DAILY DIGEST: ‘Winter is coming’: What do climate scientists predict for California?; Deep drought stirred action on California’s water; $4 billion parks and water bond moves toward 2018 ballot; and more …

In California water news today, ‘Winter is coming': What do climate scientists predict for California?; Deep drought stirred action on California's water; Oroville crisis: Sherriff called emergency ‘an ugly, shitty mess'; $4 billion parks and water bond moves toward 2018 ballot; ACWA continues to oppose long-term conservation bills unless amended; and more …

In the news today …

‘Winter is coming': What do climate scientists predict for California?  “After suffering more than a week under searing, desert-like heat, winter might be the furthest thing from the minds of most Californians.  However, to borrow a phrase from TV’s “Game of Thrones,” winter is coming.  The only question is whether the gods will allow a rerun of last winter which unexpectedly dumped record amounts of rain and snow throughout the state that filled reservoirs and kept skiers on the slopes through August. ... ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  ‘Winter is coming’: What do climate scientists predict for California?

Deep drought stirred action on California's water:  “Though the nation’s first state law to assure the human right to safe water and sanitation was enacted in California in 2012, not much happened immediately afterward. The law existed in a dormant state, like a seed waiting for a storm.  The storm eventually came, but, as it happened, it was a lack of rain that brought the seed to flower.  In the first months of 2013, a tenacious zone of high pressure anchored itself in the eastern Pacific Ocean, forming an atmospheric ridge that blocked winter moisture from reaching California. More than three years of intense drought followed — years that lifted water to the center of the state’s politics and embedded right-to-water ideas deep within the government’s decision-making structures. … ”  Read more from the Circle of Blue here:  Deep drought stirred action on California’s water

Oroville crisis: Sherriff called emergency ‘an ugly, shitty mess':  “A single photograph of rapid erosion below Oroville Dam’s emergency spillway — and an unidentified geologist’s worried question about whether the local sheriff knew how dire the situation might be — were the key events that led to the evacuation of 180,000 people living along the Feather River on Feb. 12.  As people fled Oroville and surrounding communities, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea, who ordered the evacuation, described the situation as “just an ugly, shitty mess, and we are trying to make the best of it.” … ”  Read more from KQED here:  Oroville crisis: Sherriff called emergency ‘an ugly, shitty mess

$4 billion parks and water bond moves toward 2018 ballot:  “California legislative leaders have reached agreement on a bill that would place a $4 billion dollar parks and water bond on the June 2018 ballot.  The bill, SB 5 by Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), splits the money into dozens of different pots – including clean drinking water, drought preparedness, climate change, and several new parks initiatives. … ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:  $4 billion parks and water bond moves toward 2018 ballot

ACWA continues to oppose long-term conservation bills unless amended:  “Early this morning, ACWA held an emergency meeting of the State Legislative Committee to review late-breaking amendments to long-term conservation bills AB 1668 (Friedman) and SB 606 (Herzberg/Skinner/Friedman). After substantial discussion, the committee ultimately voted to retain the current position of “oppose unless amended” for both bills. … ”  Read more from ACWA's Water News here:  ACWA continues to oppose long-term conservation bills unless amended

In commentary today …

AB 1000 would protect California's deserts from Trump, say Fran Pavley and Mel Levine:  They write, “The California desert has always been a target for speculators looking for quick profit, from miners to real estate developers. The latest one, unfortunately, is our President.  The Trump Administration earlier this year exempted a destructive groundwater pumping project in the Mojave Desert from federal review. The Los Angeles-based developer Cadiz, which for decades has unsuccessfully attempted to mine water from the desert, has sought to avoid the same federal review that dashed its hopes in 2002. Cadiz has been given a boost by the Trump Administration, and has seemingly been further advantaged by the appointment of David Bernhardt as Deputy Interior Secretary. Bernhardt was the principal at Cadiz’s chief lobbying firm; that and the stock his company owns in Cadiz became the most significant conflicts of interest raised by many Democratic Senators, including our own Senator Harris, during his confirmation hearing. … ”  Read more from KCET here: AB 1000 would protect California’s deserts from Trump

