DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Drinking water tax dies in budget compromise; Sneak attack on environmental laws shoved into spending bill; Federal legislation introduced to ensure access to clean affordable water; Drought: Cataclysms were predictable for 1,000 years; that’s changing; and more …

In California water news this weekend, California drinking water tax dies in budget compromise; Radio show: Sneak Attack On Environmental Laws Shoved Into Spending Bill; Radio show: Twin tunnels $11 billion water project up for re-vote after backroom dealing revealed; Federal legislation introduced to ensure access to clean affordable water for working families; Drought: Cataclysms were predictable for 1,000 years; that’s changing; EPA: Gina McCarthy’s portrait is done. Pruitt hasn’t hung it up; The science behind the space images of waterways seen on Google Earth; and more …

In the news this weekend …

ICYMI: California drinking water tax dies in budget compromise:A proposed tax on California’s drinking water, designed to clean up contaminated water for thousands of Californians, was abandoned by Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders Friday as part of the compromise on the state budget.  Lawmakers and Brown’s office scrapped the “Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Act,” which would have taxed residents 95 cents a month to raise millions for cleaning toxic wells. Instead, legislative leaders agreed to spend $5 million from the general fund to deal with lead in drinking water at child care centers.  They also plan to allocate $23.5 million from the general fund for “safe drinking water actions later in this legislative session,” according to a Legislative Budget Conference Committee report released Friday. ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  California drinking water tax dies in budget compromise

Radio show: Sneak Attack On Environmental Laws Shoved Into Spending Bill

Radio show: Twin tunnels $11 billion water project up for re-vote after backroom dealing revealed:  “In April, the Metropolitan Water District Board cast a historic vote to fund much of the Bay Delta Twin Tunnels project, an investment of about $11 billion dollars. But now, that vote will be repeated to resolve questions about whether the original vote was legal. Newly released texts and emails show how some board members relied on backroom politics to push through a very high stakes project.”  Listen to radio show (length: 5:52) from KPCC here:  Twin tunnels $11 billion water project up for re-vote after backroom dealing revealed

Federal legislation introduced to ensure access to clean affordable water for working families:  “U.S. Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) on June 6 introduced the Water Affordability Act of 2018, legislation that would help low-income families across the country pay for rising sewer and water bills.  “No family should have to choose between paying for safe, clean drinking water and putting food on the table. Access to affordable clean water is a fundamental right,” said Senator Harris in a statement. “In California alone, rates for water have risen by as much as 71% in Los Angeles and as much as 127% in San Francisco within the past decade. That places a huge burden on families just trying to make ends meet, and it’s our responsibility to act.” … ”  Read more from ACWA’s Water News here:  Federal legislation introduced to ensure access to clean affordable water for working families

Drought: Cataclysms were predictable for 1,000 years; that’s changing:  “When it comes to having a historical perspective on severe droughts, Americans have lived in a bubble.  The National Weather Service didn’t get organized until 1870. What happened before then didn’t get much scrutiny, until three years ago, when the cycles of dryness recorded in 1,000-year-old tree rings were fed into computers.  The extended history was projected into the future through 17 different computer models. They predicted droughts lasting for 10 years, or longer, beginning around 2050. “It suggests we’re moving into a fundamentally different climate compared with the past thousand years,” said Benjamin Cook, a climate scientist with the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, and the main author of the study. … ”  Read more from E&E News here:  Drought: Cataclysms were predictable for 1,000 years; that’s changing

EPA: Gina McCarthy’s portrait is done.  Pruitt hasn’t hung it up:  “There’s a corridor next to Scott Pruitt’s office adorned with portraits of past EPA administrators.  Gina McCarthy’s picture isn’t there.  A portrait of President Obama’s EPA boss has been prepared but was being stored in the office of a career agency official as recently as last winter, according to former EPA officials. Ex-EPA aides tried to set up a formal unveiling at the agency now run by President Trump’s appointees, but that hasn’t happened, according to one former staffer.  EPA won’t say where McCarthy’s portrait is now. ... ”  Read more from E&E News here:  EPA: Gina McCarthy’s portrait is done.  Pruitt hasn’t hung it up

