DAILY DIGEST: What does a changing climate mean for CA’s infrastructure?; Riverside County has a plan to revitalize the Salton Sea; State seeks to lift ban on mining practice as Supreme Court denies appeal to lift it; Interior plans to move thousands of workers in the biggest reorganization in its history; and more … 

In California water news today, What does a changing climate mean for California’s infrastructure?; Riverside County has a plan to revitalize the Salton Sea – and to pay for it; State seeks to lift ban on mining practice as Supreme Court denies appeal to lift it; Amid rains and mudslides, drought concerns remain; How drought plays out; Atmospheric rivers aid the west – and imperil it; Government scientists say a controversial pesticide is killing endangered salmon; Interior plans to move thousands of workers in the biggest reorganization in its history; and more …

In the news today …

What does a changing climate mean for California’s infrastructure?  “The recent fires and rains in Southern California have led to mudslides, debris flows and rock falls along the Santa Barbara County coast. At least 17 people have died, dozens of homes have been destroyed and, in the coastal village of Montecito, the water system was severely damaged.  With extreme weather becoming the norm in California, Take Two reached out to Stanford University earth science professor, Noah Diffenbaugh, to learn more about the state’s infrastructure and its level of preparedness for natural disasters. … ” Read more from KPCC here:  What does a changing climate mean for California’s infrastructure?

Riverside County has a plan to revitalize the Salton Sea – and to pay for it:  “Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez on Thursday proposed a $400 million plan to build a horseshoe-shaped lake on the north side of the Salton Sea — and to pay for it using a tax district and a new bond issue subject to voter approval.  The proposal calls for a 4,200-acre lake, roughly double the size of Big Bear Lake. It would be built by erecting a berm following the contours of the Salton Sea’s shores and would preserve the lake’s existing shoreline in Riverside County. … ”  Read more from The Desert Sun here:  Riverside County has a plan to revitalize the Salton Sea – and to pay for it

State seeks to lift ban on mining practice as Supreme Court denies appeal to lift it:  “Mining advocates were dealt a blow this week after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a bid to repeal California’s ban on an in-river gold mining practice.  Meanwhile, state regulators are working on recommendations to potentially allow for the controversial mining practice to recommence as soon as this year or potentially in 2019 — 10 years after the ban took effect. “There are so many different opinions on the water quality impacts and the disturbance,” State Water Resources Control Board Supervising Water Resource Control Engineer Diana Messina said about the mining practice Thursday. “This is not going to be just a rubber stamp permit.” … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here:  State seeks to lift ban on mining practice as Supreme Court denies appeal to lift it

Amid rains and mudslides, drought concerns remain:  “Despite the fierce rains and deadly mudslides that have struck California, water officials are concerned about the possibility of a renewed drought.  But they caution that is too early to tell.  Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program, measured snowpack levels with a team last week in the bare Phillips Station area of the Sierra Nevadas, about 90 miles east of Sacramento. He didn’t find much. … ”  Read more from Capitol Weekly here:  Amid rains and mudslides, drought concerns remain

How drought plays out:  “Drought takes many forms. There’s meteorological drought, in which snow and rainfall are abnormally scarce. There’s hydrologic drought, in which rivers, lakes, and underground aquifers draw down or dry up; typically, a hydrologic drought is declared if water levels drop below the 25th percentile in a given region. And there’s agricultural and socioeconomic drought, which occurs when rain, surface water, and groundwater are not sufficient to sustain crops or other human activities. Now, a new study shows how different patterns of rainfall drive hydrologic drought when combined with human water use, such as groundwater pumping. … ”  Read more from EOS here:  How drought plays out

