In California water news today, PG&E’s planned power shutdowns could choke off vital water supplies; Optimism for adopting Voluntary Agreements; Clean drinking water fund, Friant-Kern Canal, and abandoned boat removal legislation move forward; Hearing Wednesday in Congress on Bills to Protect CA Public Lands; Scripps study says California will get more rain from atmospheric rivers; In an Era of Extreme Weather, Concerns Grow Over Dam Safety; Few of Trump’s environmental claims stand up to scrutiny; Environmental groups fight EPA’s new FOIA rule; and more …
On the calendar today …
- Funding Fair for Infrastructure Projects: Butte County recovery efforts runs from 8:30 to 12:00 noon at Chico State. Walk ins are welcome. Click here to download an event flyer.
- Madera County Water Forum from 8:30am to 4:00pm in Madera. For more information, click here.
- The Senate Natural Resources Committee will meet beginning at 9:30am. Large number of bills to be heard including flood control, migratory birds, water rights, ecosystem resilience, and recycled water. Click for more information. Click here to watch on CalChannel.
- Watershed Science and Policy in the Sierra Foothills: Surface & Groundwater Connection beginning at 5:30 pm in Nevada City. For more information, click here.
In the news today …
Also on Maven’s Notebook today …
- BLOG ROUND-UP: Newsom’s water resilience portfolio, Groundwater-only lands in the San Joaquin Valley, Tunnels and seismicity, When water wonks play water games; and more …
- PUBLIC MEETING SCHEDULED for State Water Project contract amendment for Delta conveyance
- SAN JOAQUIN RIVER RESTORATION PGM UPDATE: Not only about the fish: program creates water supply benefits
PG&E’s planned power shutdowns could choke off vital water supplies: “PG&E’s plan to prevent wildfires with widespread power shut-offs means no lights, no refrigeration and no internet in many parts of California. It could also mean limited use of toilets and taps, an inconvenience that water and sewer districts across the state are scrambling to address before a blackout comes and nature calls. Utilities, including several in the Bay Area, simply don’t have the backup power to replace the electricity that Pacific Gas and Electric Co. normally provides for water delivery and sewage treatment. The agencies are trying to make their operations more energy efficient and adding alternative power sources in case the cord is cut, but it may not be enough. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: PG&E’s planned power shutdowns could choke off vital water supplies
Optimism for Adopting Voluntary Approach to California’s Water Goals: “There is hope that a more localized voluntary approach will be adopted to better address California’s water goals, in lieu of regimented guidelines to be implemented statewide. There has been significant concern regarding the State Water Resources Control Board’s plan for regulating minimum flow requirements for some of the state’s waterways and the impact that will have on communities. ... ” Read more from Ag Net West here: Optimism for Adopting Voluntary Approach to California’s Water Goals
California poised to approve clean drinking water fund: “Californian lawmakers on Monday were poised to send legislation to Gov Gavin Newsom’s desk that will spend $130 million a year over the next decade to improve drinking water for about a million people. About one million of California’s nearly 40 million residents don’t have access to clean drinking water because of pollution from humans or natural causes, a fact state lawmakers have called an embarrassment for a state with the fifth largest economy in the world. The problem is statewide, but it is concentrated in the central valley — capital of the state’s $20 billion agriculture industry. … ” Read more from the Manteca Bulletin here: California poised to approve clean drinking water fund
Bill to Fix Friant-Kern Canal Continues Forward Progress: “The bill that will provide support for necessary repairs to the Friant-Kern Canal is continuing to make forward progress in the California legislature. Senate Bill 559 (SB-559), authored by Senator Melissa Hurtado representing the 14th Senate District and co-authored by several other San Joaquin Valley lawmakers, was voted through the Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee in the Assembly on July 2. The bill itself is seeking $400 million to make important upgrades and repairs to the Friant-Kern Canal. … ” Read more from Ag Net West here: Bill to Fix Friant-Kern Canal Continues Forward Progress
Legislation for removal of abandoned commercial vessels sailing forward: “New legislation authored by Assemblymember Jim Frazier, D-Discovery Bay, and signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom, calls for the development of a plan to deal with abandoned and derelict commercial vessels in the Delta. A draft of that plan is now available for review and public comment. Assembly Bill 2441 is a 27-page report delivered by the State Lands Commission on July 1, with several objectives, including: developing a risk-based approach to prioritizing vessels; developing the infrastructure to remove vessels; and developing a cost basis for budgeting and providing recommendations to prevent or minimize the future abandonment of commercial vessels. … ” Read more from The Press here: Legislation for removal of abandoned commercial vessels sailing forward
