DAILY DIGEST: Water, water everywhere, but in CA; enough’ water is never enough; Scientists share on-going research at Camp Fire Symposium; Why California’s water-obsessed farmers vote for Trump; USGS, scientists test drone-based river analysis; and more …

In California water news today, Water, water everywhere: Good and bad of California’s rising reservoir levels; In California, ‘enough’ water is never enough; Scientists share on-going research at Camp Fire Resource Monitoring and Research Symposium; Why California’s Water-Obsessed Farmers Vote for Trump; In Quest for Bigger Batteries, California Mulls Century-Old Idea; USGS, scientists test drone-based river analysis; Trump administration proposes hunting, fishing expansion at Marin wildlife refuges; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

HYDROLOGY/WATER SUPPLY

Water, water everywhere: Good and bad of California’s rising reservoir levels:  “Use it or lose it” is what state and federal water managers in California are wrestling with as one of the biggest precipitation years has the mountains packed with snow and reservoirs loaded to the brim.  For the state, water is liquid gold that feeds many people, animals, trees, and industries.  But, if not well managed, it can also present great danger. … ”  Read more from KTVU here: Water, water everywhere: Good and bad of California’s rising reservoir levels

In California, ‘enough’ water is never enough:  “Following successive years of extreme drought for many Golden State farmers, a snowy winter, a wet spring and a fair supply of irrigation water as summer approaches makes it feel a lot like Christmas in June.  “This year has been a very wet year in California with well over average snowpack and above average precipitation in many areas,” reports Dr. Doug Parker, Director of the California Institute for Water Resources. “We have pretty good irrigation allocations in the state, some areas are getting 100 percent water (allocation) and others around 65 or so percent, and many of those are areas really that never get 100 percent, so it is a good water year so far.” ... ”  Read more from the Western Farm Press here: In California, ‘enough’ water is never enough

Rainfall, grass growth benefit cattle ranchers:  “Despite a weaker cattle market and trade uncertainties affecting U.S. beef exports, California ranchers say marketing heavier cattle this year has improved their returns, thanks to abundant rainfall, which produced plentiful grasses on the range for grazing livestock.  Tehama County rancher Bert Owens described the weight gain on his cattle as “excellent,” adding that “tremendous” forage production on his winter range will allow him to keep his cattle there for 10 days longer before moving them to their summer pastures.  “It was just a wonderful year for the cattle,” he said. “We’re really thankful for that.” … ”  Read more from Ag Alert here: Rainfall, grass growth benefit cattle ranchers

3 biggest mistakes people make on the water:  “The high heat is expected to bring hundreds of people to Northern California’s many waterways to cool off.  But there are three common mistakes that water lovers make when they come to a fast-flowing river. … ”  Find out what they are from KCRA Channel 3 here: 3 biggest mistakes people make on the water

CAMP FIRE/PARADISE

Protecting the watershed: Experts share post-Camp Fire data, acknowledge there is still a lot to learn: “Everyone has heard it a million times by now: The Camp Fire was the most destructive fire in California’s history. But that’s only taking into consideration man-made structures. What about the natural landscape—and, in particular, our waterways?  To echo the mantra of 2017’s Standing Rock protest, “Water is life.” That was what brought many people out to Chico State’s University Farm Tuesday (June 4) for the daylong Camp Fire Water Resources Monitoring and Research Symposium. Organized by the University of California Cooperative Extension, it included presentations from researchers who have been studying fire’s impact on ecosystems, in particular ground and surface water. ... ”  Read more from the Chico News & Review here:  Protecting the watershed: Experts share post-Camp Fire data, acknowledge there is still a lot to learn

Scientists share on-going research at Camp Fire Resource Monitoring and Research Symposium:  “The immediate danger from the Camp Fire has passed but there is still a lot that can be learned from the devastating blaze.  On Tuesday, Chico brought together various scientific agencies and research groups to share what they have collected on water quality in Butte County since the fire at the Camp Fire Resource Monitoring and Research Symposium.  “This is an opportunity to fix a lot of wrongs we weren’t able to do before,” said Chairman of the Butte County Board of Supervisors Steve Lambert. ... ”  Read more from KRCR here: Scientists share on-going research at Camp Fire Resource Monitoring and Research Symposium

Returning to Paradise:  “Seven months ago, the California Camp Fire ravaged through Butte County destroying thousands of homes and ruining crucial infrastructure. Water is still unsafe to drink and toxic debris is still waiting to be taken away.  After the fire, people with insurance received stipends for living expenses from their provider. But if their homes have been cleaned up or rebuilt, insurance companies say they won’t continue paying for accommodations.  Today on The Indicator, NPR National Correspondent Kirk Siegler shares his reporting from Paradise, California, and explains why residents have to return to their community, even if they don’t want to. … ”  Read more from NPR here: Returning to Paradise

OTHER STATEWIDE NEWS

Why California’s Water-Obsessed Farmers Vote for Trump:  ” … The Dreamt Land is equal parts of Grapes of Wrath and Chinatown. It’s a chronicle of how water and drought shaped California’s history until its people figured out how to shape the water, bending the rivers and moving the rain, to farm, to build, to grow, grow, grow. But the book also has a mystery at its core. In 2014, as East Coast journalists parachuted in to document California’s crippling drought, Arax saw “something paradoxical happening.” In the midst of one of the worst droughts in history, the big farmers were planting even more almonds, pistachios, mandarins and grapes.  How is this possible? he wondered. His search for answers led him down lost highways in pursuit of an off-the-books water-siphoning scheme and to the front door of a Beverly Hills billionaire who runs one of America’s largest farming companies, which has taken over a dusty Valley town called Lost Hills. … ”  Read more from the Rolling Stone here: Why California’s Water-Obsessed Farmers Vote for Trump

In Quest for Bigger Batteries, California Mulls Century-Old Idea:  “As the sun sets on California’s solar farms, a backup energy source deep in the Sierra Nevada Mountains springs to life.  The huge system of reservoirs and turbines can store energy during the day and then crank out electricity for 900,000 homes, using just water and gravity. As the state tries to make wind and solar work around the clock, officials want to build more like it. It won’t be easy: such projects take years to develop, are expensive and face stiff opposition. ... ”  Read more from Bloomberg here: In Quest for Bigger Batteries, California Mulls Century-Old Idea

‘We couldn’t even take showers’: Californians with unsafe drinking water appeal for fixes:  “A coalition of California residents affected by unsafe drinking water held a symbolic “water strike” at the Capitol on Wednesday, pressing lawmakers to fund a plan that would clean up their water sources.  More than 1 million Californians lack access to clean drinking water, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration. An additional 2 million people are vulnerable to contamination, according to the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund Coalition. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: ‘We couldn’t even take showers’: Californians with unsafe drinking water appeal for fixes

Farm Bureau members advocate in D.C.:  “Issues including agricultural trade, immigration reform and water storage emerged as priorities as a delegation of Farm Bureau leaders from California met with administration officials and members of Congress in Washington, D.C.  The trip culminated with announcement by the Trump administration of $16 billion in assistance for farmers affected by retaliatory tariffs, just as the California Farm Bureau Federation annual advocacy trip came to a close. … ”  Read more from Ag Alert here: Farm Bureau members advocate in D.C.

Dry heat puts Northern CA under increased fire risk through weekend – weather watch issued:  “Higher temperatures paired with low humidity levels and potentially gusty winds have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a fire weather watch for a wide area of Northern California, including the Sacramento area, through the weekend.  Portions of Tehama, Glenn, Colusa, Yuba, Sutter, Butte, Sacramento, Yolo, Placer, Solano, San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties below 1,000 feet in elevation are under “elevated fire weather conditions” watch, according to Idamis Del Valle, a meteorologist at the agency’s Sacramento office. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: Dry heat puts Northern CA under increased fire risk through weekend – weather watch issued

US Navy Seeks Ideas for Water and Energy Resilience on Islands off California:  “The US Navy is seeking ideas to improve water and energy resilience for bases on two islands off the coast of California: San Clemente and San Nicolas.  The islands already use various distributed energy resources, including solar, wind and diesel generators. The request is not a solicitation for contracts, but seeks information to help the Navy determine strategy for the facilities, leading to possible future solicitations.  The Navy hopes to collaborate with private industry “to develop holistic energy and water solutions” on the islands, according to the white paper request. … ”  Read more from Microgrid Intelligence here: US Navy Seeks Ideas for Water and Energy Resilience on Islands off California

