DAILY DIGEST: SoCal plans to spend $11 billion on the delta tunnels. Who will end up paying?; Gov. Jerry Brown’s potential successors and the Delta tunnels; Why Villaraigosa is spending so much time in farm country; and more …

In California water news today, Southern California plans to spend $11 billion on the delta tunnels. Who will end up paying?; George Skelton: When it comes to the California delta, none of Gov. Jerry Brown’s potential successors have tunnel vision; News analysis: Why big-city politician Villaraigosa is spending so much time in farm country; The ‘new normal’? Sierra snow drought endures despite ‘miracle’ March; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • The Delta Plan Interagency Implementation Committee (DPIIC) meets from 1pm to 4:30pm.  Agenda items include the CA Water Action Plan and Delta Plan, how are they working and what’s next; identifying the desired future and vision for Delta restoration and recovery, and One Delta, One Science – how do we get there.  Click here for agendaClick here for webcast.
  • The Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water meets this afternoon at 2pm.  Suction dredge mining, Citizen’s Advisory Committee for Oroville Dam among the bills to be heard.  Click here for more information. Click here to watch on webcast.

In the news today …

Southern California plans to spend $11 billion on the delta tunnels. Who will end up paying? When the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California voted to finance the lion’s share of the delta tunnels project, some on the board called it a bold stroke of leadership.  The delegations from Los Angeles and San Diego, however, called the move alarming, financially risky and irresponsible.  MWD’s two largest member agencies, L.A. and the San Diego County Water Authority, were on the losing end of last week’s vote to invest nearly $11 billion in the construction of two massive tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. “This vote was honestly quite divisive,” Los Angeles board member Mark Gold said.  … ”  Continue reading at the LA Times here:  Southern California plans to spend $11 billion on the delta tunnels. Who will end up paying?

George Skelton: When it comes to the California delta, none of Gov. Jerry Brown’s potential successors have tunnel vision: “Gov. Jerry Brown scored big last week in his tenacious effort to build monstrous twin water tunnels in the California delta. But his legacy project could still collapse. No potential successor supports it.  Brown will be termed out in January. Nothing’s going to be built before then, and the needed permits probably won’t even be awarded. The next governor could pull the plug. And all the wannabes are talking like they just might. At the least they’d hit the pause button.  One tunnel might be OK, says the Democratic front-runner, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, but two are too many. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  George Skelton: When it comes to the California delta, none of Gov. Jerry Brown’s potential successors have tunnel vision

News analysis: Why big-city politician Villaraigosa is spending so much time in farm country:  “Antonio Villaraigosa is not the sort of politician who would scuff his well-shined shoes with the dust from San Joaquin Valley farms, or so you might think.  And yet the natty former Los Angeles mayor and Assembly speaker is going beyond traditional Democratic sources of money in Hollywood, San Francisco and the Silicon Valley to the Central Valley as he fights for his political life in the race for governor.  The one-time union organizer and Southern California ACLU board member has tapped farmers, many of them Republicans, for more than $640,000, nearly 10 percent of the money he has raised since the start of 2017, a CALmatters analysis of his campaign contributions shows. … ”  Read more from Cal Matters here:  News analysis: Why big-city politician Villaraigosa is spending so much time in farm country

The ‘new normal’? Sierra snow drought endures despite ‘miracle’ March: “The series of March storms that slammed the Sierra Nevada made skiers and snowboarders rejoice and provided a much-needed boost to water storage reservoirs in California and Nevada.  But even a one-month snow total that rivaled the “Miracle March” of 1991 isn’t enough to erase the snow drought that lingered through winter 2017-18.  “The takeaway is we had another snow drought year,” said Dan McEvoy, regional climatologist for the Western Regional Climate Center in Reno. “We are still below average this year and we are going to lose our snowpack earlier than average. ... ”  Read more from the Reno Gazette Journal here:  The ‘new normal’? Sierra snow drought endures despite ‘miracle’ March

