DAILY DIGEST: More rainstorms prompt the reopening of the damaged Oroville Dam spillway; One key way soggy California could save water for the next rainless days; Water transfers: Crucial to Western rivers, but state programs lacking; and more ..

In California water news today, More rainstorms prompt the reopening of the damaged Oroville Dam spillway; One key way soggy California could save water for the next rainless days; Without a drought, California takes stock; Water transfers: Crucial to Western Rivers, But State Programs Lacking; To these pastors, saving the Colorado River is a divine command; California Democrats prepare to battle GOP over Endangered Species Act; and Researchers find new way to make water out of thin air

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

More rainstorms prompt the reopening of the damaged Oroville Dam spillway: State officials have reopened the damaged spillway at Oroville Dam as another set of rainstorms began moving across Northern California.  Water resumed gushing through the partly collapsed concrete chute Friday morning, said Kristyne Van Skike, who is on the state Department of Water Resources team that’s managing the spillway.  The rainfall Sunday was not strong enough to match the amount of water that was flowing out of the reservoir and into the spillway, she said. Water will continue pouring down the spillway for up to two weeks, depending on how much more rain falls. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  More rainstorms prompt the reopening of the damaged Oroville Dam spillway

One key way soggy California could save water for the next rainless days:  “The water spread into every corner of the fields, beckoning wading ibises and egrets as it bathed long rows of sprouting grapevines.  Several inches had covered the vineyard ground for a couple of months. But rather than draining it, Don Cameron was pouring more on. “This is not about irrigation,” the sprawling farm’s manager kept telling his quizzical workers. “It’s about recharge. … I want all the water you can get into the grape fields now.” … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  One key way soggy California could save water for the next rainless days

Without a drought, California takes stock:  “In response to this year’s wet winter weather and effective water conservation, California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared the Golden State’s more than 5-year-long drought over, for the most part. With the exception of four counties, Brown lifted the official drought emergency on April 7. Even as he did so, however, he emphasized the importance of preparing for future droughts — and dealing with the fallout from the one that just ended. “This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner,” Brown said in a statement. “Conservation must remain a way of life.” ... ”  Read more from the High Country News here:  Without a drought, California takes stock

Water transfers: Crucial to Western Rivers, But State Programs Lacking:  “Water transfers are an important way to share a limited resource, especially to help fish and habitats that were historically left with scraps when water rights were parceled out around the West.  The water for such transfers usually comes from farmers, who free up water through some kind of conservation measure. By transferring the saved water, a farmer can help imperiled fish and make some money. Such arrangements are especially important on the Colorado River, which is oversubscribed to serve human demands and also feeds a vast international ecosystem. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Water transfers: Crucial to Western Rivers, But State Programs Lacking

To these pastors, saving the Colorado River is a divine command:  “The Rev. Victor Venalonzo opened his New Testament to the Book of Revelation on a recent Sunday and offered the men and women assembled at Iglesia Betania for a weekly Bible study a fresh look at its apocalyptic message.  “We’re failing as stewards of God’s creation, but these changes we’re seeing, that’s not God punishing us — we’re destroying ourselves,” Mr. Venalonzo told them. He alternated between English and Spanish, as he does all day in his Pentecostal church, which sits across from a trailer park and a half-mile from the Mexican border, serving Latinos who have recently arrived in the country and those born in the United States. … ”  Read more from the New York Times here:  To these pastors, saving the Colorado River is a divine command

California Democrats prepare to battle GOP over Endangered Species Act:  “Last spring, well before a deluge of winter rain in California, then presidential candidate Donald Trump famously declared to an audience of Central Valley farmers that the state hadn’t really suffered from years of drought.  Is there a drought?  No, we have plenty of water,” Trump said in Fresno, despite evidence to the contrary.  He then went on to say the real problem with state water supplies was habitat protection for a “three-inch fish.”  He was referring to the Delta smelt, a slim, silver-colored estuary dweller that’s threatened with extinction, partly because of the state’s massive water diversion projects. The fish is protected under the Endangered Species Act.  With Trump now in the White House and Congressional Republicans taking aim at the act’s costs and restrictions, an effort to roll back the landmark environmental law seems imminent ... ”  Read more from the Daily Breeze here:  California Democrats prepare to battle GOP over Endangered Species Act

Researchers find new way to make water out of thin air:  “Researchers have come up with a new way to extract water from thin air. Literally.  This isn’t the first technology that can turn water vapor in the atmosphere into liquid water that people can drink, but researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and UC Berkeley say their approach uses less power and works in drier environments.  The new approach makes use of a substance called a MOF, a metal-organic framework. As the name suggests, these are materials made of metals mixed with organic compounds. Powders made from MOFs are very porous, so researchers have proposed using them to store hydrogen or methane fuels or to capture carbon dioxide. ... ”  Read more from KQED here:  Researchers find new way to make water out of thin air

More news and commentary in the weekend edition …

Precipitation watch …

California hits precipitation record as spring warming commences:  “It’s official: the Northern Sierra “8-Station Index”–comprised of 8 precipitation observation sites in the northern half of the Sierra Nevada watershedhas eclipsed 1982-1983 to become the wettest Water Year (Oct-Sep) period on record! Even more remarkable is that this record has been set so early in the calendar year–even though May-September is the dry season in California, some additional precipitation in this region is all but inevitable in the coming months, which will push this record total even higher. Statewide precipitation metrics are not far behind. Precipitation in 2016-2017 is closely paralleling 1982-1983, and stands a good chance at breaking the long-standing record later this year. … ”  Continue reading at the California Weather Blog here:  California hits precipitation record as spring warming commences

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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