DAILY DIGEST: Can California better use winter storms to refill its aquifers?; Nearly half of annual water use reports still need to be filed; Blue Oak Ranch Reserve takes the pulse of the wild; Companies expect climate change to cost them $1 trillion in 5 years; and more …

In California water news today, Putting a Tempest into a Teapot: Can California Better Use Winter Storms to Refill its Aquifers?; Nearly Half of Annual Water Use Reports Still Need to be Filed; Heart of Monitoring: Blue Oak Ranch Reserve Takes the Pulse of the Wild; Agriculture: Partnerships needed to promote sustainable practices; Companies Expect Climate Change to Cost Them $1 Trillion in 5 Years; Where will all the water go?; Built in 1916, Sacramento Weir to nearly double for flood control; and more …

In the news today …

Putting a Tempest into a Teapot: Can California Better Use Winter Storms to Refill its Aquifers?The general long-term forecast for California as climate change intensifies: more frequent droughts, intermittently interrupted by years when big storms bring rain more quickly than the water infrastructure can handle.  This bipolar weather will have profound implications for the state’s $50 billion agriculture industry and the elaborate network of reservoirs, canals, and aqueducts that store and distribute water. A system built for irrigation and flood protection must adapt to accommodate conservation. “The effects of climate change are necessitating wholesale changes in how water is managed in California,” the state Department of Water Resources wrote in a June, 2018 white paper. … ”  Read more from the Stanford’s Bill Lane Center for the West here: Putting a Tempest into a Teapot: Can California Better Use Winter Storms to Refill its Aquifers?

Nearly Half of Annual Water Use Reports Still Need to be Filed:  “The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) is warning water rights holders that failure to file their annual reports will result in significant fines. Annual water use reports for all appropriative water rights including permits, licenses, registrations and certificates, were initially due on April 1. ... ”  Read more from Ag Net West here:  Nearly Half of Annual Water Use Reports Still Need to be Filed

Heart of Monitoring: Blue Oak Ranch Reserve Takes the Pulse of the Wild:  ““We use our Memsic ēKo Pro Series system to do active environmental monitoring for several new projects,” says Zac Harlow, Resident Manager of Blue Oak Ranch Reserve (BORR) in San José, California, which is operated by UC Berkeley as part of the University of California’s Natural Reserve System (NRS). The BORR is also a member of the Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS).  “The system was originally created for agricultural work, but since 2008, we have been using it to do environmental research. The ēKo Node system lets us monitor the environment wirelessly and allows us to use a variety of sensors. We have 50 of them all over Blue Oak Ranch Reserve, which is the only large-scale deployment of these devices. They are no longer built or supported, but they are still chugging!” … ”  Read more from Environmental Monitor here:  Heart of Monitoring: Blue Oak Ranch Reserve Takes the Pulse of the Wild

Agriculture: Partnerships needed to promote sustainable practices:  “Testimony at a recent Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on solutions to climate change focused on what farmers and ranchers are already doing to lighten their impact on the environment and improve sustainability.  They also stressed that solutions must be economically feasible, and that these are difficult times for producers to invest in new conservation practices.  But Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council and former U.S. secretary of agriculture, took the conversation to another level, pointing out the opportunities that lie in sustainable practices. ... ”  Read more from the Capital Press here:  Partnerships needed to promote sustainable practices

Companies Expect Climate Change to Cost Them $1 Trillion in 5 Years: “In January, climate change claimed its first corporate victim. Facing billions in liabilities after contributing to some of California’s deadliest and most devastating wildfires, PG&E filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This spring, flooding in the Midwest ruined fields, grain silos, and infrastructure. The agriculture conglomerate Archer Daniels Midland reported that the floods would cost it between $50 and $60 million in the first quarter of the year. … ”  Read more from Wired Magazine here:  Companies Expect Climate Change to Cost Them $1 Trillion in 5 Years

Where will all the water go?  “Humans can survive in some pretty outrageous temperatures. Gleaming cities sit atop deserts where it routinely gets above 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Centuries of tribal knowledge help Inuit peoples to get through winters that dip well below -40 degrees.  Rising global temperatures will serve as a real-world test for how well billions of people can adapt to a future with more heat and less cold. In some places, this could include the kind of heat and humidity that pushes our ability to survive. One thing is certain, though. Whether you’re situated on a blistering sandscape, surviving on frozen tundra, or anywhere in between, you can’t live without water. That’s why the torquing of the global water cycle by human-induced climate change is just as big a deal as global heating itself — perhaps an even bigger deal. ... ”  Read more from The Weather Channel here: Where will all the water go?

Floating cities: the future or a washed-up idea?  “Humans have a long history of living on water. Our water homes span the fishing villages in Southeast Asia, Peru and Bolivia to modern floating homes in Vancouver and Amsterdam. As our cities grapple with overcrowding and undesirable living situations, the ocean remains a potential frontier for sophisticated water-based communities.The   United Nations has expressed support for further research into floating cities in response to rising sea levels and to house climate refugees. A speculative proposal, Oceanix City, was unveiled in April at the first Round Table on Sustainable Floating Cities at UN headquarters in New York. … ”  Read more from Smart Water Magazine here: Floating cities: the future or a washed-up idea?

