Daily Digest: Wildlife managers use careful management to prepare for winter bird migration; New report says El Niño likely to bring wet winter all across California; Judge orders Reclamation to release water information; and more …

In California water news today, Wildlife managers use careful management to prepare for winter bird migration; El Niño: Wet winter likely across California, not just in south, new report says; Judge orders Reclamation to release water information; Beavers: A potential missing link in California’s water future; Drought tricks:  Stop showering every day; and more …

In the news today …

Wildlife managers use careful management to prepare for winter bird migration: Wildlife managers are worried again this year: Will there be enough wet habitat for millions of birds in the Sacramento Valley?  Before the drought, 250,000-300,000 acres of California rice lands was flooded each winter. However, this year the estimate is that only 100,000 acres will be wet, said Paul Buttner, manager of environmental affairs for the California Rice Commission. That’s about 25,000 acres less than was flooded last year. … ” Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Wildlife managers use careful management to prepare for winter bird migration

El Niño: Wet winter likely across California, not just in south, new report says: “In the latest sign that El Niño conditions are likely to bring wet weather to drought-parched California, federal scientists on Thursday announced for the first time that the entire state — including the northern part of California from the Bay Area to the Oregon border — is now expected to receive average or above-average rainfall this winter.  Until Thursday, scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had been predicting that Southern California was most likely to get drenching storms this winter, with Northern California — home of the state’s largest reservoirs — less likely to receive a soaking. ... ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: El Niño: Wet winter likely across California, not just in south, new report says

Warm weather complicates El Nino, drought outlook:  “Like a lot of Californians, Sue and Steve Duroncelet are getting whipsawed by conflicting weather. After dutifully letting their Land Park lawn go brown, the couple now are having to trim their trees to prepare for El Niño storms while they sweat out an early-fall heat wave.  “We’re ready for cold air,” Sue Duroncelet said Thursday as she and her husband walked through midtown Sacramento.  It’s been warm in Sacramento, way too warm for mid-October, the latest twist in a year of often maddening weather patterns. ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Warm weather complicates El Nino, drought outlook

Judge orders Reclamation to release water information:  “The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation improperly withheld information on water transfers in drought-ridden California by refusing to answer an environmental group’s Freedom of Information Act request, a federal judge ruled Thursday.  AquAlliance, which is “dedicated to defending Northern California waters,” successfully argued that the bureau improperly claimed an FOIA exemption by withholding names and addresses of certain well owners participating in water transfers in the Sacramento River watershed. ... ”  Read more from the Courthouse News Service here:  Judge orders release of California water information

Beavers: A potential missing link in California’s water future: On California’s central coast, a region that usually receives drenching rainfall or fog for most of the year, some forests are now as arid as a desert. Streams that once ran at least at a trickle through summer have vanished in the ongoing drought, and environmentalists and fishermen fear that local salmon will disappear if climate conditions don’t improve.  The landscape desperately needs rain.  It could also use beavers, according to ecologists who say the near eradication of Castor canadensis from parts of the West in the 19th century has magnified the effects of California’s worst dry spell in history. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Beavers: A potential missing link in California’s water future

Drought tricks:  Stop showering every day:  “Showering every day can be bad for your skin and may even make you sick. Instead, skip a day and save a little water in the bargain.We’ve all heard plenty during this long California drought about taking shorter showers to save water. But you can save even more by showering less often.  Americans seem to have a unique obsession with showering. Plenty of other people around the world stretch their showering intervals a lot longer. A recent survey found that four out of five women in Great Britain don’t shower daily. In fact, one-third shower only every three days. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Drought tricks: Stop showering every day

In regional news and commentary …

Butte County prepares for flooding: With the possibility of El Niño powering heavy winter storms, the Butte County government is preparing for flooding and encouraging residents to do so as well.  On Tuesday, the Butte County Board of Supervisors declared next week to be California Flood Preparedness Week.  Thomas Fossum, deputy director of the Public Works Department, told supervisors that officials thought this was an opportune time to promote awareness. He said information for residents will be posted to the department’s webpage. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Butte County prepares for flooding

Mokelumne River closer to stronger state protections:  “A 37-mile stretch of the Mokelumne River from Salt Spring Dam downstream to the Pardee Reservoir has moved one step closer to receiving special protections under the state’s Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.  The Mokelumne River flows west from Camanche into Lodi before winding its way into the Delta.  Assembly Bill 142, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown late last week, provides interim protections for the river while the state studies its suitability for permanent Wild and Scenic River protection. … ”  Read more from the Lodi News-Sentinel here:  Mokelumne River closer to stronger state protections

Regulators fine Amador County property owners:  “The State Water Resources Control Board announced on Tuesday that it has ordered property owners in the Plymouth area of Amador County to stop taking water from creeks in the Mokelumne River watershed.  The board is also proposing to fine property owners $23,683 for allegedly taking water and storing it in unlicensed reservoirs in 2014 and 2015. ... ”  Read more from the Calaveras Enterprise here:  Regulators fine Amador County property owners

Much needed rainfall gives hope to Valley residents:  “California’s water supply is merely trying to play catch-up after four years of drought. Wednesday night’s storm, though, whetted our appetite.  The rains that rolled through helped clean up the air and put folks in a better mood. Water experts hope the storm is a very early indication of what’s to come this winter. But after four years of heavy groundwater pumping and reduced surface water deliveries due to the drought, the underground aquifer is severely taxed. So much so that one wet year won’t replenish the supply. … ”  Read more from Channel 30 here:  Much needed rainfall gives hope to Valley residents

Tulare County approves free water deliveries to rental homes:  “Renters in Tulare County whose faucets are dry in the drought can now get free water for filling household tanks, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors said this week.  But the landlord must obtain a county permit and cover the costs of installing the tank, which are plumbed to the home to supply running water. ... ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here:  Tulare County approves free water deliveries to rental homes

Column: How would you solve San Luis Obispo County’s water problems? Phil Dirkx writes, “We’re all waiting for El Niño like little kids waiting for Santa Claus. We’re hoping El Niño will solve our water shortage, but it won’t. It may signal the end of this drought but nothing more because we’ll still be pumping more water from our wells than our rainfall can replace.  We need common sense thinking about water. And we recently got some from San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Frank Mecham of Paso Robles. It was in the Aug. 29 Tribune. He listed five measures. He said, if combined, they “would solve our water problems far into the future.” … ”  Read more from the San Luis Obispo Tribune here: How would you solve San Luis Obispo County’s water problems?

Bel-Air water hogs spur move to impose stiff penalties on L.A. guzzlers: “Water hogs, beware.  The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power agreed Wednesday to study ways to curb excessive water use after the City Council called for a crackdown that could include “severe financial penalties” and “as a last resort, shutting off water.”  The council approved a motion by Councilman Paul Koretz asking LADWP to report back within 30 days on measures that can be taken to stop water abuse. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Bel-Air water hogs spur move to impose stiff penalties on L.A. guzzlers

Southern California storm causes mudslides and floods; closes part of I-5:Emergency crews shoveled mud from a section of Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles Friday after flash flood debris blocked the important highway, stranded hundreds of vehicles, and forced some motorists to take refuge on top of their cars.  Officials expect the freeway to be reopened around 2 p.m. Friday, California Highway Patrol Officer Tony Polizzi said.  Excavator trucks scooped and hauled away mud, leaving thousands of drivers searching for alternative routes. … ”  Read more from Fox News here:  Southern California storm causes mudslides and floods; closes part of I-5

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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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