DAILY DIGEST: Battle looms as California moves to dedicate more water to fish; HR 23: ‘It’s going to be a fight’; The rare Trump appointment that is actually making environmentalists happy; and more …

In California water news today, Battle looms as California moves to dedicate more water to fish; HR 23: ‘It's going to be a fight'; The rare Trump appointment that is actually making environmentalists happy; Blue-green algae warning issued for Copco Reservoir on the Klamath River; An upstream battle: Sale of century-old hydroelectric system poses threat to Butte Creek’s salmon; Scenic meadows near Lake Tahoe preserved in $10 million land deal; Gilroy: Six decades of water down the drain; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

Battle looms as California moves to dedicate more water to fish:  “On the heels of the worst drought in California history, state officials are telling water users in the San Joaquin River basin to give up a major share of their water supplies – permanently.  The timing, in some ways, couldn’t be worse for farmers who struggled through the drought. On the other hand, the time is right for imperiled salmon that live in the river and its tributaries. This iconic species may not survive the next drought without more water.  The State Water Resources Control Board announced in September that it plans to return the San Joaquin River to 40 percent of its “unimpaired flow.” This means the amount of water that would naturally flow through the river without existing dams and diversions. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Battle looms as California moves to dedicate more water to fish

HR 23: ‘It's going to be a fight':  “Some call it political theater. Others call it a serious threat.  Whatever the prognosticators say, the latest effort by south San Joaquin Valley Republicans to wring more water out of the Delta is undeniably ambitious.  A bill that cleared the House of Representatives last week requires the Delta to be governed by 20-year-old water quality standards that scientists say are inadequate for the estuary’s freshwater ecosystem. It places new roadblocks before the legally required restoration of the San Joaquin River, which normally runs dry upstream of Stockton. And it takes a hatchet to a 1992 law, signed by President George H.W. Bush, that redirected some water used by farmers back into rivers to help struggling fish species. … ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here:  ‘It’s going to be a fight’

The rare Trump appointment that is actually making environmentalists happy:  “Thus far, the Trump administration has pursued an agenda that has alarmed scientists and environmentalists, including the recent decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement. The administration has also been slow to appoint scientific leadership, both in the White House and across federal agencies.  But the appointment of fisheries biologist Chris Oliver to lead NOAA Fisheries — the agency within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that is charged with sustainable management of commercial fisheries worth more than $140 billion — represents a striking departure from the Trump administration’s scientific and environmental personnel and policy choices. … ”  Read more from the Washington Post here:  The rare Trump appointment that is actually making environmentalists happy

In regional news and commentary today …

Blue-green algae warning issued for Copco Reservoir on the Klamath River:  “The North Coast Region of the California Regional Water Quality Control Board urges swimmers, boaters and recreational users to avoid direct contact with waters containing blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), which it says is now blooming in the Copco Reservoir on the Klamath River in northern California.  The following information was distributed in a July 13 media release from the Water Quality Control Board:  Sample results collected June 27, 2017 from Copco Reservoir at Copco Cove do not meet the State of California’s recommended threshold for blue-green algae toxins in recreational waters, resulting in the posting of the reservoir. … ”  Read more from Mount Shasta Herald here:  Blue-green algae warning issued for Copco Reservoir on the Klamath River

An upstream battle: Sale of century-old hydroelectric system poses threat to Butte Creek’s salmon: “Looking down from a bank high over Butte Creek, Allen Harthorn pointed to about 50 spring-run chinook salmon idling near the surface of a deep, clear pool. Occasionally, a fish reacted to some perceived danger and disappeared with the swish of a tail.  That’s basically what they’ll do all summer—hold in cold water without eating, conserving energy until September or early October.  By then, the silvery hue they had as ocean fish will have turned red or yellow and they will start scouting out shallow, gravelly sections of the creek in which to spawn. After the eggs are laid and fertilized, the adults will die. The fry will hatch a few months later and eventually begin the journey to the Pacific Ocean, starting the cycle over. ... ”  Read more from the Chico News & Review here:  An upstream battle: Sale of century-old hydroelectric system poses threat to Butte Creek’s salmon

