DAILY DIGEST: Groundwater agencies react to rejection of alternative plans; Winnnemem Chief asks Delta tunnel amendment negotiators: When will tribal water rights be discussed?; Cox working on Friant-Kern Canal issue; and more …

In California water news today, Groundwater agencies react to rejection of alternative plans; Winnnemem Chief Asks Delta Tunnel Amendment Negotiators: When Will Tribal Water Rights Be Discussed?; Cox working on Friant-Kern Canal issue; Power outages could cut off livestock water; How the Pacific Ocean influences long-term drought in the Southwestern U.S.; Mapping the strain on our water; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • Using Ethnographic Methods to Improve Water Policy Implementation: A Case Study from the Santa Ana Watershed, from 12pm to 1pm in Sacramento:  This talk summarizes the methods, preliminary results, and lessons learned from an ongoing pilot project to improve community engagement in the Santa Ana Watershed.  For more information, click here.

In the news today …

Groundwater agencies react to rejection of alternative plans:  “Six regions of California that considered themselves to be managing groundwater sustainably have been informed otherwise by state officials, who rejected alternatives to preparation of groundwater sustainability plans for the regions. Three of the applicants have agreed to form groundwater sustainability agencies as required under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The remaining three—in Humboldt, Lake and Napa counties—face decisions on how to proceed. ... ”  Read more from Ag Alert here: Groundwater agencies react to rejection of alternative plans

Winnnemem Chief Asks Delta Tunnel Amendment Negotiators: When Will Tribal Water Rights Be Discussed?  Dan Bacher writes, “Despite the fact that new Delta Tunnel project supported by Governor Gavin Newsom has not been approved, the Department of Water Resources is proceeding forward with negotiations with its water contractors over the State Water Contract Amendment for the Delta Conveyance.  DWR held two meetings, the first on July 24 and the second on July 31. Most of the meeting time on July 24 was not open to the public.  DWR was caucusing in its room as the State Water Contractors were caucusing in their room — and those sessions were not open to the public. … ”  Read more from Dan Bacher at the Daily Kos here: Winnnemem Chief Asks Delta Tunnel Amendment Negotiators: When Will Tribal Water Rights Be Discussed?

Cox working on Friant-Kern Canal issue:  “It’s hard for U.S. Representative T.J. Cox to understand why the Friant-Kern Canal is just at 40 percent capacity.  One of the priorities of the Democratic Congressman, who represents the Central Valley in the 21st District which includes the Terra Bella area, is to do everything he can to have the Friant-Kern Canal at 100 percent capacity. He said if the Friant-Kern Canal was at capacity, the benefits would be obvious as far as the area’s water quality is concerned. … ”  Read more from the Porterville Recorder here: Cox working on Friant-Kern Canal issue

Power outages could cut off livestock water:  “As California’s wildfire season heats up, commercial ranchers and other livestock owners brace for possible power outages that could hinder their ability to provide water for their animals.  Energy companies may need to cut power as a preventive measure during wildfire conditions, as required under directives from the California Public Utilities Commission. Although Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has stated its public safety power shutoffs could potentially affect any of its more than 5 million electric customers, the customers most at risk are those who live in locations defined as high fire-threat areas. The utility suggests preparing for outages that could last longer than 48 hours. ... ”  Read more from Ag Alert here: Power outages could cut off livestock water

How the Pacific Ocean influences long-term drought in the Southwestern U.S.:  “The Southwest has always faced periods of drought. Most recently, from late 2011 to 2017, California experienced years of lower-than-normal rainfall.  El Niño is known to influence rain in the Southwest, but it’s not a perfect match. New research from the University of Washington and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution explores what conditions in the ocean and in the atmosphere prolong droughts in the Southwestern U.S.  The answer is complex, according to a study published Aug. 6 in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. … ”  Read more from the University of Washington here: How the Pacific Ocean influences long-term drought in the Southwestern U.S.

