DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Trump administration talks of boosting Central Valley water deliveries. But is it just talk?; Drinking water tax, Cadiz bill die at end of legislative session; Ridgecrest discusses Cal Water Fix; and more …

In California water news this weekend, Trump administration talks of boosting Central Valley water deliveries. But is it just talk?; Push for drinking water tax dies in the California Legislature; Bill targeting Cadiz’s plan to pump desert groundwater dies in California Senate; Ridgecrest: Water Fix project the topic at Indian Wells Valley Water District meeting; Napa, Sonoma vineyard value growth cools as groundwater scrutiny heats up; and more …

In the news this weekend …

Trump administration talks of boosting Central Valley water deliveries. But is it just talk?: “With talk of boosting water deliveries to Central Valley agriculture, the Trump administration is telling growers exactly what they want to hear.  But given California’s complex water system and a web of federal and state environmental regulations, such promises could prove more political than practical.  An Aug. 17 memo from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, which directed agencies to give him a plan within 25 days to send more water to Central Valley agriculture, was met with cheers from angry farmers who have for years complained that endangered species protections are cutting their irrigation deliveries and wasting water supplies. ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Trump administration talks of boosting Central Valley water deliveries. But is it just talk?

Push for drinking water tax dies in the California Legislature: “An effort to impose a “voluntary” water tax on residents to pay for safe drinking water projects died in the Legislature on Friday.  Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon called the legislation and other one-time monetary allocations to water projects “a piecemeal funding approach” that “won’t work.”  “The Assembly is committed to identifying a sustainable funding source to ensure safe drinking water for all Californians,” Rendon said in a statement. ”Building on the hard work of Senator Bill Monning and others in this area, Assemblymembers Eduardo Garcia and Heath Flora have agreed to lead our house’s safe water efforts.” … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Push for drinking water tax dies in the California Legislature

Bill targeting Cadiz’s plan to pump desert groundwater dies in California Senate: “A bill that could have blocked Cadiz Inc.’s plan to pump groundwater out of the Mojave Desert died in the California Legislature for a second straight year on Friday, dealing a blow to the company’s opponents after days of intense lobbying.  The measure was shelved by the Senate Appropriations Committee after a short discussion on the final day of the legislative session.  The bill would have required a new state environmental review before the company could proceed with its plan to pump groundwater and pipe it across the desert to sell to Southern California cities.  … ”  Read more from The Desert Sun here:  Bill targeting Cadiz’s plan to pump desert groundwater dies in California Senate

California Senate panel blocks bill to require more scrutiny of Cadiz project:  “A last-ditch effort to impose additional environmental review on a controversial groundwater pumping project in the Mojave Desert sputtered Friday night after a key state Senate committee held the bill over concerns about legislative process.  The measure, Senate Bill 120, would have given the state Lands Commission and Department of Fish and Wildlife the authority to study the project by Cadiz Inc. to make sure the pumping would not harm surrounding lands.  A similar measure was shelved by the Senate last year. Sen. Richard Roth (D-Riverside) revived the proposal in recent days using a legislative maneuver called a gut-and-amend, or inserting a new policy into an existing, unrelated bill. … ” Read more from the LA Times here:  California Senate panel blocks bill to require more scrutiny of Cadiz project

What The Heck Is In California’s Wildfire Liability Rule That Lawmakers Just Passed?: “California lawmakers have voted to shift billions of dollars of wildfire-recovery costs from electric utility shareholders to ratepayers.  The measure passed the Senate 29-4 and the Assembly 46-11 late Friday night in the waning hours of the 2018 legislative session. It now advances to Gov. Jerry Brown, who was involved in negotiations and is expected to sign it.  SB 901 by Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa) would change the rules governing the liability of utility companies when their electrical equipment causes wildfires. … ”  Read more from the Capital Public Radio here:  What The Heck Is In California’s Wildfire Liability Rule That Lawmakers Just Passed?

California’s 2017-18 Legislative Session Is Over. Find Out What Laws Passed And Failed Here: “California’s 2017-18 legislative session has come to an end. Lawmakers debated hundreds of bills this week, sending measures on wildfire liability, net neutrality, police transparency and more to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. Brown has until Sept. 30 to veto the bills or sign them into law. Look back through our end-of-session live blog to see what transpired this week … ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:  California’s 2017-18 Legislative Session Is Over. Find Out What Laws Passed And Failed Here

Ridgecrest: Water Fix project the topic at Indian Wells Valley Water District meeting“A decision made by the Ridgecrest City Council to sign a letter of support for group opposing the California Twin Tunnels Project left at least one water district board member stumped on Thursday.  Ron Kicinski, IWV Water District’s board president, took point on the discussion at a district committee meeting Thursday. He was the only elected official present for the first half; board member Peter Brown was running late due to prior obligations.  The council on Aug. 15 agreed to sign a letter in support of the Delta Counties Coalition, which opposes the $17 billion WaterFix project. The coalition comprises of Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano and Yolo counties. … ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Ridgecrest: Water Fix project the topic at Indian Wells Valley Water District meeting

In commentary this weekend …

How do you make California water wars worse? Get the Trump Administration involved, says the Sacramento Bee: Anyone who has spent much time in California knows that our water policies and politics are immensely complicated and contentious.  Leave it to the Trump administration to muck up the water wars even more.  His Bureau of Reclamation told state officials on Aug. 17 that it wants to renegotiate the landmark 1986 agreement for the sprawling federal and state water projects and how they pump water through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  How do you make California water wars worse? Get the Trump Administration involved

In regional news and commentary this weekend …

Napa, Sonoma vineyard value growth cools as groundwater scrutiny heats up:  “After an unprecedented growth rate in California agricultural land values between 2010 and 2015, land prices have come down in many regions over the past two years. However, the North Coast is not one of them.  In this area known for its ability to produce premium wine, we expect to see continued growth, but likely at a slower pace.  According to a recent paper produced by RaboResearch senior analyst Roland Fumasi, the outlook for California land prices depends on the region, and even specific differences between properties within the region. … ”  Read more from the North Bay Business Journal here: Napa, Sonoma vineyard value growth cools as groundwater scrutiny heats up

El Dorado: $25 million dam project moves forward:  “In addition to approving the replacement of Flume 44 at their Aug. 27 meeting, the El Dorado Irrigation District board also received updates on two important projects as well as the district’s finances.  One project underway since last year is the El Dorado Forebay Dam Modification project.  With a price tag of $25 million, the primary reason for the project is to correct deficiencies and meet current dam safety requirements as mandated by the state and federal government. … ”  Read more from the Mountain Democrat here:  $25 million dam project moves forward

Better than bulldozers: Santa Cruz changes San Lorenzo River management strategy:  “The era of bulldozing sand to breach the lagoon at the base of the San Lorenzo River is nearing an end, as the city of Santa Cruz takes steps toward more sustainable methods of flood relief.  Wednesday, the city installed a temporary culvert — a two-foot wide plastic pipe that allows rising waters to move safely from the lagoon down to the ocean — as a precursor to what it hopes is a long-term solution, a permanent culvert designed with residents, businesses and the river’s threatened and endangered species in mind.  The proposed culvert would pull salinated water from the bottom of the lagoon, but only after the water rises to 5 feet above mean sea level, a “sweet spot” for fish and flood control, said Public Works analyst Scott Ruble. … ”  Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here:  Better than bulldozers: Santa Cruz changes San Lorenzo River management strategy

Monterey Peninsula moves toward a long-term water supply, says John Narigi: He writes, “On Sept. 13, the California Public Utilities Commission will decide whether to approve the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project application filed by California American Water over six years ago.  If the CPUC approves, the communities of the Monterey Peninsula will finally see — after 40-plus years of trying — a safe, secure, stable and sustainable water supply that will end the environmentally damaging over-pumping of the Carmel River. … ”  Read more from the Monterey Herald here:  Monterey Peninsula moves toward a long-term water supply

Kern’s massive almond industry faces uncertain future:  “Trees are shaking in Wasco and around Kern County as almond harvest gets into full swing. But the question remains, can farmers sell their entire bounty? And if so, at what price?  Tariffs are applying significant pressure. Nearly 70 percent of almonds are exported and China is among the top destinations. Will consumers there be willing to pay substantially higher prices? … ”  Read more from Bakersfield Now here:  Kern’s massive almond industry faces uncertain future

What’s behind the dead fish at Malibu Lagoon, Ormond Beach?  Scientists look for answers:  “A few weeks before dead fish started showing up in Malibu Lagoon, hundreds were found dead at Ormond Beach in Oxnard.  Researchers from CSU Channel Islands worked with The Nature Conservancy, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and others to try to figure out what caused the local die-off, which started in late July. ... ”  Read more from the Ventura County Star here:  What’s behind the dead fish at Malibu Lagoon, Ormond Beach?  Scientists look for answers

Along the Colorado River …

Monsoon rains play key role in boosting reservoirs in the Southwest, study finds:  “A string of monsoon storms lit up the skies over Arizona this summer and sent torrents of water racing down desert washes and city streets. You might think the fast-moving water from these downpours runs off the hardened desert landscape without much benefit to underground aquifers along the way. But scientists have found a significant portion of the rainfall from monsoon storms soaks into the soil and percolates down to the water table.  … ”  Read more from Arizona Central here:  Monsoon rains play key role in boosting reservoirs in the Southwest, study finds

Also on Maven’s Notebook this weekend …

Click here to read more editions of the Daily Digest.

Daily emailsSign up for daily email service and you’ll never miss a post!

Sign up for daily emails and get all the Notebook’s aggregated and original water news content delivered to your email box by 9AM. Breaking news alerts, too. Sign me up!

—————————————-
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.

Maven’s Notebook
where California water news never goes home for the weekend

no weekends

(Visited 985 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply