DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: City of Antioch files claim against DWR; Another giant California dam has downstream residents worried; Delta Council gets an earful; Sites JPA approves deal with Metropolitan; and more …

In California water news this weekend, City of Antioch files claim against Department of Water Resources; Another giant California dam has downstream residents worried; Delta Council gets an earful; Sites JPA approves deal with Metropolitan; Lessons from Abu Dhabi on using renewables to power desalination; Trump appoints Valley water lobbyist to top Interior Department post; and more …

In the news this weekend …

City of Antioch files claim against Department of Water Resources:  “The City has filed a claim with the State of California seeking relief for the Department of Water Resources’ (“DWR”) failure to perform specific key terms of an agreement between the State and Antioch dating from 1968 commonly referred to as the “1968 Agreement”.  The purpose of the 1968 Agreement is to mitigate the impacts of the State Water Project (“SWP”) on the City’s water supply.  The 1968 Agreement requires the DWR to reimburse the City a portion of Antioch’s cost to purchase substitute water when high salinity resulting from the SWP adversely impacts the City’s own water rights. … ”  Read more from the Antioch Herald here:  City of Antioch files claim against Department of Water Resources

Another giant California dam has downstream residents worried:  “Deep in the Trinity Alps, 130 miles northwest of the troubled Oroville Dam, local officials are raising alarms about another earthen dam with documented weaknesses and limited capacity for releasing the water that has poured in from storms and melting snow.  Trinity Lake, the state’s third-largest reservoir, was filled to 97 percent of its storage capacity Tuesday, and a snowpack estimated at 150 percent of normal still looms over the watershed.  If the reservoir were to overtop the dam, the results would be catastrophic, said Keith Groves, a Trinity County supervisor representing the district that includes Trinity Dam. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Another giant California dam has downstream residents worried

Delta Council gets an earful:  “Delta advocates traveled to Sacramento en masse on Friday to protest revisions to a plan that they believe would favor Gov. Jerry Brown’s twin tunnels.  Dozens of opponents urged the Delta Stewardship Council to change course, in comments that stretched out nearly three hours.  The council is revising portions of its Delta Plan, a broad road map for the Delta for the duration of this century. Among other changes, they are looking to revise the portion addressing how water should be conveyed from the Delta to cities and farms from the Bay Area to San Diego. … ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here:  Delta Council gets an earful

Sites JPA approves deal with Metropolitan:  “The Sites Reservoir Joint Powers Authority recently approved a deal with one of Southern California’s largest water agencies, adding a $1.5 million investment to a growing pool of agencies backing the project.  The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California announced its interest in the project a few weeks ago, saying it was willing to invest $1.5 million for the pre-development phase – environmental studies and surveys required for he Proposition 1 application process.  “The authority approved Metropolitan’s participation in the project last week, and (last) week the project’s reservoir committee approved Metro’s participation in what we call 50,000 acre-feet of Class Two water,” authority General Manager Jim Watson said. … ”  Read more from the Appeal Democrat here:  Sites JPA approves deal with Metropolitan

Lessons from Abu Dhabi on using renewables to power desalination:  “Geographically and culturally, California and Abu Dhabi could not be much further apart.  But the U.S. state known for its laid-back lifestyle and the capital of the conservative United Arab Emirates both have significant water scarcity issues – and a thirst for developing innovative technological solutions to the problem.  Abu Dhabi, a coastal city of about 1 million inhabitants that straddles vast gravel and sandy deserts, uses tremendous amounts of water, notably for agriculture and irrigation systems, to keep things relatively green. The country’s water appetite has increased so much over the past two decades that experts have warned its groundwater could dry up within 15 years. It officially qualifies as “water stressed. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Lessons from Abu Dhabi on using renewables to power desalination

Trump appoints Valley water lobbyist to top Interior Department post:  “President Trump has appointed David Bernhardt, until late last year a lobbyist and attorney for the San Joaquin Valley’s powerful Westlands Water District, to a top post in the Department of the Interior.  Among the agencies Bernhardt will have a role in overseeing is the Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the federal Central Valley Project — a key source of water for much of California agriculture, including Westlands. … ” Read more from KQED here:  Trump appoints Valley water lobbyist to top Interior Department post

In commentary this weekend …

DWR should quit trying to downplay dam disaster, says the Chico Enterprise-Record:  They write, ““The emergency spillway worked.” That, the latest tone-deaf utterance from the leader of the state Department of Water Resources, is the type of comment we’ve come to dreadfully expect from the Department of Denial.  To hear that remark at a legislative hearing in Sacramento only compounded the shock.  The Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee was the first to get to ask questions about the Oroville spillway fiasco, nearly three months after the structure started falling apart and the hill got forever scarred. ... ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  DWR should quit trying to downplay dam disaster

Fix California’s dilapidated water system, says Thomas P. Evans:  He writes, “California has decrepit water infrastructure at risk of catastrophic failure. Should state officials sidestep the issue as conditions worsen by the year? Or should they take action, ensure upgrades, and prevent a crisis?  The better approach is clear — and the state has a modern, compelling and vetted solution on tap: California WaterFix.  WaterFix is the product of expert analyses dating to 2007. State and federal officials have weighed and collected input on thousands of ideas for boosting water system reliability while restoring fish and repairing a damaged delta ecosystem. … ”  Read more from the Riverside Press-Enterprise here:  Fix California’s dilapidated water system

In regional news and commentary this weekend …

DWR answers public’s questions, listens to concerns:  ““I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the impact on your lives,” Bill Croyle told a crowd of more than 250 people at the Butte County Fairgrounds.  Croyle, the acting director of the Department of Water Resources, answered questions and listened Thursday evening as people stepped up to a microphone and were heard during the first of the water agency’s community meetings about the Oroville Dam spillway disaster and evacuations. ... ” Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here: DWR answers public’s questions, listens to concerns

Yuba-Sutter:Too much water for farmers affects production:  “More-than-abundant rainfall and fluctuating water levels continue to cause troubles for some area growers, but the full impact on crops won’t be known for several months, officials said.  Growers, especially in and around the rivers and levees in Yuba, Sutter and Colusa counties, are still dealing with water-related issues.  “Currently, there is a lot going on with high water inside the levees and saturated ground from seepage near the levees or oversaturated from the rain,” said Lisa Herbert, Sutter County’s agricultural commissioner. “I’m getting reports of growers not being able to work up their ground to plant rice – they need rice planted by June 1.” … ”  Read more from the Appeal Democrat here:  Too much water for farmers affects production

Nevada Irrigation District, environmental groups to debate Centennial Reservoir project:  “Speakers from both the Nevada Irrigation District (NID) and environmental groups will square off on the merits of the one of the most controversial proposed projects in recent years, the Centennial Reservoir Project, which includes construction of a dam on the Bear River between the existing Combie and Rollins reservoirs.  The event, which is sponsored by the Nevada County Democrats, will take place 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 2, starting at the Peace Lutheran Church, 828 W. Main St. in Grass Valley. … ”  Read more from The Union here:  Nevada Irrigation District, environmental groups to debate Centennial Reservoir project

Millions of gallons of sewage water poured into streams near Lake Berryessa:  “Two of the state’s four biggest sewage spills this winter came from an unlikely source – a tiny wastewater district near the rolling green hills and vineyards of Napa County.  The Lake Berryessa Resort Improvement District sent 6 million gallons of wastewater into streams, according to a state database. Only one utility district had a bigger spill than Berryessa, and that was the result of a PG&E power failure. The largest Berryessa spill was caused by a failure of its own system. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Millions of gallons of sewage water poured into streams near Lake Berryessa

Central Valley: Wet winter has crews looking at busy summer of swift water rescues:  “The heavy rain we received over the last several months is expected to impact many communities with high levels of water flowing through creeks and rivers.  Local fire firefighters are beefing up their training to better prepare for any water hazardous and emergencies this summer.  Area firefighters are taking part in an intensive training down the Mokelumne River. The exercise is helping crews develop the skills to help save lives near moving water. … ”  Read more from CBS Sacramento here:  Wet winter has crews looking at busy summer of swift water rescues

San Joaquin County pesticide use highest since 1990s:  “Pesticide use in San Joaquin County has increased in recent years to levels not seen since the late 1990s, new state data show.  The “why” part of the story, however, is much more complex.  About 12.8 million pounds of chemicals were used across the county in 2015, the most recent year for which numbers are available, according to the state Department of Pesticide Regulation. … ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here:  San Joaquin County pesticide use highest since 1990s

Kern County: Where does all the water go? After the record breaking rainfall this past winter, Kern County residents are wondering where is all this much needed water going? 23ABC’s Adam Bowles went on a water journey today to find out.  This morning, the Water Association of Kern County took a tour.  First stop is the Kern river right next to Hart Park.  This is the first point of measurement on the river outflow. … ”  Read more from Channel 23 here:  Kern County: Where does all the water go?

Indian Valley Wells Groundwater Authority workshop finds consensus:  We support Article 5 as presented tonight, and we encourage the board to consider approving it,” Derek Hoffman, Meadowbrook legal counsel, said at the IWV Groundwater Authority workshop on Wednesday night. “We believe this draft of Article 5 resolves many of the concerns that have been shared.”  These were refreshing words after months of intense disagreements at public IWVGA meetings, indicating that the tone of the water conversation in IWV may, hopefully, be changing to something more productive. The public and IWVGA board members seemed to reach some manner of working consensus. … ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Indian Valley Wells Groundwater Authority

Southern California: Why a regional water district is raising its rate for pumping water:  “A regional water district in charge of keeping the underground aquifer full is the latest water agency to cite the drought for raising its rates.  The Water Replenishment District of Southern California’s board voted 4-0 Thursday to raise its assessment on pumping ground water by 7.1 percent, from $297 per acre foot to $318 per acre foot. … “Ground water pumping is down due to the drought,” said Robb Whitaker, WRD general manager. “Unfortunately, as in every water agency, as sales go down, revenue goes down and costs go up.” … ”  Read more from the Whittier Daily News here:  Southern California: Why a regional water district is raising its rate for pumping water

Why more water could be in San Jacinto Valley’s future:  “Eastern Municipal Water District is about to embark on a first-of-its-kind plan in Riverside County to increase the amount — and improve the quality — of groundwater in the San Jacinto Valley.  Collectively called Groundwater Reliability Plus, the projects are expected to help drought-proof the region by increasing storage and purifying recycled water. The projects include constructing multiple facilities to recharge water and to increase sources of water around the San Jacinto River.  “It will help us better deal with future conditions of drought,” said Joe Mouawad, EMWD’s assistant general manager for planning, engineering and construction. … ”  Read more from the Riverside Press-Enterprise here:  Why more water could be in San Jacinto Valley’s future

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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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where California water news never goes home for the weekend

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