DAILY DIGEST: Just keep swimming: Fish to have easier access to Sacramento River; Delta derelict vessel removal fund passes Assembly vote; The battle over Hetch Hetchy reservoir in judge’s hands; Tough conversations about climate change planning in California; and more …

In California water news today, Just keep swimming: Fish to have easier access to Sacramento River; Delta derelict vessel removal fund passes Assembly vote; The battle over Hetch Hetchy reservoir in judge’s hands; Tough conversations about climate change planning in California; New device produces water from thin air – no electricity required; Paris Agreement: How the world is coping with Trump’s exit; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • The Central Valley Regional Water Board will meet at 9am.  Agenda items include a public hearing to consider adoption of proposed amendments and environmental documents for the Region-wide Salt and Nitrate Control Program with Supporting Revisions, Clarifications and New Policies.  The meeting will be webcast.  Click here for agenda and webcast link.
  • Navigating Bay Area Water: Emerging Technology Solutions from 12pm to 6:30pm in Palo Alto.  Click here for more information and to register.
  • WEBINAR: PFAS in Groundwater and Surface Waters: Why Should We Care? from 12 to 12:30pm.  Click here for more information.
  • WEBINAR: Walkthrough: GDE Guidance for Preparing Groundwater Sustainability Plans from 1-2pm.  Click here to register.
  • Chad Moore: San Joaquin River Restoration in the Age of Uncertainty, from 6pm to 7:30pm in Sacramento.  Click here for more information.

In the news today …

Just keep swimming: Fish to have easier access to Sacramento River:  “Chinook salmon, steelhead, and green sturgeon will soon have an easier path to the Sacramento River, and eventually their spawning grounds.  Construction has begun on the Fremont Weir, which will allow the fish to travel from the Pacific Ocean back to their birthplace during spawning season, which takes place in early spring and ends just before the summer.  James Newcomb, environmental scientist with the Department of Water Resources, said the weir is important because hundreds or thousands of salmon and sturgeon can’t make it to the river without adequate water flow. … ”  Read more from the Daily Democrat here:  Just keep swimming: Fish to have easier access to Sacramento River

Delta derelict vessel removal fund passes Assembly vote:  “Legislation that creates a fund to help remove derelict commercial vessels from the Delta passed the Assembly on Wednesday.  It was one of two bills authored by Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Discovery Bay, to clear the Assembly and now heads to the Senate for consideration. ... ”  Read more from the Daily Republic here:  Delta derelict removal fund passes Assembly vote

The battle over Hetch Hetchy reservoir in judge’s hands:  “The battle to drain the reservoir in Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley reignited Wednesday as critics of the historic dam told a panel of judges in Fresno that their legal case to raze it should proceed, despite an earlier decision to dismiss the suit.  In California’s Fifth District Court of Appeal, attorneys for the group Restore Hetch Hetchy reiterated their longtime argument that San Francisco should not be operating a reservoir in a national park because it violates a provision of the state Constitution requiring reasonable water use. ... ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: The battle over Hetch Hetchy reservoir in judge’s hands

Century-old campaign to take Hetch Hetchy from San Francisco still going:  “A century-old fight over a dam in Yosemite National Park is headed to a California appeals court on May 30.  The campaign to restore the once lush Hetch Hetchy Valley is among the country’s oldest environmental debates, widely credited with giving birth to environmental activism in this country.  For some environmentalists, the dam is an abomination, desecrating the valley’s natural beauty and wildlife, submerging it under 300 feet of water. San Francisco officials say the dam serves as a crucial water supply to millions of people in the San Francisco Bay area. U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein,  the former mayor of San Francisco, has called the reservoir the city’s “birthright” and slammed efforts to remove it as “dumb, dumb, dumb.” … ”  Read more from KQED here:  Century-old campaign to take Hetch Hetchy from San Francisco still going

Tough conversations about climate change planning in California:  “The nature of sea-level rise is such that it threatens whole regions at once, with no respect for municipal boundaries. But in most cases, local communities are left to develop their own strategies for addressing the threat. And the decisions they make, based on local concerns about environmental conditions and property rights, have ramifications that spread out to neighboring cities and towns.  The coastal city of Del Mar, California, in San Diego County, is currently facing that challenge. Last week, the Del Mar city council, which represents about 4,300 residents, voted against including the strategy of “managed retreat” in its long-term Sea-Level Rise Adaptation Plan. ... ”  Read more from Next City here:  Tough conversations about climate change planning in California

