Daily Digest: How do we sustainably manage the Delta’s fish? New measurement regulation draws fire from Del Norte County; Mayoral candidate Steinberg advising Metropolitan; What California can learn from Israel about water; and more …

In California water news today, How do we sustainably manage the Delta’s fish? Water regulations:  California [measurement] mandate draws fire from Del Norte County; Sacramento candidate Steinberg advising major Southern California water district; What California can learn from Israel about water; Can scientists crack California’s drought?  For industry’s sake, let’s hope so; California reservoirs are full again: let the draining begin; Drought taking toll on Lake Lopez; Hardwick getting new well; City of Riverside to drop water lawsuit against state; Orange County fire chief opines on a fire season aggravated by drought; and more …

In the news today …

How do we sustainably manage the Delta’s fish?  “It’s no secret that the ecosystem of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is in rough shape, by many metrics. One of the most talked about, and controversial, subjects is the state of the delta’s native fish populations, including endangered salmon runs and delta smelt. Management to protect critical fish populations has meant curbing water exports from the delta, which support farms and cities farther south and west – a policy unpopular with many water users.  But is there a better way to do things?  Fisheries expert Peter Moyle, a distinguished professor emeritus in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology and associate director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California, Davis, has some ideas. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  How do we sustainably manage the Delta’s fish?

Water regulations:  California [measurement] mandate draws fire from Del Norte County:  “While the rest of California may still be struggling with drought, Del Norte County is not. And, that has some local officials questioning why the state wants to apply the same tighter water regulations here as elsewhere.  A new regulation requiring water diversion permit holders to monitor withdrawal beyond what they are currently doing — down to the acre-feet-per minute — is drawing fire from Del Norte County Supervisor Chris Howard and other stakeholders because new monitoring systems could cost thousands of dollars to install.  “Is it really necessary in a community where there has never been a drought?” asked Howard during a recent interview from his office at Alexandre Dairy. … ”  Read more from the Del Norte Triplicate here:  Water regulations:  California [measurement] mandate draws fire from Del Norte County

Sacramento candidate Steinberg advising major Southern California water district:Sacramento mayoral candidate Darrell Steinberg has worked since July as an adviser to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the massive agency that partly relies on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to serve more than 19 million south state residents.  Steinberg is the only person named as “key personnel” in the district’s contract with law firm Greenberg Traurig, where the former state Senate leader works, according to a copy of the contract obtained by The Sacramento Bee. His firm has been paid $90,000 since the contract began, at a rate of $10,000 a month, according to an invoice. ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Sacramento candidate Steinberg advising major Southern California water district

What California can learn from Israel about water:  “A postwar refugee exodus to Palestine made Israel in 1948. Then, Israel made water.  The new nation had to. Its population exploded, placing extreme demand on land and water resources. For the production of food, especially, efficient use of water, and producing more where resources lagged, were essential. Author Seth Siegel’s 2015 book “Let There Be Water” chronicles Israel’s role as a developer of water technology and innovation. He suggests that other arid economies look at Israel as a model and follow the young nation’s path toward water security. ... ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  What California can learn from Israel about water

Can scientists crack California’s drought?  For industry’s sake, let’s hope so: We are a thirsty nation. We consume nearly 1,500 gallons of water each day, with three-quarters of it going to supply industry and to create energy, as well as for food and fiber to feed the masses. The rest goes to homes and businesses. These practices are unsustainable in the long term, but in water-short California they’re already coming to a head. After several years of drought with little relief, the state and its electricity providers want to make sure there is enough water to keep industry humming, and to serve the agricultural industry. Possible?  Well, it has to be. But the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is working on a solution that tries to understand the balance between energy and water.  … ”  Read more from Environmental Leader here:  Can scientists crack California’s drought?  For industry’s sake, let’s hope so

