Daily Digest: End of summer finds California’s water supply in better shape, but shortages remain; Sue Sims on how to make conservation permanent; Growers seek reforms as flood insurance program increases rates, toughens regs; and more …

In California water news today, End of summer finds California’s water supply in better shape, but shortages remain; Sue Sims on how to make conservation permanent; How to make a scarce resource stretch farther; Growers seek reforms as flood insurance program increases rates, toughens regs; Expedition hopes to track elusive whales off the West Coast; Senator Feinstein asks for more cash to cut down dead trees before they catch fire; and Hell or high water: Expert panel describes climate change possibilities

In the news today …

End of summer finds California’s water supply in better shape, but shortages remain:  “The drought is far from over, water supplies are generally up across the state.  “In most areas, we are definitely doing better than we were last year,” said Michael Jackson, Bureau of Reclamation.  Jackson notes Millerton Lake is at 108-percent above its normal level for this time of year. Meaning the growers who depend on water from behind Friant Dam got most of what they expected.  “We allocated, currently, in the Friant system, what’s called 75-percent class one.”  It’s a much different situation on the west side, where the San Luis Reservoir remains near a historic low, with less than half of what it normally has this time of year. Much to the dismay of the growers in the Westland’s Water District. ... ”  Read more from the KFSN here:

Sue Sims on how to make conservation permanent:  “When it comes to water management in California, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a giant. The 26 public agencies belonging to the district together deliver water to 19 million people, making it the largest distributor of drinking water in the country. About half of it is imported, part from the Colorado River system and part from the State Water Project.  What does it take to run an organization that delivers 1.5 billion gallons (5.7bn liters) of water per day? And what impact has the drought had on planning?  Water Deeply recently spoke with Sue Sims, head of external affairs at the organization. ... ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Sue Sims on how to make conservation permanent

How to make a scarce resource stretch farther:  “With water resources dwindling in the West during a prolonged drought, three UC Riverside researchers have come up with an innovative approach to making the most of what’s available.  While reclaiming wastewater for irrigation is a common practice, its use in agriculture and other water-intensive applications such as golf courses is limited because of high salt levels.  Environmental Economics and Policy Professor Kurt Schwabe, Chemical and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor David Jassby and chemical and environmental engineering graduate student Quynh Tran propose refining the reclamation process to generate more recycled water geared toward irrigating specific crops. ... ”  Read more from the Riverside Press-Enterprise here:  How to make a scarce resource stretch farther

Growers seek reforms as flood insurance program increases rates, toughens regs:  “A state-funded task force is mulling solutions to farmers’ rising costs as the National Flood Insurance Program is set to be reauthorized by Congress next year.  A panel of growers, local flood control officials, state water officials and others is developing recommendations to try to offset the high premiums and new building requirements that resulted when parts of California’s Central Valley were remapped into the most severe flood zone.  Colusa County Supervisor Denise Carter, whose family’s Benden Farms mainly grows rice, said the insurance premium for structures on the ranch would be about $32,000 a year if the operation had to get a federally backed mortgage or other financing now. … ”  Read more from the Capital Press here:  Growers seek reforms as flood insurance program increases rates, toughens regs

Expedition hopes to track elusive whales off the West Coast:  “Much about the elusive beaked whale remains a mystery to marine biologists, but that may soon change thanks to a West Coast research expedition by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  Along the North Coast, only four to five beaked whales have been observed within the past few years according to Humboldt State University zoology professor and Director of the Marine Mammal Education and Research Program, Dawn Goley.  “Marine mammal population size has historically been measured by counting whales from boats during systematic surveys,” Goley said. “Beaked whales can be challenging to count because they are deep divers who spend long periods of time underwater far off shore. It’s not like seeing gray whales off the coast.” … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here:  Expedition hopes to track elusive whales off the West Coast

Senator Feinstein asks for more cash to cut down dead trees before they catch fire:  “Sen. Dianne Feinstein is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to pay to quickly remove trees that have died because of California’s drought.  Feinstein asked Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to shift $38 million in the Department’s budget to pay for removing trees from federal land identified by the California Governor’s Tree Mortality Task Force. The projects include “high hazard” zones in the Stanislaus, Sierra and Sequoia national forests and have already received all necessary environmental clearances. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Senator Feinstein asks for more cash to cut down dead trees before they catch fire

Hell or high water: Expert panel describes climate change possibilities:  “Last week’s Malibu Library Speaker Series event brought together a panel of experts to explain how the sea level rise and shifting sands associated with climate change could affect Malibu, the Southern California region and the world. A turnout of nearly 200 people filled the Malibu Civic Theater at City Hall, including a class from Pepperdine University.  The event was moderated by local Randy Olson, Ph.D., a biologist-turned-filmmaker and Point Dume resident, who introduced the topic by noting three major climate events that have occurred in the world this year: The continued vanishing of the ice sheets, bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef corals because of warmer ocean temperatures and the acidification of ocean water. … ”  Read more from the Malibu Times here:  Hell or high water: Expert panel describes climate change possibilities

More news and commentary in the weekend edition …

Daily Digest, weekend edition: Trading salmon for almonds; the rise of water optimism; and Russian River plan; Yuba River floodplain restoration; plus commentary on Delta tunnels, limited water supplies, and more …

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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