DAILY DIGEST: Metropolitan could vote soon on whether to bankroll Delta tunnels (complete coverage); ‘Largest storm of the year’ to bring up to 7 feet of snow to the Sierra; Study: Effects of Cal Water Fix on salmon entrainment; Temperance Flat Dam supporters appeal project rating; and more …

In California water news today, Metropolitan could vote soon on whether to bankroll Delta tunnels; ‘Largest storm of the year’ to bring up to seven feet of snow to the Sierra; Storm taking aim at Sierra could be one of the fiercest in years; How much snow next winter? It might not remain a mystery much longer; Study: Effects of the proposed California Water Fix North Delta Diversion on Flow Reversals and Entrainment of Juvenile Chinook Salmon into Georgiana Slough and the Delta Cross Channel; Temperance Flat Dam supporters appeal State Water Commission’s project rating; Feds consider protected status for Klamath spring run salmon; UC Davis study warns salmon headed for extinction; and more …

In the news today …

Metropolitan could vote soon on whether to bankroll Delta tunnels:  “Facing pressure from Gov. Jerry Brown, Southern California’s largest water agency could vote as soon as April on whether to take a majority stake in the twin-tunnels project Brown plans for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  The fast-track timeline was disclosed Tuesday at a committee of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which heard a report from staff members about the benefits, risks and financing possibilities of the agency agreeing to pay the majority of the costs in a twin tunnels system. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Metropolitan could vote soon on whether to bankroll Delta tunnels

‘Largest storm of the year’ to bring up to seven feet of snow to the Sierra:  “A major storm system is forecast to slam into California from Alaska and Canada starting Wednesday night, bringing soaking rain to the Bay Area on Thursday and dumping up to seven feet of new snow to the historically dry Sierra Nevada by Saturday.  But as welcome as the snow is during a very dry winter so far, it won’t be enough to return the Sierra Nevada — the source of 30 percent of California’s water supply — back to its average for the year, experts said Tuesday. ... ” Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  ‘Largest storm of the year’ to bring up to seven feet of snow to the Sierra

Storm taking aim at Sierra could be one of the fiercest in years:  “A potent winter system bringing a blast of cold air from the Northwest and tapping into moisture from the Pacific Ocean could be the “one of the most substantial snowstorms” the northern Sierra Nevada has seen in recent years, the National Weather Service warns.  Last year, the Sierra saw record snowfall, but Cory Mueller with the NWS in Sacramento explains these systems were warmer and driven by atmospheric rivers and snowfall levels were higher. ... ”  Read more from SF Gate here:  Storm taking aim at Sierra could be one of the fiercest in years

Late-week storm to slam California with significant rain, snow, and travel disruptions:  “A powerful storm will unleash drought-easing, but travel-disrupting rain and mountain snow across California late this week.  The western United States is in the midst of an active week of weather, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Jordan Root.  The first system of the week unleashed a modest rainfall, inches of hail in Sacramento and snowy, slick travel across the Sierra Nevada and higher terrain of Southern California. … ”  Read more from Accu-Weather here:  Late-week storm to slam California with significant rain, snow, and travel disruptions

How much snow next winter? It might not remain a mystery much longer:  “If we had known a year ago that this winter would be so dry, would we have conserved water more aggressively last summer? Would ski resorts have installed more snowmaking equipment? Would farmers buy different seeds to plant this spring?  These are among the tantalizing questions raised by a team of government and university scientists, who believe they have developed a tool to predict mountain snowpack in the West up to eight months in advance – long before the first winter snowflake has fallen. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  How much snow next winter? It might not remain a mystery much longer

Study: Effects of the proposed California Water Fix North Delta Diversion on Flow Reversals and Entrainment of Juvenile Chinook Salmon into Georgiana Slough and the Delta Cross Channel:The California Department of Water Resources and Bureau of Reclamation propose new water intake facilities on the Sacramento River in northern California that would convey some of the water for export to areas south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta (hereinafter referred to as the Delta) through tunnels rather than through the Delta. The collection of water intakes, tunnels, pumping facilities, associated structures, and proposed operations are collectively referred to as California WaterFix. The water intake facilities, hereinafter referred to as the North Delta Diversion (NDD), are proposed to be located on the Sacramento River downstream of the city of Sacramento and upstream of the first major river junction where Sutter Slough branches from the Sacramento River. The NDD can divert a maximum discharge of 9,000 cubic feet per second (ft3/s) from the Sacramento River, which reduces the amount of Sacramento River inflow into the Delta.  In this report, we conducted three analyses to investigate the effect of the NDD and its proposed operation on entrainment of juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) into Georgiana Slough and the Delta Cross Channel (DCC). … ”  Read more from the USGS here:  Study: Effects of the proposed California Water Fix North Delta Diversion on Flow Reversals and Entrainment of Juvenile Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) into Georgiana Slough and the Delta Cross Channel

