DAILY DIGEST: Congressman questions plan to drain Lake Oroville for project; How much SoCal’s water bills could rise due to the Delta tunnels; The regulatory state versus a California farmer; A legal battle in Idaho portends future conflicts over water; and more …

In California water news today, Congressman questions plan to drain Lake Oroville for project; Southern Californians, here’s how much your water bill could rise due to the Delta tunnels; Butte County Board of Supervisors files lawsuit against DWR; Parks and water bond linked to housing deal at California capital; Plowed under: The regulatory state versus a California farmer; A legal battle in Idaho portends future conflicts over water; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • The STORMS Seminar Series continues with a webinar from 10am to 11:30am on Ecological Strategies to Improve Water Quality and Manage Stormwater, which focuses on the use of floating islands to improve water quality and treat stormwater.  Click here for more information.

In the news today …

Congressman questions plan to drain Lake Oroville for project:  “A California congressman is questioning the degree to which state officials want to draw down Lake Oroville this winter, but the officials say it’s necessary to accommodate continued work on the dam.  Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., whose district includes the Oroville area, argues it would be unnecessary for officials to drain the lake to as low as 640 feet of elevation by Dec. 31, as one Department of Water Resources scenario outlines. … ”  Read more from the Capital Press here:  Congressman questions plan to drain Lake Oroville for project

Southern Californians, here’s how much your water bill could rise due to the Delta tunnels:  “More than 6 million Southern Californian households could pay $3 more a month to help cover the costs of Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial plan to bore two huge tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  But that’s cheaper than the $5 a month that households in the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s service area were expected to pay under projections released four years ago, Jeffrey Kightlinger, the water district’s general manager, said Thursday. ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Southern Californians, here’s how much your water bill could rise due to the Delta tunnels

Butte County Board of Supervisors files lawsuit against DWR“The Butte County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to file a lawsuit against the California Department of Water Resources for failing to comply with state water law.  The Board of Supervisors said DWR did not adequately assess the environmental and socioeconomic impacts from the California WaterFix. The California WaterFix is a Habitat and Conservation Plan and Natural Community Conservation Plan intended to meet the standards of the federal Endangered Species Act and California’s Natural Community Conservation Planning Act. … ”  Read more from KRCR here:  Butte County Board of Supervisors files lawsuit against DWR

Parks and water bond linked to housing deal at California capital:  “As California lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown work to hammer out an affordable housing deal that includes a multi-billion dollar bond measure, they’re also negotiating a parks and water bond that would advance at the same time. ... ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:  Parks and water bond linked to housing deal at California capital

Plowed under: The regulatory state versus a California farmer:  “On a rainy afternoon in late November 2012, Matthew Kelley, a project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, pulled his truck over to the side of a road in Tehama County in northern California.  He’d seen something he found disturbing: a tractor parked in an open field. Fields and tractors are common in this rural region halfway between Sacramento and the Oregon border. The area is known for its almond and walnut orchards. What Kelley found so alarming was that this tractor was in a 450-acre field that he knew contained dozens of vernal pools. These are small depressions that can fill with rainwater seasonally, but environmental regulators consider them to be part of nearby Coyote Creek. … ”  Read more from the Weekly Standard here:  Plowed under: The regulatory state versus a California farmer

A legal battle in Idaho portends future conflicts over water:  “On a sunny day in late April, the United States Army Corps of Engineers released hundreds of millions of gallons of water from Idaho’s Lucky Peak Dam, a dozen miles upstream of Boise. The dam operators call it a “rooster tail” display; thousands of observers took in the spectacle. The water, roaring out of a dam gate, arced high above the Boise River, rainbows shimmering in its spray.  Rooster tails are one way the Corps releases excess water to reduce the risk of flooding – a partially empty reservoir can capture spring runoff before it can race downstream and inundate Boise. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  A legal battle in Idaho portends future conflicts over water

