DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: State releases data on dam safety; UC Berkeley group says DWR ‘green spot’ report is not enough; Bill aimed at halting Mojave Desert water project stalls; and more …

In California water news this weekend, State releases data on dam safety; Oroville Dam rated unsatisfactory after spillway emergency; Oroville Dam: UC Berkeley group says DWR ‘green spot’ report is not enough; Harvey relief won’t jeopardize Oroville Dam funds, official says; Push for Temperance Flat Dam, Assembly speaker Rendon boards barge in Millerton Lake tour; California Water Fix hearing resumes in January; Bill aimed at halting Mojave Desert water project stalls; California lawmakers block Mojave water bill, Cadiz surges; and more …

In the news this weekend …

State releases data on dam safety:  “The California Division of Safety of Dams on Sept. 1 released information concerning the condition, downstream hazard classification, and reservoir restrictions for each of the 1,249 dams in the division’s jurisdiction.  “This information will help prioritize where investments in dam safety need to be made,” DSOD Chief Sharon Tapia said.  Condition ratings are based on inspections and comprehensive re-evaluation studies that seek to identify repair needs or other vulnerabilities. A rating of “satisfactory” can only be restored once all repairs are complete. … ” Read more from ACWA’s Water News here: State releases data on dam safety

Oroville Dam rated unsatisfactory after spillway emergency:  “California state officials have released detailed information about the status of California’s dams. The data released Friday morning by the California Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD) was prompted by the Oroville Spillway emergency as state officials work to be more transparent about safety.  According to the newly released data, Oroville Dam is the only facility listed with an unsatisfactory condition among the 1,247 dams under the jurisdiction of the DSOD. … ”  Read more from KRCR here:  Oroville Dam rated unsatisfactory after spillway emergency

Oroville Dam: UC Berkeley group says DWR ‘green spot’ report is not enough:  “The UC Berkeley group analyzing the state Department of Water Resources’ response to the spillway crisis is still not satisfied with the department’s explanation for Oroville Dam’s “green spot” in a report released earlier this week.  The group still thinks it could be a sign the dam is leaking and at risk of failure, not just a product of rain.  Previously, Robert Bea, a UC Berkeley professor and risk management expert, urged DWR to reinstall broken piezometers, which measure water pressure, to show the issue was being taken seriously. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Oroville Dam: UC Berkeley group says DWR ‘green spot’ report is not enough

Harvey relief won’t jeopardize Oroville Dam funds, official says:  “The massive relief effort underway for victims of Hurricane Harvey won’t jeopardize funding to rebuild the Oroville Dam, a Federal Emergency Management Agency official told the Capital Press.  While the cost of cleaning up after Harvey’s flood waters in Texas and Louisiana has been estimated to be in the billions, relief for damage from California’s storms last winter is treated as separate, said Victor Inge, a FEMA external affairs officer for the West Coast region.  “In the immediate sense, nothing has changed here,” said Inge, a member of an incident management team sent to California in February. “We’re proceeding as business as usual.” … ”  Read more from the Capital Press here:  Harvey relief won’t jeopardize Oroville Dam funds, official says

Push for Temperance Flat Dam, Assembly speaker Rendon boards barge in Millerton Lake tour:  “Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendón boarded a barge the morning of Aug. 22 to see what supporters of the Temperance Flat Dam envision as a $3 billion answer for additional water storage to provide water for agricultural and residential use in drought years.  Rendón remained noncommittal following the 70-minute tour arranged by the San Joaquín Valley Water Infrastructure Authority, which has applied for $1.3 billion from the Proposition 1 funds to help construct the dam. ... ” Read more from Vida en la Valle here:  Push for Temperance Flat Dam, Assembly speaker Rendon boards barge in Millerton Lake tour

California Water Fix hearing resumes in January:  “Part 2 of the California WaterFix hearing will begin Jan. 18, 2018, according to the State Water Resources Control Board’s ruling on Aug. 31.  The ruling states the State Water Board has taken into consideration that ongoing actions to address the National Environmental Policy Act and federal Endangered Species Act may not be complete by the date of the hearing, and concluded that proceeding with the hearing better serves the public interest, rather than delaying. … ” Read more from ACWA’s Water News here:  California Water Fix hearing resumes in January

