DAILY DIGEST: Seawater intrusion threatens some of CA’s richest farmland; Federal legislation helps to advance Lake McClure storage enhancement project; Shrinking glaciers, bigger fires and hotter nights: How climate change is altering CA

In California water news today, Seawater intrusion threatens some of California’s richest farmland; Federal Legislation Helps to Advance Lake McClure Storage Enhancement in Mariposa County; To save the forests, Governor Brown wants to burn more trees; Shrinking glaciers, bigger fires and hotter nights: How climate change is altering California

In the news today …

Seawater intrusion threatens some of California’s richest farmland:  “California’s Salinas Valley, one of the world’s most productive farming areas, faces a groundwater emergency. The problem is seawater intrusion into freshwater aquifers, which are the region’s lifeblood.  The issue has been understood for a long time. It’s a result of groundwater pumping so intense that it has drawn in seawater from Monterey Bay from some 30 miles away. Twenty years ago, Monterey County spent about $70 million to build the Castroville Seawater Intrusion Project, which injects recycled wastewater underground to hold back seawater from the Bay. It worked, but could not keep pace with another threat: Unregulated well drilling. ... ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Seawater intrusion threatens some of California’s richest farmland

Federal Legislation Helps to Advance Lake McClure Storage Enhancement in Mariposa County – Raising the Spillway:  “A bipartisan group of California Members of Congress has introduced legislation, H.R. 5726, that represents a critical step toward Merced Irrigation District’s (MID) goals of enhancing storage capacity at Lake McClure. The legislation was authored and introduced by Merced-area Rep. Jim Costa and was cosponsored by local Reps. Jeff Denham (R) and Tom McClintock (R), together with Davis-area Member John Garamendi (D).  The legislation would authorize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to accept funding from the owners of non-federal reservoir projects in order to review and revise reservoir operation manuals, including flood-control criteria. The legislation does not direct an outcome for the review. Rather, it allows a thorough review of the project and its merits while taking into account new data and information related to the reservoir’s operations. … ”  Read more from the Sierra Sun Times here:  Federal Legislation Helps to Advance Lake McClure Storage Enhancement in Mariposa County – Raising the Spillway

To save the forests, Governor Brown wants to burn more trees:  “Gov. Jerry Brown signed an executive order on Thursday that aims to reduce the dangers of wildfires following some of the deadliest and most destructive blazes in state history.  The order calls for accelerating forest management procedures such as cutting back dense stands of trees and setting controlled fires to burn out thick brush. Brown wants to double the forest area managed by such practices to 500,000 acres within five years. … ”  Read more from KPCC here:  To save the forests, Governor Brown wants to burn more trees

Shrinking glaciers, bigger fires and hotter nights: How climate change is altering California:  “California may be a leader in the fight against climate change, but the state is increasingly hard hit by symptoms of the unrelenting rise of greenhouse gases, a new state assessment finds.  As global warming accelerates, California is getting hotter and drier. Trees and animals are moving to higher ground. Air conditioning is an increasing necessity. More winter precipitation is falling as rain and there’s less spring snowmelt to satisfy the water demands of farms and cities. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Shrinking glaciers, bigger fires and hotter nights: How climate change is altering California

California, battered by global warming’s weather whiplash, is fighting to stop it:  “In 1988 – the same year Nasa’s James Hansen warned Congress about the threats posed by human-caused global warming – water expert Peter Gleick wrote about the wet and dry extremes that it would create for California:  “California will get the worst of all possible worlds – more flooding in the winter, less available water in the summer.”  Three decades later, California has been ravaged by just this sort of weather whiplash. The state experienced its worst drought in over a millennium from 2012 to 2016, followed immediately by its wettest year on record in 2017. The consequences have been similarly extreme, including hellish record wildfires, narrowly-avoided catastrophic flooding at Oroville Dam, and deadly mudslides. .… ”  Read more from The Guardian here: California, battered by global warming’s weather whiplash, is fighting to stop it

Santa Rosa embraces water filters as quick fix for Fountaingrove post-fire contamination:  “When Jan Verspecht returned in November to his Fountaingrove home, which miraculously survived the Tubbs fire, he turned on the water and noticed a strange odor.  He reported the smell to the city, setting off a monthslong scramble to find the cause of the problem, which has since been identified as contamination backflowing into the water mains, and to figure out a solution, which remains elusive.  Verspecht, 50, was initially worried the source of the contamination would be a highly toxic chemical compound, like dioxins, which take a long time to break down once in the environment and can be produced from the combustion of man-made materials. ... ”  Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here:  Santa Rosa embraces water filters as quick fix for Fountaingrove post-fire contamination

Marin Municipal Water District chief will step down:  “The Marin Municipal Water District will have to find a new leader by the end of the year.  Krishna Kumar, 60, who took over the water district in October 2012, replacing Paul Helliker, will step down in December.  During his tenure, Kumar dealt with rate increases, drought and dam inspections.  “I think we have been able to maintain excellent customer service 24/7,” said Kumar, who lives in San Rafael. “I was personally vested in that for the community and we held up that part of the bargain.” ... ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here:  Marin Municipal Water District chief will step down

More news and commentary in the weekend edition …

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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