DAILY DIGEST: Another step in long march towards California water deal in Congress; SGMA challenges diversity of California farms; Temperance Flat proponents hopeful for success under Trump administration; and more …

In California water news today, Another step in long march towards California deal in Congress; SGMA challenges diversity of California farms; Temperance Flat proponents hopeful for success under Trump administration; New California law may unleash ‘billions of dollars' for water; What does Trump mean for America's land and waters?; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • The Delta Stewardship Council will meet at 9am.   Agenda items include presentations on the Levee Hazards Science Workshop Report and on the State of Bay Delta Science 2016 report.  Click here for the agendaClick here to watch on webcast.
  • SGMA Best Management Practices meeting at 1pm in Santa Ana. The DWR Sustainable Groundwater Management Program is hosting a public meeting to solicit input regarding the planned BMP topics, as well as other potential GSP guidance information. The meetings are an opportunity to discuss BMPs and GSP guidance information and to provide feedback to DWR.  The draft BMPs are available here: http://water.ca.gov/groundwater/sgm/bmps.cfm.  Click here for meeting notice.
  • The Delta Protection Commission meets tonight at 5:30pm in Knightsen.  Agenda items include a report from the Delta Protection Advisory Committee, a presentation on the Delta Socioeconomic Indicators project, an update on the Delta Conservation Framework, and a report on the Division of Boating and Waterways Aquatic Invasive Species planning.  Click here for the agenda.

In the news today …

Another step in long march towards California water deal in Congress:  “A key House committee on Wednesday approved a big irrigation drainage deal with California’s politically potent Westlands Water District, opening another front in the state’s ongoing conflict over water, money and power.  Watched over by a handful of lobbyists and activists, the House Natural Resources Committee approved the controversial Westlands deal by a mostly party line 27-to-12 vote following an occasionally testy markup. Fresno-area Rep. Jim Costa was one of only three Democrats on the committee to support the legislation.  “It resolves a long-festering challenge that we’ve had,” Costa said during the hour-long session. … ”  Read more from the Sun Herald here:  Another step in long march towards California water deal in Congress

SGMA challenges diversity of California farms:  “California’s agricultural sector, a major ground-water user, finds itself in the midst of the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).  The law mandates the formation of local ground-water sustainability agencies (GSAs) and adoption of groundwater sustainability plans (GSPs) for all overdrafted groundwater basins across the state by 2020. Each GSA will be unique, with its own governance structures and rules, including the size and composition of the governing board, mechanisms for representing different interests, opportunities for stakeholders to participate, and rules concerning the allocation of pumping “rights” and the use of economic instruments, such as pumping permits, pumping taxes or tiered pricing, to incentivize pumping curtailments. … ” Read more from California Agriculture here:  SGMA challenges diversity of California farms

Temperance Flat proponents hopeful for success under Trump administration:San Joaquin Valley Water JPA executive director Mario Santoyo will be meeting with Bureau of Reclamation state officials this week encouraging the federal agency to free up more water in the proposed final Temperance Flat feasibility study for farms and cities with less of an emphasis on environmental water uses.  Santoyo says getting the Bureau to look more favorably on water users may be easier when President-elect Donald Trump’s Secretary of the Interior is in place and can call the shots. ... ”  Read more from the Hanford Sentinel here:  Temperance Flat proponents hopeful for success under Trump administration

New California law may unleash ‘billions of dollars' for water:  “California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill in October expanding the scope of what is considered water infrastructure in the state.  The measure officially defines source watersheds “as integral components of California’s water infrastructure.” It will make source watersheds “eligible for the same forms of financing as other water collection and treatment infrastructure.” … ”  Read more from Water Online here:  New California law may unleash ‘billions of dollars’ for water

California's snow sentinel: When all your water is in the snowpack, you had better keep your eyes on the mountaintops: Governor Jerry Brown’s hiking boots were dry as he stood in a grassy meadow 6,800 feet high in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. He should have been buried up to his eyeballs in snow at that time of year—near the end of the spring storm season. But 2015 was the worst year yet for the state’s ongoing drought, and for the first time in 75 years, the ground at this snow-measuring station was bare on April 1. Because the state’s overall snowpack contained a fraction of its usual water content, Brown ordered California to slash its water usage by one-quarter. It was the latest in a series of desperate measures to try to curtail the use of water the state simply did not have. ... ”  Read more from Air & Space Magazine here:  California’s snow sentinel: When all your water is in the snowpack, you had better keep your eyes on the mountaintops