Atmospheric rivers aid the west – and imperil it:  “When a rainstorm slammed California’s Russian River watershed in December 2012, water rushed into Lake Mendocino, a reservoir north of San Francisco. The cause? An atmospheric river, a ribbon of moisture-laden air that can ferry water thousands of miles across the sky. When the tempest hit, the state was on the brink of an exceptional drought. But instead of storing the surge the storm brought for the dry days to come, the reservoir’s owner, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, let it run downstream. ... ”  Read more from High Country News here:  Atmospheric rivers aid the west – and imperil it

La Nina peaks; NW snowpack on the line:  “A weak to moderate La Nina in the tropical Pacific has probably peaked, though it may have enough punch left to swell Northwest snowpacks, climatologists reported Thursday.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that the cooler-than-normal ocean likely will begin warming, but won’t reach average temperatures until the spring. Climatologists estimated the chances of La Nina sticking through the winter at 90 percent. ... ”  Read more from the Capital Press here:  La Nina peaks; NW snowpack on the line

Water storage is big issue:  “Water storage is a big issue in California. Tim Quinn, the Executive Director of the Sacramento-based Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), which represents water agencies throughout the state, recently spoke with us about California water and the importance of water storage in the future as well as his experience working with water agencies in such diverse parts of the state. … ”  Continue reading at California Ag Today here:  Water storage is big issue

NATIONAL:

Government scientists say a controversial pesticide is killing endangered salmon:  “The federal government’s top fisheries experts say that three widely used pesticides — including the controversial insecticide chlorpyrifos — are jeopardizing the survival of many species of salmon, as well as orcas that feed on those salmon.  It’s a fresh attack on a chemical that the Environmental Protection Agency was ready to take off the market a year ago — until the Trump administration changed course. … ” Read more from KQED here:  Government scientists say a controversial pesticide is killing endangered salmon

Interior plans to move thousands of workers in the biggest reorganization in its history“Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke launched an unprecedented effort Wednesday to undertake the largest reorganization in the department’s 168-year history, moving to shift tens of thousands of workers to new locations and change the way the federal government manages more than 500 million acres of land and water across the country.  The proposal would divide the United States into 13 regions and centralize authority for different parts of Interior within those boundaries. The regions would be defined by watersheds and geographic basins, rather than individual states and the current boundaries that now guide Interior’s operations. This new structure would be accompanied by a dramatic shift in location of the headquarters of major bureaus within Interior, such as the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Reclamation. … ”  Read more from the Washington Post here:  Interior plans to move thousands of workers in the biggest reorganization in its history

In commentary today …

What the Oroville Dam debacle should teach engineers, experts, and the rest of us The Sacramento Bee writes,The six engineers and geologists who studied the debacle at Oroville Dam are at the pinnacle of their professions. They were responsible for reviewing the work of others who also were at the top of their fields.  Having spent decades analyzing obscure aspects of hydrology and geology, Independent Forensic Team members produced an impressive 584-page report focused on esoteric aspects of the science of dams, written for others versed in such science.  And yet for all their expertise, the team urged that the engineers who operate the nation’s tallest dam and have dared to tame a mighty Feather River display that rarest of human qualities: humility. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  What the Oroville Dam debacle should teach engineers, experts, and the rest of us

After spillway report, DWR needs to chart a new path forward The Chico Enterprise Record writes,With the release of a blistering report criticizing the state for the Lake Oroville spillway disaster, the biggest question moving forward is whether the state agency in charge of the Oroville project will take the recommendations to heart.  Based on a legislative hearing in the Capitol on Wednesday, that’s far from certain.  It was the first legislative hearing since the Independent Forensic Team’s report was released Friday. It gave legislators an opportunity to ask questions of the state Department of Water Resources rather than rely on canned statements from DWR’s public relations professionals, which is what we got when the report was released. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  After spillway report, DWR needs to chart a new path forward

