Daily Digest: Hearings begin on Delta tunnels; Klamath Basin stakeholders seek to resurrect water sharing agreements; Latest algae bloom in Discovery Bay threatens way of life; and more …

In California water news today,Remedy or boondoggle? Hearings launch on Delta tunnels proposal; Twin tunnels hearing: Diverse voices in latest fight over Delta ‘fix’; Federal, state leaders pitch for Delta tunnels; Agencies offer grants and loans for water projects;  After the dams come down: Klamath Basin stakeholders seek to resurrect water sharing agreements; Settlement reached in dispute over Yuba County Water Agency election procedures; Latest algae bloom in Discovery Bay threatens way of life; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

Remedy or boondoggle? Hearings launch on Delta tunnels proposal: Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to build twin tunnels beneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta was hailed Tuesday as the long-awaited salvation for the damaged estuary and California’s shaky water delivery network. It also was lambasted as a nightmarish boondoggle that would rob water from Northern California and bring more environmental harm to the Delta itself.  And that was just Day 1.  Known as California WaterFix, the tunnels project effectively went on trial as a key state agency began months of formal hearings on details of the $15.5 billion proposal. ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Remedy or boondoggle? Hearings launch on Delta tunnels proposal

Twin tunnels hearing: Diverse voices in latest fight over Delta ‘fix’: The first day of a months-long hearing that could determine the fate of the controversial twin tunnels provided no answers on Tuesday — nor was it expected to.  But dozens of comments made by citizens, activist groups and water agencies showed just how divided the state is on the proposed $15 billion Delta “fix.”  Tuesday’s testimony before the State Water Resources Control Board also revealed how diverse the Stockton-area opposition to the project has become. The tunnels are no longer a battleground solely for farmers and environmentalists of the old peripheral canal days. … ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here:  Twin tunnels hearing: Diverse voices in latest fight over Delta ‘fix’

Federal, state leaders pitch for Delta tunnels:  “Representatives of California Gov. Jerry Brown and the Obama administration began making their pitch for approval Tuesday to build a pair of massive water tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.  They propose building the tunnels — each four stories high and running 35 miles long — to send Sacramento River water south to millions of residents and vast farmland in dry regions of the state. The project is estimated to cost of $15.7 billion.  Backers face opposition, however, from delta-area communities and farmers, who fear it will further degrade the hub of California’s water system without producing more water for the drought-parched state. ... ”  Read more from SF Gate here:  Federal, state leaders pitch for Delta tunnels

Hearings begin on Delta tunnels project: Water regulators have begun public hearings on California Governor Jerry Brown’s $15 billion twin tunnel project, known as California Waterfix. The project aims to provide a more reliable water supply for millions of Californians.  The public hearings that began Tuesday at the State Water Resources Control Board are supposed to be narrow in focus – the board must determine whether building three new water intakes on the Sacramento River would harm other water users or the environment. ... ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:  Hearings begin on Delta tunnels project

Agencies offer grants and loans for water projects:  “Rural communities struggling with failing wells, poor water quality and other drought-related problems have lots of opportunities to pay for new projects, agency representatives told local officials during a meeting here.  The State Water Resources Control Board and six other state and federal agencies are urging local leaders to seek grants and loans for projects related to drinking water, wastewater, water quality, water supply, energy and water use efficiency and flood control. ... ”  Read more from the Capital Press here:  Agencies offer grants and loans for water projects

After the dams come down: Klamath Basin stakeholders seek to resurrect water sharing agreements:  “For thousands of Oregon and California ranchers and farmers who rely on Klamath River Basin water, their primary concern is not whether dams will be removed, but what happens afterward.  “We’re still trying to find some solution that will get us in a better place,” Klamath Falls area cattle rancher and grain farmer Luther Horsley said. “Everybody is still concerned about what happens when the dams come out and when the new fish species are reintroduced into the region. Any regulatory burdens that are put on the irrigators are also a concern.”  How to resolve decades of water rights disputes, keep power rates affordable and ensure there is enough water for crops, cattle, and federally protected fish in the basin were issues thought to have been resolved in a series of agreements drafted nearly six years ago, which also included a dam removal proposal. … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here:  After the dams come down: Klamath Basin stakeholders seek to resurrect water sharing agreements

