Daily Digest: Farmers describe implications of flood rules; El Nino rains added fuel to California’s fire season, experts say; The data center powering California’s water management; and more …

In California water news today, Farmers describe implications of flood rules; El Nino rains added fuel to California’s fire season, experts say;The data center powering California’s water management; Australia plans to eliminate invasive carp from the Murray-Darling basin; Marysville council rescinds resolution in conflict over GSAs; Stockton: Conservation continues in the face of the rate hike; Merced: Group wants peek at Foster Farms water bill; and more …

In the news today …

Farmers describe implications of flood rules:  “Remapping of flood-prone areas along the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers has serious implications for the future of agriculture and rural communities, including expensive and conflicting regulations, according to farmers who took federal, state and local officials on a tour of Sacramento Valley farms.  In some cases, complying with building ordinances for an expansion or new construction project could mean lifting large agricultural buildings 20 feet off the ground, or building structures within structures to ensure certain areas remain dry during a flood. ... ”  Read more from Ag Alert here:  Farmers describe implications of flood rules

El Nino rains added fuel to California’s fire season, experts say:  “As he drove east of Fresno to the next Wildfire Awareness Week event in Kern County on Wednesday, Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott turned his gaze toward the browning landscape.  “I’m looking at grass that’s 2 feet tall easily, and it’s already dead,” Pimlott said.  Meanwhile, far away in the southern and central Sierra Nevada, foliage on 29 million trees infested with bark beetles are turning orange and red and dying, with countless more stretching north toward Sacramento expected to meet a similar fate over the next year. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  El Nino rains added fuel to California’s fire season, experts say

The data center powering California’s water management:  “In California, water management is a big deal, and the IT infrastructure at the California Department of Water Resources needed a major refresh.  Managing the state’s entire water delivery system requires CDWR to coordinate data across federal, state and local government organizations, run environmental impact studies and provide customer service. CDWR, however, had limited data sharing and recovery abilities, which affected security and operational and decision making processes.  CDWR opted for a software-defined data center to support the 33 departments of its parent agency, the California Natural Resources Agency, which was looking to speed the deployment of business systems and automate processes and security measures. ... ”  Read more from GCN here:  The data center powering California’s water management

Australia plans to eliminate invasive carp from the Murray-Darling basin:  “Officials in Australia are calling it “Carpageddon”, an ambitious proposal to rid the country’s longest river system—the Murray-Darling—of invasive common carp. Lawmakers this week announced $AUD 15 million in funding to move forward with plans to use a virus that specifically targets and kills the carp. They hope that the invaders’ demise will allow struggling native fish populations to rebound. The funds will support further research into the virus and the development of a strategy to release it into the river by the end of 2018.  … Anglers and fish farmers introduced common carp to the Murray-Darling in the early 1900s, and widespread flooding in the 1970s helped them proliferate throughout the basin.  … ”  Read more from Circle of Blue here:  Australia plans to eliminate invasive carp from the Murray-Darling basin

In commentary today …

The crucial work of restoring Delta habitat is accelerating:  “As promised a year ago, the state is at work restoring wildlife habitat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh, with six projects targeted for groundbreaking in 2016.  Through the Natural Resources Agency’s California EcoRestore program, state, federal and local interests are restoring tidal wetlands, blocking salmon from straying into dead-end irrigation channels and reconnecting rivers to their floodplains.  In all, the program aims to start restoration of 30,000 acres of habitat in the Delta over the next three years to support the long-term health of native fish and wildlife. ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  The crucial work of restoring Delta habitat is accelerating

In regional news and commentary today …

Marysville council rescinds resolution in conflict over GSAs:  “Marysville City Council members unanimously voted Tuesday to rescind a resolution in support of the Yuba County Water Agency’s proposal to modify the boundary of the North Yuba Subbasin along the Yuba-Butte county line.  The council is angling to gain leverage in a conflict about overlapping Groundwater Sustainability Agency maps.  The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act went into effect Jan. 1, 2015, and required local GSAs be formed to develop a groundwater management plan in response to California’s extended drought and groundwater overdraft problems in other parts of the state. … ”  Read more from the Appeal Democrat here:  Marysville council rescinds resolution in conflict over GSAs

