DAILY DIGEST: Trump’s pending rules on CA water marked by missing docs, hurried reviews, say scientists; Multi-year drought caused massive forest die-off in Sierra Nevada; Friant water blueprint focused on counties south of Delta; New CA bill aims to help vets fill water worker jobs; and more …
In California water news today, Trump’s Pending Rules on California Water Marked by Missing Documents and Hurried Reviews, Say Scientists; Multi-year Drought Caused Massive Forest Die-off in Sierra Nevada; Friant Water Blueprint Focused on Counties South of Delta; New California Bill Aims to Help Vets Fill Thousands of Water Worker Jobs; USGS Monitoring Groundwater for Hormones and Pharmaceuticals; Climate change looms large in endangered species litigation; Heatwave Causes Thousands Of Mussels To Die In Bodega Bay; and more …
On the calendar today …
- The 4th Annual California Water Data Science Symposium (second day) begins at 9am. For more information, click here. Click here to watch on webcast.
- The Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife meets at 9am. Bills scheduled to be heard include Senator Hurtado’s Friant-Kern Canal legislation and aerial snow surveys. Click here for the complete list of bills to be heard. Click here to watch on webcast.
- The State Water Resources Control Board will hold a public workshop on the Central Valley-wide Salt and Nitrate Control Program as part of its regular board meeting beginning at 9:30am. Click here for the full agenda. Click here to watch on webcast.
- The CA Department of Food and Agriculture Public Listening Session in San Luis Obispo from 1pm to 3pm. Click here for more information.
- Roundtable on Protecting Drinking Water in Groundwater Markets in Visalia from 5pm to 8pm. You can RSVP here.
In the news today …
Also on Maven’s Notebook today …
- THIS JUST IN … Governor and Legislature Advance Voluntary Agreements in the State Budget
- BLOG ROUND-UP: Drought, fish, and water in California; Future climate change starts with steps now; Is Gavin Newsom just a slicker version of Jerry Brown on the environment?; Why is water temperature in the Delta so important?; and more …
- FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Solicitation Opens for Riverine Stewardship Program: San Joaquin Fish Population Enhancement and Urban Streams Restoration Grants
Trump’s Pending Rules on California Water Marked by Missing Documents and Hurried Reviews, Say Scientists: “Independent scientists have raised serious concerns about a Trump administration plan to divert more water to California farmers, according to documents obtained by KQED. In their analyses, they write that the plan poses risks to threatened fish; that the process is rushed; that they didn’t receive enough information to provide a complete scientific review; and that the Trump administration may be skewing the science to make the environmental impact look less serious. “It is difficult to imagine how these predicted conditions could be considered an acceptable risk to the critical habitat of a listed species,” wrote Ronald Kneib, an ecological consultant and senior research scientist emeritus at the University of Georgia. … ” Read more from KQED here: Trump’s Pending Rules on California Water Marked by Missing Documents and Hurried Reviews, Say Scientists
Multi-year Drought Caused Massive Forest Die-off in Sierra Nevada: “The most extreme drought event in hundreds of years caused a catastrophic die-off of the Sierra Nevada’s mature trees in 2015-2016. A study published today in Nature Geoscience details how UC Merced Professor Roger Bales and his colleague Professor Michael Goulden from UC Irvine tracked the progress of the devastation caused by years of dry conditions combined with abnormally warm temperatures. The researchers warn that matters are expected to get worse as global mean temperatures increase. ... ” Read more UC Merced here: Multi-year Drought Caused Massive Forest Die-off in Sierra Nevada
California Forest Die-Off Linked to Historic Drought: “The recent and historic California drought had a direct connection to a higher rate of forest die-off, according to a study released Monday. The study, published in the scientific journal Nature Geoscience, examined the severe dry spell that plagued California, particularly the southern areas of the state, between the years of 2011 and 2017 to better understand its impact on California forests. What researchers discovered was that the drought, one of the worst in the past 1,000 years, dealt a harsh blow to the health of the state’s forests due to the drying out of the soil. … ” Read more from Courthouse News Service here: California Forest Die-Off Linked to Historic Drought
Friant Water Blueprint Focused on Counties South of Delta: “An important blueprint for the success of farming in the Central Valley is being developed to present to California government officials. This blueprint outlines what must be done to get water to the eight counties south of the delta. The blueprint is a critical step to help keep farmers in business due to the pressure from the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Johnny Amaral is the Friant Water Authority, Chief of External Affairs. Amaral overseas Friant’s engagement with San Joaquin Valley farmers, businesses, and related industry groups regarding water policy and water supply matters as well as legislative lobbying and communications activities. … ” Read more from Cal Ag Today here: Friant Water Blueprint Focused on Counties South of Delta
New California Bill Aims to Help Vets Fill Thousands of Water Worker Jobs: “A new bill is moving through the California Legislature that may make it easier for veterans to get jobs within the state’s water industry. Assemblymember Todd Gloria helped introduce AB 1588 to stem the phenomenon called the “silver tsunami” in which thousands of water workers are expected to retire from the water industry in the coming years. AB 1588 is aimed at helping water employers fill civilian water and wastewater operator roles with military veterans. … ” Read more from NBC San Diego here: New Bill Aims to Help Vets Fill Thousands of Water Worker Jobs
Radio show: One Planet: The history of water in California: “On this edition of Your Call’s One Planet Series, journalist Mark Arax will discuss his new book, The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California. Arax travels the state to learn about water distribution systems that are struggling to keep up with California’s explosive growth. He also writes about how droughts have shaped California’s history and Big Ag’s quest for even more water. What’s next for the state’s water wars?” Listen to the radio show from KALW here: Radio show: One Planet: The history of water in California
Restoring water systems in Paradise: ” … Circle of Blue last week reported on California, where plumbing experts are questioning policy and government agencies are redefining their roles after wildfires left communities with contaminated water. When the Camp Fire tore through the Sierra Nevada foothills last November, the flames nearly obliterated the town of Paradise. They left behind a blighted water system. Pipes and plumbing were contaminated by benzene and other volatile organic compounds. Restoring the water system is central to restoring Paradise. The California State Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Drinking Water recently published guidelines for testing the plumbing in buildings that survived the fire. State officials say they focused on cost and convenience for building owners, while still protecting public health. … ” Read more from Circle of Blue here (scroll down towards the end): Restoring water systems in Paradise
Report: 1 Out Of 5 California Schools Found Detectable Levels Of Lead In Drinking Water: “Nearly one out of five California schools found detectable levels of lead in the drinking water, according to recent data from the State Water Board. Lead is linked to learning disabilities, behavior problems and many other health effects. Monday was the deadline, under a 2017 law, for local water districts to test school drinking water for lead. CBS13 found there is still no testing data for at least 100 schools in our area, but many local schools tested well above the limit. … ” Read more from CBS 13 here: Report: 1 Out Of 5 California Schools Found Detectable Levels Of Lead In Drinking Water
California Environmental Group Warns of High Arsenic Levels in Two Bottled Water Brands: “An Oakland-based environmental health group is threatening to sue the manufacturers and retailers behind two bottled water brands for failing to warn consumers about allegedly high levels of arsenic in their products. The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) has sent legal notices to Whole Foods, which owns the bottled water brand Starkey, and Keurig Dr. Pepper, which owns Peñafiel spring water, sold by Target. The center commissioned testing of the water brands and said it found both Starkey and Peñafiel contained arsenic levels high enough to warrant a health warning under California’s consumer protection law Proposition 65. … ” Read more from California Healthline here: California Environmental Group Warns of High Arsenic Levels in Two Bottled Water Brands
Microbe Treatment System May Solve California’s Nitrate Problems: “California is well known around the world for its bounty of farmland and agricultural products. But this excess brings an acute problem for water treatment operations: nitrate contamination. Nitrates, chemicals that find their way into water supplies through fertilizer runoff, have been linked to health issues when consumed at high levels. As California water suppliers struggle with removing the chemicals from drinking water, a new solution may have emerged to help put an end to the issue. ... ” Read more from Water Online here: Microbe Treatment System May Solve California’s Nitrate Problems
USGS Monitoring Groundwater for Hormones and Pharmaceuticals: “Even at low doses, emerging contaminants can pose health risks for humans, including disruption of the endocrine system. These emerging contaminants include hormones, personal care products, perfluorinated compounds and volatile organics, and pharmaceuticals. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientist Laura Bexfield presented her work on hormones and pharmaceuticals in groundwater at the 2018 Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) Annual Meeting, and more recently corresponded with EM to discuss the research. “This is the first large-scale, systematic study of the occurrence of hormones and pharmaceuticals in aquifer systems that provide drinking-water supply for an estimated 80 million people across the US,” explains Ms. Bexfield. ... ” Read more from Environmental Monitor here: USGS Monitoring Groundwater for Hormones and Pharmaceuticals
New Maps Show How Groundwater Affects Lakes and Rivers: “On the surface, it’s pretty obvious how humans have altered lakes and rivers over the past century; dams have turned rivers into strings of reservoirs, the Mississippi River is more or less a concrete-lined sluice, and artificial ponds have proliferated by the thousands. Less apparent, but perhaps just as important, is how tapping into the groundwater systems that underlie the United States has impacted those streams and lakes as well. Now, a new detailed study in the journal Science Advances shows how much groundwater pumping has impacted those water bodies, in some cases reducing their flows by half. ... ” Read more from Sierra Magazine here: New Maps Show How Groundwater Affects Lakes and Rivers
CDC warns swimmers about ‘Crypto,’ a parasite that can live for days in pools: “Federal public health officials are urging people to take precautions to protect themselves against a microscopic parasite that can live for days in swimming pools and water playgrounds and cause severe intestinal problems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report last week about the increased number of outbreaks caused by the fecal parasite Cryptosporidium, more commonly known as “Crypto.” … ” Read more from the Washington Post here: CDC warns swimmers about ‘Crypto,’ a parasite that can live for days in pools
When Drought Threatens Crops: NASA’s Role in Famine Warnings: “NASA’s satellite imagery and model forecasts regularly help agricultural and aid agencies to monitor the performance of crops worldwide and prepare for food shortages. “In the 1970’s the U.S. realized that drought impacts on global agriculture were severely affecting trade and food aid decisions, while ground based information and forecasting of drought was very limited,” said Brad Doorn, water resources program manager in the Earth Science Division at NASA Headquarters, Washington. “Earth observations from space provide the persistent, global information needed to detect precipitation, temperature, soil moisture, and vegetation conditions that give us a more complete picture of conditions that lead to drought, as well as its impacts.” ... ” Read more from NASA here: When Drought Threatens Crops: NASA’s Role in Famine Warnings
Climate change looms large in endangered species litigation: “The lesser prairie chicken, a moniker that belies the flamboyant species it describes, now has a lawsuit to its name. Once abundant on the vast plains of the central United States, these birds — punctuated with flashes of red and yellow — attract mates with a famous song-and-dance routine every spring. But their numbers have been in fast decline, partly due to increased prairie temperatures spurred by global warming. … ” Read more from E&E News here: Climate change looms large in endangered species litigation
In regional news and commentary today …
Horeshoe Lake water sampling shows toxins: “Water samples from Horseshoe Lake in upper Bidwell Park have shown the presence of cyanobacteria toxin producers, according to Butte County Health Department. The community is advised to stay out of the water, and keep dogs out as well. A press release issued Monday indicated two cyanotoxins were detected in these samples, with one sample found to have concentrations just above the state’s warning levels. ... ” Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here: Horeshoe Lake water sampling shows toxins
Heatwave Causes Thousands Of Mussels To Die In Bodega Bay: “A recent heatwave along the coast of northern California was too much for tens of thousand of Mussels. Jackie Sones, a research coordinator at Bodega Marine Reserve, has worked a Bodega Bay for 15 years and has never seen a sight like this before, she says. “When I was approaching the field site, I could see right away that hundreds of mussels were dead,” Sones told CNN on Monday. … ” Read more from CBS 13 here: Heatwave Causes Thousands Of Mussels To Die In Bodega Bay
Pre-construction activities resume in Alviso for South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Project: “Santa Clara Valley Water District (Valley Water) has resumed pre-construction activities in Alviso, delivering on a long-made promise to protect our shoreline communities in Santa Clara County from devastating flooding. The work on the South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Project started in May, but paused for a few weeks in June after a project biologist discovered an active nest for a bird species that is listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. … ” Read more from Valley Water News here: Pre-construction activities resume in Alviso for South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Project
Monterey: Interlake Tunnel gets millions in state budget: “Two high-profile projects in Monterey County got a big boost from the state budget signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom last week. The $100 million Interlake Tunnel project was allocated $17 million for a fish screen, while the $20 million Salinas Regional Soccer Complex will get $5 million. State Sen. Bill Monning, who led the effort to secure the latest state funding allocation for the tunnel project, said he is “pleased by the support of my colleagues and the Governor for this important project,” noting the state’s previous $10 million contribution for the proposal. … ” Read more from the Monterey Herald here: Monterey: Interlake Tunnel gets millions in state budget
Monterey County Water Resources Agency’s new leader, Brent Buche, prioritizes spillway repairs: “For 26 years at the Monterey County Water Resources Agency, Brent Buche has handled everything from engineering tasks for large projects—things like helping design the rubber dam on the Salinas River, and modifications to the Nacimiento Dam—to financial planning for the fiscally fraught agency. For the last four years, he’s served as deputy general manager. Today, July 1, he takes on a new role as general manager of the MCWRA, though he’s already occupied the corner office for about a week, after his colleagues rearranged his desk while he was on vacation. ... ” Read more from Monterey Weekly here: Monterey County Water Resources Agency’s new leader, Brent Buche, prioritizes spillway repairs
Why Modesto’s effort to plant 5,000 trees ended with rising costs and dead trees: “Modesto officials were justifiably proud when a state agency awarded the city a $326,940 grant in 2015 to plant 5,000 trees. The grant was a key element in the city’s effort to bring new life to its community forestry division and the city’s urban forest. But the city had trouble carrying out the grant. It underestimated the cost of buying, planting and caring for the trees and about a quarter of the nearly 2,900 trees the city did plant died. The city did not have the budget to hire more staff needed to carry out the grant, and it underestimated how much of its own money it would need to spend. ... ” Read more from the Modesto Bee here: Why Modesto’s effort to plant 5,000 trees ended with rising costs and dead trees
Ventura County: Make the drilling moratorium permanent, say Amaru Tejeda, Ana Rosa Rizo-Centino, and Jéssica Coyotecatl: They write, “We tend to see public health crises as inevitable. However, that is not always the case. For example, in Flint, Michigan, more than 100,000 residents have been exposed to lead-contaminated water, including 12,000 children, since 2014. … Here in Oxnard, we are also at a crossroads regarding the safety of our water. ... ” Read more from the Ventura Reporter here: Make the drilling moratorium permanent
Also on Maven’s Notebook today …
BLOG ROUND-UP: Drought, fish, and water in California; Future climate change starts with steps now; Is Gavin Newsom just a slicker version of Jerry Brown on the environment?; Why is water temperature in the Delta so important?; 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.