DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: U.S. and Mexico finalizing Colorado River deal; Butte County Farm Bureau issues challenge to assist Red Bluff farmer’s legal battle; Suit filed over dam crisis for 188,000 evacuees; and more …

In California water news this weekend, U.S. and Mexico finalizing Colorado River deal; Butte County Farm Bureau issues challenge to assist Red Bluff farmer’s legal battle; Suit filed over dam crisis for 188,000 evacuees; California dairies join forces with conservationists and an irrigation supplier to save water and reduce groundwater pollution; In memoriam – Ted Thomas; Oroville Dam relicensing: Signatories didn’t back down after DWR’s ‘subtle threats’; East Bay lawmaker touts water bill with recycling plant as backdrop; Toxic algae cleared up, two East Bay lakes reopen to swimmers; How farmers can help keep salt out of the Colorado River; Global warming is fueling Arizona’s monstrous monsoons

In the news this weekend …

U.S. and Mexico finalizing Colorado River deal:  “The U.S. and Mexican governments may be sharply at odds on President Donald Trump’s plan for a border wall, but when it comes to water – and the potential for a major shortage along the Colorado River – the two sides seem to be on the same page.  Mexican and American officials are finalizing a water-sharing deal for the Colorado River, and a newly released summary of the accord’s key points shows negotiators have agreed on a cooperative approach geared toward boosting reservoir levels and trying to stave off a severe shortage.  … ”  Read more from The Desert Sun here:  U.S. and Mexico finalizing Colorado River deal

Butte County Farm Bureau issues challenge to assist Red Bluff farmer’s legal battle:  “In a show of support, the Butte County Farm Bureau visited a property south of Red Bluff Friday morning, issuing a challenge for other farm bureau organizations to join it in supporting a farmer’s legal battle against the federal government.  The lawsuit revolves around John Duarte’s property on Paskenta Road near Flores Avenue and began with a 2012 visit by an Army Corps of Engineer representative. Duarte Nursery Inc., headquartered outside of Modesto and founded by Jim and Anita Duarte and their sons John and Jeff, was in the process of planting wheat at the time. A cease and desist notice alleging violation of the Clean Water Act was issued. ... ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Butte County Farm Bureau issues challenge to assist Red Bluff farmer’s legal battle

Suit filed over dam crisis for 188,000 evacuees:  “Four Butte County residents filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against the state, seeking to recover damages for the 188,000 people of Butte, Yuba and Sutter counties who evacuated in February when officials feared the emergency spillway at Oroville Dam would fail after the main spillway was damaged.  The suit, filed Thursday in Butte County Superior Court, alleged the Department of Water Resources “has created a condition that is harmful to the health and interferes with the comfortable enjoyment ‘of life and property,’ and where a catastrophic collapse of  the ‘emergency spillway’ crest is likely to  happen at  any moment.” … ”  Read more from the Appeal Democrat here:  Suit filed over dam crisis for 188,000 evacuees

California dairies join forces with conservationists and an irrigation supplier to save water and reduce groundwater pollution:  “For most of us, dairy products like milk, butter, cheese, and yogurt are an integral part of our daily diets. In fact, US residents consume on average more than 600 pounds of dairy products (expressed on a milk-equivalent basis) per year, according to the US Department of Agriculture.  Some 9 million dairy cows meet that demand, and growing their feed and quenching their thirst consumes a great deal of water. To produce and bottle just one cup of milk can require some 55 gallons (208 liters) of water.  So as the recent five-year drought deepened in the state of California, which produces one- fifth of the nation’s milk, dairyman Nate Ray got a bit worried. … ”  Read more from National Geographic here:  California dairies join forces with conservationists and an irrigation supplier to save water and reduce groundwater pollution

In people news this weekend …

In memoriam – Ted Thomas:Ted Thomas, Chief of the Department of Water Resources Media and Public Information Branch for more than 20 years and a well-known reporter and editor for 25 years before beginning his State service, passed away last weekend at his home in Sacramento.  “Ted ranks among the best California State information officers I knew in almost 40 years of service,” said Pete Weisser, retired DWR employee and former Chief of DWR’s Public Affairs Office. “A skilled writer and a meticulous editor, Ted was an expert on California history, politics, and water policy topics.” … ”  Continue reading here:  In Memoriam Ted Thomas

