DAILY DIGEST: Federal report cites ‘insider security risk’ at critical Western dams; Bill aims to combat abandoned vessels littering the Delta; South Napa earthquake linked to summer groundwater dip; The never-ending effort to split CA continues to never end; and more …

In California water news today, Federal report cites ‘insider security risk’ at critical Western dams; Folsom, Shasta among dams at risk of ‘insider threats’; Bill aims to combat derelict freighters, trawlers and barges littering the Delta; South Napa earthquake linked to summer groundwater dip; Foresters welcome potentially larger harvest; Measure splitting California into three states qualifies for November ballot; Column: The never-ending effort to dismember California continues to never end; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • Webinar: A river runs through it (hopefully!): Instream flow development in the Eastern U.S.:  The AWRA is hosting a webinar that will examine how eastern states are successfully (or not!) navigating the confines of riparian law to manage rivers for successful instream flow implementation for fisheries, recreation, and ecological benefits.   Click here for more information.
  • Public meeting for the California WaterFix Contract Amendment from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Courtyard Marriott, near UC Davis Medical Center in East Sacramento.  Click here for more information.
  • Webinar: Virtual Waterways: 360-degree imagery brings context to data for citizens and scientists from 11:30 to 12:30: Join the California Water Quality Monitoring Collaboration Network along with Courtney Gallagher and Brian Footen from FishViews and Shannon Quigley Raymond from the San Diego River Park Foundation for the presentation “Virtual Waterways: 360-degree imagery brings context to data for citizens and scientists” and a brief synopsis of what the Foundation hopes to learn and do with FishViews equipment and applications. Click here for more information.

In the news today …

Federal report cites ‘insider security risk’ at critical Western dams:  “Two dams classified as critical to U.S. national security are at high risk for “insider threats” because of poor computer security practices, according to a new federal report.  Too many employees having access to administrator accounts and failures to routinely change passwords have left the dams vulnerable to attacks that could impair operations, an evaluation released Monday by the U.S. Department of the Interior inspector general’s office says.  The report doesn’t name the two dams, and spokeswoman Nancy DiPaolo cited national security concerns in withholding those specifics. … ” Read more from KQED here:  Federal report cites ‘insider security risk’ at critical Western dams

Folsom, Shasta among dams at risk of ‘insider threats’:  “Two dams critical to U.S. national security are at high risk for “insider threats” that could impair operations because of poor computer security practices such as too many employees having access to administrator accounts and failures to routinely change passwords, according to a new inspector general report.  An evaluation released Monday by the U.S. Department of the Interior doesn’t name the two dams, and spokeswoman Nancy DiPaolo cited national security concerns. But they are among five dams operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation that are considered “critical infrastructure,” meaning their destruction or impairment could hurt national security. ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Folsom, Shasta among dams at risk of ‘insider threats’

Bill aims to combat derelict freighters, trawlers and barges littering the Delta:  “They can be bought for a song at a government auction and towed to the Delta, run aground and used as homes or junkyards, but many of these massive, derelict commercial vessels are abandoned and leaking pollutants into the waters.  In 2016, the Spirit of Sacramento, an 85-foot paddle-wheeler built in 1967, was bought at auction for $1,000 after its former owner couldn’t pay fees to Oyster Point Marina in San Francisco. The buyers tried to pilot it up through the Delta, but foundered in False River, an aptly named waterway. It eventually cost around $3 million to clean up. … ”  Read more from the East Bay Times here:  Bill aims to combat derelict freighters, trawlers and barges littering the Delta

South Napa earthquake linked to summer groundwater dip:  “A summertime expansion in the Earth’s crust caused by changes in groundwater may have triggered the magnitude-6.0 earthquake in California’s wine country in 2014, according to a new study.  The August 24, 2014 South Napa quake was the largest to shake the San Francisco Bay Area since the magnitude-6.9 Loma Prieta quake in 1989. It was also the first earthquake in the region since 1906 to break through to the surface, leaving buckled asphalt and cracked soil in vineyards along the length of the . ... ”  Read more from PhysOrg here:  South Napa earthquake linked to summer groundwater dip

Foresters welcome potentially larger harvest:  “California’s national forests face another dry year, continued tree mortality and high potential for more wildfires, so people in the timber business welcomed a recent announcement by the U.S. Forest Service that the agency expects the 2018 timber harvest to be the largest in 20 years.  Steve Brink, vice president of public resources for the California Forestry Association, said the additional harvest would benefit the timber sector, fuels reduction and local economies.  “It appears that the timber target by the Forest Service this year is the highest it has been in two decades,” Brink said. “That’s going in the right direction, there’s no doubt about it.” ... ”  Read more from Ag Alert here:  Foresters welcome potentially larger harvest

Dormant but risky – new state law aims to prevent problems from idle oil and gas wells:  “California is the third largest oil producer in the country. As we speak, almost 81,000 wells across the state are churning out oil and gas or being used to inject wastewater back into the ground. For every three of those wells, however, there’s another one well that’s not doing any of those things—and yet they, too, can deteriorate and contaminate the air and water over time. Now, a new state law aims to prevent those hazards. ... ”  Read more from Valley Public Radio here:  Dormant but risky – new state law aims to prevent problems from idle oil and gas wells

Measure splitting California into three states qualifies for November ballot:  “For the first time since before the Civil War, voters across California will decide in November on a proposal to split up the Golden State — potentially remaking it into three new states.  An initiative dividing California, pushed by Silicon Valley venture capital investor Tim Draper, received enough signatures to qualify it for the November ballot, the Secretary of State’s office confirmed Tuesday afternoon.  Supporters of the radical plan submitted more than 600,000 signatures, and a random sample projected that enough are valid that the measure can go before voters, setting up a campaign that is sure to attract a carnivalesque atmosphere and only-in-California chuckles from across the country. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Measure splitting California into three states qualifies for November ballot

Column: The never-ending effort to dismember California continues to never end:  ““At least they’ve got the conversation started,” concludes Reuters TV reporter Andy Sullivan on the latest proposal to split up California. That must qualify as dry humor, since the conversation on breaking up the Golden State seems never to have stopped at all, especially when involving Silicon Valley entrepreneur Tim Draper. After having failed to win a referendum fight to split up California into six states, Draper’s back with a proposal to make three new states out of it: … ”  Read more from Rueters here:  The never-ending effort to dismember California continues to never end

In commentary today …

Three ways to protect your interests as a groundwater user in California:  Sean Hood writes, “California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) requires each local Groundwater Sustainability Agency to develop and implement a Groundwater Sustainability Plan for its basin and the first plans for critically overdrafted basins are due to be completed by January 31, 2020. Each plan must be designed to achieve safe yield within 20 years.  This new regime of groundwater management is a monumental change in California water law.  … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here: Three ways to protect your interests as a groundwater user in California

In regional news and commentary today …

California water authorities consider removal of Klamath River dams:  “The California Water Boards are in the early stages of considering the decommission and removal of four dams along the Klamath River in Siskiyou and Klamath counties.  The move comes after a nonprofit organization called the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) applied with federal authorities to decommission the entire Lower Klamath Project—a shorthand for the series of dams that regulate water flow along the lower Klamath River.  If the application goes forward, the J.C. Boyle dam in Klamath County, and the Copco No. 1, Copco No. 2, and Iron Gate dams in Siskiyou County would all be decommissioned and removed. ... ”  Read more from KDRV here:  California water authorities consider removal of Klamath River dams

Supervisors call for removal of Scott Dam, solidify stance on Potter Valley Project:  “The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors cemented its position on the future of the Potter Valley Project on Tuesday morning and stated in a resolution that the end goal is to see the decommissioning of the power plant and specifically the removal of Scott Dam.  “We have to work together on this and we have to stand strong for Humboldt County’s thoughts and concerns,” 2nd District Supervisor Estelle Fennell said.  The resolution included in the board agenda underwent a series of tweaks to strengthen language and specify the removal of Scott Dam was “desirable.” … ”  Read more from the Redwood Times here:  Supervisors call for removal of Scott Dam, solidify stance on Potter Valley Project

Marysville Ring Levee project progressing:  “In a few years, Marysville might become the impromptu destination when flood waters start to rise in Yuba-Sutter rivers. Despite the fact the city is shaped like a bowl, work on the Marysville Ring Levee will make the city one of the safest throughout the valley once improvements are completed, experts say.  “Marysville will have the highest level of protection anywhere in the Central Valley of California once the ring levee is completed,” said Tom Engler, project manager of the levee work with MBK Engineers.  The state made it a requirement for all urban areas to have a 200-year level of flood protection – or a one-in-200 chance of flooding in any given year. Engler said Marysville and its 7.6 miles of ring levee will “far exceed” that mandate once work is completed.  … ”  Read more from the Appeal Democrat here:  Marysville Ring Levee project progressing

Contra Costa Canal ownership could change hands:  “Ownership of the 81-year-old canal system that serves as the water lifeline for a half-million Contra Costa County residents could be transferred to the Contra Costa Water District under recently introduced legislation.  The proposed legislation would transfer ownership of the Contra Costa Canal System from the federal government to the water district. U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris introduced the legislation along with Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord. … ”  Read more from SF Gate here:  Contra Costa Canal ownership could change hands

San Francisco supervisors OK $425 million ballot measure for Embarcadero seawall repairs:  “San Francisco voters are all but certain to be asked in November whether to authorize nearly a half billion dollars in city borrowing to pay for upgrades to the aging Embarcadero seawall.  The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a $425 million bond measure for the Nov. 6 ballot that city leaders say is vital to securing 3 miles of shoreline from the threat of earthquakes and sea-level rise. A second vote by the board is required before the measure becomes official. … ”  Read more from SF Gate here:  San Francisco supervisors OK $425 million ballot measure for Embarcadero seawall repairs

Foster City levee bond passes:  “Foster City property owners will pay $90 million to upgrade the city’s existing levee system as mandated by FEMA and amid concerns about sea level rise after semi-official election results show 81 percent of voters approved Measure P.  “We’re very excited. Our community is well educated and always understood the issue at the end of the day and understood we needed to protect our community so tonight’s election results are a big win for Foster City,” said Mayor Sam Hindi. … ”  Read more from the Daily Journal here:  Foster City levee bond passes

Milpitas Chamber told water storage application decision will be in July:  “Chances are good that the Santa Clara Valley Water District will get the $485 million it seeks from the state for the $1 billion expansion of the Pacheco Reservoir, the Milpitas Chamber of Commerce was told Tuesday.  Garth Hall, deputy director of the water district, said officials should learn the fate of the funding request by late July.  “We have agricultural support,” Hall said. “We have cities.” ... ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Milpitas Chamber told water storage application decision will be in July

Morro Bay should stop delaying new wastewater plant – or risk becoming the next Los Osos, says David Betonte:  He writes, “The city of Morro Bay has been trying to replace its aging and noncompliant wastewater treatment plant since at least 2003 — 15 years — well before the tenure of current City Council members.  In January 2013, the California Coastal Commission denied a coastal development permit approved by a prior Morro Bay City Council to build a replacement facility at its current location near the beach. The Coastal Commission identified many reasons to deny the permit, including incompatibility of the project with the city’s Local Coastal Plan; building in a known flood zone; and inadequate provisions for recycling wastewater. … ”  Read more from the San Luis Obispo Tribune here:  Morro Bay should stop delaying new wastewater plant – or risk becoming the next Los Osos

Judge sides with city of Fresno, says city can impose water fees for new development:  “A Fresno Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the city of Fresno and upheld new water fees that ensure new homes will have enough water after some of Fresno’s largest developers filed a petition against the fees.  Judge James M. Petrucelli issued his ruling May 30, saying attorneys for Granville Homes, Wathen Castanos Peterson Homes and Lennar Homes failed to show the fees exceeded reasonable costs, that they would be used for another purpose or that the fees are unlawful. … ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here:  Judge sides with city of Fresno, says city can impose water fees for new development

Cutting edge ag water monitoring and trading program in Ventura County pushes conservation:  “Another year of drought means we’re all once again being asked to conserve.  But, it’s not as easy for farmers on the Central and South Coasts, who need to use groundwater to supplement scarce rainfall. In Ventura County, hundreds of farmers are taking part in a unique water market program.  It not only includes state of the art water usage monitoring, but sets up an exchange, almost like a mini stock market, where they can sell some of their surplus water allocation, or buy surplus water allocated to other farmers. ... ”  Read more from KCLU here:  Cutting edge ag water monitoring and trading program in Ventura County pushes conservation

Advanced Metering Infrastructure and Water Market launches in Ventura County:  “Ventura County is starting an effort to reduce the irrigation needed in local fields. The Advanced Metering Infrastructure and Water Market pilot program is the first program of its kind in the State to monitor water this way.  As farmers up and down the coast gear up for the summer season, many are still concerned with the drought. ... ”  Read more from KEYT here:  Advanced Metering Infrastructure and Water Market launches in Ventura County

Santa Clarita: Owners of groundwater wells sought for advisory group:  “Karl and Shirley Reinecker are the type of people local water officials want to recruit for a new state-mandated committee.  The couple lives on a ranch in Tapia Canyon, north of Valencia, accessible by a dirt road that few travel down, Karl Reinecker said Tuesday.  But the Reineckers pump their water from a groundwater well, which puts them in a very narrow demographic whom specially chosen members of the state-ordered Santa Clarita Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency have been trying to exploit in an effort to form an Advisory Committee. ... ”  Read more from the Signal here:  Santa Clarita: Owners of groundwater wells sought for advisory group

San Dimas: Golden State Water files for rate decreases to pass savings through to customers:  “Golden State Water Company (Golden State Water) recently filed to decrease water rates for all service areas to pass cost savings from the new lower federal corporate income tax requirement through to customers. If approved as submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), rates will decrease by 3.94 percent on July 1, 2018 for residential customers in Artesia, Athens, Bell, Bell Gardens, Carson, Cerritos, Compton, Cudahy, Culver City, Del Aire, Downey, El Camino Village, El Segundo, Gardena, Gardena Heights, Hawaiian Gardens, Hawthorne, Hollydale, Huntington Park, Inglewood, La Mirada, Lakewood, Lawndale, Lennox, Long Beach, Norwalk, Paramount, Redondo Beach, Santa Fe Springs, South Gate, Vernon and Willowbrook. … ”  Read more from HMG Media Group here:  Golden State Water files for rate decreases to pass savings through to customers

Along the Colorado River …

CAP kills purchase of rural land, water rights for suburban Tucson-Phoenix growth:  “The agency that operates the CAP must look elsewhere for water for future suburban growth, now that it’s killed a proposed $34 million deal to buy land and water rights in rural Mohave County along the Colorado River.  Officials of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District aren’t ruling out the possibility of trying to acquire water rights from Mohave or other rural areas on a shorter-term basis. Most likely, the district would pay to temporarily fallow farmland to get water for new subdivisions in the Tucson and Phoenix areas. … ”  Read more from the Daily Star here:  CAP kills purchase of rural land, water rights for suburban Tucson-Phoenix growth

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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