DAILY DIGEST: Judge delays ruling on California water quality standards; Eleven experts to watch on water innovation; Feds say 25% of California is drought-free, but state officials still cautious; Cortopassi’s race nears finish line, draws big bucks; and more …

In California water news today, Judge delays ruling on California water quality standards; Eleven experts to watch on water innovation; A quarter of California lifted out of drought by autumn rains; Feds say 25% of California is drought-free, but state officials still cautious; Is the drought really over?; Cortopassi’s race nears finish line as showdown with Governor Brown draws big bucks; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

Judge delays ruling on California water quality standards:  ” A federal judge Thursday refused the Environmental Protection Agency’s request to dismiss a claim that it failed to review changes California made to its water quality standards during its ongoing drought, but asked both sides for more information.  “I need some clarity as to what my role is,” U.S. District Judge Tigar said at a hearing on the EPA’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit from the Natural Resources Defense Council.  The NRDC, Bay.org and Defenders of Wildlife, accused the EPA in April 2016 of shirking its mandatory duty under the Clean Water Act to review temporary revisions California made to more than two dozen water quality standards in the Bay-Delta estuary to stave off its unrelenting drought. … ”  Read more from the Courthouse News Service here:  Judge delays ruling on California water quality standards

Eleven experts to watch on water innovation:  “California’s years-long drought has caused problems big and small, but it has also sparked a call to dramatically speed up innovation in the water industry. California of all places, advocates say, should lead the way in revolutionizing water management and water technology.  “It’s not the first time the state has faced a major resource crisis, and, if history is a guide, the Golden State could lead the way to reinvent its – and the U.S. – water sector,” Stanford University’s Newsha Ajami wrote in a July op-ed for Water Deeply.  Meet 11 experts creatively rethinking the way we use, produce and collaborate around water. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Eleven experts to watch on water innovation

A quarter of California lifted out of drought by autumn rains:  “A heavy dousing of autumn rain in Northern California has lifted a quarter of the state out of drought, the highest percentage in more than three years, according to a new federal report Thursday.  Water officials who oversaw mandatory water conservation by cities and towns emphasized three-fourths of the state remains in the five-year drought.  “Droughts are like recessions. Recovery from a recession doesn’t happen overnight; recovery from a drought doesn’t happen overnight,” said Max Gomberg of the state Water Resources Control Board. … ”  Read more from NBC News here:  A quarter of California lifted out of drought by autumn rains

Feds say 25% of California is drought-free, but state officials still cautious: A rainy October in Northern California has lifted about a quarter of the state out of drought conditions, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported Thursday.  It’s the rosiest picture released by federal officials since the spring of 2013, when about 64% of the state was considered to be in “moderate drought” — or worse.  The rains so far this fall have given some weather watchers reason for optimism as California braces for a potential sixth year of drought. ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Feds say 25% of California is drought-free, but state officials still cautious

Is the drought really over?  “State water officials can’t seem to agree on whether the drought is over or just as bad as ever. In April, officials with the state Water Resources Control Board relaxed environmental protections for endangered salmon and steelhead so that farmers in the San Joaquin Valley could receive more of the water that would have otherwise flowed through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and into San Francisco Bay. Their rationale? Because of the ongoing drought, delta fishes nearing extinction would just have to get by with less water.  However, only a month later, the same board of officials determined that the drought had eased enough to lift the mandatory water conservation limits imposed in 2015 by Gov. Jerry Brown. Specifically, officials decided to allow water districts themselves to determine how, if at all, their customers should curtail consumption. … ”  Read more from Oakland Magazine here:  Is the drought really over?

Cortopassi’s race nears finish line as showdown with Governor Brown draws big bucks:  “It was Monday afternoon, and Dino Cortopassi hadn’t yet heard about the latest jab which Gov. Jerry Brown had taken against Cortopassi’s Proposition 53 just a few hours earlier.  Speaking at an event in San Francisco, Brown suggested that his dog, Sutter, had a message for Californians: “Pee on 53.”  The 79-year-old Cortopassi paused upon hearing this, then said: “He’s getting pretty desperate, isn’t he?”  The governor, that is. ... ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here:  Cortopassi’s race nears finish line as showdown with Governor Brown draws big bucks

In commentary today …

Without water, the San Joaquin Valley withers, says Buddy Mendes:  He writes, “Current water policy has brought us to a critical point in California’s future, and decisions related to these policies will test the morality and character of our state leaders.  For many longtime residents and newly arrived families in the San Joaquin Valley, it’s not the drought that poses the biggest threat to their livelihood. The biggest threat is government decisions that deny water to this agricultural region.  A recent economic impact report examined the challenges facing the San Joaquin Valley region and confirmed that agriculture is the lifeblood of the area. More importantly, the report raised serious questions about the present and future of the area if agricultural production continues to decline. ... ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here:  Without water, the San Joaquin Valley withers

