DAILY DIGEST: Oroville Dam: Senate passes bill to require independent risk analysis; New desalination process could extract vital battery material: lithium; Klamath Project gets long-awaited 2018 drought operations plan; and more …

In California water news today, Oroville Dam: Senate passes bill to require independent risk analysis; New Desalination Process Could Extract Vital Battery Material: Lithium; A leading climate agency may lose its climate focus; When environmental forces collide; Klamath Project gets long-awaited 2018 drought operations plan; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

Oroville Dam: Senate passes bill to require independent risk analysis:  “The U.S. Senate passed on Monday the 2019 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill, which requires an independent risk analysis of Oroville Dam.  Additionally, the bill would order the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to report the findings of an independent panel reviewing the state Department of Water Resources’ dam safety practices to the Senate committee.  Next, the proposed piece of legislation will head to the House of Representatives for reconciliation and a final vote. It passed through the Senate energy and water development appropriations subcommittee on May 24. ... ”  Read more from the Oroville Mercury Register here:  Oroville Dam: Senate passes bill to require independent risk analysis

New Desalination Process Could Extract Vital Battery Material: Lithium:  “Everybody these days knows something about lithium. We know it’s a vital ingredient in the batteries that power the machines we rely on every day: cellphones, laptop computers, electric cars. But most people have no idea where it comes from. Lithium is typically mined from briney lakes in a time-consuming and energy-intensive process.  … Now there’s a solution in the works that could yield large quantities of lithium as a byproduct of seawater desalination. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  New Desalination Process Could Extract Vital Battery Material: Lithium

A leading climate agency may lose its climate focus:  “The Trump administration appears to be planning to shift the mission of one of the most important federal science agencies that works on climate change — away from climate change.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is part of the Department of Commerce, operates a constellation of earth-observing satellites. Because of its work on climate science data collection and analysis, it has become one of the most important American agencies for making sense of the warming planet. But that focus may shift, according to a slide presentation at a Department of Commerce meeting by Tim Gallaudet, the acting head of the agency. ... ”  Read more from the New York Times here: A leading climate agency may lose its climate focus

When environmental forces collide:  “Last year, a combination of unprecedented local rainfall intensities and storm surges from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria flooded Houston, large parts of Florida, and numerous island nations in the Caribbean. Such hydrologic compound events—when the combination of two or more hazard events or climate variables leads to an extreme impact—have a multiplier effect on the risk to society, the environment, and infrastructure [Zscheischler et al., 2018].  Hydrologic extremes, such as floods and droughts, are among the world’s most dangerous and costly natural hazards. Between 1980 and 2013, flood losses tallied more than $1 trillion and caused more than 220,000 recorded fatalities globally. In 2017 alone, major flood disasters in the United States, Caribbean, and Southeast Asia killed more than 1,000 people, caused damages on the order of hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars, and harmed or destroyed the livelihoods of millions of people. … ”  Read more from EOS here:  When environmental forces collide

In commentary today …

California water board should adopt holistic approach to water management, says Mike Wade:  He writes, “Clean, reliable water supplies are vital to everyone who calls California home. The efforts by California citizens to conserve water during the drought helped stretch limited water supplies during a desperate time. Urban landscapes were parched. Many farms did without any water at all. Another drought could occur at any time and yet the State Water Resources Control Board is about to make a decision that could take billions of gallons of water from our farms and urban communities based only on an outdated premise. The board insists that its only choice is to leave more water in the Tuolumne, Stanislaus, and Merced rivers in order to keep those rivers and the San Francisco Bay-Delta healthy. San Francisco and much of the Bay Area depend on water stored in the Tuolumne River. ... ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  California water board should adopt holistic approach to water management

Sites Reservoir is too smart an investment for California to pass up, says Jeff Harris:  “When California voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 1, they specifically called for new storage to help the environment. The Sites project, a proposed off-stream reservoir north of the Delta meets this need, providing as much as 200,000 acre-feet a year of new flows for fish.  Sites is a smart and long overdue investment that the California Water Commission must seize by giving its final approval on Wednesday to as much as $1 billion in Prop. 1 money. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Sites Reservoir is too smart an investment for California to pass up

In regional news and commentary today …

Klamath Project gets long-awaited 2018 drought operations plan:  “It may be several months late, but farmers and ranchers in the Klamath Project finally know just how much water is available for the 2018 irrigation season — pending an injunction requested by the Klamath Tribes to protect endangered sucker fish in Upper Klamath Lake.  The Bureau of Reclamation released its annual operations and drought plans for the Klamath Project on June 18, serving 230,000 irrigated acres in Southern Oregon and Northern California. ... ”  Read more from the Capital Press here:   Klamath Project gets long-awaited 2018 drought operations plan

New, nearly $1 billion reservoir in the works for the South Bay:  “With concerns lingering over the next California drought, the Santa Clara Valley Water District is moving ahead with plans to build the largest reservoir in the Bay Area in some two decades east of Gilroy, north of Pacheco Pass Road. ... ”  Read more from KGO TV here: New, nearly $1 billion reservoir in the works for the South Bay

Modesto Irrigation District removes roadblock to water plant for Turlock and Ceres:  “Modesto Irrigation District leaders on Tuesday backed off previous opposition to a future treatment plant supplying tap water to homes and businesses in Turlock and Ceres.  MID a month ago objected to the cities’ plan, saying that diverting water normally meant for farming could harm MID’s water rights to the Tuolumne River. That opposition could have killed the plan and harmed MID’s relationship with the Turlock Irrigation District, which shares MID’s water rights and which aims to build and operate the treatment plant for the cities. ... ”  Read more from the Modesto Irrigation District here:  Modesto Irrigation District removes roadblock to water plant for Turlock and Ceres

Southern California’s coastal communities could lose 130 feet of cliffs this century as sea levels rise“It’s not just beaches and sand that are disappearing as the ocean pushes inland. Sea level rise is also eating away at California’s coastal cliffs.  The question is by how much, as Californians have heavily developed and continue to build along the edge of the Pacific.  Scientists are now one step closer to projecting how these bluffs will fare this century — and the outlook is sobering. In Southern California, cliffs could recede more than 130 feet by the year 2100 if the sea keeps rising, according to a new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey. ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Southern California’s coastal communities could lose 130 feet of cliffs this century as sea levels rise

Riverside, Imperial County form compact to protect Salton Sea:  “Riverside County supervisors today approved a memorandum of understanding with Imperial County establishing a collaborative approach to preserving and restoring the shrinking Salton Sea.  “This has been a long time coming,” said Supervisor V. Manuel Perez,
who added that the agreement is an acknowledgment of the “legacy” of Supervisor John J. Benoit, who spent years as a legislator and supervisor working on measures to ensure the sea’s longevity. … ”  Read more from Channel 2 here:  Riverside, Imperial County form compact to protect Salton Sea

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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