DAILY DIGEST: A civil rights hero focuses on a new fight at the Capitol: clean drinking water; Rim Fire tour provides striking view of wildfire challenges; As water scarcity increases, desal plants are on the rise; State, local governments seeking climate change ‘solutions’ have plenty of options; and more …

In California water news today, A civil rights hero focuses on a new fight at the Capitol: clean drinking water; Effort seeks to curb wildfires’ impact on drinking water; Rim Fire tour provides striking view of California’s wildfire challenges; Radio show: Why Are so Many Gray Whales Washing up Dead in California?; As Water Scarcity Increases, Desalination Plants Are on the Rise; State and local governments seeking climate change ‘solutions’ have plenty of options; Heavy debris at Shasta Lake is raising concerns for visitors; Arizona plans for drought contingency plan impacts; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

A civil rights hero focuses on a new fight at the Capitol: clean drinking water:  “Civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, 89, mounted the north steps of the Capitol on Monday afternoon. She stood aside safe water activists to celebrate the state’s $130 million safe water funding proposal and pressure legislators to pass the measure this week.  “This is a big, giant moment in the state of California to finally provide safe drinking water to a million families,” Huerta said. “The only thing we need now is for the Senate and the Assembly to vote yes.” ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: A civil rights hero focuses on a new fight at the Capitol: clean drinking water

California Taps Clean Air Money to Pay for Drinking Water:  “California legislative leaders agreed Sunday to spend $130 million a year to improve water systems in communities where people can’t drink from their taps, something Democratic leaders say amounts to a crisis in one of the nation’s wealthiest states.  To pay for it, the state would tap a fund dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a move that alarmed some environmental activists who say its set up an unfair choice between clean air and water.  “What kind of choice is that?” said Kathryn Phillips, director of Sierra Club California. “People shouldn’t have to choose between clean water and clean air.” ... ”  Read more from US News and World Report here: California Taps Clean Air Money to Pay for Drinking Water

Governor and Legislative Leaders Collaborate on Safe Drinking Water Solution:  “On Sunday, the 2019 Conference Committee on the Budget voted for a safe drinking water funding solution for disadvantaged communities in California that do not have access to safe drinking water. The solution will be enacted through the 2019-’20 Budget and related trailer bill language. ACWA strongly supports this solution.  In the first year, Fiscal Year 2019-’20, the safe drinking water funding solution will be funded with $100 million from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) and $30 million from the General Fund. This will be part of the 2019-’20 Fiscal Year State Budget. ... ”  Read more from ACWA’s Water News here:  Governor and Legislative Leaders Collaborate on Safe Drinking Water Solution

Effort seeks to curb wildfires’ impact on drinking water:  “Work is scheduled to begin this week on a first-of-its-kind partnership to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire around essential drinking water supplies stored in the Sierra.  “This is the first time Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds from the state’s carbon tax are being put back into a watershed to reduce emissions from catastrophic wildfire,” said Andrew Fecko of the Placer County Water Agency. ... ”  Read more from KCRA here: Effort seeks to curb wildfires’ impact on drinking water

Rim Fire tour provides striking view of California’s wildfire challenges:  “The challenges of managing California’s forests for public safety and ecosystem health were on full display during a tour of forested lands scarred by the 2013 Rim Fire. Hosted by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, the Rim Fire Forest Resilience Tour on May 30 took 80 participants through some of California’s most breathtaking but battered High Sierra landscapes within the Stanislaus National Forest in Tuolumne County.  The tour included board members and staff of the Conservancy, as well as nonprofit leaders, elected officials, scientists, environmental stewards, timber industry members and firefighting experts. The goal was to foster conversation and understanding around the complexities and management of post-fire lands. ... ”  Read more from California Forward here:  Rim Fire tour provides striking view of California’s wildfire challenges

Radio show: Why Are so Many Gray Whales Washing up Dead in California?  “Federal scientists say they will investigate why an unusual number of gray whales are washing up dead on West Coast beaches. About 70 whales have been found dead so far this year on the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska, the most since 2000. In the Bay Area alone, at least 13 dead whales have washed ashore. We’ll talk with the Marine Mammal Center’s Bill Keener about what’s going on and why it’s happening.”  Listen to the radio show from KQED here: Why Are so Many Gray Whales Washing up Dead in California?

As Water Scarcity Increases, Desalination Plants Are on the Rise:  “Some 30 miles north of San Diego, along the Pacific Coast, sits the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, the largest effort to turn salt water into fresh water in North America.  Each day 100 million gallons of seawater are pushed through semi-permeable membranes to create 50 million gallons of water that is piped to municipal users. Carlsbad, which became fully operational in 2015, creates about 10 percent of the fresh water the 3.1 million people in the region use, at about twice the cost of the other main source of water.  Expensive, yes, but vital for the fact that it is local and reliable. … ”  Read more from Yale e360 here: As Water Scarcity Increases, Desalination Plants Are on the Rise

Water Sensitive Cities Are Leading The Way In Urban Water Management:  “As the planet faces escalating extremes of weather and temperatures, effective urban water management is more critical than ever to manage droughts and flooding and related problems such as poor health and unstable infrastructure.  The multifaceted water sensitive cities model addresses these challenges by offering a comprehensive template for urban areas to improve water purity and management, population health and biodiversity. … ”  Read more from Forbes Magazine here:  Water Sensitive Cities Are Leading The Way In Urban Water Management