In regional news and commentary today …

Supervisors take another step toward Potter Valley involvement: Humboldt County could soon join a number of agencies around California teaming up to license the Potter Valley Project, a water development in the Eel and Russian river basins.  The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday morning unanimously affirmed support for the coalition, which proposes a “two-basin solution” to fix the various environmental problems created by the enormous development.  Now the other participants — including Cal Trout and water agencies in Mendocino and Sonoma counties — will need to sign off on Humboldt County joining the crew. At that point, the county could officially enter as a stakeholder in the process. ... ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here: Supervisors take another step toward Potter Valley involvement

Built in 1916, Sacramento Weir to nearly double for flood control:  “The Sacramento Weir is undergoing the first major upgrade since it was built more than a century ago.  The weir, located in West Sacramento east of the Yolo Bypass off Interstate 80, was built in 1916 to protect Sacramento from catastrophic flooding.  The Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, or SAFCA, has identified the Sacramento region as the metropolitan area with the greatest flood risk in the nation. … ”  Read more from KCRA Channel 3 here: Built in 1916, Sacramento Weir to nearly double for flood control

Don’t let Trump, Cargill pave San Francisco Bay, says David Lewis:  He writes, “Since our great awakening in the 1960s, the Bay Area has become a proud leader in protecting our local environment, from the redwoods and ridgelines to San Francisco Bay. We stopped shrinking the Bay with landfill and garbage dumps, cracked down on polluters and treated our sewage. We started restoring old salt ponds to lush tidal marshes for wildlife and flood protection, creating hundreds of miles of Bay Trail and shoreline parks.  But some wealthy developers don’t care, despite decades of being told, “no, we won’t build on the Bay anymore.” … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: Don’t let Trump, Cargill pave San Francisco Bay 

Santa Cruz water panel scrutinizing Soquel Creek treatment project agreement: “The Santa Cruz Water Commission, citing lingering concerns, has delayed giving its full blessing to a new treated water supply partnership with a neighboring water district.  The proposed memorandum of understanding between Soquel Creek Water District and the city is expected to go to the Santa Cruz City Council for final approval at its June 25 meeting. In the meantime, Water Commission members on Monday agreed to allow a subcommittee to continue reviewing the agreement ahead of the vote, in order to make final update recommendations, and approved the partnership “in concept.” … ”  Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here:  Santa Cruz water panel scrutinizing Soquel Creek treatment project agreement

Lower Kings River closed to recreational users in Fresno County:  “The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office announced the closure of lower Kings River to all recreational users on Tuesday.  According to Assistant Sheriff John Zanoni, the closure is from Pine Flat Dam to the Tulare and Kings County lines.  “Our number one goal here is to make sure nobody drowns and nobody gets injured while recreating that’s why the river is closed,” Zanoni said.  Zanoni said the decision was made because of the large amount of melting snow in the Sierra that will be filling up Pine Flat Dam. ... ”  Read more from the Your Central Valley here: Lower Kings River closed to recreational users in Fresno County

May rains mean longer life for Mystic Lake near Moreno Valley, San Jacinto:  “Mystic Lake, after rising again between Moreno Valley and San Jacinto during winter, is more full than it normally is this late in the season after repeatedly being fed by unusually strong May rain.  Sure, the 2,000-acre lake will recede over the summer.  Tom Paulek, former manager of the San Jacinto Wildlife Area, said the lake tends to evaporate 8 to 10 inches a month in hot weather. ... ”  Read more from the Riverside Press-Enterprise here: May rains mean longer life for Mystic Lake near Moreno Valley, San Jacinto

Along the Colorado River …

Nevada: Legislation to set aside water passes through Nevada Legislature with bipartisan, unanimous support: “They say water is for fighting over, but one bill sitting on Gov. Steve Sisolak’s desk proves that’s not always true. In fact, Senate Bill 140 would make fighting over some water impossible.  If it’s signed into law, the bipartisan bill, sponsored by Eureka Sen. Pete Goicoechea, would prevent water users from making claims on billions of gallons of water previously available to develop.  More than half of the state’s 256 groundwater basins are out of balance, a common problem throughout the West and across the globe. … ”  Read more from the Nevada Independent here: Legislation to set aside water passes through Nevada Legislature with bipartisan, unanimous support

Hoover Dam: A look inside this engineering marvel:  “Just like with the ancient pyramids, one look at Hoover Dam and you stand in awe in the shadow of its sheer magnitude.  Hoover Dam is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, located on the border between Arizona and Nevada.  Pete Mayes knows the dam inside and out, so it’s only fitting that this retired dam employee now gives tours of the concrete wonder.  Today, he takes us to places no tourist has seen since that tragic day of 9/11. ... ”  Read more from Arizona Family here:  Hoover Dam: A look inside this engineering marvel

Lake Powell’s water levels on the rise — for now:  “Lake Powell is benefitting considerably from this year’s runoff following a strong snow year in the Rocky Mountains. The lake has risen 16 feet in the last month and is experiencing an inflow of 128% the average. While water levels are expected to continue to rise until the peak month of July, there is still a long way to go before the lake reaches full capacity.  “This year definitely helps,” said Bureau of Reclamation Public Affairs Officer Marlon Duke.  “But people need to keep in mind that when we came into this season Lake Powell was about 140 feet low. Even after this year, we’re going to be about 100 feet below full pool. So what we really need is three or four years just like this in a row.” ... ”  Read more from the Daily Universe here:  Lake Powell’s water levels on the rise — for now

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

SGMA IMPLEMENTATION: Groundwater sustainability goals and challenges

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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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