DAILY DIGEST: No, Californians, you won’t be fined $1000 if you shower and do laundry on the same day; Cal Water Fix developments continue; New push to clean up abandoned boats in the Delta; Work progressing on upper level of Lake Oroville spillway; and more …

In California water news today, No, Californians, you won’t be fined $1000 if you shower and do laundry on the same day; California Water Fix developments continue; There’s a new push to clean up abandoned boats in the Delta; Work progressing on upper level of Lake Oroville spillway; Oroville Dam excavator operator sustains minor injuries; California state officials voice concerns over federal plan to raise Shasta Dam; Assembly, Senate budget committees approve versions of AB 623, the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund; Harvesting rain: Indian Americans prepare for drought; Potential lawsuit to help starving orcas takes aim at the Trump Administration; U.S. coastal flooding breaks records as sea level rises, NOAA report shows; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

No, Californians, you won’t be fined $1000 if you shower and do laundry on the same day:  “No, Californians, it’s not against the law to shower and do laundry on the same day — even though loud voices in the conservative blogosphere are claiming it is.  Taking aim at two water-conservation laws signed last week by Gov. Jerry Brown, a conspiratorial far-right financial blog called Zero Hedge reported Sunday that Californians could be fined $1,000 a day if they bathe and wash their clothes on the same day.  “If you don’t plan to comply it’s going to be way cheaper to move,” the blog post stated. ... ”  Continue reading at the Sacramento Bee here:  No, Californians, you won’t be fined $1000 if you shower and do laundry on the same day  (And yet it continues … (rolling eyes) … Snopes, people!)

California Water Fix developments continue:  “Over the last few weeks, several significant developments related to the California WaterFix project have occurred, not the least of which was the formal creation of the Delta Conveyance and Design Construction Authority (DCA).  A joint exercise of powers agreement between the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the DCA gives the the DCA responsibility to staff, design, contract, construct and finance the California WaterFix project. The DCA is comprised of three water agencies; the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD), which is also from Southern California, and the Zone 7 Water Agency, a Bay Area water agency serving 220,000 people in Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore.   … ” Read more from The Press here:  California Water Fix developments continue

There’s a new push to clean up abandoned boats in the Delta“An effort is underway inside the state Capitol to address the growing issue of abandoned and derelict commercial boats littering the riverbanks of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  During the last aerial survey in 2017, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife estimated there were at least 51 commercial boats dumped throughout the Delta. … ” Read more from KCRA here:  There’s a new push to clean up abandoned boats in the Delta

Work progressing on upper level of Lake Oroville spillway:  “Construction on the upper level of the Lake Oroville Spillway has progressed, while work continues on the middle and lower sections of the spillway.  The California Department of Water Resources says it has completed the demolition of the top 730 feet of the spillway and is preparing to pour concrete slabs and walls.  Drains and anchors are being installed on the middle section. More concrete will be poured when that work is done. At the bottom, the large blocks — called “energy dissipators” — will receive new concrete and steel dowels. … ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:  Work progressing on upper level of Lake Oroville spillway

Oroville Dam excavator operator sustains minor injuries:  “An excavator slid down the Oroville Dam spillway slope on Sunday morning, resulting in minor injuries to its operator, the state Department of Water Resources confirmed on Wednesday.  Erin Mellon, assistant director of public affairs for DWR, said that the operator immediately got back to work after the accident, which is currently under investigation by the department and Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., the lead contractor for the construction project.  “An operator was setting up to cross the roller-compacted concrete section of the main spillway early Sunday morning when the traction gave way and the excavator began to slide,” Mellon wrote in an email. “The excavator stopped at the construction joint between the roller-compacted concrete and the lower structural section that was placed last year. The excavator did not hit any walls.” ... ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Oroville Dam excavator operator sustains minor injuries

