Daily Digest: What you need to know about the Delta tunnels; Trinity River gets more water to aid salmon; What ever happened to LA’s shade balls?; Michael Kiparsky with unanswered questions on SGMA implementation; and more …

In California water news today, What you need to know about California’s $17 billion water project; Trinity River gets more water to aid salmon; Ag study part of Cache Slough restoration plans; State fined EBMUD over cement spill; San Fernando Valley will soon store 5 billion gallons of stormwater; What ever happened to LA’s shade balls?; and Michael Kiparsky: Unanswered questions for implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

On the calendar today …

  • The Delta Stewardship Council meets beginning at 9am. Agenda items include a presentation of the discussion draft of Delta Plan revisions regarding priorities for state Delta levees investment and a demonstration of the new Delta View, a project tracking tool.  Click here for the agendaClick here to watch on webcast.
  • The California Water Fix hearings at the State Water Board continue, beginning at 9am.  Click here to watch on webcast.
  • The California Water Commission staff will hold a public briefing on the technical reference documents for the Water Storage Investment Program in Auburn today at 1pm.  Click here for more information.

In the news today …

What you need to know about California’s $17 billion water project:  ” … But state officials have proposed a solution – a massive hydroengineering project dubbed California WaterFix. Its two giant tunnels will divert water from the Sacramento River toward Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and farms in the San Joaquin Valley. The project is billed on its website as “a real solution that provides reliable, clean and safe water to California businesses, farms and residents … while protecting our environment.”  There are firm believers in the project who see it as the only road forward in an age of insecure water supplies, and there are firm opponents who warn the tunnels will irreversibly destroy the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. There may be some truth to both arguments. And there is also a lot of confusion and misinformation about the project as a whole.  To counter that, we answer key questions about California WaterFix, with help from Erin Mellon, communications and outreach adviser with the California Natural Resources Agency, and John McManus, executive director of the Golden Gate Salmon Association. We consider the pros and cons of the tunnels to better understand what WaterFix means for Californians. ... ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  What you need to know about California’s $17 billion water project

Trinity River gets more water to aid salmon:  “To prevent an outbreak of a deadly fish-killing disease, federal officials plan to begin tripling the amount of water flowing out of Lewiston Dam and into the Trinity River.  Starting Thursday, the amount of water coming out of Lewiston Dam will increase from 450 cubic-feet per second to about 1,300 cfs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the dam.  The Trinity River flows into the Klamath River and the higher flows in the Trinity are meant to aid salmon and trout in the Klamath. ... ”  Read more from the Redding Record Searchlight here:  Trinity River gets more water to aid salmon

Ag study part of Cache Slough restoration plans:The Solano County Board of Supervisors this week approved an agreement with the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy to study agriculture within the Cache Slough Complex – with the ultimate goal of preserving as much ag as possible.  The county received $228,000 from the conservancy for the study, and the board voted to transfer that money into the hands of the Department of Resource Management to complete the work.  “It is basically allowing us to do a study and outreach of that area,” Bill Emlen, director of Resource Management, said in an interview Wednesday, a day after the supervisors took their action. … ”  Read more from the Fairfield Daily Republic here:  Ag study part of Cache Slough restoration plans

State fined EBMUD over cement spill:  “The California Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to fine the East Bay Municipal Utility District $426,000 for polluting a creek in Oakland’s Upper Rockridge neighborhood last year.  EBMUD crews were working on a major pipeline replacement project near Glen Echo Creek on April 8, 2015, when a worker accidentally opened an old out-of-service water pipe, dumping more than 34,000 gallons of cellular concrete into the waterway. … ”  Read more from KQED here:  State fined EBMUD over cement spill

San Fernando Valley will soon store 5 billion gallons of stormwater:  “The Tujunga Spreading Grounds may look like a vast, barren plot of dirt.  But it’s what’s beneath the dirt that matters.  Earlier this week, officials brandished shiny shovels to break ground on a project there that they say will play a key role in bolstering the region’s water supply and protecting against future droughts.  The spreading grounds, a 150-acre tract of porous soil in the northeast San Fernando Valley, capture stormwater that falls from the sky or runs off from nearby mountains and hills, and allows the water to filter into a vast aquifer that can be drawn down when the resource is in short supply. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  San Fernando Valley will soon store 5 billion gallons of stormwater

What ever happened to LA’s shade balls?  ““Shade balls away!”  It was the cry that was heard around the internet.  For a few days last August, the video of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and staff of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power sending a cascade of 4” black plastic balls down a steep slope and into the L.A. Reservoir was everywhere.  The Washington Post called it “hypnotizing.” San Francisco Weekly said it couldn’t “stop thinking about shade balls.” It even had its very own hashtag, #shadeballs. … ”  Read more from KPCC here:  What ever happened to LA’s shade balls?

In commentary today …

Michael Kiparsky: Unanswered questions for implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act:  “California is grappling with the implications of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), a visionary and potentially revolutionary law that could profoundly change the way water is managed in the state.  The nature of the revolution, however, is not yet clear. Whether and how SGMA achieves its goals hinges on open questions about its implementation.  Groundwater accounts for between one-third and two-thirds of California’s water use in a given year and serves as a lifeline when surface water runs low during drought. In part because of California’s historical lack of groundwater use regulation, this crucial resource is threatened. In some areas, declining groundwater levels have caused the land surface to subside at a rate of more than one inch per month, damaging roads, canals and pipelines. Falling water tables are driving a well-drilling race that threatens farms, communities and ecosystems. … ”  Continue reading at California Agriculture here:  Michael Kiparsky: Unanswered questions for implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

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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