DAILY DIGEST: Capturing stormwater to recharge aquifers; Contaminated tap water at center of debate between lawmakers; Yuba Water Agency launches initiative to enhance reservoir; Lake Mead projected to stay above shortage trigger; and more …

In California water news today, Capturing stormwater to recharge aquifers; Contaminated tap water in California at center of debate between lawmakers; Legal analysis: DWR Withdraws Approvals and Permit Applications for WaterFix, Confirms Plans for Single Delta Tunnel; California and offshore drilling: Like oil and water; New database: Water sources in 43 states contain potentially unsafe chemical levels; Yuba Water Agency launches initiative to enhance reservoir; Lake Mead projected to stay above shortage trigger; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • Public Scoping Meeting: Long Term Operations of the SWP, Downtown Los Angeles from 9am to 11am.  Click here for more information.
  • The State Water Resources Control Board meets in Redding beginning at 11am.  Agenda items include an update on the Cannabis Cultivation Program, an update on the Water Board’s post fire recovery efforts, and a discussion of board member priorities and organizational issues.  For more information, click hereClick here to watch on webcast.
  • The SoCal branch of the Groundwater Resources Association meets in Fountain Valley tonight at 6pm.  Topic is Seawater Intrusion Control in Orange County – Do We Need Another Barrier?  Click here for more information and to register.  You do not need to be a member to attend.

In the news today …

Capturing stormwater to recharge aquifers:  “Abnormal rainfall this year has eased our concerns over drought, but climate change is increasing the likelihood of prolonged dry spells in our region. Around the globe, an increasing number of water-stressed cities are seeking ways to conserve and find new sources of water. One possibility is the capture and reuse of stormwater.  Growing demands for water, bigger populations, and longer dry spells are leading to more depleted aquifers. Researchers are exploring ways to replenish these underground reservoirs with urban runoff. … ”  Read more from the Santa Barbara Independent here:  Capturing stormwater to recharge aquifers

Contaminated tap water in California at center of debate between lawmakers:  “The simple, necessary part of everyday life is the center of a complicated conversation between California lawmakers.   Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, said, “We have a water problem in California, whether it be an infrastructure problem or for that matter, a direct public health problem pertaining to not having clean water.”  … ”  Read more from KRON here:  Contaminated tap water in California at center of debate between lawmakers

Legal analysis: DWR Withdraws Approvals and Permit Applications for WaterFix, Confirms Plans for Single Delta Tunnel:  “The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) formally withdrew its approval for the twin tunnel water project known as California WaterFix, its certification of the environmental impact report (EIR) for the project, and its Petition for Change in Points of Diversion (Change Petition) pending with the State Water Resources Control Board associated with the project on May 2, 2019. At the same time, DWR announced its plans to proceed with a single tunnel and a new more transparent permitting process that would be part of a larger “portfolio based” water action plan announced two days earlier. The twin tunnel withdrawal comes almost two years after DWR approved the project and authorized issuance of up to $11 billion in bonds to pay for it. The approvals triggered the filing of 22 separate lawsuits in state and federal court challenging the project. The Change Petition proceedings have been pending since 2015. ... ”  Read more from Somach Simmons & Dunn here:  Legal analysis: DWR Withdraws Approvals and Permit Applications for WaterFix, Confirms Plans for Single Delta Tunnel

California and offshore drilling: Like oil and water:  “In April, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said the Trump administration was putting on hold its plans to open up more coastal waters to oil and gas drilling, including off the coast of California. The decision follows a defeat in federal court and lots of pushback from coastal states, some of which supported Trump in 2016.  It’s been 35 years since new federal leases for drilling along the Pacific coast have been issued. Polls show that a vast majority of Californians and a most Americans oppose offshore drilling. But while the practice is banned in state waters, without federal legislation, the possibility for renewed production in waters more than 3 miles from shore still remains. … ”  Read more from KQED here:  California and offshore drilling: Like oil and water

New database: Water sources in 43 states contain potentially unsafe chemical levels:  “More than 610 drinking water sources in 43 states contain potentially unsafe levels of chemical compounds that have been linked to birth defects, cancers, infertility, and reduced immune responses in children, according to a new database compiled by the Environmental Working Group and Northeastern University.  Using Pentagon data released last year and recently obtained public water utility reports, the researchers now estimate that more than 19 million people are exposed to water contaminated with per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS. ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  New database: Water sources in 43 states contain potentially unsafe chemical levels

In commentary today …

California needs Water Fix more than ever, says Brett Barbre:  He writes, “Water is more critical than ever in California. That’s why we need the Twin Tunnels project, called the California Water Fix and Eco Restore, WaterFix for short.  It would bring 9,000 cubic feet per second of water from Northern California to Southern California while solving ecological problems. Building only one tunnel would bring south just one-third the water.  Yet Gov. Gavin Newsom in an April 29 executive order summarily called for only “a new single tunnel project.” It’s obvious that the O.J. jury spent more time considering the evidence than the governor when considering Twin Tunnels. … ”  Read more from the OC Register here:  California needs Water Fix more than ever

To prevent water shortages, California must embrace desalination, says Paul Kelley:  He writes, “California has long been at the forefront of worldwide environmental leadership. Under our landmark law, Assembly Bill 32, we are slashing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.  We lead the way in recycling, with some of the strictest requirements on earth. Our solar industry is thriving. Silicon Valley is creating the most innovative zero-emissions vehicles ever imagined. And Gov. Gavin Newsom is committed to taking our environmental leadership to the next level.  However, in one key respect, California is lagging behind many other parts of the world. Climate change is causing drought and water shortages everywhere, but California has been slow to adopt a solution that over 120 countries are using: desalination. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  To prevent water shortages, California must embrace desalination

In regional news today …

Yuba Water Agency launches initiative to enhance reservoir:  “The Yuba Water Agency, along with the California Department of Water Resources, launched an initiative last week to fund a three-year research program aimed at improving storm and runoff forecasting and the impact atmospheric rivers can have on flood flows.  Agency personnel said the research will help significantly reduce flood risk through enhanced operations of New Bullards Bar and Oroville Dam, as well as help the agency in its effort to have the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers refine its outdated water control manual for the reservoir. … ”  Read more from the Appeal Democrat here:  Yuba Water Agency launches initiative to enhance reservoir

Palmdale academy students put some water to the test:  “There is more to drinking water than meets the eye, seventh- and eighth-graders at the Palmdale Preparatory Academy learned this week, as they tried their hands at some basic water testing led by a team from the Palmdale Water District.  The team from the district’s Leslie O. Carter Water Treatment Plant is among those responsible for ensuring the water that flows from the taps is safe and clean. The treatment plant is the step between the “green scummy lake water” and what comes from the tap, said Amanda Thompson, water quality and regulatory affairs supervisor. ... ”  Read more from the Antelope Valley Press here:  Palmdale academy students put some water to the test

Spawning fish complicate Oceanside sand replenishment:  “Manson Construction, the contractor that dredges the Oceanside harbor and pumps the sand onto the beach, has another obstacle to overcome this spring — the grunion.  The small, silvery, sardine-like fish spawned on the beach near the municipal pier two weeks ago. The contractor has had to avoid that area until after the eggs hatch, which occurs this weekend. But, there are several more chances for grunion runs this month. … ”  Read more from the San Diego Union Tribune here:  Spawning fish complicate Oceanside sand replenishment

Along the Colorado River …

Bureau of Reclamation projects Lake Mead to stay above shortage trigger:  “The Bureau of Reclamation has updated its 24-month study projections for the reservoirs throughout the Colorado River Basin which includes Lake Powell and Hoover Dam-Lake Mead.  According to the BOR, the snowpack in the Upper Basin is nearly 140% above average as of April 15 and it forecasts that seasonal inflow to Lake Powell will be at 128% of average. … ”  Read more from the Mohave Valley News here:  Bureau of Reclamation projects Lake Mead to stay above shortage trigger

Checking the water jug that is Lake Powell:  “Anybody who has gone camping in the desert for more than a day has asked the same questions that John Currier, the chief engineer at the Colorado River Water Conservation District, has been obsessing about the past 18 months.  How much water do we have left?  How much water have we been using?  How much water will we have if our friends join us and they don’t bring water?  And while many campers ask these questions standing over a 5-gallon plastic jug, for Currier, the water-storage vessel he’s concerned about, Lake Powell, holds 24 million acre-feet of water. ... ”  Read more from Aspen Journalism here:  Checking the water jug that is Lake Powell

More news and commentary in the weekend edition …

DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Ski resorts are thriving on CA’s heavy snowpack — and higher prices; Congress OKs more than $29 million in disaster relief for CA fisheries; More on the Delta tunnel announcement; Forest fires accelerating snowmelt across western US; and more …

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

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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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