DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Upcoming pattern change will bring much-needed rain; Small town fight of water rate hike revived; Dan Walters on Gov. Brown’s attempt to forge water deal; Michael Hiltzik on Zinke’s successor; and more …
In California water news this weekend, Upcoming Pattern Change Will Bring Some Much-Needed Rain to California; Small town fight of water rate hike revived; Trump: Climate change ‘maybe contributes a little bit’ to California wildfires; Dan Walters: Outgoing Gov. Brown tries to forge big water deal; Michael Hiltzik column: Zinke may soon be gone from the Interior Department, but his successor could be much, much worse; Imperial Beach tries to calm fears of eminent domain; and more …
In the news this weekend …
Upcoming Pattern Change Will Bring Some Much-Needed Rain to California: “A pattern change is expected to take place this week that will bring long-awaited rainfall to the West, including California, and relief from the blasts of cold air in the central U.S. For much of November, a southward dip in the jet stream has been in place over the central and eastern U.S. This has brought rounds of cold air along with periods of rain and snow. In the West, the dominant pattern has been dry and mild conditions due to an upper-level ridge of high pressure near the West Coast. ... ” Read more from the Weather Channel here: Upcoming Pattern Change Will Bring Some Much-Needed Rain to California
In wake of California’s worst fire catastrophe, significant rain on the horizon: “It’s a refrain that Californians have heard all too often in recent years: yet another extremely destructive, fast-moving wildfire has torn through multiple communities, leaving widespread destruction in its wake. But this time, the numbers and details are staggering even by comparison to recent disasters in the fire-weary Golden State. The Camp Fire, which ignited in a wooded area in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Butte County and quickly overran the town of Paradise last Thursday, has been responsible for over 70 deaths. Over one thousand people remain unaccounted for as of today–a number that has, ominously, been rising steadily now for over a week. Nearly 15,000 structures have been destroyed, including essentially the entire town of Paradise (population: 27,000). … ” Continue reading at the California Weather Blog here: In wake of California’s worst fire catastrophe, significant rain on the horizon
Small Town Fight of Water Rate Hike Revived in California: “Voters in Dunsmuir, California, can challenge utility rate hikes proposed by town leaders to pay for repairs and upgrades to its aging water system, a state appeals court ruled Thursday. Nestled at the foot of Mt. Shasta along the Sacramento River, the small town of Dunsmuir is home to “The Best Water on Earth,” having won a gold medal from Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting competition in 2014. … ” Read more from Courthouse News Service here: Small Town Fight of Water Rate Hike Revived in California
Updated winter outlook from NOAA’s climate prediction center: “NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) updated their winter outlook covering December through February. Warmer than normal weather is still anticipated across much of the northern and western U.S., with the greatest likelihood in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Below average temperatures are not favored in any parts of the nation through the period. … ” Read more from the Weather Channel here: Updated winter outlook from NOAA’s climate prediction center
Trump: Climate change ‘maybe contributes a little bit’ to California wildfires: “President Trump said Friday it was possible that wildfires ravaging the state of California in recent days have been exacerbated at least in part by climate change. In an interview set to air in full on “Fox News Sunday,” Trump told Chris Wallace that “maybe” climate change contributes “a little bit” to the fires that have so far destroyed thousands of homes in the state and killed at least 66 people. ... ” Read more from The Hill here: Trump: Climate change ‘maybe contributes a little bit’ to California wildfires
Trump pledges federal help for burned out Californians but again blames poor forest management: “President Trump toured a scene of surreal devastation on Saturday, picking his way around burned trees and the hulking skeletons of automobiles as he pledged federal resources to help Californians recover from the most deadly and destructive wildfire in state history. “This is very sad to see, but we’re all going to work together,” Trump said after a walking tour of a burned-out RV park and housing tract in Paradise. As he spoke, a thick haze of smoke hung in the air. Stone and brick chimneys — all that remained of some homes — were visible from Trump’s motorcade. … ” Read more from the Washington Post here: Trump pledges federal help for burned out Californians but again blames poor forest management
In commentary this weekend …
Dan Walters: Outgoing Gov. Brown tries to forge big water deal: “As the Civil War raged, William Brewer, a young botanist from upstate New York, spent five years cataloging California’s natural attributes for its Legislature. As he and his crew traversed the state by mule in their annual sojourns, living off the land, Brewer found much to commend. But in letters to his brother, decades later assembled into a must-read book (Up and Down California), Brewer also wondered whether its climate would impede its development. He was particularly negative about what we now call the San Joaquin Valley, seeing it as an inhospitable desert and unsuitable for agriculture. … ” Read more from Cal Matters here: Dan Walters: Outgoing Gov. Brown tries to forge big water deal
Michael Hiltzik column: Zinke may soon be gone from the Interior Department, but his successor could be much, much worse: He writes, “As a chapter in the lesson plan instructing you to be careful what you wish for, let us consider the case of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and the ever-increasing possibility that he soon will be ousted over ethics concerns. Last week, President Trump said that Zinke’s job was safe — for the moment. But his tenure at Interior plainly is perched on a knife edge. His departure would remove from the Cabinet a member devoted to environmentally dubious oil drilling, to wasteful and foolish water projects and to feathering his own nest. ... ” Read more from the LA Times here: Zinke may soon be gone from the Interior Department, but his successor could be much, much worse
Trump was right: California’s forests have been grossly mismanaged, says Joe Denham: He writes, “President Trump was right about forest management. Why do I care? I have spent a great deal of my life caring for the land. I spent two years working as a firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service. I spent two years working as a firefighter for Cal Fire (then it was the California Department of Forestry and Fire protection, before the word forestry became politically incorrect). I have worked as a river guide for the San Joaquin River Parkway. I have worked as a forester under contract to PG&E. In addition to other studies I have a forestry degree from Reedley College. I have managed my own rangeland. I have consulted on the management of various types of open space for fun and profit. … ” Read more from the Fresno Bee here: Trump was right: California’s forests have been grossly mismanaged
In regional news and commentary this weekend …
At Santa Rosa’s Baum family farm, working to preserve and maintain precious vernal pools: “A short but innovative trail, which features Bluetooth “beacons” geared to blind and other visually impaired people, recently opened on the western edge of Santa Rosa at the historic Baum family farm. A collaboration between the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation and the Earle Baum Center, the .83-mile Vernal Pool Trail winds through an intact 17-acre vernal pool wetland complex at the Baum center and brings major recreational and other benefits to those with sight loss. … ” Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here: At Santa Rosa’s Baum family farm, working to preserve and maintain precious vernal pools
El Dorado County: Forebay dam project ahead of schedule: “An update on the Forebay Dam project, workshop on the 2019-23 operating budget, decision to prepay on the district’s bond debt and a request by mobile home owners for the board to consider them when raising rates were among the items taken up by the El Dorado Irrigation District board at its Nov. 13 meeting. Staff discussed a detailed presentation by staff on progress toward completing the El Dorado Forebay Dam Modification project. … ” Read more from the Mountain Democrat here: El Dorado County: Forebay dam project ahead of schedule
San Diego: Wetlands restoration plan released: “On Oct. 30, ReWild Mission Bay — a project of San Diego Audubon and its partners to enhance and restore wetlands in the northeast corner of Mission Bay — released the highly anticipated final conceptual plans for how wetlands can be feasibly restored to protect wildlife and our communities. The three plans include expanded public access and habitat restoration options, as well as cost estimates and sea-level-rise modeling. … ” Read more from Mission Valley News here: San Diego: Wetlands restoration plan released
San Diego: Project to turn wastewater into drinking water to begin construction in 2019: “Construction will begin next spring for the first phase of a project to transform wastewater into purified drinking water in San Diego. The San Diego City Council voted Thursday to move forward with the Pure Water San Diego project, which intends to provide one-third of San Diego’s water supply by 2035. The vote allows the city to award contracts for the first phase of the project, which will involve pipeline construction to move wastewater from a planned pump station in the Morena area to the North City Pure Water Facility in Miramar. ... ” Read more from NBC San Diego here: Project to turn wastewater into drinking water to begin construction in 2019
Imperial Beach tries to calm fears of eminent domain: “Hundreds of Imperial Beach residents showed up to a land-use workshop Wednesday night to tell their city council they are opposed to the city using eminent domain to take ocean-affected property and give them to the rising sea and estuary waters. Social media plus local news and politics websites have been awash with alarm over the sea level rise strategy people thought the city adopted. Some residents believe the city’s option of managed retreat – abandoning homes and buildings to the ocean rising waters – includes the city taking those homes and buildings by force of eminent domain. “Please remove eminent domain and managed retreat from the plan,” said Mitch McKay. “We don’t want it on the table, we don’t want it on the books. We want it gone.” ... ” Read more from the San Diego Reader here: Imperial Beach tries to calm fears of eminent domain
Along the Colorado River …
Everyone Knows The Colorado River’s Top Agreement Is Flawed. Why Not Fix It?: “Colorado River water managers have plenty to argue about. But there’s one thing on which nearly everyone who relies on the southwestern river can agree. The foundational document that divvies up the water — the Colorado River Compact — has some big flaws. Discussion on how to fix the compact’s problems is where that consensus breaks down, often with the invocation of one word: renegotiation. … ” Read more from KUNC here: Everyone Knows The Colorado River’s Top Agreement Is Flawed. Why Not Fix It?
CAP pushes new drought plan for Lake Mead protection: “Trying to rejigger stalled talks on a plan to protect Lake Mead, the CAP board is pushing a new plan to spend up to $60 million to compensate water users whose supplies would be cut due to future Colorado River shortages. The Drought Contingency Plan proposal approved by the Central Arizona Project board last week is a less ambitious, less expensive and shorter-term blueprint than those proposed earlier by water agencies and the Gila River Indian Community. … ” Read more from the Arizona Star here: CAP pushes new drought plan for Lake Mead protection
Arizona is on the brink of setting off another Colorado River water war, says Bruce Babbitt: He writes, “Arizona is once again at a critical decision point in the ongoing struggle to secure our water resources. If we fail to take the right course, we risk igniting yet another Colorado River water war. Lake Mead, from which we draw our share of the Colorado River, is dropping to perilous levels. In order to stabilize lake levels and protect our water supply, the Department of Water Resources has negotiated an agreement with California and the other basin states to begin reducing water diversions from the Lake. … ” Read more from the Arizona Central here: Arizona is on the brink of setting off another Colorado River water war
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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.