DAILY DIGEST: Can a California town move back from the sea?; Marijuana emerging among CA’s vineyards, offering promise and concern; Lakehead residents raise questions about raising Shasta Dam; Lawsuits filed over Cal Am’s proposed desal project; and more …

In California water news today, Can a California town move back from the sea?; Q&A: Almond farms keep growing, and keep moving on water conservation; Marijuana is emerging among California’s vineyards, offering promise and concern; Did Trump create a new talking point for climate skeptics?; Lakehead residents raise questions about raising the height of Shasta Dam; Potter Valley project on Mendocino County board of supervisors’ agenda Tuesday; Marina Coast Water District, city of Marina sue over Cal Am’s proposed desal project; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • The State Water Resources Control Board will meet beginning at 9:30am.  Agenda items include an update on the Salton Sea Management Program, the quarterly Delta Lead Scientist update, and a workshop on updates to the cannabis policy. Click here for the full agendaClick here to watch on webcast.
  • The Department of Water Resources and California Rural Water Association is holding a Drought Management Workshop in San Diego from 12pm to 4:30pm.  This no-cost workshop is targeted to small communities and rural, disadvantaged systems.   Click here for more information.

In the news today …

Can a California town move back from the sea?  “At the start of each year, Southern California gets a glimpse into a future of rising seas, through an annual event called the king tide. On that day, the sun, moon and Earth align to create a heavy gravitational pull, leading to the highest tides of the year. If “king tide” sounds ominous, that’s because it is, particularly for a city like Imperial Beach, a small coastal town near the Mexican border surrounded by water on three sides: San Diego Bay to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Tijuana River Delta to the south. … The oceans are now rising at a faster rate than any time since the last Ice Age, about half an inch or more per decade. While much of this is understood by researchers and informed readers, very little has been done by coastal cities to confront this slow-moving catastrophe. That is what makes Imperial Beach so interesting. Here, at the southernmost beach town in California, in an obscure corner of the United States, one small city is asking: What if we just got out of nature’s way? ... ”  Read more from the High Country News here:  Can a California town move back from the sea?

Q&A: Almond farms keep growing, and keep moving on water conservation: “Much was written during California’s recent five-year drought about the amount of water used by almonds. The nuts have become California’s most lucrative agricultural commodity, and a major export product.  Long before concerns about water use by almond growers emerged, the industry initiated measures to conserve water by embracing microirrigation systems. It has also become a leader in efforts such as recharging groundwater by flooding almond orchards during winter storms. … To explain these initiatives further, Water Deeply recently interviewed Richard Waycott, president and CEO of the Almond Board of California. ... ”  Read more from Water Deeply here:  Q&A: Almond farms keep growing, and keep moving on water conservation

Marijuana is emerging among California’s vineyards, offering promise and concern: “It is the fall harvest here in this fertile stretch of oaks and hills that produces some of the country’s best wine. This season, though, workers also are plucking the sticky, fragrant flowers of a new crop.  Marijuana is emerging among the vineyards, not as a rival to the valley’s grapes but as a high-value commodity that could help reinvigorate a fading agricultural tradition along the state’s Central Coast. Brushed by ocean breeze, cannabis has taken root, offering promise and prompting the age-old question of whether there can be too much of a good thing. ... ”  Read more from the Washington Post here:  Marijuana is emerging among California’s vineyards, offering promise and concern

Did Trump create a new talking point for climate skeptics?  “President Trump found a new way to express his suspicions about climate change. The question is whether it will become a talking point.  Those who doubt mainstream climate science have for a long time downplayed the role of human-related emissions by saying that Earth’s climate system has always fluctuated naturally. Trump flipped that around. He looked to the future instead of the past by suggesting that today’s higher temperatures could decrease on their own — or “change back.”  As scientists grappled with this new presentation of skepticism, others began repeating it. Trump made his remarks Sunday on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” ... ”  Read more from E&E News here: Did Trump create a new talking point for climate skeptics?

In commentary today …

State water board’s proposed cutbacks will affect all Californians: Mike Wade writes, “Our state is in a fight over water policy that could hit all Californians squarely in their grocery carts.  If the State Water Board’s unimpaired flow policy is adopted, significant additional amounts of water will be diverted away from farms and others and left in our rivers under the assumption that it will help native fish. Not only does science show this approach doesn’t work, we also know it will cause a variety of new problems. California families should reject this approach. ... ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  State water board’s proposed cutbacks will affect all Californians

In regional news and commentary today …

Lakehead residents raise questions about raising the height of Shasta Dam:  “About 130 private property owners around Lake Shasta could be forced to move if a plan to raise the height of Shasta Dam goes forward.  That was just one of the pieces of information that came out of a community meeting about the project Monday night in Lakehead.  “This needs to be a wake-up call that this is happening sooner rather than later,” Matt Doyle, general manager of Lake Shasta Caverns, said after the meeting. … ”  Read more from the Redding Record Searchlight here:  Lakehead residents raise questions about raising the height of Shasta Dam

Trinidad hotel’s visual, environmental impact questioned:  “Discussions surrounding a plan to build a 100-room hotel behind the Cher-Ae Heights Casino flared Monday as locals continued to question the hotel’s reliance on the city’s water supply and its visual impacts on the scenic Trinidad Bay shoreline.  At six stories, the building would be one of the largest in Humboldt County and a sizable presence in the tiny oceanside town. The Trinidad Rancheria released an environmental assessment report in late September outlining the project’s details, but the project nevertheless saw intense pushback at Monday’s public forum in Trinidad City Hall. … ”  Read more from the Redwood Times here:  Trinidad hotel’s visual, environmental impact questioned

Chico: Salvation of water towers celebrated:  “There was a little party Monday evening under the old water towers at East Third and Orient streets in Chico, to celebrate that the towers will be standing there for some time to come.  California Water Service Co. had announced in June 2017 that the towers would have to come down as they were not earthquake safe, and the cost of repairing them would run into the millions of dollars.  But after a year and a half of discussions with the Chico Heritage Association and others, the company found a way to save them. That was what the Monday night celebration was about. ... ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Chico: Salvation of water towers celebrated

Potter Valley project on Mendocino County board of supervisors’ agenda Tuesday:  “The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors Tuesday will consider allocating $20,000 toward “investigating and negotiating” the purchase of the Potter Valley Project, which a hydro-electric dam the Pacific Gas and Electric is putting up for auction.  According to the agenda for the Oct. 16 meeting, the board is being asked to discuss and possibly take action to “authorize allocation of (not more than) $20,000 as Mendocino County’s proportionate share of legal fees for Inland Water and Power Commission regarding investigation and negotiation for potential acquisition of the Potter Valley Project.” … ”  Read more from the Ukiah Daily Journal here:  Potter Valley project on Mendocino County board of supervisors’ agenda Tuesday

Santa Cruz offshore face hard decisions with badly eroding bluff:  “Officials in Santa Cruz are being pressed to figure out a fix for an upscale waterfront street that is being threatened by an eroding cliff.  West Cliff Drive sits on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and is home to multi-million dollar villas. But major parts of the coastal road are currently at risk of crumbling away because of rising sea levels. ... ”  Read more from CBS Sacramento here:  Santa Cruz offshore face hard decisions with badly eroding bluff

Marina Coast Water District, city of Marina sue over Cal Am’s proposed desal project:  “The first salvo of a long-anticipated legal battle has arrived: On Oct. 12, Marina Coast Water District filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court over the California Public Utilities Commission’s Sept. 13 approval of California American Water’s proposed desalination project in Marina.  Marina City Attorney Rob Wellington confirms the city of Marina also filed a lawsuit, but that he has not yet seen it (the city hired outside attorneys to handle the litigation). The Weekly has not yet viewed Marina’s lawsuit. … ”  Read more from Monterey Weekly here:  Marina Coast Water District, city of Marina sue over Cal Am’s proposed desal project

Public meeting set to discuss planned blasting at Isabella Dam:  “More than a dozen years have passed since the U.S Army Corps of Engineers became concerned about water seeping through the auxiliary dam at Isabella Lake — not to mention the possibility of a massive earthquake leveling the earthen structure.  It may seem like a long wait, but repair plans are about to get serious as the Corps’ construction contractor Flatiron/Dragados/Sukut JV gears up to begin blasting — using explosives to gouge out huge chunks of solid rock from between the auxiliary dam and the main dam. ... ”  Read more from the Bakersfield Californian here:  Public meeting set to discuss planned blasting at Isabella Dam

Antelope Valley: If you didn’t have water: No showers. No food. No clothing. No toilets.  These are just some of the things the seventh- and eighth-graders at the Palmdale Preparatory Academy thought of when they imagined not having water.  The exercise was part of an event Wednesday to mark “Imagine a Day Without Water,” a nationwide campaign to bring awareness to the value of water in our daily lives.  The students shared their thoughts and learned about how water gets to their own taps during a panel discussion with representatives of the Palmdale Water District. … ”  Read more from the AV Press here:  If you didn’t have water

Yes on Measure W for clean beaches and oceans — and, possibly, ‘new’ drinking water, says the LA Times:  They write, “Los Angeles County Measure W is a parcel tax to pay for cleaning up stormwater — the dirty runoff created when rain hits the streets and other paved surfaces, picks up toxic urban gunk and carries it downstream to foul the beaches and pollute the ocean. Depending on how you look at it, the measure is either a hard but necessary pill to swallow or an exciting step into the future. In either case, it’s the right move, and The Times urges voters to say yes. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Yes on Measure W for clean beaches and oceans — and, possibly, ‘new’ drinking water

Along the Colorado River …

States Take On Urgent Negotiations To Avoid Colorado River Crisis:  “In 2007, years into a record-breaking drought throughout the southwestern U.S., officials along the Colorado River finally came to an agreement on how they’d deal with future water shortages — and then quietly hoped that wet weather would return.  But it didn’t.  Those states are now back at the negotiating table to hammer out new deals to avoid a slow-moving crisis on the river system that supports 40 million people in seven Western states. … ”  Read more from KQED here:  States Take On Urgent Negotiations To Avoid Colorado River Crisis

Nevada: Coyote Springs, Moapa water district, tribe raise concerns about draft water order: “Aiming to protect long-held water rights and an endangered fish, state regulators released a draft order at the end of September to prevent over-pumping in six connected aquifers from the Apex Industrial Park to Coyote Springs. In that stretch of desert, water users have more rights to groundwater than can be pumped sustainably. But the problem is how to tackle the issue without infringing on other rights, and few are pleased with one of the state’s proposed fixes. ... ”  Read more from the Nevada Independent here:  Nevada: Coyote Springs, Moapa water district, tribe raise concerns about draft water order

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

BLOG ROUND-UP: San Francisco teams up with Trump on the Tuolumne River?; The connection between groundwater and surface water; Delta Flows — WaterFix Alphabet Soup Edition; and more …

METROPOLITAN WATER DISTRICT: Update on Southern California regional groundwater conditions

Today’s announcements …

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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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