DAILY DIGEST: More critical water storage is finally coming to California. It took nearly 40 years; Humans devastated California’s chinook salmon. Now they want to save it; West side ag could be hit hard by water plan; and more …

In California water news today, More critical water storage is finally coming to California. It took nearly 40 years; Humans devastated California’s chinook salmon. Now they want to save it; West side ag could be hit hard by water plan; CPUC gives Monterey desal project unanimous go-ahead; and more …

In the news today …

More critical water storage is finally coming to California. It took nearly 40 years: California officials have been pushing for more natural water storage since the last large-scale facility was built in 1979. Now they’re finally going to get it, thanks to political pressure, President Donald Trump and some congressional creativity.  The House approved several provisions Thursday that help fund water storage projects. The Senate is expected to concur shortly, and Trump is expected to sign the legislation into law next week.  Republican Rep. Jeff Denham and Democrat Rep. Jim Costa have been pushing for additional water storage for the state for years in constantly-at-risk-of-drought California. Since 1979, California’s population has grown 70 percent. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  More critical water storage is finally coming to California. It took nearly 40 years

Humans devastated California’s chinook salmon.  Now they want to save it:  “Dave Vogel already knew that levees and dams had devastated the coastal salmon population in California’s longest river. The surprise for the fisheries scientist arrived when he saw the video footage of young salmon clustered beneath bridges in the watery depths.  City and county agencies in Northern California hired Mr. Vogel to provide research on several bridge-construction and retrofit projects along the Sacramento River starting in the late 1980s. He surveyed the riverbed with radar and underwater cameras to gauge the potential impact of the bridge work on the California coastal chinook salmon, whose population has plummeted since the turn of the 20th century. … ”  Read more from the Christian Science Monitor here: Humans devastated California’s chinook salmon.  Now they want to save it

West side ag could be hit hard by water plan:  “A state agency is expected to reach a decision Nov. 7 on its controversial plan to increase flows in three tributaries to the lower San Joaquin River – a controversial proposal which opponents contend would bring devastating consequences to Northern San Joaquin Valley farming operations and communities.  The highly-publicized state water board proposal to impose average unimpaired flows of 40 percent on the Tuolumne, Stanislaus and Merced rivers has been closely watched by ag interests, water agencies and environmentalists alike.  That proposal would impact east side communities and agencies most dramatically, local water officials recently told Mattos Newspapers – but a second, lesser-known phase to the plan could have the same impacts on West Side agencies. … ”  Read more from Westside Connect here:  West side ag could be hit hard by water plan

By 2040, most of the world won’t have enough water to meet demand year-round: “Seven out of 10 people on earth can count on running water to be available in their homes. That means it’s always there when we need it, whatever we need it for.  Until it isn’t: Cape Town, London, Sao Paulo, Jakarta, Istanbul, Tokyo, and Mexico City could be facing “Day Zero” — meaning they will run out of water — in the next few decades unless their water use radically changes.  Less than 1 percent of the world’s water supply is readily available for human use (the rest is salty, frozen at the poles, or trapped underground). Yet we use it in wildly inefficient ways: We lose it to leaky pipes. We dump waste in it. We try to grow some of our most water-intensive crops in the desert. Really. … ”  Read more from Vox.com here: By 2040, most of the world won’t have enough water to meet demand year-round

Global Climate Action Summit puts stress on action:  “This has been a big week for advocates who fight climate change. Business leaders, mayors, governors and activists from around the world rallied in San Francisco at the Global Climate Action Summit to advance their agenda in the face of a defiant White House.  California Gov. Jerry Brown issued an order Monday announcing the goal to eliminate carbon emissions in the state within 27 years. He also just signed a bill into law, making the state’s electricity completely emissions-free by 2045. Brown signed as the White House reportedly enacted another policy to stymie such efforts, this time by relaxing methane emission regulations. … ”  Read more from CBS here:  Global Climate Action Summit puts stress on action

In regional news and commentary today …

Feather River Hatchery fish ladder now open:  “The fish ladder at Feather River Hatchery in Oroville will open Friday signaling the start of the spawning season on the Feather River, according to a release.  California Department of Fish and Wildlife hatchery workers will open the gates in the ladder about 8 a.m. and will take more than 3 million spring-run eggs and 12 million fall-run eggs over the next two months in order to produce Chinook salmon for release next spring.  The hatchery is open from sunrise to sunset. Visitors can observe the salmon through the viewing windows and from the observation deck located at the base of the fish barrier dam. … ”  Read more from The Union here:  Feather River Hatchery fish ladder now open

Sunken ships revealed at Tahoe’s new underwater trail: “One of Lake Tahoe’s great secrets will be unlocked in two weeks: the sites of more than a dozen sunken vessels in Emerald Bay.  California State Parks will open an underwater trail to four sites in Emerald Bay that will lead visitors to a boat graveyard from the 1920s and ’30s — and provide those in boats with a chance to peer down into the lake for a glimpse.  State park divers have found two large barges and 12 recreational boats, including a vintage 27-foot launch, said Denise Jaffe, associate state archaeologist with the California State Parks and a scuba diver who helped develop the project. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  Sunken ships revealed at Tahoe’s new underwater trail

Monterey: CPUC gives Cal Am desal project unanimous go-ahead:  “After six and a half years of review, the state Public Utilities Commission on Thursday approved a permit for California American Water’s Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project, including a North Marina desalination plant.  Following public testimony from dozens of Peninsula and other area residents regarding the project, the commission agreed that Cal Am’s project including 6.4 million gallon per day desal plant and supplemental water supplies is the best available route to providing the water-restrained community with a replacement source of water to offset the state water board’s Carmel River pumping cutback order due to take full effect at the end of 2021. ... ”  Read more from the Monterey Herald here:  Monterey: CPUC gives Cal Am desal project unanimous go-ahead

Monterey: Judge overturns Harper Canyon subdivision over water concerns including a made-up basin:  “Back in 2014, when the Monterey County Board of Supervisors was set to consider the proposed Harper Canyon subdivision, time was already on the developer’s side.   Noting that Harper Canyon Realty LLC had been pursuing the project since 2001, County Supervisor Simon Salinas was in favor of blessing the 344-acre project along San Benancio Road.  “The applicant has followed the rules that are in place,” Salinas said at the time. “If we don’t make that decision [to approve the project] here, then a court could make that decision.” … ”  Read more from the Monterey County Now here:  Monterey: Judge overturns Harper Canyon subdivision over water concerns including a made-up basin

How Complex is LADWP’s Dewatering Plan? Mono County Ready to Count the Ways:  “Common sense tells you dewatering grazing lands in Mono County has the potential of messing with the eco-system. A team of scientists has been hired to outline just how complicated that proposition is.  Scientists from Bauer Planning and Environmental Services will be preparing the County’s comments on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s preparation of an Environmental Impact Report. Sandra Bauer and biologist Jim Paulus outlined those efforts at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting.  The department will hold a public scoping meeting at 6:30, September 26 at the Mammoth Outlet Mall. Comments are due October 16. … ”  Read it here:  How Complex is LADWP’s Dewatering Plan? Mono County Ready to Count the Ways

Santa Clarita: Groundwater managers secure $400,000 state grant:  “Water officials appointed to manage Santa Clarita Valley groundwater are expected to receive a state grant for more than $400,000 to help cover the cost of that effort.  Members of the Santa Clarita Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency were notified in April by officials with the California Department of Water Resources that a grant application filed by SCV Water’s predecessor was successful.  “This $416,000 will cover about 15 percent of the total estimated $2.7 million we will spend on the Groundwater Sustainability Plan through 2022,” Rick Viergutz, SCV Water’s principal water resources planner, said Wednesday. … ”  Read more from the Santa Clarita Signal here:  Groundwater managers secure $400,000 state grant

La Canada-Flintridge city officials engage in campaign to get holdouts properties connected to sewer system:  “For the past 20 years, La Cañada Flintridge city officials have encouraged homes and businesses to connect their properties to a sewer system. They’ve even offered grants to help low-income households ditch septic tanks for a more sanitary option.  Yet, despite their best efforts, they’ve historically dealt with hundreds of holdouts, primarily from the owners of properties where topography presents logistical and financial complications. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  La Canada-Flintridge city officials engage in campaign to get holdouts properties connected to sewer system

Along the Colorado River …

Can we operate the Colorado River differently amid climate change?  The Colorado River watershed faces increasing challenges from chronic water shortage. And it appears increasingly likely this is a new permanent condition, not an episodic drought.  As a result, the many reservoirs built in the watershed – large and small – may have to be operated differently to optimize new precipitation patterns and snowmelt routines. That is a complicated problem, because they are all operated by different entities, with different water demands and unique environmental and flood-control concerns. … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Can we operate the Colorado River differently amid climate change?

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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