DAILY DIGEST: Downsizing raised as possibility as Delta tunnels clear hurdle; Legal analysis: Numerous parties oppose DWR’s attempt to obtain judicial approval for Cal Water Fix bonds; What needs to be done to stop wildfires in drought-killed forests; and more …

In California water news today, Downsizing raised as possibility as Governor’s Delta Plan clears hurdle; Legal analysis: Numerous Parties Oppose the California Department of Water Resources’ Attempt to Obtain Judicial Approval of Bonds for the California Water Fix Project; What needs to be done to stop wildfires in drought-killed forests; Climate conditions behind deadly October 2017 wildfires; Legal analysis: First District Rejects CEQA Challenges to SWRCB’s Revised Environmental Document and Approval of Northern California Coastal Stream Policy; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

Downsizing raised as possibility as Governor’s Delta Plan clears hurdle:  “Overcoming opposition from representatives of the state’s two largest cities, Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan for a multi-billion dollar fix to the weak link of California’s aqueduct system passed a major hurdle Tuesday when Southern California’s largest water wholesaler formally voted to participate.  The Metropolitan Water District (MWD) would provide more than a quarter of the total $17 billion cost projected for what has been dubbed California WaterFix. It envisions digging a pair of massive tunnels to transport southbound water more than 30 miles beneath the Delta where the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers drain into San Francisco Bay. ... ”  Read more from NBC Bay Area here:  Downsizing raised as possibility as Governor’s Delta Plan clears hurdle

Legal analysis: Numerous Parties Oppose the California Department of Water Resources’ Attempt to Obtain Judicial Approval of Bonds for the California Water Fix Project:  “On July 21, 2017, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) filed a validation action in Sacramento County Superior Court seeking a determination from the court that the California Water Fix (CWF) bond resolutions DWR approved on July 21, 2017 are valid. (Case No. 34-2017-00215965.) Specifically, DWR seeks to confirm the validity of: (1) bonds DWR has authorized to finance the capital costs of the CWF; (2) resolutions that DWR adopted in connection with those bonds; and (3) the pledge of revenues for their repayment (collectively, the “Bond Resolutions”).  The lawsuit is directed at all “interested persons,” requiring any party seeking to contest the validity of the bonds to have filed an answer by September 15, 2017. Numerous parties answered in opposition, including Butte, Contra Costa, Plumas Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano and Yolo Counties, Sacramento County Water Agency, San Diego County Water Authority, Plumas County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, South Delta Water Agency, Central Delta Water Agency, and Save the California Delta Alliance. ... ”  Read more from Somach Simmons & Dunn here:  Legal analysis: Numerous Parties Oppose the California Department of Water Resources’ Attempt to Obtain Judicial Approval of Bonds for the California Water Fix Project

What needs to be done to stop wildfires in drought-killed forests:  “With 17 large wildfires in California igniting in 24 hours this week, October is shaping up to be a brutal month for wildfires, as it often is. It’s too soon to know what caused multiple conflagrations spreading across Northern California’s wine country, but elsewhere in the state dead and dying trees have been the subject of much concern. The five-year drought in California killed more than 102 million trees on national forest lands. That is a gigantic problem in itself that will lead to huge wildfire risks in the future and big changes in wildlife habitat. ... ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  What needs to be done to stop wildfires in drought-killed forests

Climate conditions behind deadly October 2017 wildfires“Under the driving force of fierce winds, deadly wildfires exploded across northern California in the second week of October 2017. According to the Los Angeles Times, at least 17 people had been killed as of October 11, and thousands of homes and other infrastructure—including cell phone towers used by the state’s emergency services—had been destroyed.  The extremely dangerous fire conditions actually began last winter, with near-record precipitation between December 2016-February 2017. The drought-busting amounts of precipitation re-stocked the state’s snowpack, which had been heavily depleted by 6 years of drought. … ”  Read more from Climate.gov here:  Climate conditions behind deadly October 2017 wildfires

Legal analysis: First District Rejects CEQA Challenges to SWRCB’s Revised Environmental Document and Approval of Northern California Coastal Stream Policy:In a published opinion filed September 28, 2017, the First District Court of Appeal affirmed the Alameda County Superior Court’s judgment denying appellant Living Rivers Council’s (LRC) writ petition challenging the State Water Resources Control Board’s (the “SWRCB” or “Board”) approval of a policy designed to maintain instream flows in coastal streams north of San Francisco. Living Rivers Council v. State Water Resources Control Board (1st Dist., Div. 5, 2017) _______ Cal.App.5th ________. The Court of Appeal upheld the SWRCB’s Revised Substitute Environmental Document (RSED) against LRC’s CEQA challenges, which related to the RSED’s analysis of potential indirect environmental effects of surface water users switching to groundwater pumping as a result of the policy. ... ”  Read more from Lexology here:  First District Rejects CEQA Challenges to SWRCB’s Revised Environmental Document and Approval of Northern California Coastal Stream Policy

In commentary today …

California Water Fix won’t fix anything, says Carolee Krieger:  She writes, “Governor Brown’s proposal to fix California’s water problem by building massive tunnels to shunt Sacramento River water past the Bay/Delta and south to Los Angeles water consumers and San Joaquin Valley farmers isn’t going to fix anything, let alone make our water supply more reliable. The state admits the tunnels will not supply any new water. The proposal is replete with misconceptions and misrepresentations, and it has a false underlying basic premise — that there is enough water in California to meet our needs if only we could bypass the Delta. … ”  Read more from the Santa Barbara Independent here:  California Water Fix won’t fix anything

In regional news and commentary today …

Vacaville signs cooperative groundwater agreement:  “As it works out a plan to manage its groundwater supply, the Vacaville City Council signed a cooperative agreement with other agencies.  The council voted 5-0 Tuesday, in its capacity as the Vacaville Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) board of directors, to approve the agreement with other GSAs in the Solano Subbasin.  There are 15 GSAs that have formed in the subbasin. Solano County Water Agency will serve as the facilitator for the group under this agreement. ... ”  Read more from The Reporter here:  Vacaville signs cooperative groundwater agreement

Live in Turlock? Your water bill could double over the next five years:  “Five years from now, Turlock residents will be paying twice as much for water if the City Council approves recommended increases.  The city is considering the increases to pay for a system that would draw water from the Tuolumne River. Turlock has joined with the city of Ceres to form the Stanislaus Regional Water Authority, which is working with TID on the system.  “The city is currently totally dependent on groundwater and our supply is getting lower over time. The water level in our aquifer has gone down by 25 feet since 1996,” Garner Reynolds, regulatory affairs manager for the city, said in a news release. “Using surface water would allow the city to deliver more consistent water quality and improve groundwater conditions and allow for the replenishment of groundwater for use during periods of drought.” … ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here:  Live in Turlock? Your water bill could double over the next five years

Monson water system nearly completed; Sultana service district takes over: “The Sultana Community Services District will take over operations and ownership of the newly-completed water well and delivery system in Monson, following approval from county Supervisors.  And just as the ownership transfer is being approved, Monson residents are waiting for the well and system come online. CSET Personnel is working on making the residential connection to the new delivery system.  There are 35 water connections to complete. So far, about 10 connections are done. It takes about a day to finish one residential connection. ... ”  Read more from the Visalia Times-Delta here:  Monson water system nearly completed; Sultana service district takes over

Paso Robles: Election for second Paso Robles water district nears end:  “A push by more than 200 property owners in North County to form a second water district over the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin will reach its finish line on Oct. 17, the last day of the district’s mail-in election.  The proposed Estrella-El Pomar-Creston (EPC) Water District covers roughly 38,000 acres around Paso Robles, and if formed will join the Shandon-San Juan Water District, which held its election last year and covers 136,000 acres.  Both districts were launched to play prominent roles in the upcoming discussion about groundwater management for the Paso water basin, a 780-square-mile aquifer critically depleted during the last drought. … ”  Read more from New Times SLO here:  Paso Robles: Election for second Paso Robles water district nears end

Claremont: Water wars over as city drops appeal against Golden State:  “Claremont has dropped its appeal against Golden State Water Company, putting and end to their quest to take over the water system.  The decision was announced during Tuesday night’s council meeting and following a closed-session meeting earlier that afternoon.  Under the settlement deal, the city will pay GSW $2 million by the end of 2017, and will pay an annual interest payment of $234,040 each year over 12 years, with a total interest payment of $2,808,480.  The total amount paid to GSW over the next 12 years will be $4,808,480, according to a joint release from the city and GSW. Claremont is also on the hook for its own legal fees—around $6.1 million. … ”  Read more from the Claremont Courier here:  Claremont: Water wars over as city drops appeal against Golden State

Along the Colorado River …

Why Southern Nevada is fighting to build a 250-mile pipeline:  “In 2015, Albuquerque delivered as much water as it had in 1983, despite its population growing by 70 percent. In 2016, Tucson delivered as much water as it had in 1984, despite a 67 percent increase in customer hook-ups. The trend is the same for Phoenix, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, said longtime water policy researcher Gary Woodard, who rattled off these statistics in a recent phone interview. Southwestern cities boomed during these decades, yet water demand fell far below projections. Efficiency and conservation worked better than water managers could have hoped. ... ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Why Southern Nevada is fighting to build a 250-mile pipeline

NPS preps low-water plan for Lake Mead’s worst-case scenario:National Park Service officials are seeking input from the public as they prepare for the worst at Lake Mead.  The service is developing a low-water plan to address access and infrastructure issues should the lake’s surface fall another 130 feet to levels never before contemplated.  The document and related environmental impact statement now under development will identify the steps necessary for continued operation of each of the lake’s access points.  The surface of Lake Mead now sits at about 1,082 feet above sea level. The latest projections from federal forecasters say it could drop to 1,069 feet by July 2019. ... ”  Read more from the Las Vegas Review-Journal here:  NPS preps low-water plan for Lake Mead’s worst-case scenario

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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