Hearing Wednesday in Congress on Bills to Protect CA Public Lands: “Leaders from California’s conservation and outdoor-recreation communities will testify in Washington, D.C., Wednesday in favor of a trio of public-lands bills that would protect more than a million acres in the Golden State. The Central Coast Heritage Protection Act would designate as wilderness 245,000 acres in the Los Padres National Forest and the Carrizo Plain National Monument. Graciela Cabello, director of community engagement with the group Los Padres ForestWatch, said the area needs to be protected from commercial interests. … ” Read more from Public News Service here: Hearing Wednesday in Congress on Bills to Protect CA Public Lands
Scripps study says California will get more rain from atmospheric rivers: “Scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography say atmospheric rivers will be the main source of California’s rainfall over the next 80 years. The study , released Tuesday morning, says that could lead to more flooding, more drought and longer wildfire seasons. “This region is becoming more sub-tropical and the dry season is expanding,” says Alexander Gershunov, a research meteorologist at Scripps. “That is the case with all of the Mediterranean climate regions around the world.” … ” Read more from Channel 10 here: Scripps study says California will get more rain from atmospheric rivers
In an Era of Extreme Weather, Concerns Grow Over Dam Safety: “It is a telling illustration of the precarious state of United States dams that the near-collapse in February 2017 of Oroville Dam, the nation’s tallest, occurred in California, considered one of the nation’s leading states in dam safety management. The Oroville incident forced the evacuation of nearly 190,000 people and cost the state $1.1 billion in repairs. It took its place as a seminal event in the history of U.S. dam safety, ranking just below the failures in the 1970s of two dams — Teton Dam in Idaho and Kelly Barnes in Georgia — that killed 14 and 39 people, respectively, and ushered in the modern dam safety era. … ” Read more from Yale Environment 360 here: In an Era of Extreme Weather, Concerns Grow Over Dam Safety
Few of Trump’s environmental claims stand up to scrutiny: “President Trump on Monday held himself out as a leader in the fight to protect America’s air and water, despite two years of policies that have weakened environmental regulations. In a speech at the White House, Trump said his administration was working “harder than many previous administrations, maybe almost all of them” to protect the environment. During his campaign, and since taking office, however, Trump has allied himself with coal, oil and gas industry groups, nominated a former energy lobbyist to run the Environmental Protection Agency and vowed to pull out of the Paris climate accord. He’s also pushed for the repeal of regulations that would have cracked down on coal-burning power plants. ... ” Read more from the LA Times here: Few of Trump’s environmental claims stand up to scrutiny
Environmental groups fight EPA’s new FOIA rule: “A coalition of environmental groups pushed back Monday against a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that could restrict access to public records. The new EPA rule, the details of which were first reported by The Hill, allows the administrator and other political appointees to review all materials requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process. “Any politicization of FOIA undermines its core functions of enabling the public to inform itself on what its government is up to, and to hold officials accountable for those actions,” the groups wrote in the letter, saying they were “concerned that this new rule will unduly impair the public’s right and ability to apprise itself of important agency actions.” … ” Read more from The Hill here: Environmental groups fight EPA’s new FOIA rule
In commentary today …
Viewpoint: SB 307 a job killer that sets a dangerous precedent in targeting Cadiz project, says John Hakel: He writes, “The state legislative process is designed to create laws that protect and improve the life of all Californians. It is not intended to punish a single business or project. Yet, our Legislature is moving a bill, SB 307, that does just that under the guise of desert protection. SB 307 is the third iteration of legislation which previously failed to advance following outcries from organizations statewide. … ” Read more from the Desert Sun here: Viewpoint: SB 307 a job killer that sets a dangerous precedent in targeting Cadiz project
In regional news and commentary today …
Feather River Fish Hatchery closed for maintenance: “The Feather River Fish Hatchery in Oroville closed to the public starting Tuesday for routine maintenance and inspections. The hatchery will be closed for up to four weeks, according to a Department of Water Resources press release. During this time, staff from both DWR and the Department of Fish and Wildlife agencies perform inspections and maintenance of the hatchery. The repairs require shutting off the water supply to the hatchery and transporting all fish out of the hatchery. … ” Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here: Feather River Fish Hatchery closed for maintenance
Carnival operator Brass Ring Amusements fined $1,000 for dumping greywater into Clear Lake: “During the final day of the Lakeshore Lions Club’s 62nd Annual Redbud Parade and Festival, carnival operator Brass Ring Amusements was fined for dumping greywater into Burns Valley Creek. The Clearlake Police Department issued a $1,000 administrative citation—the state maximum of its kind—to Brass Ring Amusuments for “improper discharge” of greywater from two locations at Burns Valley Creek, according to the department. … ” Read more from the Lake Record Bee here: Carnival operator Brass Ring Amusements fined $1,000 for dumping greywater into Clear Lake
Magical Views On New 3-Mile Bike Trail Hugging Tahoe Shore: “A new, 3-mile long bicycle and pedestrian trail hugging the northeast shore of Lake Tahoe is providing new access to hidden beaches and a bird’s-eye view of the cobalt waters never available before. The Tahoe East Shore Trail that opened June 28 includes an 810-foot-long bridge overhanging the lakeshore between Incline Village and Sand Harbor. The $40.5 million highway project is designed to improve safety on a dangerous, congested stretch of State Highway 28 while providing hikers and bikers better access to the lake. It’s also designed to prevent runoff from the road that reduces lake clarity. … ” Read more from Capital Public Radio here: Magical Views On New 3-Mile Bike Trail Hugging Tahoe Shore
South San Joaquin Irrigation District delivers prosperity: “A bold move by farmers to form the South San Joaquin Irrigation District 110 years ago literally changed the economic fortunes of Manteca, Ripon and Escalon. And no way else did SSJID have as big as an impact as it did on Manteca. Prior to the formation of the SSJID on a district wide vote of 396 to 67 in May of 1909 and approval of a $1,875,000 bond to built a dam and canal system that critics viewed as fiscally irresponsible arguing voters would never see that money produce anything of value, Manteca had just a handful of stores and scattering of less than a dozen homes. ... ” Read more from the Manteca Bulletin here: South San Joaquin Irrigation District delivers prosperity
Earthquake: Isabella Dam update: “A recent 7.1-magnitude earthquake and a series of nerve-wracking aftershocks have Kern County residents asking a frightening question: What would happen if the Isabella Dam collapsed during a powerful quake? Engineers and emergency officials are hoping that question never gets answered. Workers were on site inspecting the dam for possible defects “immediately” after the earthquake struck Friday evening, said Rick Brown, public affairs specialist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District. ... ” Read more from Bakersfield Now here: Earthquake: Isabella Dam update
San Diego: The Earthquake Risk No One’s Talking About: “San Diego faces a hidden earthquake threat — to its water supply. A quake, even one so far away that nobody in San Diego feels it, could cause an emergency and force mandatory water-use restrictions. That’s because most of San Diego’s water comes from hundreds of miles away through threads of metal and concrete that connect us to distant rivers and reservoirs. … ” Read more from the Voice of San Diego here: The Earthquake Risk No One’s Talking About
Parties reach consensus on saltwater option for Buena Vista Lagoon: “Property owners along the Buena Vista Lagoon, which has become more like a shallow, stagnant lake, have agreed after years of negotiations to remove the weir that keeps out the ocean. The lagoon on the border of Oceanside and Carlsbad has been filled with fresh water from creeks and urban runoff since the weir, a low dam near the outlet at the beach, was built by the owners in the 1940s. The obstacle prevents the water level from rising and falling with the tides, and creates Southern California’s only freshwater lagoon. … ” Read more from the San Diego Union Tribune here: Parties reach consensus on saltwater option for Buena Vista Lagoon
San Diego: Water authority announces citation against Twin Oaks Valley water treatment plant: “The San Diego County Water Authority announced today that the Twin Oaks Valley Water Treatment Plant was cited by the state for a valve malfunction in April. The state’s Division of Drinking Water cited Twin Oaks and the Water Authority on June 4 for a malfunction that lasted roughly 15 hours between April 21 and 22 that resulted in the plant’s ozone levels falling below state-required levels. … ” Read more from the San Diego Union Tribune here: San Diego: Water authority announces citation against Twin Oaks Valley water treatment plant
Along the Colorado River …
No dam? No lake! No lake? No city! “If Robert P. McCulloch had not flown over the beautiful waters of Lake Havasu, there would never have been a Lake Havasu City. But if Parker Dam didn’t exist, there would never have been a Lake Havasu in the first place. It’s a bit like the riddle of the chicken and the egg. That’s all history, as they say, and Lake Havasu was the catalyst that built Lake Havasu City. ... ” Read more from River Scene Magazine here: No dam? No lake! No lake? No city!
Also on Maven’s Notebook today …
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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.