In regional news and commentary today …

North Coast: Warm water anomaly could affect salmon, crabs:  “The notorious blob, a mass of unusually warm water stretching from Alaska to Mexico, has crept its way back onto the radar as NOAA scientists try to determine what the ocean anomaly might cause as it travels up and down the coast.  Initially, the blob formed because winter storms that normally mix surface waters with deep cold water were not as strong and made the usual transport of cool water from the north weaker as well, which meant the normal degree of winter cooling over the north Pacific did not occur, according to NOAA and Humboldt State University fisheries oceanographer Eric Bjorkstedt. … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here:  Warm water anomaly could affect salmon, crabs

Ninth Circuit approves plans for Lake Tahoe:  “The Ninth Circuit ruled Wednesday that the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s new rules include enough protections against water pollution caused by concentrated development.  Famous for its crystal clear waters and the surrounding panorama of snowcapped mountains, Lake Tahoe is a freshwater lake that straddles the California-Nevada border. At 191 square miles it is the largest alpine lake in North America, and the sixth-largest lake by volume in the United States.  Lake Tahoe is a major tourist destination, attracting skiers in the winter and swimmers, hikers, boating enthusiasts, and fishermen in the warmer months. The Nevada side hosts large casinos. … ”  More from the Courthouse News Service here:  Ninth Circuit approves plans for Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe: Headway made in fight against aquatic invasive plants:  “In 2010, the Tahoe Resource Conservation District (Tahoe RCD), in collaboration with the Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Program, began treatment of approximately six acres of aquatic invasive plants in the nearshore by Vikingsholm in the iconic Emerald Bay. The control methods included bottom barriers, which kill plants by eliminating light, and diver-assisted suction removal, which physically removes plants and roots. After four years of comprehensive treatment, Emerald Bay remains free of aquatic invasive plants.  Using this integrated approach, other locations around the Lake Tahoe Basin are being addressed. An Implementation Plan for the Control of Aquatic Invasive Species within Lake Tahoe developed by University of Nevada Reno in 2015 is guiding the way. … ”  Read more from Yuba Net here:  Lake Tahoe: Headway made in fight against aquatic invasive plants

Lodi: How the crane festival took flight: The roots of this weekend’s Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival, now celebrating 20 years, can be traced all the way back to February 1989 and a young Department of Fish and Game employee who was just a few days into a brand new job.  A biologist coworker invited Bruce Forman to what is now the Isenberg Crane Reserve, along Woodbridge Road west of Interstate 5.  Forman had seen cranes before, of course. But nothing like what happened at dusk that day when the birds returned to roost for the night. ... ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here:  How the crane festival took flight

State controller: Central Valley could become tech hub for water saving technology:  “California State Controller Betty Yee was in Fresno on Thursday encouraging Central Valley entrepreneurs to build a healthy business community in the Fresno area that would rival other well-known technology and science hubs in the state.  “You don’t need to be Silicon Valley to look for opportunities,” Yee said as the keynote speaker for the Central Valley Venture Forum, an annual conference for businesses and investors that was held at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District. ... ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here:  State controller: Central Valley could become tech hub for water saving technology

City of West Hollywood’s report refutes arguments for restricting development to save water: The report, which will be presented to the City Council at its meeting on Monday, effectively refutes the argument by some anti-development activists that projects being planned for West Hollywood will worsen the impact of the California drought. That argument was made in unsuccessful opposition to a project at 8017-8029 Norton Ave. among others.  The report notes that the city’s water suppliers, Beverly Hills Public Works and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LAWP), have confirmed that there is enough water capacity to accommodate the growth that is projected in WeHo in coming years. … ”  Read more from Wehoville here:  City of West Hollywood’s report refutes arguments for restricting development to save water

A desert oasis dries up:  “”The last great frontier,” people called it. “The next Palm Springs.” “The desert of plenty.”  It was the mid 1950s, and Borrego Springs—a tiny unincorporated community located smack in the middle of the sprawling Anza-Borrego Desert—was poised to become California’s next great oasis. The town had already begun to make a name for itself as a thriving farming outpost; as Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley suburbanized rapidly to the north, the state’s agriculture had been pushed farther and farther inland, and by the 1940s the dusty plains of the Borrego Valley boasted acres of grapes, gladiolas, citrus. Now, the town’s founders sought to follow in the footsteps of nearby Palm Springs, developing the community’s tourism industry in hopes of making it a verdant playground for the urban elite. Country clubs and golf courses started cropping up left and right. To Borrego’s founders, the town’s future seemed as ripe for the picking as one of the DiGiorgio farms’ famously early table grapes. … ”  Continue reading at Curbed LA here:  A desert oasis dries up

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

Sign up for daily email service and you’ll never miss a post …

Daily emailsSign up for free daily email service and you’ll get all the Notebook’s aggregated and original water news content delivered to your email box by 9AM. And with breaking news alerts, you’ll always be one of the first to know …


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.

 

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: