DAILY DIGEST: Meet the new entity in charge of Delta tunnels project; Five projects rank higher than Sites Reservoir in bid for Prop 1 funds; Plans to pipe a ditch stoke a fight; Senate GOP seeks overhaul of Endangered Species Act; and more …

In California water news today, Meet the new entity in charge of California’s water tunnels project; Five projects rank higher than Sites Reservoir in bid for Prop 1 funds; Bottled water tab at a California prison has hit $46,000 a month; Senate GOP seeks overhaul of Endangered Species Act; Plans to pipe a ditch stoke a fight; Risks to Lake Mead, Colorado River intensifying greatly, federal officials say; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • The Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water will hold an informational hearing beginning at 9am on the proposed contract amendments between the Department of Water Resources and State Water Project Contractors.  Click here for more information.

In the news today …

Meet the new entity in charge of California’s water tunnels project:  “California is about to embark on one of the biggest public works projects not just in its own state history, but in any state’s history. The $17 billion WaterFix tunnel project was approved by the state Department of Water Resources in June 2017 after a decade of study, and now moves into the nitty gritty of construction planning.  And if that weren’t enough, it now appears construction will be led by an entity entirely new to such a massive water project. The local water agencies that stand to benefit from the tunnels have formed a joint powers authority (JPA) to oversee construction, rather than let the Department of Water Resources handle that, as it has historically. … ” Read more from Water Deeply here:  Meet the new entity in charge of California’s water tunnels project

Bottled water tab at a California prison has hit $46,000 a month:  “California’s corrections department is spending $46,000 a month to buy bottled water for inmates and staff at a prison in Tracy where it opened a state-of-the-art water treatment plant eight years ago.  Deuel Vocational Institution draws water from brackish wells on its grounds and runs it through a two-step treatment process before providing it to 2,300 inmates and 1,000 employees for drinking or for showers. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Bottled water tab at a California prison has hit $46,000 a month

Five projects rank higher than Sites Reservoir in bid for Prop 1 funds:  “A number of water storage projects vying for $2.7 billion in available Proposition 1 funding moved a stepped closer to receiving that money with the latest and final application scores recently released by the California Water Commission – Sites Reservoir being one of them.  Component scores are combined to create a cumulative “Total Return on Public Investment Score” for each project, which will be used to rank the projects in tiers. Those tiers will guide a preliminary funding decision in July. … ”  Read more from the Appeal Democrat here:  Five projects rank higher than Sites Reservoir in bid for Prop 1 funds

Senate GOP seeks overhaul of Endangered Species Act:  “Senate Republicans are embarking on an ambitious effort to overhaul the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Draft legislation due to be released Monday by Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) would give new powers and responsibilities for state officials to determine how animals and plants should be protected.  The GOP contends that its goal is not to weaken protections, but to take advantage of the experience of state regulators. … ”  Read more from The Hill here:  Senate GOP seeks overhaul of Endangered Species Act

Pruitt aides reveal new details of his controversial spending and management at EPA: “Two of EPA chief Scott Pruitt’s top aides have provided fresh details to congressional investigators in recent days about some of his most controversial spending and management decisions, including his push to find a six-figure job for his wife at a politically connected group, enlist staffers in performing personal tasks and seek high-end travel despite aides’ objections.  The Trump administration appointees described an administrator who sought a salary that topped $200,000 for his wife and accepted help from a subordinate in the job search, requested aid from senior EPA officials in a dispute with a Washington landlord and disregarded concerns about his first-class travel. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Pruitt aides reveal new details of his controversial spending and management at EPA

In commentary today …

California should turn to markets to solve its water woes, says Jonathan Wood:  He writes,  “After a brief reprieve, California once again is entering a drought. Having just climbed out of the state’s worst drought in centuries, this news is a sober reminder that reform is urgently needed to avoid endless water wars. Thanks to population growth and climate change, the problem is not going away any time soon.  At base, the challenge is that water is scarce in the state and has been wildly overpromised.  … ”  Read more from The Hill here:  California should turn to markets to solve its water woes, says Jonathan Wood

In regional news and commentary today …

Clock ticking for Marysville’s new sewage pipeline:  “Marysville has until the end of the year to stop using its antiquated wastewater treatment plant.  After years of setbacks, officials finally acquired the permits necessary to finish construction of a sewage pipeline to the Linda Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant, but the timeline is closing and they must first get the rights to the land where the E Street MX track currently sits – something the owner of the property has yet to sell. ... ”  Read more from the Appeal Democrat here:  Clock ticking for Marysville’s new sewage pipeline

$6.6 million for deadly Gold Rush remnant’s removal:  “Nevada Irrigation District’s decade-long quest to dredge sediment and remove mercury from it at Combie Reservoir in Meadow Vista is poised to start work in September.  Contracts worth $6.6 million on a project expected to total $7.5 million in costs were approved at Wednesday’s board meeting in Grass Valley.  The main contract for $4.6 million with Great Lakes Environmental & Infrastructure and Teichert Aggregates is for dredging the sediment and then removing the mercury on land with an innovative centrifuge process. … ”  Read more from the Colfax Record here:  $6.6 million for deadly Gold Rush remnant’s removal

Plans to pipe a ditch stoke a fight:  ““We have already secured an attorney and are fund-raising.”  That statement by Pollock Pines resident Jeff Leddy pretty much sums up the reaction by many residents against plans by El Dorado Irrigation District to pipe the Upper Main Ditch.  Leddy and about 60 other people gathered Wednesday evening in the Pollock Pines-Camino Community Center where staff from EID set up informational boards around the room and answered questions regarding the project and the draft Environmental Impact Report that had just been released to the public. …. ” Read more from the Mountain Democrat here:  Plans to pipe a ditch stoke a fight

Mammoth Lakes has a bad corporate neighbor, says Patrick Hayes:  He writes, “Wake up California! We have a potential water quality crisis right here in our own backyard. Mammoth Lakes is the mountain destination for millions of Southern Californians, and one bad corporate neighbor may be putting it all at risk. Ormat Technologies LLC — a foreign-owned, multi-billion-dollar geothermal energy giant — opposes implementing reasonable safeguards to protect the public, placing the entire community’s drinking water supply at risk. … ”  Read more from the Riverside Press-Enterprise here:  Mammoth Lakes has a bad corporate neighbor

Drought conditions spread through out California: Here’s what San Luis Obispo County looks like:  “Heading into the heart of summer, drought conditions have held steady in San Luis Obispo County but worsened in other parts of the state.  Abnormally dry and moderate drought conditions have spread along the Northern California coast and into fire-scorched areas north of the Bay Area, according to recent U.S. Drought Monitor maps.  Much of the Central Coast was saved from severe drought conditions after “Minor Miracle March” storms swept through the area during the spring. … ”  Read more from the San Luis Obispo Tribune here:  Drought conditions spread through out California: Here’s what San Luis Obispo County looks like

Santa Barbara: Public meeting set to gather input for countywide stormwater plan:  “Santa Barbara County Water Agency will hold a meeting Thursday, July 19, to provide information and receive public comments about the draft Santa Barbara Countywide Integrated Storm Water Resource Plan.  The public stakeholder meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the Planning Commission Hearing Room of the County Administration Building at 105 E. Anapamu St. in Santa Barbara. ... ”  Read more from the Santa Maria Times here:  Public meeting set to gather input for countywide stormwater plan

Along the Colorado River …

Risks to Lake Mead, Colorado River intensifying greatly, federal officials say:  “The risks of Lake Mead dropping to catastrophically low levels have ramped up dramatically, say federal officials who came here Thursday to push for completion of a long-stalled drought plan for the Colorado River Basin.  At a presentation before hundreds of local and state officials, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman and a top aide warned that the risks to the lake are unacceptable. They said it’s urgent that Arizona officials resolve their differences over the drought plan and get on board with six other Colorado River Basin states that are moving toward adopting one. … ”  Read more from the Arizona Daily Sun here:  Risks to Lake Mead, Colorado River intensifying greatly, federal officials say

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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