NATIONAL

USGS, scientists test drone-based river analysis:  The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and independent scientists gathered this month in Auburn, Maine, to evaluate the use of sensor-mounted unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to gauge stream stage, velocity, bathymetry and discharge.  The technology is being evaluated and modeled to determine whether it will support the fast, accurate and safe measurement of rivers, especially when they are flooded or contain floating trees, ice or other debris. ... ”  Read more from GPS World here: USGS, scientists test drone-based river analysis

Americans Consume Tens of Thousands of Microplastic Particles Annually:  “Americans consume more than 70,000 microplastic particles every year from the food they eat, the water they drink, and the air they breathe, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. Scientists warn that while the health impacts of ingesting these tiny particles are largely unknown, there is potential for the plastic to enter human tissues and cause an immune response, as well as release toxic chemicals into the body. … ”  Read more from Yale 360 here:  Americans Consume Tens of Thousands of Microplastic Particles Annually

1 Billion Acres At Risk For Catastrophic Wildfires, U.S. Forest Service Warns:  “The chief of the U.S. Forest Service is warning that a billion acres of land across America are at risk of catastrophic wildfires like last fall’s deadly Camp Fire that destroyed most of Paradise, Calif.  As we head into summer, with smoke already drifting into the Northwest from wildfires in Alberta, Canada, Vicki Christiansen said wildfires are now a year-round phenomenon. She pointed to the hazardous conditions in forests that result from a history of suppression of wildfires, rampant home development in high-risk places and the changing climate. ... ”  Read more from NPR here:  1 Billion Acres At Risk For Catastrophic Wildfires, U.S. Forest Service Warns

Trump’s latest Interior pick wins unexpected support from environmentalists:  “President Trump’s most recent Interior Department nominee is garnering support from an unexpected group: environmentalists.  Robert Wallace, nominated to help oversee the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service (NPS), is bucking the trend of opposition from green groups, even though he ticks several boxes that would otherwise draw a strong rebuke from environmentalists: He’s a Trump appointee, earns thousands of dollars from stock in the oil industry and spent nearly two decades as a lobbyist for General Electric Energy. … ” Read more from The Hill here: Trump’s latest Interior pick wins unexpected support from environmentalists

AND LASTLY …

And lastly … World’s first 360-degree infinity pool set to be built on top of a 700ft-tall London skyscraper – and the way you get in is VERY James Bond:  “Death-defying swimming pools are apparently set to become the latest architectural trend in central London.  That’s according to a firm that has designed the world’s first 360-degree infinity pool, which will sit on top of a 55-storey, 722ft (200m) skyscraper called Infinity London. … ”  Read more from the Daily Mail here: World’s first 360-degree infinity pool set to be built on top of a 700ft-tall London skyscraper

In regional news and commentary today …

Save the Canal group files lawsuit against EID:  “Following through on its threats, on May 21 the group Save the El Dorado Canal filed suit against the El Dorado Irrigation District over plans to pipe the El Dorado Canal (also called the Upper Main Ditch) in Pollock Pines.  The filing of the lawsuit follows a vote by the EID board on April 22 when it certified the final environmental impact report and approved the Upper Main Ditch piping project.  Shaping up to be a pitched battle between the water agency and local residents, the canal is seen as a historical, environmental and recreational asset in the community as well as a conveyance that protects and enhances property values as the tree-lined canal transects the backyards of many residents with a path on one side that is used as a trail. … ”  Read more from the Mountain Democrat here: Save the Canal group files lawsuit against EID

Woodland’s water quality is cleaner than it’s ever been:  “Woodland’s water is cleaner and safer to drink than in the past, according to the just-released 2018 Water Quality Report.  The report, presented to the City Council this week, shows minimal levels of cancer-causing chemicals that were present years ago when the city still relied on well water. Today the city obtains its water from the Sacramento River after which it’s treated and delivered to homes and businesses. … ”  Read more from the Daily Democrat here: Woodland’s water quality is cleaner than it’s ever been

