DAILY DIGEST: Metropolitan Water District again approves Delta tunnel funding; Bay-Delta plan would reduce water diversions more in the north than in the south; Opponents sue to nix ballot measure to split California in three; and more …

In California water news today, Metropolitan Water District again approves Delta tunnel funding; Bay-Delta plan would reduce water diversions more in the north than in the south; Opponents sue to nix ballot measure to split California in three; A decade of fracking research: What have we learned?; Nonprofit files plan to remove four Klamath River dams; Community takes control of Ojai water system; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • Public meeting on Cal Water Fix amendment from 10am to 3pm at the Courtyard Marriott, 4422 Y Street, Sacramento.

In the news today …

METROPOLITAN VOTE ON DELTA TUNNELS

Metropolitan Water District again approves Delta tunnel funding:  “The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Tuesday reaffirmed its approval of an $11-billion investment in a massive water delivery project with a vote that highlighted a deepening division on the agency’s board.  The re-vote followed a complaint that some board members had violated California’s open meetings law when they engaged in a series of phone calls and text messages prior to the board’s April 10 decision to finance two-thirds of California WaterFix.  While denying that the communications amounted to a violation of the Brown Act, MWD scheduled another vote. The funding package passed with 59.57% of the vote, compared with 61% in April. ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Metropolitan Water District again approves Delta tunnel funding

Southern California water agency agrees to spend $11 billion on Delta tunnels – again:  “Southern California’s powerful water agency reaffirmed its commitment to the Delta tunnels project Tuesday, agreeing for a second time to spend nearly $11 billion on a majority stake in the twin tunnels.  The vote by the board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California keeps the controversial $16.7 billion project moving forward, although plenty of hurdles remain before construction can begin, including numerous court challenges.  Metropolitan’s board already voted in April to approve a $10.8 billion investment in the project, known officially as California WaterFix, which is designed to shore up deliveries of Northern California river water to the south state while reducing the environmental harm done to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Southern California water agency agrees to spend $11 billion on Delta tunnels – again

Metropolitan re-approves $11 billion for twin tunnels project:  “California’s largest water agency has re-approved a nearly $11 billion plan to fund two enormous tunnels that would be the centerpiece of Gov. Jerry Brown’s ambitious project to remake the state water system.  The board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California on Tuesday repeated a vote it cast in April because of concerns about the legality of the earlier decision.  The environmental group Food and Water Watch and the watchdog First Amendment Coalition questioned whether the MWD violated the state’s open-meeting law through behind-the-scenes campaigning among board members. ... ”  Read more from KNBC here:  Metropolitan re-approves $11 billion for twin tunnels project

Metropolitan votes to spend big on Delta tunnels project:  “The giant utility that provides 19 million Southern California residents with water voted a second time Tuesday to pay for the bulk of a $16 billion state water project, but not before residents again lobbed accusations of “backroom dealings.”  Metropolitan Water District of Southern California board members held a second vote to assuage claims it violated open government and transparency laws when some board members privately discussed the California WaterFix project before the April board meeting. A public records request of the water agency’s communications between board members backed up the claims. … ”  Read more from Courthouse News Service here:  Metropolitan votes to spend big on Delta tunnels project

STATE WATER BOARD BAY-DELTA PLAN PROPOSAL

Plans would reduce water diversions more in the north than in the south: “A final draft plan for the San Joaquin River system has been released by state water regulators. It was met with howls of outrage over reductions in the amount of water that could be sucked out of the river.  The plan was labeled a “water grab” and the “the first shot in a new water war.”  But Friday the State Water Board also released a “framework” for a similar plan being prepared for the Sacramento River watershed, which would see even larger reductions of diversions in the north valley. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Plans would reduce water diversions more in the north than in the south

More water for fish: Farmers not happy with State Water Board:  “The people who make decisions about water policy in California should probably not expect a Christmas card from farmers this year.  The Water Resources Control Board wants to increase the water flows in the Lower San Joaquin River System, a system that extends between Merced and Sacramento.  The goal is to save salmon from dying out, but Valley farmers are asking, what about us? ... ”  Read more from Your Central Valley here:  More water for fish: Farmers not happy with State Water Board

State water plan could cut into Central Valley farm production:  “The plan to save a declining salmon population in Northern California comes with a cost to Central Valley farmers.  After nine years of research, the California State Water Control Board is finalizing a plan to help bring the salmon population back, after sharply declining by 90 percent in recent years.  “The conditions are very degraded,” said Erin Foresman, supervisory senior environmental scientist for the State Water Board.  … ”  Read more from Bakersfield Now here:  State water plan could cut into Central Valley farm production

OTHER STATEWIDE NEWS

Appeals Court rejects effort to drain Hetch Hetchy:  “A conservation group can’t force San Francisco and other cities to stop taking water from a glacial reservoir in Yosemite National Park that serves 2.6 million Bay Area residents, a state appeals court ruled Monday.  San Francisco-based nonprofit Restore Hetch Hetchy sued the city in 2015, claiming the operation of a 95-year-old dam and reservoir on the Tuolumne River violates state laws that forbid using “unreasonable methods” to divert water.  In an unpublished opinion issued Monday, the Fresno-based Fifth Appellate District found that because the creation of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir was authorized by an act of Congress, the Raker Act, in 1913, the cities’ right to manage the water resource pre-empts state law. ... ”  Read more from the Courthouse News Service here:  Appeals Court rejects effort to drain Hetch Hetchy

Opponents sue to nix ballot measure to split California in three:  “Opponents of an initiative to split California into three states asked the state Supreme Court to pull the measure from the ballot, arguing it’s too drastic a change to state government to go through the normal initiative process.  A lawsuit filed Monday by the Planning and Conservation League argues major changes to the state’s government structure require approval from two-thirds of the Legislature before going under consideration by voters or a state constitutional convention.  The initiative would break the state into Northern California, California and Southern California. .… ”  Read more from the Capital Press here:  Opponents sue to nix ballot measure to split California in three

NATIONAL

A decade of fracking research: What have we learned? When oil and gas developers began using hydraulic fracturing to tap previously unaccessed sources of fossil fuels across the United States, the American public had a few questions.  Will this process pollute drinking water? Will it cause cancer in the communities close to well sites? What are the ramifications for global climate change?  Hydraulic fracturing — or fracking, as it is more commonly known — is just one small part of the broader process of unconventional oil and gas development. The extraction technique, popularized about a decade ago, has helped unlock hydrocarbons trapped in tight shale formations, spawning a vast web of rigs, wells and energy infrastructure across the country. ... ”  Read more from E&E News here:  A decade of fracking research: What have we learned? 

9 senators’ energy, enviro views may shape Kavanaugh fight:  “Environmentalists and the energy industry are gearing up for a fierce fight in the coming months over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.  While hearings have yet to be set to review the appeals court judge’s long legal record, Republican Senate leaders are hoping to hold them in August or September and then have a confirmation vote for the conservative jurist before the high court reconvenes on Oct. 1.  “We’ll work our way through the process. We believe it’s possible to handle this nomination fully by the fall,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said yesterday. ... ”  Read more from E&E News here:  9 senators’ energy, enviro views may shape Kavanaugh fight

In regional news and commentary today …

Nonprofit files plan to remove four Klamath River dams:  “Four hydroelectric dams blocking fish passage along the lower Klamath River in southern Oregon and northern California are slated for removal under a “Definite Plan” filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  The dams — J.C. Boyle, Copco No. 1, Copco No. 2 and Iron Gate — were built between 1911 and 1962, and are currently operated by PacifiCorp with a combined generation capacity of 169 megawatts.  FERC is now considering a proposal to transfer the project’s license to the Klamath River Renewal Corporation, a nonprofit organization that intends to decommission and tear out the dams. If regulators approve the transfer, dam deconstruction could begin by 2021, opening access for salmon and steelhead to around 400 miles of habitat in the Klamath River and its tributaries. … ”  Read more from the Capital Press here:  Nonprofit files plan to remove four Klamath River dams

High tides rolling into Southern Marin:  “While skies are sunny, officials are warning of high tides surging into parts of southern Marin.  Locations that are historically prone to tidal flooding, such as the Manzanita Park and Ride near Tam Junction and the Highway 101 ramps in that area, will be most likely to flood, according to the Marin County Department of Public Works.  High tides are generally about 6 feet and dubbed “king” as they approach 7 feet, which will occur in the coming days. The gravitational tug of the moon, the sun and the rotation of Earth contribute to the extreme tides, which can occur any time of the year, even when the sun is out. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here:  High tides rolling into Southern Marin

Community takes control of Ojai water system:  “Governor Brown signed a bill on Monday authored by Assemblymember Monique Limón that removes references to the Golden State Water Company on the Ojai Basin Groundwater Management Agency Board of Directors and replaces that position with a Resident Director Position chosen by the Board.  “[The Bill] AB 1794 ensures that the board of directors reflects the new configuration of water suppliers, and helps the new board function smoothly in its mission to preserve and protect the quantity and quality of groundwater in the Ojai Basin,” said Limón. ... ”  Read more from KEYT here: Community takes control of Ojai water system

Ventura won’t turn wastewater into drinking water just yet:  “It isn’t that Ventura city officials are against having treated wastewater turned directly into drinking water. It’s more that no other California city is doing it, the science behind it isn’t clear and most significantly, there aren’t any regulations governing it.  So with that in mind, the City Council on Monday signaled it was more comfortable pursuing indirect potable reuse to repurpose millions of gallons of treated wastewater that used to be discharged into the Santa Clara River Estuary. ... ”  Read more from the Ventura County Star here:  Ventura won’t turn wastewater into drinking water just yet

Southern California: Cemex USA and clean water advocates reach pollution-fighting agreement:  “The CEMEX USA building materials company has essentially agreed to clean up its act in Orange County and elsewhere in Southern California to settle a dispute with regional clean-water advocacy groups.  Orange County Coastkeeper and Los Angeles Waterkeeper filed a complaint in early 2017 that claimed stormwater from CEMEX facilities in Irvine, Compton and Fontana raised pH and metal levels in nearby waterways in violation of the Clean Water Act. … ”  Read more from OC Weekly here:  Southern California: Cemex USA and clean water advocates reach pollution-fighting agreement

San Diego: Water customer files first lawsuit against city over billing controversy:  “The City of San Diego has been sued for one customer’s unexpected spike on their water bill last year.  The small claims lawsuit is the first since hundreds of homeowners across the city complained about seeing their water bills skyrocket from one billing cycle to the next.  “My last bill, which really took me over the edge, was $650, or $675, something around there,” Richard Perez told NBC 7 Responds. … ”  Read more from NBC 7 here:  Water customer files first lawsuit against city over billing controversy

And lastly …

Kayaker spots rattlesnake swimming in the American River:  “A kayaker in California captured video of his unexpected encounter with an unusual swimmer — a rattlesnake slithering through the water. … ”  (eek!!) Read more and watch video at UPI: Kayaker spots rattlesnake swimming in the American River

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

Sign up for daily email service and you’ll never miss a post …

Daily emailsSign up for free daily email service and you’ll get all the Notebook’s aggregated and original water news content delivered to your email box by 9AM. And with breaking news alerts, you’ll always be one of the first to know …


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.

 

(Visited 581 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply