Daily Digest, weekend edition: Abundance to absence, California’s history told through its water; Is fire retardant harmful to wildlife? Some say yes; Benefits for wildlife flow from San Clemente Dam removal; and more …

Sunset near Lake Isabella
In California water news this weekend, Abundance to absence, California’s history told through its water; Is fire retardant harmful to wildlife?  Some say yes; Spring-run Chinook salmon highlighted in Chico symposium; Woodland/Davis:  Locals celebrate water project’s opening; Airbnb helps showcase the Delta; Benefits for wildlife flow from San Clemente Dam removal; Extra long pipeline in place to bring water from Lake Cachuma to the South Coast; Algal bloom forces Lake Elsinore closure; and more …

In the news this weekend …

Abundance to absence, California’s history told through its water: The leading hypothesis on the origin of the word “California” is that Spanish colonists named their discovery of what is now the peninsula of Baja California after a mythical island in a 16th-century romance novel. The island of Calafia was full of gold, populated by Amazons who controlled an army of griffins. And so, from first European contact, California was steeped in mythology and romanticism, a fitting story for a land now defined by theme parks, Hollywood and agricultural abundance. ... ”  Read more from KQED here:  Abundance to absence, California’s history told through its water

Is fire retardant harmful to wildlife?  Some say yes:  “The five hillside homes in Stevenson Ranch resemble the board game Candyland. Brown roofs were turned bright pink. Green shrubs became cotton-candy-colored ornamentals. White patios, sidewalks and stucco walls took on a pinkish hue.  At Gary Fortner’s home, in addition to having a pink house, the swimming pool looked like it was pranked, turning the color of raspberry Jell-O. Pool man Donal Arana had just finished scooping out blobs of the red fire retardant that sank to the bottom more than a week after an errant drop by firefighting airplanes. … ”  Read more from the Riverside Press-Enterprise here:  Is fire retardant harmful to wildlife?  Some say yes

Spring-run Chinook salmon highlighted in Chico symposium:  “Folks who work to help fish were in Chico this week to share ideas and the latest research on the spring-run chinook salmon. The threatened fish has dwindled to just a few hundred on higher elevation streams such as Deer and Mill Creek, (read recent story here: http://tinyurl.com/zhl7upt). In comparison, the numbers for the same fish are in the thousands along Butte Creek.  More than 100 fisheries scientists and people who work in fish restoration attended the Spring-run Chinook Symposium in Chico, with talks in an air-conditioned meeting hall and field trips to hot locations key to the threatened fish’s survival. ... ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Spring-run Chinook salmon highlighted in Chico symposium

Woodland/Davis:  Locals celebrate water project’s opening: More than 200 residents and local leaders celebrated the Woodland-Davis Surface Water Project Thursday morning in a ribbon-cutting ceremony that completed a decades-long effort to create a new water plant. The $279 million plant began deliveries this June, largely replacing the cities’ historic groundwater resources with fresh, filtered water taken from the Sacramento River. $131 million of that was paid for jointly by the cities of Davis and Woodland. … ”  Read more from the Davis Enterprise here:  Locals celebrate water project’s opening

Airbnb helps showcase the Delta:  “The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is regarded by tourism officials as one of the city’s best assets. Now, thanks to Airbnb, there’s a new way to showcase it.  Wendy Foulks and her husband, Tom, use Airbnb to rent their yacht, The Island Oasis, so people from outside the area can experience the Delta.  They fell in love with the Delta after moving to San Joaquin County in 1992.  “The Delta is such a treasure, and Stockton is such a gem,” said Wendy Foulks. “It’s a river city. It’s got so much going for it that we just don’t make the most of it. We don’t advertise it. So this gives people a way of finding out about it.” ... ”  Read more from the Central Valley Business Journal here:  Airbnb helps showcase the Delta

Benefits for wildlife flow from San Clemente Dam removal:  “After 16 years of perseverance, and just one day before her retirement this summer, Joyce Ambrosius of NOAA Fisheries stood on the bank of the Carmel River with the many partners and her co-workers responsible for the removal of San Clemente Dam and marveled at the newly restored waterway.  “It’s fabulous, it is absolutely fabulous!” she said of the largest dam removal project in California’s history.  “I think the great thing about this project is that we had a really amazing group of people working together to get it completed.”  Amazing indeed. Removal of the 106-foot high San Clemente Dam restored 25 miles of spawning and rearing habitat for South Central California coast steelhead, a distinct population segment of fish listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2006. … ”  Read more from NOAA here:  Benefits for wildlife flow from San Clemente Dam removal

