DAILY DIGEST: Project backers seek investments from water bond; ‘Reasonable rates’ is stricken from CPUC mission statement; State Water Board laying out water regulation for marijuana growers; and more …

In California water news today, Project backers seek investments from water bond; ‘Reasonable rates' is stricken from CPUC mission statement; State Water Board laying out water regulation for marijuana growers; DWR spokesperson says they're confident with the work done on Oroville Dam; The Thomas fire is now the second largest in California's modern history; The year in water: 2017; and more …

In the news today …

Project backers seek investments from water bond:  “Moving closer to final decisions about which California water projects will receive funding from a bond passed by voters in 2014, the California Water Commission heard presentations regarding about a dozen storage projects that have applied for bond funding. Potential projects include large-scale surface storage, reservoir expansions, groundwater projects and recycled-water projects.  Through the Water Storage Investment Program, applicants are competing for a portion of $2.7 billion in storage funding available through the Proposition 1 water bond. The water commission will decide how to allocate bond money for the public benefits of storage projects. ... ” Read more from Ag Alert here:  Project backers seek investments from water bond

RELATED CONTENT: New water storage projects showcased at the California Water Commission

‘Reasonable rates' is stricken from CPUC mission statement:  “The California Public Utilities Commission has amended its long-standing mission statement, leaving out the idea of ensuring “reasonable rates” for the water and power used by the public.  The change comes as state utility regulators have been under criminal investigation for potentially improper backchannel dealings with the utility companies they oversee and facing multiple lawsuits alleging they failed to protect the people they serve. ... ”  Read more from the San Diego Union Tribune here:  ‘Reasonable rates’ is stricken from CPUC mission statement

State Water Board laying out water regulation for marijuana growers:  “Is drought stricken California ready for the cannabis industry?  The State Water Resources Control Board laid out their plan to potential marijuana growers on how they can get access to water.  “People that do not have storage will need to get a small irrigation use registration which is also a new program we're rolling out for cannabis,” said Daniel Schultz, Environmental Program Manager.  A new wave of marijuana growers, also means an increase in water consumption. … ”  Read more from Your Central Valley here:  State Water Board laying out water regulation for marijuana growers

DWR spokesperson says they're confident with the work done on Oroville Dam:  “We’re working on part four of a series of packages including questions and responses about the Oroville Dam crisis last February – work and ongoing issues, and changes and reactions from officials over time. … In an informal survey a couple months ago, we asked respondents for questions and ideas – what should we ask officials to address? There were several suggestions (most had to do with whether to trust the Department of Water Resources about whether the problem is truly taken care of). … Here’s a summary of what we’ve found so far: … ”  Read more from the Appeal-Democrat here:  DWR spokesperson says they’re confident with the work done on Oroville Dam

The Thomas fire is now the second largest in California's modern history:  “After a brief respite from the relentless gusts that have driven the deadly Thomas fire for more than two weeks, powerful winds are expected to return, adding to the challenges facing firefighters working to contain the mammoth blaze.  The fire, which began near Santa Paula in the foothills above Thomas Aquinas College on Dec. 4, has burned through 272,000 acres as of Tuesday evening, making it the second-largest wildfire in modern California history. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  The Thomas fire is now the second largest in California’s modern history

The year in water: 2017 Circle of Blue recaps global water news for 2017: “Two months ago, as winter in the Southern Hemisphere turned to spring, authorities in Cape Town grew nervous. After the driest three-year period on record the six main reservoirs that supply water to South Africa’s second-largest city were uncomfortably low. Winter rains, paltry as they were, had been no help, and the summer dry season was approaching. To avoid draining the reservoirs, the city’s leaders needed to act.  So in late October they drew up a plan to ration what little water remained. Four million residents were asked to whittle consumption to the bone. The city set a target of just 87 liters (23 gallons) per person per day for all household needs, an amount equivalent to scarcely more than one 10-minute shower. Conservation of that magnitude is an unprecedented goal for a city of Cape Town’s size, living standards, and economic stature. Despite repeated pleas it has not been achieved. ... ”  Read more from Circle of Blue here:  The year in water: 2017

In regional news and commentary today …

Habitat grants mean millions for north valley projects:  “A new round of state and federal environmental grants have been released recently, and a number of area projects have been among those funded to the tune of millions of dollars.  Several of the state grants are aimed at assisting rare fish species in local streams, but a mix of state and federal funds are also going to upgrade bird habitat on a ranch in Honcut. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Habitat grants mean millions for north valley projects

Nevada Irrigation District approves $470,000 to replace problem valve at Rollins Dam:  “A broken outlet valve at the Nevada Irrigation District's Rollins Dam on the Bear River has gone unrepaired for more than three years.  A Sacramento Bee review of inspection reports completed by California's Division of Safety of Dams revealed “a troubling pattern of delay and deferral of maintenance issues” at some of the state's “high-hazard” dams, including Rollins, where facility failure could threaten people downstream. ... ”  Read more from The Union here:  Nevada Irrigation District approves $470,000 to replace problem valve at Rollins Dam

Despite overnight rain in Bay Area, December tracking to be one of the driest on record:  “For the first time in more than two weeks, rain fell in the Bay Area.  The rain overnight Tuesday into Wednesday might be the last time the wet stuff comes down in the Bay Area at least through the weekend, which means December remains on track to be one of the driest in the Bay Area on record.  The storm system moved is expected to clear out before sunrise, according to the National Weather Service. ... ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Despite overnight rain in Bay Area, December tracking to be one of the driest on record

Illegal fish traps removed from Guadalupe River:  “San Jose residents are being asked to keep an eye out for people setting illegal fish traps in local waterways after city workers and South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition volunteers recently broke up several found in the Guadalupe River.  The traps were discovered about two weeks ago under the Julian Street bridge and farther south near Virginia and Willow streets. The fish traps are built out of large items like river rock, which block the stream so fish become penned into a shallow pool of water away from their migratory path. That makes it easy for poachers to nab the fish from the stream. It can also interfere with wildlife research and fish repopulation efforts such as those supported by the coalition. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Illegal fish traps removed from Guadalupe River

Monterey Bay marine sanctuary turns 25 years old:  “A quarter century after its creation, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary has become one of the world’s largest outdoor laboratories, with teams of scientists spread across thousands of square miles of ocean studying everything from humpback whales to bone-eating worms that live on carcasses at the bottom of the sea.  Known to marine biologists as the “Serengeti of the Sea,” the Monterey sanctuary is a wonderland of screeching seabirds, frolicking sea otters, breaching whales, great white sharks and giant sea turtles. But it is also a playground for kayakers, scuba divers and tourists who come from across the country to see one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world. … ”  Read more from SF Gate here:  Monterey Bay marine sanctuary turns 25 years old

And lastly …

Fish orgies could deafen dolphins:  “Every spring, hundreds of thousands of corvina fish amass in the Colorado River Delta in the northernmost part of Mexico‘s Gulf of California to take part in reproductive orgies.  Each corvina produces a sound which resembles ‘a really loud machine gun.'   Together, these orgies create a deafening sound, which researchers compare to ‘a crowd cheering at a stadium.'  Scientists have warned that the noise could be loud enough to deafen other sea animals, including dolphins. … ”  Read more from the Daily Mail here:  Fish orgies could deafen dolphins

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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