Stockton: Conservation continues in the face of the rate hike:  “News of a drought-related water rate increase proposed for Stockton Municipal Utilities Department customers doesn’t seem to have diminished their desire to conserve.  Stockton MUD customers saved 38 percent in March 2016 compared with March 2013, according to new state data, mirroring a trend across California as water conservation efforts improved that month.  When news of the proposed water rate hike broke in February, some residents were angry that they were being asked to pay more for water because they had been good citizens and used less of it during the drought. Some suggested on social media or in public meetings that they would no longer be so careful to conserve water, if a rate hike was their reward. ... ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here:  Stockton: Conservation continues in the face of the rate hike

Merced: Group wants peek at Foster Farms water bill:  “An animal rights group has demanded water-use details from a Central Valley town where Foster Farms slaughters and processes poultry, saying residents suffer through drought restrictions that don’t apply to the chicken giant.  Animal Legal Defense Fund asked a Merced County Superior Court judge to order the city of Livingston to release its water-use data, calling the town of 13,000 “the worst-performing city in California in terms of the state standards” even though residents have severely restricted their water usage.  Foster Farms is not a party to the petition. … ”  Read more from the Courthouse News here:  Group wants peek at Foster Farms water bill

Oakdale Irrigation District wins first round in lawsuit over water sales, fallowed land:  “A judge declined Wednesday to halt the Oakdale Irrigation District’s evolving plan to idle some farmland and sell water not needed for that land.  The district has not revealed – to the public or its own board of directors – how its fallowing program has changed, other than to say that previous prospective buyers no longer are involved.  Attorney Osha Meserve accused OID of “mixing and matching and a little fancy dancing,” and urged Stanislaus Superior Court Judge Timothy Salter to have the district clarify its intent. ... ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here:  Oakdale Irrigation District wins first round in lawsuit over water sales, fallowed land

Santa Barbara: Lake Cachuma faces depletion by year’s end: Lake Cachuma, the county’s main reservoir, could be at its lowest water level in history by the end of the summer and fully exhausted by the end of the year.  The new developments were revealed Tuesday by Tom Fayram, Santa Barbara County’s deputy director of water resources, during a presentation before the Board of Supervisors proclaiming May as Water Awareness Month.  “We’re not quite to the lowest point that we’ve been in history, which is just before the March Miracle in 1991, but we will be there after this summer,” Fayram said. “We will reach the lowest level that Cachuma has ever been since its construction in the 1950s.” … ”  Read more from the Lompoc Record here:  Santa Barbara: Lake Cachuma faces depletion by year’s end

Drought-ridden LA tries rainmakers to tap storm clouds: Los Angeles has officially stopped trying to make it rain—for now. During three separate storms in the past two months, contract workers for the L.A. County Department of Public Works ignited 25 special flares in the hills above Pasadena, sending columns of glittering smoke into the clouds to give them a literal silver lining that could boost precipitation.  The efforts mark the first time since 2002 that the parched metropolis has seeded clouds in an attempt to enhance rainfall; it is currently enduring a nearly five-year-long drought with this winter’s rainfall at just 40 percent of the usual amount. … ”  Read more from Scientific American here:  Drought-Ridden L.A. Tries Rainmakers to Tap Storm Clouds

Borrego Springs water crisis begins and ends with farming: The water crisis in Borrego Springs is as simple to understand as it will be difficult to solve.  At the crux is farming.  Citrus and palm ranches in northern Borrego Springs are sucking huge amounts of water from the underground lake beneath their land — far more than the state is likely to allow in the future.  The problem: Borrego Springs, home to about 3,000 permanent residents in the desert of northeast San Diego County, has no feasible way to import water. It completely relies on an underground aquifer that on average is replenished by nature each year to the tune of about 1.8 billion gallons. ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Borrego Springs water crisis begins and ends with farming

Precipitation watch …

Showers and thunderstorms today:  From the National Weather Service: “Closed low pressure system will cause an unstable atmosphere for the rest of this week. Expect showers and thunderstorms to develop each day into the weekend. Today and Friday will likely be the most active so keep you eyes on the sky and stay sheltered if thunderstorms develop.”

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.

 

One Response

  1. Jack

    I wonder if at sometime in the future flood control will be considered a disaster for the Ca. water basins like fire suppression has been for the forests.

    Reply

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