DAILY DIGEST: Two tunnels? One? None? Water agency to decide how much to spend on Delta fix; When it comes to California water, nothing is easy; LaMalfa bill to create new tribe raises questions; and more …

In California water news today, Vote on Southern California’s investment in Delta tunnel project could be a nail biter; Governor Brown urges ‘yes’ for both tunnels. Will that sway crucial vote?; Two tunnels? One? None? Water agency to decide how much to spend on Delta fix; Radio show: Ahead of MWD’s vote on water tunnel project tomorrow, KPCC re-debates the pros/cons; When it comes to California water, nothing is easy; Oil company allies say climate lawsuits were shopped around; LaMalfa bill to create new tribe raises questions; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

Vote on Southern California’s investment in Delta tunnel project could be a nail biter:  “With the city of Los Angeles and Orange County on opposite sides, Southern California’s role in financing a massive water delivery project is likely to hinge on a few smaller agencies.  In what will be a crucial decision, the board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is expected to vote Tuesday whether to approve nearly $11 billion in financing to help build two giant water tunnels in the center of the state’s waterworks or $5.2 billion to construct a single tunnel. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Vote on Southern California’s investment in Delta tunnel project could be a nail biter

Governor Brown urges ‘yes’ for both tunnels.  Will that sway crucial vote?  “Gov. Jerry Brown, in a last-minute bid to forge ahead with one of his legacy projects, urged Southern California’s big water agency Monday to support a plan to build the two Delta tunnels simultaneously.  Brown sent a letter to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California supporting the ambitious $16.7 billion effort to build both Delta tunnels together. In the letter, the governor essentially backed away from a plan, supported by his administration just a few weeks ago, to explore building the two tunnels in phases to address funding shortfalls. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Governor Brown urges ‘yes’ for both tunnels.  Will that sway crucial vote?

Two tunnels? One? None? Water agency to decide how much to spend on Delta fix:  “Even as many cities in Southern California push back against the state’s “sanctuary state” policies, the famously conservative enclave of Orange County soon might help Gov. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown realize a long-sought dream:  A pair of tunnels that will run beneath the central Delta, ferrying more-reliable water to the state’s parched southern region even as they protect wildlife.  Considered dead as dust just days ago, Brown’s water dream won’t come cheap — an estimated $16.7 billion for both tunnels. And a disproportionate share of the project financing — $10.8 billion, or nearly 65 percent of the total — would come from the gargantuan Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which supplies 19 million people, or nearly half the state. … ”  Read more from the OC Register here:  Two tunnels? One? None? Water agency to decide how much to spend on Delta fix

Radio show: Ahead of MWD’s vote on water tunnel project tomorrow, KPCC re-debates the pros/cons: Guests:  Bettina Boxall, water issues and environmental reporter for the Los Angeles Times; Robert Hunter, general manager of the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC); Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director and cofounder of Restore the Delta; and Patrick Cavanaugh, Fresno-based broadcaster with the California Ag Today Radio Network; editor of Vegetables West and Pacific Nut Producer magazines.  Click here to listen to the show.

When it comes to California water, nothing is easy:  “Camrosa Water District, a public services provider in Ventura County, gets its water from a combination of groundwater, recycled wastewater, and the State Water Project, which transports water south through the state.  Twenty miles away, another mid-size public water agency also founded around 1960 has a very different portfolio: Las Virgenes Municipal Water District gets virtually all its water from the State Water Project, which is managed by California’s Department of Water Resources. Groundwater in the vicinity of the Los Angeles-area provider is too salty and high in iron and manganese to be fit for human consumption, according to Las Virgenes general manager David Pedersen.  In many respects, Camrosa and Las Virgenes are very different. But there are a few important similarities between the agencies.  This combination of the local water agencies’ autonomy and their distinct differences reflects the difficulty of imposing a change across California’s water systems. … ”  Read more from Capitol Weekly here:  When it comes to California water, nothing is easy

Infrastructure: Agencies sign agreement to speed permitting:  “At least a dozen federal agencies today signed an agreement to streamline the environmental permitting process, a White House official confirmed to E&E News.  The memorandum of understanding implements President Trump’s Aug. 15, 2017, executive order, which aims to cut permitting time for big infrastructure projects to two years.  Signatories of the agreement, first reported by Bloomberg, will include the Energy, Interior, Transportation and Agriculture departments as well as U.S. EPA, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Army Corps of Engineers. Agency chiefs signed the deal at the end of today’s Cabinet meeting. … ”  Read more from E&E News here:  Infrastructure: Agencies sign agreement to speed permitting

Oil company allies say climate lawsuits were shopped around:  “The oil industry is hitting back after being sued for climate damages by California cities and counties.  The Manufacturers’ Accountability Project (MAP), an oil industry supporter, demanded a swath of records from the municipalities that sued more than 20 oil companies. Citing a state public records law, MAP asked for paperwork, cellphone records, reports, memos, payments and other documents containing oil company names. They’re also asking for city contracts with law firms working on contingency, a form of payment that awards a percent of what the firm is able to win.  MAP, an arm of the National Association of Manufacturers, said it wants to expose details of the eight lawsuits against oil companies filed by California municipalities. … ”  Read more from E&E News here:  Oil company allies say climate lawsuits were shopped around

In commentary today …

State has been sitting on $2.7 billion for four years.  It’s time to build a dam, say Assemblymembers Heath Flora and Vince Fong:  They write, “California residents have continued to support funding to build our state’s water storage infrastructure. This is not surprising, because Californians know the value of water.  We’ve learned to adapt in years of drought. We’ve become more savvy about conserving and managing our most valuable resource. California is the No. 1 agricultural state in the country. We depend on every ounce of rain we get, so we understand that our water storage infrastructure needs to be built now. … ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here:  State has been sitting on $2.7 billion for four years.  It’s time to build a dam