Officials warn of toxic algae in North Coast rivers, lakes: Sunscreen, hats and insect repellent aren’t enough. Add awareness of toxic algae to the arsenal of defensive tools people should have when heading to rivers and lakes for summer fun.  State Water Resources Control Board officials issued a warning last week for the North Coast, noting that high temperatures and continuing drought conditions increase the likelihood of potentially lethal algal blooms in area streams, rivers and lakes. Blue green algae, actually a cyanobacteria that gets its energy from photosynthesis and has a plantlike appearance, was responsible for three dog deaths in Sonoma and Mendocino counties last year. ... ”  Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here:  Officials warn of toxic algae in North Coast rivers, lakes

Settlement reached in dispute over Yuba County Water Agency election procedures:  “A settlement was reached in the legal battle involving a proposed groundwater initiative that could restructure the distribution of millions of dollars in water transfer revenues, according to the Yuba County Water Agency.  Agency directors this month approved the settlement agreement with the county’s registrar of voters and the five initiative proponents to end a lawsuit over the administration of the initiative.  The board also introduced a new elections ordinance to establish clear elections procedures for any future YCWA ordinance and for the two non-county supervisors who serve on YCWA’s board. Adoption of the ordinance is scheduled for Aug. 9. ... ”  Read more from the Appeal-Democrat here:  Settlement reached in dispute over Yuba County Water Agency election procedures

Latest algae bloom in Discovery Bay threatens way of life:  “Shannon Sandbank and her family moved to Discovery Bay last year for the same reason everybody does: to soak up life on the water.  The community east of Brentwood was created in the 1960s on man-made islands that finger through a bay that was once delta farmland, with many homes featuring boat docks in their resort-like backyards.  But dreams of Jet Skis and human cannonballs have been put on hold by a nasty bout of algae that has dramatically worsened in recent weeks — an unwelcome and possibly harmful intrusion that scientists say marks the latest in a string of troubling algal blooms in California and across the nation. … ”  Read more from SF Gate here:  Latest algae bloom in Discovery Bay threatens way of life

Discovery Bay residents warned to avoid contact with the water: Stay away from the water.  Contra Costa County health officials are warning Discovery Bay residents to avoid coming into contact with water in the area after field tests showed that it contains blue-green algae.  The bacteria can cause a variety of ailments, including rashes and other allergic reactions, skin and eye irritation and an upset stomach. Exposure to high levels can lead to serious illnesses and even death, according to the California Department of Public Health. ... ”  Read more from the East Bay Times here:  Discovery Bay residents warned to avoid contact with the water

Dublin: Despite drought, mega water park moves ahead:  “While residents are being asked to reduce water use by 10 percent in Dublin in the face of a state emergency, the city is making rapid progress on its $36 million aquatics park that is scheduled to open in less than nine months.  The 31,000 square-foot aquatics center, set to be completed in February, will use about 480,000 gallons of water to fill its multiple pools, slides and splashy playground. At the height of the drought last year that prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state emergency, Dublin residents flooded City Hall with requests to nix or scale back the project, which was approved in February 2015. ... ”  Read more from the East Bay Times here:  Dublin: Despite drought, mega water park moves ahead

Deep water desalination proposed in Monterey Bay: Backers of a new Monterey Bay desalination project think they have found a fix for the environmental problems posed by most seawater intakes: Instead of drawing seawater from the beach, they plan to draw from the one of the world’s deepest marine canyons.  The Deep Water Desal project is proposed at Moss Landing, exactly midway along the curving shore of Monterey Bay. As such, it may be ideally positioned to serve the chronic water shortages affecting the region. Cities from Santa Cruz to Monterey are plagued with long-time water problems, including overdrafted groundwater, diminishing surface water and a lack of storage reservoirs. The region also has no access to the State Water Project, a key source of imported water for many Californian communities. ... ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Deep water desalination proposed in Monterey Bay

In commentary today …

Twin tunnels uncertainty is our best hope, says the Chico Enterprise-Record:  They write, “The State Water Resources Control Board started hearings Tuesday on Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial “twin tunnels” proposal, but that non-elected board’s decision isn’t really the critical one.  The proposal to bore two 40-foot diameter tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is being officially billed as the “California Water Fix,” although you won’t hear anyone north of the delta call it that.  The pipes would draw water out of the Sacramento River where it enters the delta from the north, and deliver it directly to the pumps to the south that send the water on to the San Joaquin Valley, Southern California, and some Bay Area water districts. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Twin tunnels uncertainty is our best hope

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

July update on the Water Storage Investment Program

 

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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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