Daily Digest: New state Delta water proposal draws fire from Valley irrigation districts, may force tighter conservation restrictions; Will climate change make California’s drought worse? A mountain lake offers clues; When it comes to flood control, it’s best to take the long view; and more …

In California water news today, New state water plan may force tighter conservation restrictions; A plan to keep rivers flowing for fish triggers another water fight; Regulators propose leaving more water in the river for fish; New state Delta water proposal draws fire from Valley irrigation districts; Will climate change make California’s drought worse? A mountain lake offers clues; When it comes to flood control, it’s best to take the long view; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • The California Water Commission will meet this morning at 9:30am.  The main agenda item for the Water Commission is the Public Meeting on WSIP Revised Draft Regulations.  Click here for agenda and webcast link.

In the news today …

New state water plan may force tighter conservation restrictions:  “San Francisco faces potentially drastic cutbacks in its water supply, as state regulators proposed leaving more water in three Northern California rivers Thursday to protect wildlife in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta estuary, the linchpin of California’s water supply.  The draft rules by the State Water Resources Control Board would raise the amount of water into the Merced, Stanislaus and Tuolumne rivers to 30 to 50 percent of what would naturally flow in them. That means less water would be available for urban users and farmers in the northern San Joaquin Valley, compounding their need to conserve. … ”  Read more from SF Gate here:  New state water plan may force tighter conservation restrictions

A plan to keep rivers flowing for fish triggers another water fight: State regulators want to leave more water for fish and wildlife in the heavily tapped tributaries of the San Joaquin River, setting the stage for another bruising California water fight.  The proposal to keep more water flowing in the Merced, Tuolumne and Stanislaus rivers could spread the pain caused by environmentally related water cuts to irrigation districts and cities that have largely escaped them, thanks to their location and seniority in the hierarchy by which the state allocates water rights. Officials with a stake in those rivers’ water came out swinging Thursday within hours of the release of new proposed flow standards. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  A plan to keep rivers flowing for fish triggers another water fight

Regulators propose leaving more water in the river for fish:  “Regulators on Thursday proposed leaving more water for struggling native fish and pumping less to farms from the overtapped San Joaquin River system, in what could be one of the most significant overhauls of water allocation this century in California.  It is the first of a series of “flow objective” decisions that are being made for all river systems flowing into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, including the Sacramento and Feather.  The change in the San Joaquin is overdue and vital to salvaging salmon and other native fish species in the Central California farming region, said Felicia Marcus, chairwoman of the state Water Resources Control Board. … ”  Read more from the Oroville Mercury Register here:  Regulators propose leaving more water in the river for fish

New state Delta water proposal draws fire from Valley irrigation districts:  “Water districts in Stanislaus and Merced counties are objecting to proposed changes to increase the amount water from the Tuolumne, Merced, and Stanislaus rivers that will flow into the Delta.  … The South San Joaquin, Modesto, Turlock and Oakdale irrigation districts oppose the changes because it would reduce the amount of river water available to farmers and Central Valley communities.  Assemblymember Adam Gray, D-Merced, said the proposal amounts to an “economic death sentence.” … ”  Read more from the Central Valley Business Journal here:  New state Delta water proposal draws fire from Valley irrigation districts

Will climate change make California’s drought worse? A mountain lake offers clues:In 2000, researchers took a coring from the bed of a small, shallow lake in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains.   They analyzed the organic matter and chemicals in the sediments to reconstruct a climate record of the past 10,000 years. They then compared it with reconstructions of ancient ocean temperatures.  The results echoed previous studies that have found a link between past periods of climate warming, cool sea-surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean and centuries-long droughts in California and the West. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Will climate change make California’s drought worse? A mountain lake offers clues

In commentary today …

California or a third world country?  Cruz Reynoso writes,We’re in the midst of a hot, dry summer. While you’re thinking about how you’ll cool off, consider this: four times more Californians than the entire population of Flint, Michigan do not get clean, safe water from the tap in their homes. They live where water must be trucked in for drinking and cooking. Where they wait in line to shower in public trailers. And where they’ve been living like this for a long time.  California’s drought didn’t cause these third-world country problems, but it certainly exacerbated them.  The hardest-hit communities, most in rural areas that are not served by large municipal water agencies, relied on groundwater sources that are contaminated or dry. ... ”  Read more from the Huffington Post here:  California or a third world country?

