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Daily Digest: Climate researchers sound the alarm at symposium: ‘There’s no way out’; In future droughts, big storms decide state’s fate; Unusual algal bloom in Delta worries researchers; and more …

In California water news today, California climate researchers sound the alarm at symposium: ‘There’s no way out’; In future droughts, big storms decide California’s fate; Unusual algal bloom in Delta worries researchers; Troubled California oil field regulator faces major overhaul; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • DWR Critically Overdrafted Basins Public Meeting Webinar: DWR has identified 21 groundwater basins and subbasins indicating significant impacts from chronic groundwater pumping. This morning from 10am until noon, DWR will hold a public meeting to provide background information, describe the process to identify the basins, review draft results, and discuss next steps at the meeting. There will be a question and answer period.  Click here for more information.
  • Free Webinar: New EPA Definition of Waters of the US BB&K Attorney Andre Monette and Senior Director of Governmental Affairs John Freshman to Discuss New EPA Definition of Waters of the U.S. with Dr. Abby Schneider, Senior Federal Relations Representative for ACWA and Mike Rolband of Wetland Solutions from 10:30 to 11:30 amClick here for more information.

In the news today …

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Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

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California climate researchers sound the alarm at symposium: ‘There’s no way out’:  “A warming atmosphere has already worsened California’s drought and harmed coastal ecosystems, but the worst is yet to come, according to the latest scientific research presented this week on the interactions of air pollution, water reserves and weather patterns.  State environmental and natural resources regulators joined with Gov. Jerry Brown’s Office of Planning and Research to present the latest statewide academic findings at the California Climate Change Symposium in Sacramento on Monday and Tuesday.  … ”  Read more from the Daily Breeze here:  California climate researchers sound the alarm at symposium: ‘There’s no way out’

Scientists blame climate change for drought: Temperatures are on the rise in California due to climate change, bringing increased chances the state will see more frequent and extreme droughts, according to climate scientists speaking Monday at a conference in Sacramento.  The California Climate Change Symposium gathered researchers from across the state for a two-day event focusing on climate change and the potential impacts of prolonged drought in California. The overwhelming consensus: Climate change was an observable reality caused by human activities, while evidence is growing climate change has influenced the drought. … ”  Read more from the Appeal-Democrat here:  Scientists blame climate change for drought

In future droughts, big storms decide California’s fate: California will become increasingly dependent on the whims of a few big storms to meet water demand, according to research into the effects of climate change.  Already, California is well known for extreme weather events, from the severe drought now gripping the state to the deadly floods and mudslides that can wipe out whole neighborhoods. These are largely triggered by storms called “atmospheric rivers.”  Sometimes compared to a horizontal hurricane, an atmospheric river funnels high-velocity winds that pull huge quantities of tropical moisture across the Pacific Ocean. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  In future droughts, big storms decide California’s fate

Unusual algal bloom worries researchers: On a sunny August afternoon, a team of federal researchers cut a circuitous path through the heart of California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta doing real-time monitoring of water quality. Again and again, they made the same disturbing observation: tiny flecks of green goo that they recognized as a serious new threat to the stressed estuary.  With two 150-horsepower outboard motors roaring on the back of their 26-foot research boat, they powered through a maze of river channels, sloughs and flooded islands in the central Delta. All the while, a pump at the back of the boat sucked in water, funneling it to a sophisticated water analysis device. Every so often, the team would stop and siphon water into plastic jugs and glass vials to take back to the lab for further study. ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Unusual algal bloom worries researchers

Drought-plagued California prepares for El Nino storms: While drought-plagued California is eager for rain, the forecast of a potentially Godzilla-like El Nino event has communities clearing out debris basins, urging residents to stock up on emergency supplies and even talking about how a deluge could affect the 50th Super Bowl.  Roofers, on the other hand, are reveling in the uptick in business as homeowners ready for the prospect of downpours after four years of dry weather. … ”  Read more from CBS News here:  Drought-plagued California prepares for El Nino storms

Troubled California oil field regulator faces major overhaul:  “California’s embattled oil field regulatory agency will undergo a sweeping overhaul following revelations that the office for years let petroleum companies dump their waste water into federally protected aquifers.  The state’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources will reorganize its staff into teams focused on specific technical areas, such as hydraulic fracturing or wastewater disposal. The division’s nine field offices will be consolidated into four, each staffed with members of the different technical teams. … ”  Read more from SF Gate here:  Troubled California oil field regulator faces major overhaul

In commentary today …

Water bond’s message is clear: Time to expand water storage, says Paul Wenger:  He writes, “A very important thing happened last Nov. 4. On Election Day, the people of California clearly stated they wanted to invest in water infrastructure.  The specifics of the legislation that put Proposition 1 on the ballot were argued and negotiated by both Democrats and Republicans in the Assembly and Senate until the very last second on Aug. 13, 2014, then rushed to Gov. Brown for his signature, so it could be assured its place in the November election. While few of those involved in the discussions and even fewer voters knew every detail of the $7.12 billion bond, what was extremely clear was the strong message from the electorate that California needed to improve and expand its water infrastructure, something we have not done in any comprehensive way in 35 years. During that time, our state’s population grew by 65 percent—more than 15 million people. ... ”  Read more from Ag Alert here:  Water bond’s message is clear: Time to expand water storage

