DAILY DIGEST, weekend/Monday edition: A city rose on the marshes. Will the Bay take it back?; What Jerry Brown fixed and couldn’t fix; EPA: Come to work next week says Wheeler; EPA braces for onslaught of lawsuits in 2019; and more …

Big Sur; Photo by Pedro Szekely

In California water news this weekend, A city rose on the marshes. Will the Bay take it back?; What Jerry Brown fixed and couldn’t fix; California ‘Water Grab’ Faces First Legal Challenge; EPA: Come to work next week says Wheeler; EPA braces for onslaught of lawsuits in 2019; and more …

Monday: No new stories of any real note this morning, so check out the weekend Daily Digest … Wishing you and yours a warm and wonderful holiday!  –Maven

In the news this weekend …

A city rose on the marshes.  Will the Bay take it back?  “An eight-mile long levee 13 feet high stands between homes in Foster City and San Francisco Bay. Bob Cushman has lived there for twenty years, a little less than half the time the city has existed. In the 1960s, Foster City was created on the wetlands just south of the San Mateo bridge. This planned community, which now has a population of nearly 35,000, became incorporated in 1971. Cushman’s home on Greenwich Lane is close to one of the city’s many lagoons.  The melting of distant glaciers caused by climate change could well have a serious impact on Foster City as sea levels rise. Flood maps produced by Our Coast Our Future, a collaborative group that uses information from the U.S. Geological Survey, show that rising water could eventually inundate most of Foster City. But how soon? And what can be done? ... ”  Read more from & the West here:  A city rose on the marshes.  Will the Bay take it back?

California ‘Water Grab’ Faces First Legal Challenge: “Firing off the first challenge to contentious state-mandated water reductions for farmers and cities, a rural California water district sued the state Friday to freeze the week-old order meant to boost salmon populations in state rivers.  Merced Irrigation District says the State Water Control Resources Board’s Dec. 12 decision is a “water grab” that will steal water from farms and disadvantaged Central Valley communities. The district claims the order will divert up to half of its take of the Merced River, cost the local economy 1,000 jobs and over $230 million without benefiting a single fish. … ” Read more from the Courthouse News Service here:  California ‘Water Grab’ Faces First Legal Challenge

EPA: Come to work next week says Wheeler:  “EPA will be open next week, even if government funding runs out tonight.  Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in an internal email obtained by E&E News that the agency has enough funds left over to stay open. The federal government will undergo a partial shutdown heading into the holiday break if Congress does not approve new spending by midnight tonight.  Wheeler said EPA’s contingency plan for a shutdown requires the agency to assess whether it has enough “carryover funds” to keep up operations if appropriations lapse.  “We have done that assessment and determined that EPA has sufficient carryover funds to operate for a limited period of time,” Wheeler said in the email, which was sent to staff late yesterday afternoon. ... ”  Read more from E&E News here:  EPA: Come to work next week says Wheeler

EPA braces for onslaught of lawsuits in 2019:  “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is confident that its prospects in federal court are about to change for the better when it comes to fights over regulatory rollbacks.  Federal judges have frequently blocked the EPA’s attempts to implement President Trump’s aggressive deregulatory agenda by delaying or changing major environmental rules.  In the coming year, the EPA is expected to get sued over a slate of finalized repeals or rollbacks, mostly pertaining to Obama-era policies. ... ”  Read more from The Hill here:  EPA braces for onslaught of lawsuits in 2019

In people news this weekend …

What Jerry Brown fixed and couldn’t fix:  “With his time in office down to 17 days, Gov. Jerry Brown spoke of things he fixed, tried to fix and fears can never be fixed.  He sat in the main room of the home he and his wife, Anne Gust Brown, have built on land his great-grandfather, August Schuckman, bought for $1 an acre in the 1850s. He wore a jacket, a fire blazed in the fireplace, and his corgi, Colusa, barked.  With its oak-cover hills, the spread west of Williams is among the most picturesque spots in California. He talked about how Schuckman ran a hotel for stagecoaches more than a century ago and how he and Anne recently planted olive trees they hauled in from Napa. He picked the olives himself and had them pressed into oil this year. … ”  Continue reading at Cal Matters here:  What Jerry Brown fixed and couldn’t fix

SEE ALSO:

A Sailor, a Squall and a Scientist: “It all started in the coastal town of Santa Barbara. It is here, along California’s southern most portion of the Central Coast, where Ted Sommer was preparing to fulfil his childhood dream.  As early as he could remember, Ted had always been drawn to the ocean. And like his boyhood idol, famed sea explorer Jacques Cousteau, Ted wanted to better understand the great unknown.  “Marine biology was all I ever wanted to do, and this was going to be the first of many voyages out to the Pacific Ocean,” said Sommer. … ”  Read more from the Northern California Water Association blog here:  A Sailor, a Squall and a Scientist

In commentary this weekend …

Governor’s deal ensures a failed legacy on water, says the Mercury News:  They write, “The so-called “Grand Bargain” on water announced by Jerry Brown this month accomplishes one purpose: It guarantees that the governor will have done nothing to improve California’s water crisis during his eight years in office.  It’s a sad legacy for what Brown listed in 2011 as one of California’s most pressing issues.  Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom would do the state a big favor by striking a new course that focuses on the co-equal goals of protecting the health of the Delta and stretching our water supply by increased recycling, new water treatment, more efficient irrigation systems, restoring groundwater supplies and other alternatives. … ”  Read more from the Mercury News here:  Governor’s deal ensures a failed legacy on water

In regional news and commentary this weekend …

A hope for Yuba River salmon:  “Chinook salmon populations in the Yuba River have decreased to record lows over the past few years, some experts are saying.  A group of environmentalists is working to restore the conditions in the lower portion of the river in hopes of seeing those numbers start to rise.  “We’ve been involved in tracking salmon numbers in the lower Yuba for years. The last couple of years we’ve had record low numbers,” said Melinda Booth, executive director of the South Yuba River Citizens League. “One of the things identified by SYRCL and other groups that would be most helpful in boosting those numbers is to do restoration of the lower river.” … ”  Read more from the Appeal Democrat here:  A hope for Yuba River salmon

Amador County: Rainfall may worsen alleged Mule Creek Prison water contamination:  “David Anderson, and his work crew began feeling the effects of contamination exposure at the Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP) site, where they were installing a culvert, in October 2017. Despite the assurances the water intrusion was from irrigation tail water or some other non-threatening source, symptoms gradually grew worse. By January of 2018 the effects were substantial including muscle aches, joint pain, fatigue, dizziness, disorientation, cough, wheezing, mental irritation, nose bleeds, and visual impairment. ... ”  Read more from the Amador Ledger here:  Amador County: Rainfall may worsen alleged Mule Creek Prison water contamination

Sacramento: A huge sewer pipe can be replaced more quickly than you might think: The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District collaborated with Teichert Construction to replace a 9-feet-wide outfall pipe that is essential to carrying treated wastewater to the Sacramento River.  Regional San is the public utility responsible for treating approximately 1.4 million residents’ wastewater, or effluent, throughout Sacramento County. Its treatment plant is located near Elk Grove. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  A huge sewer pipe can be replaced more quickly than you might think

SF Bay: Multi-city flood control project hits major landmark:  “Under dark clouds and an eventual downpour, public officials on Dec. 14 unveiled the completed first phase of a San Francisquito Creek project that aims to protect 1,000 homes from a 100-year flood event during an extreme high tide.  The $76 million Phase 1 project is also designed to protect East Palo Alto homes against sea level rise that could be 10 feet higher than today, officials said. ... ”  Read more from the Almanac here:  SF Bay: Multi-city flood control project hits major landmark

