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This week’s featured articles …
CA WATER COMMISSION: Water and the Future of the San Joaquin Valley
Ellen Hanak delivers four priorities for managing the implementation of SGMA in the San Joaquin Valley
The San Joaquin Valley is California’s largest agricultural region and an important contributor to the nation’s food supply, producing more than half of the state’s agricultural output. Irrigated agriculture is the region’s main economic driver and predominant water user.
However, the San Joaquin Valley is at a pivotal point. It is ground zero for many of California’s most difficult water management problems, including groundwater overdraft, contaminated drinking water, and declines in habitat and native species. The Valley has high rates of unemployment and pockets of extreme poverty, challenges that increase when the farm economy suffers.
The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act requires local water users to bring their overdrafted groundwater basins into balance by the early 2040s. With the largest groundwater overdraft in the State, the implementation of SGMA will have a broad impact on Valley agriculture in coming years, and will likely entail fallowing of significant amounts of farmland.
“Water and the Future of the San Joaquin Valley” is the third installment of a research project by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) Water Policy Center on solutions to the San Joaquin Valley’s water challenges. Ellen Hanak is director of the PPIC Water Policy Center and a senior fellow at PPIC. At the May meeting of the California Water Commission, she discussed the findings of their research and recommendations regarding the challenges facing the San Joaquin Valley.
MET BAY-DELTA COMMITTEE: Update on Delta conveyance
At the May meeting of the Metropolitan Special Committee on the Bay Delta, Steve Arakawa, Bay Delta Initiatives Manager, updated the committee members on the Governor’s Executive Order announced on April 29, the Governor’s announcements supporting a single-tunnel option, and the activities of the Delta Conveyance Finance Authority and the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority. This was the first meeting of the Committee since the announcements were made.
CA WATER COMMISSION: DWR’s Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment
Assessment looks at six categories of vulnerability: wildfire, extreme heat, sea level rise, long-term persistent hydrologic changes, short-term extreme hydrologic changes, and habitat and ecosystem services impacts
In order to address the impacts of climate change on the state’s water resources, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) has been developing its own comprehensive Climate Action Plan to guide how DWR is and will continue to address climate change for programs, projects, and activities over which it has authority.
Phase III of the Climate Action Plan is a Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan which will evaluate, describe, and where possible, quantify the vulnerabilities of DWR’s assets and business activities to projected changes in temperature, wildfire, sea level rise, long-term and persistent hydrologic changes (including precipitation, snowpack runoff, and flooding), and habitat and ecosystem services degradation.
The Vulnerability Assessment will serve as a foundation for the development of an Adaptation Plan to help prioritize DWR resiliency efforts such as infrastructure improvements, enhanced maintenance and operation procedures, revised health and safety procedures, and improved habitat management.
At the May meeting of the California Water Commission, John Andrew, Deputy Director for Climate Change at the Department of Water Resources, reviewed the outcomes of the vulnerability assessment and explained the next steps.
In water news this week from around the web …
WEEKEND/MONDAY: Should big dams count as renewable energy? California Democrats divided; Experts Warn 5G Could Disrupt Weather Forecasting; Help wanted on California’s working lands; Placer County Sheriff’s Office warns of dangerous river conditions for holiday weekend; A New Atlas for Dealing With Rising Seas in the Bay Area; and more … READ IT HERE: Memorial Day Weekend Digest
TUESDAY: SF Bay’s problems fester as regulator neglects responsibility, investigation finds; Rethinking Disaster Recovery After A California Town Is Leveled By Wildfire; This water fight should end fast; Warmth to ramp up in California, Southwest at late week following unusually chilly weekend; Lawmakers, Trump agencies set for clash over chemicals in water; GOP criticizes its own on climate; and more … READ IT HERE: Tuesday’s Daily Digest
WEDNESDAY: Seeking more water, Silicon Valley eyes Central Valley farmland; Federal bill includes $14 million to boost water storage for Central Valley, Nor Cal; PG&E Wants to Make a Massive Investment in Weather Stations. Here’s Why; Trump Administration Hardens Its Attack on Climate Science; Appeals court arguments set in ‘Takings’ affecting Klamath Basin; Owens Valley: FERC finds Premium Energy’s application ‘patently deficient’; Major Habitat Restoration Project Set to Move Forward at Salton Sea; The Colorado River’s Biggest Challenge Looms; and more … READ IT HERE: Wednesday’s Daily Digest
THURSDAY: More Than 300 Public Water Systems Serve Unsafe Water In CA, Will state pass a clean-water tax?; California water utilities seek relief from fire lawsuits; An 800-acre reservoir could be coming to Stanislaus County, but what are the risks?; Freak mud flows threaten our water supplies, and climate change is raising the risk; Escondido, tribe reach agreement on easement for water pipeline; See where PFAS pollution has been confirmed in the American West; License to pump: New web portal examines, compares and explains the permitting process of groundwater pumping across seven U.S. states; Story Map: J.W. Powell’s Perilous River Expedition; and more … READ IT HERE: Thursday’s Daily Digest
FRIDAY: Massive Sierra snowpack is 33 times bigger than last year’s; Court sides with WOTUS foes as legal fight gets messier; Sea Level Rise: Calif. uses untested powers for ‘managed retreat’; Celebrating 10 years of recycled water, Pajaro Valley looks to future expansion; SLO County set to extend Paso Robles groundwater restrictions; Report: Carlsbad desalination plant bought for $1B; and more … READ IT HERE: Friday’s Daily Digest
News worth noting this week …
- NEWS WORTH NOTING: Congressman Harder secures nearly $14 Million for four Central Valley, regional water projects in House Funding Bill; AG Becerra warns EPA: State oversight is required by law under the Clean Water Act
Weekly features …
- RESERVOIR AND WATER CONDITIONS for May 28
- BLOG ROUND-UP: A water portfolio planning report card; Making key policy decisions in advance of droughts; Science panel calls attention to the CV hatchery salmon problem; Why don’t we hear about more species going extinct?; and more …
- SCIENCE NEWS: Operation smelt recovery; A new atlas for dealing with rising seas in the Bay Area; Study shows value of soil health and forest restoration after damaging events; and more …
Announcements this week …
- DELTA eNEWS: ~~ Conservancy Grants~ Boating Season~ Smelt Recovery~ Free Museum~ Marketplace Event~ Delta Heritage ~~
- WATER PLAN eNEWS: ~~ Conservation Workgroups~ Precipitation Symposium~ Funding Fair~ Climate Grants~ Water Data~ Case Studies ~~
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