DAILY DIGEST: Illegal pot grows hazards persist, despite change in law; Feds push to raise Shasta Dam, but would it ease CA water woes?; Drawing a line in the sand over Russian River rights; How the Colorado River’s future could hinge on little-known CA election; and more …

In California water news today, Illegal pot grows spread deadly pesticides, other hazards, despite change in law; California, US team up on an issue that divides them: pot; Feds push to raise Shasta Dam, but would it ease California water woes?; Environmentalists’ lawsuit to drain Hetch Hetchy Reservoir heads back to court; Drawing a line in the sand over Russian River rights; Gallagher’s State Water Project bill rejected; How the Colorado River’s future could hinge on little-known California election; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • WEBCAST: Water Well Rehabilitation– Video Logging Techniques for Planning and Process Assessment from 12-1:30pm.  Click here to register.
  • WEBINAR: Draft SGMA Basin Prioritization from 12-2pm.  Click here to register.

In the news today …

Illegal pot grows spread deadly pesticides, other hazards, despite change in law: “The legalization of cannabis in California has done almost nothing to halt illegal marijuana growing by Mexican drug cartels, which are laying bare large swaths of national forest in California, poisoning wildlife, and siphoning precious water out of creeks and rivers, U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott said Tuesday.  The situation is so dire that federal, state and local law enforcement officials are using $2.5 million from the Trump administration this year to crack down on illegal growers, who Scott said have been brazenly setting booby traps, confronting hikers and attacking federal drug-sniffing dogs with knives. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  Illegal pot grows spread deadly pesticides, other hazards, despite change in law

California, US team up on an issue that divides them: pot:  “An alarming increase in the use of a highly toxic and banned pesticide at illegal marijuana farms hidden on public land in California is leading U.S. and state officials to team up on an issue that recently divided them: pot.  They announced Tuesday that they will use $2.5 million in federal money to target illegal grows even as they remain at odds over the drug and other issues. Federal law still bans pot, but U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott said he will prioritize illegal weed rather than going after the world’s largest legal recreational marijuana market, a decision U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has left to the discretion of top federal prosecutors. … ”  Read more from the Houston Chronicle here:  California, US team up on an issue that divides them: pot

Feds push to raise Shasta Dam, but would it ease California water woes? Officials with the federal government seem determined to realize a controversial proposal to raise Shasta Dam and increase the storage capacity of the reservoir behind it – despite objections from fish and wildlife agencies and California law that technically forbids such a project. In January, the United States Bureau of Reclamation, which manages the dam, received a $20 million appropriation from Congress to begin design and preconstruction work – and, with the support of water agencies in the San Joaquin Valley, the bureau has announced plans to begin construction as early as the end of 2019. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Feds push to raise Shasta Dam, but would it ease California water woes? 

Environmentalists’ lawsuit to drain Hetch Hetchy Reservoir heads back to court:  “Two years after losing in court and six years after being rejected by voters, a Berkeley environmental group is continuing its long-running battle to drain Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, a linchpin of the water supply for 2.6 million Bay Area residents from San Francisco to San Jose to southern Alameda County.  The reservoir in Yosemite National Park, built in 1923, violates California’s constitution, according to a lawsuit from the nonprofit group, Restore Hetch Hetchy, because the constitution requires water to be diverted in a “reasonable” way, and there are other places to store Hetch Hetchy’s water that aren’t in a national park. … ”  Read more from the Vallejo Times-Herald here:  Environmentalists’ lawsuit to drain Hetch Hetchy Reservoir heads back to court

Drawing a line in the sand over Russian River rights: “This is a classic story of greed, nature, fear, change, large dogs, and violent golfing, but I didn’t know that when it began. Nor did I know that I’d get sucked into the thing myself. All I knew was John Harreld walking to the water’s edge on a summer morning in 2015 in Guerneville, California.  For neighbors in Harreld’s quiet river community, 90 minutes northwest of San Francisco, the image of the then 43-year-old starting his day in the sand had become a regular, if provocative, sight. Several times a week, he’d plant himself in a folding chair overlooking a gentle bend in the mellow Russian River. Sometimes a buddy joined him; other times he sat alone. The job was simple: Enjoy the beach. Sip coffee. Maybe spot an otter slithering up the lazy current. Most of all, do these things in clear view of the camera hidden in the trees. ... ”  Read more from Outside Magazine here:  Drawing a line in the sand over river rights

Gallagher’s State Water Project bill rejected:  “Two bills proposed by Assemblyman James Gallagher, one of which would have taken the State Water Project from the state Department of Water Resources and another which would have provided funding for school resource officers, failed on Friday to pass through the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  The former, Assembly Bill 3045, came forward in reaction to the spillway failure at Oroville Dam, a crucial component of the State Water Project, in February 2017. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Gallagher’s State Water Project bill rejected

