DAILY DIGEST: Dozens are suing to block the tunnels. Will it matter?; Panel to fund multiple projects under Prop 1; Salmon season flops: Drought years cut North Coast salmon population; and more …

In California water news today, Dozens are suing to block the tunnels. Will it matter?; San Joaquin County claims tunnels would ‘devastate' the Delta; Conservation groups challenge California water diversion project; AquAlliance files suit over twin tunnels; Panel to fund multiple projects under Prop 1; Salmon season flops: Drought years cut North Coast salmon population; Lake Tahoe report highlights threat of dying forests; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

Dozens are suing to block the tunnels.  Will it matter?  “They have one of the most powerful legal weapons found in any courtroom – the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA.  But environmental groups, local governments and others face an uphill climb in their fight against the controversial Delta tunnels project. History suggests that suing under the California environmental law likely won’t be enough to kill the tunnels.  At least 58 groups opposing the tunnels had sued the state as the legal deadline approached Monday afternoon. ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Dozens are suing to block the tunnels.  Will it matter?

San Joaquin County claims tunnels would ‘devastate' the Delta:  “A flurry of lawsuits over Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels continued on Monday, with several Delta counties, farm groups and environmentalists joining the fray as expected.  San Joaquin County invoked the draining of Owens Lake a century ago for urban Southern California, and the diversion of the San Joaquin River for agriculture, in support of its conclusion that the $17 billion tunnels would “devastate” the Delta.  The county’s complaint — which it shares with Contra Costa, Yolo and Solano counties, as well as Delta farmers — was filed in Sacramento County Superior Court. … ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here:  San Joaquin County claims tunnels would ‘devastate’ the Delta

Conservation groups challenge California water diversion project:  “A coalition of conservation groups on Monday sued the California Department of Water Resources challenging its approval of two 35-mile long tunnels that will divert water from the Sacramento River and a San Francisco area delta to Southern California.  Filed in Sacramento County state court, the lawsuit said the so-called Delta tunnels project will significantly degrade the environment in an estuary east of San Francisco known as the bay-delta region and hurt the delta's farming economy. ... ”  Read more from Reuters here:  Conservation groups challenge California water diversion project

AquAlliance files suit over twin tunnels:  “Local water advocacy organization AquAlliance and a coalition have filed a lawsuit in state court against the Department of Water Resources over the proposed twin tunnels.  The issue is over the Environmental Impact Report’s inadequate disclosure, avoidance of impacts, analysis, and mitigation for the proposed twin tunnels, according to a press release from AquAlliance. The over 50,000-page EIR was certified by DWR on July 21.  “Californians aren’t doomed to repeat past destructive practices that have emptied the Owens Valley and caused the literal collapse of the San Joaquin Valley,” said AquAlliance’s Executive Director Barbara Vlamis in the release. “We are smart enough now to know that the twin tunnels would destroy California’s largest river’s watershed and valley, which is essential for the health of the entire state.” ... ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  AquAlliance files suit over twin tunnels

Panel to fund multiple projects under Prop 1:  “Now that applications are in, members of a state panel want to give portions of $2.7 billion in available water bond funds to as many projects as possible, a spokesman said.  The California Water Commission received 12 applications by the Aug. 14 deadline for funding for storage projects under Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond passed by voters in 2014.  That’s fewer than the commission had expected earlier this year, having received 44 separate “concept papers” from groups considering seeking funds for everything from large reservoirs to local groundwater recharge projects. ... ”  Read more from the Capital Press here:  Panel to fund multiple projects under Prop 1

In regional news and commentary today …

Salmon season flops: Drought years cut North Coast salmon population:  “Soon after the commercial salmon season opened on Aug. 1, Chris Lawson steered his 53-foot boat named Seaward out of the marina at Bodega Bay into ocean waters where he figured chinook salmon would travel. He spent the day trolling, his lines carefully prepared to entice the spirited, iridescent fish.  There were plenty of salmon, but mostly two-year-olds too small for a commercial fisherman to keep.  Lawson shook off nearly 100 short fish from his lines and kept just seven longer than the minimum size — 27 inches. He snagged $9 a pound for 63 pounds, yielding $567 for the day’s work before fuel expenses and pay to one crew member, who gets 20 percent. … ”  Read more from the North Bay Business Journal here:  Salmon season flops: Drought years cut North Coast salmon population

