DAILY DIGEST: ‘Water tax’ debate continues after budget passage; Official confident Oroville Dam spillway project will be completed on time; By 2045, rising seas could flood thousands of coastal homes; New tool will help save water by measuring plant health from space; and more …

In California water news today, ‘Water tax’ debate continues after California budget passage; Official confident Oroville Dam spillway project will be completed on time; By 2045, rising seas could flood thousands of coastal homes; 30 years after warning of global warming: They were right; New tool will help save water by measuring plant health from space; Renewing the water workforce: Improving water infrastructure and creating a pipeline to opportunity; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

‘Water tax’ debate continues after California budget passage:  “The California budget doesn’t include it, but Gov. Jerry Brown is not done pushing for a new charge on water users, which would fund clean drinking water in rural areas of the state that currently have unsafe tap water.  About a dollar a month for most users would help pay for clean tap water for 200,000 Californians in such communities. Passage of the charge would require approval by two-thirds of state lawmakers. … ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:  ‘Water tax’ debate continues after California budget passage

Official confident Oroville Dam spillway project will be completed on time:  “With just over four months to go until the self-imposed deadline, construction crews are busy piecing the Lake Oroville main spillway together. An official with the Department of Water Resources said they are confident the November 1 milestone will be met.  “Construction work for the Lake Oroville Spillways Emergency Recovery Project is on schedule,” said Erin Mellon, assistant director of public affairs for DWR.  Blasting was completed earlier this month on the upper chute, which is being completely rebuilt this year. Crews are currently preparing the upper chute for the placement of structural concrete slabs and walls. … ”  Read more from the Appeal Democrat here:  Official confident Oroville Dam spillway project will be completed on time

By 2045, rising seas could flood thousands of coastal homes:  “Sea-level rise could swamp thousands of homes in the San Francisco Bay Area, most in Silicon Valley and Marin, within 30 years. A new study from the Union of Concerned Scientists, relying on federal government projections for climate change, found that more than 20,000 homes across California would chronically flood by 2045. That is about a mortgage-length’s-time from now.  UCS climate scientist Kristy Dahl, an author of the new report, says she noticed that the Bay Area homes most vulnerable to rising seas are in San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Marin counties. These are suburbs where people have typically moved to feel safe, says Dahl. ... ”  Read more from KQED here:  By 2045, rising seas could flood thousands of coastal homes

Sea level rise could sink California property values:  “Sea level rise over the next two decades could put more than 20,000 California homes at risk.  A new study of rising sea levels finds that more than $15 billion worth of private property is at risk in California over the next 25 years.  The Union of Concerned Scientists combined property records from Zillow and ocean prediction data to examine the impact nationally. Other parts of the country had more land at risk, but that land is not as populated as the California Coast. … ”  Read more and listen to radio show from KPBS here:  Sea level rise could sink California property values

New tool will help save water by measuring plant health from space:  “Next week, a new instrument designed to measure plant stress will be plugged into the International Space Station. Once operating, the device will deliver unprecedented data about drought conditions and water conservation all over the planet.  The device was designed and built by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. It’s scheduled for launch on June 29 aboard a SpaceX rocket as part of a resupply mission for the space station. ... ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  New tool will help save water by measuring plant health from space

30 years after warning of global warming: They were right: We were warned.  On June 23, 1988, a sultry day in Washington, James Hansen told Congress and the world that global warming wasn’t approaching — it had already arrived. The testimony of the top NASA scientist, said Rice University historian Douglas Brinkley, was “the opening salvo of the age of climate change.”  Thirty years later, it’s clear that Hansen and other doomsayers were right. But the change has been so sweeping that it is easy to lose sight of effects large and small — some obvious, others less conspicuous. … ”  Read more from the East Bay Times here:  30 years after warning of global warming: They were right

Renewing the water workforce: Improving water infrastructure and creating a pipeline to opportunity:  “At a time when many Americans are struggling to access economic opportunity and many of the country’s infrastructure assets are at the end of their useful life, infrastructure jobs offer considerable promise.  Workers in these jobs earn competitive wages and face lower educational barriers to entry.  They develop extensive knowledge and transferable skills that cut across multiple disciplines.  And the coming wave of retirements and other employment shifts in the infrastructure sector means prospective workers can find long-term careers.  The country’s water infrastructure is emblematic of this significant opportunity. … ”  Read more from Brookings here:  Renewing the water workforce: Improving water infrastructure and creating a pipeline to opportunity

In regional news and commentary today …

Report: Marin rated most vulnerable to coastal flooding:  “Amid accelerating sea level rise from climate change, Marin County has the highest number of households in California vulnerable to coastal flooding, according to a report released Monday.  In the worst case scenario, there are a possible 4,377 Marin homes at risk of being inundated with chronic flooding by 2045, the Union of Concerned Scientists reported. There are 20,472 at-risk coastal households in California. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here:  Report: Marin rated most vulnerable to coastal flooding

Imagine the future of the San Francisco Bay shoreline:  “On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy washed into the eastern United States. The storm killed 191 people, razed much of the Jersey Shore, flooded part of Lower Manhattan, and damaged or destroyed 600,000 homes. All told, it caused something like $65 billion in damages and economic loss. Sea level rise alone wasn’t responsible for the destruction, but sea level rise made it worse.  Since 1900, the world’s oceans have risen about eight inches, due both to thermal expansion of the warming waters and to meltwater from glaciers and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. ... ”  Read more from Bay Nature here:  Imagine the future of the San Francisco Bay shoreline

San Mateo: Dam bridge inches closer to completion:  “PG&E crews relocating a high voltage overhead power line to a frame under the Crystal Springs Dam Bridge are helping inch closer to completion a yearslong project increasing the spillway capacity of a 130-year-old dam and expected to connect miles of recreational trails.  Though officials have yet to announce the date they plan to reopen a scenic stretch of Skyline Boulevard where a bridge accessible to drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists sits atop the dam, they are hoping by August they will be able to forecast when a project in the works since 2010 will open to those hoping to catch a glimpse of a watershed storing drinking water for millions of Bay Area residents. … ”  Read more from The Daily Journal here:  San Mateo: Dam bridge inches closer to completion

South Bay Salt Ponds: It’s not pretty – yet:  “About two years ago, Bay Area voters passed Measure AA, a regional $12 per year parcel tax, by nearly 70%. You might remember it as the “Clean and Healthy Bay” ballot measure. It’s goal is to restore thousands of acres of the Bay’s wetlands and to protect our shoreline against sea level rise.  Over the next 20 years, this tax is expected to raise $500 million for wetland restoration. Now part of that money is getting put to use. In April, the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority, the governing board set up by the state legislature to allocate Measure AA funds, awarded close to $18 million in grants to eight projects.  So where exactly is all that cash going to? To find that out we’ll visit all eight of the restoration sites around the bay, plus an additional site slated to receive grant money later this year. … ”  Read more from the California Report here:  South Bay Salt Ponds: It’s not pretty – yet

Inyo Supervisors to vote on agreement on Well 385:  “Inyo County Water Department and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power have reached an agreement on the pumping test of Well 385 in the Five Bridges area. Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors will approve, or not, that agreement.  The agreement allows the two month test to proceed once the Tech Group adopts the Monitoring and Management Plan (dated June 2018 and included with the agreement in the Board agenda packet) and amends the 1999 Revegetation Plan to “temporarily suspend” the requirement to permanently shut off Wells 385 and 386. Required steps are also outlined if LADWP chooses to conduct pumping tests on Well 386 or tests on both wells running simultaneously. … ”  Read more from the Sierra Wave here:  Inyo Supervisors to vote on agreement on Well 385

Compton: At a meeting about brown water pouring from taps, congresswoman says people were paid to speak out in favor of water district:  “At a town hall Monday, Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán alleged that people were paid to pose as residents to speak out in support of an embattled water district, marking a strange twist in the ongoing controversy over discolored water pouring out of taps in Compton and Willowbrook.  The Sativa Los Angeles County Water District serves about 1,600 ratepayers in a half-mile area of Compton and Willowbrook. Residents have been complaining about brown-colored water with a foul odor.  Last week, local officials began the process of dissolving the water district. But the district and L.A. County officials insist the water is safe to drink. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  At a meeting about brown water pouring from taps, congresswoman says people were paid to speak out in favor of water district

Cadiz water project offers reliability, opportunity for the region, says Clifford Young:  He writes, “As president of the West Valley Water District Board of Directors, it’s my job to ensure the district provides customers with safe, high-quality, reliable water service at a reasonable rate and in a sustainable manner. But in Southern California, which faces regular droughts and restrictions on traditional supplies, that can be a tall order.  I was disappointed to read Anthony “Butch” Araiza’s op-ed, which not only took liberties with the truth about the Cadiz Water Project’s environmental safety and sustainability, but gave voice to groups that reject sensible water infrastructure projects. … ”  Read more from the San Bernardino Sun here:  Cadiz water project offers reliability, opportunity for the region

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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