DAILY DIGEST: Who likes the state’s plan to keep more water for fish in California rivers? Practically nobody; Satellite study documents sinking of SF apartment tower; Secretary John Laird on California’s Resiliency and Climate Change Plans; and more …

In California water news today, Who likes the state’s plan to keep more water for fish in California rivers?  Practically nobody; Hilmar FFA members argue against raising river flows; First hearing for river flows plan; Stockton gets next session; Les Grober: It won’t help to vilify people; Many ski resorts now operating because of recent storms; Thanks to heavy rains, state may increase delivery allocations; Meet the minds: Christine Boyle on creating a collaborative water future; Safeguarding California: Secretary John Laird on California’s Resiliency and Climate Change Plans; and more …

In the news today …

Who likes the state’s plan to keep more water for fish in California rivers?  Practically nobody:  “California regulators say their sweeping proposal to devote more flows from the state’s major rivers to fish and wildlife is an attempt to balance competing interests for a scarce resource.  So far, all they’ve done is get practically everyone mad at them.  Opponents of the plan came out in force Tuesday, in the first of a series of hearings before the State Water Resources Control Board on the future of the San Joaquin River and its tributaries. Environmentalists said the plan doesn’t do enough for California’s beleaguered fish populations, while farmers and elected officials said the changes would dry up the San Joaquin Valley’s already troubled economy. ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Who likes the state’s plan to keep more water for fish in California rivers?  Practically nobody

Hilmar FFA members argue against raising river flows:  “A state panel heard arguments Tuesday for providing more river water for fish – and from Hilmar FFA members who said this would devastate farmers.  The State Water Resources Control Board launched its formal hearing on a proposed doubling of flows on the lower Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers each February through June.  Fishing and environmental groups had most of the scheduled time, and they used it to contend that salmon and other fish have suffered from diversions to farms and cities. … ”  Read more from the Merced Sun-Star here:  Hilmar FFA members argue against raising river flows

First hearing for river flows plan; Stockton gets next session:  “Asking the public to listen carefully to their controversial plan, state water officials began a series of hearings Tuesday on permanently shifting a share of water away from farms and cities and reallocating it to wildlife on streams feeding the San Joaquin River.  Tuesday’s meeting was in Sacramento, but the board will next head to Stockton on Dec. 16 for a session at the Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium.  San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties have expressed strong opposition. … ” Read more from the Stockton Record here:  First hearing for river flows plan; Stockton gets next session

Les Grober: It won’t help to vilify people:  “California Ag Today conducted an extensive interview with Les Grober, assistant deputy director, State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB, Water Board) Division of Water Rights. We published Part 1, “Water Board’s Point of View on Increasing San Joaquin River Flows,” on November 28, 2016.  Grober explained the Water Board’s water diversion plan to adjust the flow objectives on the San Joaquin River to protect fish and wildlife. The plan, specifically, is to divert 40 percent of water flows from the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced Rivers that flow into the lower San Joaquin River.  California Ag Today: We asked Mr. Grober to explain how the Federal Water users on the Westside of Fresno and Kings Counties were granted a mere 5 percent allocation this year, and why many did not receive their full 5 percent.  Grober: The 5 percent allocation is due to the junior water rights of those growers and to the interconnections of so many things — priority of right, hydrologic conditions, and minimal protections or fish and wildlife. Anyone who thinks it’s all due to fish is simplifying a very complex situation.  … ”  Read more from California Ag Today here:  Les Grober: It won’t help to vilify people

Many ski resorts now operating because of recent storms:  “Recent storms have brought rain to the valley and snow to the mountains. Enough snow has fallen that many ski resorts have opened within the last week.  Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood ski resorts in the Sierra have just begun operating and are now open 7 days a week.  Albeit not all the trails and chair lifts are up and running, there’s still plenty of skiing available. … ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:  Many ski resorts now operating because of recent storms

Thanks to heavy rains, state may increase delivery allocations:  “Dozens of water agencies in drought-weary California may receive only 20% of their requested deliveries in 2017, state officials said Monday.  But the Department of Water Resources’ initial allocation forecast is double what was announced a year ago.  Officials said winter storms in coming months may boost the first 2017 allocation, but they point out that California’s deep drought lingers.  Initial allocations almost always change. This year’s 10% allocation ultimately gave way to a 60% allotment. ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Thanks to heavy rains, state may increase delivery allocations

Meet the minds: Christine Boyle on creating a collaborative water future: Christine Boyle was working on her PhD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, when she first developed the idea for Valor Water Analytics – a startup that uses innovative software to help water utilities analyze their data, detect revenue loss and make more efficient decisions.  Since receiving her doctorate in water resource planning in 2011, Boyle has developed an award-winning company that works with utilities in different states and recently received $1.6 million in seed funding. Valor hopes to use the new funds to grow its business across the United States, to expand into additional utility verticals and to move beyond meter data into sensor-based technologies. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Meet the minds: Christine Boyle on creating a collaborative water future

Safeguarding California: Secretary John Laird on California’s Resiliency and Climate Change Plans:  “The California Legislature has increasingly focused on the need to adapt the state to the risks of climate change. Continuing on their leadership of addressing climate change, the Natural Resources Agency is preparing an update to the Safeguarding California action plan. Natural Resources Secretary John Laird joins TPR to educate readers on the scope and significance of this crucial undertaking, which aims to optimize and protect the state’s water supply, energy grid, forestland, and all resources on which California’s economy and quality of life rely. This interview comes in advance of the January California Climate Science Symposium in Sacramento. … ”  Read more from The Planning Report here:  Safeguarding California: Secretary John Laird on California’s Resiliency and Climate Change Plans

In regional news and commentary today …

Bucktail Project brings salmon back to the Trinity River:  “River restoration on the Trinity River, the largest tributary for the Klamath River, was not walk through the park.  Instead it was restoring what used to be labeled a dumping zone and transforming it into salmon habitat by creating a separate channel for the river. The restoration was part of a collaboration between the Yurok and Hoopa Valley Tribes called the Bucktail Project, part of the several restoration components for the Trinity River.  The project aims to improve the salmon and steelhead habitat within the 110-acre area, according to Richard Nelson, director of the Yurok Watershed Restoration Program. … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here:  Bucktail Project brings salmon back to the Trinity River

Dry Creek Rancheria seeks to restore Russian River tributary for fish, water supply: Tucked away among rolling green hills off the road leading up to the River Rock Casino near Geyserville, a once-beleaguered creek is springing back to life.  Situated at the bottom of a slope ravaged by a landslide in the 1980s, part of the creek bed and its immediate surroundings were for years covered with asphalt and used for parking. Now, with recently planted shrubs and trees taking root, the area is a testament of what could be in store for the entire mile-and-a-half-long waterway running through the Dry Creek Rancheria and into the Russian River. … ”  Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here:  Dry Creek Rancheria seeks to restore Russian River tributary for fish, water supply

Marin County reservoirs fill rapidly; two spilling over already:  “Marin Country reservoirs are rising with multiple storms arriving early in the rainy season. Two are already spilling over and funneling water into creeks and streams.  “So far this year we have received more than 17 inches of rainfall at Lake Lagunitas – we’re off to a great start with 78 percent of capacity at our seven reservoirs,” Lon Peterson, a spokesperson for the Marin Municipal Water District said.  … ”  Read more from SF Gate here:  Marin County reservoirs fill rapidly; two spilling over already

Wealthy Hillsoborough residents sue, saying water rates are too high: In a case that could have statewide ramifications, a group of multimillionaire Hillsborough residents, including an early funder of Microsoft, has sued the town claiming that its drought rules and penalties intended to keep people from over-watering big lawns are illegal.  The nine residents who are taking the town to court say that by imposing tiered water rates, and a $30 penalty for each unit of water used over the allotted amount, Hillsborough water officials violated Proposition 218, a state law that makes it illegal for government to charge more for a service than it costs to provide. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Wealthy Hillsoborough residents sue, saying water rates are too high

Yolo supervisors join Sac River revival: Derelict and moored boats will no longer be allowed to occupy the waters of the Sacramento River in Yolo County’s jurisdiction.  Yolo supervisors have now formally adopted an ordinance which restricts boats and other watercraft from anchoring and mooring in local rivers or streams for more than 96 consecutive hours — increasing the safety and diminishing any environmental impact.  The ordinance was first discussed at the Board’s Oct. 25 meeting with the aim of curbing the increase in the number of abandoned, submerged and live-aboard derelict vessels that have made a home for themselves along the river and its shores in recent years. When left alone, these boats have the potential to contaminate the water through the leaking of organic waste and fuel. ... ”  Read more from the Daily Democrat here:  Yolo supervisors join Sac River revival

Satellite study documents sinking of SF apartment tower: Engineers in San Francisco have tunneled underground to try and understand the sinking of the 58-story Millennium Tower. Now comes an analysis from space.  The European Space Agency has released detailed data from satellite imagery that show the skyscraper at Mission and Fremont streets is continuing to sink at a steady rate — and perhaps faster than previously known.  … ”  Read more from KQED here: Satellite study documents sinking of SF apartment tower

Orange County Water District leads on recycling and groundwater management:  “In September, the Orange County Water District Board of Directors voted unanimously to upgrade their water recycling program. The District manages the groundwater basin for Orange County communities north of Irvine The expansion of the Groundwater Replenishment System will increase the amount of water treated and sent back to underground basins by 30 million gallons a day. TPR sat down with OCWD General Manager Mike Markus, a 25-year veteran of the agency, to discuss how Orange County has continued to lead on water reuse in Southern California. Markus discusses the visionary leadership of his board to expand the amount of potable water produced from 100 million gallons per day to 130 million gallons, as well as adopt the most cutting-edge reverse osmosis technologies on the market.  Let’s begin with the Orange County Water District’s mission, which you are charged with carrying out. … ”  Read more from The Planning Report here:  Orange County Water District leads on recycling and groundwater management

Indian Wells Valley groundwater authority talks committee structures:  “The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority board of directors, at its meeting Nov. 17, talked shop about two committees that will help shape policy and technical details for the future groundwater sustainability agency.  The board, in a 5-0 vote, approved the membership list for its policy advisory committee. The members include the five general members of the IWVGA/GSA — representatives from Inyo, Kern and San Bernardino counties, the city of Ridgecrest and the Indian Wells Valley Water District, a representative from each of the two associate members (Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake and the Bureau of Land Management), two members for large agriculture interests (Meadowbrook and Mojave Pistachios) … ”  Read more from the Siskiyou (?) Daily News here:  Indian Wells Valley groundwater authority talks committee structures

Santa Monica wants to build the greenest structure in California’s history.  Can they pull it off?  “On a small and skinny lot wedged behind its historic city hall, Santa Monica is trying to accomplish something that has never been done before in California. By 2020, the city hopes to construct a 50,000-square-foot city services building that will meet the requirements of the International Living Future Institute’s “Living Building Challenge” — the most stringent environmental building standard in the world.  As if building on an odd-shaped lot next to a protected landmark isn’t difficult enough, constructing a Living Building requires net-zero energy and water usage; buildings must generate all of their own power sustainably, as well as collect and treat their own water. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Santa Monica wants to build the greenest structure in California’s history.  Can they pull it off?

Precipitation watch …

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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