Daily Digest, weekend edition: Delta research center proposed; Project to drain Santa Clara County’s largest reservoir a year behind schedule; Minus 11 degrees in the Sierra; Nebraska worries about a water war with California, and more …

In California water news this weekend, Delta research center proposed; Project to drain Santa Clara County’s largest reservoir a year behind schedule; California freeze: Minus 11 degrees in the Sierra amid snow and ice; California’s Central Valley is sinking – as the drought forces farmers to ponder the abyss; Santa Rosa water rates likely to rise the next five years; Nebraska worries about water war with California; and more …

In the news this weekend …

Delta research center proposed:  “The Delta is one of the most closely studied river estuaries in the world.  But the scientists who are studying it are dispersed across the region, in different offices and in different towns.  The state and federal governments propose changing that by building a new research center and fish breeding facility that would eventually house 180 employees and cost a collective $130 million. … ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here:  Delta research center proposed

Project to drain Santa Clara County’s largest reservoir a year behind schedule:  “No matter how much it rains this winter, one of the Bay Area’s largest reservoirs won’t fill up. Seismic safety concerns are already restricting the amount of water that can be stored in Anderson Reservoir, and now the discovery of new “trace faults” near the dam have further stalled a $193 million project to strengthen it.  State regulators ordered a few years ago that the vast lake near Morgan Hill in Santa Clara County — which holds more water than the other nine reservoirs in the county combined — could not be filled any more than 68 percent full because geologic tests found that in a major earthquake, its 240-foot high earthen dam could slump, releasing a wall of water that could generate a trail of death and destruction all the way to San Jose. ” Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Project to drain Santa Clara County’s largest reservoir a year behind schedule

California freeze: Minus 11 degrees in the Sierra amid snow and ice:  “A deep freeze in California’s Sierra is continuing, with one spot east of Redding recording minus-11 degrees. According to the National Weather Service, the Bogard Rest Area in the Lassen National Forest recorded that frigid temperature between Friday night and Saturday morning. The rest area is north of Susanville. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  California freeze: Minus 11 degrees in the Sierra amid snow and ice

California’s Central Valley is sinking – as the drought forces farmers to ponder the abyss:  “On a day when the skies were ashen from the smoke of distant wildfires, Chase Hurley kept his eyes trained on the slower-moving disaster at ground level: collapsing levees, buckling irrigation canals, water rising up over bridges and sloshing over roads.  This is the hidden disaster of California’s drought. So much water has been pumped out of the ground that vast areas of the Central Valley are sinking, destroying millions of dollars in infrastructure in the gradual collapse.  Four years of drought – and the last two years of record-smashing heat – have put water in extremely short supply. … ”  Read more from Raw Story here: California’s Central Valley is sinking – as the drought forces farmers to ponder the abyss

Santa Rosa water rates likely to rise the next five years:  “Santa Rosa is poised to hike water rates by a total of nearly 14 percent over the next five years and to do away with higher rates for heavy water users following a statewide challenge to the legality of such usage tiers.  Under the package of changes heading to the City Council on Tuesday, the average resident will see their bills increase by 2.9 percent each of the next three years and then 2.6 percent each of the remaining two years. … ”  Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here:  Santa Rosa water rates likely to rise the next five years

And lastly … Nebraska worries about water war with California:  ” … “We can stop the wolves at the door,” Cookson said. “They will come. We need to be prepared.”  Cookson said water managers in Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota and Montana — source states for Nebraska’s Platte and Missouri Rivers — are discussing what to do about California when it comes in search of water. Although its treasury is cash-strapped, California is flush with people willing to spend a lot of money to ensure that the state has water, he said. … ”  Read more from the World-Herald here:  Potential water war could be ‘tsunami of disaster’ for Nebraska

In commentary this weekend …

If Shasta Dam is raised, tribe would lose sacred places and culture:  Caleen Sisk writes, “The growing demand for water in Southern California is putting my Winnemem Wintu culture and spirituality at risk for a second time. Seventy-five years ago, our land was taken for the construction of Shasta Dam, without the promised compensation. The resulting reservoir submerged sacred sites and ancient villages where we lived along the McCloud River.  We lost our homes, burial sites, sacred places and all runs of native salmon. Adding insult to injury, federal tribal recognition of the Winnemem was summarily cut off in 1985. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  If Shasta Dam is raised, tribe would lose sacred places and culture

Australia’s desal experience bodes well for California, says Neil Palmer:  He writes, “Congratulations to San Diego for finally completing your 50 million-gallon-per-day Carlsbad desalination plant, scheduled for opening Dec. 14. When project developer Poseidon and the San Diego County Water Authority started this journey 18 years ago, Australia had no major seawater desalination plants.  Australia is known as the land “of drought and flooding rains” and we have learned the bitter lesson of not having adequate diversity of water sources during the tough times. … ”  Read more at the San Diego Union Tribune here:  Australia’s desal experience bodes well for California

Delta’s fate deserves a close look, says Andrew Watkins:  He writes, “The comment period for the governor’s twin tunnel project ended last month. From here, the administration is supposed to read all of the letters and address all of the substantive comments in a final environmental impact report.  The reason the process is set up this way is to ensure that concerns are addressed before a project moves forward. When it comes to California WaterFix, however, it seems as though the state is trying to hide and even ignore the concerns we have raised on this issue.  They have been trying to move forward with the project before an EIR is even completed. ... ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here:  Delta’s fate deserves a close look

El Nino should not bring an end to watering limits, says the LA Daily News: With some in these parts seemingly seeing every overnight drizzle as a harbinger of vast El Niño downpours, perhaps it’s understandable that Southern Californians dream of soon being freed from drought-induced watering restrictions.  But don’t get trigger-happy for power-washing down your driveway just yet. Or maybe ever.  No matter how much rain our state sees, even in occasional torrents, this winter season, the fact will remain that we live in a dry climate that on the whole is getting drier during the 21st century. … ”  Read more from the LA Daily News here:  El Nino should not bring an end to watering limits

Empower the Stockton region through the port, says Gene Bigler:  He writes, ” … We are at the very hub of the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta, and we are the home of the region’s major port. The area that surrounds the juncture we provide is one of the world’s great food exporting centers, and this should be at the core of our identity. We need to re-establish Stockton as the Great Food Port of the California Delta, indeed of the entire Pacific Coast of the Americas. Many counties produce the food, but we uniquely anchor the Delta and host its great riverine port. Do you think that Gov. Brown and the MWD would even try to undermine our Delta if its identity were actually linked to the enormous volume of food exports that the region produces? … ”  Read more here:  Empower the region through the port

weather 1Precipitation watch …

  • Next winter storm to arrive on Thursday:  “A cool, wet, windy storm system is on track to impact Northern California next Thursday. Compared to last week’s system, this one is likely to be a fair bit breezier, which could lead to some downed small trees and branches, along with local power outages.”

Posted on Maven’s Notebook over the long holiday weekend …

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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.

Maven’s Notebook
where California water news never goes home for the weekend

no weekends

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