DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Farmer lashes out over plowing dispute; Could desalinated water from Mexico flow to San Diego?; Latest forecast shifts Lake Mead from big gain to small loss; and more …

In California water news this weekend, Farmer lashes out over plowing dispute; Could desalinated water from Mexico flow to San Diego?; Latest forecast shifts Lake Mead from big gain to small loss; It’s June.  California is still covered in snow; Utah State engineers design solutions to repair nation’s tallest dam; Russian River Watershed Association seeks public input; Bay Area: Some flea control products may have environmental impacts: trace amounts of pesticides found in San Francisco Bay; Dirtiest no more: Santa Cruz’s Cowell Beach now ranked #3 most contaminated; Sea nettles and leatherback turtles return to Monterey Bay; Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority policy committee ready to work; and California farms are thirsty and in danger, says A.G. Kawamura

In the news this weekend …

Farmer lashes out over plowing dispute:  “A California farmer facing a $2.8 million fine for allegedly plowing seasonal wetlands on his 450-acre Tehama County land lashed out Friday against federal prosecutors and bureaucrats for what he called an abuse of government power.  “This is an abuse of government authority,” John Duarte said outside U.S. District Court in Sacramento during a video-taped news conference before a pre-trial conference in the case. “This is a vindictive assault on my family and every farm family in America.” … ”  Read more from the Redding Record-Searchlight here:  Farmer lashes out over plowing dispute

Could desalinated water from Mexico flow to San Diego? With Baja California pushing forward on its plan for a massive desalination plant in Rosarito Beach, a ground-breaking proposal to pipe some of that water to the United States has overcome a key hurdle.  The U.S. State Department’s approval of a presidential permit marks a step forward for the Otay Water District and its vision for a cross-border pipeline to import the desalinated water from Mexico.  “We have electric lines, the largest crossing in the world, a gas pipeline, a bridge from the airport,” that cross the border, said Mark Watton, general manager for the Otay Water District, which serves some 220,000 residents of southeastern San Diego County. “It’s only natural that we have a water line.” ... ”  Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here:  Could desalinated water from Mexico flow to San Diego? 

Latest forecast shifts Lake Mead from big gain to small loss:  “Several hundred billion gallons of water vanished from federal forecasts for Lake Mead over the past two months, but Bureau of Reclamation officials insist there’s no reason to panic.  In April, the bureau was predicting that the man-made lake east of Las Vegas would finish 2018 about 21 feet higher than it is today. Now the bureau is forecasting a 4-foot drop in the surface of the reservoir over the next 18 months — a difference of 25 feet. ... ”  Read more from the Las Vegas Review Journal here:  Latest forecast shifts Lake Mead from big gain to small loss

It’s June.  California is still covered in snow:  “The summer solstice is just around the corner, but someone forgot to tell California’s snowpack.  After years of wallowing in drought, this winter walloped California’s Sierra Nevada mountains in a major, record-setting way. And while the calendar says summer, winter still has its grips on the granite spine of the Sierras.  NASA Earth Observatory released satellite imagery on Thursday that shows what a difference a year makes. Snowpack is at 170 percent of normal when averaged across the state and some areas are reporting way higher totals than that, according to the California Department of Water Resources. … ”  Read more from Climate Central here:  It’s June.  California is still covered in snow

Utah State engineers design solutions to repair nation’s tallest dam:  “A team of 15 engineers, technicians and students built a model one-fiftieth the size of the spillway at the nation’s tallest dam, replicating the crippled chute damaged by floods earlier this year.  The February failure of Oroville Dam’s spillway in California put the safety of the nation’s dams under scrutiny, but also provided a team of experts at Utah State University the opportunity to engineer the best — and safest design — of a new spillway for a critical source of water in the San Joaquin Valley.  “It is a pretty significant dam in California,” said Michael Johnson, a project leader and research professor who specializes in experimental hydrology. … ”  Read more from Deseret News here:  Utah State engineers design solutions to repair nation’s tallest dam

In commentary this weekend …

California farms are thirsty and in danger, says A.G. Kawamura:  He writes, “For generations now, California farmers have fed America and the world. As a third-generation California farmer, my family is proud of the produce we have helped put on the table.  But that legacy of plenty could be in jeopardy for the next generation. A new UC Berkeley report commissioned by the Southern California Water Committee concludes that for decades, environmental regulations have been severely limiting the amount of water available for agriculture. ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  California farms are thirsty and in danger

In regional news and commentary this weekend …

Russian River Watershed Association seeks public input:  “The Russian River Watershed Association has announced the development of a grant-funded Storm Water Resources Plan for the Russian River watershed.  Public meetings will be held to discuss the SWRP and provide an opportunity for input on watershed priorities, storm water projects to be evaluated, and the prioritization of projects for future implementation. … ”  Read more from the Ukiah Daily Journal here:  Russian River Watershed Association seeks public input

Bay Area: Some flea control products may have environmental impacts: trace amounts of pesticides found in San Francisco Bay:  “Some popular flea control products may be responsible for trace amounts of pesticides getting into the San Francisco Bay. According to a new study, the amounts are very small, but experts say the bay ecosystem could be at risk.  Americans spend more than a billion dollars a year to keep fleas and ticks off their pets. A lot of pet owners use topical spot-on treatments that need only a few drops on the back of the animal’s neck to kill fleas and ticks for a month. But some of those products contain a pesticide called fipronil, and that’s turning up where it’s not supposed to be, in sediment at the bottom of the San Francisco Bay. … ”  Read more from ABC 7 here:  Bay Area: Some flea control products may have environmental impacts: trace amounts of pesticides found in San Francisco Bay

Dirtiest no more: Santa Cruz’s Cowell Beach now ranked #3 most contaminated:  “In a year in which winter bacterial water pollution levels spiked along California’s coastal beaches, Cowell Beach has shucked its reigning title as the “dirtiest beach” in the state.  In the annual “Beach Bummer” report card issued Thursday by Southern California environmental nonprofit watchdog group Heal The Bay, the Santa Cruz surf break, a favorite among tourists and locals alike, slipped to the third most contaminated beach statewide. It had held the No. 1 position for the three previous years, and hovered at least in the top two slots for seven years. … ”  Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here:  Dirtiest no more: Santa Cruz’s Cowell Beach now ranked #3 most contaminated

Sea nettles and leatherback turtles return to Monterey Bay:  “Sea nettles and leatherback sea turtles have returned to Monterey Bay after a three-year absence.  The mysterious sea creatures disappeared from Monterey’s waters as El Niño descended upon California in 2013, but this year’s cooler temperatures have drawn the jellies and turtles back to Monterey Bay. … ” Read more from SF Gate here:  Sea nettles and leatherback turtles return to Monterey Bay

Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority policy committee ready to work:  “The IWV Groundwater Authority appointed representatives to nearly all open Policy Advisory Committee positions at their monthly board meeting on Thursday morning. With the PAC’s roster complete enough to begin meeting, IWVGA is set to continue its maturity into the official regulatory Groundwater Sustainability Agency of IWV.  An IWVGA ad hoc committee of board member Mayor Peggy Breeden and board chair Kern County Supervisor Mick Gleason chose the PAC roster from the group of those who applied, then they presented their choice to the IWVA board for approval on Thursday. The board approved them unanimously. … ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority policy committee ready to work

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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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