DAILY DIGEST: Mayor Garcetti declares state of emergency for Owens Valley runoff; Juvenile salmon rescued from Oroville emergency now heading towards the ocean; Bill would expand protections for California’s rivers; and more …

In California water news today, LA mayor declares emergency on potential aqueduct flooding due to ‘historic’ winter storms; Mayor Garcetti declares state of emergency for Owens Valley runoff; Work progresses on Oroville Dam spillway; Juvenile salmon rescued from Oroville emergency now heading towards the ocean; Measures save young salmon after failure of Oroville Dam spillway; Bill would expand protections for California’s rivers; California’s wet winter points to some sorry-looking salads; Heavy California rains par for the course with climate change; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • The State Water Resources Control Board will meet at 9am: Agenda items include a public workshop on draft regulations to establish fees for the State Water Board’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act intervention activities.  Click here for the agenda.
  • The Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife will meet this morning: The meeting will start at 9am with a presentation from the Legislative Analyst’s Office on implementation of past bond measures.  At 9:15, the committee will commence the regular order of business with bills heard in file order.  Click here for more information.
  • Brown Bag Seminar: Constructed Wetlands as a Sustainable Approach for Treating Emerging Organic Chemicals of Concern from 12pm to 1pm:  Presentation by Delta Lead Scientist candidate William Cooper, Ph.D., Program Director, Environmental Engineering, National Science Foundation, and Professor, UC Irvine.  Click here for more information and webex link.

In the news today …

LA mayor declares emergency on potential aqueduct flooding due to ‘historic’ winter storms:  “Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared a state of emergency Monday in response to possible flooding that could occur along the Los Angeles aqueduct system when the “historic” snowpack in the Eastern Sierras starts melting this spring.  “We see a potentially disastrous situation coming” that could “hurt our economy, our families and our environment,” Garcetti said.  The emergency proclamation is Garcetti’s first since becoming mayor. It allows the city to seek additional help from the state to prepare for the anticipated deluge. The mayor also sent Gov. Jerry Brown a letter asking for “cross-agency coordination and cooperation.” … ”  Read more from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune here:  LA mayor declares emergency on potential aqueduct flooding due to ‘historic’ winter storms

Mayor Garcetti declares state of emergency for Owens Valley runoff:  “Mayor Eric Garcetti has declared a local State of Emergency to protect the lands and communities near the Los Angeles Aqueduct from flooding, as this year’s historic Eastern Sierra snowpack begins to melt into the Owens Valley.  This year’s snowpack in the Eastern Sierras is 241% above normal, and once spring sets in, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) expects the snowmelt to send up to 1 million acre-feet of runoff into the Owens Valley.  This runoff — nearly twice the amount of water Angelenos use in a year — will likely threaten local communities, hydroelectric power plants, and dust mitigation infrastructure in Owens Lake with destructive flooding. … ”  Read more from Sierra Wave here:  Mayor Garcetti declares state of emergency for Owens Valley runoff

Work progresses on Oroville Dam spillway:  “Work to armor the Oroville Dam spillway — which re-opened for flows on Friday — is holding up well, according to the California Department of Water Resources.  “DWR continues to assess damage to the flood control spillway and surrounding areas to make determinations toward recovery efforts — experts are currently developing next steps and as current information is evaluated, the scope and magnitude of needed repairs is being vetted and refined,” DWR information officer Lauren Bisnett said in an email Monday. … ”  Read more from the Appeal-Democrat here:  Work progresses on Oroville Dam spillway

Juvenile salmon rescued from Oroville emergency now heading towards the ocean:  “A million young Chinook salmon started making their way to the Pacific Ocean Monday. This group was among the evacuees from the Oroville Dam Spillway incident and received an enthusiastic sendoff.  In the early morning hours, employees pumped the spring-run Chinook into four large tanker trucks at the Thermalito Annex Hatchery north of Gridley. They were driven 30 miles down Highway 99 and then released into the Feather River, south of Yuba City.  The spring-run Chinook are on state and federal threatened species lists. … ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:  Juvenile salmon rescued from Oroville emergency now heading towards the ocean

