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Daily Digest: Drought legislation to be debated by Senate panel; How the drought is hurting health; Will El Niño ‘solve’ drought? Not if the rain falls in SoCal; Mendota water rally calls for special session; and more …

In California water news today, Senate panel to debate long-awaited drought measures; Dust and desperation: How the drought is hurting health; Will El Niño ‘solve’ drought? Not if the rain falls in Southern California; San Jose’s tough conservation rules have few appeals so far; Stockton: New turbulence in water dispute; Drought dries up fall festival at Lombardi Ranch in Santa Clarita; Coachella Valley golf courses hope less overseeding means more water savings; and Save the Salton Sea agreement – or risk toxic storms, says the LA Times

In the news today …

Senate panel to debate long-awaited drought measures: After months of quiet backroom discussions, efforts to pass Western drought legislation are getting ready for prime time.  Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) Energy and Natural Resources Committee this week will hold a long-awaited legislative hearing on the two lead California-specific relief measures, as well as several other bills dealing with Western water issues.  For lawmakers eager to put legislative fixes in place before the winter rainy season begins, the clock is ticking. … ”  Read more from E&E Publishing here:  Senate panel to debate long-awaited drought measures

Dust and desperation: How the drought is hurting health: Four years of drought in California is wearing on the bodies and minds of the people who live in the San Joaquin Valley.  State health officials say they have not seen anything to link the drought to changes in residents’ health. But local doctors and health experts, and a drive south on Highway 99 from Sacramento to Tulare County, tell a different story.  Physicians say they’ve treated more children and adults struggling to breathe as dust from plowed-over farm fields and wildfires penetrates nostrils and lungs. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  Dust and desperation: How the drought is hurting health

Will El Niño ‘solve’ drought? Not if the rain falls in Southern California:  “In recent weeks, conditions have gelled for what forecasters say could be one of the strongest El Niño weather patterns in recorded history. Will it substantially ease California’s historic drought? If the storms center on Southern California, the answer is probably not.  Experts stress that El Niño is notoriously unpredictable, and when its storms do hit the state, they’re prone to soaking the southern third of California. While more than 75 percent of the demand for irrigation and drinking water is in the south state, the backbone of California’s water supply and delivery system – and most of its reservoir capacity – is in the north. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: Will El Niño ‘solve’ drought? Not if the rain falls in Southern California

San Jose’s tough conservation rules have few appeals so far:  “When San Jose Water Company, which provides water to 1 million people in San Jose and nearby cities, held a public meeting to announce its summer water conservation rules in May, more than 350 people — most of them angry — turned out.  At the time, people complained that the company’s rules were unfair because they assigned every house the same monthly water allocation, with penalties for going over the limit, regardless of how big someone’s lawn or home is. But now, four months later, it appears the new rules weren’t as controversial as originally thought. … ”  Read more from the Contra Costa Times here:  San Jose’s tough conservation rules have few appeals so far

Stockton: New turbulence in water dispute: The agencies that work together to push water through Stockton taps have had, at times, an antagonistic relationship.  And that relationship has once more turned for the worse, with the water district that sells treated water to Stockton recently accusing its two biggest customers — the California Water Service Co. and the city of Stockton — of violating the terms of their contract.  The Stockton East Water District is increasing the pressure on those two “urban contractors,” threatening to file a lawsuit and even floating the very unlikely option of shutting off the flow of water to the city. … ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here:  More turbulence in water dispute

Mendota water rally calls for special session: More than 300 farmers, workers and elected officials from throughout the Valley gathered Friday at Rojas Pierce Park in Mendota to urge Gov. Jerry Brown to call a special legislative session to deal with California’s water crisis.  Rally organizers say they want the governor to speed up the process for building dams for water storage. They also want to relax environmental policies that hurt agriculture and expedite funds allocated to help drought-stricken communities.  Farmers and elected officials worry that with the prospect of a wet year, the concern over California’s beleaguered water system will weaken. … ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here:  Mendota water rally calls for special session

Drought dries up fall festival at Lombardi Ranch in Santa Clarita:  “At Lombardi Ranch, a 140-acre spread in Bouquet Canyon, the severe drought’s fingerprints are all over the place.  Dust coats just about everything, from the signs advertising the farm’s fall festival, the equipment that sits idle and the fields once lush with corn and pumpkins.  This is fall festival season, an annual rite of autumn for folks in the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys.  But not this year. ... ”  Read more from the Daily News here:  Drought dries up fall festival at Lombardi Ranch in Santa Clarita

Temecula:Water district might reduce drought surcharge:Temecula area homeowners who have been shocked and frustrated by huge water bills this summer may get some relief.  The Rancho California Water District is looking at reducing – and eventually eliminating – the drought surcharge added to bills to shield the district from the actions of its water wholesaler, the Metropolitan Water District. … ”  Read more from the Riverside Press-Enterprise here:  Temecula:Water district might reduce drought surcharge

Coachella Valley golf courses hope less overseeding means more water savings: Even in the middle of the prolonged California drought, golf course superintendents know that they are expected to provide a lush and green playing surface for players.  But as desert courses begin the annual overseeding process to insure that green look in the cooler days of winter, the desire for green grass is running head on into the reality of water restrictions.  “This is something that is discussed among the golf industry. Can we cut back on the overseed?” said Jeff Jensen, field staff regional representative for the southwest region for the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. ... ”  Read more from the Desert Sun here:  Coachella Valley golf courses hope less overseeding means more water savings

Save the Salton Sea agreement – or risk toxic storms, says the LA Times:  They write, “The last thing on Sacramento’s mind in the midst of the state’s epic drought may be the distant Salton Sea and the prospect of spending money or water to prevent the briny lake from going dry. But if it does dry up — and it will, quickly, beginning just over a year from now when water that temporarily replenishes it is cut off — winds are expected to scrape the exposed lake bed and blow toxic dust through Imperial County, the Coachella Valley and perhaps farther north. It would be like the dust storms that plagued the Owens Valley for decades after Los Angeles dried up Owens Lake, but on a much larger scale and affecting the health of many more people. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Save the Salton Sea agreement – or risk toxic storms

Plenty more news and commentary in the weekend edition of the Daily Digest …

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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