DAILY DIGEST, 4th of July edition: Water bond on the November ballot now Prop 3; Franks Tract restoration moves forward; Proposed ESA ‘revamp’ seen as gutting protections; Trump admin faults Obama rule’s reliance on science report; and more …

Photo by Jeff Krause.

Happy 4th of July!
Wishing you a peaceful and enjoyable holiday …
In California water news today, Water bond on the November 2018 ballot now Proposition 3; Nutria pose a ‘triple threat’; Klamath Dam removal in final approval stage; Franks Tract restoration moves forward; Radio Show: Proposed Endangered Species Act ‘revamp’ seen as gutting protections; Trump admin faults Obama rule’s reliance on science report; Surf’s up! California legislature considers making surfing state sport; and more …

In the news today …

Water bond on the November 2018 ballot now Proposition 3:  “The Water Supply and Water Quality Act of 2018 will appear as Proposition 3 on California’s Nov. 6 ballot. Proposition numbers were recently assigned by California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.  If passed, Proposition 3 would make available $8.9 billion in general obligation bonds to fund projects for water supply and quality, watershed restoration, fish and wildlife protection, sustainable groundwater management and repair of existing dams and canals. Proposition 3 funds would augment $1.6 billion for water-related projects already approved by the voters on June 5 with the passage of Proposition 68. … ”  Read more from ACWA’s Water News here:  Water bond on the November 2018 ballot now Proposition 3

Nutria pose a ‘triple threat’:  “Could a 20-pound swamp rodent ruin California’s water delivery system and farmers’ crops up and down the Central Valley?  Left unchecked, nutria could well do exactly that, wildlife officials say.  Nutria are semi-aquatic rodents that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has described as a “triple threat”: They can damage crops, undermine levees and other water infrastructure, and wreak havoc on wetlands. ... ”  Read more from Ag Alert here:  Nutria pose a ‘triple threat’

Klamath Dam removal in final approval stage:  “A plan to remove four dams on the Klamath River is now just one step away from final approval, which would make it the largest dam removal project in U.S. history.  The Klamath River Renewal Project includes four separate dams on the Northern Portion of the Klamath River near the California Oregon border.  The dams have created inexpensive energy for nearly a century. Dave Meurer with the Klamath River Renewal Corporation said the dams are hurting fish and water quality. … ”  Read more from KRCR here:  Klamath Dam removal in final approval stage

Oroville Spillway bedecked in flags Wednesday:  “There should be quite a view of the main Oroville Dam spillway Wednesday, but you’ll have to walk a bit to see it.  Wednesday wraps up a five-day period when the Diversion Pool is open for kayakers and the Brad Freeman Trail on the north side of the pool is open for hikers and bikers.  Both are open for about three miles from the put-in off Thompson Flat Cemetery Road. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Oroville Spillway bedecked in flags Wednesday:

Franks Tract restoration moves forward:  “The Franks Tract restoration project took a step forward when the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) presented the final draft of its project feasibility study during a Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) meeting in Sacramento on Thursday, June 29, stating that the project is both feasible and expensive.  CDFW’s plan calls for the construction of a berm that would split Franks Tract in two along a line that runs roughly north to south. Approximately 1,000 acres of tidal wetlands would be created by dumping millions of cubic yards of fill on the west side of the berm and in Little Franks Tract. … ”  Read more from The Press here:  Franks Tract restoration moves forward

Radio Show: Central Valley rural residents strive for safe, affordable water:California’s Human Right to Water became the law in 2012, but the drinking water crisis has not abated. While some funding has been provided to improve water systems in some communities, the effort has fallen far short of what is required. Over 260 public and private water systems in the state are out of compliance with safe drinking water standards. That leaves hundreds of thousands of residents without affordable and safe water. Many of them live in the Central Valley. Recently, an effort to secure an ongoing source of funding failed to pass the legislature. But clean water advocates across the state are pressing for action before the end of the legislative session this year. Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.”

Inland Empire water storage project may benefit from state bond measure:  “An Inland Empire water wholesaler is poised to get a boost in state funding for its effort to create a new local water supply that would provide ecological benefits in Northern California.  The California Water Commission has tentatively approved nearly $207 million in Prop. 1 water bond funds for the Inland Empire Utilities Agency’s Chino Basin Conjunctive Use Environmental Water Storage/Exchange Program.  The Chino-based water agency has proposed building a recycled-water treatment facility and distribution system that would treat and store up to 15,000-acre-feet of recycled water in the Chino Basin Water Bank every year…. ”  Read more from the Inland Empire Daily Bulletin here:  Local water storage project may benefit from state bond measure

In the U.S. Southwest, ‘Drought’ Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story: ” … While experts say the Southwest will continue to experience swings in precipitation from year to year, overall climate change is making the region and its river basins hotter and drier. That means humans must adapt to life with less water. “We have to fundamentally change the mind-set of the public, and the way we manage this resource,” says Newsha Ajami, a hydrologist and the director of urban water policy at Stanford University’s Water in the West program. “And one of the ways you do it is, you have to change the terminologies that we use in dealing with water.” … ”  Read the article at Water Deeply here:  In the U.S. Southwest, ‘Drought’ Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story

Proposed Endangered Species Act ‘revamp’ seen as gutting protections:  “The Republican chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee introduced a draft bill this week that has conservationists worried.  The legislation proposed by Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso will significantly revamp the Endangered Species Act, but critics of the move say it will essentially gut the law.  Jason Rylander, a senior attorney with Defenders of Wildlife, is one of many such critics to raise concerns about the proposal.  “The bill would undermine the Endangered Species Act in a whole lot of ways,” Rylander said in a phone interview. … ”  Read more from Courthouse News Service here:  Proposed Endangered Species Act ‘revamp’ seen as gutting protections

Trump admin faults Obama rule’s reliance on science report: “The Trump administration is faulting its predecessor for overemphasizing science in writing a 2015 Clean Water Act rule aimed at defining what isolated wetlands and waterways deserve automatic federal regulatory protection.  At issue: the Obama-era EPA and Army Corps of Engineers’ 400-page review of research on how wetlands and small streams affect downstream rivers, lakes and estuaries.  As it proposes to repeal the Clean Water Rule, or Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS), regulation, the Trump-led agencies say the previous administration gave too much weight to the “Connectivity Report.” ... ”  Read more from E&E News here:  Trump admin faults Obama rule’s reliance on science report

In commentary today …

Large reservoirs remain key to state’s future, says Justin Frederickson:  He writes, “In applying its judgment and exercising its discretion to determine final scores for projects to receive funding from the 2014 Proposition 1 water bond, it is important for the California Water Commission to bear in mind the original stated intent and direction of the measure. The clear will of both the people of California and the state Legislature should guide and inform the commission’s decisions.  The ballot summary for Proposition 1 referred to “$7.545 billion in general obligation bonds for state water supply infrastructure projects, including surface and groundwater storage, ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration, and drinking water protection,” with an argument in favor alluding to “a reliable supply of water for farms, businesses and communities, especially during droughts.” … ”  Read more from Ag Alert here:  Large reservoirs remain key to state’s future

And lastly …

Surf’s up! California legislature considers making surfing state sport: More than three decades have passed since Jeff Spicoli uttered the iconic phrase in the cult classic “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”: “Surfing’s not a sport, it’s a way of life. It’s no hobby. It’s a way of looking at that wave and saying, ‘Hey bud, let’s party.’”  Now California appears to be taking that to heart as the state considers a bill that would make surfing the state sport.  The bill was approved 36-0 on the Senate floor Monday afternoon after some playful sparring over which community is the surfing capital of the world. … ”  Continue reading at the Eureka Times-Standard here:  Surf’s up! California legislature considers making surfing state sport

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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