New device produces water from thin air – no electricity required:  “Water is all around us. The only problem is that it remains trapped in the atmosphere until the right conditions release it as rain or snow. Now Omar Yaghi, a chemistry professor at the University of California, Berkeley, has helped find a way to grab that water anytime we need it.  Yaghi says it is possible using something called a metal-organic framework (MOF). This is basically a sponge-like compound that looks like sand to the naked eye, and which is extremely dense. Depending on the materials involved, the MOF can be constructed to harvest different chemicals, from industrial emissions to natural gas. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  New device produces water from thin air – no electricity required

Paris Agreement: How the world is coping with Trump’s exit: “Nations around the world have responded to President Trump’s decision last year to leave the Paris Agreement by upping their ante on climate action, but the U.S. decision still casts a shadow over long-range efforts to address the problem.  When Trump made his announcement one year ago tomorrow, he parted ways with 194 other countries that support the deal finalized in December 2015. Parties to the agreement range from the European Union to North Korea and include major developing nations that Trump criticized that day in a fiery Rose Garden speech for expecting the United States to fix the world’s warming problem. He was talking about China and India. … ”  Read more from E&E News here:  Paris Agreement: How the world is coping with Trump’s exit

In regional news and commentary today …

Why swimmers should avoid popular beach at Whiskeytown:  “Whiskeytown rangers are telling visitors to avoid swimming at the popular Brandy Creek Beach as a precaution due to high levels of bacteria blamed on a roving population of Canada geese.  The problem is with geese pooping in the water and on the sand where people walk back and forth to spread the droppings.  “We think the geese population is the biggest problem,” park spokeswoman Jennifer Gibson said. … ”  Read more from the Redding Record Searchlight here:  Why swimmers should avoid popular beach at Whiskeytown

Nevada Irrigation District board OKs addendum to sediment and mercury removal project:  “The Nevada Irrigation District (NID) board of directors adopted an addendum to the Combie Reservoir Sediment and Mercury Removal Project, and encumbered funds for the Iron Horse/Brewer Road Waterline Extension project during its May 23 meeting.  Present were President William Morebeck, Vice President John H. Drew, and Directors Nancy Weber, Nick Wilcox and Scott Miller, a press release said. … ”  Read more from the Auburn Journal here:  Nevada Irrigation District board OKs addendum to sediment and mercury removal project

Sonoma County volunteers work to restore Laguna de Santa Rosa to former glory: “The first thing I notice about the Laguna de Santa Rosa is the thick tangle of vegetation known as ludwigia that clusters along the banks and wraps around my leg as I plop into the kayak.  “Like Ludwig van Beethoven,” says Wendy Trowbridge, sounding out the German composer who was luckily not its namesake.  The director of restoration and conservation science programs at the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation fights the water weed to launch her kayak, not long after her colleaguee, Anita Smith, escapes its leafy clutches to glide across the calm, dark water. … ”  Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here:  Sonoma County volunteers work to restore Laguna de Santa Rosa to former glory

Why Did So Many Jellyfish Wash Onto Bay Beaches This Spring?  “The jelly in the photo is the Pacific sea nettle (Chrysora fuscescens), which can be found up and down the California coast. Some jellies are found in the Bay throughout the year, such as the comb jelly and the bell medusa. Other jellies, such as moon jellies and nettles get swept into the Bay during an incoming tide. These animals are drifters, which means that they are unable to control their overall movement through the water column. Due to this year’s water conditions, jellies have been blooming, which means thousands of jellies have been swept into the Bay. These blooms happen when a variety of factors, such as currents, temperature, nutrients, and prey availability are just right. ... ”  Read more from Bay Nature here:  Why Did So Many Jellyfish Wash Onto Bay Beaches This Spring?

San José Ballot Measure Would Rewrite the City’s General Plan for Development, to the Dismay of Open Space Advocates:  “In San José’s Evergreen neighborhood, situated on the border of the Coyote Valley foothills, the east edge of the city turns to rolling oak savanna that stretches up into the Diablo foothills. On one plot of unassuming grassland, a group of developers are planning a housing development. It sounds reasonably typical — but the unusual way the developers have proposed to do it, asking voters in June to rewrite the city of San José’s general plan and zoning rules to enable the project, has led to consternation from environmental organizations, elected officials, political operatives, and good governance groups statewide. … ”  Read more from Bay Nature here:  San José Ballot Measure Would Rewrite the City’s General Plan for Development, to the Dismay of Open Space Advocates

