DAILY DIGEST: As California’s water use rises, some ask: were limits eased too soon?; La Nina may be back this winter; Water rights suit moves forward; Meet the Minds: Deborah Bloome on Utilizing Local Water Resources; and more …

In California water news today, As California’s water use rises, some ask: were limits eased too soon?; La Nina may be back this winter; Water rights suit moves forward; Meet the Minds: Deborah Bloome on Utilizing Local Water Resources; Four bold collaborations tackling California’s drought; Jerry Brown, allies spend millions to kill measure that could doom high speed rail, Delta tunnels project; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • Webinar: Tipping Points – How the Climate Will Change CA’s Water Future:  From 12:00 to 1:00pm:  California is facing a major shift in the way it manages water. A warming climate means less snow, more frequent drought, and an increased reliance on the water underground.  As California heads into what may well be the fifth consecutive year of drought, this webinar explores the “big water supply shift,” its impact on Californians, and what can be done to ensure a sustainable water future.  Presented by the Union of Concerned Scientists.  Click here to register.

In the news today …

As California’s water use rises, some ask: were limits eased too soon? This state slashed urban water use over 25 percent in the face of a punishing drought last year, exceeding a mandatory order issued by Gov. Jerry Brown and turning California into a model of water conservation. Californians tore out lawns, cut back landscape watering and took shorter showers as they embraced Mr. Brown’s call to accommodate what he warned were permanently drier times.  But this year, after regulators lifted the mandatory 25 percent statewide cut following a relatively wet winter, water use is up again, a slide in behavior that has stirred concern among state officials and drawn criticism that California abandoned the restrictions too quickly. In August, water conservation dropped below 18 percent compared with August 2013, the third consecutive month of decline. … ”  Read more from the NY Times here:  As California’s water use rises, some ask: were limits eased too soon?

La Nina may be back this winter: Forecasts are already showing a possibility of La Niña in our future, with the Climate Prediction Center for the National Weather Service rating our chances at about 70 percent.  The system is predicted to be weak and short-lived, possibly arriving early next month. La Niña is not expected to make it through the winter, and forecasters gave it about a 55 percent chance of it lasting past December.  Why the uncertainty? La Niña depends on different factors, including ocean water temperature along the central Pacific. ... ”  Read more from SF Gate here:  La Nina may be back this winter

Water rights suit moves forward:  “Byron Bethany Irrigation District’s suit against the State Water Board for denying the district’s traditional use of river water for irrigation is moving forward.  In Santa Clara County Superior Court, Judge Peter Kirwan ruled Sept. 30 that the case can proceed toward trial, rejecting the board’s claims that the charges filed by BBID have insufficient legal support. … ”  Read more from the Tracy Press here:  Water rights suit moves forward

Meet the Minds: Deborah Bloome on Utilizing Local Water Resources:  “Los Angeles-based nonprofit TreePeople made headlines last year with a plan to retrofit half a dozen pilot homes with tanks and rain gardens. Today, all the rainwater capture systems have been installed and they highlight how homeowners can be part of the solution to some of California’s water problems.  As the organization prepares insights on how the pilot program can be expanded, Water Deeply spoke to TreePeople’s senior policy director, Deborah Weinstein Bloome.  Water Deeply: What are you working on that you want the world to know? Deborah Weinstein Bloome: We’re working on something really interesting and amazingly groundbreaking for as simple as it sounds. ... ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Meet the Minds: Deborah Bloome on Utilizing Local Water Resources

Four bold collaborations tackling California’s drought: Water is California’s lifeblood, feeding Central Valley farmlands, inviting Malibu lawns and gardens to grow and cooling Silicon Valley data centers. It spurs the state’s diverse ecosystem, allowing for an economy and production exported all across the U.S.  California’s secret suffering — a record-breaking, six-year drought — has become irreversibly visible in recent years, as the impact of dwindling water levels, population growth, aging infrastructure and climate change strain the state’s access to fresh water. All of California is in “severe drought” or worse, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor … ”  Read more from Green Biz here:  Four bold collaborations tackling California’s drought

Jerry Brown, allies spend millions to kill measure that could doom high speed rail, Delta tunnels project: With less than three weeks until Election Day, Gov. Jerry Brown and his political allies are suddenly pumping money into the campaign to defeat Proposition 53, a previously low-profile measure that could be the death knell of Brown’s high-speed rail and Delta tunnels projects.  In the past week, Brown, labor unions, Indian tribes and Silicon Valley venture capitalists have contributed $7 million to kill the measure, tripling the size of the opposition’s treasury. If passed, Proposition 53 would require a statewide vote to approve any state project costing more than $2 billion that is financed with revenue bonds, which are the likely method of paying many of the costs for high-speed rail and the Delta tunnels. … ”  Read more from the Mercury News here:  Jerry Brown, allies spend millions to kill measure that could doom high speed rail, Delta tunnels project

Secretary of the Interior urges approval for Klamath Dam removal: U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell penned a letter this week to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission urging it to approve a plan to remove four dams from the Klamath River to protect the interests of fish and farmers.  “In short, dam removal can re-write a painful chapter in our history, and it can be done in a manner that protects the many interests in the basin,” she wrote in her Monday letter.  The Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA) was submitted to the federal commission in late September. The plan would remove four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River — Copco 1, Copco 2, Iron Gate and J.C. Boyle — in Northern California and Southern Oregon by 2020. ... ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here:  Secretary of the Interior urges approval for Klamath Dam removal

City of Redding faces deadline to create groundwater plan:  “Redding is working with other local water agencies to put together a plan to manage groundwater, city officials told the Redding City Council on Tuesday night.  The city, along with Shasta County, Anderson and three water districts, are working against a June deadline to establish a plan and agency to administer it. Otherwise, the county could assume control or even the state.  “This is so important because we don’t want the state to come in and tell us how to manage our groundwater,” Redding Mayor Missy McArthur said. … ”  Read more from the Redding Record Searchlight here:  City of Redding faces deadline to create groundwater plan

Eel River: Rains spur fall Chinook runs:  “The annual Chinook salmon run was triggered by the first big rains of the season.  With the launch of the season, The Eel River Recovery Project is beginning its fifth annual effort to monitor abundance in the watershed.  Chinook salmon began swimming up out of the estuary and into a few larger lower Eel River pools, according to a news release from the Eel River Recover Project.  The group documented adult Chinook are in the deepest pools upstream to Scotia and large concentrations are in Fortuna pools as well. … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here:  Eel River: Rains spur fall Chinook runs

Stanislaus farmers blast river flow plan:  “Farmers and their allies packed a Modesto boardroom Tuesday night and laid into a state plan to boost river flows.  They told the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors that the proposal would put thousands of people out of work and force farmers to increase well pumping.  “Clearly, this is a draconian environmental water grab,” said Bill Berryhill, a wine grape grower and former state assemblyman in the Ceres area. ... ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here:  Stanislaus farmers blast river flow plan

Ridgecrest: Council to discuss groundwater authority on short agenda: Does a short agenda mean a short meeting? The Ridgecrest City Council will find out Wednesday.  The agenda for the meeting lists only one discussion/action item: providing direction to council rep Mayor Peggy Breeden on the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority regarding potential operational documents.  The item is a follow-up to a previous issue. … ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Council to discuss groundwater authority on short agenda

New warnings about risk of major flooding on LA River amid new development, revitalization:  “For decades, urban planners and city leaders have envisioned transforming the gritty, concrete-walled Los Angeles River into the backbone of a new kind of city, one with the riverbed restored to nature, surrounded by parks, trails and new residential developments.  But Los Angeles this week received a stark reminder that the river that cuts through the region — much of the year just a trickle — can become a dangerous torrent during periods of intense rain. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  New warnings about risk of major flooding on LA River amid new development, revitalization

Precipitation watch …

weather-1Also 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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