Temperance Flat Dam supporters appeal State Water Commission’s project rating:  “Valley supporters of Temperance Flat Dam issued an appeal to the State Water Commission. They’re concerned over funding for the $2.7 billion project.  Temperance flat received a ‘zero rating’ when the California Water Commission ran a cost-benefit analysis in January. But local elected leaders and farmers say the commission didn’t have the right information to analyze the proposal. So the group has sent reviewers a letter of appeal and updated detailed models to consider. Fresno County Supervisor Buddy Mendes called it a ‘user’s guide.’ ... ”  Read more from KFSN here:  Temperance Flat Dam supporters appeal State Water Commission’s project rating

Feds consider protected status for Klamath spring run salmon:  “Federal fisheries officials said Tuesday they will consider putting the Pacific Northwest’s once-flourishing wild spring-run Chinook salmon on the list of threatened or endangered species.  The National Marine Fisheries Services plans a 12-month review on whether to give protected status to the salmon in and around the Klamath River.  Spring Chinook, historically the first Chinook salmon to return from the ocean each winter, were once one of the most abundant salmon of the Pacific Northwest, important to tribes, fishermen and wildlife. ... ”  Read more from the AP here:  Feds consider protected status for Klamath spring run salmon

UC Davis study warns salmon headed for extinction:  “The Russian River’s endangered salmon population faces near extinction this century if current environmental hazards go unchecked, according to a report last week to the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board.  Entitled “Fish in Hot Water,” the report by University of California at Davis fisheries biologists “finds that if present population trends continue, 45 percent of California’s native salmonids are likely to be extinct in the next 50 years,” said NCRWQCB Executive Officer Matt St. John in a report summary. The die-off could be 75 percent within 100 years, owing mainly to climate change and global warming. … ”  Read more from The Healdsburg Tribune here:  UC Davis study warns salmon headed for extinction

California agriculture faces serious risks from climate change, study finds:  “Over the past decade, California farmers have been seeing symptoms of climate change in their fields and orchards: less winter chill, crops blooming earlier, more heat waves and years of drought when the state baked in record temperatures.  Scientists say California agriculture will face much bigger and more severe impacts due to climate change in the coming decades. In a new study, University of California researchers said those effects range from lower crop yields to warming that will render parts of the state unsuitable for the crops that are grown there today.  ... ”  Read more from the Desert Sun here:  California agriculture faces serious risks from climate change, study finds

Interior veterans question need for overhaul:  “U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s plan for a major realignment to put more of his department’s decision-makers in the field has a fundamental flaw, in the eyes of some who spent their careers making those decisions: They’re already out there.  Eleven former Interior Department officials with decades of experience in both Washington and in local offices told The Associated Press the agency already has a well-established system for decentralized decision-making. … ”  Read more from the Associated Press here:  Interior veterans question need for overhaul

In regional news and commentary today …

Endangered winter-run salmon find Tehama County creeks useful:  “A lot can be discovered by studying the bones in a fish’s ear, including that winter-run chinook salmon — which spawn mainly in the Sacramento River in the Redding area — have been straying farther from home than originally thought.  Straying from home may be a good thing in this case.  The endangered species’ expanding range may give it a better chance at long-term survival, according to the authors of a recent paper published in the scientific journal Biological Conservation. ... ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Endangered winter-run salmon find Tehama County creeks useful

Sacramento:  Where’s my water meter?  Sacramento has installed 100,000 but still many households without:  “Sacramento residents, are you wondering where your water meter is? Or dreading the day you have to pay a metered rate?  After the city approved a more aggressive meter installation program in 2015, crews have continued rolling out construction projects on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis without much fanfare.  More than 70 percent of homes in Sacramento now have water meters installed, according to the latest data, and the city is still aiming to finish the rest by 2020. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Where’s my water meter?  Sacramento has installed 100,000 but still many households without

Manteca:  Reducing San Joaquin River flooding:  “River Islands is modifying its plans in a manner that will increase flood stage capacity in the San Joaquin River.
The solution is allowing them to proceed with creating 300-foot wide levees that easily surpass 200-year flood protection to allow work to start on 2,000 more homes of the 11,000 housing unit project. It means they won’t have to wait for federal approval that would take at least three years to get permission to widen existing levees by building a parallel levee next to it and then filling in the gap.
.
.. ”  Read more from the Manteca Bulletin here:  Reducing San Joaquin River flooding

Cancer causing chemical found in some Santa Rosa drinking water:  “Some drinking water in Santa Rosa remains undrinkable months after the North Bay fires, and pressure is mounting on the city’s water department to locate and control the cause.  “The city is very interested to get people back and rebuilt into their homes, of course, as soon as possible,” says Bennett Horenstein, the City of Santa Rosa’s Water Director. ... ”  Read more from KQED here:  Cancer causing chemical found in some Santa Rosa drinking water

West Marin sea level rise planning enters second phase:  “Raising homes, building up dunes, and adding a berm are some of the strategies to save Stinson Beach from rising seas, county officials said Tuesday.  Those options will be looked at as the county launches a second phase of planning to combat sea-level rise in West Marin. Since 2014 the Marin County Community Development Agency has been trying to get ahead of sea-level rise through an effort dubbed “Sea-level: Marin Adaptation Response Team,” known as C-SMART. Muir Beach, Stinson Beach, Bolinas, Inverness, Point Reyes Station, the east shore of Tomales Bay and Dillon Beach were studied. ... ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here:  West Marin sea level rise planning enters second phase