Winters Putah Creek Nature Park fate finally fixed:  “Construction of the publicly accessible Putah Creek Nature Park was scheduled to be done in three phases. Phase 1 and 2 were completed in 2011. The last, Phase 3, is the section of creek that comes closest to the asphalt walkway on the Yolo County, north, side of the creek.  Going ahead with the Phase 3 planned project, approved by the Winters City Council in 2008, was opposed by a group of citizens who formed the Winters Friends of Putah Creek. They threatened legal action that, to date, has not taken place.  The project was then required to get a permit from the Central Valley Flood Protection Board (CVFPB). That board requested permitting from the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) to assess the environmental impact. Due to lack of budget, ACOE suspended investigation in June 2017. … ”  Read more from the Winters Express here:  Winters Putah Creek Nature Park fate finally fixed

Sacramento looks to ease farmers’ groundwater use with wastewater:  “An interesting idea to conserve groundwater is gaining momentum in the competition for state funding. The California Water Commission will soon make a decision on what water conservation projects across the state get funding.  The decision is part of the Proposition 1 Water Bond which allocates $2.7 billion for water storage projects. ... ”  Read more from CBS Sacramento here:  Sacramento looks to ease farmers’ groundwater use with wastewater  See also: We all want water storage, here is an innovative pitch that’s succeeding, from ABC 10

Exeter public works director says major well back online but groundwater levels continue to drop:  “Residents found it more than mildly annoying when their water pressure was at an all-time low for weeks. Thankfully, Exeter public works director Daymon Qualls said at last Tuesday’s City Council meeting Well 13 at Park Place was back on line and bringing some much needed pressure to the City’s water system.  Qualls said the well has been on since Saturday, May 19 and the City has been monitoring water pressure consistently. Since the well has been operating public works went from fielding multiple complaints a day to none. But the well is pumping fewer gallons per minute (GPM) than expected. At peak performance Well 13 can bring up 1,500 GPM, the most of any well the City has in operation, but instead is only bringing up 1,000. … ”  Read more from the Foothills Sun Gazette here:  Exeter public works director says major well back online but groundwater levels continue to drop

Modesto Irrigation District protests river water project:  “The Modesto Irrigation District has put a bump in the cities of Ceres’ and Turlock’s road to providing a more reliable source of drinking water to its citizens.  For the past 30 years, the city has been working on securing an alternate source of water – treated surface water from the Tuolumne River. Recently, the cities of Ceres and Turlock, as members of the Stanislaus Regional Water Authority – and in partnership with the Turlock Irrigation District -have started the process of building a plant to deliver treated Tuolumne River water to homes by 2022. … ”  Read more from the Ceres Courier here:  Modesto Irrigation District protests river water project

Ridgecrest: Water district committee talks concerns about GM decision:  “Indian Wells Valley Water District committee members expressed concern over why the organization they belong to — the IWV Groundwater Authority — needs a part-time general manager during a meeting on Wednesday.  The committee, which discusses water management, included IWVWD board members Peter Brown and Ron Kicinski with support from top-level staff.  Brown said he wanted to know how the item to approve a job description and start the recruiting process for a general manager appeared on the groundwater authority’s May 17 agenda. ... ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Water district committee talks concerns about GM decision

Del Mar beachfront owners ponder city’s sea level rise adaptation plan:  “Many Del Mar beachfront property owners and residents applauded the City Council’s decision by a 4-1 vote May 21 to endorse an “adaptation plan” that responds to predictions of the ocean’s impending rise. In favoring the adaptation plan, the council rejected the so-called “managed retreat” option.  Shoreline inhabitants, however, remain uneasy about the future as expressed during a meeting held Friday, May 25, by a grassroots organization called the Del Mar Beach Preservation Coalition. Information on the group is available at delmarbpc.org.  “It seems to me we’re all kind of guilty in this,” resident Owen Hahn said. “We’ve gone to sleep at the switch.” ... ”  Read more from the Del Mar Times here:  Del Mar beachfront owners ponder city’s sea level rise adaptation plan

Frustration after Corps cancels Oceanside Harbor dredging:  “Thinning beaches in Oceanside will not be getting relief this summer. The annual dredging project which brings in millions of pounds of badly needed sand has been canceled.  The city says the Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for the annual project, hiring a contractor to dredge the harbor every spring. … ”  Read more from Channel 10 here:  Frustration after Corps cancels Oceanside Harbor dredging

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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