DAILY DIGEST: Trump says ‘bad environmental laws’ to blame for CA wildfires; SGMA means big changes above ground, too; CA’s destructive summer brings blunt talk about climate change; Piling up: Drowning in a sea of plastic

In California water news today, Trump says ‘bad environmental laws’ to blame for California wildfires; California’s groundwater law means big changes above ground, too; Marin coast sea floor explored for clues on how to protect sensitive areas; California’s destructive summer brings blunt talk about climate change; Piling up: Drowning in a sea of plastic

In the news today …

Trump says ‘bad environmental laws’ to blame for California wildfires:  “President Trump blamed environmental laws yesterday for intensifying wildfires in California, in his first tweet about the ongoing disaster that has killed at least seven people.  “California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized. It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean,” Trump wrote.  Trump seemed to be referring to proposals by some California Republicans to expand the Shasta Dam, located near the heart of the Carr Fire. Those plans aim to store more water for farms and residents instead of releasing it for river ecosystems (E&E Daily, March 16). Firefighters aren’t running out of water as they battle the blazes, experts said. ... ”  Read the full story here:  Trump says ‘bad environmental laws’ to blame for California wildfires

Trump wrongly blames California’s worsening wildfires on water diversions: “As wildfires continued to scorch California, President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a tweet that befuddled experts, wrongly blaming the state’s water diversions for making the blazes worse.  California’s environmental laws, he claimed, “aren’t allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized. It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!” ... ”  Read more from MarketWatch here:  Trump wrongly blames California’s worsening wildfires on water diversions

California’s groundwater law means big changes above ground, too:  “California’s new groundwater management law is not a sports car. It moves more like a wagon train. The rules do not require critically overdrafted aquifers to achieve “sustainability” until 2040. But 22 years from now, once they finally get there, lives will be transformed.  The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), adopted in 2014, will change more than groundwater. The requirement to end overdraft will also transform land use, a massive side effect yet to be widely recognized.  Parts of California will literally look different once the law takes full effect. It could put some farmers out of business. It could change how others farm. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  California’s groundwater law means big changes above ground, too

Marin coast sea floor explored for clues on how to protect sensitive areas:  “Researchers are using a rover to explore the depths of the ocean off Marin’s coast, looking for corals, sponges and other life forms that have adapted to the lightless environment and crushing pressures at the bottom of the sea.  Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other groups left aboard the ship Bell M. Shimada last Monday and will study the seafloor — some of it unexplored — of the Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank national marine sanctuaries, which are west of Marin. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here:  Marin coast sea floor explored for clues on how to protect sensitive areas

California’s destructive summer brings blunt talk about climate change:  “At Scripps Pier in San Diego, the surface water reached the highest temperature in 102 years of records, 78.8 degrees.  Palm Springs had its warmest July on record, with an average of 97.4 degrees. Death Valley experienced its hottest month on record, with the average temperature hitting 108.1. Park rangers said the heat was too much for some typically hardy birds that died in the broiling conditions.  Across California, the nighttime brought little relief, recording the highest minimum temperature statewide of any month since 1895, rising to 64.9. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  California’s destructive summer brings blunt talk about climate change

Piling up: Drowning in a sea of plastic:  “In the 1950s, a new material burst onto the scene that would change the world forever. Cheap, durable, sanitary, strong, and light.  And today, there are literally thousands of raw categories of plastic, according to Fred Betke, founder of Delta Pacific Products, which makes plastic parts for medical instruments.  The technical name is polypropylene, and all almost everything plastic starts out as pellets. They’re available in every color under the sun. … ”  Read more from CBS News here:  Piling up: Drowning in a sea of plastic

In commentary today …

Dan Morain: Zinke’s Hetch Hetchy idea is familiar:  “U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recent tweet that he would study whether to empty Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, the source of water for 2.6 million Bay Area residents, had a familiar ring.  Remind me: Over naturalist John Muir’s objection, San Francisco secured its water supply in 1913 with Congressional legislation authorizing construction of O’Shaughnessy Dam and the flooding of Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park. Muir’s cause lives on. … ”  Read more at Cal Matters here:  Zinke’s Hetch Hetchy idea is familiar

More news and commentary in the weekend 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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