DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: 7 places that are sinking faster than anywhere else in US; FERC launches inquiry into salmon stranding on Feather River; WOTUS review stumps advisers; States test how many more diversions Colorado River can bear; and more …

In California water news this weekend, 7 places that are sinking faster than anywhere else in the US; Oroville operations update for June 7; FERC Launches Inquiry into Salmon Stranding on Feather River; Invasive species threaten Calif. economy, ecology; CLEAN WATER ACT: WOTUS review stumps advisers: ‘The science isn’t right’; Big boost of water is headed to Ventura County’s overstressed groundwater basins; On Stressed Colorado River, States Test How Many More Diversions Watershed Can Bear; and more …

In the news this weekend …

7 places that are sinking faster than anywhere else in the US:  “Central Valley residents know their land is sinking. They’ve seen cracks in their walls, holes in their roads, and soil that’s started to slowly disappear below the foundation of their homes.  Though the agricultural hub is still reeling from one of the worst droughts in California history, its encounter with subsidence — the gradual caving in of land — is far from unique.  Across the US, multiple cities and town have seen their land dip lower due to excessive groundwater pumping, man-made landfills, lingering effects of the Ice Age, or a combination of these factors.  Sinking land becomes especially dangerous in areas prone to sea level rise, since this make communities more vulnerable to flooding.  Take a look at the places that are sinking faster than anywhere else in the US. … ”  Read more from the Business Insider here:  7 places that are sinking faster than anywhere else in the US

Oroville operations update for June 7: “Due to late precipitation and based on inflows, DWR has taken steps to prepare for potential use of the spillway.  Currently, lake levels are being managed with releases from Hyatt Powerplant. Current outflows from Hyatt Powerplant are approximately matching inflows from snowmelt and precipitation, keeping lake levels stable.  If DWR determines that it is necessary to utilize the main spillway in addition to Hyatt Powerplant to manage lake levels, DWR will notify the public and media. In early April, DWR utilized the reconstructed main spillway to make additional releases from the Oroville reservoir and the spillway operated as designed. … ” Read more from DWR News here: Oroville operations update for June 7

FERC Launches Inquiry into Salmon Stranding on Feather River:  “On May 29, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) sent a letter to the California Department of Water Resources inquiring into the stranding and deaths of thousands of spring run Chinook salmon on the Feather River in April, as reported by guides and fishermen out on the river.  The stranding began three days after the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) released 330,000 spring run Chinooks at Gridley and another 330,000 at Boyd’s Pump, a total of 667,000 salmon, according to James Stone, fishing guide and president of the Nor-Cal Guides and Sportsmen’s Association. … ”  Read more from Dan Bacher at the Daily Kos here: FERC Launches Inquiry into Salmon Stranding on Feather River

Invasive species threaten Calif. economy, ecology:  “When insects, weeds, animals and diseases enter California from elsewhere in the nation or world, they can cause economic losses to agricultural crops and ecological damage to the state’s natural areas. Ultimately, invasive species affect every resident of California.  Based on historical data, a new invertebrate species establishes itself in California about every six weeks, on average. They don’t all become serious pest problems, but many evade eradication efforts, disrupt carefully balanced integrated pest management programs, hijack sensitive ecosystems, and spoil valued recreational resources and urban landscapes. … ” Read more from the Western Farm Press here: Invasive species threaten Calif. economy, ecology

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s First California Budget Deal Is Near. Here’s What To Watch For:  “The first California budget deal under Gov. Gavin Newsom is just days away.  Newsom and legislative leaders must finalize their spending plan for the coming fiscal year this weekend for lawmakers to meet their June 15 constitutional budget deadline.  Democrats had hoped to close out the joint Senate-Assembly budget conference committee by Friday — likely with a late night hearing — in hopes of a budget passing the full Legislature next Thursday, two days ahead of next Saturday’s deadline.  But it now appears that talks between Newsom, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) and Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) aren’t gelling as fast as hoped. ... ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here: Gov. Gavin Newsom’s First California Budget Deal Is Near. Here’s What To Watch For

UC San Diego study shows large levels of micro-plastics in deep ocean environment:  “A new study by a UC San Diego Assistant Professor says there is more plastic pollution in the deepest parts of the ocean than previously thought.  Assistant Professor Anela Choy spent the last three years studying water samples off the Monterey Bay coast and found the highest concentration of micro-plastics at levels 200-600 meters below the surface.  “It’s a great problem,” Choy says. “Tt’s pervasive and we’re just starting to understand the sources.” … ”  Read more from ABC 10 here: UC San Diego study shows large levels of micro-plastics in deep ocean environment

Map of where groundwater merges into oceans created:  “Los Angeles: Scientists have created high-resolution maps of points around the globe where groundwater meets the oceans — the first such analysis of its kind that may help protect both drinking water and the seas. In a study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, researchers from The Ohio State University in the US showed that nearly half of fresh submarine groundwater discharge flows into the ocean near the tropics. They also found that regions near active fault lines — the area around the San Andreas Fault in California, for example — send greater volumes of groundwater into the ocean than regions that are tectonically stable. ... ” Read more from Millennium Post here: Map of where groundwater merges into oceans created

Fuzzy Math: The Strategy Behind the Trump EPA’s Deregulation Push“When Tom Jorling was a Senate aide helping to draft the Clean Air Act in 1970, he often listened to executives from the nation’s biggest car companies warn that the law’s pollution-cutting requirements would put them out of business.  But during a break from one such meeting, an auto engineer told him the bosses were lying: Detroit had the expertise to make its cars much cleaner. “We can do whatever you want us to do,” Jorling recalls the technician saying. “But the executive leadership kept up with their mantra that it’s so expensive, and it’s going to threaten their viability.” ... ”  Read more from Yale e360 here: Fuzzy Math: The Strategy Behind the Trump EPA’s Deregulation Push

CLEAN WATER ACT: WOTUS review stumps advisers: ‘The science isn’t right’:  “Members of EPA’s Science Advisory Board grappled with whether and how to weigh in on the Trump administration’s rollback of clean water standards given the administration’s insistence that the proposal is a question of policy, not science.  “They have the right to change the policy, but the science isn’t right,” member Robert Merritt said.  The “Waters of the U.S.” proposal from EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers would erase Clean Water Act protections for wetlands without surface water connections to larger waterways and streams that only flow following rainfall. At least some federal protections for those waters have been in place since the Reagan administration. … ”  Read more from E&E News here: CLEAN WATER ACT: WOTUS review stumps advisers: ‘The science isn’t right’

Battle over science roils EPA:  “Environmental Protection Agency is battling its own board of science advisers over its controversial plan to dismiss certain types of scientific research from consideration when issuing rules.  A meeting this week between the agency and some of the nation’s top scientists highlighted the growing rift between the EPA and the scientific community, with members of the Science Advisory Board (SAB) pushing back on the administration’s efforts to bar consideration of studies that don’t make their underlying data public.  Critics say the move would omit important research from EPA consideration and lead to a dramatic rollback of existing regulations. ... ”  Read more from The Hill here:  Battle over science roils EPA

Sunday podcasts …

Jive Talking: Jamie Workman:Drawing on two decades of field experience studying resilient societies in Africa, Asia and the Americas, James Workman is a pioneering writer and entrepreneur in the design of equitable conservation markets for freshwater and marine resources. As a founder of the online water savings trading platform, AquaShares (aquashares.com), he has helped establish water markets in California and Morocco involving hundreds of users, and is now calling on this experience to aid California GSAs and their basin stakeholders in designing and operating cap-and-trade markets to better comply with SGMA. … This episode’s motto: “Subsidies help bad farmers continue to make bad decisions.”


The Japanese Island of Sado: Stephen Baker writes, “Former U.S. Marine Mitzie Garnett was attracted to Taiko drumming and witnessed, first hand, the judicious manner that the Japanese value water. She trained on Sado Island in Japan with Codo, the world premiere Taiko group. Mitzie describes her experience observing the communal and very strict life style, including their use of water. Listen up. Water is a Many Splendor’ed Thing brings you another water relationship that has a personally significant impact to your life.”
Stephen J. Baker, producer of Operation Unite’s Living Water® radio series, “Water is a Many Splendor’ed Thing”, has completed 258 episodes from around the world since 2006. Each story is a real circumstance of one water relationship that exists in the world.

Operation Unite®; stevebaker@operationunite.co; 530-263-1007


In commentary this weekend …

Missed opportunities to capture and boost California’s water supply, say John Kingsbury, Jim Atkinson, Shawn Dewane, Greg Quist, and Rincon del Diablo:  They write, “In the average year, California receives about 190 million acre-feet of precipitation. However, we rarely experience an average year. This year, we are blessed with an abundant supply of snow storage in the Sierra. But the inability to bank this bounty, beyond our existing reservoirs, is a serious missed opportunity. This wonderful wet winter will ironically elevate political complacency around one of the state’s most vital necessities – a reliable and sustainable water supply. ... ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here: Missed opportunities to capture and boost California’s water supply

Weather used to be a simple way to start a conversation. But not anymore, says David Mas Masumoto:  He writes, “What do you think of this weather? Can you believe this weather? You hear about the weather in …?  This is how I love to begin a conversation, especially with strangers. Growing up on a farm and in a rural community, these daily exchanges were part of the culture of a place. Families depended on the weather for their livelihood and well being. Asking about the weather was the proper greeting and salutation. It also carried a deeper significance: it implied you cared enough to ask and strike up a conversation. … ”  Read more at the Fresno Bee here: Weather used to be a simple way to start a conversation. But not anymore

California must change approach to disaster preparedness, says Karen Baker:  She writes, “Millions of Californians face an unprecedented increase in natural disasters brought about climate change with an accompanying increase in risk. Unless.  Imagine if everyone is prepared in advance of an emergency, and we all know what to do and where to go to keep safe. Imagine if every Californian in every neighborhood is armed with vital information to help themselves and their neighbors before disaster strikes.  California’s emergency planning in the traditional sense is held up as a model. California is known for integrated disaster management, incident command systems, and having plans and programs for fire, earthquake and other crises.  But we face many barriers, given our size and diversity. ... ”  Read more from Cal Matters here:  California must change approach to disaster preparedness

In regional news and commentary this weekend …

Sacramento: Breeding Season Brings Hundreds Of Herons & Egrets To Pocket Area And Natomas:  “The Delta is known for its scenic views and wildlife but when it’s several feet from your bedroom window, it can be an issue.  Hundreds of herons and egrets have invaded several apartment complexes, but you might say we invaded them first as the Pocket area used to be wetlands.  We all remember the Alfred Hitchcock thriller “The Birds,” where killer birds invade a seaside town. The Pocket area is seeing a similar type of invasion, just not the killer kind. … ”  Read more from CBS Sacramento here: Breeding Season Brings Hundreds Of Herons & Egrets To Pocket Area And Natomas

San Rafael sea level rise, marsh restoration project nabs $1M grant:  “A Marin Audubon project that seeks to restore lost wetlands and bolster sea-level rise defenses for San Rafael’s Canal neighborhood cleared a major funding hurdle on Friday after being awarded a nearly $1 million grant.  The San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority voted unanimously to fulfill Marin Audubon’s request for $985,300 to conduct an environmental review and design its planned restoration and expansion of the 20-acre Tiscornia Marsh.  “We’re anxious to get started,” Marin Audubon’s executive director Barbara Salzman said after the vote. “It’s an exciting time and we hope to benefit all of San Rafael and particularly the Canal area.” … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: San Rafael sea level rise, marsh restoration project nabs $1M grant

Radio show: Study: Monterey Bay Infested by Microplastic Pollution:  “Monterey Bay is a marine sanctuary hiding a dirty secret: microplastics. Beneath the beautiful blue waters is a sea of tiny, plastic bits of debris in concentrations comparable to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, according to new research. The study, published Thursday by the Monterey Bay Research Institute and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, finds that this type of plastic pollution appears to be everywhere in the world’s oceans. Forum explores the issue of plastics pollution and what can be done about it.”  Guests are Paul Rogers, Mercury News, and Kyle Van Houtan, chief scientist, Monterey Bay Aquarium.  Listen to the radio show here: Radio show: Study: Monterey Bay Infested by Microplastic Pollution

San Joaquin Valley: Newsom’s Biz Adviser Visits, Earns Praise from Valley Leaders: “It looks like the Central Valley is finally getting some love from the governor’s office, and the Valley business community is noticing.  Lenny Mendonca, director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, met Friday morning in downtown Fresno with about 20 elected officials and leaders in the energy, agriculture and health care sectors. The roundtable was organized by the Central Valley Business Federation, or BizFed.  Tracy Hernandez, founding CEO of BizFed, called Mendonca’s visit “vital. ... ”  Read more from GV Wire here: Newsom’s Biz Adviser Visits, Earns Praise from Valley Leaders

Manteca used lowest amount of groundwater in 16 years during May:  “A much wetter than normal May coupled with conservation is credited with Manteca using the least amount of groundwater last month since 2003.  Water from the South San Joaquin Irrigation District surface water treatment plant provided 70 percent of the 380 million gallons used citywide in May. The other 30 percent came from groundwater.  “That is a largely a result of wet weather and continued conservation by the residents,” Public Works Director Mark Houghton noted. “Now as the weather warms up we would encourage residents to continue to monitor their irrigation and conserve where possible.” … ” Read more from the Manteca Bulletin here:  Manteca used lowest amount of groundwater in 16 years during May

Madera County: Timber! Tree Mortality Mitigation Project Begins On Road 274:  “Motorists on Road 274 could experience 20-30 minute delays for the next several months as crews conduct the largest tree mortality mitigation operation in the county’s history.  Beginning Monday, June 3 and continuing through Aug. 1, some 5,600 dead or dying trees will be cut down and removed along Road 274, which borders Bass Lake’s scenic north shore.  The scope of the project covers the area between Road 331 near the old Bass Lake Courthouse to Central Camp Road on the southeast end of the lake. … ”  Read more from Sierra News here: Madera County: Timber! Tree Mortality Mitigation Project Begins On Road 274

Businesses try to stay afloat as Kings River water levels rise:  “Fish are something you’d expect to see at the Kings River, but not in a parking lot.  They could be seen swimming around at the Kings River Golf and Country Club parking lot now that the river is spilling over. On Friday, the National Weather Service issued a Flood Advisory for minor flooding through Sunday.  Melting snow up in the mountains and water releases are likely the cause of the extra water. … ”  Read more from KMPH here:  Businesses try to stay afloat as Kings River water levels rise

City Of Fresno Supports Safe Drinking Water Fund – With A Catch:  “Two Fresno City Councilmembers made an atypical move at a press conference today by throwing in their support for a clean water drinking fund—as long as it doesn’t involve a tax.  At Gaston Middle School in South Fresno, community members and advocates met to urge lawmakers to support the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund, a pot of money the legislature is considering creating in order to provide drinking water cleanup in disadvantaged communities. ... ”  Read more from Valley Public Radio here: City Of Fresno Supports Safe Drinking Water Fund – With A Catch