Radio Show: Jeff Goodell: The water will come:  “Water is the most visible and tangible impact of climate disruption: drought, downpours, floods and rising sea levels.  That was the topic of discussion on a recent episode of the Commononwealth Club of California’s “Climate One” series.  Jeff Goodell says “the future’s going to require adaptable living,” and it’s important to make the climate change water risks transparent.  Goodell is the author of “The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World.” … ”  Listen to the radio show from MPR here:  Radio Show: Jeff Goodell: The water will come

In commentary today …

Poll shows support for Safe Drinking Water Fund, says Lester Snow:  He writes, “New polling numbers confirm the public’s high level of concern about drinking water quality and support for safe drinking water in California.  The results of the poll conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz and Associates, and commissioned by the Water Foundation, found that nearly four in five Californians express concern about current water quality problems in the state. And 80 percent believe water agencies are responsible for ensuring safe drinking water for California communities.  But despite strong public awareness and concern we have failed to address this most tragic and unacceptable water problem: Upward of 1 million Californians do not have access to safe drinking water. Even worse, there are nearly 300,000 Californians who have been without safe drinking water for decades. ... ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Poll shows support for Safe Drinking Water Fund

More news and commentary in the weekend edition …

In regional news and commentary …

The newest threat to California’s redwoods isn’t what you’d think:  “A new industry is thriving in California. It is green in terms of the money being made and the crop itself. Yet it is anything but that when it comes to the environment, posing horrendous ecological threats to the region’s redwood forests.  Lindgren Lumber and Humboldt Flakeboard are the newest additions to the Medical Marijuana Innovation Zone, an area in Arcata, California, zoned specifically for marijuana cultivation and processing. As businesses like Humboldt Harvest Wellness and Talking Tree Farms apply for the necessary permits to process cannabis in the former mill complex, it is evident that the cannabis business may restore the economy of redwood country. ... ”  Read more from SF Gate here:  The newest threat to California’s redwoods isn’t what you’d think

Another gut punch for Santa Rosa: Fire destroys neighborhood water system: “At first, no one thought to check underground.  When the Tubbs Fire roared through Santa Rosa in October, torching more than 3,000 homes and displacing tens of thousands of residents, one of the hardest hit neighborhoods was Fountaingrove in the hills north of downtown. Residents who had fled for their lives returned to find 1,420 homes leveled amid a nearly unrecognizable landscape.  But deep underneath the mangled cul-de-sacs and ashy lots — and the homes that by some miracle stood through the inferno — another big problem loomed. The wildfire burned so hot that 5 miles of water lines serving 350 homes in the upscale enclave were destroyed. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  Another gut punch for Santa Rosa: Fire destroys neighborhood water system

Marin salmon defenders awarded $148,000 for creek litigation:  “A Marin judge ordered the county and two property owners to pay nearly $148,000 in legal fees in a battle over a home construction plan in Woodacre.  The money covers costs incurred by lawyers for the winning party, the nonprofit Turtle Island Restoration Network, parent organization of the Salmon Protection and Watershed Network. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here:  Marin salmon defenders awarded $148,000 for creek litigation

NID Board approves surplus water declaration: “The Nevada Irrigation District (NID) Board of Directors voted to approve a declaration for surplus water and authorized a contract to construct the Bowman-Spaulding canal liner during its April 11 meeting.  Present were President William Morebeck, Vice President John H. Drew, and Directors Nancy Weber, Nick Wilcox and Scott Miller.  The Board reviewed current water supply conditions and made a surplus water declaration for 2018. The declaration is based on the following: ... ”  Read more from Yuba Net here:  NID Board approves surplus water declaration

Public forum on proposed Temperance Flat project:  “How big of a deal is the proposed Temperance Flat dam on the San Joaquin River?  An April 27 forum hosted by the Friends of the Madden Library at Fresno State will help you learn more.  The project is big, no question about it.  There’s a lot of money involved: The dam will cost $3 billion, according to supporters, though opponents say it will turn out to be much more expensive. … ”  Read more from the Madera Tribune here:  Public forum on proposed Temperance Flat project

Precipitation watch …

From NWS Sacramento: Pop up showers and thunderstorms today. Mountain snow will continue above 3500 feet.

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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