Measures save young salmon after failure of Oroville Dam spillway:  “A million fingerling salmon, rescued from almost certain death after the Oroville Dam spillway fell apart last month, began their remarkable journey to the ocean Monday by being launched unceremoniously out of tanker trucks into the Feather River.  The flapping, flopping chinook were poured through pipes into the water at a Yuba City boat ramp, where their trek downstream to the ocean, through a gantlet of predators and environmental perils, started amid cheers from biologists and schoolchildren on a field trip. … ”  Read more from the SF Chronicle here:  Measures save young salmon after failure of Oroville Dam spillway

Bill would expand protections for California’s rivers:  “A bill to expand protections for California’s wild and scenic rivers is working its way through the state legislature.  The measure approved by an Assembly committee Monday would bring state rules in line with more expansive federal laws.  Supporters say California needs to step in now in case the federal government relaxes its rules under the new administration. … ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:  Bill would expand protections for California’s rivers

California’s wet winter points to some sorry-looking salads:  “Heavy rain in California could lead to emptier salad plates this year.  Two months of precipitation this winter have threatened almond, celery, strawberry and other crops in the Salinas Valley, the latest in a string of increasingly erratic weather events to hurt farmers.  Farmers say the record rains could damage and delay some crops, leading to shortages and higher prices. The Salinas Valley produces most of the leafy greens for the U.S. during this stretch of the season until cooler areas supplement supply, and some grocers say the winter conditions have forced them to brace for disruptions in supply. ... ”  Read more from the Wall Street Journal here:  California’s wet winter points to some sorry-looking salads

Heavy California rains par for the course with climate change:  “Here’s a question that Stanford climatologist Noah Diffenbaugh gets asked a lot lately: “Why did California receive so much rain lately if we’re supposed to be in the middle of a record-setting drought?”  When answering, he will often refer the questioner to a Discover magazine story published in 1988, when Diffenbaugh was still in middle school.  The article, written by veteran science writer Andrew Revkin, detailed how a persistent rise in global temperatures would affect California’s water system. ... ”  Read more from Stanford University here:  Heavy California rains par for the course with climate change

High & Dry: New book examines world’s biggest groundwater challenges:  ““Out of sight and out of mind” sums up the groundwater policies in many places, and the public’s understanding of the issue, despite the fact that groundwater is one of our most critical water resources.  That’s what prompted William and Rosemarie Alley to team up to write “High and Dry: Meeting the World’s Growing Dependence on Groundwater.” The duo had previously collaborated on a book on nuclear waste, but found there weren’t any books that tackled the issue of groundwater in a way that would be accessible and exciting to readers.  Rosemarie is a writer and William is the director of science and technology for the National Ground Water Association and spent nearly 20 years as chief of the Office of Groundwater for the U.S. Geological Survey. … ” Read more from Water Deeply here:  High & Dry: New book examines world’s biggest groundwater challenges

In commentary today …

California’s politicians rap Trump as they seek money:  Dan Walters writes, “California’s politicians from Gov. Jerry Brown down have spent much of the last two months denouncing President Donald Trump on virtually every issue.  There’s certainly much to criticize in Trump’s bizarre presidency, from building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to his personal Twitter wars with everyone who disagrees with him.  However, as they denounce Trumpism and declare California’s steadfast intention to go its own way, protecting its supposed “values” from a Republican-controlled federal government, the state’s politicians also are pleading with Trump for various kinds of financial aid. ... ”  Read more from Sacramento Bee here:  California’s politicians rap Trump as they seek money