Kern County: Cease and desist order issued against Valley Water Management:  “The Central Valley Water Regional Quality Control Board has issued a Cease and Desist Order requiring Valley Water Management Co. (VWMC), an oil field wastewater disposal center, to either bring its McKittrick 1 and 1-3 Facility into compliance with water quality regulations or stop discharging wastewater at the facility.  “Valley Water provides a valuable service to the oil industry in Kern County, but discharges from the McKittrick facility must not put groundwater beneficial uses at risk,” said Patrick Pulupa, Executive Officer of the Central Valley Water Board. “With this Cease and Desist Order the Board has said that if this facility cannot be brought into compliance with current regulations, discharges at the facility must cease.” … ”  Read more from the Taft Midway Driller here: Cease and desist order issued against Valley Water Management

Big boost of water is headed to Ventura County’s overstressed groundwater basins: “In a first-of-its-kind move, the Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency agreed to pay up to $3 million to help recharge overstressed groundwater resources in Ventura County.  The money will buy roughly 15,000 acre-feet of water, which started spilling out of Santa Felicia Dam at Lake Piru on Monday. ... ”  Read more from the Ventura County Star here:  Big boost of water is headed to Ventura County’s overstressed groundwater basins

Santa Clarita: Public invited to groundwater meeting Monday afternoon:  “The people of Santa Clarita Valley are invited to weigh in on water issues Monday afternoon, when members of the SCV Groundwater Sustainability Agency is scheduled to meet.  Concerns about local water resources and, of course, groundwater, are expected to dominate discussion. … ”  Read more from the Santa Clarita Signal here: Public invited to groundwater meeting Monday afternoon

Chemical exceeding state limits found in Lomita water prompts switch to safe source until issue gets resolved:  “Lomita began using more expensive imported water last month, officials said, after the city discovered water from a municipal well had almost three times the amount of benzene — a cancer-causing chemical — than the state allows.  Investigators are looking for the source of the contamination, though officials said they do not believe there’s a public health risk. … ”  Read more from the Daily Breeze here: Chemical exceeding state limits found in Lomita water prompts switch to safe source until issue gets resolved

Along the Colorado River …

Utah Presses Forward With Pipeline Plans Despite Colorado River Basin Constraints:  “The drive behind a massive water development project in southwestern Utah, the Lake Powell Pipeline, shows no signs of slowing even after the Colorado River Basin states signed a new agreement this spring that could potentially force more conservation or cutbacks.  Despite the risk that the river resource is overcommitted and it is shrinking, four Upper Basin states – Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico – are pushing forward with dams, reservoir expansions and pipelines like the one at Lake Powell that will allow them to capture what they were promised under the 1922 Colorado River Compact. The Lower Basin states of Arizona, Nevada and California have been using that water downstream for nearly a century. … ”  Read more from Wyoming Public Media here: Utah Presses Forward With Pipeline Plans Despite Colorado River Basin Constraints

On Stressed Colorado River, States Test How Many More Diversions Watershed Can Bear:  “The Colorado River is short on water. But you wouldn’t know it by looking at a slate of proposed water projects in the river’s Upper Basin states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.  The river and its tributaries provide water for 40 million people in the Southwest. For about the last 20 years, demand for water has outstripped the supply, causing its largest reservoirs to decline. … ”  Read more from KUNC here: On Stressed Colorado River, States Test How Many More Diversions Watershed Can Bear

Drought Intensifies the Navajo Nation’s Ongoing Water Shortage (in Photos): “The United States celebrated a bleak victory this month: For the first time in 20 years, none of the lower 48 states are experiencing extreme drought conditions, according to June’s U.S. Drought Monitor map. Many areas of the country have experienced record levels rain and snow this year; California is officially drought-free.  But in the Navajo Nation, which covers parts of Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico, thousands of people are still struggling to get clean drinking water: More than 40 percent of Navajo households don’t have running water at home, forcing residents to travel as far as 50 miles to stock up at water pumps every week, NASA’s Western Water Applications Office reports. … ”  Read mroe from Pacific Standard here: Drought Intensifies the Navajo Nation’s Ongoing Water Shortage (in Photos)

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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