DAILY DIGEST: A changing climate at Mono Lake could mean more dust storms in the Eastern Sierra – or less water for LA; Man’s death prompts warning of hidden danger in the water; Humans, fish consuming microfibers in our food and water; and more …

In California water news today, A changing climate at Mono Lake could mean more dust storms in the Eastern Sierra – or less water for LA; Man’s death prompts warning of hidden danger in the water; Humans, fish, and other animals are consuming microfibers in our food and water; Searing but localized heat wave across SoCal; heat spreads slowly north in the coming days; Multiple drought-fueled wildfires rage across at least four Western states; Staying afloat: States look to integrate water planning to combat predicted water shortages; and more …

In the news today …

A changing climate at Mono Lake could mean more dust storms in the Eastern Sierra – or less water for LA:  “When dust storms began rising off the dry bed of Owens Lake, authorities in the Eastern Sierra blamed Los Angeles’ thirst. The city had, after all, drained the lake in the 1920s to serve its faucets.  Now, as dust kicks up from Mono Lake, authorities in the Eastern Sierra are once again blaming that water-craving metropolis about 350 miles to the south.  But this time, they’re also blaming climate change. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  A changing climate at Mono Lake could mean more dust storms in the Eastern Sierra – or less water for LA

Man’s death prompts warning of hidden danger in the water:  “A Northern California man was sucked to his death under by an irrigation pipe while on the Delta.  It’s a freak accident that has left his family questioning how it all happened. … ”  Read more from CBS Sacramento here: Man’s death prompts warning of hidden danger in the water

Humans, fish, and other animals are consuming microfibers in our food and water:  “It’s 7:48 pm on January 8, 2018, and rain is quenching San Mateo, California’s parched suburban streets. I park my car and don my waterproof jacket and pants, yank on knee-high plastic rain boots, and trudge over to Carolynn Box, science programs director for the 5 Gyres Institute, and Diana Lin, environmental scientist with the San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI). Standing on a footbridge over San Mateo Creek, we are all wrapped, head to toe, in foul weather gear — all of it plastic in one textile form or another. Box plunges a rigid plastic tube into the swiftly moving creek as Lin turns on a pump. Making a loud wamp-wamp-wamp sound, like a sewing machine, it slurps up a 5-gallon (19-liter) sample of water from the swiftly moving stream. …  the creek sampling is part of a two-year research project in which SFEI and 5 Gyres are analyzing microplastics — synthetic fragments 5 millimeters (0.2 inches) or smaller — in water, sediment, fish and wastewater treatment plant effluent released into San Francisco Bay. ... ”  Read more from Ensia here:  Humans, fish, and other animals are consuming microfibers in our food and water

Searing but localized heat wave across SoCal; heat spreads slowly north in the coming days:  “The long-expected shift toward drastically warmer conditions (noted in the previous blog post) will finally come to fruition this week. A lobe of the very strong upper-level ridge that has brought record heat to areas from Denver to Boston in recent days will retrograde slightly on Thursday and Friday. This regional enhancement of the ridge will lead to a pretty unusual atmospheric set-up across SoCal, with deep southeasterly flow aloft but easterly to even northerly winds closer to the surface. This pattern will result in locally quite strong offshore flow, which will combine with the already very hot airmass aloft to produce strong compressional heating in downslope flow regions–which will encompass most of the major metro areas. Meanwhile, the deeper southeasterly flow aloft will advect subtropical moisture from the east–resulting in increasingly humid conditions beginning on Saturday. … ”  Read more from Daniel Swain at the California Weather Blog here:  Searing but localized heat wave across SoCal; heat spreads slowly north in the coming days

Multiple drought-fueled wildfires rage across at least four Western states:  “Dozens of wildfires tore across wide swaths of Alaska, California, Colorado and other western states Wednesday, with meteorologists warning of more blazes due to strong winds, dry conditions and low humidity.  About 70 fires are now consuming around 630,000 acres, from Alaska — where 19 large blazes were reported — to California, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah, where at least six wildfires continue to burn in each state, according to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. Officials say there has been a decrease in the amount of acreage burning because some fires are being contained. … ”  Read more from KTLA here:  Multiple drought-fueled wildfires rage across at least four Western states

Staying afloat:  States look to integrate water planning to combat predicted water shortages:  “Attendees at a recent town hall in Denver were asked if they wanted to see the city host Amazon’s next headquarters, which would bring an estimated 50,000 high-paying jobs. The group was split—half in favor; half opposed. A major contention was whether the state has the resources to meet the current demands of growth. Colorado State Rep. Marc Catlin (R-Montrose) voiced a particularly poignant concern: whether Colorado has the water supply to keep up with increased population growth. … ”  Read more from the University of Denver Law Review here:  Staying afloat:  States look to integrate water planning to combat predicted water shortages

In commentary today …

The best place for California’s water is underground, says Jacques Leslie:  He writes, “Here’s a suggestion for decision-makers on the California Water Commission who are now finalizing the distribution of $7.5 billion in bond money for storage projects: Look underground.  The state should give up — at last — on dated, expensive, environmentally destructive dams and instead put funds toward infrastructure and programs that would help us store more water in aquifers, where there’s plenty of room. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  The best place for California’s water is underground

In regional news and commentary today …

Klamath County intervenes in Klamath Tribes water allocation lawsuit:  “Klamath County has joined multiple groups intervening in a lawsuit filed by the Klamath Tribes against the federal government, which seeks to protect endangered suckerfish in Upper Klamath Lake.  On Tuesday, county commissioners voted to file an amicus brief to become a “friend of the court,” allowing the county to present information that may impact a judge’s ruling on the case. County Counsel Mika Blain said she expected the brief to be filed by the end of the day Tuesday. … ”  Read more from the Herald & News here:  Klamath County intervenes in Klamath Tribes water allocation lawsuit

Lodi: Flood releases cause concern about river debris: Fallen trees and debris are clogging the Mokelumne River, and Woodbridge Irrigation District Manager Andy Christensen, along with property owners along the river, are pointing the finger at the East Bay Municipal Utility District.  According to Christensen, during the heavy 2016-17 flood year, EBMUD made releases out of the Camanche Dam that were right up to their allowable limit of 5,000 cubic feet per second, which knocked several trees and debris into the river and caused damage to surrounding properties. … ”  Read more from the Lodi News-Sentinel here:  Flood releases cause concern about river debris

Patterson: One huge project down …Del Puerto Water District General Manager Anthea Hansen is not the kind of person to shy away from a challenge – and the miles of pipeline carrying treated water from the City of Modesto’s wastewater treatment plant, under the San Joaquin River and out to the Delta Mendota Canal is proof, for anyone who might be uninformed enough to need it.  In fact, given her recent success with the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program, it’s not surprising that she’s already looking ahead to the next big project. … ”  Read more from the Patterson Irrigator here:  One huge project down …

Rapid snow melt will chill rivers and lakes in Central California:  “A heat wave in the high country is going to melt what’s left of the snow pack.  In the days ahead the water temperature is going to get a lot colder in Central California rivers and lakes.  The National Weather Service in Hanford issued a warning Tuesday that rapid snow melt will create chilly rivers and streams in the high country. … ”  Read more from Fox News here:  Rapid snow melt will chill rivers and lakes in Central California

Ridgecrest: Indian Wells Valley Water District committee discusses pumping fees, information flow:  “Definitions of what a de minimis groundwater user might or might not be came up at Indian Wells Valley Water District water management committee Friday afternoon, along with cash flow issues connected to the IWV Groundwater Authority.  The committee, consisting of board members Ron Kicinski and Chuck Cordell, with general manager Don Zdeba and operations manager Jason Lillian, discussed the topic along with members of the public. … ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Indian Wells Valley Water District committee discusses pumping fees, information flow

San Diego: Does your school have lead in the water? Eleven schools in San Diego County had unsafe levels of lead in drinking water last year, according to new data from the California State Water Resources Control Board, and more test results are expected soon as schools adhere to new legislation.  Gov. Jerry Brown in October signed a law that requires community water systems to test drinking water for lead in all public schools that serve kindergarten through 12th grade by July 2019. It took effect in January 2017. So far, more than 500 schools in the county have been tested. ... ”  Read more from the San Diego Union Tribune here:  Does your school have lead in the water?

More news and commentary in the holiday edition …

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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