In regional news and commentary today …

Redding:  Officials frustrated by lack of clean up at paper mill:  “State water quality officials are frustrated that nearly six years after they fined the owners of the former Shasta Paper Co. mill $682,500, little has been done to clean up the contaminated site near Anderson.  “We were hoping it would really kick-start things on their site,” said Clint Snyder, assistant executive director of the California Water Resources Control Board’s Redding office. “It has had little effect, to be honest with you.”  But Snyder said a $1.2 million grant the Redding office got this month will reveal more about the potential public health threat at the mill and could give the state more leverage to get the owners to clean up the polluted property. … ” Read more from the Redding Record-Searchlight here:  Redding:  Officials frustrated by lack of clean up at paper mill

Plumas County:  Water districts flush out details for consolidation agreement:  “Consolidation between Quincy’s two water districts could be close to reality.  Consolidation of the two independent boards could benefit both in seeking grant funding to finance a new wastewater treatment plant, according to Josh Nelson, an attorney with Best, Best and Krieger, a firm hired by both districts to investigate options.Directors of the Quincy Community Services District discussed moving toward consolidation during the Thursday, March 9, district board meeting. Directors of the East Quincy Services District discussed the notion at their Feb. 14 meeting.  Director Ruth Jackson said the QCSD committee of two is very dedicated to working toward consolidation. EQSD Director Mike Beatty told his board that consolidation is the way to go. … ”  Read more from the Plumas County News here: Water districts flush out details for consolidation agreement

San Joaquin River: Tri-Dam partners weigh in on water board’s planned fish flows:  “The Tri-Dam Project partners today shared data they say further shows why state water officials should not require more water flushing for fish flows.  The Oakdale (OID) and South San Joaquin (SSJID) irrigation districts, senior water rights holders who developed New Melones Reservoir, work closely with the Bureau of Reclamation, which as part of its Central Valley Project, manages the fish flows at New Melones Dam.  The state water board and its staff on Friday closed public comments on the proposal to flush more than an extra 300,000 acre-feet of water down the Stanislaus and two other rivers from February 1 to June 30 annually with the intent to improve fish and wildlife conditions and control Delta salinity under its Bay-Delta water quality control program first-phase. … ”  Read more from My Mother Lode here:  Tri-Dam partners weigh in on water board’s planned fish flows

Santa Barbara: Water rules may change due to wet start to 2017:  “The strict water rules in Santa Barbara may be adjusted slightly after a wet start to the year.  City water managers stress, however, they are not convinced that the dry years are over going forward.  Conservation is still going to be stressed in many ways throughout Santa Barbara, and the overall capacity of Cachuma Lake is still questionable.  The Santa Barbara City Council will hear a drought related report Tuesday recommending a cancelation of  the ban on lawn watering along with a scaled back conservation goal from 40 percent to 30 percent.  The new lawn rule was just approved but likely had no impact because of the early year rains. ... ”  Read more from KEYT here: Water rules may change due to wet start to 2017

Santa Clarita: Water heads define state-mandated groundwater agency: Local water officials took one step closer Monday to defining the type of Groundwater Sustainability Agency state officials expect to see in place by June.  And, although the faces around the table of the newly-formed “working group” of the new agency are the familiar faces of those who manage SCV’s water distribution, they also included representatives of the city of Santa Clarita and Los Angeles County. … ”  Read more from the Santa Clarita Valley Signal here:  Water heads define state-mandated groundwater agency

San Diego: This beer is made from sewer water, but it doesn’t taste like what you find in sewers:  “Stone Brewing Co.’s latest sudsy creation earned a quick nickname: “Toilet to tap.”  The southern California brewery’s new craft beer is made with treated wastewater.  The brave souls who taste-tested the Full Circle Pale Ale on Thursday were flush with excitement, calling the beer “delicious,” “hoppy” and “outstanding,” according to local media reports.  “It is fantastic,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer told The Times of San Diego after sampling it. “There’s no better way to highlight the purity of this water.” ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  This beer is made from sewer water, but it doesn’t taste like what you find in sewers

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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