Three actions we need to take now to save our forests:  Patricia Megason writes,The wildfires raging across the state, together with an epidemic of dead trees from drought, insects and disease, have created a crisis of catastrophic proportions in California’s forests.  Fortunately, we need not stand idly by. This crisis has galvanized a broad range of interests to launch the California Forest Watershed Alliance (CAFWA), an urban-rural coalition representing water interests, local government, the conservation community, agriculture and the forestry sector, aligned to seek new solutions to promote proactive, science-based and ecologically sound forest management practices. … ”  Read more from the Redding Record Searchlight here:  Three actions we need to take now to save our forests

In regional news and commentary today …

Crews work to remove sunken boat from the Delta:  “Crews have started the intensive process of righting the Spirit of Sacramento after it sank in the Delta earlier this month.  The 87-foot paddlewheeler has been upside down in the Delta near Bethel Island since Sept. 4. ... ”  Read more from KCRA Channel 3 here:  Crews work to remove sunken boat from the Delta

Rinconada, Montevina water plants are both under construction:  “The Rinconada Water Treatment Plant, the second largest of the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s plants, is under reconstruction.  According to plant manager Sam Bogale, the improvement project, which started last year, is expected to wrap up in 2019.  “One of the main things is to be able to address taste and odor issues in the future,” Bogale said. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Rinconada, Montevina water plants are both under construction

PUC backs Pure Water Monterey recycled water project, Cal Am pipeline:  “Praising the Pure Water Monterey recycled water project as “very innovative” and a “very important step” toward bringing a replacement water supply to the Monterey Peninsula, the state Public Utilities Commission on Thursday unanimously approved a critical water purchase agreement for the $85 million proposal, along with a $50 million California American Water-owned delivery pipeline and pump station.  Commissioner Catherine Sandoval, who is assigned to the Peninsula water supply project proceeding, urged her fellow commissioners to approve the proposal, noting its importance as part of a long-sought new water source for the Peninsula and as the first milestone in an extended Carmel River pumping cutback order, as well as advancing state policy on water reuse. … ”  Read more from the Monterey Herald here:  PUC backs Pure Water Monterey recycled water project, Cal Am pipeline

When it comes to flood control, it’s best to take the long view: The United States was fighting World War II when lawmakers first wrote Merced County flood protection into law. It’s been there ever since.  On Thursday, the Senate extended the legacy.  In one small but regionally significant part of a much bigger bill, the Senate approved authorizing flood control studies along Merced County’s Black Rascal and Bear creeks. The action underscored the federal government’s long reach, in both time and space.  “We can get things done around here,” declared Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, the senior Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. … ”  Read more from McClatchy DC here:  When it comes to flood control, it’s best to take the long view

Paso Robles: Landowners move to form voluntary water district:  “A group of landowners in the Estrella, El Pomar and Creston areas are moving to form a voluntary “opt-in” water district.  A letter inviting landowners to join the voluntary water district was circulated this week. The letter was authored by Al Webster, Hilary Graves, Steve Carter, Don Clark, Tavo Acosta, Dana Merrill, Lee Nesbitt, Simon Graves, John Crossland and Jerry Reaugh.  “This effort is a new initiative to give landowners a voice in the upcoming discussions and resultant requirement to comply with the new State Groundwater Management Act.” the letter says. ... ”  Read more from the Paso Robles Daily News here:  Paso Robles: Landowners move to form voluntary water district

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.

 

One Response

  1. pacific flyway

    INVERSE CONDEMNATION is a term used in the law to describe a situation in which the government takes private property but fails to pay the compensation required by the 5th Amendment of Constitution. In some states the term also includes damaging of property as well as taking it. In order to be compensated, the owner must then sue the government. In such cases the owner is the plaintiff and that is why the action is called inverse – the order of parties is reversed, as compared to the usual procedure in direct condemnation where the government is the plaintiff who sues a defendant-owner to take his or her property.

    The taking can be physical (e.g., land seizure, flooding, retention of possession after a lease to the government expires, deprivation of access, removal of ground support) or it can be a regulatory taking (when regulations are so onerous that they make the regulated property unusable by its owner for any reasonable or economically viable purpose). The latter is the most controversial form of inverse condemnation. It is considered to occur when the regulation of the property’s use is so severe that it goes “too far,” as Justice Holmes put it in Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Mahon, 260 U.S. 393 (1922), and deprives the owner of the property’s value, utility or marketability, denying him or her the benefits of property ownership thus accomplishing a constitutionally forbidden de facto taking without compensation.

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