Ocean acidification poses new concern for SF Bay water:  “Visitors to the Tiburon shoreline may notice a new addition to the seascape — a five-foot tall, bright yellow buoy anchored just offshore San Francisco State University’s Estuary and Ocean Science (EOS) Center. The Bay Ocean Buoy (BOB) and its companion mooring for Marine Acidification Research Inquiry (MARI) bring together researchers at SF State, the University of California, Davis and several other partner organizations and funders. It represents the first effort to perform long-term scientific monitoring of ocean acidity and carbon dioxide in the waters of the Bay. ... ”  Read more from San Francisco State University here:  Ocean acidification poses new concern for SF Bay water

San Mateo: Suit brought over damaged, sinking stores:  “A legal battle sparked by a new San Mateo office development more than year ago ramped up this month when owners of a nearby shopping center filed a lawsuit Feb. 16 alleging construction of the two four-story office buildings caused land across the street to sink.  The owners of a complex containing a Rite Aid, a Trader Joe’s grocery store and a Ross Dress for Less store, among other businesses clustered at the corner of Delaware Street and Concar Drive, are claiming costs in excess of $5 million for damages their property sustained after nearly 43 million gallons of groundwater was extracted during the construction of two office buildings at 400 and 450 Concar Drive. … ”  Read more from The Daily Journal here: San Mateo: Suit brought over damaged, sinking stores

Salinas Valley new wells moratorium tops working group’s preliminary recommendation:  “A working group of Monterey County and Salinas Valley officials are backing a preliminary proposal that would establish a moratorium on new wells in an even larger part of the northern valley affected by worsening seawater intrusion.  On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors heard a report from a 90-day working group of representatives from the county Water Resources Agency, county Health Department and the Salinas Valley Basin groundwater sustainability agency that included a preliminary recommendation to establish the new wells moratorium in the valley’s 180-foot and 400-foot aquifers, and take other measures aimed at slowing or halting the quickening advance and migration of seawater intrusion. ... ”  Read more from the Monterey County Herald here:  Salinas Valley new wells moratorium tops working group’s preliminary recommendation

San Luis Obispo County: Nacimiento has lost half its water; and other SLO reservoirs are down, too:  “Less than a year after emerging from five years of parched conditions, another dry winter is taking its toll on San Luis Obispo County reservoirs.  As of Feb. 22, most of the county had slipped back into severe drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. As a result, the region’s reservoirs are all down from this time last year, with some losing substantially more water than others.  Lake Nacimiento, Lake San Antonio and Santa Margarita Lake have all lost significant amounts of water since early 2017. … ”  Read more from the San Luis Obispo Tribune here:  San Luis Obispo County: Nacimiento has lost half its water; and other SLO reservoirs are down, too

East Porterville gets water; some regret it:  “Norma Sanchez took a quick break from watering her East Porterville front yard, bent the garden hose and reflected on years of being without reliable water.   Now, she has water, pressure and along with it problems with the new delivery system residents waited so long to get.  “There are some problems with the water from city system,” she said. “We can’t drink it. When I boil it, the water leaves a tar-like residue ring in the pot. I am afraid of drinking it.” ... ”  Read more from the Visalia Times-Delta here:  East Porterville gets water; some regret it

Authorities recommend evacuations in parts of Santa Barbara ahead of storm:  “Authorities are urging residents to evacuate in parts of Santa Barbara County ahead of a winter storm expected to hit the area Thursday.  The Sheriff’s Office recommended that residents in parts of Goleta, Santa Barbara, Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria evacuate starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday. The county has created an interactive map that shows which neighborhoods are most at risk. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Authorities recommend evacuations in parts of Santa Barbara ahead of storm

South Bay environmentalists step up opposition to desalination plant in El Segundo:  “Setting the stage for the next big environmental battle in the South Bay, a group of activists on Monday announced a new coalition opposed to a $380 million oceanwater desalination plant proposed for El Segundo.  The announcement came hours before the West Basin Municipal Water District shared a March 27 release date for the project’s long-awaited draft environmental impact report.  West Basin, a Carson-based agency that supplies water to most of the South Bay, has spent more than 15 years and tens of millions of dollars exploring the idea of building a desalination plant to help make the region less dependent on imported water. ... ”  Read more from the Daily Breeze here:  South Bay environmentalists step up opposition to desalination plant in El Segundo

San Diego: City officials apologize for water bill errors:  “A standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 in the Rancho Bernardo Library’s community room received an apology from city officials on Monday night for the distress and shock locals experienced over the past few months due to their skyrocketing water bills.  “I apologize for you being here,” Kris Michell, the City of San Diego’s chief operating officer, said during her opening remarks. “A mistake has been made. It has been a challenge … frustrating.” … ”  Read more from the San Diego Union Tribune here:  San Diego: City officials apologize for water bill errors

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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