DAILY DIGEST: Cancer-causing chemical still being sprayed in the Delta; Hot weather, land abuses fueling algal blooms; CA’s raging wildfires are creating lightning-filled volcanic clouds; Interior-EPA spending bill on Senate’s to-do list; and more …

In California water news today, California says this chemical causes cancer. So why is it being sprayed into drinking water?; Hot Weather, Land Abuses Fueling Algal Blooms in Western Waters; California’s raging wildfires are creating lightning-filled volcanic clouds; California regulators consider conservation protections for the state’s largest estuary; Senate’s to-do list: Interior-EPA spending bill, floods, defense; and more …

In the news today …

California says this chemical causes cancer.  So why is it being sprayed into drinking water?  “A year ago, the active ingredient in Roundup, the nation’s most widely used weed-killing herbicide, was added to California’s official list of chemicals known to cause cancer.  The state’s warning about glyphosate followed a similar caution issued by the World Health Organization and coincided with hundreds of lawsuits across the country focused on the herbicide. The first very jury trial to involve Roundup recently started in San Francisco —the plaintiff is a groundskeeper who believes he developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by using the weedkiller on the job. … ”  Continue reading from the Sacramento Bee here:  California says this chemical causes cancer.  So why is it being sprayed into drinking water?

Hot Weather, Land Abuses Fueling Algal Blooms in Western Waters: “The West is known for summer wildfires. Now it seems Western summers will be distinguished by another kind of flare-up: algae blooms.  This summer has witnessed an explosion of algae problems in Western water bodies. Usually marked by a bright green mat of floating scum, the blooms are unsightly and unpleasant for water lovers. More concerning are potentially toxic cyanobacteria often produced by the algae, which can be deadly to pets and livestock and cause illnesses in people. ... ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Hot Weather, Land Abuses Fueling Algal Blooms in Western Waters

California’s raging wildfires are creating lightning-filled volcanic clouds:  “Pyrocumulus clouds, also known as “fire clouds,” are extremely rare cloud formations caused by rising heat and smoke from volcanoes, or as in the case in California right now, by raging wildfires. These fire clouds extremely fast-forming, can host their own lightning storms, and cause devastating wind.  In other words, the wildfire can create its own weather system. … ”  Read more from Quartz Magazine here:  California’s raging wildfires are creating lightning-filled volcanic clouds

California regulators consider conservation protections for the state’s largest estuary:  “In the next installment of California’s water wars, local regulators will consider a proposal to protect wildlife and restrict agricultural water use in the Central Valley.  The California State Water Resources Control Board’s proposal would limit water use in three tributaries to the San Joaquin River, which joins with the Sacramento River to feed into the delta, a key California water source and home to endangered species such as the Chinook salmon. There are no legal requirements keeping farmers from draining the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced Rivers, and, up to this point, the board’s oversight has focused on water users downstream: pumping operations in the delta itself. ... ”  Read more from Pacific Standard here:  California regulators consider conservation protections for the state’s largest estuary

Senate’s to-do list: Interior-EPA spending bill, floods, defense:  “The Senate will try this week to finish work on a spending package that’s been held up in part by sparring over a popular conservation program.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filed to end debate on the minibus spending legislation last week after senators pressed for adding several policy riders, among them an extension of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.  McConnell and top appropriators from both parties have opposed adding any new policy provisions, warning that similar efforts in the past have stalled Senate funding measures. ... ”  Read more from E&E News here:  Senate’s to-do list: Interior-EPA spending bill, floods, defense 

In regional news and commentary today …

Butte County: Groundwater management boundaries shifting:  “The local effort to manage the water beneath Butte County continues to be tweaked, with the Board of Supervisors Tuesday backing a change for some planning boundaries.  The changes still have to be approved by the state.  Under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, plans have to be prepared to maintain the amount and quality of the water in California’s aquifers. In Butte County’s case, the area of the Sacramento Valley floor is included, but not the foothills. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Groundwater management boundaries shifting

Sonoma County awaits clarity on proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act:  “The Trump administration is seeking to alter key provisions of the Endangered Species Act, a 45-year-old federal law that has shaped growth in Sonoma County during repeated battles between builders attempting to develop land and environmentalists seeking to protect rare plants and animals.  Federal officials contend the changes to the act — which protects local species like the coho salmon and the California tiger salamander — will streamline and improve it. Local environmentalists have called them a “coordinated attack” on science that could push fragile species into extinction. ... ”  Read more from the Sonoma Press-Democrat here:  Sonoma County awaits clarity on proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act

Preserve Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, says the San Francisco Chronicle:  They write, “It’s lost in court, at the ballot and in Washington, but the notion of ripping out the heart of San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy water and power system is rising from its policy coffin.  It’s odd timing, coming amid drought, water wars and the nearby Ferguson Fire. Stranger still is the newfound patronage of the fringe plan from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, no friend of the environment or California’s best interests. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  Preserve Hetch Hetchy Reservoir

Nacimiento, San Antonio shrinking water levels affect recreation, draw legal threats:  “Just a year and a half after winter rains swelled two Monterey County-owned reservoirs, water levels at Lakes Nacimiento and San Antonio are already shrinking back to where they were during a four-year drought, largely due to increased county water agency water releases.  Those receding water levels have started to affect the county’s own recreation business and prompted complaints and even the threat of legal action from Nacimiento property owners. … ”  Read more from the Monterey Herald here:  Nacimiento, San Antonio shrinking water levels affect recreation, draw legal threats

Open space in Oak Park given to Calleguas Water District for ‘critical’ project:  “The Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District has conveyed less than an acre of open space in Oak Park to the Calleguas Municipal Water District on which to build a “critical” pump and pressure regulating station.  The district’s board unanimously approved the conveyance, in exchange for $100,000 from Calleguas, at its July 19 meeting attended by a number of residents concerned about the project. … ”  Read more from the Ventura County Star here:  Open space in Oak Park given to Calleguas Water District for ‘critical’ project

How Long Beach plans to keep the Belmont Shore pool project above water:  “The $103 million Belmont Pool replacement project is finally taking its first steps forward after a year-long legal battle over rising sea levels, public access and views.  The lawsuit, brought in June 2017 by the Citizens About Responsible Planning, alleged that the city had improperly granted approvals for the project and that city staff did not adequately address rising sea levels in its Environmental Impact Report.  The group urged the city to find another location for the pool that was not so close to the ocean, even though the city looked at other locations and determined they were inadequate. A judge sided with the city in a ruling this week. … ”  Read more from the Long Beach Post here:  How Long Beach plans to keep the Belmont Shore pool project above water

Water system control crucial for Apple Valley, says Doug Robertson:  He writes, “After seven months of assessment, I’ve come to the conclusion control of our water system is crucial for the future of the Town of Apple Valley.  Next month, a crucial court hearing will give us a better idea as to when our eminent domain case will be heard. That follows a win in court earlier this year throwing out Liberty Utilities’ efforts to suspend acquisition under the California Environment Quality Act (CEQA). ... ”  Read more from the Victorville Press here:  Water system control crucial for Apple Valley

Along the Colorado River …

It’s time to move Utah’s pioneer-era water law into 21st century, advisors say: “To secure Great Salt Lake’s future, some water users say it’s time to let go of the past.  When Utah’s water law was officially codified in 1903, Great Salt Lake was largely viewed as a waste because of its high salinity and lack of fish. Today, the lake represents a paradox in thinking about water in the West. Because water is a scarce and vital resource in the region, early non-native settlers put laws in place so no drop went to waste. As the region grew, our water use became so prolific that less and less made it to the lake, which sits at the bottom of a closed basin. That means Great Salt Lake is shrinking. … ”  Read more from the Standard-Examiner here:  It’s time to move Utah’s pioneer-era water law into 21st century, advisors 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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