Make the human right to water a reality for the Valley, says Jose Gurrola:  He writes, “The trials in Flint, Mich., have transfixed the nation. Californians are worried about people halfway across the country, yet do not realize that their fellow Californians, often just a short drive away, are also impacted by unsafe drinking water.  Here in Kern County, 42 communities are currently out of compliance with safe drinking water standards. Arvin is one of them.  I am proud to serve the City of Arvin as mayor. I grew up here, so it pains me to know that my family and neighbors still must deal, day in and day out, with water contaminated by arsenic. Arsenic can cause respiratory illness, reduced mental functioning, and cancer. No one should have to turn on the tap to water that can lead to such horrible outcomes. ... ”  Read more from the Bakersfield Californian here:  Make the human right to water a reality for the Valley

California must prepare now for a drier future, says Kirsten James:  She writes, “For most of California’s history, water supply problems were solved simply by building new dams or ditches to move water from one place to another. Over time, the limitations of that approach have become increasingly clear. Now, after a five-year drought of historic proportions, our rivers and groundwater are overtapped, and a warmer climate demands that we fundamentally rethink our relationship to this resource. Fortunately, we can meet our water needs if we use it wisely. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  California must prepare now for a drier future

In regional news and commentary today …

Water conservation declines, but not in Oroville:  “Water conservation statewide is on a steady decline, making local numbers look much better, with Oroville in particular saving at twice the state average.  Figures for July released last week by the state Water Resources Control Board put statewide savings at 15 percent, compared to July 2013, the pre-drought benchmark year.  However Oroville customers of the California Water Service Company had savings of 30.9 percent in July. ... ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Water conservation declines, but not in Oroville

Armona excited about clean water:  “Odorless, colorless, crisp-tasting water as good as any bottled water was served Friday in Armona during the dedication of a new well and water treatment facility; and the Armona Community Services District board was proud and excited to say the water came straight from Armona.  “For the residents of Armona, this facility is truly transformational,” Jim Maciel, chairman of the Armona Community Services District, said. ... ”  Read more from the Hanford Sentinel here:  Armona excited about clean water

Santa Clarita:  California Democratic party opposes water bill:  “As the senate bill promising to create one new all-encompassing water district for the Santa Clarita Valley heads towards the finish line of final approval in Sacramento, the California Democratic Party has come out against the historic bill in the 11th hour.  “The California Democratic Party Executive Board, after much deliberation, has voted to oppose Senate Bill 634,” stated a letter sent Monday to Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon by Eric C. Bauman, chair of the California Democratic Party.  The main reason behind the vote of non-support is a fear the bill robs SCV ratepayers of input on key decision-making and that it reduces transparency. … ”  Read more from The Signal here:  California Democratic party opposes water bill

O.C. wants to improve a crucial flood channel; Huntington Beach planners weigh in on Tuesday:  “Structural improvements to a crucial flood control channel in Huntington Beach will be considered Tuesday by the Planning Commission.  The Orange County Flood Control District is proposing enhancements to the structural integrity of the East Garden Grove Wintersburg channel, which carries runoff from cities including Anaheim, Garden Grove and Santa Ana. ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  O.C. wants to improve a crucial flood channel; Huntington Beach planners weigh in on Tuesday

Visitors threaten river in one of Southwest's most popular parks:  “The past four years have seen an explosion in visitors to national parks in the West, prompting concern about environmental impacts – from air pollution and erosion in the parks to traffic congestion in nearby towns.  But the effects on Zion National Park in southwest Utah are unique, thanks to its star attraction. The most popular trail in the park takes visitors right into the streambed of the Virgin River, through a scenic section called the Narrows, where hikers wade in the water between steep redrock cliff walls. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Visitors threaten river in one of Southwest’s most popular parks

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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