DAILY DIGEST: Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot on climate, water, and wildfires; The best NorCal waterfalls to visit right now; Tribes sue feds over geothermal leases on sacred land; Experts say Arizona tribes’ role in drought negotiations marks turning point for inclusion; and more …

In California water news today, Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot on challenges of new climate reality; The best Northern California waterfalls to visit right now; Tribes sue feds over geothermal leases on sacred land; California heat waves could be predicted 2 weeks in advance, new UC Davis research shows; Wildfires alter stream chemistry for years; Experts say Arizona tribes’ role in drought negotiations marks turning point for inclusion; Court orders EPA to reevaluate Obama-era power plant wastewater rule; Interior Dept. Opens Ethics Investigation of Its New Chief, David Bernhardt; and more …

In the news today …

Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot on challenges of new climate reality:  Wade Crowfoot, California’s new Natural Resources Secretary, recently delivered a keynote address at LABC’s Annual Sustainabilty Summit focusing on new wildfire and water supply & stormwater policies being advanced by Governor Newsom and the Natural Resources Agency, among other things.  Here’s what he had to say:  “California is leading the world when it comes to climate action and environmental sustainability. The fifth largest economy in the world is already deriving more than half of its energy on a daily basis from renewable energy. In terms of electrification and electrifying transportation, that movement is happening and being led in California. About half of electric vehicle sales in the country are generated here. … ”  Read more from The Planning Report here:  Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot on challenges of new climate reality

The best Northern California waterfalls to visit right now:  “Spring has arrived, which means it’s a great time to visit dozens of Northern California waterfalls.  As the snow in the Sierra melts, the runoff will increase water levels and river flows across Northern California.  Waterfall photographer Leon Turnbull gave his top six picks of Northern California waterfalls to visit during late spring. ... ”  Read more from SF Gate here:  The best Northern California waterfalls to visit right now

Temperance Flat Dam Could Minimize the Devastation of SGMA:  “Mario Santoyo, Executive Director at San Joaquin Valley Water Infrastructure Authority, explained the dire need to build Temperance Flat Dam to California Ag Today recently, and the possible consequences if it is not built.  “With the new groundwater sustainability law coming into play, it is going to basically shut down a lot of farming,” he said. … ”  Read more from Cal Ag Today here:  Temperance Flat Dam Could Minimize the Devastation of SGMA

Tribes sue feds over geothermal leases on sacred land:  “On the northern tip of California, a rugged landscape of volcanic rock, lava beds and conifer forests has served as the ancestral home of Native Americans for thousands of years. But things changed some decades ago when corporate interests began creeping onto the rocky terrain.  Seeking to harness the power of the earth’s inner heat, energy giant Calpine Corporation won a U.S. government contract in 1982 to explore geothermal energy on 2,560 acres of national forest in the Medicine Lake Highlands of Siskiyou County. … ”  Read more from the Courthouse News Service here:  Tribes sue feds over geothermal leases on sacred land

California heat waves could be predicted 2 weeks in advance, new UC Davis research shows:  “Want to know when the next hot spell is coming? It might help to look at the weather forecasts — a few thousand miles away.  Summer heat waves in California’s Central Valley are almost always preceded by heavy rainfall over the tropical Indian and Pacific oceans, scientists at UC Davis and in South Korea determined in a recently published research effort.  Researchers identified 24 heat waves that took place in California’s Central Valley during summer months from 1979 to 2010, and compared those heat waves to a weather pattern called the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) that brings heavy rain to the tropical Indian and Pacific oceans. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  California heat waves could be predicted 2 weeks in advance, new UC Davis research shows

Wildfires alter stream chemistry for years:  “UNH researchers and their collaborators with the University of California-Merced and Ohio State University examined the effects of wildfire on stream chemistry and water quality in Yosemite National Park, Calif. They collected water samples from 12 streams that varied in wildfire history and watershed characteristics. Samples were analyzed used a high-resolution chemical analysis to examine how the concentration and composition of dissolved organic matter changes due to wildfire.  “We found that the response of stream chemistry to wildfire in Yosemite can persist for years, varying with both the severity of the last wildfire and site-level characteristics. For example, we found that in streams draining watersheds that experienced high severity fires had significantly lower concentrations of dissolved organic matter,” said Adam Wymore, research assistant professor natural resources and the environment. ... ”  Read more from the USDA here:  Wildfires alter stream chemistry for years

Governor Newsom’s first 100 days in office:  “Governor Newsom has spent 100 days in office as California’s 40th governor and he’s been busy trying to tackle some of the most important issues facing Californians.  Newsom has spent his time signing executive orders and bills, traveling up and down the state, declaring flood and wildfire emergencies and getting into the occasional spat on Twitter with President Trump. He ended the death penalty under his administration, created a DMV task force to improve service, developed a strategy to prevent another deadly wildfire season, and announced he would like to scale back the high speed rail and Delta twin tunnels projects. ... ”  Read more from KTVU here:  Governor Newsom’s first 100 days in office

Court orders EPA to reevaluate Obama-era power plant wastewater rule:  “A federal appeals court is sending the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) back to the drawing board over its wastewater regulations in a ruling that compares them to a Commodore 64 home computer.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled on Friday that the EPA’s 2015 power plant wastewater pollution rule was not stringent enough, siding with environmentalists. Circuit Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan ruled in favor of various environmental groups that portions of the wastewater rule regulating legacy wastewater and liquid from impoundments were “unlawful.” … ”  Read more from The Hill here:  Court orders EPA to reevaluate Obama-era power plant wastewater rule

Interior Dept. Opens Ethics Investigation of Its New Chief, David Bernhardt:  “The Interior Department’s internal watchdog has opened an investigation into ethics complaints against the agency’s newly installed secretary, David Bernhardt.  Mr. Bernhardt, a former lobbyist for the oil and agribusiness industries, was confirmed by the Senate last week to head the agency, which oversees the nation’s 500 million acres of public land and vast coastal waters. He has played a central role in writing policies designed to advance President Trump’s policy of “energy dominance” and expanding fossil fuel exploration. … ”  Read more from the New York Times here:  Interior Dept. Opens Ethics Investigation of Its New Chief, David Bernhardt

Trump’s interior chief faces ethics investigation just days after being confirmed:  “The Interior Department’s inspector general on Monday opened an investigation into ethics claims surrounding David Bernhardt, Trump’s newly appointed interior secretary.  The Interior Department confirmed to the Washington Examiner that the probe was initiated on Monday at the request of Democrats, just days after he was confirmed by the Senate.  Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Tom Udall of New Mexico led the charge in requesting that the inspector general investigate whether Bernhardt violated lobbying laws while serving in his previous capacity as deputy interior secretary. … ”  Read more from the Washington Examiner here:  Trump’s interior chief faces ethics investigation just days after being confirmed

The Science of Leak Noise: Some “Sound” Advice for Acoustic Leak Detection: Effective water loss control (WLC) is one of the most critical activities every water system must face, particularly as droughts increase and conservation mandates become more stringent. Leak detection has quickly become a cornerstone of every WLC program. No matter what type of equipment is used, procedures and methods for acoustic leak detection should be adjusted to meet the specific system being surveyed, for the best results (detecting more leaks).  Leak sounds are directly related to the type of pipe, size of pipe and pressure inside the pipe. Typically, water flowing through a pipe does not make noise, unless disturbed. Disturbances can include (but are not limited to) ... ”  Continue reading at Water Finance and Management here:  The Science of Leak Noise: Some “Sound” Advice for Acoustic Leak Detection

In regional news and commentary today …

Santa Cruz: Community participation is key to future of water supply, say Bruce Mcpherson, Lois Henry and Chris Perri:  They write, “In the Sentinel’s March 24 story about the San Lorenzo River Symposium, the river was described as a “unifying force of nature.” The same could be said of the Santa Margarita Groundwater Basin, which lies beneath much of the river’s length, extends throughout the San Lorenzo Valley and Scotts Valley areas and provides water for water district customers and private well owners. … ”  Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here:  Community participation is key to future of water supply

Proposal to build so-called ‘sewage pond’ angers some San Ysidro residents: “There is heated debate in the South Bay over what some are calling a “sewage pond.” Residents are concerned a proposed project aimed at tackling the pollution problem in the Tijuana River Valley will ultimately negatively affect them. Emotions rang high at Monday night’s San Ysidro Community Planning Group meeting. Some residents voiced they are not happy to hear about a proposal to build what they have dubbed a “sewage pond” near their homes. … ” Read more from Fox News 5 here: Proposal to build so-called ‘sewage pond’ angers some San Ysidro residents

Along the Colorado River …

Experts say Arizona tribes’ role in drought negotiations marks turning point for inclusion: “Sprouting through the cracked floor of the Sonoran Desert, tepary beans thrive in the dry heat and carry with it centuries of resilience from the indigenous Pima people of southern Arizona. “We have our water. It’s our life. It’s our livelihood, and it’s our culture,” said Ramona Button, owner of Ramona Farms. Ramona Button and her husband, Terry, have been farming traditional native foods on the Gila River Indian Community for more than 40 years, including the tepary bean, a staple of native dishes for centuries. “And we’re experts in dealing with drought,” Terry Button said. … ” Read more from Cronkite News here: Experts say Arizona tribes’ role in drought negotiations marks turning point for inclusion

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

PANEL PRESENTATION: Funding options for Groundwater Sustainability Agencies

BLOG ROUND-UP: Trump Administration’s cold water war with CA, Bruce Babbitt and CALFED Framework; Farmers, water allocations, and water taxes; Water bond lessons; and more …

NEWS WORTH NOTING: CA Attorney General tells EPA, Army Corps to withdraw proposed WOTUS rule; Huffman introduces legislation to make water conservation rebates tax-free; Snowpack benefits Colorado River operations; EPA guidance on Clean Water Act permitting requirements for groundwater

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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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