Daily Digest: Sierra at Tahoe ski resort closes for lack of snow, mosquitoes threaten despite drought, Merced County groundwater ordinance up for adoption and more, plus Delta Challenges workshop on Webex

Daily DigestIn California water news today, Sierra at Tahoe ski resort closes for lack of snow, Even in drought, mosquitoes threaten, Historic Merced County groundwater ordinance up for adoption on Tuesday, SCV water retailer’s assurance letters scrutinized, In midst of drought, water bottler pumping resource with little scrutiny, and more …

On the calendar today …

 

  • Delta Challenges Workshop:  Today, the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Science Program will host a workshop from 8am to 5pm to summarize the risks and challenges facing the Bay-Delta system. The purpose of this effort is to have an independent panel comprising four former CALFED/Delta Science Program lead scientists summarize the risks and challenges facing the Bay-Delta system in a single concise report. The workshop will include presentations and discussions on topics including water supply reliability, ecosystem health, water quality, risks to people and property, and economics, among others.  The meeting will be available by Webex.  Click here for details.
  • California Environmental Data Exchange Network (CEDEN) Workshop:  CEDEN is the State Water Resources Control Board’s (State Water Board) database for housing surface water quality related data. In order to better understand the needs of CEDEN users, State Water Board staff is holding a user group meeting on March 16 beginning at 1:30 pm to request feedback on the system.  Remote participation via webcast is possible.  More information here.
  • Groundwater-dependent ecosystems:  The California Water Policy Seminar Series concludes with Maurice Hall (Nature Conservancy), Richard Frank (UC Davis) and Thomas Harter (UC Davis) beginning at at 4:10 pm.  Click here for more information.

 

In the news today …

Sierra at Tahoe ski resort closes for lack of snow: The Sierra at Tahoe Resort, annually a busy spot for skiers and snowboarders, announced Sunday that it is closing abruptly due to a lack of snow.  The popular ski area on Highway 50 in Twin Bridges, renowned for varied terrain with runs spanning multiple mountain faces, has had only one-third of its normal snowfall. General manager John Rice issued a statement saying the resort has decided, “with a heavy heart,” to suspend “winter operations” starting Monday. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Sierra at Tahoe ski resort closes for lack of snow

Even in drought, mosquitoes threaten: California has not approached a normal amount of rainfall for nearly four years. But amid such prolonged dryness, local mosquito fighters said they are readying themselves for more of the insects — including species that can become carriers of the West Nile virus during the summer.  A combination of warm winter conditions, erratic rain patterns and plentiful basins outside homes have produced more stagnant pools for mosquito larvae to breed and thus an earlier-than-usual emergence of the blood-drawing insects, the manager of the Napa County Mosquito Abatement District said last week. … ”  Read more from the Napa Valley Reisger here: Even in drought, mosquitoes threaten

Historic Merced County groundwater ordinance up for adoption on Tuesday:  “The Board of Supervisors is expected to adopt Merced County’s historic groundwater ordinance on Tuesday, with some in the community waiting to see if the board will delay the process again.  The groundwater ordinance, which has been under review since May, was near adoption in December. But county supervisors took no action because of several “last-minute” comment letters received by concerned parties.  Those letters made revision suggestions to the proposed ordinance, prompting the board to send it back for review. ... ”  Read more from the Merced Sun-Star here:  Historic Merced County groundwater ordinance up for adoption on Tuesday

SCV water retailer’s assurance letters scrutinized: “As California’s drought drags into its fourth year, one Santa Clarita Valley water provider has reviewed and slightly changed its policy of issuing “will serve” letters, which are required for developers to move ahead with construction.  The move was prompted by Newhall County Water District’s recent routine approval of a “will serve” letter for a 492-unit housing project in Canyon Country called Spring Canyon. ... ”  Read more from the Santa Clarita Signal here:  SCV water retailer’s assurance letters scrutinized

In midst of drought, water bottler pumping resource with little scrutiny: “As California enters its fourth year of extreme drought, water is becoming an ever more precious commodity. But according to a new investigation from the Desert Sun newspaper – Nestle – the biggest water bottler in the US, has been pumping this resource on National Forest lands in San Bernardino with little oversight from the government.”  Listen to the radio show at KPCC here:  In midst of drought, water bottler pumping resource with little scrutiny

In commentary today …

Saving the Salton Sea is smart environmental policy, says the LA Times: They write, “They don’t like to hear this kind of talk in the rich agricultural lands of the Imperial Valley, but the Salton Sea was a big mistake. It was dry desert land before 1905, when the Colorado River punched through poorly constructed irrigation levees and flowed for two years into a giant below-sea-level depression.  Its waters have no outlet to the ocean, so a century’s worth of agricultural runoff and evaporation have left a steadily concentrating brine, made even more noxious by residual fertilizers and pesticides. … ”  Read more from the Los Angeles Times here:  Saving the Salton Sea is smart environmental policy

More news and commentary in the weekend edition …

Daily Digest, weekend edition: At Lake Tahoe, drought and climate change threatening winter, way of life; California water wasters elude fines as agencies avoid enforcement; Sacto Valley landowners buying into Sites Reservoir, and more …

 

Precipitation watch …

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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