Daily Digest: State Board to propose conservation changes; California wants to store water for farmers, but struggles over how to do it; Signs favor a wet winter; and more …

In California water news today, California regulators to propose conservation changes; California wants to store water for farmers, but struggles over how to do it; Signs favor a wet winter; Drought could help reveal secrets of the Sierra’s origins; Feds: Fix Colorado River problems or we will  …

In the news today …

California regulators to propose conservation changes: State regulators are expected to propose changes this week to California’s water conservation mandate that has required communities throughout the state to reduce use by 25 percent.  The move comes as California is in its driest four-year span on record, and officials anticipate a possible fifth year of drought. Weather forecasters say a strong El Nino weather system could drench the state, but one good year won’t be enough to rehydrate the parched landscape. ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  California regulators to propose conservation changes

California wants to store water for farmers, but struggles over how to do it:  “Californians suffering through the fourth year of a punishing drought have a new worry. With fierce storms predicted for the winter, they are bracing for floods by stockpiling sandbags and rushing to buy insurance.  Yet those who need water the most, farmers, are in a poor position to take advantage of any deluge. If El Niño floods pour into the Central Valley, the farmers will inevitably watch millions of gallons of water flow to the sea.  This state, forward-looking on other environmental issues, has been stymied for decades over how to upgrade its plumbing system, an immense but aging network of reservoirs and canals that move water from the mountainous north to the drier south. … ”  Read more from the New York Times here:  California wants to store water for farmers, but struggles over how to do it

Signs favor a wet winter: Californians hoping for an end to the drought have reason to remain optimistic: A new long-range forecast shows the state is likely to see higher-than-average precipitation through March.  The new forecast from the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center was released Thursday. It shows wet conditions are likely across virtually all of California in the coming months. The same is true for almost the entire southern tier of the United States, a typical result of a strong El Niño. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Weather update: Signs favor a wet winter

Drought could help reveal secrets of the Sierra’s origins:  “A few miles northeast of Fresno, Chris Pluhar walks through a field pockmarked with little holes. It’s dry, scrubby and surrounded by rolling brown hills. You’d never know that in a normal year, where he’s standing would be under 20 feet of water. It’s usually a part of Millerton Lake, a major but rapidly shrinking reservoir in the Sierra foothills.  “Rather than being in a lake, which is how it’s shown on the map, we’re standing in the middle of a grassland,” says Pluhar, who teaches geology at Fresno State University. “We were here about three weeks ago and since then, a few new islands have popped up.” … ”  Read more from KQED here:  Drought could help reveal secrets of the Sierra’s origins

Feds: Fix Colorado River problems or we will: For the second time in a decade, the feds are warning that if water interests in Arizona, California and Nevada can’t find a fix for the Colorado River’s problems, the interior secretary will find it for them.  Deputy Interior Secretary Michael Connor implied that was the department’s position in a talk Friday to hundreds of water officials, farmers and others gathered in Las Vegas for the 70th annual conference of the Colorado River Water Users Association. After his speech, Connor came right out and said it in response to a reporter’s questions. ... ”  Read more from the Arizona Star here:  Feds: Fix Colorado River problems or we will

Plenty more news and commentary in the weekend edition …

Precipitation watch …

From the National Weather Service: A series of weather systems will continue to impact the northern California region this week. Monday through Tuesday will see a warmer system with snow levels 5500-6500’. For Thursday through early Friday, a colder system will move through with snow levels 2000-3000’. New snow amounts will be 12-18” near pass levels on Monday – Tuesday and an additional 8-12” on Thursday – early Friday.  It’s going to be raining cats and dogs across the mountains of Northern California Monday, where upwards of 5 inches of rain (or liquid equivalent snow) will fall by Tuesday. Parts of the Valley should see healthy rain amounts as well.

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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