Bill aimed at halting Mojave Desert water project stalls:  “California lawmakers rejected a bill Friday designed to stymie a private company’s plan to pump water from below the Mojave Desert to sell in Southern California.  It’s a choice that’s angering U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who has called the project by Cadiz Inc. a “pet project” of the Trump administration. The federal government earlier this year reversed guidelines that would have stopped the company from using an existing right of way for a 43-mile pipeline to transfer the water.  “Blocking Cadiz is one concrete way to stop the Trump administration from hurting California. I hope our state leaders reconsider this bill and move it forward,” Feinstein, a Democrat, said in a statement. ... ” Read more from the AP via The Olympian here: Bill aimed at halting Mojave Desert water project stalls

California lawmakers block Mojave water bill, Cadiz surges:  “Shares of water resource developer Cadiz Inc (CDZI.O) surged 32 percent in extended trade on Friday after a bill aimed at clogging up its plan to pump water from California’s Mojave Desert failed to make it past a state Senate committee.  In a blow to environmentalists and other opponents of the project, California’s Senate Appropriations Committee held Bill AB 1000, known as the California Desert Protection Act, instead of advancing it.  “I‘m deeply disappointed that the state legislature is actively blocking a bill to prevent Cadiz – one of the Trump administration’s pet projects – from destroying the Mojave Desert,” U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, said in a statement. ... ”  Read more from Reuters here:  California lawmakers block Mojave water bill, Cadiz surges

In commentary this weekend …

Houston’s floods are a warning for California to shore up its water systems.  The good news: We’re getting started, says the LA Times:  They write, “Southern Californians have to prepare for earthquakes and drought, but thankfully we will never have to deal with Houston-type flooding.  Or will we? Like Houston, Los Angeles is built on a floodplain. The whole reason the Los Angeles River is encased in concrete is to protect against the kind of terrifying, deadly flooding that raged through the region in 1938, caused by a storm the likes of which is expected only once every 50 years. Hurricane Harvey has been variously called a 500-year and a 1,000-year event, so it’s important to remember that in L.A.’s short history, we haven’t yet seen anything like that kind of a deluge. That doesn’t mean it’s not coming. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Houston’s floods are a warning for California to shore up its water systems.  The good news: We’re getting started.

In regional news and commentary this weekend …

Martins Beach: Key vote could force billionaire to sell path:  “The battle over opening Martins Beach to the public will face a key test this week as lawmakers in Sacramento decide the fate of a bill that could clear the way for the state to purchase a public route through the property from tech billionaire Vinod Khosla.  Khosla, who co-founded Sun Microsystems and has a net worth estimated at $1.5 billion, bought 89 acres surrounding Martins Beach, south of Half Moon Bay, in 2008 and closed the gate to a private road that the public had used for generations to access the shoreline.  The measure, Senate Bill 42, sponsored by state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, would create a new account within the State Lands Commission that could accept outside donations, providing the agency money to take a public easement over the road by eminent domain. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Martins Beach: Key vote could force billionaire to sell path

Harvey a sober reminder for Stockton:  “No living soul can testify of the winter of 1861-62, when 45 days of rain transformed the Central Valley into a 300-mile-long inland sea.  And only some Stocktonians are old enough to remember the last time the city itself flooded, in the 1950s.  The danger, then, is that we no longer comprehend the risk. Because catastrophic floods on the magnitude of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Harvey are not only possible here: They may be inevitable.  “It’s a low-probability, high impact event,” said state climatologist Michael Anderson. “But at some point, everything lines up.” … ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here:  Harvey a sober reminder for Stockton

Carlsbad desal plant is producing less water than promised:  “When the Carlsbad desalination plant opened in December 2015, regional water officials gushed about how reliable it would be. San Diego could now drink from the endless Pacific Ocean rather than be stuck depending on rain and snowmelt to come from hundreds of miles away.  So far, though, the plant has not been as reliable as promised.  Over the last year, the privately owned plant failed to deliver nearly a fifth of the water the San Diego County Water Authority ordered from it. ... ”  Read more from the Voice of San Diego here:  Carlsbad desal plant is producing less water than promised

California bond measure to include $280 million for the Salton Sea:  “California lawmakers have lined up $280 million for dust-control and habitat restoration projects at the Salton Sea as part of a proposed bond measure that would go before voters next year.  Two bills, AB18 and SB5, both include the funding for projects at the Salton Sea, where state officials are working on the initial stages of a 10-year plan that remains largely unfunded.   “The bills are now being merged and there’s one more vote to be taken,” Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, told The Desert Sun. “There is a commitment of both the Assembly and the Senate to fully fund the management plan.” ... ”  Read more from The Desert Sun here:  California bond measure to include $280 million for the Salton Sea

Also on Maven’s Notebook this weekend …

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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.

Maven’s Notebook
where California water news never goes home for the weekend

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