Scenic meadows near Lake Tahoe preserved in $10 million land deal:  “A breathtaking landscape of Sierra Nevada meadows, forests and wetlands larger than San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park — located 20 miles north of Lake Tahoe — will be preserved from development under a $10 million deal that closes Friday.  The Carpenter Valley is 1,317 acres, a hidden valley one ridge over from the Tahoe Donner ski resort that is home to bald eagles, black bears, carpets of wildflowers and an unspoiled stream — all flanked by snow-capped peaks. ... ”  Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here:  Scenic meadows near Lake Tahoe preserved in $10 million land deal

Gilroy: Six decades of water down the drain:  “In a move that could impact communities statewide and save billions of gallons of water, a top Sacramento official will investigate the reported waste of massive amounts of water by the Santa Clara Valley Water District and others.  John Laird, California Secretary for Natural Resources, promised the probe on July 5 during a meeting with Herman Garcia of Gilroy.  “As a result of last week’s meeting, we are looking into this issue. We have not completed our fact finding on this,” said Sam Chui, a spokesman for the state natural resources agency. “We are happy to reach out to you once we have,” he added. … ”  Read more from the Gilroy Dispatch here:  Six decades of water down the drain

How much can you save using solar panels to clean dirty water?  A lot, says Chowchilla:  “Chowchilla plans to clean its dirty water with help from the sun, which leaders say will save some money during the next three decades.  The Chowchilla City Council sold bonds to finance an energy efficiency program meant to save about $28 million dollars, according to a news release.  The plan is to shift 80 percent of the wastewater plant’s power supply from Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to more than 2,100 solar panels, as well as to use solar to power city buildings and wells, leaders said. … ”  Read more from the Merced Sun-Star here:  How much can you save using solar panels to clean dirty water?  A lot, says Chowchilla

Santa Barbara County supervisors to consider new regulations for water wells:  “Water will top the Board of Supervisors agenda when the county's top elected officials meet Tuesday in Santa Maria.  The board is expected to dive into a discussion on policy direction with regard to future water well permits, which could entail requiring new wells be fitted with flow meters to monitor what's extracted from the ground.  Madera County, which sits north of Fresno, has included similar provisions in its county code, requiring all new wells be fitted with flow meters, according to a staff report. … ”  Read more from the Santa Maria Times here:  Santa Barbara County supervisors to consider new regulations for water wells

Toxic blue-green algae found at Silverwood Lake in the San Bernardino mountains, prompting beach closures:  “The discovery of toxic blue-green algae at Silverwood Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains closed two beaches to swimming for at least a week, according to officials from the California Department of Water Resources.  Signs have been posted at the Sawpit and Cleghorn swim beaches — both on the western side of the lake — advising people not to swim there, according to a Department of Water Resources news release. The lake remains open to boating.  Blooms can quickly appear and disappear, but the department likes to keep the closure signs up for at least a week, said state Water Resources spokesman Doug Carlson. … ”  Read more from the Riverside Press-Enterprise here:  Toxic blue-green algae found at Silverwood Lake in the San Bernardino mountains, prompting beach closures

Colorado River water use remains uncertain:  “The future of water use from the Colorado River remains uncertain.  “We’re on a rollercoaster,” said Councilmember Mark Clark, who became Bullhead City’s vice mayor on July 1.  Clark serves on various water boards and commissions and is considered an expert in that area.  “You get good news and you get bad news,” Clark said.  Clark is obviously frustrated.  “Mother Nature, she’s teasing us because she gave us that great winter with all that snow (in the Rocky Mountains and other areas),” he said. “There were places in the Rockies that had record-level snows and there were places that were 200 to 300 percent above normal. … ” Read more from the Mohave Valley Daily News here:  Colorado River water use remains uncertain

More news and commentary in the weekend edition …

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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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