Daily Digest, weekend edition: The supercomputer that won Jeopardy is now helping California save water; Water, water still is scarce, except for the rich; Judge upholds major provisions of complex Delta Plan; and more

In California water news this weekend, The supercomputer that won Jeopardy is now helping California save water; Water, water still is scarce, except for the rich; Judge upholds major provisions of complex Delta management plan; Shasta County no longer listed in drought; now ‘abnormally dry’; Eel River Recovery Project helps relocate frogs ahead of Benbow dam removal; Recharge basin in Fresno County made to renew groundwater supplies; Santa Clarita: If Newhall Ranch is built, where will the water come from? and more …

In the news this weekend …

The supercomputer that won Jeopardy is now helping California save water:  “IBM’s Watson is pitching in to tackle California’s drought.  The supercomputer, which may be best known for destroying human opponents in games like Jeopardy and Go, has been enlisted by environmental consulting firm OmniEarth to track water use across California.  OmniEarth announced the partnership on Friday. But for over a month, the company has been tapping into Watson’s computing power to scan satellite and aerial images of California’s lush valleys and barren deserts to figure out how Californians are using their dwindling water reserves. … ”  Read more from the Huffington Post here:  The supercomputer that won Jeopardy is now helping California save water

Water, water still is scarce, except for the rich: El Niño came to California, and now the state has been saved of its five-year drought––or at least some parts have. In the north, the boats in Lake Oroville and Lake Shasta no longer run the risk of beaching themselves on lake beds that had started to looked like open-pit mines of rock. But in the south, in San Diego, Riverside, Los Angeles, and the many small towns surrounding, it’s another dry summer, as more than 70 percent of the California is still in severe drought.  That’s the duality Governor Jerry Brown mentioned when he asked the state’s water-regulatory board 10 days ago to end statewide water restrictions.  … ”  Read more from the Atlantic here:  Water, water still is scarce, except for the rich

Judge upholds major provisions of complex Delta management plan:  “A judge has upheld major provisions of a state plan that lays out a long-term strategy for managing the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, rejecting most complaints included in a cluster of long-standing lawsuits.  But in a ruling Wednesday, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael P. Kenny also found that some aspects of the plan are inadequate, raising fresh questions about Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial $15.5 billion plan to build two tunnels through the estuary. ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Judge upholds major provisions of complex Delta management plan

Shasta County no longer listed in drought; now ‘abnormally dry’:  “For the first time in more than three years, the U.S. Drought Monitor this week removed almost all of Shasta and Siskiyou counties from the drought categories, classifying them as “abnormally dry,” though most of California remains parched.  The report, released Thursday, lists most of the rest of the state as still in a drought. That includes southeast Shasta County, Tehama County and much of Trinity County, as well as the valley and foothills of Northern California, which are in the moderate drought category. ... ”  Read more from the Redding Record Searchlight here:  Shasta County no longer listed in drought; now ‘abnormally dry’

Eel River Recovery Project helps relocate frogs ahead of Benbow dam removal:  “On Sunday, May 1, Eel River Recovery Project volunteers assisted Dr. Sara Kupferberg in relocating yellow-legged frog eggs along the South Fork Eel River near the Benbow Dam foundations.  The dam abutments are scheduled for removal starting in June 2016, by the North Coast Redwoods District of the California State Parks Department.  Kupferberg’s work is to make sure that there are no yellow-legged frog tadpoles when deconstruction begins, due to permit requirements of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. ... ”  Read more from the Ukiah Daily Journal here:  Eel River Recovery Project helps relocate frogs ahead of Benbow dam removal

Recharge basin in Fresno County made to renew groundwater supplies: A 52-acre earthen pool in south Fresno County could become a key part of replenishing depleted groundwater supplies in the drought-stricken region.  Unveiled Friday, the Laguna Irrigation District groundwater recharge project will direct flood water from the nearby Kings River and add approximately 2,600 acre-feet, or nearly 850 million gallons of water, a year to the aquifer.  Project organizers say that is enough water to irrigate about 1,300 acres of farmland. ... ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here:  Recharge basin in Fresno County made to renew groundwater supplies

Santa Clarita: If Newhall Ranch is built, where will the water come from? Shovels remain thrust into the earth and bulldozers sit idle on ground earmarked for 21,000 Newhall Ranch homes in the Santa Clarita Valley as lawyers wrangle over the latest court-contested environmental concerns that have sidelined the project for years.  Whether construction is delayed 18 months, two years or indefinitely, many Santa Clarita Valley residents are asking: Where’s the water for Newhall Ranch coming from? … ”  Read more from the Santa Clarita Signal here:  If Newhall Ranch is built, where will the water come from?

In commentary this weekend …

California’s ‘historic’ drought isn’t history just yet, says the Sacramento Bee:  They write, “Remember that “historic” drought? The one that erased snow from the Sierra and was turning the Central Valley into a dusty bowl?  Remember how it was supposed to be permanent? How all Californians need to forever change the wasteful ways we use water because most of the state is, in fact, a desert?  We remember. We’re not sure about the State Water Resources Control Board and some local water agencies, though. … ” Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  California’s ‘historic’ drought isn’t history just yet

And lastly …

Whimsical distillery creates vodka made using real California fog … click here for more from Mashable.

Precipitation watch …

Unsettled weather continues:  From the National Weather Service:  “An upper level low pressure system will continue to bring unsettled weather and cool conditions today across northern California. Chances for showers and thunderstorms are expected Sunday for locations north of I-80. Light snow accumulations of less than half an inch are possible for the highest elevations of the Sierra today. Stormy weather will continue for the beginning of the work week.”

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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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