DAILY DIGEST: Where will extra water in Sacramento river come from?; San Joaquin Valley rallies to fight state water plan; Save cliff-side homes or public beaches from rising seas?; The patch of water that can predict Southwest drought; and more …

In California water news today, Where would extra water in the Sacramento River come from?; Oakdale: Area rallies against state’s ‘water grab’; Modesto councilman rallying support to contribute in the effort to fight state water plan; California will face a terrible choice: Save cliff-side homes or public beaches from rising seas; California meets greenhouse gas reduction goal years early; Lawmakers push on Pruitt probe, flood insurance action; Cape Town’s harrowing journey to the brink of catastrophe; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

Where would extra water in the Sacramento River come from? The framework of a plan for the Sacramento River watershed released Friday by the state Water Resources Control Board calls for an increase in the amount of water running into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and out to sea, but it leaves the question of where that water would come from largely unanswered.  It’s a good chunk of water. According to the framework, the target of letting 55 percent of “unimpeded flow” run downstream amounts to a reduction of 17 percent of the current average surface water supply available in the Sacramento River and its tributaries, plus the three rivers that run directly into the delta from the east. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Where would extra water in the river come from? 

Oakdale: Area rallies against state’s ‘water grab’:  “What the Save The Stan organization has advocated against for years occurred Friday, as the State Water Resources Control Board announced plans to divert billions of gallons of water a year from the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers.  “It is an unfortunate plan that ignores our region’s economic concerns, ecosystem science and many good ideas we have proposed for responsible resource management,” Save The Stan officials noted on their Facebook page. “Despite united and widespread opposition from the South San Joaquin and Oakdale Irrigation Districts, other water agencies, local governments, farming experts, economists and business leaders, and thousands of everyday citizens, the state insists on taking water that it has no legal right to. … ”  Read more from the Oakdale Leader here:  Oakdale area rallies against state’s ‘water grab’

Modesto councilman rallying support to contribute in the effort to fight state water plan:  “A Modesto councilman called on the city to contribute toward efforts to resist a state water grab that’s become an emotionally charged issue in the region.  Councilman Mani Grewal said at Tuesday’s council meeting the state plan to take large amounts of Tuolumne River water to rejuvenate the Sacramento-San Joaquin River delta would create a “regulatory drought” in Stanislaus County.  City leaders didn’t say how much could be spent opposing the state proposal. The matter will be brought back for discussion. ... ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here:  Modesto councilman rallying support to contribute in the effort to fight state water plan

Oroville Dam: Concrete flows Monday on ‘splash pad’ expansion:  “Concrete pouring is due to start Monday on the second half of the Oroville Dam emergency spillway “splash pad.”  That’s the only milestone reported Wednesday during a media call on progress to repair the emergency spillway and main spillway, which sustained serious damage in February 2017.  Use of the main spillway was cut back when a hole broke open in it on Feb. 7, 2017. That allowed the lake level to rise until it flowed over the emergency spillway weir on Feb. 11, and onto what was then a bare hillside below it. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Concrete flows Monday on ‘splash pad’ expansion

California will face a terrible choice: Save cliff-side homes or public beaches from rising seas: Like an ax slowly chopping at the trunk of a massive tree, waves driven by sea-level rise will hack away the base of cliffs on the Southern California coast at an accelerated pace, a recent study says, increasing land erosion that could topple some bluffs and thousands of homes sitting atop them.  California officials from Santa Barbara to San Diego will face an awful choice as the sea rises, the U.S. Geological Survey study says: save public beaches enjoyed by millions, or close them off with boulders and concrete walls to armor the shore and stop the waves in a bid to save homes. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  California will face a terrible choice: Save cliff-side homes or public beaches from rising seas

California meets greenhouse gas reduction goal years early: California has hit its goal for lowering climate change-causing emissions early.  The state Air Resources Board announced Wednesday that greenhouse gas emissions fell below 1990 levels in 2016 — the most recent year data is available — four years earlier than the 2020 target set last decade.  “California set the toughest emissions targets in the nation, tracked progress and delivered results,” Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement sent out by the board. … ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:  California meets greenhouse gas reduction goal years early

Lawmakers push on Pruitt probe, flood insurance action:  “Former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt may be gone, but Capitol Hill Democrats want to make sure he’s not forgotten when the agency’s annual spending bill hits the House floor next week.  House Democrats will try to force a floor vote on an amendment to the fiscal 2019 Interior-EPA spending bill that would block the administration from issuing any new rules made under Pruitt’s watch until the agency’s inspector general completes its review of any potential misdeeds related to his tenure. ... ”  Read more from E&E News here:  Lawmakers push on Pruitt probe, flood insurance action

New EPA acting chief signals more inclusive approach:  “Andrew Wheeler, the new acting chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, signaled a more inclusive approach at the agency, telling staffers roiled by months of ethics allegations against his predecessor, “You will find me and my team ready to listen.”  In his first remarks to agency staffers since Scott Pruitt’s resignation last week, Wheeler said he recognized the stress that many might be feeling about the change at the top and sought to reassure them. “I value your input and your feedback,” he said. ... ”  Read more from the AP here:  New EPA acting chief signals more inclusive approach

Cape Town’s harrowing journey to the brink of catastrophe:  “This what a water panic looks like in a major global city.  People hoard water. They queue for hours, well into the night, to fill jugs at natural springs. Like mad Christmas shoppers, they clear supermarkets of bottled water. They descend on stockers before they can fill the shelves.  Restaurants, malls, and offices shut off bathroom faucets and install hand sanitizer dispensers. Exhortations to conserve water are plastered throughout buildings. Above one toilet stall at the University of Cape Town a paper placard with a hand-turned dial indicates the number of uses since the last flush. “Be A Wee-Wise Water Warrior. Only Flush After 4 (No. 1’s only),” it reads. ... ”  Read more from Circle of Blue here: Cape Town’s harrowing journey to the brink of catastrophe

In commentary today …

Time to make a stand and fight for our rivers, says the Merced Sun-Star:  They write, “This is no time to lose heart or traction.  Last week, the State Water Resources Control Board did what it has been wanting to do for a decade, officially proffering a plan to take twice as much water out of our region’s rivers and send it somewhere else. That’s not the board’s official reasoning, of course, but it’s the real goal.  The board insists this is an effort to save “an ecosystem in crisis,” the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The Delta crisis is real, but not because of lack of water. More than 95 percent of its channels and sloughs are artificially “armored” with rip-rap, providing no place for salmon (or Delta smelt) to hide from non-native predators. … ”  Read more from the Merced Sun-Star here:  Time to make a stand and fight for our rivers

Built to serve a variety of purposes, water system struggles to serve any, says Johnny Amaral:  He writes, “Downstream from majestic Mount Shasta is the Shasta Dam and the reservoir now known as Lake Shasta. According to historical records, dam construction started in 1937, and was such a high priority that when some of the men working on the project went to war, they were replaced by men and women who completed the project in 1945.  Since its completion, Shasta Dam has been enormously successful in providing electrical power, flood control, and water storage. Shasta Lake serves as a recreation area and destination spot for sportsmen, nature lovers and families. The 21-mile-long reservoir stores and distributes approximately 20% of the state’s developed water. ... ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here:  Built to serve a variety of purposes, water system struggles to serve any

George Skelton: What do Southern Californians really get out of Jerry Brown’s twin tunnels project?  “The most expensive state public works project ever would be financed primarily by Southern California water users. But it’s not exactly clear what they’d be buying.  Gov. Jerry Brown’s $17-billion twin-tunnels project in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta would either: Deliver more water to Southern California than it gets today; Deliver less; or Deliver the same.  There are wide-ranging views about how California’s largest water hole should be divvied up. More for Southern California homes and industry? More for thirsty San Joaquin Valley farms? More for tanking delta salmon and other endangered species? ... ”  Continue reading from the LA Times here:  George Skelton: What do Southern Californians really get out of Jerry Brown’s twin tunnels project?

In regional news and commentary today …

Local oversight group established for Oroville Dam:  “A local oversight committee will get to have a say as long-term changes are considered for the Oroville Dam, after Sen. Jim Nielsen and Assemblyman James Gallagher recently came to an agreement with the state Department of Water Resources.  Working with an independent review board, DWR is just beginning its comprehensive needs assessment for the dam, said Erin Mellon, the department’s assistant director of public affairs, on Wednesday. The assessment will cover possible additions to the dam such as a fully-lined emergency spillway and improvements, for instance, to the river valve system and refurbishment of the radial gates, Mellon said. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Local oversight group established for Oroville Dam

Hetch Hetchy water’s epic journey, from mountains to tap:  “If you live in San Francisco — or even certain parts of Alameda, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties — a portion of your drinking water travels over 150 miles to get to your tap.  It’s a journey that begins at the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park, a source of drinking water that has a well-known and crystal-clear reputation: It’s so clear that it isn’t filtered – only treated.  Bay Curious listeners Alex Kornblum, 8, and his dad, Heath Kornblum, were talking about their drinking water when they landed on this question:  How long does it take for water to get from Hetch Hetchy to San Francisco? And how far does it travel? … ”  Read more from KQED here:  Hetch Hetchy water’s epic journey, from mountains to tap

Santa Clara: Plans for $1 billion reservoir advance:  “The Santa Clara Valley Water District is moving forward with plans to build a new Pacheco Pass reservoir in San Benito County, which the district describes as a “game-changer” to ease the impact of future droughts in the Bay Area.  If $485 million in state funds are approved this month, supporters they could raise the rest of the $969 million project budget from federal grants and increased water rates to build the largest reservoir constructed in the Bay Area in the past 20 years. … ”  Read more from the Morgan Hill Times here:  Santa Clara: Plans for $1 billion reservoir advance

With an eye towards the future, Marina Coast Water District looks to reduce dependence on groundwater:  “Since its inception, the Marina Coast Water District has relied on groundwater for its water supply, the majority of which comes from the deep aquifer, an ancient, finite water supply believed to be more than 20,000 years old.  But with the ever-advancing threat of seawater intrusion, an increase in agricultural wells pumping from the deep aquifer, and to fulfill contractual obligations with the Fort Ord Reuse Authority, Marina Coast is looking to further augment its water supply and increase its water security. … ”  Read more from Monterey Weekly here:  With an eye towards the future, Marina Coast Water District looks to reduce dependence on groundwater

Fresno:  Fed up, he takes River West trash into his own hands:  “Sometimes there comes a point when even a patient person who has spent much of his life in government and understands how things work there can’t take the red tape and turf wars anymore.  That’s what happened to Tom Bohigian, the longtime state director for former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and a two-term Fresno City Council member.  Tired of hearing that there wasn’t sufficient funding to keep 500-acre River West clean and tidy, he decided eight months ago to assign the job to himself. … ”  Continue reading at GVWire here:  Fed up, he takes River West trash into his own hands

Reedley City Council members critical of latest water bond:  “Members of the Reedley City Council — Bob Beck in particular — didn’t mince words in response to a June 26 presentation by a proponent of the Water Supply and Water Quality Act of 2018 that is on the ballot for the November election.  Dominic Figueroa, a campaign coordinator for Proposition 3 — an $8.9 billion water bond measure meant to follow up on Proposition 1 funding from 2014 — talked to the council in a presentation where he hoped to secure city support by either a vote or proclamation.  Beck wasted no time in telling Figueroa where he stood on the issue. … ”  Read more from the Reedley Exponent here:  Reedley City Council members critical of latest water bond

California commission votes to eliminate Sativa Water District over brown water issues:  “Compton and Willowbrook residents wanted to make sure their message was heard loud and clear during a hearing.”We should have clean water here,” one resident said.  Inside where a meeting was being held, residents told their stories. For months they have complained of brown, murky and smelly water coming out of their taps. … ”  Read more from KABC 7 here:  California commission votes to eliminate Sativa Water District over brown water issues

LA County shows off stormwater infrastructure for safe clean water:  “Los Angeles County – facing threats of drought and pollution from extreme storms – is looking to transform the vast infrastructure that captures storm runoff.  On a recent tour for ethnic media reporters, the Department of Public Works showed off its stormwater infrastructure and outlined plans to capture, clean and transport water.  The “Building Water Resilience in L.A. County” media tour was led by Kerjon Lee, strategic communications manager, L.A. County Department of Public Works. The June 26 tour was organized and hosted by the L.A. County Department of Public Works and Ethnic Media Services. … ”  Read more from the LA Sentinel here:  LA County shows off stormwater infrastructure for safe clean water

Along the Colorado River …

This patch of water can predict Southwest drought: Scientists discovered that the temperature of a patch of water on the other side of the world can help predict how dry winters will be in the Southwest: “Researchers are starting to shy away from using the word “drought” to describe the miserable precipitation the American Southwest has seen in recent years. Instead, we should think of the dry conditions as the new normal. And in a future with less water, predicting just how little rain or snowfall to expect is increasingly important. That’s why scientists are so worked up about a patch of water off the coast of New Zealand. ... ”  Continue reading from Outside Magazine here:  This patch of water can predict Southwest drought

As Colorado River water users conserve, Utah wastes more, says Taylor Graham:  He writes, “As the Colorado River basin reels from the effects of climate change, new data from the United States Geological Survey shows residents in the seven states that share the Colorado River are collectively using less water.  But there are key differences in use among the states.  Residential water users in Utah are using more water, even as the state proposes a massive new diversion of the river. ... ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  As Colorado River water users conserve, Utah wastes more

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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