DAILY DIGEST: Feds seek comment on tweaks to CA water operations; Preparing for SGMA — The time is now; Through smoke and fire, NASA searches for answers; You may survive the Big One, but LA’s water supply may not; and more …

In California water news today, Feds seek comment on tweaks to California water operations; Preparing for SGMA — The Time is Now; Through smoke and fire, NASA searches for answers; California’s coast is disappearing, and the debate over what to do about it is in full swing; California Funds Atmospheric Rivers Research; State Lawmakers Seek to Slow Desert Water Project; You may survive the Big One, but LA’s water supply may not; How Wildfires and Monsoons Threaten Arizona’s Precious Water Supply; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • Public meeting: Preview and Discussion of Open and Transparent Water Data Platform Features from 9:30 to 12:30pm.  Attend in person or watch on webcast.  Click here for more information.

In the news today …

Feds seek comment on tweaks to California water operations:  “Seeking to implement updated scientific methods to its operations in the Golden State, the Bureau of Reclamation released a draft environmental impact report on the coordinated operations between the federal Central Valley Project and California’s State Water Project on Thursday.  Tweaks in the draft environmental report include those to habitat and salinity measures in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and management of fish entrainment from water exports out of the Delta. … ” Read more from The Sun here:  Feds seek comment on tweaks to California water operations

Preparing for SGMA — The Time is Now:  “It’s time for growers to start preparing for the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, otherwise known as SGMA, and groundwater consultant Chris Johnson is here to help.  Johnson, owner of Aegis Groundwater Consulting based out of Fresno, stressed the significance of farmers instrumenting their wells. ... ”  Read more from Cal Ag Today here: Preparing for SGMA — The Time is Now

Through smoke and fire, NASA searches for answers:  “NASA satellites reveal a world marked by fire: a global patchwork of flame and smoke driven by the seasons and people. Summer wildfires rage across the western United States and Canada, Australia and Europe. In early spring, agricultural fires blanket the breadbasket regions of Southeast Asia as they do throughout the dry season in central and southern Africa and Brazil.  For years, NASA has used the vantage point of space, combined with airborne and ground-based field campaigns, to decipher the impact of fires—from first spark to final puff of smoldering smoke— and help other agencies protect life and property.  But the effects of fires linger long after they’re extinguished … ”  Read more from NASA here:  Through smoke and fire, NASA searches for answers

California’s coast is disappearing, and the debate over what to do about it is in full swing:  “Even as quakes, wildfires and drought have taken up most of our focus, the slow-moving disaster of rising seas has paralyzed Californians, and left us with “both too much and not enough time” to act, as environment reporter Rosanna Xia wrote in a special report examining sea level rise and the future of California’s disappearing coastline. The report, read by more than half a million people since it was published online and in print on Sunday, laid out our limited options in a future where certain areas of California will almost certainly be submerged. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: California’s coast is disappearing, and the debate over what to do about it is in full swing

California Funds Atmospheric Rivers Research:  “A better understanding and forecasting of atmospheric rivers could improve flood control and water management in California.  The 2019-20 California state budget includes $9.25 million to pay for research into how the state Department of Water Resources can more accurately track the intensity and landfall locations of atmospheric rivers. About half of the state’s annual rainfall and 90 percent of its flooding come from such events. ... ”  Read more from the Water News Network here: California Funds Atmospheric Rivers Research

State Lawmakers Seek to Slow Desert Water Project:  “A project to pump billions of gallons of water out from under the Mojave Desert and sell it to people in Southern California could be slowed by a bill approved for the first time on Thursday by the Democratic-controlled Legislature.  Vast amounts of groundwater sit in an aquifer beneath the Mojave Desert, where it eventually flows to low-lying areas called “dry lakes” and either evaporates or becomes too salty to drink. ... ”  Read more from KPIX here: State Lawmakers Seek to Slow Desert Water Project

California legislators halt Cadiz water project, bill heads to Gov. Newsom’s desk:  “The Cadiz groundwater pumping project in the Mojave Desert hit a major roadblock on Thursday, when the California State Assembly advanced a bill that could halt its progress for up to two years. If the bill becomes law, Cadiz, Inc.’s proposed project will need to undergo additional environmental review to prove its extraction plans will not harm the surrounding desert. … ”  Read more from The Desert Sun here: California legislators halt Cadiz water project, bill heads to Gov. Newsom’s desk

Cadiz Shares Tumble as Bill Halting Project Passes Legislature:  “Shares in downtown water developer Cadiz Inc. tumbled after a bill moved to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk that could complicate the company’s project to pump and transfer water from its desert aquifer to Southern California water agencies.  The bill, SB 307 by state Sen. Richard Roth, passed the Assembly July 11, two months after it cleared the Senate. It requires Cadiz to seek new permits for its project from the state Lands Commission after it conducts another environmental review. … ”  Read more from the LA Business Journal here: Cadiz Shares Tumble as Bill Halting Project Passes Legislature

In commentary today …

Proposed state bill would threaten key water supply negotiations and hurt farmers, says John Harris:  He writes, “In the California water world, nothing has the potential to cause more damage than a “comprehensive” bill on a fast track.  Such is the case with Senate Bill 1 (Atkins, Portantino, Sher), the “California Environmental, Public Health, and Workers Defense Act of 2019.”  This is a dangerous reaction — some might say overreaction — to perceived rollbacks by the Trump administration of federal standards for endangered species, air quality and worker safety. … ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here:  Proposed state bill would threaten key water supply negotiations and hurt farmers

Plastic recycling bill would amount to a new water tax, says Chris Ising:  He writes, “People in Paradise lost their homes and most of their town, and then came more shocking news: Paradise’s water is contaminated with benzene, which is known to cause cancer.  Intense heat from the fires created a combination of gases that were ultimately sucked into water pipes. The contamination is widespread, and experts say it will take up to two years before residents can drink, cook, brush their teeth, or bathe with the tap water in that region.  No one was prepared for the breadth or scale of the contamination. … ”  Read more from Cal Matters here:  Plastic recycling bill would amount to a new water tax

Yes, Removing the Klamath Hydropower Dams Would Immensely Improve Water Quality on the River, Says Clayton Creager:  He writes, “As a Senior Environmental Scientist and Environmental Program Manager for the California Regional Water Quality Control Board’s North Coast Region, I’ve spent more than a decade of my career studying, developing and implementing pollutant control and ecological restoration programs for the Klamath River.  If you’ve ever visited the reservoirs behind the lower Klamath dams between the months of June and November, you know what that brings. Warm, nutrient-rich water are captured in deep pools, creating ideal conditions for the growth of Microcystis aeruginosa, a type of freshwater cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that produces harmful algae blooms. ... ”  Read more from the Lost Coast Outpost here:  Yes, Removing the Klamath Hydropower Dams Would Immensely Improve Water Quality on the River, Says Environmental Scientist

In regional news and commentary today …

Truckee whitewater guides in full swing as flows slow in Tahoe City:  “While conditions for rafting the Truckee River near Tahoe City are temporarily unsuitable due to a lack of water flowing out of the Lake Tahoe Dam, a trio of rafting companies in Truckee are still taking clients down stretches of the river.  Tahoe Whitewater Tours, Raft California, and IRIE Rafting Company each began guided tours down rivers last May, and offer a wide variety of trips including ones down the Truckee River and American River. ... ”  Read more from The Union here:  Truckee whitewater guides in full swing as flows slow in Tahoe City

Sonoma County grand jury looks at water system:  “The Grand Jury looked at the vulnerability of Sonoma Water to disruption due to earthquakes. Sonoma Water delivers water from wells along the Russian River to nine cities and special districts, including Santa Rosa and Windsor.  The report looks at the water district’s extensively developed emergency plans, assesses their progress and suggests improvements. ... ”  Continue reading at Sonoma West here:  Grand Jury Part 2: Water, mental heath and neglect of county properties

East Bay MUD replacing aging pipes in face of major earthquakes:  “The East Bay Municipal Utility District is replacing an aged and faulty 3,000-foot water pipeline that would most likely rupture during a major earthquake and cut off water service to residents for weeks, if not months.  A simulation by the United States Geological Survey says that if a 7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes East Bay EBMUD’s water system on the Hayward fault, the potential damage could be catastrophic. ... ”  Read more from KTVU Channel 2 here: East Bay MUD replacing aging pipes in face of major earthquakes

Stockton: Biofuel company given probation for polluting sewers, violating Clean Water Act:  “A California biofuel producer was sentenced Monday to three years’ probation after polluting water in Stockton.  American Biodiesel Inc., which does business in San Joaquin County as Community Fuels, was found to have violated the Clean Water Act after discharging industrial wastewater into Stockton’s sewer system, according to a news release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Stockton: Biofuel company given probation for polluting sewers, violating Clean Water Act

Fresno: CDFW officers bust large marijuana grows that threatened South Valley bird habitat:  “Atwell Island isn’t really an island.  It’s 8,000 acres of restored grass and wetland at the southern edge of Tulare County, near Alpaugh.  According to the Bureau of Land Management, it’s an important wintering area for waterfowl, shorebirds, and songbirds.  Though rural, there are also humans that inhabit the area, including some bad actors who were busted growing large amounts of illegal marijuana. … ”  Read more from KFSN here: CDFW officers bust large marijuana grows that threatened South Valley bird habitat

You may survive the Big One, but LA’s water supply may not:  “Seismologist Lucy Jones hikes through a dirt trail into a canyon, past a riverbed, and through some brush in Altadena.  She kneels down and points at a thick layer of greenish-grey clay, snaking through the sloping terrain among rocks and dirt.  “This is the fault! Isn’t it amazing?”  In overdeveloped LA, this is one of the few places where you can actually see a fault at the surface of the Earth; it’s the Sierra Madre Fault and it has the seismic power to destroy parts of the LA region. … ”  Read more from KCRW here: You may survive the Big One, but LA’s water supply may not

Montebello to unload its water system for nearly $18 million:  “The Montebello City Council agreed Wednesday to sell the city’s tiny water system to San Gabriel Valley Water Co. for about $17.8 million, four years after its voters rejected the idea.  With the passage of a new law, the council no longer needs voter permission. The law, passed last year, specifically allows the cities of Montebello, El Monte and Willows, a small city in Northern California, to sell their systems without a vote.  Montebello’s system serves 1,647 properties, or 8% of the of the community. ... ”  Read more from the Pasadena Star-News here: Montebello to unload its water system for nearly $18 million

San Diego: Auditor Finds Major Inadequacies in City’s Push to Move to Smart Water Meters:  “San Diego’s Water Department failed to “plan, budget, or manage” the $76 million dollar rollout of the conversion to wireless water meters, says a new report from the City Auditor.  The July 11 audit comes as the city has restructured the Public Utilities Department after hundreds of residents found irregularities on their water bills last year. Data obtained by NBC 7 Responds showed the city refunded more than $1.1 million dollars in errant water charges in 2018 alone – $8.3 million citywide since 2015. … ”  Read more from NBC San Diego here: Auditor Finds Major Inadequacies in City’s Push to Move to Smart Water Meters

San Diego: Water Agencies Approve Funds for East County Advanced Water Purification Project:  “The East County Advanced Water Purification Project is moving forward after a new funding agreement was approved.  The program’s partner agencies – Padre Dam Municipal Water District, the City of El Cajon, Helix Water District and the County of San Diego – recently approved the Interim Funding Agreement. The final vote from the County of San Diego took place July 10.  The project is expected to begin producing water in 2025. … ”  Read more from the Water News Network here: Water Agencies Approve Funds for East County Advanced Water Purification Project

Along the Colorado River …

How Wildfires and Monsoons Threaten Arizona’s Precious Water Supply:  “Next to Apache Lake, the southern bank of the Salt River rises in a palette of tans and browns dotted with green stubble. Partway up the slope, the summer desert hues stop abruptly at a horizontal fire line. Above it, the land converts to a purplish-black — summer desert, singed by wildfire.  The Woodbury Fire, which began in early June in the Superstition Mountains, is now almost fully controlled. As of July 5, when the U.S. Forest Service delivered its final update on the fire, 90 percent had been contained. ... ”  Read more from New Times Phoenix here: How Wildfires and Monsoons Threaten Arizona’s Precious Water Supply

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

THIS JUST IN … Reclamation seeks comment on proposed changes to its operations in California

WATER PLAN eNEWS: ~~ Restoration Grants~ Forest Health~ WestFAST News~ Legionella Conference~ Estuary Conference ~~

DELTA eNEWS: ~~ Franks Tract~ DPIIC Meeting~ Freeport Meeting~ DPC Meeting~ Brown Bag~ Delta Environments~ Best Delta ~~

NOTICE: San Joaquin River Restoration Program Begins Restoration Flows

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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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