DAILY DIGEST: Restoring California’s ability to recharge groundwater a more cost-effective drought strategy; Wildfire recovery will stretch California’s toxic cleanup capabilities; What about a single Delta tunnel project? Jay Lund, Restore the Delta respond; and more …

In California water news today, Restoring California’s ability to recharge groundwater a more cost-effective drought strategy; Wildfire recovery will stretch California’s toxic cleanup capabilities; Major water rights settlement for Arizona tribe heads to Congress; What about a single Delta tunnel project? Jay Lund, Restore the Delta respond; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • The Central Valley Flood Protection Board meets at 9am.  Agenda items include a briefing by the Army Corps on the joint federal project, and an update on state and PL 84 99 levee rehabilitation projects.  Click here for agenda and webcast link.

In the news today …

Restoring California’s ability to recharge groundwater a more cost-effective drought strategy:Experts expect more drought and flood cycles to be common occurrences in the future. To adapt to this new reality, California needs to store water during wet years so that it is available during periods of drought.  California has dramatically more storage capacity in underground aquifers than is available in surface-level facilities. Further, natural groundwater recharge and storage is comparatively inexpensive, amounting to about one-sixth the cost of other options.  Sadly the natural recharge of groundwater has over the past century been disrupted by local land use decisions. We have built on and paved over our natural landscapes, drained agricultural lands, filled in wetlands, and channelized our rivers, resulting in the loss of untold acre feet of water that otherwise would have been stored underground. ... ”  Read more from the California Economy blog here: Restoring California’s ability to recharge groundwater a more cost-effective drought strategy

Wildfire recovery will stretch California’s toxic cleanup capabilities:  “The massive task to clean up toxic debris in the neighborhoods affected by this month’s devastating wildfires is expected to be complete sometime early next year.  Federal and state agencies working on the project gave a progress report Thursday. Officials said once work begins on a property, it should be ready for new construction within about a month.  However, there will be some challenges along the way. … ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:  Wildfire recovery will stretch California’s toxic cleanup capabilities

Major water rights settlement for Arizona tribe heads to Congress:  “In what one economic development expert calls a “unique case” of a tribe’s water rights claims being backed by all players, Arizona senators John McCain and Jeff Flake on September 7 filed a new bill to ratify the Hualapai Tribe’s water settlement, an agreement negotiated between the tribe, Arizona, the federal government and others.  The bill, S. 1770, would provide the Northern Arizona tribe of 2,300 members, whose lands encompass parts of the Grand Canyon, with sufficient water to not only meet the tribe’s residential needs but to bolster northwestern Arizona’s economy. More water would help grow the tribe’s largest business, Grand Canyon West, which is home to the world-famous Grand Canyon Skywalk – a glass bridge 4,000 ft above the Grand Canyon floor. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Major water rights settlement for Arizona tribe heads to Congress

In commentary today …

A shrunken Delta tunnels project?  Decision time is upon California:  Jay Lund writes, “A new option has entered discussion of Delta water supplies: one cross-Delta tunnel instead of two.  For now, California’s WaterFix proposal, pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown, is for two tunnels under-crossing the Delta for 35 miles, allowing up to 60 percent of Delta water exports to come from the main channel of Sacramento River. Implementing such a major project requires extraordinary political and financial support that so far is lacking.  Delta water users involved in WaterFix have failed to reach consensus on the project and how it would be funded. The Westlands Water District voted against funding the WaterFix and the Santa Clara Valley Water District voted for a scaled back project. President Donald Trump’s Interior Department offered an ambivalent statement on the project Wednesday, further adding to the confusion. ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  A shrunken Delta tunnels project?  Decision time is upon California

What does Restore the Delta think about a single tunnel option?  Restore the Delta writes,  “As reported in recent news articles, the Brown Administration intends to resurrect CA WaterFix as a single tunnel as part of the State Water Project, with discussions beginning at Kern County Water Agency today. (We confirmed an agenda will be posted at Kern County sometime before the meeting at 1 pm today.)   Metropolitan Water District’s General Manager Jeff Kightlinger stated at the 9/26/17 Metropolitan Board Workshop on the tunnels that a single tunnel that could extract 6,000 cfs of Sacramento River flow could work and would cost $10-11 billion. Environmental and water rights attorney with LAND (Local Agencies of the North Delta), Osha Meserve, finds that a single tunnel project while only minimally reducing the construction footprint could actually be worse for fisheries, water quality, and local water supplies because water extraction would be concentrated at fewer specific sites. … ”  Continue reading from Restore the Delta here:  What does Restore the Delta think about a single tunnel option?