State and local governments seeking climate change ‘solutions’ have plenty of options:  “A March 2019 five-part series addressed actions individual people can take to reduce their carbon footprint on the road, in and around their homes, and in their diets.  That series raised the obvious question of whether individual actions on their own can be adequate to help society confront the climate challenges we all face. The answer is decidedly ‘No’: Societal actions globally also are essential. That’s the focus of this companion two-part series.  This post focuses on actions all levels of government can take in this effort. … ”  Read more from Yale Climate Connections here:  State and local governments seeking climate change ‘solutions’ have plenty of options

In regional news and commentary today …

Yurok Tribe Awarded UN Honor for Forest Management Practices:  “The Yurok Tribe recently became the first indigenous community in the United States to be awarded the Equator Prize by the United Nations Development Programme, which honors “innovative nature-based solutions for tackling climate change, environment and poverty challenges.”  “We are honored to receive recognition for our traditional ecological knowledge and western science-based approach to managing the temperate rainforests in our region,” tribal Chair Joseph L. James said in a release about the June 5 announcement. … ”  Continue reading at the North Coast Journal here:  Yurok Tribe Awarded UN Honor for Forest Management Practices

Heavy debris at Shasta Lake is raising concerns for visitors:  “Visitors to Shasta Lake have been noticing a lot of debris especially near the Centimudi Boat Launch.  With June marking the start of the boating season, Shasta Lake has continued to see people out enjoying the water.  One problem that is raising concern is the amount of debris people are finding on the lake. ... ”  Read more from KRCR here:  Heavy debris at Shasta Lake is raising concerns for visitors

Threatened beavers return to Sonoma:  “When a Sonoma Valley woman saw a tree in her yard felled and chiseled by V-shaped gnaw marks, she was surprised and not quite sure what had caused the damage.  Soon she learned it was the work of something she never expected to find near her home: a beaver.  “I really now understand the phrases ‘busy beaver’ and ‘eager beaver.’ We wake up in the morning and look out and think ‘wow’ look how much they did overnight,” she said. ... ”  Read more from the Sonoma Index-Tribune here:  Threatened beavers return to Sonoma

Moccasin Dam, which came close to failure last year, is repaired and working:  “A leaking dam that prompted evacuations in the Sierra foothills during an intense rainstorm last year has been repaired and is again storing drinking water for 2.7 million Bay Area residents, San Francisco water officials said Monday.  The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission spent almost $22 million over the past year repairing and reinforcing Moccasin Dam in Tuolumne County. A storm in March sent a torrent of water and debris into the reservoir, raising fears the earthen barrier would collapse. … ”  Read more from the SF Chronicle here:  Moccasin Dam, which came close to failure last year, is repaired and working

Ventura County: El Rio water supply faces uncertain future after neighborhood wells declared unsafe:  “A small mutual water company in El Rio faces an uncertain future after it was forced to shut down its last operating well last month.  The state issued a “no drinking” order for the 364 homes and businesses because of elevated nitrate levels, a contaminant linked to “blue baby” syndrome.  Within a couple days, emergency hookups to two neighboring agencies were in place, allowing people to again drink the tap water. But that supply depends on fire hoses that wind along roadsides – a connection all agree has a short shelf life. ... ”  Read more from the Ventura County Star here: Ventura County: El Rio water supply faces uncertain future after neighborhood wells declared unsafe

San Diego: Officials respond to concerns about grebe nests:  “Concerns by conservation and wildlife groups about the destruction of grebe nests at Lake Hodges because of fluctuating water levels has caught the attention of water managers and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.  The issue was raised last week in a letter to the city of San Diego, owner of the water storage reservoir just south of Escondido.  Recent changes in water levels at the reservoir have resulted in as many as 300 grebe eggs being destroyed because adult birds could not reach the nests after water levels suddenly dropped. … ”  Read more from the San Diego Union Tribune here: San Diego: Officials respond to concerns about grebe nests

Along the Colorado River …

Arizona plans for drought contingency plan impacts:  “Earlier this year, the seven states that rely on Colorado River water signed a collective drought contingency plan. At a conference last week in Colorado, Arizona Department of Water Resources Director Tom Buschatzke said his state will take about half of the water reductions under that plan when a drought hits.  “That’s a pretty big lift and a pretty big contribution by the state of Arizona,” Buschatzke said. “This will be an issue for us whether we can sustain that kind of long-term reductions moving forward past 2026.” … ”  Read more from Arizona Public Media here: Arizona plans for drought contingency plan impacts

St. George: Water district denies that it’s ‘playing fast and loose’ with water supply numbers:  “A group that opposes the Lake Powell Pipeline claims the Washington County Water Conservancy District is hiding a massive surplus of water from the public and is manipulating the numbers in order to justify building the pipeline.  Last week, the Utah Rivers Council issued a press release detailing what it claims are contradictory statements made by the district in regard to how much water the county has available. … ”  Read more from St. George News here: St. George: Water district denies that it’s ‘playing fast and loose’ with water supply numbers

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

BLOG ROUND-UP: SB1, Leaders With Vision; Fostering Sustainability in the San Joaquin Valley; SGMA and Dairies; All water is local. Sort of.; and more …

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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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