Food production needs to step up on responsible groundwater use, say Jay Famiglietti and Mindy Lubber: Californians are all too familiar with what happens when water is not treated as the precious resource it is. But most of us are unaware of the enormous power we have through our day-to-day purchases, social media campaigns and petition drives to push food companies to take more responsibility in protecting global water supplies. Food production, the world’s biggest water user, is a major underlying cause of dropping water tables and sinking land in the drought-plagued Central Valley and groundwater-reliant food hubs all over the world. ... ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  Food production needs to step up on responsible groundwater use

In regional news and commentary today …

Crystal Geyser bottling plant draws lawsuit:  “An environmental group opposed to a bottling plant near Mount Shasta filed a lawsuit accusing Crystal Geyser of pushing through an illegal plan to suck thousands of gallons of water a day from an aquifer that feeds the drought-diminished Sacramento River.  The group called We Advocate Thorough Environmental Review, or Water, filed the suit Monday in Napa County Superior Court, claiming the Calistoga company failed to get proper permits and will be violating land-use provisions if it carries out its plan this fall to tap Big Springs, which burbles out through lava tubes at the base of California’s largest volcano. … ”  Read more from SF Gate here:  Crystal Geyser bottling plant draws lawsuit

Commentary: In Napa, every drop is important to someone:Rather than arguing about who is right and who is wrong when it comes to water, we — and by “we” I mean everyone who lives and/or works in Napa County — should work with each other to find solutions to our water situation rather than looking for whom to blame.  After having spent three years on Napa County’s Ground Water Advisory Committee, or GRAC as we called it, I realized that every drop of water is important to someone living or working in Napa County.  … ”  Continue reading at the St. Helena Star here:  In Napa, every drop is important to someone

Wells Fargo building eyed for Sites:  “Work could begin early next year to remodel the old Wells Fargo building in Maxwell into offices for the Sites Reservoir project.  Colusa County Supervisor Mark Marshall said the county will likely put a project for renovating the former bank out to bid by the end of the year.  “We’re all excited about that,” said Marshall, who’s looking forward to having Maxwell as the home for the 11-member agency joint powers authority. ... ”  Read more from the Appeal Democrat here:  Wells Fargo building eyed for Sites

Marin water district sees pipe as a tool in drought effort:  “Efforts to restore Marin’s aging pipe system have had an important effect as a statewide drought continues: saving water.  The Marin Municipal Water District’s Fire Flow Master Plan has been in place since 1997 and through last year it rebuilt more than 76 miles of pipes in the county. The pipe work is funded by an annual $75 parcel fee that was last extended in 2012.  Some of the older pipes are at risk of breaking in a strong earthquake, or are just leaky. With a drought in full effect, new pipes help save water. Some of the pipes in the system were installed early in the last century by the long-defunct North Coast Water Co. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here:  Marin water district sees pipe as tool in drought effort

Stanislaus County kicks off water delivery program to dry well owners:  “For the first time in three months Genaro Gil won’t have to resort to bottled water to brush his teeth or wash his hands in his Ceres home.  Gil was the first county resident to receive a 2,600 gallon water tank on Tuesday through the recently implemented Temporary Water Assistance Program with the Stanislaus County Office of Emergency Services, which provides regular water deliveries to homeowners with dry wells as they wait for a new or deeper well. … ”  Read more from the Turlock Journal here:  Stanislaus County kicks off water delivery program to dry well owners

South San Joaquin Irrigation District names new general manager:  “Peter Rietkerk, general manager of the Patterson Irrigation District, was named Tuesday to the same post at the South San Joaquin Irrigation District.  Rietkerk, 32, will succeed the retiring Jeff Shields at SSJID, which serves about 55,000 acres of farmland around Escalon, Ripon and Manteca with water from the Stanislaus River. The district also treats water for residents of Manteca, Lathrop and Tracy and aims to become the electricity retailer within its boundaries. … ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here:  South San Joaquin Irrigation District names new general manager

Indian Wells Valley basin could get “critical” rating:  “The state is proposing that the Indian Wells Valley’s water basin be added to the list of Critically Overdrafted Basins, as the current non-critical designation dates back to 1980.  …  “I tell you right now that this doesn’t surprise me,” said IWV Technical Consultant Tim Parker at last week’s IWV Cooperative Groundwater Management Group meeting. “Groundwater levels have been declining in this basin. It has been documented in scientific reports that were peer reviewed since about 1960.” … ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Indian Wells Valley basin could get “critical” rating

Orange County’s weird weather? You can blame it on the blob: ““The blob” has invaded Orange County’s coastal waters!  “The blob” is a nickname a climatologist gave to a pattern of unusually warm ocean water that can affect some marine life, according to one of the first scientists to discover the strange phenomenon.  For the past several days, water temperatures at Huntington and Newport beaches have ranged from the low to mid-70s, which is 2 to 5 degrees above normal, likely caused by the blob, according to the National Weather Service. ... ”  Read more the OC Register here:  The weird weather? You can blame it on ‘the blob’

What drought? Some LA County supervisors have their car washed 2, 3 times a week:  “Despite living in one of the most car-centric and image-conscious cities in the world, many Los Angeles drivers have cut their carwashes during the crippling drought.  Not so for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.  The majority of the supervisors wash their take-home cars two or three times a week, service records show, and actually washed them more frequently after Gov. Jerry Brown ordered a 25 percent cut in urban water use. … ”  Read more from the LA Daily News here: What drought? Some LA County supervisors have their car washed 2, 3 times a week

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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