DAILY DIGEST: Feinstein, McCarthy push rider to fund California storage plans; America’s second biggest levee system is keeping Sacramento dry – for now; Balancing the public benefits of drones with privacy protection; The riddle of the roaming plastics; and more …

In California water news today, Feinstein, McCarthy push rider to fund California storage plans; America’s second biggest levee system is keeping Sacramento dry – for now; Balancing the public benefits of drones with privacy protection; The Riddle of the Roaming Plastics; Fortuna council receives update on Potter Valley Project; Company sand mining in San Francisco Bay sparks ‘sand wars’; Santa Monica will stop using imported water by 2023, three years behind schedule; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

Feinstein, McCarthy push rider to fund California storage plans:  “California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Friday backed a bid by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to extend provisions in a 2016 bill to shuttle more water from the Golden State’s wet north to farms and cities in the arid south.  Feinstein and McCarthy are seeking to insert a rider into spending legislation that provides a seven-year extension of measures in the 2016 Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation, or WIIN, Act.  WIIN, signed just before President Obama left office, provides hundreds of millions of dollars for new water storage, desalination and other measures. It also grants regulators more flexibility in moving water through the ecologically sensitive Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. … ”  Read more from E&E News here:  Feinstein, McCarthy push rider to fund California storage plans

America’s second biggest levee system is keeping Sacramento dry – for now:  “Not long after the Gold Rush of 1849, California became a state and made its capital in Sacramento. It seemed a logical choice. The city was served by the two of the state’s biggest rivers, the Sacramento and American, at a time when a lot of goods and people moved via river traffic. It was somewhat centrally located. But, there was the occasional flood. Every spring, the snowcap in the Sierras melts, leaving a significant amount of water in the Central Valley, where Sacramento sits. The city engineered a levee system to control the seasonal flooding. But, they were about to find out about the Pineapple Express and California’s megafloods. … ”  Read more from Engineering.com here:  America’s second biggest levee system is keeping Sacramento dry – for now

Balancing the public benefits of drones with privacy protection:  “Drones may be coming to a public agency near you. The benefits are obvious: Unmanned aerial vehicles are faster and cheaper than manned flights or boots on the ground, and can also go places that are dangerous or out of reach. But drones also raise privacy concerns.  “This is a balancing question,” said Charles Belle, founder of Startup Policy Lab, a San Francisco-based nonprofit dedicated to government open data initiatives and citizen privacy. “There are strengths and weaknesses to using drones.” ... ”  Read more from the Bay Area Monitor here:  Balancing the public benefits of drones with privacy protection

The Riddle of the Roaming Plastics: It is one of the modern world’s biggest mysteries—99 percent of the plastics that enter the ocean are missing:  “Codfish eat everything. “Everyone here has a story about the Barbie doll they found in a cod,” quips Max Liboiron, referring to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, her home. So the geography professor at Memorial University in St. John’s thought she knew what to expect in 2015 when she conducted the first study on plastic ingestion among cod in Newfoundland’s inshore waters. The results surprised her; in contradiction of the local lore, the data showed one of the lowest rates of plastic ingestion by fish in the world.  Liboiron did have a hunch as to why: the plastics that might have tempted the undiscerning cod were getting whisked away by the ocean, ending up on foreign shores instead of in the local fish’s stomachs. ... ”  Read more from Hakai Magazine here:  The Riddle of the Roaming Plastics

In commentary today …

Brown, Feinstein betrayal of Delta is unacceptable, says San Jose Mercury News:  They write, “Shame on Gov. Jerry Brown and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.  Their betrayal of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ignores respected scientists’ research, circumvents the state’s management of water and could negatively impact California water politics for the next decade. Without a public hearing. Without proper vetting. And possibly without the support of any West Coast senator except Feinstein.  Just as two state agencies are about act to protect the environmental health of the Delta, the governor and California’s senior senator are trying to undermine them. ... ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Brown, Feinstein betrayal of Delta is unacceptable

In regional news and commentary today …

Del Norte County: Salmon spawning tours offered Dec. 9th, 16th: “Del Norters will have a chance to see coho salmon spawn in the Mill Creek Watershed this weekend and next.  The Redwood Parks Conservancy and Redwood National and State Parks are offering free guided trips to view the annual fall migration and salmon spawning this Sunday and on Dec. 16.   The Mill Creek Watershed is regarded as one of California’s most ecologically sensitive areas and a top productive stream for coho salmon, according to a Redwood Parks Conservancy press release. … ”  Read more from the Del Norte Triplicate here:  Del Norte County: Salmon spawning tours offered Dec. 9th, 16th

Fortuna council receives update on Potter Valley Project: The Fortuna City Council received an update on the Potter Valley Project by a Humboldt County-hired consultant at its meeting tonight. “The Humboldt County (Board of) Supervisors thought it was very important that all the entities in the Eel River watershed were fully informed on the Potter Valley Project,” consultant S. Craig Tucker said. “… We want to make sure folks in Fortuna are up to speed.”  The 110-year-old Potter Valley Project supplies water and power to hundreds of thousands of customers in the Potter Valley by diverting water from the Eel River into the Russian River. ... ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here:  Fortuna council receives update on Potter Valley Project

Feather River Levee project estimated at $77 million:  “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin advertising for bids on a Feather River West Levee construction project estimated at $77 million.  According to a staff report published earlier this year by the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, the project would make improvements to approximately 4.9 miles of levee. At the upstream end, the project will tie into the Star Bend setback levee near Tudor Road. At the downstream end, the project will tie into the cutoff wall constructed for the Laurel Avenue Repair Project near Cypress Avenue. … ”  Read more from the Appeal Democrat here:  Feather River Levee project estimated at $77 million

Belvedere delays repair work on crumbling seawall:  “Belvedere officials are taking their chances with a caving seawall, hoping it doesn’t collapse into the bay and give way to flooding, as they put off a costly stopgap and wait for specialty steel to arrive.  Workers placed giant sandbags at the base of the barrier, on Beach Road, last month to give it support in preparation for the first storms of the season. But the real fix is hinging on an order of steel that is made to withstand the corroding effects of salt water. The manufacturer with the best timeline won’t have the metal ready until next month, said Craig Middleton, Belvedere’s city manager. … ”  Read more from Marin Independent Journal here:  Belvedere delays repair work on crumbling seawall

With Sea Level Rise in Mind, San Francisco Port Gets Dozens of Ideas for Redeveloping Embarcadero Piers: “The Port of San Francisco recently asked for ideas to renovate parts of the historic Embarcadero that have long been neglected.   The port received 52 responses from small businesses and master tenants that expressed an interest in rehabilitating and preserving historic structures at 13 piers and the waterfront Agriculture Building.  However, hanging over any plans for the 3-mile strip — that runs from Fisherman’s Wharf to AT&T Park — is the threat of sea level rise. ... ”  Read more from The Weather Channel here:  With Sea Level Rise in Mind, San Francisco Port Gets Dozens of Ideas for Redeveloping Embarcadero Piers

Company sand mining in San Francisco Bay sparks ‘sand wars’:  “There’s a battle being fought in the bay that’s hidden from view. That’s because the battle lines are drawn deep underwater.  One wouldn’t know it just by walking along the seashore, but the beaches of the world are shrinking and slowly dying. One reason is that the sea level is rising. But another reason is that sand is one the main ingredients in concrete, the most widely used construction material in the world. ... ”  Read more from KPIX here:  Company sand mining in San Francisco Bay sparks ‘sand wars’

Chilly rainstorms moving into Bay Area; snowfall headed for Lake Tahoe:  “Bay Area residents should brace for cold sheets of rain this week as unusually low temperatures accompany two storms expected to blanket the region through Saturday, forecasters said.  The system, currently over the ocean northwest of the Bay Area, could get stronger as it moves south and drops up to 6 inches of snow over Lake Tahoe, according to the National Weather Service. ... ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  Chilly rainstorms moving into Bay Area; snowfall headed for Lake Tahoe