Focus on flood protection, not disaster clean-up, says the Chico Enterprise-Record:  They write, “Once again, state legislators have done what is popular instead of what is necessary — and that’s one big reason California’s infrastructure is in such sorry shape.  That reminder was driven home this week in a discussion about levees and flood protection.  Flood experts gathered in Sacramento on Monday to mark the beginning of flood preparedness week. In a press conference, the president of the Central Valley Flood Protection Board pleaded for the state to make the investment in flood protection. Bill Edgar says the state spends $30 million a year in repairs and maintenance, but that the state needs to spend $130 million a year. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Focus on flood protection, not disaster clean-up

Using Oroville’s rock piles sounds good, but we have questions, says the Chico Enterprise-Record:  They write, “Rocks and gravel are needed to rebuild the Lake Oroville spillway. There are miles of piles of rocks from the gold mining days that have been sitting on the ground near Oroville, some since the Gold Rush.  Seems like a no-brainer, right? Use the old piles of mine tailings for the aggregate needed to repair the spillway.  Maybe it is a no-brainer. But we are still troubled by the lack of public comment and input that was sought for the idea. ... ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Using Oroville’s rock piles sounds good, but we have questions

In regional news and commentary today …

California Redwood Company, Humboldt Baykeeper settle bay pollution suit:  “California Redwood Company has entered into a four-year agreement with the Arcata-based environmental nonprofit Humboldt Baykeeper in order to drop a federal lawsuit alleging the company violated the Clean Water Act, according to a joint announcement this week.  “Both parties worked quickly and cooperatively to resolve the litigation, and are confident that changes in best management practices California Redwood Company is undertaking will prove beneficial,” the joint news release states. “As part of the settlement of the case, California Redwood Company will contribute $35,000 to Friends of the Dunes so it can enhance wetlands that are beneficial to the water quality of Humboldt Bay. The parties look forward to working cooperatively in the future for the benefit of the community and our environment.” … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here:  California Redwood Company, Humboldt Baykeeper settle bay pollution suit

Oroville Dam: No movement whatsoever on reopening surround trails:  “Most of the state-owned trails around Lake Oroville remain inaccessible to the public since the spillway crisis over eight months ago and it’s unclear when they will reopen.  Footpaths at the Loafer Creek and Bidwell Canyon recreation areas are the only main trails that are reachable. Others, such as at Potters Ravine, are technically open, but the roads surrounding are closed to the public because of spillway construction. … ” Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Oroville Dam: No movement whatsoever on reopening surround trails

Yuba-Sutter: Officials express confidence when sizing up area levees:  “Considering the events of this past winter and the problems they posed to Yuba-Sutter levees, officials are confident the improvements made over the past several months will withstand the upcoming flood season. There are, however, still vulnerabilities to keep in mind.  One of the most visible improvement projects is the 2.9 miles of levee protecting downtown Yuba City, which is being carried out by the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency. The emergency repair project is still underway, but Executive Director Mike Inamine said crews are in the final stretch and will likely finish by Thanksgiving. … ”  Read more from the Appeal-Democrat here:  Yuba-Sutter: Officials express confidence when sizing up area levees

Santa Barbara County gears up for possibility of a wet winter:  “Years of drought and uptick in wildfires are pointing towards a dangerous wet winter in Santa Barbara County.  “Within the past 20 years, each and every county within the entire state has had at least one declared emergency flood event. Santa Barbara County has had two in the past year,” said Jon Frye, engineering manager with the Santa Barbara County Flood Control and Water Conservation District. … ” Read more KEYT here:  Santa Barbara County gears up for possibility of a wet winter

Friday flight over Oroville …

On October 24, 2017, crews made the connection between the lower and upper chutes, having placed more than 300,000 cubic yards of roller-compacted concrete (RCC) in the middle area of the main Lake Oroville spillway. Crews will continue to finish the RCC walls and place a layer of enriched RCC over the surface of the center chute.

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

Sign up for daily email service and you’ll never miss a post …

Daily emailsSign up for free daily email service and you’ll get all the Notebook’s aggregated and original water news content delivered to your email box by 9AM. And with breaking news alerts, you’ll always be one of the first to know …


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.

 

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: