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Daily Digest: As water agencies declare end to restrictions, is it too soon?; Agencies to coordinate flood and habitat projects in the Yolo Bypass; and more …

In California water news today, California drought: Too soon to end mandatory conservation?; Agencies to coordinate flood and habitat projects in the Yolo Bypass; Quadcopter 4 shows Sonoma County vineyards amid drought; With reservoirs nearly full, EBMUD declares drought emergency over; Turlock City Council approves sale of recycled water; Hanford: Local groundwater recharge project finished; Plan to sell Mojave water survives court challenges; Southern California wholesaler ends drought cutbacks; San Diego officials are banking on a water-frugal future; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors will hold a public forum tonight on water from 5:30 to 7:00 pm at the San Joaquin County Administration Building in Stockton. The forum will offer presentations on the County’s positions on a variety of pivotal water issues including the Delta tunnels, Eco Restore, the County’s shared lawsuit against Metropolitan for the purchase of Delta islands, flood control and levees, and other takeaways from the County’s involvement in Regional Water and Delta Agencies.  Click here for more information.

In the news today …

California drought: Too soon to end mandatory conservation? A water scientist says California could be managing its water resources – above and below ground – together.  Jay Famiglietti is a Senior Water Scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena and a Professor of Earth System Science at UC Irvine.  Famiglietti says California manages surface and groundwater separately, but that’s not the best way to do it. “Another aspect that we have to think very carefully about is managing our surface water and our groundwater jointly rather than as independent entities,” says Famiglietti.  … ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:  California drought: Too soon to end mandatory conservation?

Agencies to coordinate flood and habitat projects in the Yolo Bypass:  “Fifteen branches of federal, state, and local government have agreed to work together on planning and projects in the Yolo Bypass and Cache Slough region in order to restore wildlife habitat, better manage floods, preserve farmland, improve water supply and quality, and provide economic development and recreation.  This partnership, formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding signed this month, will provide strategic input on the implementation of projects that include strengthening and setting back levees, removing barriers to fish passage, sustaining agricultural operations, and making it easier for salmon to rear on the Sacramento River floodplain, according to spokeswoman Nancy Vogel. … ”  Read more from the Daily Democrat here:  Agencies to coordinate flood and habitat projects in the Yolo Bypass

Quadcopter 4 shows Sonoma County vineyards amid drought:  “It is four years into California’s drought, and vineyards across the Bay Area continue to harvest grapes and pump out wine.  Growers tell KRON the challenges are real. This week, KRON took Quadcopter 4 to Sonoma County to get an up-close look at the vineyards, one month into growing season.  We are just one month into the growing season, so we’re not seeing grapes just yet, but the vines are growing. ... ”  Read more from KRON Channel 4 here:  Quadcopter 4 shows Sonoma County vineyards amid drought

With reservoirs nearly full, EBMUD declares drought emergency over: Nearly full reservoirs and a return to normal rain and snow patterns mean that the water emergency in the East Bay is over, the East Bay Municipal Utility District has decided.  On a 7-0 vote, the board ruled on Tuesday that water supply levels were “normal,” suspended water rationing and also dropped the 25 percent drought surcharge on water bills, effective July 1.  “We want to thank our customers and staff,” said board president Frank Mellon. “We asked customers to cut back 20 percent. Our community stepped up and exceeded those goals.” ... ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  With reservoirs nearly full, EBMUD declares drought emergency over

Turlock City Council approves sale of recycled water:The city will sell recycled wastewater to West Side farmers under an agreement approved Tuesday night.  The Turlock City Council voted 5-0 for the deal with the Del Puerto Water District, which has had drastic cutbacks in its federal supply.  Turlock and Modesto will provide highly treated water from their sewage plants to the district, which serves about 45,000 acres along Interstate 5 from Vernalis to Santa Nella. An interim project could be operating by summer, and the long-term system could be ready by 2018. … ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here:  Turlock City Council approves sale of recycled water

Hanford: Local groundwater recharge project finished:  “Coca-Cola, Laguna Irrigation District and other partners have announced the completion of a groundwater recharge project for farmland between Laton and Naval Air Station Lemoore.  The project, located in Kings and Fresno counties, is slated to put an average of 2,600 acre-feet of water back into the ground annually.  The cooperative venture was first proposed in 2013. It received a major boost when the California Department of Water Resources announced a $906,000 seed grant for the project in February 2014. ... ”  Read more from the Hanford Sentinel here:  Hanford: Local groundwater recharge project finished

Plan to sell Mojave water survives court challenges:  “A company’s proposal to pump billions of gallons of water from a Mojave Desert aquifer has survived a legal fight as an appeals court rejected several challenges by opponents of the plan.  In six rulings, California’s 4th District Court of Appeal upheld earlier decisions backing a state environmental review. Cadiz Inc. praised the rulings, which were issued on Tuesday, as a step toward a project that would pump enough groundwater to supply about 400,000 people. … ”  Read more from The Desert Sun here: Plan to sell Mojave water survives court challenges

Southern California wholesaler ends drought cutbacks:  “Southern California’s water wholesaler for cities and districts serving 19 million people will see water deliveries restored to their previous levels in another sign that the state’s deep drought is easing.  The Metropolitan Water District, which sells imported water to more than two dozen local agencies including Los Angeles, last year slashed regional deliveries by 15 percent.  On Tuesday, 10 months after the cuts took effect, the MWD voted to rescind them. ... ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Southern California wholesaler ends drought cutbacks

San Diego officials are banking on a water-frugal future:  “Looking into a crystal ball a decade ago, San Diego water officials expected dramatically rising demand for water. The region would be using 242 billion gallons of water a year by 2015, they thought.  They were wrong.  In reality, the recession hit and growth stalled. Droughts came and Californians learned to save water. San Diegans are using far less water than expected – just 176 billion gallons last year. ... ”  Read more from the Voice of San Diego here:  San Diego officials are banking on a water-frugal future

In commentary today …

So the drought has you watering less? It won’t matter much:  George Skelton writes, “Gov. Jerry Brown wants to forbid you from hosing down the driveway. And he is really cranky about lawn watering.  But corporate agriculture is free to plant all the water-gulping nut orchards it desires, even in a semi-desert.  This is the essence of the governor’s new long-term drought policy that he announced Monday.  Brown intends to make permanent some urban water conservation rules that had been temporary. He also plans to give communities more flexibility to decide how much water they should save, depending on local conditions. But it’s basically hands off agriculture. … ”  Continue reading at the LA Times here:  So the drought has you watering less? It won’t matter much

Video: The solution to California’s drought: A free market in water:  “”If you’re going to be serious about using markets to allocate water, the first thing you have to do is let the market determine the price,” says Reed Watson, the executive director at the Property and Environment Research Center, or PERC, a nonprofit think tank is based in Bozeman, Montana.  If California wants to ease the effects of its drought, Watson says, government should get out of the way and leave resource allocation to the market. “You have to have markets that actually work, that allow competing users to resolve their competition amicably and efficiently.“” Watch the 6 minute video from Reason here:  The solution to California’s drought: A free market in water

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.

 

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