DAILY DIGEST: California’s new water boss: States must set own course on resources; Impacts, lessons from the Oroville spillway crisis; More cannabis regulation likely in 2018; Drought fears return as dry spell stretches on, but rain in the forecast; and more …

California water news digest header

In California water news today, California’s new water boss: States must set own course on resources; Impacts, lessons from the Oroville spillway crisis; More cannabis regulation likely in 2018; Central Valley farmers fight fears of drought as long dry spell stretches into the New Year; ‘Strange season’: Is it really winter?; Showers, higher humidity on the way for California; and more …

In the news today …

California’s new water boss: States must set own course on resources“Until California’s latest drought really took hold in around 2012, few residents of the Golden State had ever heard of the State Water Resources Control Board. But it very quickly became a major force in their lives.  As the five-year drought worsened, the board would go on to order water use limits on every water agency in the state, which led to rationing requirements in households across California. It also imposed severe water-right curtailments, requiring rural residents who draw water from streams to immediately stop doing so. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  California’s new water boss: States must set own course on resources

Impacts, lessons from the Oroville spillway crisis:  “Questions about who is to blame for the spillway’s failure, how it happened and what can be done to prevent it from happening again continue to resonate with local residents close to a year after the event occurred.  The Lake Oroville spillway crisis and evacuation last February might have only lasted a few days for Yuba-Sutter residents, but the ordeal left many with unanswered questions and a newfound fear of the unknowns of living downstream from an aging water storage facility and system.  The Appeal-Democrat reached out to community members and officials about the incident to gauge how they were impacted by the event, what the most significant takeaway was for them and what they would like to see changed moving forward. … ”  Read more from the Appeal Democrat here:  Impacts, lessons from the Oroville spillway crisis

Capitol Tracker: More cannabis regulation likely in 2018: “The California Legislature is set to reconvene Wednesday.  While neither Assemblyman Jim Wood nor state Sen. Mike McGuire were available before the publishing deadline to comment about their goals for the upcoming legislative session, there are several priorities both have expressed an interest in pushing forward.  With the launch of the state’s recreational cannabis market on Monday, both North Coast legislators are likely to introduce bills regulating the marijuana market. ... ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here:  Capitol Tracker: More cannabis regulation likely in 2018

Central Valley farmers fight fears of drought as long dry spell stretches into the New Year:  “If you really want to see how dry December has been you have to leave the Bay Area and come out to the Central Valley — to farm country.  We talked first to Ken Vogel who grows fruit trees near Stockton.  “Besides being dry with lack of rain we have some very high temperatures — middle-sixties in December is pretty well unheard of in this area,” Vogel said. … ”  Read more from CBS Sacramento here:  Central Valley farmers fight fears of drought as long dry spell stretches into the New Year

‘Strange season’: Is it really winter?  “Not since 1959 has Stockton staggered into the new year with less than an inch of total rainfall. But that’s exactly what’s just happened.  It almost seems like we’ve gone from drought, to flood, right back to drought.  That may be premature. Our reservoirs are well above average, still flush with last year’s bounty.  And there’s still plenty of winter left to add to that supply. ... ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here: ‘Strange season’: Is it really winter?

Sierra getting a little snow up high, none down low:  “The snowpack on pass summits is “not doing great right now,” but snow coverage a little farther down the mountains is approaching historic lows.  That was the assessment on Thursday when Jeff Anderson of the Nevada Natural Resource Conservation Service conducted the first snowpack survey of 2017-18.  Under sunny skies and with temperatures approaching 50 degrees by late morning, Anderson and members of the media trudged down a groomed ski trail at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe for a couple hundred of yards to the “SNOTEL” monitoring site, which showed the pack to be 84 percent of median at about 8,600 feet. ... ”  Read more from The Union here:  Sierra getting a little snow up high, none down low

Showers, higher humidity on the way for California:  “A welcome shift to damper weather is nearing for California after drought and blazing sunshine fueled devastating wildfires over the past year.  In Los Angeles, temperatures have been running 4 degrees Fahrenheit above average since Sept. 1.  Elsewhere throughout the state, temperatures have been running a general couple of degrees above average.  The majority of Southern California is experiencing moderate drought conditions as well.  Change is finally in store later this week, with damp and milder weather expected to infiltrate the state. … ”  Read more from Accu-Weather here:  Showers, higher humidity on the way for California

Column: High lake and reservoir levels could make for a great year on the water:  Tom Stienstra writes, “From the shore of San Luis Reservoir, the first thing you will say is, “Look at all that water.”  Same thing at Shasta, Trinity, Bullards Bar, Folsom, Pardee, New Melones, Don Pedro, Stampede and many of the state’s other lakes and reservoirs.  What this means, as the rains are forecast to start this week, is that the year ahead looks sensational for boating, camping, fishing and water sports. ... ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  Column: High lake and reservoir levels could make for a great year on the water

In commentary today …

Nudging progress on funding for safe drinking water:  Jay Lund writes, “This year’s Nobel Prize in Economics went to Richard Thaler, who pioneered “nudging” to help people volunteer to make more personally and socially beneficial decisions. As an example, having employees automatically enrolled for retirement contributions and then allowing them to lower their contributions results in considerably more retirement savings than having them “opt-in” to retirement contributions with no default contributions. Similarly, informing water users that their water use substantially exceeds their neighbors’ significantly reduces their water use.  Can such Nobel [Prize-winning] ideas help with some of California’s water policy problems, such as providing financial support for safe drinking water in rural communities? ... ”  Continue reading at Water Deeply here:  Nudging progress on funding for safe drinking water

In regional news and commentary today …

King tides expected to bring minor coastal flooding to the Bay Area:  “Extreme high and low tides, also known as King tides, are expected to bring minor coastal flooding Monday and Tuesday to low lying areas in the San Francisco Bay Area, National Weather Service officials said Sunday.  High tides will occur mid to late morning both days and could cause flooding of parking lots, coastal trails, sidewalks and roadways that do not normally flood. ... ”  Read more from ABC 7 here:  King tides expected to bring minor coastal flooding to the Bay Area

Rain, possible thunderstorms forecast in Bay Area forecast this week:  “Following a relatively dry December, rain is forecasted to hit the Bay Area beginning on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. Rainfall is expected to be the heaviest on Wednesday evening, and is projected to continue on and off through Friday.  Wednesday also sees the highest risk of thunderstorms around the Bay Area. … ”  Read more from SF Gate here:  Rain, possible thunderstorms forecast in Bay Area forecast this week

Dredging project pushed to save San Rafael canal:  “Residents and officials in San Rafael and other North Bay towns along San Pablo Bay are putting waterways channel dredging on their New Year’s resolution list — again.  A renewed regional public-private-partnership effort — sometimes referred to as a “P3” — that targets channels in San Rafael, Petaluma and Napa is getting help from Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, according to Bill Guerin, San Rafael public works director.  “We certainly need it,” said San Rafael Mayor Gary Phillips. “Boats are starting to bottom out.” ... ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here:  Dredging project pushed to save San Rafael canal

Mudslide danger replaces fire threat in Southern California:  “The frightening hiss and crackle of the massive Thomas Fire in Southern California has been replaced by the loud droning of heavy equipment below the burn area.  Public work crews in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties are frantically clearing out every debris basin and storm drain possible, because the fire has left behind another threat — mudslides.  “The Thomas Fire burned all of our front country range here,” said Tom Fayram, Santa Barbara’s deputy director of public works. … ”  Read more from CNN here:  Mudslide danger replaces fire threat in Southern California

Precipitation watch …

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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