DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Harder water bill a bipartisan effort; UCLA researchers discover cost and time efficient method to recycle water; A Farmer Goes in Search of a Successor; Chico: Options sought for water users of destroyed canal; and more …

In California water news this weekend, Harder water bill a bipartisan effort; Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee Passes Bill to Reduce Administrative Hearings Office’s Reliance on the Water Rights Fund; UCLA researchers discover cost and time efficient method to recycle water; A Farmer Goes in Search of a Successor; Warm Pacific juicing storms; Federal agencies: These 5 rules could be coming soon; Chico: Options sought for water users of destroyed canal; and more …

In the news this weekend …

Harder water bill a bipartisan effort:  “As a full Tuolumne River flowed behind them, a diverse set of government leaders and water stakeholders gathered alongside Congressman Josh Harder Wednesday afternoon in Modesto to unite under one important cause: protecting water in the Central Valley.  Harder, flanked by local and state officials of both the Democrat and Republican parties, agriculture groups and farmers, irrigation district representatives and other water advocates, announced a monumental new bill to address the ongoing water crisis called the Securing Access for the Central Valley and Enhancing (SAVE) Water Resources Act. … ”  Read more from the Turlock Journal here:  Harder water bill a bipartisan effort

Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee Passes Bill to Reduce Administrative Hearings Office’s Reliance on the Water Rights Fund: “Senate Bill 454 passed the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on Wednesday, receiving six aye votes, two noes, and one unrecorded vote. The bill will reduce financial pressure on the Water Rights Fund, which is supported by fees from water rights holders and is currently the primary source of funding for the new Administrative Hearings Office (Hearings Office) within the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board).  The purpose of SB 454 is to ensure that parties using the Hearings Office will pay part of the operating costs of the Hearings Office. Thus, the bill will require filing fees and fines imposed by the Hearings Office to be deposited into a new fund, named the Water Rights Hearings Office Fund (Fund). The Fund will be available solely to pay for Hearings Office expenditures. Additionally, SB 454 requires the State Water Board to conduct an annual accounting of the Fund. ... ”  Read more from Somach Simmons & Dunn here:  Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee Passes Bill to Reduce Administrative Hearings Office’s Reliance on the Water Rights Fund

UCLA researchers discover cost and time efficient method to recycle water:  “UCLA researchers designed a water vapor capture system that could purify industrial wastewater and agricultural runoff three times more efficiently than existing methods.  The study, published in the April issue of Science Advance, was led by Yongho Sungtaek Ju, a mechanical and aerospace engineering professor. Ju said he was initially awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to create a system to cool power plants with dry air instead of fresh water. This system also happened to be efficient at collecting water vapor from the air and was later adapted for this purpose, Ju said. ... ”  Read more from the Daily Bruin here:  UCLA researchers discover cost and time efficient method to recycle water

A Farmer Goes in Search of a Successor: The average age of a California farmer is 59. Who will grow our food when today’s farmers retire?  “As a generational wave of farmers in California enters retirement age, these growers and ranchers face difficult choices about what to do with their farms and how to support themselves as they age.  There is no “cookie-cutter formula” for farmers navigating this chapter, said Rod Carter, an expert in land succession planning who has advised California farmers for several decades.  “The only thing I can tell you (is that) out of 300-plus families I’ve worked with here in California on this particular topic, none of them are the same,” Carter said. … ”  Read more from Graying California here:  A Farmer Goes in Search of a Successor

Warm Pacific juicing storms:  “American farmers raising their fists to the sky this year may be better off directing their ire toward the ocean.  Abnormally warm water in the eastern Pacific, along with a weak El Nino along the equator, have pumped a train of storms across the U.S. That has soaked fields that need to be planted with corn, soybeans and cotton and slowed barges full of grain, coal and chemicals struggling against the stiff current of the Mississippi and other Midwest rivers. … ”  Read more from the Western Farm Press here:  Warm Pacific juicing storms

Federal agencies: These 5 rules could be coming soon:  “From greenhouse gas emissions controls to offshore drilling, the Trump administration has yet to complete a number of high-profile regulatory changes the president has promised.  Regulatory experts are closely tracking forthcoming final and draft rules and guidance documents in the second half of the presidential term.  “There are a lot of the things we expect to see relatively soon,” said Hana Vizcarra, a staff attorney at Harvard Law School who works on Harvard’s Regulatory Rollback Tracker. She and Caitlin McCoy, a climate, clean air and energy fellow at Harvard Law School, and other regulatory experts flagged half a dozen actions to keep an eye on as agencies push to complete regulatory rollbacks. ... ”  Read more from E&E News here:  Federal agencies: These 5 rules could be coming soon

In commentary this weekend …

The case for SB 1:  Tim Stroshane writes,At the end of December 2017, the Trump Administration’s Bureau of Reclamation notified the public, as quietly as it could, that it intended to “maximize” Delta water exports on behalf of Central Valley Project water contractors, especially those south of the Delta. This announcement exemplified the new administration’s take-no-prisoners approach to California and Delta water management by threatening to take as much water as it could, damn the Delta smelt, Chinook salmon, sturgeon, and other species that are at risk of extinction. … ”  Read more from the Tracy Press here:  The case for SB 1

Sunday podcasts …

Meeting of the waters:  Steve Baker writes, “I have heard, more times than I can count; water that reaches the ocean is wasted water. I wanted to find out if this is really true so I visited an oceanographer that studies the California coastal environments. Turns out, water has many jobs in addition to providing water to humans.”  Water is a Many Splendor’ed Thing brings you another water relationship that has a personally significant impact to your life.  Stephen J. Baker, producer of Operation Unite’s Living Water® radio series, “Water is a Many Splendor’ed Thing”.  stevebaker@operationunite.co; 530-263-1007


Pinneped predation:  “For those of you who chase coastal #steelhead, you know first hand what these apex predators can do to wild steelhead and #salmon populations. You’ve seen the torn up carcases, bite and claw marks up close and personal.  In this episode we sit down with two #fisheries experts in Oregon – the literal front line of this often divisive issue.”

