DAILY DIGEST: Outlook 2018: The biggest water topics in the West this year; Department of the Interior rescinds Obama-era mitigation and climate docs; Report: Designers were in the dark about geology beneath spillways; Mudslide, flooding fears as rain moves in; and more …

California water news headerIn California water news today, Outlook 2018: The biggest water topics in the West this year; Department of the Interior rescinds Obama-era mitigation and climate docs; Report: Designers were in the dark about geology beneath spillways; Chico billboard features water tank, but no decision yet from Cal Water; Approaching storms renews flooding, mudslide concerns in Santa Rosa; Want to learn how these geese were saved from extinction?; Bakersfield reaches settlement in toxic drinking water case; Block Trump plan to pump Delta water south to the Central Valley, says the San Jose Mercury News; and more …

In the news today …

Outlook 2018: The biggest water topics in the West this year:  “For the next few months much of the talk around water issues in California and the rest of the Western United States will be about how much precipitation falls, the water content of the snowpack and how temperatures will impact runoff in the spring.  So far, we know we’re off to a slow start in terms of snow accumulation in much of the West.  Snowpack in the Upper Colorado River basin at the start of 2018 is 54 percent of average, roughly the same as in Oregon’s Cascade mountains. Things are a little worse in California, as the average across the Sierra Nevada is about a quarter of normal for this time of year. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Outlook 2018: The biggest water topics in the West this year

Department of the Interior rescinds Obama-era mitigation and climate docs:  “The Interior Department is dialing back more environmental goals set in the Obama administration, this time through a secretarial order.  In a three-page order issued without fanfare Dec. 22, Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt rescinded three Obama-era documents involving environmental mitigation and one involving climate change policy.  Secretarial Order 3360 also directs the Bureau of Land Management to re-evaluate the specific mitigation strategy previously proposed for the Northeast National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. ... ” Read more from E&E News here:  Department of the Interior rescinds Obama-era mitigation and climate docs

Report: Designers were in the dark about geology beneath spillways:  “The primary designer of the Oroville Dam spillway had no experience in designing spillways, and his team had little contact with the geologists who studied the ground before construction or the people who actually built the structures, according to the forensic team report.  It states the designers appear to have assumed the structures would be built on good rock, and weren’t told that wasn’t the case.  There were policies in place to remove all the loose rock and soil where the main spillway would be built, and these were followed at the headgates and the top of the chute. ... ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Report: Designers were in the dark about geology beneath spillways

Chico billboard features water tank, but no decision yet from Cal Water:  “A billboard that’s gone up at Highway 99 and Entler Avenue pictures one of Chico’s iconic water towers above a reference for Meriam Park development. However, all parties linked to the California Water Service water towers say there’s nothing new.  Cal Water announced last year that it planned to remove its four water towers, which weren’t being used and weren’t earthquake safe. That set off a fire storm of discussion about the tanks’ future. ... ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Chico billboard features water tank, but no decision yet from Cal Water

Approaching storms renews flooding, mudslide concerns in Santa Rosa:  “People who live in the North Bay are keeping a close eye on the storms moving in Monday with many of the areas impacted by October’s deadly fires are at high risk for mudslides and flooding.  Over the last few months, homeowners and city officials in Santa Rosa have been preparing for the rains they knew would come eventually. ... ”  Read more from CBS Bay Area here:  Approaching storms renews flooding, mudslide concerns in Santa Rosa

Want to learn how these geese were saved from extinction?  “The San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge hosts its first event this month to teach people about the history of geese it was able to save from extinction.  Goose Day, on Saturday, Jan. 13, will feature two different tours throughout the day about the Aleutian cackling goose. It was believed to be extinct between 1938 and 1962, said Jack Sparks, outdoor recreation planner for the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, in a news release. ... ” Read more from the Merced Sun-Star here:  Want to learn how these geese were saved from extinction?

Bakersfield reaches settlement in toxic drinking water case“The City of Bakersfield has reached a $54 million settlement in its case related to contaminated water.  Cal Water and the city sued Dow Chemical to recover costs associated with upgrading 35 city wells to protect against contamination. ... ”  Read more from KGET here:  Bakersfield reaches settlement in toxic drinking water case

Record Southern California dry streak to end abruptly with strong storm; serious flood risk near the Thomas Fire:  “As many Southern Californians are acutely aware, it has barely rained at all in this part of the state since February 2017. Despite the fact that winter 2016-2017 was fairly wet overall in SoCal (and near-record wet further to the north), the Pacific moisture stream shut off pretty abruptly by March–and the rains have yet to return to now-parched Southern California. In fact, the past ~300 days have been the driest such period on record across most of Southern California–including in Los Angeles proper, where the 0.69 inches of accumulated precipitation over that interval shattered the previous March-December record of 1.24 inches. … ”  Continue reading at the California Weather Blog here:  Record Southern California dry streak to end abruptly with strong storm; serious flood risk near the Thomas Fire

Mudslide, flooding fears as rain moves into Southern California:  “After a record setting dry start to our water year, heavy rain is back in SoCal this week.  Light rain is falling for the Monday morning commute, with heavier and more widespread showers hitting the region as the day progresses. A flash flood watch goes into effect Monday at 4 p.m. and going though Tuesday night. … ”  Read more from ABC Channel 7 here:  Mudslide, flooding fears as rain moves into Southern California

Dry Southwest still waiting on winter in January, 2018:  “A wide area around the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States is currently in a severe drought according to the January 2 United States Drought Monitor. An even broader area, including Arizona, most of Utah and parts of Colorado and New Mexico, is currently experiencing moderate drought.   Arizona, in particular, has been hard hit. The area under severe drought (the category D2 in the US Drought Monitor’s D0-4 rating system) exploded from the end of December to the first week of January to encompass over 28% of the state—up from only 4% the week before. ... ” Read more from Climate.gov here:  Dry Southwest still waiting on winter in January, 2018

In commentary today …

Block Trump plan to pump Delta water south to the Central Valley, says the San Jose Mercury News:  They write, “Few things are more important to the future of the Bay Area and Northern California than the quality of our water supply.  And here comes the latest threat.  At the behest of the Central Valley’s billionaire agribusiness operators, the Trump administration on Dec. 29 proposed pumping more water south from the fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta despite the potentially devastating long-term impact on the water Silicon Valley and the East Bay count on. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Block Trump plan to pump Delta water south to the Central Valley, says the San Jose Mercury News

Column: Requiem for a ‘bait fish’:  Michael Fitzgerald writes, “Extinction.  A word that belongs in the ossuary of terms used to describe humankind’s most abysmal failures and its darkest sins. Words like genocide and Holocaust.  Extinction is where the Delta smelt appears headed. In the latest fish population count, only two were found in four months. Even after last year’s drenching rains.  Surely there are more smelt out there in the veins and capillaries of the Delta where they used to abound; whether enough to survive as a species, however, appears doubtful. ... ”  Read more from the Stockton Record here:  Column: Requiem for a ‘bait fish’

Precipitation watch …

More news and commentary in the weekend edition …

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.

 

(Visited 616 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply