DAILY DIGEST: 14 congressmen push for language to stop state water plan in federal bill; Low clarity levels, but no lack of progress, at Lake Tahoe; Jeff Denham on fighting for water storage; Crisis at Lake Powell looms large; Zinke looks to ease some wildlife rules; and more …

In California water news today, Move to stop water grab: 14 congressmen push for language to stop state plan in federal bill; Low clarity levels, but no lack of progress, at Lake Tahoe; Exclusive Q&A with U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham: Fighting for California water storage; Westlands board member resigns. Alludes to sexism, blames general manager for unfair scrutiny; Crisis at Lake Powell Looms Large as Long-Term Drought Reaches Upstream; Would you drink beer made with recycled water?; Giant trash collecting device to be deployed in the ocean; Forest-thinning measures likely dead in Congress, despite Trump, California Republicans; Zinke looks to ease some wildlife rules; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

Move to stop water grab: 14 congressmen push for language to stop state plan in federal bill: “Northern San Joaquin Valley farmers — frustrated with their input being completely ignored in a state plan to commandeer water from the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced rivers in a bid to boost endangered Chinook salmon by 1,103 fish — are lauding a push by 14 congressmen to pull the plug on what has been characterized as a massive state water grab.  A plan for the increased diversion of water from urban and farm uses from the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced rivers advanced by the State Water Resources Control Board has been heralded as a way to possibly save salmon and other native fish. ... ”  Read more from the Manteca Bulletin here:  Move to stop water grab: 14 congressmen push for language to stop state plan in federal bill

Low clarity levels, but no lack of progress, at Lake Tahoe:  “2017 was a strange year for Lake Tahoe, especially for participants in the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program (EIP). That’s because the worst drought in hundreds of years was then interrupted by record-breaking precipitation, all leading up to warm lake temperatures and the lowest average clarity levels for the year ever recorded at Lake Tahoe. However, the bigger picture is more complex and looks fairly bright—and hopefully clear—for Lake Tahoe.  Thomas Lotshaw, of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), describes a lake that exhibits unusual clarity to start with. … ”  Read more from the Environmental Monitor here:  Low clarity levels, but no lack of progress, at Lake Tahoe

Exclusive Q&A with U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham: Fighting for California water storage: “U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) thinks the next term of Congress will present an unprecedented opportunity for federal lawmakers to reshape the nation’s critical infrastructure, especially regarding water, for generations to come.  He hopes to remain California’s representative in the U.S. House to help make it all happen.  “As an almond farmer, I know firsthand how important a stable water supply is to staying in business and feeding families across the nation,” Rep. Denham recently told The Ripon Advance. … ”  Read more from the Ripon Advance here:  Exclusive Q&A with U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham: Fighting for California water storage

Westlands board member resigns. Alludes to sexism, blames general manager for unfair scrutiny: “Sarah Woolf, a member of one of Fresno County’s most prominent farming families and a longtime agriculture advocate, has abruptly resigned from the board of the Westlands Water District.  Woolf turned in her letter of resignation last week as the tension between she and the district’s general manager, Tom Birmingham, reached a breaking point. Woolf said she could no longer serve out her term that expires in 2021 because of the increased scrutiny, rumors and accusations leveled at her and her water management company, Water Wise. … ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here:  Westlands board member resigns. Alludes to sexism, blames general manager for unfair scrutiny

Would you drink beer made with recycled water? California craft brewers are looking for innovative ways to be more sustainable.  One challenge is how to use less water in a state plagued by drought.  But at last weekend’s statewide craft beer summit in Sacramento, brewers were discussing how recycled water may be the answer — that is, if consumers and regulators are ready for it.  The crew from Santa Rosa’s Seismic Brewing Company was serving up samples of it’s Pure Water Pils, a beer made using recycled water. … ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:  Would you drink beer made with recycled water? 

Giant trash collecting device to be deployed in the ocean:  “Engineers are deploying a trash collection device to corral plastic litter floating between California and Hawaii in an attempt to clean up the world’s largest garbage patch in the heart of the Pacific Ocean.  The system was created by The Ocean Cleanup, an organization founded by Boyan Slat, a 24-year-old innovator from the Netherlands who first became passionate about cleaning the oceans when he went scuba diving at age 16 in the Mediterranean Sea and saw more plastic bags than fish. … ”  Read more from KQED here:  Giant trash collecting device to be deployed in the ocean

Forest-thinning measures likely dead in Congress, despite Trump, California Republicans: “For more than a month, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue have been calling for a rollback of environmental regulations on forest-thinning projects they argue will help reduce the risk of wildfires, including the ones ravaging California.  “For too long, our forest management efforts have been thwarted by lawsuits from misguided, extreme environmentalists,” Zinke and Perdue wrote in a Sept. 4 op-ed in The Sacramento Bee. “The time has come to act without flinching in the face of threatened litigation.”  The state’s Republicans in Congress have been pressing the same agenda for years. ... ”  Read more from McClatchyDC here:  Forest-thinning measures likely dead in Congress, despite Trump, California Republicans

Zinke looks to ease some wildlife rules:  “Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wants federal fish and wildlife managers to better align their policies with state rules.  In a memo Monday to officials in the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and other agencies involved in wildlife management, Zinke asked staff to find instances where policies for wildlife on federal land are more restrictive than rules for the states they’re in, and to construct plans to ease those policies and better align them. … ”  Read more from The Hill here:  Zinke looks to ease some wildlife rules

In commentary today …

The State Water Project: Our most important infrastructure, says Jennifer Pierre: She writes, “Ask me what tops the list of California’s most critical infrastructure, and I’ll tell you it’s the State Water Project. It’s hard to argue with the fact that water is a prerequisite for all life and a healthy economy.  That’s why financing the operation and maintenance of the State Water Project in a responsible, cost-effective manner should be common sense — not a political volley that puts California’s lifeline at risk and threatens ratepayers with a surge in water rates that is easily avoidable. … ”  Click here to read her commentary at Capitol Weekly.

If this meeting isn’t about financing Delta tunnels, then put it in writing, says the Sacramento Bee: They write, “Clearly, Gov. Jerry Brown wants to cement the Delta tunnels as part of his legacy before leaving office.  But his administration shouldn’t try to shove through this monumental, $20 billion project without adequate review and debate.  Critics say that’s precisely what is happening at a hearing Tuesday of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. They say that a proposal to extend long-term contracts for the State Water Project for another 50 years will pave the way to financing the tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. … “  Click here to read this editorial at the Sacramento Bee.

Column: News from water front hasn’t gotten much better, says Mike Dunbar:  “Rotarians seem like a happy bunch. They get together for lunch, celebrate accomplishments, skewer one another, raise a little money for charity and then listen to a speaker. It’s unlikely they expect to leave those luncheons depressed.  Sorry about that.  I spoke to about 140 members of the Modesto Rotary Club last month about our region’s struggle to hold onto enough water from the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers to sustain our economy while letting go of enough to sustain salmon. … ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here:  News from water front hasn’t gotten much better

Groundwater Council reflects new spirit of cooperation in water management:  “There’s a new wave of collaboration spilling into the shared management of water in the San Bernardino Valley.  In a state where fighting over water rights is as old as the state itself, a dozen agencies in the region have formed a new entity — the San Bernardino Basin Groundwater Council — to work toward the greater purpose of storing water for our future.  San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District, San Bernardino Municipal Water Department, East Valley Water District, Bear Valley Mutual Water Company, Yucaipa Valley Water District, Loma Linda University and the cities of Loma Linda, Rialto and Colton, with Redlands also expected to join, are committed to making the Groundwater Council a successful model for what arid regions like ours can do to ensure that there is enough water for everyone. ... ”  Read more from the San Bernardino Sun here:  Groundwater Council reflects new spirit of cooperation in water management

In regional news and commentary today …

Oregon issues approval to remove J.C. Boyle Dam on the Klamath River: “The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued a final certification for the removal of the J.C. Boyle Dam on the Klamath River, according to a press release received Monday from Klamath River Renewal Corporation. The ODEQ determined removing the dam, located in Klamath County, would improve water quality on the river, restore a more “free-flowing condition” and have long-term benefits for fish populations, according to the press release.... ”  Read more from the Del Norte Triplicate here:  Oregon issues approval to remove J.C. Boyle Dam on the Klamath River

San Anselmo flood project hits key stage: “A proposed $17.4 million San Anselmo flood control project — including a possible plan to buy and tear down a business building to aid the flood reduction efforts — is facing what could be its final hurdle next week before the county can move forward with designs and permitting to make it happen.  At its Sept. 18 meeting, the Marin County Board of Supervisors will be poised to certify the final environmental impact report and make a recommendation on the project. Two of the four proposed options involve purchasing for $1.75 million the building at 634 San Anselmo Ave., which straddles the creek and restricts water flow. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here:  San Anselmo flood project hits key stage

Brown, murky and smelly water continues to plague Compton, Willowbrook residents:  “A few months ago, water in hundreds of Compton and Willowbrook homes came out brown and murky. But now, the people in charge of keeping the water clean said the quality has “improved tremendously.”  The Sativa Los Angeles County Water District said since April, it’s flushed out sediment from old iron pipes and pumped water from a clean well.  All of this would be great news for Jenoveva Carmago – if her water wasn’t still brown. But not only is it brown, it has brown bits inside of it and smells, she said. … ”  Read more from ABC 7 here:  Brown, murky and smelly water continues to plague Compton, Willowbrook residents

Sea level rise endangering Seal Beach wetlands:  “The wetlands at Seal Beach are in danger. The problem is that they are too wet.  Rising sea levels combined with lack of sediment has the wetlands getting too high for plants to grow and birds to nest. A 2013 study showed the sea level rise at Seal Beach was three times higher than the national average. ... ”  Read more from ABC 7 here:  Sea level rise endangering Seal Beach wetlands

Along the Colorado River …

Southern Nevada Water Authority expected to appeal pipeline plan ruling:  “It looks like the Southern Nevada Water Authority won’t be taking no for an answer.  The authority board will hold a rare special meeting Thursday to launch an appeal of the most recent state ruling against the agency’s plans to pipe groundwater to Las Vegas from across eastern Nevada.  Last month, State Engineer Jason King denied the authority’s applications to pump water from four rural valleys in Lincoln and White Pine counties. … ”  Read more from the Las Vegas Review Journal here:  Southern Nevada Water Authority expected to appeal pipeline plan ruling

Crisis at Lake Powell Looms Large as Long-Term Drought Reaches Upstream: “Like rust slowly consuming the body of a car, drought has spread upstream on the Colorado River.  The river’s Upper Basin – generally north of Lake Powell – has been largely insulated from the 19-year drought afflicting the giant watershed, thanks to the region’s relatively small water demand and heavy snows that bury Colorado’s 14,000ft peaks each winter. But this year, there was no salvation in the snowpack.  Several major Colorado River tributaries – the Dolores, San Juan and Gunnison rivers – saw record-low snowpack this winter. Others, including the Yampa River and the headwaters of the Colorado itself, did not break records but saw snowpack shrink to 70 percent or less of average. ... ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Crisis at Lake Powell Looms Large as Long-Term Drought Reaches Upstream

Drought Contingency Plan to ease the pain of water shortage:  “Current weather patterns and Colorado River water management will result in a drought by the year 2020, affecting communities and farms along the entire Lower Basin, according to officials.  Arizona’s water stakeholders, led by Arizona Department of Water Resources and Central Arizona Project, have been engaged for more than two months in crafting Arizona’s approach to the Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan in an effort to protect Lake Mead, the reservoir formed by Hoover Dam, from falling to critical levels. … ”  Read more from the Mohave Valley News here:  Drought Contingency Plan to ease the pain of water shortage

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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