DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: New CA bill could revolutionize how the U.S. tackles plastic pollution; The U.S. isn’t nearly as dry as it was a year ago; A Delta conundrum; Forecast-coordinated operations program; and more …

In California water news this weekend, New California Bill Could Revolutionize How the U.S. Tackles Plastic Pollution; The U.S. Isn’t Nearly As Dry As It Was a Year Ago; Lake Oroville Operations Update: June 14; A Delta Conundrum: ‘One oil well would eliminate all those wind mills and you could make it look like a tree.’; Santa Rosa Plain groundwater fees OK’d, but residents and businesses won’t pay for 3 years; SFPUC Growing Plants in Hospital-Like Nursery to Protect Water Quality; Video: Forecast-coordinated operations program; and more …

In the news this weekend …

New California Bill Could Revolutionize How the U.S. Tackles Plastic Pollution:  “The ubiquity of plastic in our lives is leaving a mark — on the geologic record, in remote regions of the Earth, in the bodies of 90 percent of seabirds. Our oceans are a toxic soup, swirling with an estimated 50 million tons of plastic waste. But the tide is changing.  Mounting global pressure to curb plastic pollution is gaining steam. A significant leap came last year with the European Union’s vote to ban single-use plastic items by 2021 and boost bottle recycling 90 percent by 2025. On June 10 Canada announced it would follow Europe’s lead.  In the United States, efforts to reduce plastic waste have so far been piecemeal — bans on specific items, like plastic bags, and only in certain municipalities. But California could help the country take a massive leap forward. ... ”  Read more from The Revelator here: New California Bill Could Revolutionize How the U.S. Tackles Plastic Pollution

The U.S. Isn’t Nearly As Dry As It Was a Year Ago:  “The United States isn’t nearly as dry as it was a year ago, as demonstrated by massive spring floods, and one area of the West has seen the most dramatic improvement.  About only 4 percent of the contiguous U.S. was experiencing drought conditions on June 11, compared to just under 28 percent a year ago, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.  T​he greatest improvements have been in parts of the Southwest, Great Basin and Rockies, and most of the U.S. is expected to remain drought-free this summer. ... ”  Read more from The Weather Channel here: The U.S. Isn’t Nearly As Dry As It Was a Year Ago

Lake Oroville Operations Update: June 14:  “Due to late precipitation and based on inflows, DWR has taken steps to prepare for potential use of the main spillway.  Currently, lake levels are being managed with releases from Hyatt Powerplant.  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. … ”  Read more from DWR News here: Lake Oroville Operations Update: June 14

Trump’s order to slash number of science advisory boards blasted by critics as ‘nonsensical’:  “President Donald Trump signed an executive order late Friday to cut the number of government advisory committees by a third across all federal agencies, a move that the White House said is long overdue and necessary to ensure good stewardship of taxpayers’ money.  But critics said it is the Trump administration’s latest effort to undermine science-based and fact-supported decision-making.  “This is another example of how disconnected the Trump administration is from the needs of the American people and how to protect them from harm,” said Mustafa Ali, who resigned in 2017 as the senior adviser for environmental justice at the Environmental Protection Agency. ... ”  Read more from NBC News here: Trump’s order to slash number of science advisory boards blasted by critics as ‘nonsensical’

Sunday reads …

A Conundrum: ‘One oil well would eliminate all those wind mills and you could make it look like a tree.’:  Rich Turner writes, “After enjoying the quietude, beauty, and splendor of a California Delta sunrise a while back, it came to my attention that one person’s interesting feature of the landscape is another person’s eyesore and I’m left wondering if there’s a solution.  It’s almost a rare occurrence in the Delta to have a sunset that is not stunning in some way. Sunrises, however, can induce a wonderfully different mood, both in the quality of light and my own temperament. There’s an intangibly different aura that early in the day. … ”  Read more from Soundings Magazine here:  A Conundrum

In commentary this weekend …

California needs water, not stubborn political games, says Terry Withrow:  He writes, “After years of defending its proposed water grab from our region’s rivers, the state Water Board chose to ignore all science and impose orders to take the water anyway. Likewise, until recently when Gov. Newsom wisely said “no” to the twin tunnels, the state insisted on devastating the Delta by stubbornly refusing to consider alternatives. And five years after passage of the historic 2014 water bond, no new water storage facilities have even started construction. … ”  Continue reading at the Modesto Bee here: California needs water, not stubborn political games

In regional news and commentary this weekend …

El Dorado Irrigation District talks water rights:  “Water rights and the Upper Main Ditch piping project dominated Monday’s meeting of the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors.  Several members of Save the Canal, the group that opposes the piping project, showed up to discuss the lawsuit it has launched against EID. Chuck Vanderpool asked why the district should spend $12 million to get clean water when it already has clean water, while Lisa Richmond questioned the adequacy of the project’s environmental impact report and whether there is a conflict of interest. ... ”  Read more from the Mountain Democrat here:  El Dorado Irrigation District talks water rights

Santa Rosa Plain groundwater fees OK’d, but residents and businesses won’t pay for 3 years:  “A new era of groundwater regulation in Sonoma County is set to begin next month, with fees assessed on farmers, businesses and rural residents.  They won’t have to pay those fees for at least three years, because municipal water users will foot the $305,655 bill over that initial period.  The Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Sustainability Agency unanimously approved a plan Thursday to assess a fee of $19.90 per acre-foot of groundwater use — about 326,000 gallons — from the Santa Rosa Plain groundwater basin for three years. ... ”  Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here: Santa Rosa Plain groundwater fees OK’d, but residents and businesses won’t pay for 3 years

SFPUC Growing Plants in Hospital-Like Nursery to Protect Water Quality:  “Most plant nurseries are a scene of colorful chaos — bags of soil strewn about, pools of water collecting beneath ceramic pots, and a patchwork of plants existing in tight quarters. But these conditions can create a breeding ground for plant diseases.  So, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is trying something different at its new native plant nursery in Sunol. To avoid infecting plants, the botanists here take precautions more akin to a laboratory than a commercial nursery.  The nursery sits atop the Alameda Creek Watershed, which lies east of Fremont. Here, dry grasses paint the surrounding Diablo hills golden, with dense patches of dark green oak trees. … ”  Read more from KQED here: SFPUC Growing Plants in Hospital-Like Nursery to Protect Water Quality

Indian Wells Valley: PAC discusses modeling scenarios:  “The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority Policy Advisory Committee talked more modeling scenarios during its May 6 meeting from its angle.  According to committee chair Dave Janiec, the IWVGA’s technical advisory committee received updates on the current three modeling scenarios being developed for groundwater pumping.  The scenarios reflect potential options of how the IWVGA could adopt once its groundwater sustainability plan is submitted to the Department of Water Resources. The plan is currently being developed and is due by Jan. 31, 2020 as required under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. … ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here:  Indian Wells Valley: PAC discusses modeling scenarios

LA River, Arroyo Seco in Pasadena, to get $4.3 million from state budget for restoration:  “Two portions of channelized waterways within urbanized Southern California will receive more than $4 million from the 2019-20 state budget adopted Thursday to restore natural features by removing decades-old concrete barriers.  The city of Glendale will receive $800,000 to help with ongoing improvements of the Los Angeles River. Also, the Lower Arroyo Seco, an upper tributary to the L.A. River, has been allotted $3.5 million for restoration, announced state Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge. … ”  Read more from the Pasadena Star News here:  LA River, Arroyo Seco in Pasadena, to get $4.3 million from state budget for restoration

Senate leader Atkins secures funding to stabilize crumbling Del Mar cliffs:  “Efforts to reinforce the crumbling Del Mar cliffs are slated for a major cash infusion.  The money — more than $6.1 million — comes after a punishing winter for the wealthy community’s beachfront bluffs.  Residents and local officials have increasingly expressed concerns about the eroding cliffs, atop which Amtrak and Coaster trains run daily. … ”  Read more from the Del Mar Times here: Senate leader Atkins secures funding to stabilize crumbling Del Mar cliffs

Along the Colorado River …

Utah presses forward on pipeline despite strains on Colorado River:  “The drive behind an enormous water project in southwestern Utah, the Lake Powell Pipeline, shows no signs of slowing even after the seven Colorado River Basin states signed a new agreement this spring that could force cutbacks and more conservation.  Despite the shrinking of the overtapped Colorado, four Upper Basin states – Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico – are pushing forward with planned dams, reservoir expansions and pipelines that would allow them to capture what they were promised under the 1922 Colorado River Compact. That agreement, which has been amended and added to for decades, reserves 7.5 million acre-feet for the Upper Basin and 7.5 million acre-feet for the Lower Basin states of Arizona, Nevada and California. … ”  Read more from Cronkite News here:  Utah presses forward on pipeline despite strains on Colorado River

Sunday video …

Forecast-coordinated operations program:  “This video shows how reservoir operators work together to reduce flood risk. For more than a decade DWR has participated in the Forecast-Coordinated Operations Program in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers watersheds.”

 

Also on Maven’s Notebook this weekend …

THIS JUST IN … Reclamation updates 2019 Central Valley Project South-of-Delta water allocations

DATATHON: Water Datathon to be held in conjunction with Water Data Science Symposium, July 1-2

NOTICE of Petitions for Temporary Urgency Change – U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

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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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