DAILY DIGEST: High heat quickly melting away CA’s snowpack; Rare June heat wave has San Francisco hotter than Las Vegas; Communities take a new look at storing water underground; Dams can help ranchers w/drought, but could they also contribute to it?; and more …

In California water news today, High Heat Quickly Melting Away California’s Snowpack; Rare June heat wave grips San Francisco as triple-digit heat stifles West; California takes on an ocean of plastic waste, considers crackdown on industry; With floods and droughts increasing, communities take a new look at storing water underground; Dams Could Protect Ranchers From Climate Change’s Drought, But Could They Also Contribute To It?; Lake Powell is rising as much as 15 inches a day; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • WEBINAR: Earthquake Threats, Resilience Tools, and Project Funding from 10am to 11am.  Presented by the US EPA.  Click here to register.
  • WEBINAR: Protecting Public Health with Open Recreational Water Quality Data: Challenges and Solutions from 11am to 12pm.  Presented by the Department of the Interior.  Click here to register.
  • WEBINAR: Developing Conceptual Models for Implementing Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) from 1pm to 2pm.  Presented by the American Water Resources Association.  Click here for more information and to register.
  • GRA SoCal Branch: Building Trust via Technical Outreach at a Complex Project – PG&E’s Chromium-6 Groundwater Remediation Program at Hinkley, CA from 6pm to 8:30pm in Orange.  Click here for more information and to register.  You do not need to be a member to attend.

In the news today …

Largest June snowpack since 2011: “The exceptionally wet spring brought with it record levels of rain and snow for the month of May. Storm systems that touched the Sierra Nevada’s brought enough snow to allow major ski resorts to remain open, with Mammoth Mountain predicting snow activities to be available until August.  The last time that California’s snowpack was as large as it was heading into June this year, was back in 2011 when it was more than 300 percent of the average. … ” Read more from Ag Net West here: Largest June snowpack since 2011

High Heat Quickly Melting Away California’s Snowpack: “That excessive heat warning into the foothills is doing a number on the impressive snowpack in the Sierra.  With temperatures in the 80s, what took weeks to melt is now taking days. “We found a little bit of snow and we were excited because it was a novelty. But then we realized it was everywhere, said Josh Jameison.  Jameison and his girlfriend Megan didn’t expect to see so much snow as they set off for a hike. ... ” Read more from CBS here: High Heat Quickly Melting Away California’s Snowpack

Rare June heat wave grips San Francisco as triple-digit heat stifles West:  “Record high temperatures have been shattered in the West to start this week, and more records will fall along portions of the Pacific coast into the middle of this week.  San Francisco was among the cities to shatter a record high the past couple of days as the temperature throttled to 92 F on Sunday, up to the triple-digit mark Monday and 98 F on Tuesday.  “Temperatures in San Francisco reached 100 F on Monday, which was 3 degrees higher than the maximum temperature at Las Vegas and equaled the high at Sacramento, California,” according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski. … ”  Read more from AccuWeather here: Rare June heat wave grips San Francisco as triple-digit heat stifles West

Educating Urban Water Users on Agricultural Water Needs:  “The California Farm Water Coalition (CFWC) continues its effort to better educate urban water users about the issues the agricultural industry is working to overcome.  The coalition has been shifting its focus to deliver information to a more select group of consumers in order to have the most beneficial impact.  “The whole social media, data gathering world that we live in, is a great convenience for marketers,” said CFWC Executive Director Mike Wade.  “We’re using data that is collected on consumers in order to identify consumers that are most likely to be receptive to messaging about agriculture and agricultural water use.” ... ”  Read more from Ag Net West here: Educating Urban Water Users on Agricultural Water Needs

California takes on an ocean of plastic waste, considers crackdown on industry: “Even in an eco-conscious city like San Francisco, more than 9,000 tons of recyclables are dumped in landfills every year largely due to one culprit: flimsy plastics.  Low-grade plastics, such as shopping bags, padded online shipping envelopes and food packaging, are piling up in recycling centers. Part of the reason is that overseas markets such as China and the Philippines — which used to buy America’s trash by the shipload — are turning most plastics away. … ” Read more from SF Chronicle here: California takes on an ocean of plastic waste, considers crackdown on industry

With floods and droughts increasing, communities take a new look at storing water underground:  “Houston, Texas, has flooded every year for the past five years. At the same time, Texas is also known for dire water shortages. What if people were to capture the floodwater and store it for later in aquifers — underground layers of permeable rock, gravel and sand that allow water to pass through?  A recent study by researchers from the University of Texas at Austin found that coastal aquifers from which water has been pumped for use in farms and cities, have enough space to store two-thirds of the water from high-flow events from 10 Texas rivers, reducing the impacts of both floods and droughts — if we figure out a way to get the excess water into them. Actively moving water underground, a practice known as managed aquifer recharge (MAR), is increasingly popular today. ... ”  Read more from Ensia here: With floods and droughts increasing, communities take a new look at storing water underground

Dams Could Protect Ranchers From Climate Change’s Drought, But Could They Also Contribute To It?It’s late May in Wyoming. It snowed last night, and more snow is predicted. That’s why it’s good that Big Piney Rancher Chad Espenscheid is behind the wheel of the truck. The roads are sloppy and Middle Piney Creek is running high.  “Speaking of water,” he says, laughing.  “Yeah, seems like it’s starting to flood,” I observe.  “Yeah, it’s just wet.”  That wetness is nerve-wracking for ranchers like Espenscheid.  “It’s been a cold, long winter,” he says. “The cows and calves are really needing some sunshine about now. We got quite a bit of sickness going on around the valley.” … ” Read more from KPBS here: Dams Could Protect Ranchers From Climate Change’s Drought, But Could They Also Contribute To It?

Interior reorganization: Bernhardt: Not all BLM posts will leave Washington:  “Interior Secretary David Bernhardt revealed yesterday that before he anoints a new headquarters location for the Bureau of Land Management, he wants to review each of the 500-some jobs to determine which posts should be excised from the nation’s capital.  Bernhardt discussed his agency’s reorganization, as well as national park maintenance and other issues, during a 30-minute question-and-answer session with state executives here at the Western Governors’ Association annual meeting.  “I think that there’s great value in delegating greater accountability to the front lines of our department and that we need to somehow find a way to put more resources on those front lines and then organizing in a way that will best serve the America people,” Bernhardt said in response to an inquiry from Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) about the ongoing search for a new BLM headquarters. … ”  Read more from E&E News here: Interior reorganization: Bernhardt: Not all BLM posts will leave Washington

In commentary today …

Time to solve California’s unsafe drinking water crisis, says Jon Van Boening: He writes, “Clean water is a human right, essential to good health and to the resiliency of California. Yet, more than one million people from every region of our state have unsafe water at home. California is the fifth largest economy in the world, but for far too long, the state has neglected the basic right to safe water.  Three hundred public water systems across California fall short of federal drinking water standards and do not have the resources to fix and manage urgent water treatment problems. These broken systems deliver water polluted with contaminants such as arsenic, uranium, nitrates, lead and perchlorate. As health care providers, we’re concerned about the impact of these contaminants on human health, which over time include sickness and disease, miscarriage, birth defects, elevated cancer levels and developmental problems in children. … ”  Read more from the Bakersfield.com here: Time to solve California’s unsafe drinking water crisis

In regional news and commentary today …

Students get schooled by fish: Klamath Basin School District’s ‘Trout in the Classroom’ program educates local students: “A group of students peered through the cold glass of the small aquarium at 100 pea-sized fish eggs rolling gently on the bottom of the tank. The unblinking black eyes of the orange orbs inside appeared to stare back.  The eggs were delivered as part of the popular program “Fish Eggs to Fry in the Classroom,” offered to public, private and after-school classes in Klamath County for more than 10 years, according to Akimi King, biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Klamath Falls, Oregon. ... ”  Read more from the US FWS here: Students get schooled by fish: Klamath Basin School District’s ‘Trout in the Classroom’ program educates local students

McCarthy’s Bill to Name Success Dam After Richard L. Schafer Passes House: “Yesterday, the House unanimously passed H.R. 2695 to name Success Dam, located in Tulare County, after Mr. Richard L. Schafer, the longtime Tule River Water Master.  “I am pleased to see this bill pass with unanimous support out of the House. Richard Schafer has been a pillar of strength in our community for over half a century, and it is appropriate that Success Dam, which he continues to enthusiastically fight to improve, is one step closer to being named after him,” said Congressman Kevin McCarthy. … ” Read more from Mojave Desert News here: McCarthy’s Bill to Name Success Dam After Richard L. Schafer Passes House

Santa Clarita: Groundwater managers seek 7 to serve as advisers:  “Water officials struck with the task of hammering out a plan to manage SCV groundwater are looking for seven people to serve as the agency’s advisory group.  On Monday, members of the Santa Clarita Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency met in part to discuss forming an advisory committee.  “We need their input to move ahead,” Tara Bravo, spokeswoman for SV Strategies, told the GSA board. ... ”  Read more from the Santa Clarita Signal here: Santa Clarita: Groundwater managers seek 7 to serve as advisers

Along the Colorado River …

Great Salt Lake up 2.5 feet and still rising; Lake Powell is rising as much as 15 inches a day: ” … In southern Utah, high water in Lake Powell has allowed full access to the Bullfrog launch ramp, and the Antelope Point Marina is expected to reopen after adjustments are made by the National Park Service.  But a news release announcing those ramp openings also carried a warning that Lake Powell’s waterline is climbing between 6 and 15 inches every day, and that boaters and visitors should park their vehicles 200 to 300 yards away from the shore, lest they become submerged overnight. ... ”  Read more from the Salt Lake Tribune here:  Great Salt Lake up 2.5 feet and still rising; Lake Powell is rising as much as 15 inches a day

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

WOTS Up? An Update Regarding Regulation of Waters of the State and Waters of the United States

NEWS WORTH NOTING: AG Becerra blasts EPA for failure to address dangerous chemicals in groundwater; Metropolitan helps California prepare for climate change; GAO report: Climate change: Opportunities to reduce federal fiscal exposure

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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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