DAILY DIGEST: Science and the Supreme Court: Cases to watch in 2018; California enters peak fire season with Delaware-sized burn scar; In Colorado, water bosses begin to accept climate change impacts; and more …

In California water news today, Science and the Supreme Court: Cases to watch in 2018; California enters peak fire season with Delaware-sized burn scar; In Colorado, water bosses begin to accept climate change impacts; Diving into cyanotoxins-algae affecting Humboldt health; Pacific Grove welcomes community’s opinions, ideas on Shoreline Management Plan; and more …

In the news today …

Science and the Supreme Court: Cases to watch in 2018:  “The US Supreme Court began its latest term on 1 October amid a fierce political battle.  Lawmakers in the Senate have split down party lines over President Donald Trump’s pick to fill a vacant seat on the court. Trump’s choice, conservative federal judge Brett Kavanaugh, faces allegations of sexual assault that have delayed a Senate vote on his nomination. (Kavanaugh denies the allegations.)  For now, the court is evenly divided between conservative and liberal justices. The confirmation of a ninth justice is poised to shift the court’s ideological balance. ... ”  Read more from Scientific American here:  Science and the Supreme Court: Cases to watch in 2018

California enters peak fire season with Delaware-sized burn scar:  “California is poised to set an annual record it never wanted to break: the amount of earth scorched by wildfires.  Blazes have already ripped through enough acres to blacken the entire state of Delaware, and what’s typically California’s worst month for fires is just beginning. At least 11 people have died this year from wildfires that shut down Yosemite National Park, drove thousands from their homes and destroyed more than 2,000 buildings. And forecasters say prospects for rain are slim. … ”  Read more from Bloomberg here:  California enters peak fire season with Delaware-sized burn scar

In Colorado, water bosses begin to accept climate change impacts:  “The phrase “climate change” did not appear on the agenda of a recent three-day meeting of the Colorado Water Congress, but the topic was often front and center at the conference, as it increasingly is at water meetings around the state and the region.  Amy Haas, the new executive director of the Upper Colorado River Commission, told the Water Congress audience of about 300 water managers, irrigators, engineers and lawyers that “hydrology is changing more rapidly than we once thought” and that “it is primarily due to climate change.” … ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  In Colorado, water bosses begin to accept climate change impacts

Diving into cyanotoxins-algae affecting Humboldt health:  “In an effort to collect more information and build a deeper understanding of cyanotoxins in the Eel River, grassroots volunteers have joined together to create the Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) and are building data for the community about the river health for the general public.  With low water levels during the summer months, noxious blooms are stimulated in the warm, stagnant state, encouraging the development of algal toxins which can be fatal if the water is ingested. … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here:  Diving into cyanotoxins-algae affecting Humboldt health

Statewide water saving sliding; at half of local conservation rate:  “Water saving in urban California continued to slide in August, but Butte County agencies generally conserved twice as much water as the rest of the state.  The State Water Resources Control Board reported Tuesday that statewide, water use was down 12.6 percent in August, compared to August 2013. That’s a decline from 13.6 percent in July, 16.8 percent in June, and 20.2 percent in May.  The numbers have been dropping fairly steadily since April 2017, when Gov. Jerry Brown declared the drought over, and mandatory conservation targets were dropped. The state actually used more water this February than in 2017, then conservation jumped to 24.8 percent in March, but has been declining since. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Statewide water saving sliding; at half of local conservation rate

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

Pacific Grove welcomes community’s opinions, ideas on Shoreline Management Plan:  “Community members can now voice their opinions and propose ideas for the city’s Shoreline Management Plan.  Joyce Halabi, programs manager of the city’s Department of Public Works, invited the community to visit the plan’s website survey, where people will have an opportunity to provide input on the issues that concern them the most, such as wildlife disturbance, coastal erosion and sea level rise. … ”  Read more from the Monterey Herald here:  Pacific Grove welcomes community’s opinions, ideas on Shoreline Management Plan

Paso Robles: Jury trial in an epic battle:  Cindy Steinbeck of Steinbeck Vineyards and Winery writes, “Over the past four weeks, an epic David and Goliath legal fight culminated in a historic jury trial protecting the groundwater rights of landowners from governmental taking without compensation. On one side of the courtroom sat lawyers for San Luis Obispo County, San Luis Obispo County Flood Control and Conservation District, the City of Paso Robles, Atascadero Mutual Water Company, Templeton Community Services District and San Miguel Community Services District represented by no less than 5 law firms, nine in court lawyers and a cadre of jury and trial consultants, media presentations and governmental representatives. On the other side sat representatives of the 1,000 plus landowners desperately trying to preserve their rights to the groundwater they pump from the wells on their property, which are their sole source of water, represented by father and son, Mr. Richard Zimmer & Mr. William Zimmer from a single law firm, Clifford & Brown. When the dust settled, the jury rejected the governmental attempt to take any meaningful groundwater rights from the landowners. ... ”  Read more from the Paso Robles Daily News here:  Paso Robles: Jury trial in an epic battle

NRDC sues Pasadena, Murrieta over failing to restrict water usage for new developments: Pasadena violated state water laws for three years by allowing new homes and commercial buildings to waste water, while failing to file conservation reports with the state resources agency.  They also ignored a 25-year-old state law strengthened under the governor’s drought emergency of 2015 that ordered stringent reductions in landscape watering, according to a settlement agreement signed last month.  The lawsuit, brought by the Natural Resources Defense Council in December 2017 against the city, was settled Sept. 21, 2018, records show. ... ”  Read more from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune here:  NRDC sues Pasadena, Murrieta over failing to restrict water usage for new developments

San Diego: Painters sentenced for dumping lead paint into storm drain system:  “The CEO and two employees of a Riverside County-based painting company were sentenced after pleading guilty to contaminating San Diego’s storm water system by power-washing painted curbs and allowing toxic lead paint chips to flow into storm drains, City Attorney Mara Elliott announced Friday.  The trio were placed on probation and ordered to pay more than$12,000 in fines and restitution, Elliott said. … ”  Read more from the San Diego Union Tribune here:  San Diego: Painters sentenced for dumping lead paint into storm drain system

More news and commentary in the weekend edition …

  • 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 …  READ IT HERE:  Weekend Daily Digest

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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