DAILY DIGEST: Drought or no drought: Jerry Brown sets permanent water conservation rules; The Delta has 185 invasive species, but tracking them is uneven; San Bernardino Valley MWD votes to join Cal Water Fix; 360,000 Californians have unsafe drinking water. Are you one of them?; and more …

In California water news today, Drought or no drought: Jerry Brown sets permanent water conservation rules for Californians; The Delta has 185 Invasive Species, But Tracking Them is Uneven; San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District votes to join California Water Fix; 360,000 Californians have unsafe drinking water. Are you one of them?; New technology can purify ‘dirty’ winter stormwater; How Climate Change Ignites Wildfires From California to South Africa;As Microplastics Invade Every Ecosystem, More Research and Action Needed; and more …

In the news today …

Drought or no drought: Jerry Brown sets permanent water conservation rules for Californians:  “Although he declared an end to California’s historic five-year drought last year, Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed two new laws that will require cities and water districts across the state to set permanent water conservation rules, even in non-drought years.  “In preparation for the next drought and our changing environment, we must use our precious resources wisely,” Brown said in a statement. “We have efficiency goals for energy and cars – and now we have them for water.” … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Drought or no drought: Jerry Brown sets permanent water conservation rules for Californians

Get ready to save water: Permanent California restrictions approved by Gov. Jerry Brown: “The drought may be over, but California residents should prepare themselves for new and more permanent restrictions on water use.  Gov. Jerry Brown signed a pair of bills Thursday to set permanent overall targets for indoor and outdoor water consumption.  Assembly Bill 1668 by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, D-Glendale, and Senate Bill 606 from state Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Los Angeles, give water districts more flexibility than the strict cuts mandated under Brown’s emergency drought order and will eventually allow state regulators to assess thousands of dollars in fines against jurisdictions that do not meet the goals. ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Get ready to save water: Permanent California restrictions approved by Gov. Jerry Brown

California adopts legislation aimed at permanently boosting water conservation: “California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Thursday establishing new statewide standards to encourage water conservation. The two bills will set water-efficiency goals for water suppliers throughout the state. The governor said the measures will help California be better prepared for future droughts and the effects of climate change.  The legislation establishes an indoor, per person water-use goal of 55 gallons per day starting in 2022, an amount that will gradually be dialed down to 50 gallons per day starting by 2030. Targets for outdoor water use will be set differently for each area taking into account factors like the local precipitation and climate zone.  … ”  Read more from the Desert Sun here:  California adopts legislation aimed at permanently boosting water conservation

It’s Not Just Nutria — Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has 185 Invasive Species, But Tracking Them is Uneven:  “For more than 100 years, invasive species have made the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta their home, disrupting the ecosystem and costing millions of dollars annually in remediation. The latest invader is the nutria, a large South American rodent known for its propensity to devour every bit of vegetation in sight. Yet even though invasive plants and animals long existed in California’s water hub, tracking their extent is an uneven task that could benefit from greater coordination and funding, a panel of experts recently told the Delta Independent Science Board.”  Read more from Western Water here:  It’s Not Just Nutria — Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has 185 Invasive Species, But Tracking Them is Uneven

San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District votes to join California Water Fix:  “The San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District board of directors has become one of the first water agencies in the state to join a new agency that will design and construct the California WaterFix, a project to upgrade the state’s outdated water delivery system that provides water to 27 million Californians and 3 million acres of farmland.  The planned upgrades will also restore more natural flows in the Delta, which will protect and improve the sensitive Delta ecosystem. … ”  Read more from the Highland Community News here:  San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District votes to join California Water Fix

360,000 Californians have unsafe drinking water. Are you one of them?: “At the Shiloh elementary school near Modesto, drinking fountains sit abandoned, covered in clear plastic.  At Mom and Pop’s Diner, a fixture in the Merced County town of Dos Palos, regulars ask for bottled water because they know better than to consume what comes out of the tap.  And in rural Alpaugh, a few miles west of Highway 99 in Tulare County, residents such as Sandra Meraz have spent more than four decades worrying about what flows from their faucets. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  360,000 Californians have unsafe drinking water. Are you one of them?  See also: Does your water fail to comply with drinking water standards?

