Daily Digest: Business, water interests seek to increase bass limits to help salmon; Irrigators hope water supplies last through the season; Water efficiency credited for big almond crop during the drought; and more …

In California water news today, Business, water interests seek to increase bass limits to help salmon; Irrigators hope water supplies last through the season; Water efficiency credited for big almond crop during the drought; How much did your community conserve during California's year of water cuts?; IBM's Watson fed images to estimate water use efficiency in California; Low or no water conservation targets ‘shortsighted'; PG&E closes gas field in the Delta; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

Business, water interests seek to increase bass limits to help salmon:  “A group representing powerful statewide business and water interests has filed a petition to ease Sacramento River fishing regulations for striped bass, a predator fish some blame for the demise of chinook salmon.  The California Fish and Game Commission will consider the petition, which also includes changes to black bass regulations, during its meeting next month in Folsom.  The filing is the latest in an ongoing debate over striped bass, a non-native fish some say eat enormous amounts of young salmon in the Sacramento River and in the Delta as the little fish try to make it to the ocean. … ”  Read more from the Redding Record Searchlight here:  Business, water interests seek to increase bass limits to help salmon

Irrigators hope water supplies last through the season:  “The unpredictable water picture continues to worry farmers across the Pacific Northwest and California as they head into the heart of irrigation season. Water managers anxiously watch river and reservoir levels, yet overall the consensus that emerges seems to be: So far, so good.  “I’m very pleased with where we are compared to a year ago. That’s not to say we won’t have lower than normal flows in July and August but it can be managed and we will make it through,” said Jeff Marti, drought coordinator for the Washington Department of Ecology in Olympia. … ”  Read more from the Capital Press here:  Irrigators hope water supplies last through the season

Water efficiency credited for big almond crop during the drought: An almond industry group is crediting growers for their water efficiency while cultivating what is expected to be a big crop this year.  California’s 2016 almond production is expected to be 2.05 billion meat pounds, up from the 2 billion pounds projected in May and up nearly 8 percent from last year’s yields, reports the National Agricultural Statistics Service.  The agency cites several factors for the improved crop, including more precipitation and chill hours than last year and a quick and uniform almond blossom. … ”  Read more from the Capital Press here:  Water efficiency credited for big almond crop during the drought

How much did your community conserve during California's year of water cuts?A year ago, the State Water Resources Control Board ordered urban districts to meet conservation standards or face penalties. The board hoped to achieve 25 percent water savings statewide compared to 2013.  The results for the last year are in: Between June 2015 and May 2016, the state's urban users cut water use by 24.5 percent, including a 28 percent reduction in water use in May.  “We saved one drop in four,” said water board member Steven Moore. “That's a significant achievement in our state.” ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  How much did your community conserve during California’s year of water cuts?

IBM's Watson fed images to estimate water use efficiency in California:  “Few environmental limits are as obvious to people today as water availability. Particularly in drier climates, availability can be a pretty unforgiving equation. Even there, a family might pay less for water than for cell phones, but there is often a pretty complex system behind your tap that keeps it running.  The challenge of water availability rises beyond engineering. It becomes a delicate dance managing demand, forecasting supply, and sustaining ecosystems. Decisions have to be made based on information that is never complete, so any opportunity to obtain more useful information is liable to get a thirsty look from water managers. … ”  Read more from Ars Technica here:  IBM’s Watson fed images to estimate water use efficiency in California

Low or no water conservation targets ‘shortsighted': California water suppliers are increasingly shifting to voluntary conservation targets for their customers. And, some water experts say the move may be premature.  With dwindling water supplies, California moved to an emergency mandatory statewide water conservation target of 25 percent, compared to 2013 use.  But the State Water Resources Control Board ended those regulations in May. The May 2016 regulation, now in effect, started in June 2016 and continues through January 2017. … ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:  Low or no water conservation targets ‘shortsighted’

PG&E closes gas field in the Delta:  “Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has temporarily closed down its largest natural gas storage field, located beneath an island in the delta, after finding small leaks of the flammable fuel.  The move comes amid heightened concern about the safety of California’s underground gas storage fields following an immense, four-month leak just north of Los Angeles that forced the evacuation of a nearby neighborhood.  The leaks spotted by PG&E at its McDonald Island facility in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta appear to be far smaller. … ”  Read more from SF Gate here:  PG&E closes gas field in the Delta

In regional news and commentary today …

Latest Putah Creek project draws criticism in Winters:  “Several dozen locals filled the seats at the Winters Community Center last week at what was billed as a public comment meeting about the Lower Putah Creek Restoration Project. The project would extend similar work to what’s been done in Winters to a 24-mile stretch of the creek from the Lake Solano area to East Davis.  A Solano County Water Agency representative said the project would create a more natural meander and depth for Putah Creek, which diminished in flow by 90 percent after the construction of the Monticello Dam. (The creek channel remained just as large after the dam’s construction, only with far less water flowing through.) ... ”  Read more from Davis Enterprise here:  Latest Putah Creek project draws criticism in Winters

Fresno: Brand, Perea exchange barbs over water:  “Widespread concern in northeast Fresno about rusty water that can contain elevated levels of lead is the latest issue in the Fresno mayor's race, while the city continues to maintain that its water is safe to drink.  Speaking in separate events within minutes of each other, mayoral candidates Lee Brand and Henry Perea exchanged comments today about the city's response to the problem, both past and present.  ... ”  Read more from Valley Public Radio here:  Brand, Perea exchange barbs over water

Kern County: Progress report on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act:  “California is being pulled, kicking and screaming to the point of becoming the last state in the western U.S. to regulate its groundwater resources.  Legislation passed in 2014 sets the stage for an unprecedented effort to balance our groundwater supplies with demand.  Thursday in Bakersfield, growers and water managers received a progress report on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which promises to be a game-changer down on the farm. … ”  Read more from Channel 17 here:  Progress report on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

In commentary today …

It will take new reservoirs to meet state's growing water needs:  “These past few years have shown us just how bad California’s water situation can be when the rain doesn’t fall in the Valley and the snow doesn’t accumulate in the mountains.  A lack of precipitation in the Central Valley means reduced water allocations for farmers and a greater demand on groundwater supplies. The fallout is a sluggish economy, a loss of jobs and an increased number of dry wells.  Face it – California has pretty severe weather cycles. … ”  Read more from Modesto Bee here:  It will take new reservoirs to meet state’s growing water needs

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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