Dams, not trains, should be our rallying cry, says Justin Salters:  He writes, ” … It’s not hard to understand the frustration felt by California farmers when they see bullet train tracks built through their fields while other critically needed projects continue to be held up. You know the projects: dams. The ones those “dams not trains” signs refer to. Maybe you’re like me. Despite being a Kern County kid, I’ll admit I never really understood or appreciated our state’s need for more water storage. Until recently, I was oblivious to how our state’s water is supplied. I knew our local farmers needed a lot of water to grow their crops, but that’s why we have canals, aqueducts and a dry Kern River. Drinking water came through a network of pipes and pumps to reach my faucet. … ”  Read more from Bakersfield.com here:  Dams, not trains, should be our rallying cry, says Justin Salters

In regional news and commentary today …

LaMalfa bill to create new tribe raises questions:  Russell “Buster” Attebery writes, “Congressman Doug LaMalfa recently introduced a bill to reinvent a terminated Rancheria as California’s largest tribe with a reservation anywhere within Siskiyou County. … The Karuk Tribe has sought answers to questions such as where the group intends to locate its reservation. The bill allows the “restored” reservation to be sited on the Sacramento or Klamath rivers even though their original reservation was located in Etna. If passed, this bill could allow the newly created group to establish water and fishing rights, which would impact local communities with existing rights, commercial and sport fisherman, and local irrigators. … ”  Read more from the Redding Record Searchlight here:  LaMalfa bill to create new tribe raises questions

City of Red Bluff tackles water repair, leading to discovery of 22-foot sink hole:  “In Tehama County, the City of Red Bluff had two water issues on their hands over the weekend. One, a broken water main that has since been repaired. The second, blockage from Friday’s storm runoff that clogged the main drainage on Rio St.  The drainage running from the Red Bluff bus terminal across Rio St. to the Sacramento River became clogged Friday morning. Public works crews have been alternating to keep personnel on site, at one point using the Red Bluff Fire Department as a safety standby. … ”  Read more from KRCR here:  City of Red Bluff tackles water repair, leading to discovery of 22-foot sink hole

Lake Tahoe groups support fight against invasive species:  “A conservation group and a coalition of municipal drinking water providers at Lake Tahoe have pitched in to try to stunt the growth of invasive aquatic plants that can degrade water quality and rob the lake of its famed clarity.  The Tahoe Fund and the Tahoe Water Suppliers Association recently reached their fundraising goal to buy more than 150 bottom barriers and other resources to support the Tahoe Resource Conservation District in fighting the invasive animals and plants, the Truckee Sierra Sun reported Tuesday. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Lake Tahoe groups support fight against invasive species

SF Bay restoration: The money we voted for is ready to be spent:  “Back in June 2016, Bay Area voters approved Measure AA to raise $500 million to pay for wetlands restoration, flood control and wildlife projects around San Francisco Bay. Now the first wave of that money — nearly $18 million — is about to be put to use.  On Wednesday, the board overseeing the money will vote on projects in six counties totaling $17.9 million. They range from $7.4 million to restore former Cargill industrial salt evaporation ponds in Mountain View, Alviso and Hayward, to $450,000 to restore sand dunes, build a trail and clean up debris along Alameda’s shoreline. The projects chosen will affect roughly 2,618 acres. … ”  Read more from the East Bay Times here:  SF Bay restoration: The money we voted for is ready to be spent

Bay Area water agencies upgrading infrastructure in anticipation of catastrophic earthquake:  “Water agencies, once worried only about their own supplies and territories, now embrace mutual aid, especially for earthquakes and droughts.  East Bay Municipal Utility District is constantly evaluating all kinds of new water main and pipe design and materials for flexibility and reliability whether made of steel, cast iron, cement or plastic.  David Katzev of East Bay MUD tells KTVU “And not only do we have the Hayward Fault, we have landslides, we have liquefaction zones, we have to put pipe in the ground that’s seismic resilient.” … ”  Read more from KTVU Channel 2 here:  Bay Area water agencies upgrading infrastructure in anticipation of catastrophic earthquake

Southern California: Summer-like heat, wind break records in the middle of spring: “Unseasonable heat and strong winds combined to shatter records in Southern California before noon Monday.  Camarillo and Oxnard saw temps as high as 90 degrees by late morning, breaking records as old as 50 years ago.  Downtown Los Angeles reported temps as high as 94 degrees, tying the record set in 1890. … ”  Read more from CBS LA here: Southern California: Summer-like heat, wind break records in the middle of spring

Chino Hills may start rationing water for residents:  “Water rationing and rate increases could be on the way for Chino Hills residents.  The proposal would give households water to meet their needs based on the number of people living there and their daily usage, outdoor landscaped area and weather. Customers would pay a lower rate for water used within their allocation and a higher rate for water used above their allocation.  “We are recommending to base the rates we charge our residents and customers on their water usage efficiency,” said Nadeem Majaj, the city’s public works director. The budget-based rates would encourage water efficiency while ensuring fiscal stability of the city’s water fund, officials said. … ”  Read more from the San Bernardino Sun here:  Chino Hills may start rationing water for residents

San Diego: Pure Water project’s financial future is cloudy:  “In 2014, nearly 70 percent of San Diego voters backed a $7.5 billion statewide “water bond” meant to fund a host of water-related projects.  Right now, though, the officials in charge of handing out money from Proposition 1 are taking a dim view of the biggest water project planned for San Diego, the city’s multibillion-dollar effort to turn sewage into drinkable water. The project, known as Pure Water, is looking for a $219 million state grant. … ”  Read more from the Voice of San Diego here:  San Diego: Pure Water project’s financial future is cloudy

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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