoirs look?, Looking at a place where the San Joaquin River died, Central Valley farmers say farming is doomed in their areas, Vidak introduces bill to streamline water bond projects, Bigelow, Berryhill introduce new Mokelumne Wild & Scenic bill, A century later, the “Chinatown” feud ebbs, The value of Colorado River water in dollars and cents, and more …

In the news today …

Mystery goo (not oil) kills Bay Area birds, baffles state officials: “A mysterious gooey substance floating in the Bay Area’s waters is killing scores of sea birds and has left state wildlife officials searching for answers.  Since Friday, the substance has floated in the Northern California waters from Fremont to Alameda Island next to Oakland and killed 100 birds and coated at least 300 more, said Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Mystery goo (not oil) kills Bay Area birds, baffles state officials

Delta water weed problems called the worst in years:  “A thick carpet of green spreading across Delta harbors and channels has confined boats to their slips, delayed cargo deliveries, imperiled migrating birds, even stirred fears for the safety of those who use the waterways.  At the root of the problem: Again, it’s California’s historic drought. ... ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Delta water weed problems called the worst in years

Salmon survival in California’s drought:  “Big Springs Creek is a tributary of the Shasta River, which historically was one of the most productive salmon streams in California.  But over time, cattle grazed on the aquatic plants that provide salmon shady cool water and plenty of insects to eat. Salmon populations plummeted. … ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:  Salmon survival in California’s drought

It’s awfully dry: so how do those reservoirs look?  “Just over a month ago, we were watching rain gauges fill up and going to sleep at night with visions of our reservoirs rising again after a long, punishing drought. We’d had one of the rainiest Decembers in Bay Area history, with San Francisco getting two and a half times its normal rainfall for the year’s final month; San Jose’s total was three times normal.  … ”  Read more from KQED here:  It’s awfully dry: so how do those reservoirs look?

Looking at a place where the San Joaquin River died: In the chilly January fog, Bee photographer John Walker and I last week stood at a spot where the San Joaquin River died in the 1960s — the Sand Slough Control Structure in Merced County.  We were researching the river restoration story that published in Sunday’s Bee. I didn’t write about the control structure, but whenever I see it I wonder where the revived river will flow out here. Will it be in the old river channel or in the Eastside Bypass, a flood control channel? … ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here:  Looking at a place where the San Joaquin River died

Central Valley farmers say farming is doomed in their areas:  “Two experienced small farmers near Fresno say there are four pieces of legislation over the years that have doomed farmers — both in the Delta and south of the Delta.  They sat down this month with CVBT to talk about not just the problems, but the solutions as they see them. … ” Read more from the Central Valley Business Times here:  Central Valley farmers say farming is doomed in their areas

Vidak introduces bill to streamline water bond projects: Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) has introduced a bill that would streamline the environmental review process for water projects funded by the 2014 water bond.  The bill, SB 127, would require any challenges to an environmental impact report (EIR) under the California Environmental Quality Act to be resolved or addressed within 270 days of the report’s completion. … ”  Read more from the Fresno Business Journal here:  Vidak introduces bill to streamline water bond projects

Bigelow, Berryhill introduce new Mokelumne Wild & Scenic bill:  “Assemblyman Frank Bigelow played a role in stopping last summer’s Wild and Scenic River legislation, citing potential costs and “language challenges that needed to be addressed before the bill moved forward,” he said at the time.  Bigelow decided to help make those changes along with co-author Sen. Tom Berryhill. The pair introduced Assembly Bill 142 into the state Assembly on Jan. 12. It’s a bill that centers on Wild and Scenic designation for the Mokelumne River. ... ”  Read more from the Calaveras Enterprise here:  Local legislators introduce new wild and scenic bill

A century later, the “Chinatown” feud ebbs:  “For 24 years, traveling across the stark and dusty moonscape of what once was a glimmering 110-square-mile lake framed by snow-covered mountains, Ted Schade was a general in the Owens Valley water wars with Los Angeles. This was where Los Angeles began taking water for its own use nearly a century ago, leaving behind a dry lake bed that choked the valley with dust, turning it into one of the most polluted parts of the nation.  The result was a bitter feud between two night-and-day regions of California, steeped in years of lawsuits, conspiracy theories, toxic distrust and noir lore — the stealing of the Owens Valley water was the inspiration for the movie “Chinatown.” … ”  Read mroe from the New York Times here:  A century later, the “Chinatown” feud ebbs

The value of Colorado River water in dollars and cents:  “A report released in January confirms California’s dependence on the Colorado River.  The study, commissioned by business group Protect The Flows and led by Arizona State University economist Tim James, found a reduction of just 10 percent of water from the Colorado River would cost billions of dollars and millions of jobs. The study’s authors estimate that the river is responsible for generating $1.4 trillion in economic activity, $800 billion in wages and 16 million jobs. … ”  Read more from KPBS here:  The value of Colorado River water in dollars and cents

In commentary today …

Protecting California’s natural lands is key to combating climate change, says Andrea Tuttle: She writes: “As a kid, I loved camping. In the pines of the Sierra, I learned the joy of nature and the cycle of life. As a biologist in college, I learned how truly essential our forests, wetlands, farmland and rangelands are to our very existence. These landscapes produce oxygen, capture rain and snow, grow food and fiber, shelter wildlife and provide many other environmental benefits.  Today, we face climate change as our biggest environmental challenge, and these lands are more important than ever. Drought and extreme weather already impact California’s communities and economy; rising sea levels already erode our coastline. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Protecting California’s natural lands is key to combating climate change

In regional news and commentary today …

Lingering drought suspends cross country skiing near Tahoe:  “A popular cross-country ski area near Lake Tahoe has temporarily closed due to a lack of snow, and forecasters say the lingering drought should persist or get worse in the months ahead across most of California and Nevada.  Tahoe Donner Cross Country spokeswoman Sally Jones says they’ve done their best to try to keep the trails open for skiing and snowshoeing in the Sierra near Truckee, California. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Lingering drought suspends cross country skiing near Tahoe

Putah Creek will take your breath away:  “Perhaps the best-kept secret in the entire San Francisco Bay Area is the presence of a little-known stream that offers year-round fishing for Alaskan-sized wild trout.  It’s called Putah Creek, tail water that flows 4 1/2 miles from the base of Monticello Dam to Lake Solano, where coastal rainbows as large as 30 inches exist, and 18-inch trout are caught and released on a regular basis. … ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here:  Putah Creek will take your breath away

Dublin-San Ramon Services District, Pleasanton water customers cut water use in 2014:  “Customers of Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD)responded effectively to the drought by using 24% less potable water in 2014 than in 2013, a reduction of 882.6 million gallons.  “We asked our customers to cut outdoor watering in half last summer, and they did. Their willingness to turn off their sprinklers and conserve water indoors ensured that we had enough water to maintain public health and safety. We are immensely proud of our community’s response to the drought. It is among the best in the state,” said DSRSD board president Ed Duarte. ... ”  Read more from Pleasanton Weekly here:  DSRSD, Pleasanton water customer cut water use in 2014

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. lonna

    hello – i have been trying to find out more about the identification of the goo that you write about. it is now
    feb.22 and i have been searching for answers and don’t even see any more articles written on this.
    this is very frustrating. i wrote to the IBRC and to the KRON news and haven’t heard from either place.
    thanks,
    lonna

    Reply

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