DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Possible atmospheric river event will bring widespread rain and mountain snow to the West midweek; $10 million coming to Bay Area desalination project, but it’s not on the ocean; San Diego’s Water Authority has reignited a century-old water dispute with local tribes; and more …

In California water news this weekend, Possible atmospheric river event will bring widespread rain and mountain snow to the West midweek; YCWA, Cordua exchange settlement checks over disputes; $10 million coming to Bay Area desalination project, but it’s not on the ocean; San Jose Water merger would balloon company’s size to serve 1.5 million people; Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority prepares to introduce new water pumping fee; San Jacinto River levee and corridor expansion project faces time limit; San Diego’s Water Authority has reignited a century-old water dispute with local tribes; and more …

In the news this weekend …

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

Possible atmospheric river event will bring widespread rain and mountain snow to the West midweek: “Another round of rain and heavy mountain snow is ahead this week for parts of the West, courtesy of a strong low-pressure system combined with subtropical moisture.  The next system is currently in the north Pacific Ocean and will slide south and east into early week.  This area of low pressure will then approach the West Coast midweek. The upper-level trough associated with this system will push into the West by Thursday, bringing colder temperatures as well. … ”  Continue reading at Weather.com here:  Possible atmospheric river event will bring widespread rain and mountain snow to the West midweek

$10 million coming to Bay Area desalination project, but it’s not on the ocean:  “The ocean has been eyed as a panacea for California’s perpetual trials with drought. The idea is that with enough desalination plants, the vast sea will provide an endless supply of drinking water.  But as a handful of these much-hyped projects take shape along the coast, many communities have found that desalination makes a lot more sense inland. Dozens of landlocked water districts are turning to briny groundwater basins or brackish rivers and bays, where the process of removing salt from water is generally a lot easier and cheaper. … ”  Read more from the SF Chronicle here:  $10 million coming to Bay Area desalination project, but it’s not on the ocean

San Diego’s Water Authority has reignited a century-old water dispute with local tribes:  “A century ago, a handful of Indian tribes in North County lost their water as settlers began drying up the San Luis Rey River. For 50 years, the tribes fought to get back their water — water that’s used today by Escondido and Vista. … Finally, on May 17, 2017, things looked finished: The federal government was ready to release to the tribes water meant to replace the river taken from them over 100 years ago.  It was a short-lived victory. Two weeks ago, the San Diego County Water Authority sent the tribes a letter dragging the Indians back in front of a judge. ... ”  Read more from the Voice of San Diego here:  San Diego’s Water Authority has reignited a century-old water dispute with local tribes

In commentary this weekend …

Tim Quinn: Securing access to clean, safe water for all of California with Prop 68:  He writes, “In the last decade, California has experienced a historically volatile water supply as we swung from years of record drought to periods of intense flooding that have critically strained our infrastructure. At the same time, more than one million Californians lack access to clean drinking water and families in some disadvantaged communities are unable to trust their taps.  Securing California’s water future has become increasingly challenging and ensuring we have funding to invest in critical needs, like clean water, sustainable groundwater and drought preparedness, is more important now than ever before. ... ”  Read more from the Riverside Press-Enterprise here: Securing access to clean, safe water for all of California with Prop 68

US drainage settlement is neither fair nor equitable, says Ryan Jackson:  He writes, “Since 1964, the Bureau of Reclamation has caused environmental devastation and transferred massive wealth from California’s North Coast by diverting Trinity River water from the Hoopa Valley Reservation in the Klamath Basin 400 miles south to the San Luis Unit on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.  The Trinity water that had sustained the Hupa people’s fishery and 10,000 year-old economy, culture and religion now supplies industrial agriculture with irrigation and hydropower. Westlands Water District uses the lion’s share of that water. Its demand for Trinity water is insatiable.  Federal law and judicial decrees strictly limit Trinity River diversions. They forbid shipping any Trinity water to Westlands that North Coast communities and Indian tribes need for fish, wildlife and economic development. … ”  Read more from the Two Rivers Tribune here:  US drainage settlement is neither fair nor equitable

Raise Shasta Dam? It will never happen, says David Little: He writes, “Between Ben Carson’s $31,000 dining room table and all the expensive travel for the president, his Cabinet members and their hangers-on, apparently there’s money to burn in Washington.  But spending $20 million to study a bad idea that’ll never happen? That might be the most wasteful mistake yet.  Millions of dollars have already been spent on studies about raising Shasta Dam by anywhere from 6.5 feet to 200 feet. The last option was wisely discounted early, but somehow the other possibilities refuse to die. ... ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Raise Shasta Dam? It will never happen

My California lake is too good for you, says Joe Mathews:  “Stay away from my lake, Californians. It’s too important.  As a legal matter, I don’t own Lake Mathews. But I’ve always felt a kinship with the Riverside County reservoir that spells our mutual name the correct way, with just one “t.” What’s more, Lake Mathews serves as the beating heart of the system that supplies water for me and millions of Southern Californians.  Lake Mathews represents an end and a beginning. It’s both the terminus of the 242-mile aqueduct from the Colorado River, and a distribution center, sending that water, via gravity, from its elevation of 1,500 feet, around the region. … ”  Continue reading at Bakersfield.com here:  My California lake is too good for you

