DAILY DIGEST: Military bases’ contamination will affect water for generations; With billions on the line, California begins vetting water projects; DWR study finds limited value in reoperating existing system; Yolo Bypass serves as model for California flood protection; and more …

In California water news today, Military bases' contamination will affect water for generations; With billions on the line, California begins vetting water projects; DWR study finds limited value in reoperating existing system; Yolo Bypass serves as model for California flood protection; Is evaporation an acceptable fix for Cambria brine problem?; How Ventura will save 10 million gallons of water per year; CAP-California water deal that Arizona nixed provides ongoing conflict; and more …

In the news today …

Military bases' contamination will affect water for generations:  “Once a fighter jet training base critical to the Cold War, little remains of the former George Air Force Base but rows of dilapidated houses, a dismantled military hospital and dangerous chemicals from pesticides, jet fuels and other hazardous wastes that have poisoned the water for decades.  “Now when I see the base today, areas of it look like a war zone,” said Frank Vera, an Air Force veteran stationed on the base in the early 1970s. “I don’t think people know what to do with some of these areas because they are so contaminated.” … ”  Read more from the Desert Dispatch here: Military bases’ contamination will affect water for generations

With billions on the line, California begins vetting water projects:  “A dozen water storage projects in California are now officially in the running for a share of $2.7 billion in state bond funds. But experts are cautioning that taxpayers shouldn’t get their hopes up that these projects will solve chronic water shortages in the state.  The money comes from Proposition 1, a bond measure approved by state voters in 2014. The initiative allows bond money to be used only for the “public benefits” that come from new water storage projects, such as enhancing flows for fish habitat and improving flood control. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  With billions on the line, California begins vetting water projects

DWR study finds limited value in reoperating existing system:  “The California Department of Water Resources has released a report evaluating potential options for the reoperation of the state’s existing flood protection and water supply systems to provide increased benefits to water supply, ecosystem, and flood management. It concludes that potential benefits are limited with the current system, but more significant benefits could be achieved with investment in new infrastructure. ... ” Read more from ACWA's Water News here:  DWR study finds limited value in reoperating existing system

Yolo Bypass serves as model for California flood protection:  “The Yolo Bypass is being used as a model for changing California’s flood-control policy that looks to minimize building levees.  The decision by the state’s flood-control board for the Central Valley, comes after more than 100 years of building buffers to raging waters.  The plan affects a 500-mile swathe from Mount Shasta to Bakersfield that includes the state’s two largest rivers and the United States’ richest agricultural region, emphasizes flood plains, wetlands and river bypasses as well as levees. … ” Read more from the Daily Democrat here:  Yolo Bypass serves as model for California flood protection 

Ocean fog carries mercury, a nuerotoxin, to land, science reveals:  “UC Santa Cruz toxicologist Peter Weiss-Penzias was biking to work one cloudy summer morning, dripping from the mist, when he had an epiphany: Could coastal fog be a source of mercury?  “As I’m getting wet, I’m going, ‘What’s in this stuff?’” Weiss-Penzias said.  Previous UCSC research had found mercury — a dangerous neurotoxin — in the Monterey Bay’s surface water, he said. ... ”  Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here:  Ocean fog carries mercury, a nuerotoxin, to land, science reveals

In commentary today …

Creating new statewide tax on water is bad policy, says John Coleman:  He writes, “While we all agree on the good intentions of SB 623 (Monning) to assist disadvantaged communities with accessing safe drinking water, we can’t agree on imposing a first ever statewide tax on water bills of California homes and businesses.  Taxing Californians for something that is essential to life does not make sense, especially at a time when some are raising concerns about the affordability of water.  Furthermore, the process through which this tax has been proposed is also problematic. Proponents have been planning to insert this tax for months, but kept all details under wraps until the last few weeks of session. … ”  Read more from the East Bay Times here:  Opinion: Creating new statewide tax on water is bad policy

We need to protect our marine sanctuaries, says Kim Delfino:  She writes, “Just look west. Right off our coastline is the majesty and wonder of the Pacific Ocean. From the largest mammal to the smallest microbe, our oceans house an abundance of life like no other place on our planet. Though much of it is unexplored, the parts we know are teeming with marine wildlife. Here on shore, surfers, sailors, divers and more treasure this abundance.  That’s why so many are standing up and speaking out on behalf of these special places in response to President Trump’s April 30 executive order, which initiates a review of the designation or expansion of 11 national marine sanctuaries and marine national monuments. ... ” Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here:  We need to protect our marine sanctuaries

The unlearned lessons of Katrina:  Michael Powelson writes,In February, Oroville Dam in Butte County came perilously close to bursting. Over 180,000 people were evacuated, exit roads were clogged, and it was clear that officials had no real plan in the event the dam burst.  The crisis was the latest example of the United States’ crumbling infrastructure, which includes California’s deteriorating roads, bridges and dams. Yet despite numerous reports about this, little has been done to rectify this ticking time bomb. … ” Read more from the Ventura County Star here:  The unlearned lessons of Katrina

In regional news and commentary today …

Toxic algae detected in some Tahoe Keys waterways:  “Residents and visitors in certain areas of the Tahoe Keys are being warned of the presence of potentially poisonous algae.  Warnings were posted earlier this week along specific waterways, including off Aloha Drive. The signs say harmful algae may be present in the water. As of Friday, all the samplings tested so far indicated the lowest possible level of toxins, Greg Hoover, water quality manager and aquatic invasive species management coordinator for the Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association (TKPOA), told the Tribune Friday. ... ” Read more from the Tahoe Daily Tribune here:  Toxic algae detected in some Tahoe Keys waterways

Is evaporation an acceptable fix for Cambria brine problem? The regional water board and Cambria’s services district are discussing about just how to clear the brine waste out of the CCSD impoundment basin.  The main questions:  1) Is evaporation an acceptable option to the water board?  2) Can the district afford to do anything else? ... ” Read more from the San Luis Obispo Tribune here:  Is evaporation an acceptable fix for Cambria brine problem? 

How Ventura will save 10 million gallons of water per year:  “As the drought continued its march and Ventura residents increasingly cut usage, it didn't sit right for many to see water gushing uselessly into the street.  But there it was, a necessary part of the process to keep drinking water pipelines clean and free from particulates — gallons and gallons of water being flushed via fire hydrants. Many people complained to the city. That process has begun to change. Instead of water hitting city streets bound for storm drains, it will be caught, filtered and sent back into the system. The savings per year could be huge. ... ”  Read more from the Ventura County Star here:  How Ventura will save 10 million gallons of water per year

CAP-California water deal that Arizona nixed provides ongoing conflict:  “A proposed 2015 sale of Arizona water to California that never happened is now a flash point in a controversy pitting Arizona’s top water agency against the Central Arizona Project.  A newly disclosed memo from that year, written by a CAP attorney, characterized the proposal as a sale of some of Arizona’s Colorado River water to the giant, six-county Metropolitan Water District in Southern California. Such a sale would be controversial in Arizona, given the longstanding adversarial relationship over water between the two states. … ”  Read more from the Arizona Star here:  CAP-California water deal that Arizona nixed provides ongoing conflict

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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