New technology can purify ‘dirty’ winter stormwater:  “New filtration technology at San Jose Water Company’s Montevina Water Treatment Facility means winter storm water that’s captured in the Santa Cruz Mountains can now be purified for drinking water — something they couldn’t do before.  The Montevina plant is adjacent to Lexington Reservoir in Los Gatos and produces about 10 percent of the West Valley’s drinking water supply. But the new technology could boost that to 30 percent.  “It now has an ultra-membrane filtration system that treats water to the highest standards available,” said San Jose Water’s Eric Thornburg. “The membranes have microscopic holes that are so small you can’t see them. They trap impurities and filter the water under pressure, so it comes out clean on the other side.” ... ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  New technology can purify ‘dirty’ winter stormwater

How Climate Change Ignites Wildfires From California to South Africa: “The link between climate change and more frequent, severe wildfires is well-known, but two new studies published in Geophysical Research Letters this month provided more insight into exactly how warming temperatures are increasing fire risk around the world.  In fire-weary California, urbanization and global warming are increasing ground temperature along the southern coast, decreasing cloud cover and increasing the risk of wildfires.  Meanwhile, in the Mediterranean and temperate parts of the Southern Hemisphere, it’s what comes out of the clouds that causes the problems: Lightning-ignited fires are on the rise and likely to keep rising with global temperatures. … ”  Read more from EcoWatch here:  How Climate Change Ignites Wildfires From California to South Africa

As Microplastics Invade Every Ecosystem, More Research and Action Needed: “In recent months, what is a truly monumental overuse of plastic has become more and more apparent in numerous ways. In 2017, we learned that microplastics had been found on every single beach scientists tested for them. Just a few months ago, researchers revealed that the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” which is three times the size of France, contains up to 16 times more plastic than we previously thought.  Now, recent writing from Chelsea M. Rochman of the University of Toronto’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology indicates that we may just be scratching the surface of our microplastic problem here on Earth. Rochman corresponded with EM about her work. … ”  Read more from the Environmental Monitor here: As Microplastics Invade Every Ecosystem, More Research and Action Needed

In regional news and commentary today …

Tensions run high as Klamath Project irrigators, tribes try to balance water:  “Driving along mostly empty county roads near the small town of Malin, Ore., Paul Crawford stops to survey his stunted wheat and alfalfa fields, which are soaking in the relief of a rare and much-needed spring thunderstorm.  Crawford grabs a shovel and digs into the soil, finding moisture reaching an inch or so deep. It may not be much, but it is more than he expected from the previous night’s rain, and enough to turn some of the wilted plants a healthier shade of green.  “That makes me feel good,” said Crawford, who along with roughly 2,000 other irrigators within the Klamath Project has had little to feel good about on the farm this year. … ”  Read more from the Capital Press here:  Tensions run high as Klamath Project irrigators, tribes try to balance water

Multiple developments reported on Klamath issues:  “News on various fronts regarding the Klamath River has rolled in in recent days, from a new lawsuit to a water quality certification out of Oregon.  The potential transfer of four dams on the Klamath River is currently under consideration by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which has also been asked to consider allowing for the dams’ removal.  The Klamath River Renewal Corporation, a nonprofit entity created to take on the dam removal project, announced on May 24 that its Independent Board of Consultants has been approved by FERC. … ”  Read more from the Siskiyou Daily News here:  Multiple developments reported on Klamath issues

Red Bluff:  Weather boosts foul odor from wastewater plant:  “Residents near the Red Bluff Wastewater Treatment Plant have been hit with a bad odor over the last month and a half and Public Works Director Robin Kampmann and staff from the plant have confirmed it is due to a combination of weather and annual plant cleaning.  Nora Schwaller, who lives in the vicinity of the plant, said the smell has persisted longer than normal.  “The wastewater plant has been emitting excessive amounts of what I think is sewage for the last few weeks,” Schwaller said. … ”  Read more from the Daily News here:  Red Bluff:  Weather boosts foul odor from wastewater plant

New Oroville Dam safety advocacy group launches: The Oroville Strong! advocacy group is going by a new name and hoping to increase its reach to those in the greater area who have been affected by the spillway crisis.  The new entity called the Feather River Recovery Alliance will be headed by some of the same leaders; however, it will be disassociated from the Oroville Chamber of Commerce.  One of the alliance’s main goals is to gather a total of 20,000-25,000 signatures on the Hold DWR Accountable petition, which started circulating in February of this year. Currently the group says it has between 7,000-8,000 signatures. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  New Oroville Dam safety advocacy group launches

Butte County: Environmental interests say they don’t have enough input on groundwater committee: “At the Butte County Board of Supervisors’ last meeting, Susan Strachan surprised no one who knows her when she declared that the interests of domestic well users and the environment need ample representation in groundwater governance. She surprised everyone, friends and strangers alike, when she suddenly announced her resignation from the Groundwater Pumpers Advisory Committee—a board created expressly to accord citizen input to policymakers.  The supervisors’ meeting May 22 came a day after the GPAC convened at Chico State’s University Farm. To her consternation, Strachan’s colleagues had declined to consider a resolution put forth by the Butte Environmental Council for the county to recognize BEC as a representative of groundwater interests. Supervisors previously passed a comparable resolution for an agricultural group. … ”  Read more from the Chico News & Review here:  Butte County: Environmental interests say they don’t have enough input on groundwater committee

Nevada Irrigation District responds to Squirrel Creek truck crash, oil spill:  “Nevada Irrigation District crews responded to a hazardous materials spill Wednesday after a truck owned by a private party crashed into Squirrel Creek. In addition to providing emergency spill equipment, district crews followed up with cleanup and disposal efforts.  The mid-day accident occurred when a dump truck reportedly lost its brakes on Highway 20 in Penn Valley and crashed into Squirrel Creek.  An NID employee driving by the scene saw emergency response vehicles and began spill response protocol. … ”  Read more from The Union here:   Nevada Irrigation District responds to Squirrel Creek truck crash, oil spill

Twain Harte Lake to reopen in wake of sewage incident:  “Water quality testing samples came back clean Thursday at Twain Harte Lake, and authorities announced the popular, private recreation reservoir will reopen for normal business on Friday.  The reservoir had been closed since Sunday, when a property owner’s sewer line backed up and overflowed about 30 gallons of wastewater into a drain near Twain Harte Lake, according to staff with Twain Harte Lake Association and Twain Harte Community Services District. ... ”  Read more from the Union Democrat here:  Twain Harte Lake to reopen in wake of sewage incident

San Lorenzo Valley Water District challenged by grand jury findings:  “The San Lorenzo Valley Water District since 2016 has struggled to address divisive issues, management of Lompico Assessment District capital projects and support for the Lompico Citizen Oversight Committee, the Santa Cruz County civil grand jury reported Thursday.  In the report, “Encouraging the Flow of Information to the Public,” the 19-member citizen group that is empaneled for a year concluded: “Better communication on difficult matters, an informed and effective assessment district oversight committee and an unwavering commitment to public access, will enable greater transparency and may restore trust and foster better relationships within the (San Lorenzo Valley Water District) community.” … ”  Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here:  San Lorenzo Valley Water District challenged by grand jury findings

LADWP offers status update on status commerical ranch leases in Mono County:  “The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) owns over 315,000 acres of land in Inyo and Mono Counties.  Much of this land is open to the public for recreational use and portions of it are leased to commercial ranching operations for cattle grazing. Recently, concerns have been raised about the renewal of ranching leases in southern Mono County.  Contrary to popular belief, LADWP’s 10 ranch leases in Mono County have never included a guaranteed quantity of water for irrigation.  Both the old and newly proposed leases specifically state that LADWP will provide water for irrigation at its sole discretion, based on LADWP operating needs as the single consideration. … ”  Read more from the Sierra Wave here:  LADWP offers status update on status commerical ranch leases in Mono County

San Gabriel residents with stinky situation after sewage blockage:  “Residents in San Gabriel dealt with a stinky situation as a river of sludge invaded homes due to a backup in the sewer system Wednesday night.  The city scrambled to fix the problem along Arroyo Drive, near Santa Anita Street, before it got worse.  City officials said a sewage blockage impacted the sewer system’s ability to carry sewage upstream, and as a result businesses and residents experienced a backup with their sewage. … ”  Read more from KABC here:  San Gabriel residents with stinky situation after sewage blockage

Where’s the water to support Southern California housing growth?  Here’s what one survey said:  “How can residential developers provide desperately needed housing for Southern California if they can’t secure the water supply to support new growth?  In a survey released this week by the Building Industry Association of Southern California, Baldy View Chapter, that question underpinned the answers from more than 500 respondents in San Bernardino County, a place considered primed for lower-cost housing units.  “Water has become a paramount concern as the BIA attempts to address San Bernardino County’s estimated housing shortage of 65,000 units,” said Carlos Rodriguez, chief executive officer of the BIA Baldy View Chapter in a prepared statement. ... ”  Read more from the San Bernardino Sun here:  Where’s the water to support Southern California housing growth?  Here’s what one survey said

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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