DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: San Diego County Water Authority takes dispute with Met to Supreme Court; Delta Caucus urges postponement of tunnel hearings; Next week is Delta Watershed Protection Week; The Colorado River is evaporating, and climate change is largely to blame; and more …
In California water news this weekend, San Diego County Water Authority takes records dispute with Metropolitan to the Supreme Court; Delta Caucus urges postponement of tunnel hearings; Legislature designates second week of September as Delta Watershed Protection Week; Woolf resigns from Westlands Water District board. What’s next for the District?; Fire, water, and Trump’s tweets; The Colorado River is evaporating, and climate change is largely to blame; Report: EPA lost more than 1,500 workers in first 18 months of the Trump Administration; and more …
In the news this weekend …
San Diego County Water Authority takes records dispute with Metropolitan to the Supreme Court: “San Diego County water officials have long been at odds with their counterparts in Los Angeles, who control millions of gallons imported every day into the southwest corner of California. But a new dispute has broken out between the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and its member agency, the San Diego County Water Authority — and it’s not about the wet stuff. Instead, lawyers for both sides are fighting over what qualifies as a public record. … ” Read more from the San Diego Union Tribune here: San Diego County Water Authority takes records dispute with Metropolitan to the Supreme Court
Delta Caucus urges postponement of tunnel hearings: “Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay), co-chairman of the California Legislative Delta Caucus, Friday sent the attached letter from the Caucus to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, urging postponement of a hearing scheduled Tuesday morning on State Water Project contract extensions and amendments, which has implications for the proposed Delta tunnels project. … ” Read more from the East County Times here: Delta Caucus urges postponement of tunnel hearings
Legislature designates second week of September as Delta Watershed Protection Week: “The state Legislature has passed a resolution designating the second week of September as Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Watershed Protection Week. The resolution was authored by Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa. “The Delta is quite simply the lifeblood of our water system throughout the state of California. It is so important that we protect it,” Dodd said in a statement released Friday by his office. … ” Read more from the Daily Republic here: Legislature designates second week of September as Delta Watershed Protection Week
Woolf resigns from Westlands Water District board. What’s next for the District? “Prominent Valley grower and water-management consultant Sarah Woolf has resigned from the board of directors at Westlands Water District. In a letter sent to the district, Woolf cited differences with the board majority on how best to increase water supplies for district growers as a primary reason for her resignation. In an interview Thursday, Woolf added that she disagreed strongly with the leadership of longtime Westlands General Manager Tom Birmingham. She said that Birmingham’s focus on “litigation and legislation” was failing water-starved district growers. “My letter was intentional,” Woolf said. “I want to be vocal and clear that I don’t approve of the way we act.” ... ” Read more from GV Wire here: Woolf resigns from Westlands Water District board. What’s next for the District?
The Ocean Cleanup heads for the Pacific: “It’s launching time for The Ocean Cleanup, the ambitious effort to collect the massive vortex of plastic drifting in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii. A nonprofit from the Netherlands, The Ocean Cleanup will use a floater attached to a screen under the water, which if all goes according to plan will concentrate the debris and allow it to be gathered and recycled. Garbage the screens are expected to scoop up plastic bottles, bottle caps, bits and pieces of plastic containers — anything that may float or just be under the surface. … ” Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: The Ocean Cleanup heads for the Pacific
Fire, water, and Trump’s tweets: “On Aug. 6, President Donald Trump made his first Twitter statement on California’s summer fire season, which started on June 1. Unlike his statement on last year’s Wine Country fires, when the president tweeted condolences to victims of the fires and support for the firefighters, Trump used these latest natural disasters to troll California with nonsense. At 10:43 a.m., Trump tweeted, “Governor Jerry Brown must allow the Free Flow of the vast amounts of water coming from the North and foolishly being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Can be used for fires, farming and everything else. Think of California with plenty of Water –Nice! Fast Federal govt. approvals.” ... ” Read more from Capitol Weekly here: Fire, water, and Trump’s tweets
El Dorado Irrigation District rate lawsuit: The historic makings of the county’s biggest water system: “We all take water for granted but if not for the Gold Rush and later the development of agriculture in El Dorado County, there probably would be no water agencies or water would be vastly more expensive than it is. Digging miles of ditches and putting in flumes that traversed difficult terrain was prompted by the need for a reliable water supply. Two factors stimulating that need were the weather, which can be unpredictable, and the discovery of gold. Mining, especially hydraulic mining, relied on a steady supply of water. ... ” Read more from the Mountain Democrat here: El Dorado Irrigation District rate lawsuit: The historic makings of the county’s biggest water system
Group says SCWA turning Putah Creek into a ‘floodplain desert’: “What started as an attempt to save a popular Putah Creek swimming hole for children has become a full-scale environmental war that could determine the future of the “Green River.” Part of that battle will be waged Monday in Solano County Superior Court where the Friends of Putah Creek are seeking an injunction to stop work on the $1.1 million third phase of the Putah Creek restoration project. The group also has filed a lawsuit against the Central Valley Flood Protection Board and the Solano County Water Agency claiming the project lacks the necessary environmental review. … ” Read more from the Daily Republic here: Group says SCWA turning Putah Creek into a ‘floodplain desert’
Hearing on Putah Creek restoration injunction set for Monday: “A hearing on a request to stop work on the Putah Creek restoration project is slated to be heard Monday in Solano County Superior Court. “I think it’s very important that the full weight of the evidence comes before the court in order for them to make a decision,” said Alan Pryor, a member of the Friends of Putah Creek board of directors. “We believe failure to stop the work, as proposed (and) without adequate CEQA review, in our opinion, will continue to cause irreparable harm to the creek.” ... ” Read more from the Daily Republic here: Hearing on Putah Creek restoration injunction set for Monday
Monterey: Decision Time: CPUC to consider Cal Am desal project on Thursday: “Nearly eight years after approving an earlier local desalination project, the state Public Utilities Commission is poised to consider California American Water’s successor Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project next week. On Thursday, the CPUC is set to consider the proposed desal project apparently based entirely on a proposed decision submitted by three commission judges that recommends project approval. The commission would also need to certify the project’s final combined environmental review document before any project approval. … ” Read more from the Monterey Herald here: Monterey: Decision Time: CPUC to consider Cal Am desal project on Thursday
Monterey: LandWatch supports recycled water over desal: Michael D. DeLapa writes, “After many years of proceedings, false starts, and delays, the California Public Utilities Commission is now finally considering a Proposed Decision that would permit California American Water to build a 6.4 million gallons per day desalination facility. LandWatch opposes the Proposed Decision because it is the costliest and riskiest water supply alternative. Over the past 10 years, LandWatch has participated in the CPUC proceedings and advocated several partial settlements among the parties. The settlements required more careful analysis of groundwater impacts, provision of water to a disadvantaged community, and CPUC consideration of a proposal for recycled water instead of reliance only on a desalination facility. With LandWatch support, the CPUC approved a 3,500 acre feet per year recycled water project called Pure Water Monterey, which is now under construction by the Monterey One Water agency. … ” Read more from the Monterey Herald here: Monterey: LandWatch supports recycled water over desal
The world’s best surfers head to the San Joaquin Valley: “The wave shouldn’t be here, surrounded by boundless fields of nuts, vegetables and cotton. It’s an exotic crest of water six feet high, one that would be at home in Bali or the east coast of Australia. But not here, well over 100 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The idea of belonging, of context, has always been central to those who ride the best waves. Surfing was born centuries ago in the South Pacific and Hawaiian islands, where it is called he’e nalu, then rebranded starting in the early 1900s in California. From the Golden State it spread to the rest of the world, surfers always beholden to the finicky variables of their passion – tide and wind, swell and direction – and enamored of its offbeat culture. For some, it remains less a sport than a lifestyle. … ” Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: The world’s best surfers head to the San Joaquin Valley
Ridgecrest: Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority committee digests water rights: “The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority’s policy advisory committee received a comprehensive legal rundown and case history on water rights Thursday night. In a two-hour meeting, Groundwater Authority special legal counsel Jim Markman highlighted different scenarios, described the difference between overlying water rights (essentially pumping over the land one owns) and appropriators rights (those held by agencies like the IWV Water District), discussed adjudication and possible outcomes for achieving sustainability. … ” Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here: Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority committee digests water rights
Ridgecrest: Indian Wells Valley Water District board meets Monday: “The Indian Wells Valley Water District board of directors meets Monday at 6 p.m. at the district offices, 500 W. Ridgecrest Blvd. The board will hear a presentation from Stantec Consulting on possible rate structure changes. Mark Hildebrand provided a preview to a board committee on Tuesday, indicating several possibilities including a two- or three-tiered system in lieu of the district’s current four-tiered system. Stantec was contracted by the board to conduct the study in order to ensure its rates, fees and other charges cover the district’s ongoing revenue requirements. … ” Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here: Ridgecrest: Indian Wells Valley Water District board meets Monday
Ventura County: Water conservation is only part of the solution, says Susan Mulligan: She writes, “After reading the Ventura County Star’s Aug. 12 editorial, “Conserving water still our best bet,” as general manager of the Calleguas Municipal Water District, which is responsible for meeting the potable water demands for 75 percent of Ventura County’s residents, I felt compelled to set the record straight. The editorial indicated that the entire county’s water supplies are deficient and urged water users to “up their game” with respect to conservation. While we agree that water should always be used efficiently, we do not agree that conservation is the only tool needed to manage water supplies, or that the water supply condition across the county is uniform. … ” Read more from the Ventura County Star here: Water conservation is only part of the solution
‘World class’ surf resort planned for Desert Willow in Palm Desert: “Quiksilver is out and Desert Wave Ventures is in, offering a new, “world-class destination surf resort” – on a much smaller scale – at Desert Willow in Palm Desert. Plans for the proposed 14.6-acre resort, on a vacant parcel southwest of the clubhouse and parking lot, call for a two- to three-story, four-star level, 270-room hotel; 45 villas, two to four bedrooms and ranging 1,500 to 2,500 square feet; a 5.5-acre surfing lagoon. Amenities include a spa, several swimming pools, a volleyball court, pickleball courts, restaurants as well as other food and beverage options around the resort and lagoon, said Doug Sheres, a partner in Desert Wave Ventures LLC. ... ” Read more from The Desert Sun here: ‘World class’ surf resort planned for Desert Willow in Palm Desert
Along the Colorado River …
The Colorado River is evaporating, and climate change is largely to blame: “An hour’s drive from Las Vegas stands America’s Hoover Dam, a commanding barrier of concrete holding back the trillions of gallons of Colorado River water held inside Lake Mead. The dam is a proud place, built by thousands of hands and with 5 million barrels of concrete. Its golden elevator doors, Gotham-esque pillars, and stoic guardian angel statues line the lofty walkways atop the structure. A U.S. flag beating patriotically over the desert gets swapped out every few days, and then put out for sale in the visitor center. Yet, in the 80 years since the great dam’s completion, the 1,450-mile Colorado River – which sustains some 40 million Americans in places like Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles — has been gradually growing weaker, and the water level beyond the noble dam has fallen considerably over the last two decades. … Read more from Mashable here: The Colorado River is evaporating, and climate change is largely to blame
As Glen Canyon Dam studies sit over troubled waters, people demand answers: “Important research about the Colorado River ecosystem downstream of the Glen Canyon Dam and the jobs of the scientists who produce that work are at risk due to a federal budget decision set to go into effect in October. According to an decision made by the Office of Management and Budget, $23 million, or a significant portion of the Upper Colorado River Basin Fund, will be diverted back to the United State Treasury. The money went to fund programs including those that focus on endangered fish recovery in the Colorado River and the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program. … ” Read more from the Arizona Daily Sun here: As Glen Canyon Dam studies sit over troubled waters, people demand answers
And lastly …
Hundreds of dolphins cut through Monterey Bay in a mesmerizing video of ‘superpod hunting’: “Dolphins have refined their precision killing over millions of years of evolution, roaming oceans in pods to funnel fish into their jaws. That daily ritual usually occurs far from land. But this week, something far more rare happened. Hundreds of common dolphins in a ‘superpod’ sliced through slate-gray waters off Monterey Bay, Calif. while on the ravenous hunt for bait fish. … ” Read more, view video from the Washington Post here: Hundreds of dolphins cut through Monterey Bay in a mesmerizing video of ‘superpod hunting’
Sign 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.