California state officials voice concerns over federal plan to raise Shasta Dam:  “In a March of 2018 letter, John Laird, the secretary for the California Natural Resources Agency, asked members of Congress to “not pursue the Shasta Dam enlargement project,” primarily because heightening the dam would violate the McCloud’s Wild and Scenic protections.  But the feds don’t seem to be listening.  “Congress hasn’t yet given permission [to the Bureau of Reclamation] to waive the state law, but they did give them 20 million bucks,” said Ron Stork, senior policy advocate with the Sacramento-based group Friends of the River. … ”  Read more from Pacific Standard here:  California state officials voice concerns over federal plan to raise Shasta Dam

Assembly, Senate budget committees approve versions of AB 623, the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund:  “A state fund to fix contaminated water systems did not make it out of the legislature last fall but is being considered as part of the Governor’s 2018-19 budget.  Last month, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee adopted Governor Brown’s proposal for a one-time loan of $4.7 million from the State Treasury to establish the Safe and Affordable Clean Drinking Water Fund as a budget trailer bill. The bill is based on Senate Bill 623, which was introduced by Senator William Monning (D-Santa Cruz) last year.  In the Senate, the budget subcommittee adopted an alternative to the Governor’s proposal that would also allocate funds from the State treasury for clean drinking water projects. ... ”  Read more from the Foothills Sun Gazette here:  Assembly, Senate budget committees approve versions of AB 623, the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund

Harvesting rain: Indian Americans prepare for drought:  “California’s immigrant communities have long been among the leading proponents of state and local measures to protect and safeguard the environment. But in the South Asian community, many residents have also begun to take matters into their own hands.  From the rural farmlands of the Central Valley to the high-tech heart of suburban Silicon Valley, Indian Americans have begun to embrace conservation strategies that can help better prepare them and the watersheds they depend on for the expected challenges of climate change. ... ”  Read more from Indian Currents here:  Harvesting rain: Indian Americans prepare for drought

Potential lawsuit to help starving orcas takes aim at the Trump Administration:  “A population of orcas living along the Pacific Coast are starving and have to face environmental hurdles like oil spills and water pollution – factors threatening their survival, claims an advocacy group seeking legal action against the government.  The Center for Biological Diversity on Wednesday announced it has filed legal notice aimed at the Trump administration to protect the last remaining Southern Resident killer whales that live off the coast along Oregon, Washington, Canada and sometimes coming as far south as Monterey, California.  According to the notice, the administration has “unlawfully delayed critical habitat designations sought by the Center in a 2014 petition under the Endangered Species Act.” … ”  Read more from the Redlands Daily Facts here:  Potential lawsuit to help starving orcas takes aim at the Trump Administration

The heat is back on high: May smashes US temperature records:  “Record heat returned to the United States with a vengeance in May.  May warmed to a record average 65.4 degrees in the Lower 48 states, breaking the high of 64.7 set in 1934, according to federal weather figures released Wednesday. May was 5.2 degrees above the 20th century’s average for the month.  Weather stations in the nation broke or tied nearly 8,600 daily heat records in May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported. It hit 100 in Minneapolis on May 28, the earliest the city has seen triple digits. … ”  Read more from AP here:  The heat is back on high: May smashes US temperature records

U.S. coastal flooding breaks records as sea level rises, NOAA report shows:  “The nation’s coasts broke records for tidal flooding over the past year as storms combined with rising seas to inundate downtown areas of Miami, Boston and other major cities, according to a federal report released Wednesday.  While some of the flooding coincided with hurricanes and nor’easters, much of it was driven mainly by sea level rise fueled by climate change, scientists with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) write. ... ”  Read more from Inside Climate News here:  U.S. coastal flooding breaks records as sea level rises, NOAA report shows

In commentary today …

Support the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Act, says Dusty Ference, Kings County Farm Bureau:  He writes, “One of many pieces of legislation to be voted on this year by the California legislature is a Budget Trailer Bill (BTB), formerly SB 623, that will create the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Act.  The act will establish a fund managed by the State Water Resources Control Board to which all California water users will pay a modest fee, while providing a pathway to compliance for agriculture as it relates to nitrate levels in groundwater. Those funds will then be used to upgrade and update drinking water systems for disadvantaged communities throughout California, ensuring every citizen has access to safe and affordable drinking water. … ” Read more from the Hanford Sentinel here:  Support the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Act

In berry country, California farmers get innovative to save groundwater:  Kristen Ceres writes, “Red and purple berries ripening in vast fields. The sun shining in a blue sky as workers in broad-brimmed hats pluck the best berries from the strawberry tufts and blackberry vines.  The bucolic scene in Ventura County along the Southern California coast belies the exacting science and sharp business decisions involved in the farming underway here, where many grow for Driscoll’s Berries and water availability can make or break a season.  Driscoll’s and its farmers don’t leave much to chance, having weathered drought conditions through much of this decade. And now they’re working on the next big challenge – implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and working to recharge the aquifer through a water recycling program. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  In berry country, California farmers get innovative to save groundwater

In regional news and commentary today …

Lake Almanor Watershed Group tackles host of issues:  “The Lake Almanor Watershed Group met Wednesday, May 9, in the Maidu Summit Consortium conference room in Chester to discuss water issues as they relate to the Almanor Basin.  In attendance were board members Aaron Seandel, Bridie Johnston, Peggy Fulder, Carl Felts and Charlie Plopper.  Courtney Gomola, watershed coordinator, and Dr. Gina Johnston, retired CSU Chico limnologist, were also present, along with Ricky Prows and Chairman Ben Cunningham, representing the Maidu Summit Consortium. ... ”  Read more from Plumas County News here:  Lake Almanor Watershed Group tackles host of issues

Humboldt County marijuana industry faces lawsuit by environmental group:  “An Arcata-based environmental organization filed a lawsuit Wednesday claiming the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors’ recent expansion of the local cannabis industry violated state laws by allowing for new and larger farms in watersheds without first studying the impacts.  “The impacts of Humboldt’s cannabis industry are driving salmon and steelhead extinct in our watersheds,” Friends of the Eel River Conservation Director Scott Greacen said in a Wednesday afternoon statement after their group filed the lawsuit. “The county has gone ahead with permitting even more operations without doing the work needed to understand, much less minimize, those impacts.” ... ”  Read more from the Times-Standard here:  Humboldt County marijuana industry faces lawsuit by environmental group

North Coast divers take the plunge, target hordes of purple urchins:  “They came off the ocean floor by the hundreds, spiky purple spheres scraped into canvas bags by divers from around the North Bay compelled to try to preserve what remains of the North Coast’s ravaged kelp forest and the red abalone fishery it once supported.  About 7,100 pounds of kelp-gobbling purple urchins — an estimated 56,800 individual organisms — were collected over a two-day cull that drew 100 sport divers to the rocky Ocean Cove on the Sonoma Coast to vent long pent-up frustration and angst over the state of their diving grounds. … ”  Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here:  North Coast divers take the plunge, target hordes of purple urchins

Major flood risk reduction and dam safety enhancements planned for New Bullards Bar:  “A significant reduction in flood risk and enhancements to dam safety are in the works for Yuba County, according to a release.  Yuba County Water Agency recently approved moving forward with the environmental documentation, permitting and design of a secondary spillway at New Bullards Bar Dam.  The construction of an estimated $160 million secondary spillway will increase water release capabilities in preparation for major storms, ultimately creating additional room for inflows in the reservoir. This will decrease flood risk downstream, including the areas of Marysville, Linda, Olivehurst, Plumas Lake and Yuba City. ... ” Read more from The Union here:  Major flood risk reduction and dam safety enhancements planned for New Bullards Bar

Woodland signs off on Yolo Habitat Conservation Plan:  “In 1995, Tom Stallard was a “freshman” supervisor when the Yolo Habitat Conservation Plan was first proposed. Today he’s a Woodland councilman.  And on Tuesday, Stallard — aided by Councilman Skip Davies, who has helped shepherd the plan the past two years — eagerly endorsed the initiative which sets up conservation programs to protect endangered species.  Woodland was one of last cities to approve the plan and did so after it was formally adopted by Yolo supervisors in late May. … ”  Read more from Daily Democrat here:  Woodland signs off on Yolo Habitat Conservation Plan