In regional news and commentary today …

‘Bubble curtain’ to help contain invasive plants in Tahoe Keys:  “Lake Tahoe continues to be a test site for new technology aimed at controlling aquatic invasive plants.  The latest example is the use of a device called a “bubble curtain” in the Tahoe Keys neighborhood, according to the League to Save Lake Tahoe, which is working with the Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association to combat invasive plants that have overrun the channels in the keys. … ”  Read more from the Tahoe Daily Tribune here:  ‘Bubble curtain’ to help contain invasive plants in Tahoe Keys

Sausalito waterfront cleanup on a slow march:  “Almost a year into a waterfront management plan, Sausalito police acknowledge it’s a work in progress that aims to have long-term and not immediate, sweeping results.  City Council members support the program, but add they want to make sure there is good communication with the “anchor-out” floating community, which is the focus of the program. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: Sausalito waterfront cleanup on a slow march

San Francisco: Farrell wants agencies to use less water:  “San Francisco is hoping to better prepare for the next drought.  Though the city’s government agencies were good at cutting water use during the recent dry years, easily meeting a self-imposed goal of reducing consumption 10 percent between 2014 and 2017 and often conserving more, Mayor Mark Farrell wants to pick it up a notch.  Farrell is asking the Board of Supervisors to approve an ordinance that would require the five city departments that use the most water to develop plans for trimming water use 20 percent. The departments wouldn’t have to make the reduction anytime soon but would have to be ready to do so should water supplies become tight. ... ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  San Francisco: Farrell wants agencies to use less water

Measure P: Foster City’s $90 million tax to defend against rising seas:  “The only thing between Foster City and the salty San Francisco Bay is an earthen wall, eight miles long, fronted with crushed up concrete and riprap to defend against the sea.  On one level, the San Mateo County suburb’s voters face a straightforward choice about this levee on the June 5 ballot: whether to tax themselves to raise it, or run a higher risk of flooding. … ”  Read more from KQED here:  Measure P: Foster City’s $90 million tax to defend against rising seas

State labels Carpinteria groundwater a high priority:  “Carpinteria Valley Water District got notice on May 18 that the State of California classified the local groundwater basin as a high-priority resource, a designation that compels the formation of a local Groundwater Service Agency to create a sustainability plan for the supply. CVWD General Manager Bob McDonald said the new classification opens a 60-day window for public comment on the finding, following which CVWD will likely form the GSA. A GSA has authority to oversee water usage from designated groundwater basins and qualifies for state grants to fund sustainability efforts. ... ”  Read more from the Coastal View here:  State labels Carpinteria groundwater a high priority

San Diego County: From Ridgway’s rails to snowy plovers, San Elijo lagoon conservancy inspires nature lovers and researchers:  “Before Bradley Nussbaum started working at San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy four and a half years ago where he now serves as Habitat Management Director, he had not held a similar position at another nature reserve. In fact, he was on a completely different career trajectory. “I studied and worked as an optical engineer,” Nussbaum explains. “After doing that for a couple years, I realized that what I really wanted was to be outside.”  The almost 1,000-acre wetland of the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve turned out to be just the habitat Nussbaum was looking for. ... ”  Read more from the Environmental Monitor here:  From Ridgway’s rails to snowy plovers, San Elijo lagoon conservancy inspires nature lovers and researchers

Along the Colorado River …

How the Colorado River’s future could hinge on little-known California election:  “A few thousand votes in California’s Imperial Valley could have major consequences for millions of people who depend on water from the Colorado River.  Imperial Valley voters will decide June 5 whether to remake the board of directors of the Imperial Irrigation District, or IID, which controls the single largest share of Colorado River water. Three of the five seats on the agency’s board are up for grabs, and local farmers are opening their wallets to influence the results. The outcome could change the way IID manages its water, with ripple effects across the Southwest, from big cities like Los Angeles and Phoenix to agricultural areas like the eastern Coachella Valley. … ”  Read more from The Desert Sun here:  How the Colorado River’s future could hinge on little-known California election

Dire challenges facing Colorado River water lifeline:  “A bruising battle between the Central Arizona Project and many states and water users has revitalized the push for a stillborn plan to prepare for more drought on the Colorado River.  The original dustup was over whether the CAP was seeking to “game the system” of reservoir operations at lakes Mead and Powell to benefit itself at the expense of the river’s Upper Basin states: Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming.  That’s prompted new talks to try to also resolve longstanding differences with another of CAP’s adversaries, the Arizona Department of Water Resources. ... ”  Read more from the Arizona Daily Star here:  Dire challenges facing Colorado River water lifeline

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

Sign up for daily email service and you’ll never miss a post …

Daily emailsSign up for free daily email service and you’ll get all the Notebook’s aggregated and original water news content delivered to your email box by 9AM. And with breaking news alerts, you’ll always be one of the first to know …


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.

 

(Visited 613 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply