DAILY DIGEST: A change of power as CA pushes further to the left; Governor Newsom, issue by issue; Storm poised to slam Sierra, dump another 2 feet of snow; One step closer for updated CEQA guidelines; and more …

In California water news today, A change of power as a liberal state pushes further to the left; As Gavin Newsom Becomes Governor, How He Could Shape California’s Future—Issue By Issue; Storm poised to slam Sierra, dump another 2 feet of snow; Five Years in the Making: California is One Step Closer to a Comprehensive Update to the CEQA Guidelines; An Engineering Wunderkind’s Ocean Plastics Cleanup Device Hits a Setback; Government shutdown: Democrats poised to block Senate work; The biggest issues for wildlife and endangered species; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

In California, a change of power as a liberal state pushes further to the left: “The change of power here Monday will push this liberal state further left and harder against President Trump as California’s longest-serving governor made way for a familiar representative of the new, more socially progressive generation of state Democrats.  Jerry Brown, the state’s youngest governor when he succeeded Ronald Reagan in 1975, was its oldest as he ended his second spell in office and turned it over to Gavin New­som, who took the oath in a tent outside the State Capitol amid sporadic rain. A politician who began on his party’s left edge leaves public life closer to the center at a time when much of California openly embraces Newsom’s more liberal program for this expensive, unequal state. … ”  Read more from the Washington Post here:  In California, a change of power as a liberal state pushes further to the left

As Gavin Newsom Becomes Governor, How He Could Shape California’s Future—Issue By Issue: “Gavin Newsom first ran for governor in 2010, an effort he abandoned and then relaunched in 2015 with the long, long campaign that has at long last landed him in the governor’s office. Now that California voters have given the 51-year-old Democrat the job he has sought for eight years, he is about to discover that winning was the easy part.  Governing is hard, particularly in a state as big, complex, troubled and expensive as California. We have the world’s fifth largest economy and, with our cost of living, the nation’s highest rate of poverty. ... ”  Continue reading at Capital Radio here:  As Gavin Newsom Becomes Governor, How He Could Shape California’s Future—Issue By Issue

Storm poised to slam Sierra, dump another 2 feet of snow: “Get ready for round two.  After a fierce storm blasted the northern Sierra Nevada over the weekend, another system is slated to batter the mountain range straddling California and Nevada late Tuesday night into Wednesday.  The National Weather Service reports, “This storm will not be as potent as the system that moved through Sunday,” but travelers should still be prepared for winter driving conditions with chain control in effect on Highways 80 and 50. … ”  Read more from SF Gate here:  Storm poised to slam Sierra, dump another 2 feet of snow

Five Years in the Making: California is One Step Closer to a Comprehensive Update to the CEQA Guidelines:  “The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (“OPR”) has spent five years drafting a comprehensive update to 30 sections of the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) Guidelines. The updated text (“Final Text”) ensures the Guidelines are consistent with recent court decisions, implements legislative changes, clarifies rules governing the CEQA process, and eliminates duplicative analysis. Several changes to the Guidelines address two hot button topics: global climate change and statewide affordable housing shortages. During the deliberative process, the Agency also released its “Final Statement of Reasons for the Regulatory Action Amendment to the State Guidelines” to give more history and context to each change to the Final Text. … ”  Read more from the National Law Review here:  Five Years in the Making: California is One Step Closer to a Comprehensive Update to the CEQA Guidelines

An Engineering Wunderkind’s Ocean Plastics Cleanup Device Hits a Setback: “The path to innovation is not always a smooth, straight line. In some cases, it’s U-shaped.  In September, a 2,000-foot-long floating barrier, shaped like a U, was dispatched to the Great Pacific garbage patch between Hawaii and California, where roughly 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic have formed a floating field of debris roughly twice the size of Texas. Made of connected plastic pipes, the barrier was meant to catch and clean-up the plastic. … ”  Read more from KQED here:  An Engineering Wunderkind’s Ocean Plastics Cleanup Device Hits a Setback

Government shutdown:  Democrats poised to block Senate work:  “Senate Democrats are coalescing around a plan to block the chamber from taking up any legislation that doesn’t address the ongoing partial government shutdown, in a bid to force the GOP majority to allow votes on the House Democrats’ push to reopen the government.  A key test for the strategy, floated over the weekend by Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), will take place this evening, when senators are scheduled to vote on a motion to end debate on legislation that would impose sanctions on the Syrian government. … ”  Read more from E&E News here:  Government shutdown:  Democrats poised to block Senate work

The biggest issues for wildlife and endangered species:  “Wildlife didn’t have an easy go of it in 2018. We lost the last male northern white rhino, the vaquita porpoise continued its slide toward extinction, poachers kept targeting pangolins and other rare creatures, and through it all the Trump administration kept trying to whittle away at key protections for endangered species.  So with that rough bit of recent history, what does 2019 hold?  Well, in most cases it won’t be pretty. There will be more blood, more habitat loss, more legislative attacks and more extinctions — but at the same time, there will also be signs of hope and progress on many levels.  Here are some big issues that experts say we should be watching in 2019 ... ”  Read more from The Revelator here:  The biggest issues for wildlife and endangered species

In commentary today …

California desalination key to Arizona water solution, say :  “Arizona must identify our next bucket of water. Championing desalination along the California coastline is one long-term solution that can help secure Arizona’s economic and water future.  Like the late Sens. Ernest McFarland, Carl Hayden and Congressman Mo Udall, whose leadership helped to create Arizona’s Central Arizona Project (CAP), it is now time for Arizona’s delegation to champion a 21st-century CAP with the creation of a large-scale, federally funded, Western states desalination solution that will enable Californians to drink from the sea and reduce their draw on the Colorado River. … ”  Read more from the Payson roundup here: California desalination key to Arizona water solution, say

In regional news and commentary today …

Ross Valley sewage spill under review in storm’s wake: The rain that pounded Marin County on Sunday overwhelmed a sewer rehabilitation project in San Anselmo and caused about 50,000 gallons of raw sewage to spill out of manholes and into storm gutters and creeks.  “The rainfall pattern on Sunday was extraordinary,” said Steve Moore, general manager of the Ross Valley Sanitary District, which owns the project. “In one hour, there was almost one inch of rain, about 0.91 inches.”  Moore said the sewage spill occurred Sunday afternoon along Broadmoor Avenue just north of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, where construction workers had earlier Sunday set up a sewer bypass to “tie in” two sections of the project. The project has been ongoing since last summer and is due for completion on Jan. 18. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: Ross Valley sewage spill under review in storm’s wake

Sustainable Water Infrastructure Project To Move City Of Santa Monica Closer To Water Self-Sufficiency: “Arcadis, the leading global Design & Consultancy firm for natural and built assets, announced recently it will partner with Kiewit Infrastructure West and PERC Water to serve as the Progressive Design-Build team for City of Santa Monica’s Sustainable Water Infrastructure Project (SWIP).  Currently, City of Santa Monica partially relies on imported water to meet its water needs. This project will allow the City to take a major step toward water independence, supporting existing programs designed to create a sustainable water supply (including the Clean Beaches Initiatives Project, the Enhanced Watershed Management Program and the City of Santa Monica Sustainable Water Master Plan). … ”  Read more from Water Online here:  Sustainable Water Infrastructure Project To Move City Of Santa Monica Closer To Water Self-Sufficiency

Along the Colorado River …

Ducey inaugural speech focused on water:  “Gov. Doug Ducey used his second inaugural speech Monday to exhort lawmakers and others with a claim to Colorado River water to approve a drought contingency plan before a solution is imposed by the Bureau of Reclamation.  “It’s simple: Arizona and our neighboring states draw more water from the Colorado River than Mother Nature puts back,” the governor told his audience. “And with critical shortfall imminent, we cannot kick the can any further.”  Time is not on the state’s side.  Brenda Burman, commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, has said she will come up with her own plan to prevent a critical shortage on the river and at Lake Mead if Arizona and other states do not come up with their own acceptable proposal. And with Arizona essentially a junior partner in existing water contracts, this state has the most to lose. … ”  Read more from the White Mountain Independent here:  Ducey inaugural speech focused on water

As The State’s Snowpack Declines, Cloud Seeding Takes Off In Colorado:  “Some solutions to climate change and drought are more, well, science fiction-y than others.  Take cloud seeding, the science of manipulating clouds to dump more snow and water. CPR listener Paula Yunker of Edwards was curious if the technology was actually real, and if it was, how cloud seeding worked and if there were any environmental downsides. Yunker posed her question through CPR’s Colorado Wonders project. … ”  Read more from Colorado Public Radio here:  As The State’s Snowpack Declines, Cloud Seeding Takes Off In Colorado

Precipitation watch …

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

THIS JUST IN … Metropolitan Water District begins drawing down stored water in Lake Mead

BLOG ROUND-UP: CVP “No Harm” deal; Spring Delta export restrictions, Water deals, part 2; Delta activists welcome Governor Newsom; True California water leadership; and more …

NEWS WORTH NOTING: Michael George Begins Second Four-Year Term as Delta Watermaster; Notice: Validation of State Water Project, Water Supply Contract Extension Amendments

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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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