Trump's water promises to Central Valley could face state and federal opposition: Earlier this year, Donald Trump met with Central Valley farmers about the drought, then told a rally there was no drought and promised to turn on the spigots. But as KQED Science Editor Craig Miller reports, that may be easier said than done. Reporter: Craig Miller.”    Listen here:  Trump’s water promises to Central Valley could face state and federal opposition

What does Trump mean for America's land and waters? The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States last Tuesday fell like a lightning bolt on the American environmental community. But it has left many environmentalists energized for battle—albeit against an adversary whose positions are in part still ill-defined.  “The next few years will bring some big fights and also some unpredictable fluidity,” Environmental Defense Fund president Fred Krupp wrote on his organization’s website. “We will ferociously defend America’s bedrock environmental protections.“  “If President-Elect Trump and his allies think the results of this election give them a mandate to roll back this progress they are sorely mistaken,” says League of Conservation Voters president Gene Karpinski in a statement. “To the contrary, polls demonstrate bipartisan support for action on climate change and protections for clean air and clean water, and we urge Donald Trump to respect that support.” … ”  Read more from National Geographic here:  What does Trump mean for America’s land and waters?

In commentary today …

California agencies must shift flood management approach to work with nature, says Lois Wolk:  She writes, “It’s hard to think about floods after five years of drought. But in Sacramento, we don’t have a choice.  Scientists tell us that climate change will bring drier years and more severe storms. Recent history shows this threat, as California has bounced between drought and flood. As the recent catastrophic flooding in Baton Rouge, La., makes clear, we can’t wait for rising waters to plan for floods.  An overhaul in how California prepares for and manages floods is long overdue. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  California agencies must shift flood management approach to work with nature

From the Delta to the desert: Trump's Interior pick bad news for California water:  Chris Clarke writes, “We’ve known for some weeks that Donald Trump’s transition team includes attorney David Longly Bernhardt, who has been tasked with managing the post-electoral turnover at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Bernhardt will be overseeing the hiring process for Trump’s new Interior Secretary, along with a number of important subordinate positions within the Department, including heads of agencies like the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  … And that may well mean a couple of long-term California water issues get very close attention from Trump’s new Interior Department. … ”  Read more from KCET here:  From the Delta to the desert: Trump’s Interior pick bad news for California water

Engaging millenials on water issues:  Justin Wallin writes, “If this summer’s Pokemon Go fad proved anything, it’s that there’s some truth to the Millennial stereotype; They are maddeningly obsessed with technology; they are self-absorbed; and they have short attention spans.  It’s reason enough to view the generation with some degree of suspicion. Objectively, we know it is unproductive to allow these broad brush characterizations to unduly influence our view of this, or any other, generation.  No generation thinks, hopes or behaves uniformly. We’re individuals, not demographic blocs. Yet, there are shared traits that allow us to effectively incorporate Millennials into targeted public affairs and outreach efforts.  And it is wise to do so. … ”  Read more from Public CEO here:  Engaging millenials on water issues

In regional news and commentary today …

Salmon habitat restoration work underway along the Sacramento River: Work is underway along the east banks of the Sacramento River to protect young salmon.  Multiple agencies are teaming for the project as part of a requirement of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. The goal is to replenish spawning gravel and rearing habitat for winter-run Chinook salmon.  The Western Shasta Resource Conservation District is among the agencies working together on the project.  Project Manager Harmony Gugino said the big goal would be to create a self-sustaining ecosystem but she understands more work may have to be done. … ”  Read more from KRCR here:  Salmon habitat restoration work underway along the Sacramento River

Is this the end of water hyacinth in the Delta? It's a problem that has been plaguing the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta for decades: water hyacinth.   “It’s an invasive, non-native aquatic weed,” U.S. Department of Agriculture research entomologist Patrick Moran said. “It floats on the water surface. It was introduced from South America over 100 years ago because it has pretty flowers and now it's spread out of control.”  The growth of water hyacinth was exacerbated by the statewide historic drought, as water temperatures increased and water flow decreased. … ”  Read more from KCRA here:  Is this the end of water hyacinth in the Delta?