Lake Tahoe report highlights threat of dying forests:  “When the University of California, Davis, released its annual State of the Lake Report this month it broached an unusual topic. The report that delves into the health of Lake Tahoe typically focuses on water quality issues that affect the famed and peerless clarity of the largest alpine lake in North America. But this year, scientists and researchers cast an eye toward the forests that surround Lake Tahoe, noting an increasing presence of brown, desiccated and dying trees.  Large swaths of the stately pines of the Lake Tahoe Basin have turned brown. Dying and dead trees intermingle with the otherwise healthy coniferous forest, the signs of enduring years of a sustained and deep drought. ... ”  Read more from the Courthouse News Service here:  Lake Tahoe report highlights threat of dying forests

Uncertainty over water source Tesla and corporate giants in Reno:  “Just 12 miles east of Reno, Nevada, across a swath of brown and barren desert hills, some of the largest corporations in the U.S. are forming a new metropolis. Behemoths of manufacturing, retailing and computing are rushing to build new warehouses, data centers and factories at an industrial complex billed as the largest in the world.  The Tahoe Reno Industrial Centeror TRIC, sprawls across 107,000 acres of Storey County, a wedge of desert mountains and plains just east of the Reno metropolitan area. Tesla, Google, Ebay and Wal-Mart are some of the corporate luminaries that have bought in, with 11 million sq ft of pancake-flat industrial buildings already occupied. That’s not even half the total that will eventually be built here.  It’s a modern-day land rush that begs an important question: Where will all the water come from to serve these corporate ambitions? ... ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Uncertainty over water source Tesla and corporate giants in Reno

Martins Beach visitors won't be arrested, despite locked gates:  “One week after a state appeals court ruled that Silicon Valley billionaire Vinod Khosla cannot continue blocking public access to Martins Beach on the coast south of Half Moon Bay, the gate remains padlocked with no-trespassing signs.  But despite Khosla’s apparent defiance of the court in the high-profile case that could affect the public’s ability to visit other beaches across California, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office is making clear that it considers the scenic stretch of coastline open. People can walk around Khosla’s gate, sheriff’s officials say, and deputies will not write tickets or arrest them for trespassing. ... ”  Read more from the Mercury News here:  Martins Beach visitors won’t be arrested, despite locked gates

Santa Cruz water corrosiveness to be investigated:  “Santa Cruz and Soquel Creek Water District are taking their water sharing relationship to the next level.  The two water utilities are looking to take an in-depth look at how city water interacts with the water district’s system, particularly when it comes to discoloration — unsightly but safe to drink. If the nearly year-long latest testing process raises no significant alarms, Santa Cruz could potentially begin selling its excess winter river water supply to Soquel Creek as early as next year, said Taj Dufour, engineering manager/chief engineer for the district. … ”  Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here:  Santa Cruz water corrosiveness to be investigated

Madera County: Water still a hot topic for farmers:  “Even though California was doused with more rain than it could handle in the spring, farmers are still worried about the water issue.  Farmers were happy with the spring weather, but are now worried that most of that water, which has been in the snowpack, will just run out to the Pacific Ocean. Also, there isn’t any guarantee that next year’s rainfall will come close to this year’s.  “We were blessed this year,” said Creekside Farming president and Madera County Farm Bureau president Jay Mahil. “Coming from five years of drought, having a really good storm pack that we have this year is phenomenal. We are still leery of what next year will bring. It’s not that we’re out of the woods. It’s still worrisome. … ”  Read more from the Madera Tribune here:  Madera County: Water still a hot topic for farmers

Los Angeles County hit with lawsuit claiming Newhall Ranch project would be ‘menace' to the public:  “Environmental groups are suing Los Angeles County and a development firm for moving ahead with plans to build 5,500 homes and apartments in the Santa Clarita Valley, despite concerns about traffic and the water supply.  A lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court raises allegations that the Board of Supervisors last month allowed the firm FivePoints to move forward with the Newhall Ranch development when there were still questions about potential harm to plants and wildlife, destruction of Native American burial sites, and encroachment of the Santa Clara River. ... ”  Read more from the LA Daily News here:  Los Angeles County hit with lawsuit claiming Newhall Ranch project would be ‘menace’ to the public

Coachella Valley: Water agencies announce more than 200K acre-feet of water imported into the Coachella Valley:  “Two local water agencies announced today that more than 200,000 acre-feet of water has been imported into the Coachella Valley so far this year due to California's wetter-than-usual winter, which should help prevent overdrafting of the aquifer.  The Coachella Valley Water District and Desert Water Agency issued a joint statement touting the figure, which is more water than Coachella Valley residents and businesses are expected to use in all of 2017. … ”  Read more from KESQ here:  Water agencies announce more than 200K acre-feet of water imported into the Coachella Valley

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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