In regional news and commentary this weekend …

Oroville Dam relicensing: Signatories didn’t back down after DWR’s ‘subtle threats’:  “Despite receiving “subtle threats” from the state Department of Water Resources, several settlement agreement signatories did not back down on their efforts to delay the relicensing of the Oroville Dam, Oroville Chamber of Commerce CEO Sandy Linville said Friday.  Groups showed their support of a delay by signing their names on a letter spearheaded by the Oroville Chamber of Commerce. The coalition letter was filed earlier this week with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In it, 36 groups contend they would like to see a delay in the relicensing of the dam under the management of DWR. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Oroville Dam relicensing: Signatories didn’t back down after DWR’s ‘subtle threats’

East Bay lawmaker touts water bill with recycling plant as backdrop:  “Though it may not stop the state’s Twin Tunnels project from diverting Delta water down south, Congressman Jerry McNerney hopes his new bill to invest in recycling projects will ensure water districts are frugal with the essential, but limited resource.  “While the governor is proposing these tunnels, what I’m proposing would create all the water that the tunnels would provide at a lot less cost,” McNerney said. “There’s a better solution that makes sense, would provide all the water, and be sustainable.”  The WEST Act, or Water and Energy Sustainability through Technology Act, would put $12 billion into circulation for competitive grants that would go toward innovative recycled water projects. ... ”  Read more from the East Bay Times here:  East Bay lawmaker touts water bill with recycling plant as backdrop

Toxic algae cleared up, two East Bay lakes reopen to swimmers:  “Two popular swim spots — Lake Temescal in Oakland and Quarry Lakes in Fremont — will reopen Saturday after blooms of toxic blue-green algae finally cleared up, the East Bay Regional Park District announced Friday.  The toxic algae, which can sicken people and kill dogs, forced the regional park agency to close the lakes for the bulk of the summer recreation season. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Toxic algae cleared up, two East Bay lakes reopen to swimmers

Along the Colorado River …

Las Vegas officials seek Gold Butte reduction to guarantee water supplies:  “Water officials in Mesquite have asked the Trump administration to shrink the size of Gold Butte National Monument to ensure the community’s access to springs it plans to use as a future water supply.  Short of a boundary adjustment, the Virgin Valley Water District is requesting specific changes to the Obama-era proclamation that established the monument, which utility officials say threatens to cut them off from six crucial springs in the Virgin Mountains.  “If we could get one of those two to occur for us, we would be very, very happy,” said Kevin Brown, general manager of the water district that serves the northeastern corner of Clark County. … ”  Read more from the Las Vegas Review Journal here:  Las Vegas officials seek Gold Butte reduction to guarantee water supplies

How farmers can help keep salt out of the Colorado River:  “Water spritzed from sprinkler nozzles suspended a few feet above the ground, wetting the grass below. The spigots dangled from a center pivot — an irrigation structure that rotates around a fixed point — slowly circling a field on Mark LeValley’s family ranch, high on a mesa in western Colorado. Millions of years ago, a vast sea covered this area, creating the layer of salt-rich earth that lurks beneath LeValley’s boots. Talking over the rush of water through the sprinkler, LeValley described what it took to irrigate this field before he and his brother, Hank, installed their first center pivot. Using shovels, dams and ditches, they shunted water from an open canal across the land, flooding it. Excess water ran into the ground, collecting and dissolving salt from the ancient seabed as it trickled toward the Colorado River. … ”  Continue reading from High Country News here:  How farmers can help keep salt out of the Colorado River

Global warming is fueling Arizona’s monstrous monsoons:  “Summer in Arizona and throughout the Southwest is monsoon season, which means a daily pattern of afternoon thunderstorms, flash floods, dramatic dust clouds and spectacular displays of lightning over the desert.  As the climate changes, Arizona’s monsoon rainfall is becoming more intense even as daily average rainfall in parts of the state has decreased, according to a new study. Increasingly, extreme storms threaten the region with more severe floods and giant dust storms called haboobs. ... ”  Read more from Climate Central here:  Global warming is fueling Arizona’s monstrous monsoons

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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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