In regional news and commentary this weekend …

Chico: Options sought for water users of destroyed canal:  “The Camp Fire destroyed thousands of homes and dozens of businesses, and also the water supply for an undetermined number of people.  The fire destroyed or damaged the 9 miles of PG&E’s Upper Miocene Canal, which is the flume system along the West Branch of the Feather River. That also cut off water to ranches and homes along the Middle Miocene Canal — from Kunkel Reservoir to the vicinity of Cherokee — and the Lower Miocene Canal (or Powers Canal) along the west side of Table Mountain to Oroville. … ” Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here:  Chico: Options sought for water users of destroyed canal

Rebuilding Sonoma County: Neither fires nor floods can keep wine country visitors away:  “It would be hard to blame Denver resident Anne Marie Brown if she and her husband never wanted to visit Sonoma County again.  The last time they came here, in late February, the Russian River jumped its banks and they spent most of their vacation in west county trying to circumnavigate flooded roads. The visit before that, in October 2017, they arrived the night the fires struck and tried to make the best of an unfortunate and tragic situation.  “We definitely don’t have the best luck,” Brown jokes. “The last two visits have been pretty eventful.” ... ”  Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here:  Rebuilding Sonoma County: Neither fires nor floods can keep wine country visitors away

Radio show: Forum on the Road: Land Use Battles Continue as Napa County Passes Controversial Tree, Water Ordinance:  “A Napa Valley ordinance that takes effect in May will increase protections that landowners must take to preserve trees and the watershed. The decision marks another chapter in the long-standing debate over the use of, and protections for, Napa’s open space, trees and water. We’ll hear about the new “Water Quality and Tree Protection Ordinance” and why many environmentalists and vintners are unhappy about it.”  Listen to radio show from KQED here:  Forum on the Road: Land Use Battles Continue as Napa County Passes Controversial Tree, Water Ordinance

Monterey County Planning Commission grants Cal Am’s desalination plant permit:  “California American Water secured a critical development permit for its proposed desalination plant north of Marina on Wednesday, April 24, with a 6-4 vote by the Monterey County Planning Commission.  Proponents of the $329 million project described it to commissioners as a historic and last-ditch opportunity to provide the Monterey Peninsula with a sustainable and bountiful water supply in compliance with a state order to drastically reduce pumping from the Carmel River. ... ”  Read more from Monterey County Weekly here:  Monterey County Planning Commission grants Cal Am’s desalination plant permit

Santa Ana River watermaster celebrates 50 years of cooperation and collaboration:  “In Riverside County, right along the Santa Ana River, local leaders and community members came together to commemorate 50 years of peace along the River. Nearly 100 people celebrated two 1969 court judgments for the water rights of the Santa Ana River that are still in place.  In 1963, two major lawsuits were filed regarding surface water and groundwater pumping rights across the Santa Ana River Watershed that included more than 4,000 litigants. One lawsuit was filed by the Western Municipal Water District and the other by the Orange County Water District. … ”  Read more from Valley News here:  Santa Ana River watermaster celebrates 50 years of cooperation and collaboration

Keep conserving, officials say, San Bernardino valley groundwater basins are ‘historically low: “As the Inland area dries out from this winter’s soaking, residents might be tempted to crank up their lawn sprinklers, and wash the dust off their driveways, but not so fast, water officials say.  All that rain has done little to erase the deficits in local groundwater basins which are at historic lows thanks to two decades of drought, according to the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, which manages water for 700,000 residents from Fontana to Yucaipa. Riverside is also a big user of water from San Bernardino valley basins. ... ”  Read more from Redlands Daily Facts here:  Keep conserving, officials say, San Bernardino valley groundwater basins are ‘historically low

Along the Colorado River …

Is it really drought contingency or a missed opportunity? Sandy Bahr writes, “Who could have anticipated that there would be reduced flows in the Colorado River and that the water levels in Lake Mead would drop? Who knew that those who got cheaper, lower priority water from the river might actually have to take the shortages to which they had agreed? Who knew that the river was stretched beyond what it can deliver? Anyone who was paying attention. Anyone who can do basic math. Anyone who has been looking at the Colorado River system and the impacts from climate change. … ”  Continue reading at the Arizona Capital Times here:  Is it really drought contingency or a missed opportunity?

Sunday video …

Managing Wastewater in a Changing Climate:  “California’s wastewater sector plays a key role in protecting public health and the environment. It is also the source of recycled water—a growing water supply. But climate change is bringing water scarcity and other pressures to the sector. Caitrin Chappelle, associate director of the PPIC Water Policy Center, outlines findings from a new report, and a panel of experts discusses policy improvements to prepare the sector for a more volatile future. The panelists are: Adam D. Link, director of operations at the California Association of Sanitation Agencies; Jelena Hartman, senior scientist with the California State Water Resources Control Board; and Nina Hawk, chief operating officer of the water utility at the Santa Clara Valley Water District. The moderator is Kurt Schwabe, a professor in the school of public policy at the University of California, Riverside.

Also on Maven’s Notebook this weekend …

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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.

Maven’s Notebook
where California water news never goes home for the weekend

no weekends

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