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DAILY DIGEST: Researchers study reservoir evaporation for better budgeting of Colorado River water; Firefighting aircraft ‘increasingly ineffective’ amid worsening wildfires; Trump’s efforts to spur projects hit NEPA wall; Climate change poses security risks say intelligence reports; and more …

In California water news today, Researchers Study Reservoir Evaporation For Better Budgeting of Colorado River Water; Firefighting aircraft ‘increasingly ineffective’ amid worsening wildfires; Litigating over water: 2 lawsuits take aim at state’s plan to flush 300,000 acre feet of water in bid to add just 1,103 more fish; Trump’s efforts to spur projects hit NEPA wall; Climate change poses security risks, according to decades of intelligence reports; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

Researchers Study Reservoir Evaporation For Better Budgeting of Colorado River Water:  “Researchers are working to better measure how much water is lost to evaporation at the nation’s two largest reservoirs as part of effort they say could lead to new water management strategies.  The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Desert Research Institute have teamed up to study evaporation at Lake Powell, building upon ongoing research at Lake Mead, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported last week. … ”  Read more from Colorado Public Radio here: Researchers Study Reservoir Evaporation For Better Budgeting of Colorado River Water

After 2 bad years, the outlook for the recreational salmon season is bright:  “Anglers searching for salmon in the Monterey Bay have seen two consecutive bad years but the outlook for Saturday’s recreational opener is looking bright.  “It looks good,” said Chris Arcoleo owner of Chris’ Fishing and Whale Watching. … ”  Read more from KSBW here:  After 2 bad years, the outlook for the recreational salmon season is bright

Firefighting aircraft ‘increasingly ineffective’ amid worsening wildfires:  “The flames erupted just after sunrise on a high canyon wall, far beyond the reach of earthbound firefighters.  As powerful winds sent embers rocketing through the Sierra Nevada foothills, and closer to the towns of Magalia, Concow and Paradise, fire crews radioed anxiously for aircraft.  “Any news on air attack?” demanded one commander. “Let’s get stuff up that we can get up.” ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Firefighting aircraft ‘increasingly ineffective’ amid worsening wildfires

Litigating over water: 2 lawsuits take aim at state’s plan to flush 300,000 acre feet of water in bid to add just 1,103 more fish: “It is blue, red or purple on the top of the head.  Its tail has black spots as does the upper part of its body.  At maturity it averages 37 pounds and ranges in size from 24 to 36 inches.  Most people living in the Northern San Joaquin Valley have probably never seen one but it is playing a pivotal role in a legal battle unfolding in the courts that will determine the vitality of the region’s cities, the productiveness of its farms, and the health of its rivers for decades if not centuries to come. ... ”  Read more from the Manteca Bulletin here:  Litigating over our water: 2 lawsuits take aim at state’s plan to flush 300,000 acre feet of water in bid to add just 1,103 more fish

KID, KWUA sue agencies over water supply: “As rain clouds filled the skies above the Klamath Irrigation District office Friday morning, some Klamath Project ag producers believe they may as well been filled with uncertainty over ag production in the Basin.  Tulelake farmer Ben DuVal and Klamath Irrigation District manager Gene Souza look over print-outs of the water outlook for the year with coffee in-hand and shared concerns about the years ahead, according to new biological opinions recently issued by the Bureau of Reclamation. … ” Read more from the Herald & News here:  KID, KWUA sue agencies over water supply

Fremont’s protected vernal pools wriggle with life:  “Alongside asphalt and concrete, dozens of muddy ponds are sites of romantic revelry that would make Bacchus blush.  A new survey confirms their success: Hundreds of tiny offspring prove that environmental restoration is protecting rare species in this once-damaged South Bay landscape next to Interstate 880 and a sprawling office and industrial park.  “Tadpole shrimp! Tiger salamander!” shouted biologist Aidona Kakouros, peering into a net, as her assistants scurry through ankle-grabbing muck, carrying pencils and clipboards. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Fremont’s protected vernal pools wriggle with life

Coachella Valley: A dry desert with its history surrounded by stories of water: “Despite its designation as a desert, the Coachella Valley is blessed with water. The very names associated with the most prominent places and businesses in the desert, such as the Oasis Hotel, Mineral Springs Hotel, Deep Well, Indian Wells, Palm Springs, Snow Creek, and Tahquitz River Estates, all conjure up pretty images of water.  But the early story of desert water is more utilitarian than picturesque: it quite literally can be seen as a history of ditches. … ”  Read more from the Desert Sun here:  A dry desert with its history surrounded by stories of water

Western bird species struggling in face of changing climate:  “New research finds that climate change is putting stress on wetlands in the West’s Great Basin and that is putting pressure on bird populations navigating the Pacific Flyway.  Changing water conditions linked to climate change are impacting the wetland habitats that waterbirds rely on. ... ”  Read more from KPBS here:  Western bird species struggling in face of changing climate

Trump’s efforts to spur projects hit NEPA wall:  “The Keystone XL pipeline. A power line crossing the James River. A big transmission project in Nebraska.  These high-profile energy projects are all potential beneficiaries of President Trump’s “energy dominance” agenda. But accelerated approvals, which the Trump administration has at times justified with Obama-era environmental reviews, have left legal vulnerabilities that could send regulators back to the drawing board.  Legal experts who fight to impose stricter reviews say the troubling trend of speedy project approvals means courts will look with more skepticism on reviews the government is conducting under the National Environmental Policy Act. … ”  Read more from E&E News here:  Trump’s efforts to spur projects hit NEPA wall

Climate change poses security risks, according to decades of intelligence reports:  “A series of authoritative governmental and nongovernmental analyses over more than three decades lays a strong foundation for concern over climate change implications for national security.  Most recently, the national intelligence community – including the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other federal agencies – in January 2019 submitted the annual “Worldwide Threat Assessment.” In it, the intelligence agencies stated that “climate change is an urgent and growing threat to our national security, contributing to increased natural disasters, refugee flows, and conflicts over basic resources such as food and water. These impacts are already occurring, and the scope, scale, and intensity of these impacts are projected to increase over time.” … ”  Read more from Yale Climate Connections here:  Climate change poses security risks, according to decades of intelligence reports

In commentary today …

Protect the state’s environmental legacy from Trump’s onslaughts, says the LA Times:  They write, “California’s native species and its precious water resources are in serious need of some Trump insurance.  The state has laws that safeguard threatened wildlife and regulate water quality. But they are muscles and sinews that function only because they are attached to the bones of strong federal environmental laws adopted by forward-looking Congresses and presidents since the 1970s. Now those federal bones are beginning to dissolve. ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Protect the state’s environmental legacy from Trump’s onslaughts

San Diego ready for big water solutions, says Jim Madaffer:  He writes, “Back in the early 1990s — near the start of my career at San Diego City Hall — the San Diego County Water Authority launched a historic effort to sustain the region’s economy and quality of life by diversifying our water supplies so that we didn’t depend on one source for 95 percent of our water.  That effort took many forms, many billions of dollars and more than two decades — but it paid off in spades. … ”  Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here:  San Diego is ready for some big water solutions

Precipitation watch …

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Oroville residents submit petition to ‘hold DWR accountable’ to federal agency; Boosting nature by removing dams; Aging workforce hits water plants especially hard; Richard Frank on the new wetlands regulations; Sunday podcasts; and more …

https://mavensnotebook.com/2019/04/08/reservoir-and-water-conditions-for-april-8-2019/

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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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