DAILY DIGEST: Report: Extinction looms for most of California’s salmon and trout; Oroville crisis triggers rethinking of California dam management; Critical deadline in groundwater law approaches; Governor Brown clashes with environmentalists over fracking; and more …

In California water news today, Trout, salmon and steelhead: A massive die-off coming for these California fish?; California salmon facing extinction, report warns; Report: Extinction looms for most of California's salmon and trout; Oroville crisis triggers rethinking of California dam management; Critical deadline in groundwater law approaches; Farmers look back at range of impacts from drought; AFBF leader visits Tehama County land at center of Clean Water Act dispute; Governor Brown clashes with environmentalists over fracking; Court orders State Water Board to withdraw chromium MCL, set new one; ACWA testifies at Budget Subcommittee on funding for Save Our Water, Long-Term Conservation; Trump's pick for a top Interior post has sued the agency on behalf of powerful California water interests; and more …

In the news today …

Trout, salmon and steelhead: A massive die-off coming for these California fish?:  “Researchers have issued a dire warning for California’s native trout and salmon: Three-quarters of them will be extinct in the next 100 years unless urgent action is taken.  This bleak assessment came Tuesday from biologists at the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences and from California Trout, a nonprofit advocacy group. In a new report, the groups said nearly 75 percent of California’s 31 salmon, trout and steelhead will be extinct by 2117 unless critical habitat is protected and restored. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Trout, salmon and steelhead: A massive die-off coming for these California fish?

California salmon facing extinction, report warns:  “Nearly half of California’s diverse types of native salmon, steelhead and trout are headed toward extinction in 50 years unless environmental trends are reversed, a team of scientists warn in a new report.  And nearly three-fourths — 21 of 31 types —- will disappear in a century unless people figure out how to manage harm linked to dams, water diversions, habitat damage, global warming and other problems, said the scientists from UC Davis and the CalTrout conservation group in the report released Tuesday.  The bleak outlook was softened by a note of hope: Scientists say there is time to save the salmon. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  California salmon facing extinction, report warns

Report: Extinction looms for most of California's salmon and trout:  “Conservation groups, fishing organizations and biologists have been working tirelessly for decades to protect California’s trout and salmon. They have restored floodplains where juveniles find food and shelter, are arranging to remove obstructive dams from the Klamath River and are constantly badgering water agencies to maintain suitable flows in important spawning streams.  But a new report released Tuesday suggests their efforts may be largely for naught. Three-fourths of California’s native species and subspecies of salmonids may be extinct within 100 years, according to biologists at the University of California, Davis, and the watershed advocacy group California Trout. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Report: Extinction looms for most of California’s salmon and trout

Oroville crisis triggers rethinking of California dam management:  “Engineers at Oroville Dam are dialing back the volume of water tumbling down the dam’s crippled main spillway. They hope this will will be the “last spill” on  the enormous concrete chute before work on replacing it can begin in earnest.  But much like the spillway itself, faith in the ability of the agency managing the project is showing some cracks.  “This is an institutional failure,” says Ron Stork of Friends of the River, at a recent legislative oversight hearing. “That dam has not been safe since it was constructed.” ... ”  Read more from KQED here:  Oroville crisis triggers rethinking of California dam management

Critical deadline in groundwater law approaches:  “Just weeks away from the deadline, counties, irrigation districts, farmers and other entities are finalizing agreements to form locally controlled groundwater sustainability agencies in affected basins across the state.  As required under the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, the groundwater sustainability agencies—or GSAs—will guide groundwater management in basins and sub-basins classified by the state as medium or high priority. Under SGMA, local agencies must work together and with groundwater users to develop local groundwater sustainability plans that will guide decisions affecting groundwater use and fees.  GSA notifications from local agencies must be submitted to the California Department of Water Resources by June 30. … ”  Read more from Ag Alert here:  Critical deadline in groundwater law approaches

Farmers look back at range of impacts from drought:  “Lessons learned during the multi-year California drought will help farmers and ranchers cope with the next one—and those lessons extended beyond the farm to the realms of policy and public perception, according to farmers who spoke at a water conference in Monterey.  Four farmers from different parts of the Central Valley talked about impacts of the drought during a panel discussion at the Association of California Water Agencies event last week.  Stanislaus County nut grower Jake Wenger said coping with water shortages during the drought required “ingenuity and creativity.” ... ”  Read more from Ag Alert here:  Farmers look back at range of impacts from drought

AFBF leader visits Tehama County land at center of Clean Water Act dispute:  “A patch of land in Tehama County stands at the center of a federal case with implications for every farmer and rancher in the United States, and as example for farm organizations of the need for federal regulatory reform.  John Duarte's struggle against the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Department of Justice is nearly five years old. American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall made a point of visiting Duarte's land south of Red Bluff during a visit to California last week. Regulatory reform is one of Duvall's top priorities. … ”  Read more from Ag Alert here:  AFBF leader visits Tehama County land at center of Clean Water Act dispute

Governor Brown clashes with environmentalists over fracking:  “Gov. Jerry Brown was on a roll, enthusiastically preaching to a choir of environmentalists about how carbon use and global warming are a looming catastrophe for California and the world.  “Stopping carbon will be like stopping a heroin addiction,” Brown told a standing-room-only crowd at a downtown San Francisco hotel last month. “We are addicted to carbon” and something has to be done, and quickly, if the world is to be saved.  But a growing number of environmentalists argue that the governor’s long-standing refusal to ban hydraulic fracking, a controversial process that has helped revive the oil industry in California, opens the state to just the type of environmental disasters he regularly rails against. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  Governor Brown clashes with environmentalists over fracking

Court orders State Water Board to withdraw chromium MCL, set new one:  “A Sacramento County Superior Court judge on May 5 ordered the State Water Resources Control Board to withdraw the maximum contaminant level for chromium 6 it adopted in 2014 and set a new one after it conducts a more thorough study of its economic impacts. … ”  Read more from ACWA's Water News here:  Court orders State Water Board to withdraw chromium MCL, set new one

ACWA testifies at Budget Subcommittee on funding for Save Our Water, Long-Term Conservation:  “ACWA provided testimony Tuesday on funding requests for Save Our Water and long-term conservation in Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised state budget proposal, which was issued last week.  In a hearing before the Assembly Budget Subcommittee #3 on Resources and Transportation, ACWA Director of State Legislative Relations Wendy Ridderbusch commented on a $1 million funding request for the Save Our Water program as well as a request for five new positions to establish a new water conservation unit within the State Water Resources Control Board to implement the Brown Administration’s final report, “Making Conservation a California Way of Life,” which was released April 7. … ”  Read more from ACWA's Water News here:  ACWA testifies at Budget Subcommittee on funding for Save Our Water, Long-Term Conservation

Trump's pick for a top Interior post has sued the agency on behalf of powerful California water interests:When President Trump nominated David Bernhardt for the No. 2 spot at the Interior Department, the administration cited his extensive expertise.  What the announcement failed to mention was that much of that experience was lobbying and doing legal work to elude or undermine Interior Department policies and protections. As a partner in one of the nation’s top-grossing lobbying-law firms, Bernhardt has represented major players in oil, mining and western water – all areas that fall under the purview of Interior agencies that Bernhardt would oversee if confirmed as the department’s deputy secretary. ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Trump’s pick for a top Interior post has sued the agency on behalf of powerful California water interests

In commentary today …

San Francisco Chronicle editorial: Trump's wrong choice for No. 2 post at Interior Department:  They write, “While President Trump signals that more offshore drilling lies ahead and his interior secretary studies erasing preservation protections, another move is troubling environmentalists and veterans of California’s water wars.  David Bernhardt, a former lobbyist for the giant Westlands Water District, is facing Senate hearings that could lead to his selection as the Interior Department’s No. 2 figure. His nomination would be a Trumpian slap at this state and the rest of the country. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  Trump’s wrong choice for No. 2 post at Interior Department

In regional news and commentary today …

Oroville City Council unsettled again over Lake Oroville settlement agreement:  “It was another lively discussion Tuesday night over an amendment to the Lake Oroville settlement agreement and intra-council trust issues.  The council voted 5-1 to make an amendment to the settlement agreement signed in 2006, taking away the mayor’s authority to sign off on funds going to the supplemental benefits fund, or SBF, and requiring it come to the collective council before any action is taken.  Mayor Linda Dahlmeier voted against the motion and Councilor Scott Thomson abstained.  Bob Marciniak, program specialist for the SBF, voiced disapproval of the way the Oroville M-R portrayed the relationship between the city, the fund and the state Department of Water Resources in a recent article and editorial. … ”  Read more from the Oroville Mercury Register here:  Oroville City Council unsettled again over Lake Oroville settlement agreement

Lakeport City Council votes to move ahead on forming groundwater sustainability agency:  “The Lakeport City Council on Tuesday decided to move ahead with the next steps in the process to form a groundwater sustainability agency for a portion of the Scotts Valley groundwater basin.  After taking a brief amount of community input, the council voted unanimously to set a public hearing for its June 2 meeting to consider establishing the groundwater sustainability agency.  Community Development Director Kevin Ingram explained that the council had directed staff at its Jan. 17 meeting to take the necessary steps to form a groundwater sustainability agency in keeping with the requirements of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which the California Legislature passed in 2014.  … ” Read more from the Lake County News here:  Lakeport City Council votes to move ahead on forming groundwater sustainability agency

How “Waterway Wow” will transform the UC Davis campus:  “The “Waterway Wow” project on the UC Davis campus is renovating Putah Creek.  That canal was, “dammed in the 1870s and part of the campus storm water system and what we're looking at doing is transforming the waterway,” UC Davis Arboretum Assistant Director Andrew Fulks said.  Putah Creek is now undergoing a dramatic change from a sea of green algae before the project started to a natural habitat for turtles and ducks in the Arboretum, which runs through the heart of the UC Davis campus. ... ”  Read more from KCRA Channel 3 here:  How “Waterway Wow” will transform the UC Davis campus

Delta Independent Science Board takes tour of Jepson Prairie Reserve:  “Vernal pools have largely become a phenomenon of the past, in part because of agriculture and developers tending to build directly over the top of these habitats. As temporary bodies of water, vernal pools form when a layer at or near the surface of a landscape of mounds and depressions traps winter rain to form a shallow pool. ... ” Read more from the Delta Confluence here:  Delta Independent Science Board takes tour of Jepson Prairie Reserve

Santa Ynez: Cloud seeding around Cachuma can increase rainfall by 20%:Mark Twain once said, “Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.” If he was writing today, his famous quote would probably have to be altered.  You see, for more than half a century, the Santa Barbara County Water Agency has been seeding clouds to coax more rainfall from the sky and increase runoff to Cachuma Lake. Numerous studies have shown that cloud seeding can increase rainfall by between 5 and 20 percent. … ”  Continue reading at the Santa Ynez Times here:  Cloud seeding around Cachuma can increase rainfall by 20%

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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