We’re encouraged by plans to restore habitat along Yuba River The Appeal Democrat writes,A snarky comment was left online on our story Wednesday concerning an Army Corps of Engineers study of the feasibility of various proposals for restoring the lower Yuba River to something like it should be.  The commenter was, tongue in cheek, congratulating the corps for discovering that the problems were caused by hydraulic mining … as if that’s something we haven’t already known for more than a century.  True enough, but the point of the report wasn’t that they just figured that out; they were attributing the problem to hydraulic mining and other developments and qualifying restoration proposals accordingly. How do you restore a river downstream from where entire hills were eaten away by water cannons and the debris all washed down, filling up channels, raising river beds, layering gravel and stone on top of riparian areas, causing flooding and generally mucking things up?  … ”  Read more from the Appeal-Democrat here:  We’re encouraged by plans to restore habitat along Yuba River

In regional news and commentary today …

Design competition tackles sites around Bay Area to address rising waters:  “Channelized creeks opened up so that sediment can spill into the bay and bring marshes back to life. Landscaped waterways lined by high-rise housing. Floating buildings grouped inside new lagoons along the shore.   These visions, of a region where cities and nature are entwined more closely than ever before, aren’t the work of idle dreamers. They’re responses to the likelihood that sea level rise in coming decades will transform the body of water that gives the Bay Area its name — and part of a design competition that is about to enter its final lap. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  Design competition tackles sites around Bay Area to address rising waters

Bay Area: The challenge: Visionary, Practical Plans for Rising Bay Waters … in Four Months: “Ready. Set. Innovate.  After months of field studies and preparation, design teams in the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge are now paired up with communities around the Bay, ready to develop sustainable visions for the future.  The projects are all designed to elevate (either literally or not) the Bay Area’s resilience to imminent or long-term threats such as rising sea levels and earthquakes. … ”  Read more from KQED here:  Bay Area: The challenge: Visionary, Practical Plans for Rising Bay Waters … in Four Months

Salesforce tower to save water with recycling plan:Salesforce Tower isn’t just big on the skyline, it’s big on saving water.  The impossible-to-miss edifice at First and Mission streets will feature a membrane bioreactor in the basement that will take all water from all 61 floors — including toilets and urinals as well as rainwater runoff and the like — and treat it for a second use in things like, yes, toilets and urinals.  By doing this, the expectation is that the demand for fresh water will be reduced by as much as 30,000 gallons each day, or roughly 8 million gallons per year. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  Salesforce tower to save water with recycling plan

Palo Alto:  Groundwater spurs basement changes:  “On a single block of Webster Street in the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, a tale of two basements is unfolding — one that illustrates the city’s evolving debate over groundwater.  At 2189 Webster St., near North California Avenue, contractors building a basement began pumping water out of the ground on July 18, according to data obtained by the Weekly. By the time the pumping concluded on Oct. 7, they had extracted 22.3 million gallons of groundwater, nearly all of which was discharged into the city’s storm drains. ... ”  Read more from Palo Alto online here:  Palo Alto:  Groundwater spurs basement changes

Recycled water flowing to Del Puerto district ag customers:  “A new source of irrigation water is finding its way to the West Side.  Treated wastewater from the city of Modesto is flowing through a new pipeline and ultimately to the Del Puerto Water District, where it will be recycled for use by farmers who saw their supply of irrigation water evaporate during the depths of California’s drought years.  The water is being delivered through the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program, which will deliver water to the Del Puerto district for irrigation use in fields and orchards. … ”  Read more from Westside Connect here:  Recycled water flowing to Del Puerto district ag customers

Along the Colorado River …

Study shows how dams affect the Colorado River:  “The San Miguel and Dolores rivers are both southwestern Colorado waterways that begin high in the San Juan Mountains.  Both carve through narrow, red sandstone canyons. Eventually, the two rivers become one when the San Miguel merges into the Dolores and the Dolores with the Colorado River in eastern Utah.  But there is one major difference: The Dolores is dammed at McPhee Reservoir near the town of Dolores, while the San Miguel is one of the last free-flowing rivers in the West. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Study shows how dams affect the Colorado River

Precipitation watch …

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 536 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply