DAILY DIGEST: DWR set to appeal Oroville funding denials; Trump proposes slashing EPA budget by 31%, What man-made products are in our waterways?; CA water agencies fight over multistate drought plan; and more …

In California water news today, DWR set to appeal Oroville funding denials; Ag must adapt to climate; Trump seeks cuts for cleanup of Great Lakes, other waterways, proposes slashing EPA budget by 31 percent; Down the drain: What man-made products are in our waterways?; New Project Takes Aim At Controlling Salton Sea Dust; California water agencies fight over multistate drought plan; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

DWR set to appeal Oroville funding denials:  “California’s state water agency is set to appeal a federal determination that some of the Oroville Dam’s reconstruction costs are ineligible for reimbursement.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency last week approved an additional $205 million for the project, on top of the $128.4 million it sent last year, according to the state Department of Water Resources. … ”  Read more from the Western Farm Press here:  DWR set to appeal Oroville funding denials

It Took a While, But California Is Now Almost Completely Out of Drought:  “This particular California winter has unfolded in good news/bad news fashion. Courtesy of a string of recurring atmospheric rivers, potent storms have caused flooding, power outages and canceled flights. But they have also lifted all but a thin slice of the state near the Oregon border completely out of drought. … ”  Read more from KQED here:  It Took a While, But California Is Now Almost Completely Out of Drought

Ag must adapt to climate:  “Agriculture will need to change as the climate changes. So says Luke Bozeman, director of North American crop protection for BASF, who adds cropping practices will need to be adapted and technology applied to meet the climate challenges. Bozeman emphasizes that collaboration among crop protection companies will be required.  “One company, like a Bayer, a BASF or a Syngenta, one company, I don’t think can do it all. What we’re going to see is a lot more collaborations to share the costs and the risks of investing in some innovations for future potential changes,” Bozeman said at a forum on climate change and agriculture at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in Research Triangle Park. … ”  Read more from the Western Farm Press here: Ag must adapt to climate

‘This crop will change California.’ Can an Oakdale group make hemp a major cash crop?  “California’s Central Valley is already the bread basket for the nation. But now a new Oakdale company — in partnership with the University of California, Davis — wants to help make it the hemp capital of the country.  The California Hemp Corporation was formed by Oakdale residents Jeff McPhee and Kent Kushar last year and has entered into a sponsored research agreement with UC Davis to study how the plant grows in the valley. Like its more famous cousin marijuana, hemp is a species of cannabis plant — but lacks enough THC to produce pot’s high. … ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here:  ‘This crop will change California.’ Can an Oakdale group make hemp a major cash crop?

Tropical jellyfish, eels and sea butterflies are pouring into California’s coast, thanks to a ‘warm-water blob’:  “Marine biologist Jacqueline Sones was strolling along a beach near this Northern California fishing village one foggy summer morning when she spotted an unfamiliar jellyfish bobbing in the surf.  Her curiosity turned to shock, however, when she opened a field guide and identified the creature with a white bowl-shaped bell, vivid stripes and long tentacles. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Tropical jellyfish, eels and sea butterflies are pouring into California’s coast, thanks to a ‘warm-water blob’

Trump seeks cuts for cleanup of Great Lakes, other waterways: “President Donald Trump is making another attempt to slash federal funding that goes toward cleaning up major U.S. waterways including the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay, even though Congress has thwarted his previous attempts, according to budget documents released Monday.  Trump’s 2020 spending blueprint for the Environmental Protection Agency proposes cutting most or all federal support for the programs, which benefit waters degraded by years of pollution, overdevelopment and exotic species invasions. His administration has argued repeatedly that state and local governments should foot the bill for nursing the waters back to health. … ”  Read more from the San Diego Union Tribune here:  Trump seeks cuts for cleanup of Great Lakes, other waterways

Trump proposes slashing EPA budget by 31 percent: “President Trump on Monday proposed significant budget cuts to the government agencies responsible for overseeing the nation’s energy and environmental policies, including a 31 percent reduction in spending at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The fiscal 2020 budget proposal to Congress marks the latest effort by the administration to slash funding for science and enforcement programs. ... ”  Read more from The Hill here:  Trump proposes slashing EPA budget by 31 percent

Trump’s budget guts science agencies – but favors the moon:  “Despite two failed attempts in as many years, President Trump has not been moved to change his tactics. At least not when it comes to this year’s federal budget request, a $4.75 trillion spending plan that guts domestic programs and federal scientific research in favor of boosting the US military and building a wall along the Mexican border.  For the third straight year, Trump has proposed big cuts to domestic programs—5 percent to most agencies. In each of the previous two years, Congress has restored most of the money. Some agencies even got more. Yet the White House appears to think that this year, despite the Democrats wresting control of the House of Representatives, that strategy just might work. … ”  Read more from WIRED Magazine here:  Trump’s budget guts science agencies – but favors the moon

Down the drain: What man-made products are in our waterways?: “Imagine how many consumer products you might use in a given day. This morning you probably used some form of soap or shampoo, some toothpaste, maybe you took a medication like ibuprofen. I’m probably missing a few in this list. Got your number? Now amplify that by millions of people around the world also using the same products, or more, every day.  What happens to the ibuprofen that our body doesn’t metabolize? What happens to the fragrances in our soaps, or the sunscreen we wash off in the shower? Scientists are following those products down the drain to understand where the thousands of chemical compounds we use each day end up. … ”  Read more from EnviroBites here:  Down the drain: What man-made products are in our waterways?

The Global Water Crisis May Have a Surprising Solution:  “For many people a clean drink of water isn’t a certainty. Right now an estimated 1.2 billion people live in areas with chronic water scarcity, and upwards of 4 billion — two-thirds of the world’s population — experience shortages at least one month a year. This will only get worse with climate change and population growth, and as it does it will exacerbate food insecurity and inequality — in both rich and poor nations.  As bad as this sounds, it’s not an unsolvable problem, according to a new book, The Water Paradox: Why There Will Never Be Enough Water — And How to Avoid the Coming Crisis, by Edward B. Barbier. … ”  Read more from The Revelator here:  The Global Water Crisis May Have a Surprising Solution

In commentary today …

Ending the drought – in water dataKathleen Miller and Michael Kiparsky write,California’s recent drought may have officially ended, but the state’s water data drought remains in full effect.  Shockingly, we don’t always know the answers to basic questions such as how much water is available in our state, let alone where and when. That’s why improving California’s woefully deficient stream gage network should be a top priority for the state. ... ”  Read more from Capitol Weekly here:  Ending the drought – in water data

Groundwater law is critical, but will be baffling, says the Chico Enterprise-Record:  They write:  “A process is underway that’s extremely important, and likely to be way over most of our heads.  The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act was passed in 2014, which set deadlines for local agencies to come up with plans to manage the water beneath them “… without causing undesirable results.”  Undesirable results include things like water quality deterioration, land subsidence and big drops in the water table. The state left it up to the local agencies to determine what their undesirable results were, but Sacramento reserved the right to reject plans that it felt were inadequate and impose their own. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Groundwater law is critical, but will be baffling

In regional news and commentary today …

Fire and water: Paradise, California:  “I’m J. Carl Ganter with Circle of Blue’s speaking of water. When fire swept through the town of Paradise, California, it was a tragic loss of life and property. Now as Circle of Blue’s Brett Walton reports, those faced with rebuilding homes and businesses are also faced with another grand challenge. How to restart the town’s imperiled water system. ... ”  Read more from Circle of Blue here:  Fire and water: Paradise, California

Bay Area’s highest peak, Mt. Hamilton, sets monthly snowfall record: “As the Bay Area looks ahead this week to the first 70-degree weather of 2019, here’s yet another reminder to just how cold and wet February was: Mt. Hamilton broke a nearly 70-year record for monthly snowfall.  The Bay Area’s tallest peak at 4,265 feet, Mt. Hamilton recorded 38.1 inches of snow in February, breaking the previous record of 33.6 inches set in January, 1950, according to the National Weather Service in Monterey.  Weather records on Mt. Hamilton date back to 1948. ... ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Bay Area’s highest peak, Mt. Hamilton, sets monthly snowfall record

