DAILY DIGEST: Regulators propose leaving more water in California’s rivers; Delta tunnel alternative: Embracing flooding for water supply; Late-week storm to deliver critical rainfall to California; and more …

In California water news today, Regulators propose leaving more water in California’s rivers; Delta tunnel alternative: Embracing flooding for water supply; Late-week storm to deliver critical rainfall to California; John Laird finds his calling; Napa County cities approve water transfers to Santa Clara County; Sites Reservoir has a new website, logo, and more than enough investors; El Cerrito: Restored waterway coming to light again; In this California congressional district, water is more important than Trump; and more …

In the news today …

Regulators propose leaving more water in California’s rivers:  “Water users in San Francisco and its suburbs face a day of reckoning as state regulators move to leave more water in California’s two biggest rivers in an effort to halt a collapse in the native ecosystem of the San Francisco Bay and its estuary, the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.  Even as water allocations to California farmers have been severely reduced, San Francisco water authorities have freely tapped the Tuolumne River, which the city dammed early in the last century at its headwaters in Yosemite National Park.  Now the State Water Resources Control Board wants the city to help save the estuary by leaving 40 percent of the Tuolumne’s water in the river, a level that the board’s own scientists have said may not be enough to rescue the freshwater-starved bay and delta. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  Regulators propose leaving more water in California’s rivers

Delta tunnel alternative: Embracing flooding for water supply: When California officials got serious about building two giant tunnels to divert freshwater out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, it didn’t take critics long to propose alternatives.  One of the first was a grassroots scheme that, at first, seemed radical and counterintuitive: Let winter floods retake vast parts of the San Joaquin Valley – the very farmland that needs those Delta water diversions. The floods would recharge depleted groundwater that could then be used to irrigate the farms, preventing the need for Delta water exports.  The idea came in 2007 from Tom Zuckerman, then an attorney for the Central Delta Water Agency, one of many groups still battling the tunnel project. Zuckerman drafted it in the form of a 26-page “white paper” that he presented to the Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force, a panel appointed by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. ... ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Delta tunnel alternative: Embracing flooding for water supply

Late-week storm to deliver critical rainfall to California:  “Beneficial rain will douse California late this week, with the potential for some rain to reach southern portions of the state.  While the rain will be beneficial in terms of the drought, enough rain can fall to cause travel disruptions and localized flash flooding from Thursday to Friday.  More than 40 percent of California is dealing with extreme to exceptional drought, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor released on Oct. 20.  Prior to the late-week dousing, showers will affect portions of northern and Southern California into Tuesday before dry weather returns for a time. ... ”  Continue reading at AccuWeather here:  Late-week storm to deliver critical rainfall to California

John Laird finds his calling: For John Laird, California Secretary for Natural Resources, a commitment to conservation is a natural outgrowth of fishing at Bodega Bay and hiking along the Russian River as a child as well as exploring the backcountry above the family cabin nestled between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park.  “When you are up in the high Sierra mountains you just know you have arrived when you have been there long enough that you are constantly hearing the wind before it gets to you,” Laird said. ... ”  Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here:  John Laird finds his calling

Napa County cities approve water transfers to Santa Clara County: Three local cities are passing some of their unused state water allocations to a district serving the bustling South Bay.  Napa on Tuesday approved the exchange of 7,000 acre-feet of water to the Santa Clara Valley Water District, earning the city $1.4 million for its own water system. Meanwhile, American Canyon authorized a 759-acre-foot transfer to the district, which covers Santa Clara County, for $150,000, while a third deal by Calistoga will produce $100,000 for 500 acre-feet. … ”  Read more from the Napa Valley Register here:  Napa County cities approve water transfers to Santa Clara County

Sites Reservoir has a new website, logo, and more than enough investors:  “Last week, folks who are in the inner circle of the plans for Sites Reservoir held a get-together in Maxwell to show off the group’s new office and new logo. Also new is a website, that talks about all things Sites Reservoir — a construction schedule, facts sheets and a list of interested participants.  The next big step is money, particularly through a proposal to get a chunk of the $2.7 billion of bond funds available from California’s Proposition 1.  The Sites Reservoir committee won’t be able to apply for that funding until around the middle of next year. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Sites Reservoir has a new website, logo, and more than enough investors

El Cerrito: Restored waterway coming to light again: A 180-foot stretch of Cerrito Creek that was previously in a culvert under a parking lot will be returning to daylight for the first time in decades.  The restoration is being done by the developer of a residential project being built at the El Cerrito Plaza shopping center.  The creek “daylighting” is one of the final stages of building Creekside Walk, a 128-unit rental project, including 19 affordable units, adjacent to the creek.  The creek restoration runs two blocks, from the Ohlone Greenway, a stretch of open space beneath the BART tracks in El Cerrito and Albany on the east, to Talbot Avenue on the west. ... ”  Read more from the East Bay Times here:  El Cerrito: Restored waterway coming to light again

In this California congressional district, water is more important than Trump:  “The signs vie for space with political campaign placards at intersections along State Route 43 as a constant reminder to Central Valley residents. “No water, no jobs.”  Trees along the roadside are yellowed and shrunken. In the distance a tractor creates a cloud of dust as it makes its way across a field.  “Water=Jobs,” reads one billboard. “Tell Feinstein to pass [the] water bill,” reads another.  The region’s congressman is among the most vulnerable incumbents in California. But unlike other parts of the state, where Republicans are suffering thanks to Donald Trump’s place at the top of the ticket on Nov. 8, Rep. David Valadao renounced Trump early and has been able to keep his reelection campaign local. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  In this California congressional district, water is more important than Trump

Why is an 11-year old registering his neighbors to vote? It’s the water: Meet 11-year-old Isaiah Rocha Morales. He sounds pretty typical for a kid his age.  “Everything’s boring here. There’s not a lot to do. Almost no one goes to the park to play,” says the sixth-grader at Pleasant View Elementary School in Poplar, a tiny Latino farmworker town of about 2,500 people in Tulare County.  Isaiah’s teacher, Somphane Hunter, describes his behavior as difficult, sometimes challenging.  “He displayed some pretty disruptive behavior at times. He just wasn’t on task, and he just wasn’t responding to what we were doing in class.” … ”  Read more from KQED here:  Why is an 11-year old registering his neighbors to vote? It’s the water

‘Farming nature’ helps restore Colorado Delta cottonwoods, willows: “Farming nature” may sound like a contradiction in terms, since many conservationists believe nature does best when left to itself.  But it is working on the Colorado River Delta, a new study finds.  Native cottonwoods, willows and birds are back in large numbers in some sections of the Colorado River Delta, more than two years after a huge “pulse” of water was released there.  At one major restoration area, an historic 1,400-acre wetlands complex known as Laguna Grande, some willow and cottonwood trees stand more than nine feet tall, said Karen Schlatter of the Sonoran Institute, which has run the restoration program there. … ”  Read more from the Arizona Daily Star here:  ‘Farming nature’ helps restore Colorado Delta cottonwoods, willows

Precipitation watch …

  • weather-1From the National Weather Service:  “Unsettled weather pattern expected into the weekend. An incoming weather system will bring showers and breezy winds to the area today into early Tuesday.”

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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