DAILY DIGEST: Even after epic storms, groundwater still depleted by drought; Five breakthroughs in analyzing atmospheric rivers; Feds facing order to redirect water for Klamath salmon; and more …

In California water news today, Even after epic storms, groundwater still depleted by drought; It snowed 570 trillion gallons of water in California this January; One month of storms erases big chunk of California’s snow-water deficit; Atmospheric rivers: Five breakthroughs in analyzing West Coast storms; Feds facing order to redirect water for Klamath salmon; US Fish and Wildlife release fish at Coleman Hatchery; and Opposition groups target bottler’s mountain water use

In the news today …

Even after epic storms, groundwater still depleted by drought:  “The blizzards that ravaged the Sierra Nevada in the past month wiped out more than a third of the California snowpack deficit that built up over five years of drought, a team of scientists said Monday, while encouraging state residents to continue conserving water.  The storms deposited roughly 17.5 million acre-feet of frozen water in the Sierra, or 37 percent of what’s called the “snow water deficit” in the state, according to a study by the University of Colorado and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  Even after epic storms, groundwater still depleted by drought

It snowed 570 trillion gallons of water in California this January:  “How do you seriously dent a drought? You blast it with the equivalent of trillions of gallons of water. That’s exactly what happened in California in January.  Twenty feet of snow buried parts of northern California in just two weeks, with up to 30 feet in some ski areas. For the month, the Sierra Nevada witnessed 120 percent of its annual snowfall.  The January snow output by itself eliminated 37 percent of a five-year (2012-2016) snow water deficit, according to University of Colorado-Boulder Center for Water, Earth Science, and Technology (CWEST). ... ”  Read more from the Washington Post here:  It snowed 570 trillion gallons of water in California this January

One month of storms erases big chunk of California’s snow-water deficit:  “Think of the snow that falls each winter in the Sierra Nevada as something like a paycheck for California’s water supply. The mountain snow melts and flows into downstream reservoirs, helping pay the “bills” for the state’s agricultural, urban and environmental water supply needs through the hot, dry summer and fall.  A drought, then, like the historic one that has gripped California for five-plus years and provided little mountain snowfall, is a lot like getting laid off.  “We were basically unemployed for five years when it come came to our (water) income,” said Noah Molotch, director of the Center for Water Earth Science & Technology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  One month of storms erases big chunk of California’s snow-water deficit

Atmospheric rivers: Five breakthroughs in analyzing West Coast storms:  “Atmospheric rivers are California’s drought-busters. As we saw in the recent series of storms between January 7 and 10, a single wet weekend can dramatically reverse the state’s water accounts.  The state still hasn’t completely pulled out of the drought. But just a few days after those storms, the California Department of Water Resources increased its water delivery forecast for 2017 from 45 percent to 60 percent for water agencies that rely on the State Water Project.  Atmospheric rivers are just what they sound like: a column of water carried aloft by a narrow band of wind. The moisture usually originates in the tropics of the eastern Pacific Ocean and travels all the way across the sea in a narrow band before striking the U.S. coast – usually somewhere in California. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Atmospheric rivers: Five breakthroughs in analyzing West Coast storms

Feds facing order to redirect water for Klamath salmon:  “Two Native American tribes sued the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation last year, claiming its bungled management of Klamath River waterways allowed a deadly parasite to infect 91 percent of endangered juvenile Coho and Chinook salmon.  The Yurok and Hoopa Valley Tribes say they depend on the salmon for subsistence, income and for traditional ceremonies that define their people.  Lawyers for the federal government and an industry group of farmers and ranchers argue that diverting water to help salmon will harm businesses that support local jobs and communities and threaten another set of endangered fish, the shortnose sucker and Lost River sucker. ... ”  Read more from Courthouse News here:  Feds facing order to redirect water for Klamath salmon

US Fish and Wildlife release fish at Coleman Hatchery:  “The rains came, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service got to work to release more than a half-million steelhead, making sure rotary screw collection traps on the upper Sacramento River were preserved or monitoring for Delta smelt — a little inclement weather wasn’t stopping the crucial daily activities.  The very welcome wet opening to 2017 didn’t slow down the Coleman National Fish Hatchery’s scheduled week-long efforts to release 600,000 year-old steelhead into a Sacramento River location near Red Bluff. Steelhead raised at Coleman help provide fish to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta sport fishery as well as to provide adults who return up river to the hatchery. The yearly releases are crucial to keeping the steelhead fishery strong. … ”  Read more from the Red Bluff Daily News here:  US Fish and Wildlife release fish at Coleman Hatchery

Otter revival in peril:  “The hairiest creature on Earth — and perhaps the cutest — peacefully drifts through offshore currents with perpetual bedhead and an urchin in its hands.  That is, until it’s in the toothy grasp of the world’s largest predatory fish — the great white shark.  If it wasn’t for these killer confrontations, the return of the southern sea otter may be one of the Central Coast’s greatest environmental success stories. Last year, the species, whose luxurious fur nearly cost otters their existence in the 18th and 19th centuries, reached a milestone in its century-long comeback story. … ”  Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here:  Otter revival in peril

LA River will look more like one with city’s purchase of ‘crown jewel’ land:  “Efforts to revitalize the Los Angeles River, long seen by Angelenos as nothing more than a concretized flood control channel, got a boost Friday with the City Council approving the purchase of a 42-acre plot viewed as a “linchpin” for restoring nature to a waterway that flows 55-miles from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach.  The council voted unanimously to spend $60 million in city funds to purchase a former Union Pacific Railroad land known as the Taylor Yard G2 plot. The parcel sits next to a rare part of the river in northeast Los Angeles that has a soft-bottom and is not covered in concrete. Officials said the state will pay for about $25 million of the costs, but those funds have not yet come in. … ”  Read more from the LA Daily News here:  LA River will look more like one with city’s purchase of ‘crown jewel’ land

Opposition groups target bottler’s mountain water use:  “More than 100 people from mountain communities and the valley below attended a public meeting Sunday to discuss Nestle Waters North America’s controversial withdrawal of spring water from a remote canyon in the San Bernardino National Forest.  The League of Woman Voters and the Rim Forest-based Save Our Forest Association sponsored the event to address the expired special use permit that continues to authorize Nestle’s water withdrawals.  The water is sold under the Arrowhead bottled water brand. … ”  Read more from the Riverside Press-Enterprise here:  Opposition groups target bottler’s mountain water use

Another for scientists: Trump’s pick to guide NOAA’s transition:  “President Donald Trump is taking aim at one of the federal government’s main agencies for climate change research – the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – and NOAA employees are girding for drastic changes in how they conduct science and report it to the public.  Trump has appointed a leading denier of climate change, Kenneth Haapala of the Heartland Institute, to serve on the administration team handling appointments for the U.S. Department of Commerce, the federal agency that oversees NOAA. Haapala will be in a position to help choose top administrators at NOAA, an agency that conducts atmospheric research and, among other duties, also oversees the National Weather Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service. ... ”  Read more from McClatchy DC here:  Another for scientists: Trump’s pick to guide NOAA’s transition

In commentary today …

The Endangered Species Act: Uncertainty under Trump:  Cassandra Carmichael writes, “Environmental preservation is an issue that has enjoyed bountiful support across all religions and party lines for more than a century, which is why it’s troubling to see today’s leaders using the Endangered Species Act — a bill championed by Republican President Richard Nixon meant to protect endangered species and their habitats — as a political football.  The previous Congress introduced over 250 amendments, bills, and riders aimed at stripping away provisions of the ESA, such as provisions that would limit lawsuits as a means to maintain protections for species or limit the number of species that can be protected. With the GOP firmly in control of both the House and Senate, it is likely these efforts will be renewed in earnest, and have a much better chance of succeeding. But these direct attacks on the ESA are not the only threat to our wildlife. … ”  Read more from The Hill here:  The Endangered Species Act: Uncertainty under Trump

Saving water is on trend in the apparel industry, says Kirsten James:  “It takes about three years’ worth of drinking water to make your favorite cotton T-shirt using conventional manufacturing practices. That’s roughly 713 gallons (2,700 liters).  The fashion industry’s dependence on water is nothing new: From growing cotton to manufacturing textiles, water is an essential component throughout the fashion supply chain.  In recent years, however, the fashion industry has been making huge strides on water stewardship. From conducting life-cycle assessments on key products to innovating water-less dye processes to pledging to use organic cotton, many notable apparel juggernauts have begun implementing best practices throughout their waterlogged supply chains. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Saving water is on trend in the apparel industry

Precipitation watch …

From the National Weather Service: A storm system this week will bring rain and mountain snow to northern California.  Light precipitation will start Wednesday evening across the Coastal and southern Cascade mountains and become more widespread across the area after midnight. Heavier precipitation amounts are expected midday Thursday through Friday with scattered rain and snow showers remaining Saturday as the system exits the region. Storm total snow could reach 1 to 3 feet at pass levels, causing travel difficulties. Gusty winds are probable Thursday into Friday, strongest Thursday afternoon and again later Friday morning.”

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: