DAILY DIGEST: Supreme Court limits Endangered Species Act; More storms in forecast; 15 takeaways from the US climate change report; Imperial Irrigation District GM steps down amid water rights battle; and more …

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In California water news today, Supreme Court limits Endangered Species Act: Habitat must contain endangered species; More storms in forecast are good news for firefighters, reservoirs, Tahoe resorts; Local measures address water, fire in midterm elections; Lame duck congressman sees payoff of Sites efforts; 15 takeaways from the US climate change report; Imperial Irrigation District GM steps down amid unsettled fight over water rights; and more …

In the news today …

Supreme Court limits Endangered Species Act: Habitat must contain endangered species: “The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision on Tuesday limited the reach of the Endangered Species Act, ruling that the government can designate a protected “habitat” only in areas where a threatened animal now lives.  The justices set aside a ruling that restricted development in a wooded area in Louisiana where an endangered frog could live. But in fact, the roughly 100 remaining dusky gopher frogs live only in a wooded area nearby in Mississippi. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Supreme Court limits Endangered Species Act: Habitat must contain endangered species

More storms in forecast are good news for firefighters, reservoirs, Tahoe resorts: “More wet and windy weather is expected to hit Northern California this week, helping fill the state’s half-empty reservoirs and lift rainfall totals closer to average for the young but dry winter season.  A weak storm system likely will arrive in the North Bay on Tuesday morning, delivering about half an inch of rain, according to the National Weather Service. The front is forecast to move into San Francisco by midday. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  More storms in forecast are good news for firefighters, reservoirs, Tahoe resorts

Local measures address water, fire in midterm elections:  “The biggest water news from the recent election was the failure of the $8.9 billion statewide water bond, Proposition 3. This was the first time voters have rejected a statewide water bond since 1990. But this wasn’t the only story for water-related measures on Californians’ ballots. The midterms saw 33 local measures go to the voters that addressed issues ranging from flood protection to fire resilience. Here we summarize a few key votes. … ”  Read more from the PPIC here:  Local measures address water, fire in midterm elections

Lame duck congressman sees payoff of Sites efforts:  “Lame duck congressman Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) is seeing his efforts pay off in bringing Washington D.C. Secretaries of the Interior and of the Army to Manteca and the Central Valley for them to see first-hand the dire water storage needs for farms and cities alike, resulting in a $449 million construction grant on the heels of a multi-million-dollar California state grant last summer.  He was asked why he is still so adamant to see the construction of the Sites Reservoir Project that will bring 280 billion gallons of water — enough to serve 6.3 million Californians for one year — specifically bringing more water storage to the Central Valley especially for dry years. … ”  Read more from the Manteca Bulletin here:  Lame duck congressman sees payoff of Sites efforts

15 takeaways from the US climate change report:  “The average global temperature is much higher and rising more rapidly than “anything modern civilization has experienced,” according to David Easterling, one of the authors of a new US government report that delivers a dire warning about our future.  Thousands more could die, food will be scarcer, and the US economy could lose hundreds of billions of dollars — or, in the worst-case scenario, more than 10% of its GDP — by the end of the century. … ”  Read more from CNN here:  15 takeaways from the US climate change report

Five big ways the United States will need to adapt to climate change:  “The federal government’s sweeping new National Climate Assessment is more than just a dire warning about current and future global warming effects across the United States. It’s also the most detailed guide yet to all the ways the country will have to adapt.  Even if the nations of the world get their act together and slash fossil-fuel emissions rapidly, the United States will need to spend many billions of dollars to harden coastlines, rebuild sewer systems and overhaul farming practices to protect against floods, wildfires and heat waves that are already causing havoc nationwide. And the more that emissions rise, the more difficult and costly that task gets. … ”  Read more from the New York Times here:  Five big ways the United States will need to adapt to climate change

In regional news and commentary today …

Calero Reservoir in South Bay only at 35.9% capacity, despite rain:  “It’s going to take a lot more rain to help South Bay reservoirs that altogether are filled only a little more than a quarter of what they can hold.  The Bay Area had some rain last week, but it was not enough to saturate the ground for any runoff.  In San Jose, water officials hope upcoming winter storms can help the Bay Area out. … ”  Read more from Channel 4 here:  Calero Reservoir in South Bay only at 35.9% capacity, despite rain

Desalination may move to Santa Cruz permanent back burner: Desalination, five years after it was last considered a viable water treatment project for Santa Cruz, may soon lose its footing even as a looming backup plan.  With a little more than a year before the city is expected to decide how to ensure its long-term water supply security, the Santa Cruz City Council will consider Tuesday all but crossing off construction of the ocean water processing plant, per a recommendation from the city Water Commission, with city Water Department backing. ... ”  Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here:  Desalination may move to Santa Cruz permanent back burner

San Diego reaches agreement with environmental groups to address pollution in Mission Bay, Rose Creek:  “Local nonprofit environmental organizations San Diego Coastkeeper and Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation (CERF) have reached agreement with the City of San Diego regarding major stormwater infrastructure projects to improve water quality in several critical water bodies including Mission Bay, Rose Creek, San Clemente Creek, and the Tijuana River.  In addition to improving local water quality, the required attention and spending will help to bring the City into compliance with federal and state clean water legal requirements. … ”  Read more from the SDNews here:  San Diego reaches agreement with environmental groups to address pollution in Mission Bay, Rose Creek

‘Managed retreat’ Could Be Imperial Beach’s Answer to Rising Sea Levels: “If you want to see an example of how climate change is impacting San Diego County, ask someone who lives along the coast in Imperial Beach.  Seacoast Street, just steps from the shore, is one of the most flood-prone streets in IB. If a big storm hits, it could go underwater.  “The sea level is definitely rising,” said Steve Prothero who owns a condo on Seacoast. “It’s an issue to be concerned with.” ... ”  Read more from NBC San Diego here:  ‘Managed retreat’ Could Be Imperial Beach’s Answer to Rising Sea Levels

Along the Colorado River …

Imperial Irrigation District GM steps down amid unsettled fight over water rights:  “Imperial Irrigation District general manager Kevin Kelley will retire at year’s end, capping an often tumultuous and challenging eight years at the helm. Kelley, 60, submitted a letter to the board of directors in a closed session on Monday, and his offer was accepted.  “This has actually been in the works for some time,” said Kelley in an interview with The Desert Sun. “I think at this point IID could benefit from fresh thinking and new ideas, and by someone who hasn’t been doing this for eight years.” … ”  Read more from the Desert Sun here:  Imperial Irrigation District GM steps down amid unsettled fight over water rights

Colorado River water district endorses state policy on Lake Powell drought plan:  “The directors of the Colorado River Water Conservation District voted Monday to endorse a new state policy regarding “drought contingency planning” designed to bolster water levels in Lake Powell and Lake Mead, with the larger goal of avoiding violating the Colorado River Compact.  The support of the River District board, which represents 15 Western Slope counties, was expected. The district’s general manager, Andy Mueller, spoke in favor of the policy before the CWCB directors unanimously voted to approve it Nov. 15 at a meeting in Golden. … ”  Read more from the Aspen Times here:  Colorado River water district endorses state policy on Lake Powell drought plan

Precipitation watch …

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

BLOG ROUND-UP: The folly of unimpaired flows, Recommendations for Newsom, State of the San Joaquin River, Operation FATFISH, Working with tribes, Why Colorado River drought plan won’t work, and more …

NEWS WORTH NOTING: Governor Brown announces regional water board appointments

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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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