DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: California’s drought divide: Rainy north, dry south; Fitch: Revenue bond vote may slow or stop California Water Fix; Reservoir expansion could store water for millions in the Bay Area; Stanford takes a crack at studying Central Coast aquifer seawater intrusion; and more …

Sunset in the Delta

In California water news this weekend, California’s drought divide: Rainy north, dry south; Record October rainfall a tough act to follow; Fitch: Revenue bond vote may slow or stop California Water Fix; Drought impacting one in three Americans this fall; The world isn’t doing enough to combat climate change; Siskiyou County: Salmon counting stations up and running; New virus infected brains of last year’s Eel River salmon run; More than a water tower: The Art, History And Utility Of Alhambra Reservoir; Reservoir expansion could store water for millions in the Bay Area; Stanford takes a crack at studying Central Coast aquifer seawater intrusion; and Landscape architects see Los Angeles as living lab in combating climate change

In the news this weekend …

California’s drought divide: Rainy north, dry south: Among the changing red and yellow fall leaves of Yosemite National Park, nature artist Penny Otwell is marveling at the fullest rushing waterfalls and rivers she’s ever painted there in autumn. But down in the dry Southern California suburbs, David Cantuna laments the same dead and dying grass in his backyard.  California’s historic drought finally is easing in parts of the north, thanks to October rains that were three or more times the norm.  “I’ve been here 53 years and I’ve never seen it like this,” said Otwell, busy in recent weeks capturing on canvas Yosemite’s flooded meadows, brimming rivers and gushing waterfalls that more typically are dry this time of year. … ”  Read more from ABC News here:  California’s drought divide: Rainy north, dry south

Record October rainfall a tough act to follow: Northern California had one of its wettest Octobers ever, but forecasters aren’t ready to predict that the above-average precipitation will continue into the winter.  But some promising signs exist, including the lack of a dominant high-pressure ridge that kept storms off the coast from coming in, said Eric Kurth, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Sacramento.  “The good thing is, at least we’re seeing breaks” in the ridging, Kurth said. “In years past, these high-pressure ridges were just sitting for weeks blocking everything. In this case we’re seeing more of a progressive pattern. We’re getting some warm and dry weather and we’re also getting periods of wet. That’s more encouraging.” ... ”  Read more from the Capital Press here:  Record October rainfall a tough act to follow

Fitch: Revenue bond vote may slow or stop California Water Fix:  “Approval of Proposition 53 by California voters next week would likely slow or prevent a $17.1 billion water project known as the California Water Fix, Fitch Ratings says. The project’s timing and cost are important to the state’s water and sewer utilities. Even if Proposition 53 is not approved, the long-term plan for the project will remain controversial.  Proposition 53, if approved, would require revenue bonds issued by the state of California exceeding $2 billion dollars to be approved by two-thirds of voters. General obligations bonds, which are paid with taxpayer dollars, already require voter approval. Revenue bonds, which are paid by user fees including water rates, do not. ... ”  Read more from Fitch here:  Fitch: Revenue bond vote may slow or stop California Water Fix

Drought impacting one in three Americans this fall:  “Drought is rearing its ugly head across the U.S. this fall, scorching crops, fueling wildfires and forcing strict water conservation in the West, South and Northeast.  More than one-fourth of the nation is experiencing drought conditions, the highest percentage in nearly a year, according to this week’s U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday. In all, some 128.7 million Americans are currently living in drought-stricken areas. … ”  Read more from USA Today here:  Drought impacting one in three Americans this fall

The world isn’t doing enough to combat climate change: The Paris Agreement to limit global warming goes into effect Friday. It’s stated goal is to keep the world from warming more than 2°C (3.6°F) above pre-industrial times.  There’s just one problem: the greenhouse gas emissions reductions countries have pledged so aren’t nearly enough to meet that goal, according to the United Nations’ Environmental Program’s fifth annual emissions gap report published on Thursday. … ”  Read more from KQED here:  The world isn’t doing enough to combat climate change