City of Newman offers water pact on NW properties:  “The city is reaching out to property owners within the initial phase of Northwest Newman annexation with an offer to help offset the loss of irrigation water rights on those parcels when brought into the city limits.  City Council members in November authorized a program under which the city will, in “critical” water years, assign Central California Irrigation District (CCID) water allocations from 32 acres of city-owned property with CCID rights to a comparable amount of acreage of participating property owners within the annexation area. … ”  Read more from Westside Connect here:  City offers water pact on NW Newman properties

City of Newman teaming up with UC Merced on wetlands study:  “The city is entering into a partnership with UC Merced to conduct a wetland feasibility study on developing 103 acres of land at the outskirts of Newman into a natural filtration system for storm drain water and public use area with walking trails and educational opportunities.  The property, located east of Canal School Road between the terminus of Inyo Avenue and Brazo Road, was purchased by the city four years ago for storm drain treatment purposes. … ”  Read more from Westside Connect here:  City of Newman teaming up with UC Merced on wetlands study

Los Angeles: Former Warner Center Rocketdyne site could one day be a residential neigborhood — once it’s toxin-free: A massive Warner Center parcel that formerly housed a manufacturer of rocket engines that propelled American astronauts to the moon has been in escrow since April as the owner of the Mall of America has been trying to purchase the site.  The 47-acre parcel, owned by United Technologies Corp., is being marketed as a high-rise urban neighborhood, according to real estate data firm CoStar, and is expected to cost about $150 million. CoStar’s spokeswoman, Megan Sweat, said the sale is expected to close in early 2019. ... ”  Read more from the LA Daily News here: Former Warner Center Rocketdyne site could one day be a residential neigborhood — once it’s toxin-free

San Diego: Water Department Refunds Over Billing Errors Have Skyrocketed: “Over the past year, San Diego’s water department refunded over $650,000 to hundreds of customers who received unjustifiably high water bills.  The payouts are another sign of how water customers were affected by bad bills from the city. Over 1,100 customers received refunds this year, meaning the city overcharged the average customer by more than $500.  The number and cost of refunds has dramatically risen in recent years, according to department records analyzed by Voice of San Diego and NBC 7 Responds as part of an ongoing investigation into the water department’s billing practices. … ”  Read more from Voice of San Diego here:  Water Department Refunds Over Billing Errors Have Skyrocketed

Imperial Beach: High tide wipes out porch, floods streets:  “Friday’s high tide was powerful enough to wipe out a front porch and flood streets along the Imperial Beach coastline.  Some neighbors who live along Seacoast Drive tried to put out sandbags earlier in the week. It wasn’t enough to stop water from reaching inside homes. … ”  Read more from Channel 10 here:  Imperial Beach: High tide wipes out porch, floods streets

Along the Colorado River …

Getting to the Finish Line: What’s next for Colorado River Drought Contingency Planning?Arizona has worked over the course of several years with the other States in the Colorado River Basin and the United States to develop an interstate Drought Contingency Plan to protect Colorado River supplies. Within Arizona, stakeholders have been working to develop an Implementation Plan, a series of agreements that will govern the way that certain terms of the DCP will be implemented within Arizona once the DCP is effective.  The Implementation Plan is nearly in place. However, we’re not yet able to say it’s “done.”  Last week, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman announced a deadline of January 31, 2019, for the states to complete their work on the DCP. … ”  Read more from the Arizona Department of Water Resources here:  Getting to the Finish Line: What’s next for Colorado River Drought Contingency Planning?

Precipitation watch …

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

https://mavensnotebook.com/2018/12/24/reservoir-and-water-conditions-for-december-24-2018/

NEWS WORTH NOTING: LAO Report: Assessing California’s Climate Policies—An Overview; CDFW Awards $4.2 Million for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grant Projects

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.

Maven’s Notebook
where California water news never goes home for the weekend

no weekends

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