Santa Cruz: Turning on the taps:  “Millions of gallons of Santa Cruz’s city water supply began flowing to some neighboring Soquel Creek Water District customers for the first time Monday morning.  In a ceremonial turning of the valve at a well site near 41st Avenue and Soquel Drive, the three-year-old largest connection point between the two agencies’ water systems, officials gathered to commemorate a new pilot program, some three years in the making.  Santa Cruz Water Commission Vice Chairman Doug Engfer said the small-scale project, which will allow Soquel Creek Water to temporarily turn off some of its water pumps for the coming months, is likely not a “magic bullet” to the region’s water supply issues — but neither is any other single project. … ”  Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here:  Santa Cruz: Turning on the taps

LADWP postpones test on Well 385:  “The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) informed the Owens Valley Committee of its decision to postpone the testing of Well 385, a LADWP well located north of Bishop, CA, in an area known as Five Bridges.  LADWP had scheduled the pumping to begin on December 3, 2018, but agreed to postpone operation pending conclusion of litigation and in light of dry conditions this fall. … ”  Continue reading at Sierra Wave here:  LADWP postpones test on Well 385

Santa Monica will stop using imported water by 2023, three years behind schedule:  “Santa Monica is three years behind schedule for water independence due to delays in obtaining permits for some of the proposed plans.  The city is using about 20 percent less imported water than it did in 2011, when City Council set a goal of achieving water self-sufficiency by 2020. At a recent Council meeting, staff said changes to state laws have also presented a challenge.  Staff has redesigned parts of the plan because new state regulations require the removal of certain chemicals from drinking water making treatment more difficult and expensive, said Alex Navarchuk, the City’s principal engineer. … ”  Read more from the Santa Monica Daily Press here:  Santa Monica will stop using imported water by 2023, three years behind schedule

Orange County:  After waves batter Capo Beach, what comes next?  “If you’re looking to visit the quaint seaside stretch of Capistrano Beach in Dana Point, you might want to make other plans.  The area will remain closed indefinitely for public safety, said Marisa O’Neil, a spokeswoman for OC Parks, said in an e-mail. Workers are assessing the area damaged after a portion of the beach collapsed last Friday following strong surf, high tide and rain. The ocean battering the area caused a wooden walkway and sea wall to break away from a popular basketball court, and palm trees and light poles to bend. … ”  Read more from the OC Register here:  Orange County:  After waves batter Capo Beach, what comes next?

‘Retreat’ Is Not An Option As Del Mar Plans For Rising Seas:About 150 steps from John Imperato’s Southern California home, pavement gives way to an ever-shrinking stretch of soft sand.  Imperato lives in Del Mar, a small, affluent town just north of San Diego. He spent his life savings to live here. He wanted to raise his son like he grew up, withing walking distance of the sea.  Del Mar is a picturesque place that’s name means “of the sea,” in Spanish.  That’s becoming increasingly true. … ”  Read more from KLCC here:  ‘Retreat’ Is Not An Option As Del Mar Plans For Rising Seas

City of San Diego could install 250,000 smart meters:  “Every home in the city of San Diego could soon have a smart water meter, eliminating the human error that led to thousands of erroneous water bills reaching homes.  On Monday, the San Diego City Council authorized up to $25 million to buy more than 250,000 smart water meters from company Itron Inc. … ”  Read more from Channel 10 here:  City of San Diego could install 250,000 smart meters

Precipitation watch …

Some light rain and mountain snow is forecast through early Thursday. Less than half an inch of precipitation is expected, with snow totals from 3 to 6 inches above 5000’. Looking ahead, there is the potential for a stronger storm early next week.

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

BLOG ROUND-UP: Water budgets, voluntary agreements, SWP tax and WaterFix, public-private partnerships, Mokelumne salmon, and more …

NEWS WORTH NOTING: Assemblyman Frazier to Sen. Feinstein, Gov. Brown: End reckless support for Delta water theft; Lawsuit filed: Salamander threatened by plans to raise Shasta Dam; New report: Environmental Engineering for the 21st Century – Addressing Grand Challenges

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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