In commentary today …

In regional news and commentary today …

Blue-green algae toxin warnings remain at Russian River beaches“The Russian River tested clean this week for a toxin related to blue-green algae that prompted cautionary signs at 10 popular beaches last month and in each of the past two summers.  The river remains open to swimming and other recreation. But warning signs urging visitors to avoid ingesting river water will remain at 10 popular beaches between Cloverdale and the river mouth as a precaution against exposure to the neurotoxin involved, the Sonoma County Department of Health Services said. … ”  Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here:  Blue-green algae toxin warnings remain at Russian River beaches

Calaveras and Stanislaus stakeholders form partnership to recharge groundwater basin:  “The Calaveras County Water District, Rock Creek Water District and Stanislaus County announced the formation of a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) on Aug. 10 according to a press release.  The goal of the GSA is to protect the groundwater in the Eastern San Joaquin Groundwater Sub basin. The basin has been crucially over drafted since 1980.  “This is a historic achievement,” said CCWD General Manager, Dave Eggerton. “It’s the first-ever partnership between our two counties and it will be invaluable in helping us address the challenges of restoring the health of the groundwater basin.” ... ”  Read more from the Calaveras Enterprise here:  Calaveras and Stanislaus stakeholders form partnership to recharge groundwater basin

Pot bust includes eco crimes: “They squatted near the water, tossing used paper into the creek bed as if it were a toilet.  Pesticide containers were left uncapped and tipped on their sides, contents seeping out and saturating the ground.  Some slept in tents, shacks, hammocks and other temporary quarters, tossing everyday trash into piles and letting it stand and rot.  The environmental trauma was significant, say law enforcement officials. … ”  Read more from the Calaveras Enterprise here:  Pot bust includes eco crimes

River treatment plant could add $25 to $27 to typical water bills in Turlock and Ceres:  “A proposed Tuolumne River treatment plant could add about $25 to average monthly water bills in Turlock and Ceres.  That is the latest estimate for the project, which would supplement city wells that can be hampered by drought and water-quality rules.  The governing board voted unanimously last week to do further planning on the $288 million project. It could be completed as early as 2022. … ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here:  River treatment plant could add $25 to $27 to typical water bills in Turlock and Ceres

Kings County leaders oppose Semitropic storage project:  “A Kern County water district sees a major opportunity east of Kettleman City. It’s called the Tulare Lake Storage and Floodwater Protection Project.  Part of it includes a proposed 12,000-acre reservoir, with the potential to hold up to 30,000 acre-feet of floodwater.  “So when there are excess flows from the Kings River, we would move that into a proposed storage site near Kettleman City,” said Jason Gianquinto. “(We would) be able to regulate that into the aqueduct, and then bring that into Kern County through Semitropic’s programs to recharge the groundwater basin to avoid overdraft and enhance our surface water supply.” … ”  Read more from KFSN here:  Kings County leaders oppose Semitropic storage project

Santa Clarita: State officials review northern water sent south:  “As the Castaic Lake Water Agency remains poised to become one new all-encompassing water agency with the promise of a bill nearing final review in Sacramento, its unique role as provider of Northern California water to the Santa Clarita Valley is also under review.  State officials are in the process of reviewing how the state distributes Northern California water among 29 agencies contracted to receive it – including the Castaic Lake Water Agency.  How important is Northern California water for the people in the Santa Clarita Valley?  Answer: essential. … ”  Read more from the Santa Clarita Signal here:  Santa Clarita: State officials review northern water sent south

Friday flight over Oroville …

From the Department of Water Resources: “Work continues on the Lake Oroville spillways. Concrete is poured into 30 to 80 foot holes to create the underground cut-off wall downslope of the emergency spillway. Crews continue to assemble and erect electrical towers to reroute power lines away from the spillway. Rebar is installed for the upper spillway walls and structural concrete, concrete is poured and graded, and more stay-forms are installed for drainage.”

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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