DAILY DIGEST: Next storm set to arrive by midweek; State’s retiring snow guru talks snowpack tech and CA water; From Brown to Newsom, CA to see new style, substance; A moonshot for solving America’s water crisis; and more …

In California water news today, Next storm to set its sights on West Coast by midweek; State’s retiring snow guru talks snowpack tech and California water; From Brown to Newsom, California To See New Style, Substance; A moonshot for solving America’s water crisis; Huge trash-collecting boom in Pacific Ocean breaks apart; Insects show the healing of toxic metal mining scars; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • The state legislature convenes.

In the news today …

Next storm to set its sights on West Coast by midweek:  “As cleanup continues from this past weekend’s storms, a new round of rain, mountain snow and gusty winds will take aim at the West Coast of the United States by midweek.  The region will only get a brief reprieve from stormy conditions before the next storm arrives Tuesday and continues into Wednesday.  Northern California will again bear the brunt of the rainfall with this storm. Lighter rain will dampen areas farther north, including Portland, Oregon; and Seattle. … ”  Read more from AccuWeather here:  Next storm to set its sights on US West Coast by midweek

State’s retiring snow guru talks snowpack tech and California water: “Frank Gehrke says that back in Missouri, where he was raised, snow was “something to be plowed.” He would soon take a very different view.  In December, Gehrke retired as chief snow surveyor for the California Department of Water Resources. He spent much of his 31 years with the department on skis and snowshoes, in remote corners of the Sierra Nevada, measuring the “frozen reservoir” that ultimately provides about a third of California’s water supply. … ”  Read more from KQED here:  State’s retiring snow guru talks snowpack tech and California water

From Brown to Newsom, California To See New Style, Substance: “When Gov. Jerry Brown cedes power to Gavin Newsom, it will be the first time since 1887 that California has had consecutive Democratic governors. But California isn’t getting a carbon copy in substance or style.  Newsom becomes governor Monday, concluding the 80-year-old Brown’s four terms leading the nation’s most populous state. The handoff reflects Democrats’ dominance in California politics — the party holds every statewide office and huge majorities in the Legislature. And it is the next act in a history between the Newsom and Brown families that spans eight decades. … ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:  From Brown to Newsom, California To See New Style, Substance

A moonshot for solving America’s water crisis:  “The Trump administration is hoping to reinvigorate a technology long dismissed as too expensive or energy-intensive to help solve a water crisis that has seen drought grip swaths of the American West, sparking deadly wildfires and legal battles over supply.  The Energy Department last month declared that it’s spending $100 million over the next five years to create a research and development hub on desalination, a process that converts seawater and brackish inland water into freshwater. ... ”  Read more from US News and World Report here:  A moonshot for solving America’s water crisis

Huge trash-collecting boom in Pacific Ocean breaks apart:  “A trash collection device deployed to corral plastic litter floating in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii has broken apart and will be hauled back to dry land for repairs.  Boyan Slat, who launched the Pacific Ocean cleanup project, told NBC News last week that the 2,000-foot (600-meter) long floating boom will be towed 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) to Hawaii.  If it can’t be repaired there, it will be loaded on a barge and returned to its home port of Alameda, California. … ”  Read more from ABC News here:  Huge trash-collecting boom in Pacific Ocean breaks apart

Insects show the healing of toxic metal mining scars:  “A hue reminiscent of orange soda might be appealing at the diner, but in rivers and streams, it’s a sign of serious damage. Open pit mining, which excavates strategic minerals from huge open pits dug into the land, is particularly harmful to the environment, exposing metallic dust, radioactive elements, and other potentially toxic contaminants. These tailings can easily leach into groundwater and streams. … Now, recent research from the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL), part of the University of California system, and the US Environmental Protection Agency reveals that benthic invertebrates—the insects that dwell underneath the rocks of streams and rivers—offer a unique insight into remediation efforts after open pit mining has damaged an ecosystem. Dr. David Herbst, lead author and head of the Herbst Lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), spoke to EM about the research. ... ”  Read more from Environmental Monitor here: Insects show the healing of toxic metal mining scars

More news and commentary in the weekend edition …

DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Trump asks Supreme Court to resolve groundwater fight; CA moves, haltingly, towards a post-lawn future; Wildfires pose hidden threat to the West’s drinking water; Govt shutdown: How science research is grinding to a halt; and more …

In regional news and commentary today …

Millions of tons of Camp Fire debris needs to go somewhere, but nobody wants it:  “The long road to recovery in the town of Paradise starts with removing millions of tons of charred rubble left in the Camp fire’s wake.  But the question remains: Where will it all go?  Disaster officials are scrambling to secure a place to sort and process the remnants of nearly 19,000 structures destroyed in the wildfire that began on Nov. 8 and killed 86 people. The mammoth undertaking has been slowed by staunch opposition in nearby communities eyed as potential sites for a temporary scrapyard, which would receive 250 to 400 truckloads of concrete and metal each day. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Millions of tons of Camp Fire debris needs to go somewhere, but nobody wants it

Marin firefighters uneasy about state’s risk maps:  “State firefighters are taking on the colossal task this year of updating maps that highlight the most fire-prone areas in California.  Fire officials in Marin say the maps, last updated more than a decade ago, are a helpful planning resource. But in California’s current climate, some say, those projections aren’t as relevant as they once were — the whole state is susceptible to flames. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here:  Marin firefighters uneasy about state’s risk maps

Precipitation watch …

Active weather pattern continues this week. The next storm system will move across interior NorCal Tuesday into Wednesday.

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

NEWS WORTH NOTING: State agencies track five years of progress on CA Water Action Plan; Yuba Water Agency reaches significant milestone in relicensing its facilities

RESERVOIR AND WATER CONDITIONS for January 7, 2019

 

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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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