DAILY DIGEST: Incoming stormy pattern to aid California drought conditions, hinder travel; 90 years later, St. Francis Dam failure parallels Oroville Dam crisis; Groups press to capture more stormwater to fight pollution, drought; and more …

In California water news today, Incoming stormy pattern to aid California drought conditions, hinder travel; 90 years later, St. Francis Dam failure parallels Oroville Dam crisis; Groups press to capture more stormwater to fight pollution, drought; and more …

In the news today …

Incoming stormy pattern to aid California drought conditions, hinder travel:  “With long-term drought conditions well on their way back into California, an incoming period of wet, stormy weather will be welcome by many.  A recent bout of heavy rain brought as much as one-third to 100 percent of the month’s normal precipitation to several cities, including Santa Barbara, San Diego and Los Angeles.  In addition to the heavy high-elevation snowfall of recent weeks, it may seem like the area is well on its way out of the drought – however, it will take many rounds of similarly wet days to bring the water supply back to necessary levels. … ”  Read more from AccuWeather here:  Incoming stormy pattern to aid California drought conditions, hinder travel

90 years later, St. Francis Dam failure parallels Oroville Dam crisis:  “On the 90th anniversary of the catastrophic failure of the St. Francis Dam, dam safety experts worry that the Oroville Dam crisis showed that some of those crucial lessons have been forgotten — or were never retained in the first place.  The St. Francis Dam, which was owned by the city of Los Angeles, collapsed without warning to residents around midnight on March 12, 1928, resulting in the death of 400 to 600 people. The range is wide because a number of undocumented people who worked in the area were not accounted for. It is considered the worst civil engineering disaster of the 20th century by many. ... ”  Read more from the Oroville Mercury Register here:  90 years later, St. Francis Dam failure parallels Oroville Dam crisis

Humboldt County fishing officials bash Trump’s offshore drilling plans:  “State and local fishing industry officials and regulators were united on Thursday in bashing the Trump administration’s plans to allow new offshore oil drilling in federal waters, saying it would add to the many threats the state’s fisheries are facing.  Perhaps the strongest oppositions were voiced by Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations executive director Noah Oppenheim who called the Trump administration’s plans a “national disgrace” and “shameful.” … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here:  Humboldt County fishing officials bash Trump’s offshore drilling plans

Groups press to capture more stormwater to fight pollution, drought:  “Community health groups and policymakers are meeting in Los Angeles today to drum up support for a program to fight pollution and drought by capturing more rainwater and urban runoff.  The L.A. County Board of Supervisors is looking at adding a tax to sales of small parcels of land, to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for projects to capture rainwater instead of letting it flow into the ocean.  County Supervisor for the 3rd District Sheila Kuehl says the revenue would allow the county to become more self-sufficient and not have to spend millions to import water from other areas and treat polluted runoff.  “Right now, we capture enough water to supply 1.5 million people,” she says. “But with these new investments that we hope we might get if the voters approve it, we could capture enough water to meet the needs of one-third of the county’s residents.” … ”  Read more from Public News Service here:  Groups press to capture more stormwater to fight pollution, drought

Drinking to a river’s health: Arizona brewers and farmers fight drought with beer:  “Arizona brewers are fighting drought by the draught.  In March the state’s first barley malt house should open in the Verde River Valley, supplying a key beer ingredient grown with water pulled from an overworked river that is crucial to metro Phoenix’s water supply.  Under other circumstances that could cause problems.  But timing is everything.  … ”  Read more from Arizona Central here:  Drinking to a river’s health: Arizona brewers and farmers fight drought with beer

Arizona considers desalination options for future water supply:  “Not if, but when.  That’s the future of water desalination plants in Arizona, according to the head of the state’s water department. They are controversial and expensive, but Arizona’s current leadership views desalinated water – or “desal” – as key to the state’s long-term water plans. Arizona sits atop an estimated 600 million acre-feet of brackish water.  “Desalination is in our future,” said Thomas Buschatzke, director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Arizona considers desalination options for future water supply

In commentary today …

Shrinking snowpack calls for new water infrastructure, says Dan Keppen:  He writes, “Philip Mote, the director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, was the lead author of a recent and important study that shows Western snowpack has dropped by 30 percent since 1915.  I was surprised to see Dr. Mote state in national newspapers that “the solution isn’t in infrastructure.” Dr. Mote’s otherwise thorough study devotes just one scant paragraph to his assertion that “new reservoirs could not be built fast enough” to offset the loss of snow storage. Instead, report concludes that solutions “will have to lie primarily in the linked arenas of water policy (including reservoir operating policies) and demand management.” … ”  Read more from the Herald & News here:  Shrinking snowpack calls for new water infrastructure

More news and commentary in the weekend edition …

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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