Daily Digest: Despite drought, California farming prospered; Delta tunnels plan rekindles water disputes; State officials want these reservoir owners to warn people not to eat fish; and more …

In California water news today, Despite drought, California farming prospered; Delta tunnels plan rekindles water disputes; State officials want these reservoir owners to warn people not to eat fish; High turn-out from Clinton-Sanders race helps pass tax for Bay Area wetlands restoration and flood control; Algae not drought has Santa Clara water district tapping backup supply; Rain, snow bring challenges to Stanislaus swift water rescuers; Visalia water rates won’t rise with ruling; Update on geothermal pumping and Mammoth’s water supply; Inyo appeals Tri-Valley groundwater basin boundary adjustment decision

On the calendar today …

  • Nothing.  California Water Fix hearings at the State Water Board to resume on Thursday.

In the news today …

Despite drought, California farming prospered:  “It might not be what you expect to hear about California agriculture in the throes of drought: After four years of historic water shortages, farm earnings in the state increased 16 percent, and total employment increased 5 percent.  Yet those are real numbers gathered by federal agencies that track economic data.  Average wages for farm employees also increased an impressive 13 percent since the drought began. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Despite drought, California farming prospered

Delta tunnels plan rekindles water disputes: A half century after building the largest water-delivery system in America, California officials say they now realize they put their giant straws to capture Delta water in the wrong place.  Last week, state and federal water project operators opened the case to win permission for a fix — construction of three diversion points near Sacramento tied to twin underground tunnels to shunt Delta water for 25 million people throughout the state.  Not surprisingly, the hearing before the state water board rekindled old wounds and produced two sharply different portrayals of what the proposed $17 billion California WaterFix would do for the state’s deeply troubled plumbing system. … ”  Read more from the East Bay Times here:  Delta tunnels plan rekindles water disputes

State officials want these reservoir owners to warn people not to eat fish: State water authorities and nine local water quality control boards are developing a statewide mercury control program aimed at reducing mercury levels and limiting consumption of contaminated fish at some of Southern California’s most popular fishing destinations.  One hundred and eighty reservoirs statewide are contaminated with excessive levels of mercury, according to studies of fish samples from more than 300 reservoirs conducted by the State Water Resources Control Board.  Mandatory health advisories are at least two years away, state officials say. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  State officials want these reservoir owners to warn people not to eat fish

High turn-out from Clinton-Sanders race helps pass tax for Bay Area wetlands restoration and flood control:  “Bernie Sanders may have saved San Francisco Bay.  The Vermont senator was beaten handily by Hillary Clinton in the June Democratic primary, winning just one Bay Area county, Sonoma. But political strategists behind the campaign for Yes on Measure AA, a $12 parcel tax in all nine Bay Area counties to pay for wetlands restoration and flood control, say their measure passed because Democratic turnout was higher than expected.  We call it the Bernie bump,” said Mia Hodge, a consultant with TBWB Strategies, a San Francisco firm that helped run the Yes on Measure AA effort. ... ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  High turn-out from Clinton-Sanders race helps pass tax for Bay Area wetlands restoration and flood control

Algae not drought has Santa Clara water district tapping backup supply:  “A water district in California is tapping its backup supply, but not because of the state’s historic drought. The state has another water problem on its hands: algae.  Officials in California’s Santa Clara County closed a reservoir and a lake to outdoor recreation in July so they could tap these water sources. “Santa Clara County needs the drinking water, and the region’s usual supply system has been disrupted” by algae, the San Jose Mercury News reported. … ”  Read more from Water Online here:  Algae not drought has Santa Clara water district tapping backup supply

Rain, snow bring challenges to Stanislaus swift water rescuers: In a key way – responding to the trouble that comes from drinking, overestimating swimming or boating ability and not wearing a life vest – the work of the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District’s swift-water rescue team is much like that of the Sheriff’s Department deputies stationed at the county reservoirs.  But in another – prevention vs. rescue or recovery – there are some big differences.  The swift-water team far more often finds itself responding to rescue calls – about 75 a year, most from May through October – than being able to patrol rivers. A winter that brought much more rain and snow than seen in the past several years also has brought challenges. … ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here:  Rain, snow bring challenges to Stanislaus swift water rescuers

Visalia water rates won’t rise with ruling:  “An Orange County judge’s ruling allowing water rates to be raised in the city of Yorba Linda to offset financial losses from customers reducing water use due to the drought isn’t likely to have any effect on rates in Visalia.  But in Tulare, where the system is run by the city, the ruling could open the door for spikes in water rates.  California Water Services Company, a privately-owned utility, has rates set by the California Public Utilities Commission. ... ”  Read more from the Visalia Times-Delta here:  Visalia water rates won’t rise with ruling

Update on geothermal pumping and Mammoth’s water supply: New monitoring data indicate geothermal liquids are intermingling with the shallow aquifer, reported Jim Howle of the United States Geologic Survey (“USGS”) at the Mono County Board of Supervisors’ meeting on July 19th. Recent monitoring of two new sets of wells found heated water at 600 feet where cold water was expected.  In addition, the two new wells, in and adjacent to the geothermal production area, and two Mammoth Community Water District (“MCWD”) wells contain chemical components linked to the deeper geothermal reservoir. ... ”  Read more from Sierra Wave here:  Update on geothermal pumping and Mammoth’s water supply

Inyo appeals Tri-Valley groundwater basin boundary adjustment decision: All the parties involved in the Tri Valley water basin will be waiting two months to see if the California Water Commission accepts the recommendation to consider the groundwater from Chalfant to Benton valleys a sub-basin of the Owens Valley basin.  The Department of Water Resources rejected a request from Inyo County as the lead agency for boundary adjustments. The County appealed the DWR’s decision last week; the Commission’s final decision will be made September 21.  All this is part of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, a bill requiring Groundwater Sustainability Agencies to develop plans to protect aquifers from over-draft. … ”  Read more from Sierra Wave here:  Inyo appeals Tri-Valley decision

More news and commentary in the weekend edition of the Daily Digest …

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 …

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

Sign up for daily email service and you’ll never miss a post …

Daily emailsSign up for free daily email service and you’ll get all the Notebook’s aggregated and original water news content delivered to your email box by 9AM. And with breaking news alerts, you’ll always be one of the first to know …


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.

 

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: