DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Toward safe and reliable drinking water for all Californians; Coalition in Mendocino County forming to acquire Potter Valley Project; Endangered frog species blocking Camp Fire cleanup; Are Santa Clara Valley farmers paying too little for precious water?; and more …

In California water news this weekend, Toward safe and reliable drinking water for all Californians; Coalition in Mendocino County forming to acquire Potter Valley Project; ‘Absurd’ delay in Paradise: Endangered frog species blocking Camp Fire cleanup; Are Santa Clara Valley farmers paying too little for precious water?; $1 million grant for Elkhorn Slough to help restore wetlands; Wheeler: Trump admin might ‘re‑examine’ climate science; Climate change and the new age of extinction; and more …

In the news this weekend …

Toward safe and reliable drinking water for all Californians:  “California struggles to deliver safe drinking water to millions of residents. The challenges – often complex issues at the interface of human, legislative, technical, and geological dimensions – resist easy answers. Stanford experts explored possible ways forward at a recent panel discussion in Sacramento.  “We’re tackling one of the most challenging but important issues of the 21st century,” said Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment Director Chris Field, the event’s moderator. … ”  Read more from Stanford News here:  Toward safe and reliable drinking water for all Californians

PacifiCorp and Tribes applaud selection of Kiewit:  “PacifiCorp has entered into a site access agreement with Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. to allow the firm to conduct initial surveying and other work connected to planned removal of four dams on the Klamath River.  The site access agreement follows an announcement by the Klamath River Renewal Corporation on April 25 that it had finalized and signed an initial contract with Kiewit to perform preliminary services that include design, planning and permitting support to carry out dam removal. ... ”  Read more from Herald & News here: PacifiCorp and Tribes applaud selection of Kiewit

High water Trinity River flows mean fun times, but safety is first (w/photos):  “A relatively rainy year has the Trinity River below the dam in Lewiston flowing high, fast, and cold at times, but local rafting company operators stress that with professional gear and guides, it makes for both safe and fun times even more so than most years.  On a Friday raft trip down the Pigeon Point run under sunny skies and about 90 degrees, Pete Harrison, river manager and lead guide at Six Rivers Rafting took two passengers down the now quite exciting river. It is probably the region’s most popular river section and is the bread-and-butter run of four local rafting companies late spring and all summer. … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here:  High water Trinity River flows mean fun times, but safety is first (w/photos)

Coalition in Mendocino County forming to acquire Potter Valley Project:  “In Ukiah Thursday, at least two dozen people who depend on the Potter Valley Project for their farming operations gathered at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds to hear an update on the facility’s future.  “New information to come shortly, and a lot of work still to do,” said Janet Pauli, chairwoman of the Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission, a Joint Powers Authority that is exploring the possibility of acquiring the facility that Pacific Gas and Electric owns, but has essentially abandoned. ... ”  Read more from the Ukiah Daily Journal here:  Coalition in Mendocino County forming to acquire Potter Valley Project

‘Absurd’ delay in Paradise: Endangered frog species blocking Camp Fire cleanup:  “Environmental concerns, including fear of harming sensitive frog species, have forced Camp Fire crews to back away from cleaning some properties in the Paradise area.  State officials tasked with debris cleanup say they have been directed not to enter an estimated 800 burned Butte County home sites within 100 feet of a waterway. They’ve been told to wait for representatives of several state and federal agencies to reach an agreement on environmental assessment guidelines. ... ”  Continue reading at the Sacramento Bee here:  ‘Absurd’ delay in Paradise: Endangered frog species blocking Camp Fire cleanup

Endangered frogs delay fire cleanup in Paradise:  “Fears of harming an endangered frog species have forced crews to delay cleaning debris from about 800 properties in Paradise, angering some residents anxious to start rebuilding their homes.  Those tasked with debris removal have been told to wait until state and federal officials reach an agreement on guidelines to address the environmental concerns, The Sacramento Bee reported Friday. Construction projects often require state environmental inspections because of concerns about sensitive species. … ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here:  Endangered frogs delay fire cleanup in Paradise

Sacramento City finally responds to public safety concern along the levees:  “In response to a story that aired Thursday night on CBS13, the City of Sacramento is now responding and creating a task force to combat a growing public safety concern.  Homeless campers are carving into levees that protect Sacramento from flooding, a break in the levee could be devastating. … ”  Read more from CBS Sacramento here:  Sacramento City finally responds to public safety concern along the levees

Are Santa Clara Valley farmers paying too little for precious water? The water that irrigates Santa Clara Valley’s last farms comes dirt cheap for growers who pump it out of the ground.  They pay just a fraction — 6 percent — of the amount residents and businesses in the valley must pony up for their well water. The rest of the cost for farmers’ water is subsidized, mostly from revenue the Santa Clara Valley Water District receives through property taxes.  The water subsidies have been around for decades, justified as a way to help out farmers eking out a living and prevent more agricultural land from disappearing into pavement and buildings. ... ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Are Santa Clara Valley farmers paying too little for precious water? 

$1 million grant for Elkhorn Slough to help restore wetlands:  “Elkhorn Slough has received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, which will be used to help restore approximately 63 acres—about 83 football fields—of tidal wetlands at the Slough.  “Elkhorn Slough is a wetland of global importance,” said Shawn Milar, Coastal Program Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, citing a recent designation made by the Ramsar Convention of Wetlands. The Ramsar Convention, an international treaty, is responsible for evaluating and designating globally significant wetlands habitats. The Slough’s restoration is thus important for many people, not only in the local area but globally as well. ... ”  Read more from the Monterey Herald here:  $1 million grant for Elkhorn Slough to help restore wetlands

What’s in the Santa Ana River? Environmentalists conduct tests, collect trash at homeless camps:  “Armed with test tubes and trash bags, a team of environmental advocates are looking at homeless camps in Riverside as part of a broad effort to clean up the 2,840-square-mile Santa Ana River Watershed.  The long-term goal is to protect the water and revive enjoyment of a 96-mile river that once was a center of life in Southern California.  But a hurdle to that goal is people. … ”  Read more from the Press-Enterprise here:  What’s in the Santa Ana River? Environmentalists conduct tests, collect trash at homeless camps

Colorado to make tough decisions when it comes to water usage in drought contingency plan:  “The water battle is over, but the war has just begun.  At the 26th annual Summit County State of the River conference at the Silverthorne Pavilion this past Tuesday, the mood was light because of robust snowpack in the mountains and the recent approval of a drought contingency plan to lower water usage during critical shortages among states in the Lower Colorado River Basin — Nevada, Arizona and California.  However, when it comes to water, consistency is preferred over short-term victories, and the West is still in the midst of a long-term water shortage in Lake Powell and Lake Mead, primary reservoirs that serve 40 million people. For that reason, the Upper Basin states — Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico — have to also come up with their own drought contingency plans. ... ”  Read more from the Summit Daily here:  Colorado to make tough decisions when it comes to water usage in drought contingency plan

Wheeler: Trump admin might ‘re‑examine’ climate science:  “EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler used an overseas gathering of environment ministers this week to hint that the United States might overhaul the way it uses climate data and modeling. Five days after his assertion was included in an official document from the Group of Seven meeting in Metz, France, it remains unclear if Wheeler revealed a potential policy to reexamine climate modeling.  It’s become common for the United States to have its own climate and energy paragraph in multilateral statements, and on Monday, Wheeler broke away from the six other nations on issues like the Paris Agreement, providing support for poor and climate-affected countries, and overseas investments in fossil fuels. … ”  Read more from E&E News here:  Wheeler: Trump admin might ‘re‑examine’ climate science

Climate change and the new age of extinction:  “The first documented extinction of 2019 occurred on New Year’s Day, with the death of a Hawaiian tree snail named George. George, who was about an inch long, had a grayish body, grayish tentacles, and a conical shell striped in beige and brown. He was born in captivity, in Honolulu, and had spent his unassuming life oozing around his terrarium, consuming fungi. Researchers with Hawaii’s forestry department had tried to find a partner for him—George was a hermaphrodite, but he needed a mate in order to reproduce—and when they couldn’t they concluded that he was the last of his kind, Achatinella apexfulva. A few days after he went, presumably gently, into that good night, the department posted a eulogy under the heading “farewell to a beloved snail . . . and a species.” “Unfortunately, he is survived by none,” it observed.  George’s passing prompted a spate of headlines, and then, it seems safe to say, was forgotten. … ”  Continue reading at the New Yorker here:  Climate change and the new age of extinction

Sunday podcasts …

Sharing is a no-brainer:  Steve Baker writes, “Pat Mulroy, former General Manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, sees southern Nevada communities as one economy. It’s all municipal use. When it comes right down to it, they share the same water source and same infrastructure.   So why not share a water shortage over the largest base of water users as possible. That way nobody holds the unbearable burden of not having enough water.  Pat stated that sharing meant everyone giving up their priority water rights and, instead, focusing on a very strict conservation program for everyone. It suddenly became a much more manageable approach that was based on a purely data driven basis. If this can be done in Nevada, it may also work in other parts of the U.S.. Water is a Many Splendor’ed Thing brings you another water relationship that has a personally significant impact to your life.”

Bringing People Together to Solve Water Problems
Operation Unite®; stevebaker@operationunite.co; 530-263-1007

Sunday video …

Our California Watershed:  “An overview of the complex relationship California has with its watershed, and the downstream effects of what changing climate and growing population have on sustaining this essential resource.”  From Sustainable California.

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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