State's river flow plan will get close look in Modesto meeting:  “Friday will provide a chance to wade into the details of the state’s proposal to increase flows on the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers.  The meeting in Modesto will involve staff members with Stanislaus County government and the State Water Resources Control Board, which announced the controversial plan in September.  They will discuss the economic effects of the plan, which farmers and other critics say have been greatly underestimated by the state. They also will talk about the expected increase in well pumping and effects on drinking water supplies. … ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here:  State’s river flow plan will get close look in Modesto meeting

Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve feels the effects of high tides:  “The Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve is full of water after high tides rolled in.  Researchers say it could be an effect of the “Supermoon” and it's gravitational effect on Earth creating higher than usual tides.  There are times when high tides can create destruction, but in this case it helps the reserve and natural habitats.  The reserve contains an important Southern California estuary, which supports many sensitive plant and animal species. It provides habitat for migratory birds, plants and animal species that could be endangered or threatened. … ”  Read more from KEYT here:  Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve feels the effects of high tides

Santa Ana River sucker rescue saves hundreds of endangered fish: What had once been a rapidly moving section of Santa Ana River was reduced to a pond.  The fish living there – including the endangered Santa Ana sucker – might have been in danger if not for the 50 or so environmentalists and volunteers who were on hand.  On Wednesday, the artificial drought was caused by the planned maintenance shutdown of a wastewater treatment plant upstream in Colton.  “I never thought this section would get so dry,” said Dave Woelfel, an environmental scientist for the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board who was watching for fish from the riverbank. … “  Read more from the Riverside Press-Enterprise here:  Santa Ana River sucker rescue saves hundreds of endangered fish

Inland Empire: Why water district is paying growers to replace avocado trees: Thirsty avocado trees in the hills of De Luz are on a literal chopping block.  The Rancho California Water District on Monday, Nov. 14, started accepting applications from district growers who want to remove high water use crops, such as avocado trees, for lower use varieties such as wine grapes or citrus trees.  In the last few years, those growers have been hit with higher water prices tied to Governor Brown’s statewide call for conservation. They have also faced competition from Mexico growers, which is still a pressing concern despite the recent “shortage” tied to a strike in that country. … ”  Read more from the Riverside Press-Enterprise here:  Why water district is paying growers to replace avocado trees

Along the Colorado River …

Water board skewered for failing to fix the Salton Sea: Residents and officials living near California’s Salton Sea skewered the state water board in Sacramento on Tuesday for dragging their feet to solve the lake’s steady shrinking.  “You assigned a task force to address this problem, but neither the task nor the force were sufficient to meet the scope of the problem,” Imperial Irrigation District general manager Kevin Kelley told the five-person State Water Resources Control Board. “The state has dithered and called it due diligence. We have a ticking time bomb and you’ve treated it like a beach ball at a backyard picnic.”  He added: “The Salton Sea is no picnic.”… ”  Read more from Courthouse News Service here:  Water board skewered for failing to fix the Salton Sea

Salton Sea ultimatum: California water district demands state plan by December 31:  “The Imperial Irrigation District has given California officials an ultimatum on the Salton Sea, demanding the state finalize a 10-year “roadmap” for the shrinking lake by the end of this year.  The Imperial Valley water district made the appeal this week, urging state officials to uphold their responsibility to control dust and protect public health as the lake recedes.  The demand came with a warning: If the state fails to move forward quickly, the district said it couldn't support a proposed Colorado River drought deal, which would involve taking less water out of Lake Mead to avert a more severe shortage at the nation’s largest reservoir. ... ”  Read more from the Desert Sun here:  Salton Sea ultimatum: California water district demands state plan by December 31

Drought on Colorado River sparks revolutionary idea: Sharing water:  “Business as usual on the Colorado River may be about to come to a screeching halt.  One of the worst recorded droughts in human history has stretched water supplies thin across the far-reaching river basin, which serves 40 million people.  Nowhere is this more obvious than Lake Mead, which straddles the border of Arizona and Nevada. The water level in the country’s largest manmade reservoir has been plummeting; it’s now only 38 percent full. ... ”  Read more from KQED here:  Drought on Colorado River sparks revolutionary idea: Sharing water

Precipitation watch …

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: