DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Capturing and reusing urban storm water could be a boon for water-stressed cities—if we can clean it up; Benicia trail named after enviro reporter Mike Taugher; How billionaires and bacteria are racing to save us from death by fertilizer; and more …

In California water news this weekend, Capturing and reusing urban storm water could be a boon for water-stressed cities—if we can find a way to clean it up; Benicia trail named after award-winning Contra Costa Times environmental reporter; How billionaires and bacteria are racing to save us from death by fertilizer; Controversy over Klamath River dam removal persists as approval nears; Elkhorn Slough near Monterey receives International Wetland designation; and more …

In the news this weekend …

Capturing and reusing urban storm water could be a boon for water-stressed cities—if we can find a way to clean it up: “In March, residents of Cape Town, South Africa stood in line for hours to buy drinking water at supermarkets or pump it from springs amid severe water shortages.  Cape Town isn’t alone: One in four big cities worldwide already has overstretched its water resources, and global warming may increase the likelihood of prolonged dry spells in some regions.  Facing a future of increasingly erratic rains, water-stressed cities are looking for solutions. One alluring possibility? The capture and reuse of storm water. … ”  Read more from the Environmental Health News here:  Capturing and reusing urban storm water could be a boon for water-stressed cities—if we can find a way to clean it up

‘He had a heart as big as the Pacific’: Benicia trail named after award-winning Contra Costa Times environmental reporter: Mike Taugher taught his children Anna and Zack how to ride their bikes in Benicia State Recreation Area, a short five-block walk from his house. He’d walk and jog with his wife Kim along the rolling hills and wetlands tucked beside Interstate 780.  The award-winning Contra Costa Times environmental reporter would kayak along the Carquinez Strait, the same body of water he’d fiercely document, monitoring salmon runs, tiny Delta smelt and battles on the fragile ecosystem’s future.  Five years after his sudden death, state officials Saturday honored Taugher’s decades of service acting as an environmental watchdog by naming a nearly 1-mile trail in the state park after him. … ”  Read more from the East Bay Times here:  ‘He had a heart as big as the Pacific’: Benicia trail named after award-winning Contra Costa Times environmental reporter

California water managers successfully diversify water supplies in face of threats:  “Since 2014, California has passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), updated its water recycling policy to encourage a shift away from reliance on large-scale regional water supply systems, and begun requiring that California State Water Boards adopt regulations for groundwater replenishment using recycled water. Moves such as these have been taken in an attempt to help the state manage threats to its major water supply systems – and seem to have successfully led to water managers increasing the diversification of water supplies and their use of recycled water, according to Jonathan King of global law firm Squire Patton Boggs. … ”  Read more from the Environmental Leader here:  California water managers successfully diversify water supplies in face of threats

How billionaires and bacteria are racing to save us from death by fertilizer: Issac Christiancy was a white-bearded 79-year-old when the shooting over nitrogen started.  It was January 15, 1881, and the U.S. envoy to Peru had to duck for cover. Bullets whizzed through a suburb of Lima, “pattering thick and fast upon the buildings around us,” he later wrote back to Washington, D.C. Christiancy fled, throwing himself over walls and wading through ditches over an eight-mile run as shells from Chilean gunboats exploded around him, until he stumbled into his offices. Peru soon surrendered, and the night that followed was “a nightmare of chaos and unutterable horrors” as the remnants of the defeated Peruvian army looted, burned, and terrorized the city.  Chile had invaded Peru for a seemingly unlikely prize: nitrogen fertilizer. ... ”  Read more from The Grist here:  Death by Fertilizer

In regional news and commentary this weekend …

Controversy over Klamath River dam removal persists as approval nears:  “From the air, Iron Gate Reservoir stretches for miles like a long green banner behind Irongate Dam.  There’s not a boat in sight on the water, and not very likely to be many swimmers in the lake in late September.  It’s not just the early fall weather that keeps swimmers out of the lake when the blue-green algae blooms.  State water quality officials posted signs around the lake in June warning people that coming in contact with the cyanobacteria in the algae can cause sickness in people, pets and wildlife. … ”  Read more from the Redding Record-Searchlight here:  Controversy over Klamath River dam removal persists as approval nears

A year after Wine Country fires, three wineries devastated wineries begin ‘rebirth over ruins: There was never a doubt in Ray Signorello, Jr.’s mind that he would rebuild.  Just three days after the 2017 Atlas Peak fire ripped through Napa’s Signorello Estate, burning the hospitality center and his residence to the ground, Signorello told his employees the winery wasn’t done. He rented temporary offices. He erected a trailer on the scorched Silverado Trail property for tastings. And on Tuesday, he will break ground on a new winery, fermentation building and caves. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  A year after Wine Country fires, three wineries devastated wineries begin ‘rebirth over ruins

Humboldt County Planners OK Dinsmore cannabis cultivation-to-consumption facility: The Humboldt County Planning Commission voted 4-2 to advance a proposed cannabis cultivation-to-consumption facility in the Dinsmore area Thursday night. … The site sits in a Van Duzen River floodplain and that was a key complaint. However, a floodplain ordinance exists in Humboldt County which allows for development in accordance to government and environmental regulations.  “It’s not like a 100-year storm event is going to flood this thing,” said CDFW employee David Manthorne. “It’s more like a 20-year storm event is going to flood that.” ... ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here:  Humboldt County Planners OK Dinsmore cannabis cultivation-to-consumption facility

Birds will fill the skies and wetlands across the Sacramento area as Pacific Flyway migration begins:  “The annual migration of millions of birds from Alaska to South America is underway, and the Sacramento Valley will be the place for some prime viewing through January.  One of those places to check out a variety of migratory birds is the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. The Yolo Basin Foundation is holding a free, guided tour of the wildlife area on Saturday, October 13 from 9 a.m. to noon. Docents will help visitors identify wildlife and provide information about the wildlife area. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Birds will fill the skies and wetlands across the Sacramento area as Pacific Flyway migration begins

Elkhorn Slough near Monterey receives International Wetland designation:  “The Elkhorn Slough, near Monterey Bay at Moss Landing, has been designated a “wetland slough of international importance” by the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today.  With the recognition, the slough joins 38 other wetland sites in the nation – including the San Francisco Bay estuary – and more than 2,330 sites worldwide under the world’s oldest international environmental treaty, which was signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971. Nearly 90 percent of members of the United Nations have since adopted the treaty. … ”  Read more from SF Gate here:  Elkhorn Slough near Monterey receives International Wetland designation

A new chapter for Elkhorn Slough:  “As Congressman Jimmy Panetta stepped up on the podium at a ceremony last week at Hester Marsh, pelicans glided behind him to a landing near bobbing otters. The flurry of wildlife underlined Panetta’s message of just how crucial wetland habitat is.  “We want to show the importance of Elkhorn Slough not just to the Central Coast, but to the world,” Panetta told the crowd of scientists, activists, and politicians.  Friday’s ceremony marked the beginning of a new chapter for the wetland and the community that has worked hard to champion environmental protections here, as Elkhorn Slough was named one of 38 wetlands of international importance. ... ”  Read more from the Monterey Herald here:  A new chapter for Elkhorn Slough

Mendocino:  Water shortage declaration extended:  “Mendocino City Community Services District directors decided Monday to extend a Stage 1 Water Shortage declaration despite the fact that groundwater measurements barely indicate a “No Water Shortage” condition.  District Superintendent Mike Kelley explained that, while rainfall measurements are the gauge for determining the town’s water supply for most of the year, from May through August, when typically there is no rain, the district switches to groundwater measurements to determine how water use should be managed. … ”  Read more from the Mendocino Beacon here:  Mendocino:  Water shortage declaration extended

High surf threatens property in Orange, LA, Ventura counties:  “Crews using heavy equipment worked in Long Beach and Seal Beach to protect property along the coastline, as high surf was expected in Orange, Los Angeles and Ventura counties this weekend.  The National Weather Service put out a high surf advisory, which remains in effect until 5 p.m. Sunday, Meteorologist David Sweet said.  Surf is expected to reach four to seven feet over the weekend, with local sets reaching as high as nine feet. The high surf will mainly affect exposed south-facing beaches with a peak Saturday morning, Sweet said. … ”  Read more from the Long Beach Press Telegram here:  High surf threatens property in Orange, LA, Ventura counties

Poseidon desalination plant scores low in ranking of Orange County water project: “The controversial Poseidon desalination plant proposed for Huntington Beach is the least cost-effective option and carries the most fiscal risk of key water projects being pursued in Orange County, according to a newly released draft report.  Additionally, the plant would produce far more water than needed except in the most extreme scenarios and most shortages could be met by other projects, according to the report by Municipal Water District of Orange County, which oversees water imported into the county.  A final version of the report, which analyzes the county’s future water needs and projects underway to meet those needs, is expected by the end of the year. ... ”  Read more from the OC Register here:  Poseidon desalination plant scores low in ranking of Orange County water project

Cadiz promises $5 million to Mojave water systems:  “Cadiz Inc., the downtown water company with a proposed project to pump and transport water from an aquifer beneath its Mojave Desert land holdings, announced Oct. 5 that it plans to donate up to $5 million from project revenue towards efforts to improve water quality at nearby water systems and throughout Southern California.  The $5 million donation would be administered over a five-year period by the Fenner Valley Water Authority, which would then distribute the money to eligible small water systems that serve disadvantaged communities. The money would be used primarily to build water treatment systems. … ” Read more from the Los Angeles Business Journal here:  Cadiz promises $5 million to Mojave water systems

Along the Colorado River …

2018 Symposium: Enhancing Tribal Water Sovereignty:  “The second panel of the symposium included four attorneys who work with American Indians to secure their water rights. Retired Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs moderated the panel. Hobbs opened the panel by giving a brief history of the Ute Tribes in Colorado before introducing the first speaker, Ernst House Jr., to talk about what tribal sovereignty means in the context of modern water rights. Ernst House Jr., the Executive Director of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs and member of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, works with state agencies to ensure that tribes have a voice in state decision-making.  … ”  Read more from the University of Denver Water Law Review here:  2018 Symposium: Enhancing Tribal Water Sovereignty

Also on Maven’s Notebook this weekend …

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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.

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

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