Supes Approve Grant To Preserve Ranch Near Novato:  “The Marin County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved a grant agreement between the county and the Marin Agricultural Land Trust to preserve a 758-acre ranch in the hills between Novato and Nicasio.  The $1.5 million grant will be matched with private funds to purchase an easement over the Ielmorini Back Ranch, Marin County Parks officials said in a news release.  Marin County’s funding contribution comes from Measure A, the Farmland Preservation Grant Program, a quarter-cent sales tax on purchases made in the county. … ”  Read more from SF Gate here: Supes Approve Grant To Preserve Ranch Near Novato

Trump administration proposes hunting, fishing expansion at Marin wildlife refuges:  “The Trump administration seeks to expand hunting and fishing allowances at national wildlife refuges and hatcheries across the country, including two around Marin.  Under the proposal released Wednesday, sport fishing would be allowed for the first time at the Marin Islands National Wildlife Refuge in San Rafael Bay, which was established in 1992. Also proposed is to align migratory bird hunting dates and take limits in the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge with those of nearby state lands. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: Trump administration proposes hunting, fishing expansion at Marin wildlife refuges

Rafting season opens on Tuolumne, Stanislaus rivers — but high, fast water a concern:  “As the summer heat settles in, the Stanislaus and Tuolumne rivers become even more inviting for a cool splash. But for those ill-equipped to swim, raft or canoe, the rivers can become deadly traps as water flows remain high in the early summer boating season.  Earlier this year, a 5-year-old girl died in the Stanislaus in March and two other adults were stuck for two nights before rescue crews could save them from the cold waters of the Tuolumne in April. ... ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here: Rafting season opens on Tuolumne, Stanislaus rivers — but high, fast water a concern

Public opinion at hearing split on extending Cat Canyon aquifer exemption:  “Public opinion was split over a proposed expansion of an aquifer exemption in the Cat Canyon oil field at a hearing conducted late Wednesday afternoon in Santa Maria by two state agencies, but most of those who spoke were opposed.  Before the meeting got underway at 4 p.m., about 30 individuals representing more than half a dozen environmental organizations rallied against the expansion in front of the Veterans Memorial Community Center, where well over 100 people gathered for the technical presentation and had the opportunity to speak for or against the proposal. … ”  Read more from the Santa Ynez Valley News here: Public opinion at hearing split on extending Cat Canyon aquifer exemption

Two North County districts contemplating exit from San Diego County Water Authority:  Two water districts in northern San Diego County are exploring the possibility of leaving the San Diego County Water Authority and buying their water instead from an agency in southern Riverside County, a move one district says could save it as much as $6 million annually.  It is the first time in the Water Authority’s 75-year history that such a move has been considered by any of its 24 member agencies, officials say, and it likely would be challenged. … “ Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here:  Two districts contemplate exit from SDCWA

Fixes Could Finally Be Coming For Mexico’s Cross-Border Sewage Spills:  “Local officials plan to huddle over the next few weeks to pick a strategy to control the region’s cross-border pollution problem.  San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer was the first local politician to say he is ready to take action to stop the cross-border pollution flows.  He told a gathering of stakeholders who met in Coronado that he wants local officials to commit to a solution and to get underway. Faulconer asked that the solution be comprehensive and come with a price tag. … ”  Read more from KPBS here: Fixes Could Finally Be Coming For Mexico’s Cross-Border Sewage Spills

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

DELTA STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL: Delta Watermaster Quarterly Update

SCIENCE NEWS: The Hotel California of fossilized worms; How many bass and catfish are in the San Joaquin River?; Meet a beach worm that builds sand castles; San Diego salt marsh restoration project now a flourishing wetland habitat; and more …

NEWS WORTH NOTING: Now available: “California Water,” Third Edition: The definitive guide to the state’s most valuable natural resource; EPA signs MOU with FEMA re: recovery of water infrastructure; EPA issues memo to increase the agency’s compliance with Clean Water Act deadlines

WATER PLAN eNEWS: ~~Bulletin 74~ Wildfire Commission~ Adaptation Clearinghouse~ Meadow Restoration~ Law Seminar~ Data Summit ~~

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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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