California reservoirs are full again: let the draining begin: The perhaps not-so-secret nature of California’s major reservoirs — the big artificial lakes designed to impound floodwaters and snowmelt coursing down the state’s biggest rivers — is that they’re little more than big bathtubs. We depend on a beneficent nature to turn on the taps every winter and fill them. And we pull the plug every spring to drain them for use by farms and cities far away.  Drought, not very beneficent to us or to anything else that might depend on water, interrupts the cycle of filling and emptying. So, as we’ve documented over the past couple of years, the big reservoirs have tended to fill only partway up and then drain close to their historic lows. … “:  Read more from KQED here:  California reservoirs are full again: let the draining begin

Drought taking toll on Lake Lopez:  “Central Coast recreational lakes and reservoirs continue to dry up amid the ongoing drought. Park Rangers are preparing to close the boat ramp at Lake Lopez in San Luis Obispo County before July 4th due to water levels.  John Indorato of Carmel, Calif. experienced the falling water levels at Lake Lopez first hand as he was trying to get his boat out of the water. … ”  Read more from KEYT here:  Drought taking toll on Lake Lopez

Hardwick getting new well: Drought-slammed residents in the tiny Kings County community of Hardwick, northwest of Hanford, are finally witnessing what they hope will be a permanent solution to persistent water problems.  Construction is underway on a new well that residents hope will solve several water issues they’ve been suffering from.  “They’ve been working on [the problem] for quite a few years,” said Alvin Lea, a Hardwick Water Company director who lives in the town. “Finally something’s happening. People are happy that it’s finally getting done.” ... ”  Read more from the Hanford Sentinel here:  Hardwick getting new well

City of Riverside to drop water lawsuit against state: Shortly before a scheduled court hearing, the Riverside City Council agreed in closed session Tuesday, May 31, to direct the city attorney to drop a lawsuit over state-mandated emergency water conservation orders during the drought.  The city wants to dismiss its suit against the State Water Resources Control Board after board officials on May 18 set aside mandated water-savings targets throughout the state and agreed to allow suppliers like Riverside Public Utilities to set their own conservation goals, according to a statement released by utilities General Manager Girish Balachandran late Tuesday afternoon. … ”  Read more from the Riverside Press-Enterprise here:  City of Riverside to drop water lawsuit against state

Orange County fire chief opines on a fire season aggravated by drought:  “California has suffered at least 700 wildfires since the beginning of 2016, and that number is only expected to rise this summer. As drought conditions exacerbate and lengthen the region’s fire season—killing as many as 29 million trees—TPR turns to Orange County Fire Chief Jeff Bowman for insight into the pressures facing California’s urban fire departments, and the steps they are taking to meet the challenge of increasingly large fires. Bowman emphasizes that agencies must learn from past lessons.  California’s fire season seems every year to begin earlier and last longer. Share with our readers your responsibilities as County Fire Chief and how you are grappling with prolonged drought and the fire challenges of Orange County. ... ”  Read more from The Planning Report here:  Orange County fire chief opines on a fire season aggravated by drought

In commentary today …

Trump’s ‘no drought’? More lunacy from the apparent GOP nominee, says the San Jose Mercury News:  They write, “Thanks to a Fresno campaign stop late last week, Californians now know how a President Donald Trump would research and execute water policy.  And Americans, to the extent that they’re paying attention, can see how he’ll generally approach other matters — regional, national and international — that are important to them.  It’s pretty scary.  Talking to a group of Central Valley farmers, Trump declared, 1) “There is no drought,” and 2) “Even the environmentalists don’t know why” a minimum amount of water has to flow into the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta to protect the health of the waterway.  These are fact-free declarations. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Trump’s ‘no drought’? More lunacy from the apparent GOP nominee

Trump’s Potemkin drought:  The Santa Rosa Press Democrat writes, “The brown hills and dry forests? Must be an illusion. Empty reservoirs? Ditto. Like the drought itself, just part of a conspiracy hatched by environmentalists “to protect some kind of three-inch fish.” “There is no drought,” says Donald Trump, who promised Central Valley growers more water if he becomes president. “You have a water problem that is so insane. It is so ridiculous, where they’re taking water and shoving it out to sea.” ... ”  Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here:  Trump’s Potemkin drought

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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