In regional news and commentary this weekend …

Column: Water and weed:  Jim Shields writes, “Well, here we are in the middle of March, the first day of Spring is just a few days away, and the month has seen a good six inches of rain and snow in most parts of the county. … With two of the three historically wettest months gone bust, it’s not difficult to predict that resource agencies are working on water conservation plans and contingencies for drought rules.  This potential drought situation will play out in spades for our emerging cannabis industry under new legalization regulations. ... ”  Read more from the Ukiah Daily Journal here:  Water and weed

YCWA, Cordua exchange settlement checks over disputes:  “With the exchange of settlement checks – one for $675,000 and the other for $60,000 – the Yuba County Water Agency and the Cordua Irrigation District resolved three lawsuits and disputes on Thursday that had been outstanding since 2015.  “Just as important as resolving old disputes, this settlement agreement provides a foundation for future cooperation and collaboration between YCWA and Cordua,” Brent Hastey, chairman of the YCWA board, said in a press release.  … ”  Read more from the Appeal Democrat here:  YCWA, Cordua exchange settlement checks over disputes

San Jose Water merger would balloon company’s size to serve 1.5 million people:  “SJW Group, whose principal local unit is San Jose Water Company, has agreed to merge with a water utility in New England, in a deal that will leave SJW’s chief executive officer in charge of the new organization, the two companies said Thursday.  The $750 million deal combines San Jose-based SJW Group and Clinton, Connecticut-based Connecticut Water Service, a transaction that would create a water company serving 1.5 million people located in four states: California, Texas, Connecticut and Maine. That would make the combined entity the nation’s third-largest investor-owned water and wastewater utility. ... ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  San Jose Water merger would balloon company’s size to serve 1.5 million people

Mammoth Community Water District: Ormat presents ‘unnecessary threat’ to water supply: “Findings from a new groundwater quality investigation confirm that Ormat Technologies’ existing geothermal operation and proposed expansion project – known as Casa Diablo IV (CD-IV) – present an unnecessary, existential threat to the Mammoth Lakes community’s main and most reliable public water supply.  “We are charged with protecting our region’s precious water supply and have repeatedly asked Ormat to partner with us to ensure our water supply is not impacted by Ormat’s geothermal pumping,” said Pat Hayes, General Manager of Mammoth Community Water District (MCWD). ... ”  Read more from the Sierra Wave here:  Mammoth Community Water District: Ormat presents ‘unnecessary threat’ to water supply

Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority prepares to introduce new water pumping fee:  “The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority unanimously approved action to move toward a new groundwater pumping fee during their monthly board meeting on Thursday, March 15.  The fee hasn’t been approved just yet. Before final approval, IWVGA will hold a public workshop in order to give the public, IWVGA’s committees, and the IWVGA board a chance to spend an evening focused on specifically discussing the fee. … ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority prepares to introduce new water pumping fee

Special dredge clears a section of Carpinteria salt marsh:  “After the massive January 9, 2018 storm and debris flow, the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department has now begun using a special dredge in the  Carpinteria Salt Marsh.  Other efforts to clear sediment have been finished with other equipment but one section needs dredging.  The rig was being hooked up to a special pipe Thursday.  When it is operational, the dredge will deliver silt to the surf line. ... ”  Read more from KEYT here: Special dredge clears a section of Carpinteria salt marsh

San Jacinto River levee and corridor expansion project faces time limit:  “The 10-year effort of San Jacinto City Council and $8 million to fund the $42 million San Jacinto River Levee and Corridor Expansion Project has reached a critical moment in time that will determine if the project will go forward or be shelved for years to come.  The update on the major city project was made with city engineers, the legal team of Best, Best & Krieger, Riverside County Flood Control representatives, a group of concerned major landowners and City Manager Rob Johnson at the meeting. ... ”  Read more from Valley News here:  San Jacinto River levee and corridor expansion project faces time limit

California legislators call for more federal resources to fight cross-border sewage flow:  “Saying cross-border flows of sewage and other contaminants threaten area beaches and one of California’s few remaining salt marshes, state Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) Friday called on Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration to take legal action against the federal government to bring more focus and resources to protect the region.  “While the federal government is requesting billions of dollars to build a wall at the border, it has failed repeatedly to act on this serious contamination issue,” Hueso said as he presented Senate Joint Resolution No. 22 during an early-morning news conference at the Tijuana Estuary in Imperial Beach. … ”  Read more from the San Diego Union Tribune here:  California legislators call for more federal resources to fight cross-border sewage flow

Along the Colorado River …

Utah launching first comprehensive planning effort for Green, Colorado Rivers:  “To ensure the long-term sustainability of the Green and Colorado rivers as they flow through portions of Utah, state sovereign land managers are launching a first-ever effort to craft comprehensive management plans for the waterways.  The plans affect those state-owned sovereign land sections of the rivers as they go through Uintah, Grand, Emery, Wayne, Garfield, Kane and San Juan counties. The beds of navigable waters are owned by the state but held in trust for the public.  Plans will be developed, with public input, under the purview of the Utah Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. … ”  Read more from Deseret News here:  Utah launching first comprehensive planning effort for Green, Colorado Rivers

Precipitation watch …

Also on Maven’s Notebook this weekend …

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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.

Maven’s Notebook
where California water news never goes home for the weekend

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