DAILY DIGEST: Carbon farming: California focuses on on soil to meet climate, water goals; Candidate Villiaragosa pledges to follow through on Salton Sea plan; Trump rolled back this environmental rule. CA may replace it with a stronger one; and more …

In California water news today, Carbon farming: California focuses on on soil to meet climate, water goals; Water restrictions hit Jones Valley; What will the rains bring? Team assessing watershed damage caused by Whittier fire; Judge rules Central Basin reform law constitutional; San Diego: Surprise: Storm runoff not main cause of illness from polluted beaches; California gubernatorial contender Villiaragosa pledges to follow through on Salton Sea plan; Trump rolled back this environmental rule. California may replace it with a stronger one; and more …

In the news today …

Carbon farming:  California focuses on on soil to meet climate, water goals:  “Soil’s ability to capture carbon and store water has led to an upsurge of interest in this often overlooked natural resource.  In California, a new program called the Healthy Soils Initiative is about to put unorthodox farming practices to the test. With modest grants of up to $50,000 administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), a network of farmers and ranchers throughout the state will embark on a series of experiments in carbon farming.  The term refers to improving soil health by biological processes that limit the amount of synthetic chemicals applied to crops and adopting techniques aimed to reduce nutrient loss. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Carbon farming:  California focuses on on soil to meet climate, water goals

Water restrictions hit Jones Valley:  “While the drought is over, it’s like 2014 all over again in Jones Valley, where residents are living this summer under water restrictions imposed by Shasta County officials.  While there is plenty of water available, the county has told residents if they use more than 225 gallons a day per household they will be hit with penalties.  “I really do not understand why that happened. That’s like a Third World restriction,” said Illene Riggs, who lives on Elk Trail West in the rural neighborhood about 8 miles northeast of Redding. ... ”  Read more from the Record Searchlight here:  Water restrictions hit Jones Valley

What will the rains bring?  Team assessing watershed damage caused by Whittier fire:  “Even though the stubbornly massive Whittier fire that’s been burning in the Santa Ynez Mountains since early July has yet to be contained, a special team is making its way across the blackened and ashy landscape to assess the damage it’s caused to the critical watershed.  The U.S. Forest Service Burned Area Emergency Response team began its work at the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management on Tuesday, with an end goal of determining which areas near the fire are most vulnerable to the effects of rain and runoff.  “That’s our main role,” said BAER team coordinator Kevin Cooper.  … ”  Read more from the Lompoc Record here:  What will the rains bring?  Team assessing watershed damage caused by Whittier fire

Judge rules Central Basin reform law constitutional:  “A California law passed last year reforming the Central Basin Municipal Water District by adding three seats on to its board of directors was given the go ahead by a Superior Court judge Friday.  The decision dealt a blow to the city of Huntington Park, which filed the lawsuit against the state.  The lawsuit contends the new law, A.B. 1794, violated fundamental voter rights protected by the California Constitution by depriving voters the right to be governed by elected board members. But Superior Court Judge Amy Hogue disagreed in a written ruling. ... ”  Read more from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune here:  Judge rules Central Basin reform law constitutional

San Diego: Surprise: Storm runoff not main cause of illness from polluted beaches:  “It’s been thought for decades that stormwater runoff is the major source of bacterial pollution in the county’s rivers, bays and beaches — triggering swimming advisories up and down the region’s shoreline for 72 hours after it rains.  However, the greatest source of dangerous pathogens flowing from these urban waterways into the ocean may actually be coming from human waste. That’s according to a newly released study commissioned by the area’s top water-quality regulators in collaboration with the city and county of San Diego. ... ”  Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here:  Surprise: Storm runoff not main cause of illness from polluted beaches

California gubernatorial contender Villiaragosa pledges to follow through on Salton Sea plan:  “California gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa said Friday that he supports the state’s 10-year plan for the shrinking Salton Sea and would follow through to develop a long-range plan if he is elected in 2018.   State officials in March released a $383 million plan for the Salton Sea that calls for building ponds and wetlands along the lake’s retreating shorelines during the next 10 years to cover growing expanses of dusty lakebed and to create habitat for fish and birds. … ”  Read more from The Desert Sun here:  California gubernatorial contender Villiaragosa pledges to follow through on Salton Sea plan

Trump rolled back this environmental rule.  California may replace it with a stronger one:  “President Donald Trump’s administration gave California land developers and farmers a reason to cheer when the White House last month rolled back controversial regulations for wetlands imposed during the Obama presidency.  They may want to hold off on the celebration.  A powerful California water agency is poised to adopt its own regulations that could protect more of the state’s wetlands from being plowed, paved over or otherwise damaged. Environmental groups are pressuring the State Water Resources Control Board to push back against Trump’s decision and adopt a wetlands policy that’s even stricter than former President Barack Obama’s. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Trump rolled back this environmental rule.  California may replace it with a stronger one

Fertilizers, a boon to agriculture, pose growing threat to US waterways:  “Nitrogen-based fertilizers, which came into wide use after World War II, helped prompt the agricultural revolution that has allowed the Earth to feed its seven billion people.  But that revolution came at a cost: Artificial fertilizers, often applied in amounts beyond what crops need to grow, are carried in runoff from farmland into streams, lakes and the ocean. New research suggests that climate change will substantially increase this form of pollution, leading to more damaging algae blooms and dead zones in American coastal waters. … ”  Read more from the New York Times here:  Fertilizers, a boon to agriculture, pose growing threat to US waterways

Researchers creating warning system for toxic algae:  “Satellites in space and a robot under Lake Erie’s surface are part of a network of scientific tools trying to keep algae toxins out of drinking water supplies in the shallowest of the Great Lakes.  It’s one of the most wide-ranging freshwater monitoring systems in the U.S., researchers say, and some of its pieces soon will be watching for harmful on hundreds of lakes nationwide.  Researchers are creating an early warning system using real-time data from satellites that in recent years have tracked algae bloom hotpots such as Florida’s Lake Okeechobee and the East Coast’s Chesapeake Bay. … ”  Read more from PhysOrg here:  Researchers creating warning system for toxic algae

In commentary today …

Column: Fitz’s Stockton:  A man who thinks dam big: Michael Fitzgerald writes, “Today: Glenn Mortensen solves sea level rise.  Mortensen, 94, is an architect. He designed Burns Tower at University of the Pacific, among other prominent buldings. Mortensen is retired, but not idle.  On Friday, Mortensen presented his solution to sea level rise to the Engineer’s Club of Stockton. Sea levels are projected to rise 4.5 feet at the Golden Gate by 2100.  “We in this area are in big trouble if the ocean rises 5 feet,” Mortensen said. ... ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here:  Fitz’s Stockton:  A man who thinks dam big

More news and commentary in the weekend edition …

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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