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DAILY DIGEST: Counting homes cutoff from water is a data collection nightmare; Off-the-charts air Pollution only one of CA’s fire hazards; Fighting fire with “forest resilience” bonds; How much wet stuff is expected this week?; and more …

In California water news today, Counting homes cutoff from water is a data collection nightmare; Off-the-Charts Air Pollution Only One of California’s Fire Hazards; Fighting fire with “forest resilience” bonds; How much wet stuff is expected this week?; and more …

In the news today …

Counting homes cutoff from water is a data collection nightmare:  “Earlier this year, state regulators sent California’s roughly 3,000 community water systems an annual report that included what the authors thought was a reasonable question. How many times in 2017, the State Water Resources Control Board asked, had local providers turned off water to their residential customers?  What the question stirred instead was an information revolt, according to Max Gomberg of the Water Board. The data wasn’t there, utilities said. At least not in a useful format.  “We had systems saying, ‘We don’t track that,’” Gomberg told Circle of Blue. “They said, ‘We can give you a number, but we can’t tell you how many are repeat shutoffs, how many are because the households couldn’t pay, or how many are because the people may have moved.’” ... ”  Read more from the Circle of Blue here: Counting homes cutoff from water is a data collection nightmare

Off-the-Charts Air Pollution Only One of California’s Fire Hazards: “San Francisco’s famous open-sided cable cars are giving way to buses, schools are closed, and firefighters are handing out face masks as smoke from the deadly Camp Fire blankets the region in pollution 10 times worse than that in Beijing.  The plumes of smoke from the fire, which has burned 141,000 acres in Northern California, get the most attention, but the Camp Fire is leaving other environmental hazards in its wake: toxic ash from burning homes, polluted water, and burning Superfund sites. ... ”  Read more from Bloomberg BNA here:  Off-the-Charts Air Pollution Only One of California’s Fire Hazards

Fighting fire with “forest resilience” bonds:  “The rocky Yuba River meanders in a remote corner of California. It’s here that insurers, environmentalists and venture capital firms are joining forces to create a “Forest Resilience Bond” aimed at solving a multibillion-dollar problem plaguing the wildfire-ravaged state.  Nearly 100 people have died and 1,000 are unaccounted for from the two most recent mega-fires, both of which remain active. And in what the Association of International Fire Chiefs now calls “a year-round fire season” for this and other tinderbox states, more destructive blazes are all but a certainty. … ”  Read more from CBS News here:  Fighting fire with “forest resilience” bonds

How climate change is fueling California’s wildfires:  “California has been burning more than ever since the turn of the century. Thirteen of the state’s twenty hottest fires have occurred since 2000 as increasing temperatures push up the frequency and severity of wildfires.  From the ground you get a better sense of how much the surface has burned and the impact it has had on ecosystems and the local population.  Adding up the acreage affected by the flames from 2013 through this time in 2018, we get an overwhelming figure somewhere close to 5.4 million acres. So considering California is roughly 100 million acres in size, that means 5.4 per cent of the state’s surface has seen some form of fire over the past 5 years. … ”  Continue reading from the Weather Network here:  How climate change is fueling California’s wildfires

Zinke blames ‘environmental radicals’ for deadly California fires: “Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke blamed “environmental radicals” for the California wildfires that have killed at least 77 people, saying they stop forest management practices that could have prevented the fires.  Days after touring the damage of the Camp fire, the deadliest in California’s history, Zinke went on Breitbart News Sunday and declared “it’s not the time for finger-pointing” on the causes of the fires.  But minutes later, he put the blame squarely on environmentalists, contending that they stood in the way of clearing brush, doing prescribed burns and other actions. … ”  Read more from The Hill here:  Zinke blames ‘environmental radicals’ for deadly California fires

In regional news and commentary today …

Plumas County Supervisors take on Union Pacific over damaged retaining wall near Tobin: “Large cracks in a Union Pacific Railroad retaining wall between the Feather River and the tracks near Tobin in the Feather River Canyon are concerning groups in Plumas County including the Board of Supervisors.  Public safety, the environment and a seeming unwillingness by UP to address the situation is among the county’s concerns.  “Finding a durable solution to the problem,” is part of an appeal in a letter to Gordon Thompson, general director Track Western Region of UP Railroad in Roseville. ... ”  Read more from the Plumas County News here:  Plumas County Supervisors take on Union Pacific over damaged retaining wall near Tobin

Yuba Water Agency considers transferring property tax revenues into county’s general fund: “Yuba Water Agency directors will consider moving a half million dollars in property tax revenues into the county’s general fund.  Property tax revenues used to be an important source of funding for the Yuba Water Agency. But since the agency took over power sales and revenues from the Pacific Gas & Electric Company in 2016 for hydropower facilities along the Yuba River, the agency hasn’t had to rely so heavily on property taxes.  Considering the county is hard-pressed for new revenues at the moment, the agency’s Board of Directors will consider transferring its property tax revenues to Yuba County. … ”  Read more from the Appeal Democrat here:  Yuba Water Agency considers transferring property tax revenues into county’s general fund

Bay Area rain: How much wet stuff is expected this week?The biggest storm to hit Northern California in more than seven months is poised to deliver widespread rainfall across the Bay Area and snow to the Sierra Nevada beginning late Tuesday night, a system that will help wash away lingering smoke from the Camp Fire burning in Butte County.  Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service updated the projected rainfall totals from the first storm, which is expected to be followed by a second system Thursday afternoon into Friday. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Bay Area rain: How much wet stuff is expected this week?

Federal Judge Considers Request To Dismiss Cross-Border Sewage Lawsuits: “The federal government was back in court Monday, arguing that the lawsuits asking the U.S. government to fix cross-border sewage flows should be thrown out.  The Department of Justice is trying, for the second time, to have three cross-border sewage lawsuits thrown out before they get to trial.  Imperial Beach, Chula Vista and the port of San Diego filed the first lawsuit. SurfRider’s San Diego chapter filed the second. And the state of California filed the third. … ”  Read more from KPBS here:  Federal Judge Considers Request To Dismiss Cross-Border Sewage Lawsuits

Along the Colorado River …

Grand Canyon flood fattened fish, but it’s not all good news on the Colorado River:  “In the week following a controlled flood on the Colorado River, Mick Lovett saw lots of fat fish near Lees Ferry, about 15 miles down river from Glen Canyon Dam.  The fishing was expected to be excellent in that stretch of the river after the four-day flood stirred up extra food for the fish, according to the Arizona Game and Fish Department.  Lovett, a fishing guide, has seen fish eat so much under similar conditions in past years that they’ve vomited in his net, he said. … ”  Continue reading at Arizona Central here:  Grand Canyon flood fattened fish, but it’s not all good news on the Colorado River

Precipitation watch …

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

CA WATER COMMISSION: Update on implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

BLOG ROUND-UP: Death on the Delta, David Bernhardt, cascading levee failures, striped bass, women in water, and more …

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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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