DAILY DIGEST: State’s new water conservation plan focuses on cities; What CA can learn from Canada about water tech; Water inequality in LA; A grand compromise for the Delta? and more …

In California water news today, California’s new water conservation plan focuses on cities; What California can learn from Canada about water technology; Turning stormwater from gray to green; Water use in Butte County on track for next round of conservation rules; Marin: Woodacre culvert work will help rare fish as rains arrive; Turlock area takes key step to protect groundwater; Agreement with Kern County means groundwater planning can move forward; A problem: Water inequality; Stock sale nets Cadiz $9 million to move forward with controversial groundwater plan; A grand compromise for the Delta? and more …

In the news today …

California’s new water conservation plan focuses on cities:  “California officials crafting a new conservation plan for the state’s dry future drew criticism from environmentalists on Thursday for failing to require more cutbacks of farmers, who use 80 percent of the water consumed by people.  Gov. Jerry Brown ordered up the state plans for improving long-term conservation in May, when he lifted a statewide mandate put in place at the height of California’s drought for 25-percent water conservation by cities and towns.  Ben Chou, a water-policy analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council, criticized state planners for not mandating any new water-savings by farm water districts. … ”  Read more from KPCC here:  California’s new water conservation plan focuses on cities

What California can learn from Canada about water technology: Californians hear a lot about the lessons they can learn from other areas that have coped with water scarcity, like Israel’s development of desalination or how Australia handled its Millennial Drought, which lasted more than a decade.  But not all water issues come down to scarcity. And that’s why looking north to Canada could also provide some inspiration when it comes to technologies to treat water (and ways to save energy in the process), tools for finding and fixing leaks, faster processes for testing water and software for analyzing important water data. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  What California can learn from Canada about water technology

Turning stormwater from gray to green:  “California’s five-year drought is changing our take on rainfall in cities, recasting it from a threat to a resource. “For so long, stormwater was simply a nuisance,” said Keith Lichten of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board. “We needed to get it out of the way as quickly as possible to protect structures.” But stormwater can also be an asset. Instead of directing it into gutters and straight down stormdrains, we can capture and clean it in rain gardens and other planted areas.  This green infrastructure mimics the natural water cycle, replenishing groundwater while enhancing our communities and ecosystems. “Green infrastructure is important to the quality of life in the Bay Area, not just to the water supply,” Lichten said.  A trio of recent laws will nudge us closer to making this vision a reality. … ”  Read more from the Bay Area Monitor here:  Turning stormwater from gray to green

Water use in Butte County on track for next round of conservation rules:  “When it comes to water use, keep up what you’re doing. That’s the word from residential water providers in Chico and Oroville.  All those water-saving habits have resulted in significant reductions in water use since 2013.  This week the state released a new plan with the goal of making water “conservation a way of life.” Most have adopted current guidelines by preventing water from running down the sidewalk and adjusting times when yards are watered. Those guidelines will remain, perhaps with a few added to the mix before the new period of rule-making is done. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Water use in Butte County on track for next round of conservation rules

Marin: Woodacre culvert work will help rare fish as rains arrive:  “Endangered fish will have an easier swim back into Marin as the rains arrive thanks to a project that re-worked a Woodacre culvert that acted as an impediment to their return.  Each fall and winter coho salmon return to the streams in which they were born to spawn after returning from the ocean, but over the years people have put up structures that can hinder the annual ritual.  Now work sponsored by the county of Marin that started in August and was finished late last month on San Geronimo Creek in Woodacre will give the federally endangered coho — said to be in an “extinction vortex” — a better chance of survival. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here:  Woodacre culvert work will help rare fish as rains arrive

Turlock area takes key step to protect groundwater:  “A new agency is starting to fall into place with the mission of protecting groundwater in the Turlock Irrigation District.  The district’s board voted Tuesday to take part in an effort that also would include cities and other public entities that pump wells within TID’s boundaries.  The agency, serving an area from south Modesto to Hilmar, would carry out a 2014 state law that mandates sustainable groundwater use within a quarter-century. … ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here:  Turlock area takes key step to protect groundwater

Agreement with Kern County means groundwater planning can move forward:  “Kern County has reached tentative agreement with several groups trying to form groundwater agencies per a new state law.  This means those groups can move ahead creating plans to stabilize the region’s groundwater basin.  The Kern River Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) approved the county agreement Thursday. The Buena Vista Water Storage District GSA approved the same agreement earlier. … ”  Read more from the Bakersfield Californian here:  Agreement with Kern County means groundwater planning can move forward

A problem: Water inequality:  “Lynwood and Pico Rivera are both working-class chunks of southeastern Los Angeles County, with modest homes and well-tended lawns gone brown. But the consequences of California’s water crisis are playing out very differently in the two cities. Water bills in Pico Rivera average less than $200 per family a year. In Lynwood, that same amount of water costs a family more than $1,500.  The disparity is striking, but not uncommon in Southern California, now stranded in a long-running drought and saddled with an archaic and complex water delivery system. … ”  Read more from PhysOrg here:  A problem:  Water inequality

Stock sale nets Cadiz $9 million to move forward with controversial groundwater plan: Cadiz Inc. has raised more than $9 million in a public stock offering held Thursday, said Andy Moore, president of B. Riley & Co., of Los Angeles, which underwrote the offering on the NASDAQ Global Market.  Some of the money will be used to advance the company’s environmentally controversial project to transfer groundwater in a remote part of San Bernardino County’s Mojave Desert to parts of south Orange County and other locations.  The net proceeds from the sale can also be used funding business development activities, capital expenditures, working capital and general and administrative expenses, said the prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. ... ”  Read more from the San Bernardino Sun here:  Stock sale nets Cadiz $9 million to move forward with controversial groundwater plan

In commentary today …

A grand compromise for the Delta:  Ellen Hanak, Jeff Mount, and Brian Gray write,Conflict over water allocations from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is the most intractable water management problem in California.  The sources of contention are many, but three interrelated issues dominate the debate: whether to build two tunnels that divert water from the Sacramento River, how much water to allocate to endangered fish species, and what to do about the 1,100 miles of Delta levees that are essential to the local economy.  All of these issues need to be addressed to reduce unproductive conflict and litigation and resolve our water problems.  Here we outline a potential “grand compromise” for the Delta that meets the co-equal goals of water supply reliability and ecosystem health prescribed by the 2009 Delta Reform. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  A grand compromise for the Delta

Feds’ water cutoffs for smelt leave other species high and dry:  Tony Francois writes, “I sometimes have to wonder how the San Joaquin Valley’s federal water managers look themselves in the mirror.  Since 2008, they have withheld the water of life from the Valley in order to protect the Delta smelt, at the cost to the Valley of tens of thousands of jobs lost, hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland fallowed, and billions of dollars in economic harm to Valley communities. All the while insisting that they had to do this to protect one species of endangered wildlife, no matter the cost to families and communities.  The cruel joke in all of this has actually two punch lines. … ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here:  Feds’ water cutoffs for smelt leave other species high and dry

Challenge to suction dredge mining ban headed to the US Supreme Court:  Damien Shiff writes, “In California history, is there a more iconic figure than the prospector? The cries of “gold!” from Sutter’s Mill in 1848 drew legions of fortune-seekers from around the world, creating an economic boom that made the cause of statehood unstoppable. Indeed, the state seal includes the image of a prospector.  The search for precious metals has always required overcoming obstacles. Mark Twain offered personal testimony, in “Roughing It” … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Challenge to suction dredge mining ban headed to the US Supreme Court

 

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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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