Extra long pipeline in place to bring water from Lake Cachuma to the South Coast:  “A 9000-foot pipeline has now been hooked up to a special pumping barge to bring critical water to the South Coast of Santa Barbara County.  The extension goes into the deepest area left in the dwindling water source.  It will bring the water to the Tecelote Tunnel. That delivers the supply to water districts including Santa Barbara and Goleta. … ”  Read more from KEYT here:  Extra long pipeline in place to bring water from Lake Cachuma to the South Coast

Algal bloom forces Lake Elsinore closure:  “Swimming, boating and fishing are prohibited in Lake Elsinore after water quality officials Friday detected harmful levels of toxins related to blue-green algae.  A notice on the city’s website said the the popular recreation spot about 70 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles would remain closed until further notice.  The notice said the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project informed the city Thursday night that the lake contains toxins exceeding recommended recreational health standards. … ” Read more from the LA Times here:  Algal bloom forces Lake Elsinore closure

Water still bad for Morongo Valley, Pioneertown:  “A plan to give free bottles of water to Pioneertown and Morongo Valley residents has sputtered out as state funding dried up.  San Bernardino County applied for $757,834 in grant money to deliver 5 gallons of Arrowhead bottled water to county water customers every two weeks for the next three years.  People who get water from the county Special Districts Department in Pioneertown and Morongo Valley’s Little Morongo and Hacienda Heights neighborhoods would have benefited, but the state denied the grant, Tim Millington, regional manager for Special Districts, said Tuesday.  The money would come from a $1 billion drought relief package signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year.  “One of the reasons we didn’t get the money is they ran out of funding,” Millington explained. ... ”  Read more from the Hi Desert Star here:  Water still bad for Morongo Valley, Pioneertown

In commentary this weekend …

Explaining Siskiyou County’s groundwater initiative:  Angelina Cook writes, “On June 22, a citizen-led initiative was certified in Siskiyou County. The Groundwater Management Initiative (GMI) aims to increase protections for California’s source waters by amending the extraction and export chapter of Siskiyou County’s groundwater ordinance. If successful, the GMI would streamline the existing ordinance by applying extraction permit requirements equally across the board to all water users that pump bulk quantities of groundwater within the region for use outside county lines.  Chapter 13 of Siskiyou County’s existing ordinance is relatively strong, as it prohibits the unpermitted extraction and export of groundwater from the county. … ”  Read more from the Siskiyou Daily News here:  Explaining Siskiyou County’s groundwater initiative

Column (Bakersfield): Taxpayer funded deal that makes me go hmmm …. :  Lois Henry writes: “The Nickel water came to my attention again recently.  Tejon Ranchcorp released its draft environmental impact report for its proposed Grapevine community of 12,000 new houses at the base of the Grapevine.  If the development is approved, it will be Nickel water flowing through the taps and toilets of all those homes.  I like following the Nickel water partly because it’s fascinating to see how many development dreams it continues to fuel.  And also because the Nickel water was part of a deal that cost taxpayers $10 million back in 2000 and I like to see how that investment is working out for us. … ”  Read more from the Bakersfield Californian here:  Taxpayer funded deal that makes me go hmmm ….

Inland Empire must carefully weigh California’s climate change policies, says Paul Granillo:  He writes, “We can all agree that we want clean air and water for this generation and generations to come. This is especially true in our region where we know we encounter some of the worst air quality in the state. However, we can also all agree that we must provide balance to our communities with a vibrant living and economic environment.  For background, AB 32 — also known as the Global Warming Solutions Act — is one of the most significant bills of the last decade. When signed into law in 2006, it stated California must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, a 25 percent reduction from our already low level of emissions compared to other states and countries. … ”  Read more from the San Bernardino Sun here:  Inland Empire must carefully weigh California’s climate change policies

Also on Maven’s Notebook this weekend …

“A conversation about water” with Jeffrey Kightlinger


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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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