In regional news and commentary this weekend …

Siskiyou County: Salmon counting stations up and running:  “The salmon are once again returning to Siskiyou County rivers and streams, welcomed by weeks of rainfall.  According to California Department of Fish and Wildlife Specialist Morgan Knechtle, the fish counting facilities on the Shasta River, Bogus Creek and Scott River were up and running on Sept. 6, Sept. 8 and Sept. 22, respectively.  The latest figures, released on Monday, show that 299 Chinook salmon had returned to the Scott River by Oct. 21. Last year, the Scott saw 372 total Chinook return, according to CDFW data. The final Chinook counted in 2015 came in on Dec. 9. … ”  Read more from the Siskiyou Daily News here:  Salmon counting stations up and running

New virus infected brains of last year’s Eel River salmon run: Researchers have identified a novel virus found in the brains of Eel River salmon from last year’s strenuous run, but the find is not generating any concerns for fish health this year.  U.C. Davis Associate Professor of medicine and epidemiology Esteban Soto Martinez said there is much they don’t know about the virus, but said that it was likely the “perfect storm” of poor river conditions such as drought, warm water, algae, and parasites that allowed it to infect the salmon. Soto Martinez said some viruses are “opportunistic” in this way. … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here:  New virus infected brains of last year’s Eel River salmon run

More than a water tower: The Art, History And Utility Of Alhambra Reservoir: The Alhambra Reservoir, as it’s known in the Sacramento utilities department, is one of the largest reinforced concrete elevated tanks ever constructed (according to Public Buildings: A Survey of Architecture of Projects Constructed by Federal and Other Governmental Bodies Between the Years 1933 and 1939 with Assistance of Public Works). It’s one of a trio of such structures in Sacramento, the other two are near Sacramento City College and the UC Davis Medical Center.”One hundred and twenty four feet of cylindrical grey concrete rise above the Alhambra Safeway in East Sacramento. You see it whether you’re speeding past on Business 80 Capital City Freeway or crawling by in rush hour traffic.  A bright blue pattern of lines and squares lights up the tower at night.  … ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:   More than a water tower: The Art, History And Utility Of Alhambra Reservoir

Reservoir expansion could store water for millions in the Bay Area: Millions of Bay Area residents could get extra drought insurance against water shortages and quality problems from a proposed $800 million expansion of the Los Vaqueros Reservoir expansion that may have up to 10 water suppliers as partners.  Ten water agencies serving San Jose,  Fremont, Oakland, Concord, Richmond, Antioch, San Francisco and other communities have negotiated preliminary deals to contribute a combined $1 million for feasibility studies on expanding the reservoir south of Brentwood. … ”  Read more from the Mercury News here:  Reservoir expansion could store water for millions in the Bay Area

Stanford takes a crack at studying Central Coast aquifer seawater intrusion: Focusing on a 1,000-foot-deep two-dimensional slice of ground from Aptos down to Monterey, Stanford University researchers are taking a new tact studying saltwater intrusion along the Central Coast.  Groundwater agencies typically rely on wells to determine when saltwater is creeping into their water supply, with little nuance or advance warning on how quickly the contamination is spreading, officials say. In work being submitted to the Journal of Hydrology for publication, new research is supplementing existing data with geophysical imaging, using electrical currents sent into the ground. … ”  Read more from the Mercury News here:  Stanford takes a crack at studying Central Coast aquifer seawater intrusion

Landscape architects see Los Angeles as living lab in combating climate change:  “Some 50 years ago, Los Angeles postcards proudly showcased the city’s tangle of freeways — with traffic flowing freely, of course. To landscape architect Gerdo Aquino, that retro art inspires questions about the future.  “We used to be so proud of our infrastructure,” said Aquino, an adjunct associate professor at the USC School of Architecture. He scans a mid-century postcard image of L.A.’s famous four-level interchange north of downtown. “It makes me wonder — just what is the appropriate image to be emblazoned onto a postcard that speaks to the identity of Los Angeles?” … ”  Continue reading at USC News here:  Landscape architects see Los Angeles as living lab in combating climate change

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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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