The science behind the space images of waterways seen on Google Earth:  “Google recently unveiled a new feature, “Waterways from Earth,” on Google Earth. The program relies on NASA and NOAA images to show our planet’s waterways from space. Here’s more about the science and stories behind those images.”  Read more and view pictures from NASA here:  The science behind the space images of waterways seen on Google Earth

In commentary this weekend …

Earth’s dismal future mapped Jay Famiglietti writes,Satellite data and images are provocative, even disturbing. They confront us with a global view that can be at once breathtaking, like a piece of art, and yet, in this era of rapidly changing climate, they paint a picture of the demise of the environment. How and if we will respond to what we see is uncertain. That uncertainty lies at the root of our perilous future.  Last month, my colleagues and I published a report the centerpiece of which is a global map, derived from satellite data, that shows how the distribution of Earth’s fresh water has rapidly changed since 2002. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Earth’s dismal future mapped

No denial here: Solving California’s water problems remains a top priority, says Congressman Jim Costa:  He writes, “In a May 10 column on Temperance Flat Reservoir, Bee columnist Marek Warszawski called out local lawmakers who supported the project and said we were in a “state of denial.”  Let me be clear: I am not in denial.  California’s water issues are complex and not easy to solve. … ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here:  No denial here: Solving California’s water problems remains a top priority

In regional news and commentary this weekend …

Humboldt County beaches make ‘Beach Bummer’ list again due to fecal bacteria:  “For the fifth consecutive year, Humboldt County beaches placed on a pretty gross Top 10 list.  Clam and Luffenholtz beaches placed fourth and sixth respectively on the environmental organization Heal the Bay’s Beach Bummers list because of poor water quality — specifically from fecal bacteria contamination.  Last year, Clam Beach was ranked No. 1 on the list. This is Luffenholtz Beach’s second consecutive appearance on the list, moving up from spot No. 9. … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here:  Humboldt County beaches make ‘Beach Bummer’ list again due to fecal bacteria

Feds give $425,000 for Humboldt Bay Wildlife Refuge repairs:  “The Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge is set to receive more than $425,000 from the U.S. Department of Interior as part of a nationwide spending plan to address backlogged repairs at national wildlife refuges and parks.  More than $300,000 will go toward repairing the refuge’s main entrance road south of Eureka and the other $125,000 going to replace the vault toilet at Hookton Slough. Refuge manager Eric Nelson said both the road and the restroom are nearly 20 years old and are starting to show it. … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here:  Feds give $425,000 for Humboldt Bay Wildlife Refuge repairs

Napa Sanitation District could get nation’s largest floating solar farm on ponds:  “Napa Sanitation District’s sprawling water storage ponds south of the city of Napa could become home to floating solar-panel islands on a scale yet to be seen in the state or nation.  Ciel & Terre USA wants to cover 52 acres of the ponds with solar arrays to generate electricity for either PG&E or Marin Clean Energy. That’s an area about the size of the Vintage High School campus, five times the size of Napa’s downtown Fuller Park, bigger than 39 football fields. … ”  Read more from the Napa Register here:  Napa Sanitation District could get nation’s largest floating solar farm on ponds

Bay Area: A regional challenge – designing to live with sea level riseAllison Brooks writes, “The cities, towns, infrastructure, job and event centers, and natural wonders that make our region unique, that drive our economy and draw tourists from all over the world, were all built around our defining natural asset: the San Francisco Bay. And yet, as climate effects cause the bay waters to rise, this great natural resource could become a liability, eroding shorelines, flooding infrastructure and displacing vulnerable populations in low-lying areas.  It is going to take the collective efforts of the best minds to solve this 21st century problem that threatens the very essence of our region. … ”  Read more from the SF Chronicle here:  Bay Area: A regional challenge – designing to live with sea level rise

Salinas Valley:  Drought-resistant water supply basin breaks ground in Templeton: Construction crews broke ground on a new drought-resistant water supply basin on Friday in Templeton.   The “Upper Salinas River Basin Conjunctive Use Project” will capture existing wastewater that is currently being released outside of the Atascadero Basin and return the water to the Meadowbrook Wastewater Treatment Plant.  … ”  Read more from KSBY here:  Drought-resistant water supply basin breaks ground in Templeton

Cancer-causing contaminant found in Tulare drinking water:  “Tulare’s water system failed to meet state water drinking standards, city officials reported in a letter sent to residents this week.  It could take three years to completely clear the cancer-causing contaminant from Tulare’s water supply, city officials said.  Samples taken in April and May showed Tulare’s water exceeded the levels of 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 1,2,3-TCP for short, registering .008-micrograms per liter. The standard is .005. … ”  Read more from the Visalia Times Delta here:  Cancer-causing contaminant found in Tulare drinking water

Water allowed to flow through Bakersfield to accommodate dam repairs upstream:  “Water flowing from Isabella Lake serves as a refreshing reminder that the Kern River does run through Bakersfield — sometimes, anyway, and not always because there’s been a recent abundance of rain or snowfall.  The flow visible this week from Golden State Avenue to about Coffee Road has been attracting residents anxious for a respite from the recent heat. They’re making good use of what has become a relatively rare sighting in the city: a Bakersfield riverbed with water in it.  It may be worth noting that the Kern is running not because this has been a particularly wet year (it hasn’t been), but because of work the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is doing to shore up a dam upstream. ... ”  Read more from Bakersfield.com here:  Water allowed to flow through Bakersfield to accommodate dam repairs upstream

Ridgecrest: Hundreds pack Inyokern Senior Center for Groundwater Authority workshop:  “A packed room, poor seating arrangements, and an upset group of hundreds of Inyokern and Ridgecrest residents defined a Thursday night informational meeting meant to explain upcoming groundwater pumping fees.  Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority personnel attempted to explain the planned fee, required to fund a $1.5 million budget gap for a groundwater sustainability plan.  Within 20 minutes of its start time, the meeting was cancelled, especially when people started leaving. While possibly 100 people were expected, many were left standing outside the room or the building, unable to hear what was being said. … ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Hundreds pack Inyokern Senior Center for Groundwater Authority workshop

Ridgecrest: Groundwater authority pump fee adoption to be delayed:  “A planned pumping fee to help pay for development and implementation of a groundwater sustainability plan will be delayed, according to Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority’s attorney.  Ridgecrest City Attorney Keith Lemieux, who acts as the groundwater authority’s lead legal counsel for 2018, confirmed Thursday night that the planned groundwater extraction fee to be imposed on major water pumpers in the IWV basin needs to be re-addressed.  “There are a couple of reasons,” Lemieux said following a Thursday informational workshop. “One is that there has been desire to slow down the process so we can give more people to be notified.” … ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Groundwater authority pump fee adoption to be delayed

Forecast: More drought ahead for Ventura County, Southern California:  “Ventura County has spent five straight months under severe drought conditions, despite some big storms earlier this year.  That’s not expected to change anytime soon – at least not for the better.  “California has gone into its dry season now,” said Adam Allgood, meteorologist with the Climate Prediction Center, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. ... ”  Read more from the Ventura County Star here:  Forecast: More drought ahead for Ventura County, Southern California

Like the world-class resort that is the Coachella Valley? Thank a farmer:  “Have you thanked a farmer today? The Coachella Valley’s local family farms grow a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables — including grapes, dates, citrus, bell peppers, lettuce, carrots, and many more. It makes sense to thank farmers for producing this bounty, but there is something even more valuable that local family farmers have brought to this beautiful valley: water. … ”  Continue reading from The Desert Sun here: Like the world-class resort that is the Coachella Valley? Thank a farmer

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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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