Water district delays tentative deal with Poseidon for desalination plant:  “Acknowledging opponents’ concerns, the Orange County Water District board on Wednesday night postponed a vote on updated terms for buying water from the desalination plant proposed for Huntington Beach by Poseidon Resources.  The nonbinding term sheet, which will be considered again July 18, would revise the groundwork for an eventual contract if Poseidon gets the final two regulatory permits needed for construction and the district decides to proceed.  Some 18 residents, environmental activists and representatives from other water districts leveled criticism at the project, questioning the need, the cost and the track record of Poseidon’s 2 1/2-year-old desalter plant in Carlsbad. Numerous opponents also complained that they’d had insufficient time to study the revised term sheet, which was released to the public on Friday. … ”  Read more from the OC Register here:  Water district delays tentative deal with Poseidon for desalination plant

Groups say settlement reached with Nestle’s expired water permit for the San Bernardino Forest:  “Federal officials and conservation groups have reached a settlement that will stop Nestlé from using its 30-year-old expired permit to draw water from the San Bernardino National Forest for its bottled water business, one of the conservation groups says.  The settlement, reached Wednesday in a 2015 lawsuit filed by three conservation groups opposed to Nestle’s water diversions, requires the U.S. Forest Service to decide within 30 days whether to issue a new permit for a water pipeline and Nestlé’s related operations in the national forest, according to a statement from Center for Biological Diversity, one of the groups in the lawsuit. … ”  Read more from the San Bernardino Sun here:  Groups say settlement reached with Nestle’s expired water permit for the San Bernardino Forest

Nestle water fight reaches cease fire:  “Nestlé will temporarily stop pulling water from the San Bernardino National Forest according to the terms of a settlement reached in a long-running federal case on Wednesday.  A coalition of environmental groups, including The Center for Biological Diversity, agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Forest Service that will require the federal agency to decide within 30 days whether to renew the permit that allows Nestlé to siphon groundwater from public lands to be bottled and sold. … ”  Read more from the Courthouse News Service here:  Nestle water fight reaches cease fire

Imperial Irrigation District elections: Candidates backed by powerful farmers fail:  “Southern California voters toppled one Imperial Irrigation District board member and re-elected another, in a low-turnout election that nonetheless could have major consequences for millions of people who depend on water from the Colorado River.  With all precincts reporting, El Centro city councilmember Alex Cardenas led 55-45 percent over incumbent IID director Juanita Salas, with about 1,800 votes counted. Meanwhile, IID board president Jim Hanks led challenger Raul Navarro, a member of Calipatria Unified School District’s board of trustees, 52-48, with fewer than 2,200 votes counted. In a third race, incumbent Norma Sierra Galindo and property tax consultant Carlos Zaragoza got the most votes out of five candidates, meaning they’ll square off in a November runoff. … ”  Read more from The Desert Sun here:  Imperial Irrigation District elections: Candidates backed by powerful farmers fail

Dust rising: As California’s largest lake dries up, it threatens nearby communities with clouds of toxic dust:  On May 29th, 2009, Michelle Dugan and her family began the 600-mile trip from El Centro, California to the Bay Area, where she was set to attend her college orientation. They left late Friday evening, driving through the dusty Imperial Valley landscape and its endless fields of onions, spinach, and alfalfa. Then on to Highway 86, past the desolate shores of the Salton Sea, toward Michelle’s grandmother’s home in nearby Coachella, where they would spend the night before the next day’s long drive.  But at around 9PM, Michelle’s mother received a call: Michelle’s younger sister, Marie, was suffering a severe asthma attack back home and had been rushed to the emergency room. Michelle’s mother hurried back to the hospital, leaving Michelle at her grandmother’s and telling her not to worry. … ”  Read more from Verge here:  Dust rising

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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