Trump administration gives new life to development on huge Cargill Salt property in Redwood City: “The Trump Administration has given new life to developing 1,400 acres of San Francisco Bay’s shoreline in Redwood City, a property where developers a decade ago proposed the largest housing development on the bay in half a century.  In a letter earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ruled that the land owned by Cargill Salt is not bound by the federal Clean Water Act. The decision, potentially worth billions of dollars, makes the land easier to develop or to sell at a higher price to the government for wildlife habitat restoration in the future. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Trump administration gives new life to development on huge Cargill Salt property in Redwood City

Some residents still not allowed back in home following Strathmore flooding: “The flooding was something James McElrey won’t soon forget.  “Like a river running through your front yard. Water was really deep. It was a mess. I am still cleaning up the mess,” he said. But his home suffered only minor damage. Keith Presley and his family aren’t allowed back in their home. They’ve thrown out the furniture. The health department says the floodwaters caused too much damage. … ”  Read more from KFSN here:  Some residents still not allowed back in home following Strathmore flooding

Santa Clarita Valley Water officials hear about rising temps, dwindling snowpacks:  “Rising temperatures, rising sea levels and a disappearing snowpack were part of a scary story told to SCV Water Agency officials recently as they learned the effects of climate change over the next 100 years.  Last week, members of the SCV Water board were presented data collected and interpreted by state researchers preparing California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment.  The latest climate assessment was intended to advance “actionable science” that would serve the growing needs of state and local-level decision-makers from a variety of sectors. ... ”  Read more from the Santa Clarita Valley Signal here:  Santa Clarita Valley Water officials hear about rising temps, dwindling snowpacks

Southern California rain brings 2nd state super bloom in 2 years:  “It started with the desert lilies in December. Since then a wave of wildflower blooms has been crescendoing across Southern California’s Anza-Borrego desert in a burst of color so vivid it can be seen from mountain tops thousands of feet above.  Two years after steady rains followed by warm temperatures caused seeds dormant for decades under the desert floor to burst open and produce a spectacular display dubbed the “super bloom,” another winter soaking this year is expected to create possibly an even better show by Mother Nature. ... ”  Read more from KABC 7 here:  Southern California rain brings 2nd state super bloom in 2 years

New Project Takes Aim At Controlling Salton Sea Dust: “As the water pulls back from long-time shorelines along California’s Salton Sea, officials are working to keep dust from the exposed lake bottom out of the air.  Bruce Wilcox of the California Resources Agency looked out at what is now the new normal on the 35-mile-long lake’s southeastern shore.  “Fifteen years ago there was water right where we’re standing and it’s just receded that much,” Wilcox said as he stood on a spur of land that used to be part of a boat launch.  He points out that as the lake level drops, more lakebed is exposed. … ”  Read more from KPBS here:  New Project Takes Aim At Controlling Salton Sea Dust

San Diego: Environment Report: The Wet Weather Is in San Diego’s DNA:  “The longtime head of the San Diego County Water Authority is staying on the payroll, Gov. Gavin Newsom is considering an overhaul of the California Public Utilities Commission and more in our biweekly roundup of environmental news. ... ”  Read more from the Voice of San Diego here: Environment Report: The Wet Weather Is in San Diego’s DNA

Along the Colorado River …

California water agencies fight over multistate drought plan:  “A major Southern California water agency is trying to push the state through a final hurdle in joining a larger plan to preserve a key river in the U.S. West that serves 40 million people.  Most of the seven states that get water from the Colorado River have signed off on plans to keep the waterway from crashing amid a prolonged drought, climate change and increased demands. But California and Arizona have not, missing deadlines from the federal government.  Arizona has some work to do but nothing major holding it back. California, however, has two powerful water agencies fighting over how to get the drought contingency plan approved before U.S. officials possibly impose their own rules for water going to California, Arizona and Nevada. ... ”  Read more from the Washington Post here:  California water agencies fight over multistate drought plan

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

BLOG ROUND-UP: Biops, WaterFix, managing groundwater, drought preparation, Longfin smelt, multi-benefit water management, and more …

NEWS WORTH NOTING: President proposes $1.1 billion budget for Reclamation in fiscal year 2020; California groups issue Bernhardt warning; EDF, Audubon urge CA to finalize Drought Contingency Plan

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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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