Mapping the strain on our water:  “The United States has enough water to satisfy the demand, but newly released data from the World Resources Institute shows some areas are out of balance.  The WRI’s Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas researchers used hydrological models and more than 50 years of data to estimate the typical water supply of 189 countries compared to their demand. The result was a scale of “water stress” — how close a country comes to draining its annual water stores in a typical year. … ”  Read more from the Washington Post here: Mapping the strain on our water

In commentary today …

Thomas Elias column: Desalination loses more urgency in hyper-wet winter:  “Desalination began to lose its urgency among Californians and their public officials two years ago, after the drought-busting winter of 2016-17, when heavy rain and snow ended dry conditions in most of the state.  The idea of drawing potable water from the sea became even less of a priority this year, when an autumn of record-level fires gave way to one of the state’s wettest winters on record. Reservoirs are brimming. Instead of desperately seeking new sources of water, Californians were moaning about the billions of excess gallons that washed into the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay. … ”  Read more from the Ventura County Star here: Desalination loses more urgency in hyper-wet winter

In regional news and commentary today …

Butte County revises drinking advisory for Camp Fire area:  “Butte County Public Health officials revised their do-not-drink-or-boil advisory for Camp Fire areas on Tuesday morning and recommended residents consult their water utility for clarification on the status of their water.  The change in the advisory reflects the ongoing work by water authorities to test and clean the water in areas burned by the Camp Fire. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here: Butte County revises drinking advisory for Camp Fire area

Study: Tomales Bay oyster habitat pinched by climate change:  “Climate change is pushing Tomales Bay oysters out of areas where they once thrived, according to a new study by the University of California, Davis. And oysters farmers are already beginning to feel the pinch. Published this week, the study found that estuarine and bayland habitats such as Tomales Bay where the state’s multi-million oyster farming industry has found safe harbor are also acutely susceptible to climate change impacts. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: Study: Tomales Bay oyster habitat pinched by climate change

San Francisco’s Presidio planning new wetland:  “Every morning, thousands of drivers pour through the tunnels of San Francisco’s Doyle Drive without realizing they’re flying over what will soon be one of the Bay Area’s most spectacular landscapes.  “We’re standing under Doyle Drive, rebuilt Doyle Drive, at an area we call Quartermaster Reach,” says Michael Boland of the Presidio Trust.  Boland has been with the Trust since the original transformation of nearby Crissy Field from a semi-industrial stretch of dirt and asphalt to a shoreline mecca. ... ”  Read more from KGO here: San Francisco’s Presidio planning new wetland

Lodi: Groundwater draft plan reaches milestone: Jane Wagner-Tyack writes, “An important but not widely-publicized local planning process reached a milestone with the July release of the draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan for the Eastern San Joaquin Subbasin. This is the public’s first chance to see how groundwater in this region may be managed for the next 20 years. … ”  Continue reading at the Lodi News-Sentinel here: Lodi: Groundwater draft plan reaches milestone

Squeezing out more use:  Harder seeks water solutions that rely on reuse, new tech and cooperation:  “Congressman Josh Harder doesn’t have to look far to see an example of what could happen if his efforts to bring competing factions in California’s endless water wars together to tweak notions that are often a century old to put 21st technology to work to squeeze more uses out of the state’s finite water supplies.  … A mile to the west of Ripon as well as four miles south of Manteca is where you will find part of the long-range answer to the Northern San Joaquin Valley’s quest to make sure it’s prosperity and agriculture production that is critical in helping feed the United States is not compromised by efforts to crank up unimpaired water flows for fish by state fiat on the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers…. ”  Read more from the Manteca Bulletin here: Squeezing out more use:  Harder seeks water solutions that rely on reuse, new tech and cooperation

Ridgecrest: Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority PAC meets today to discuss modeling scenario:  “The Policy Advisory Committee of the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority meets today at 1 p.m. for a special meeting at Ridgecrest City Hall council chambers, 100 W. Ridgecrest Blvd.  The committee’s top agenda item will be the discussion of the latest groundwater modeling scenario, which provides possible guidelines and outlooks related to the goal of achieving a safe sustainable pumping yield required by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014. ... ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here: Ridgecrest: PAC meets today to discuss modeling scenario

Southern California: The Bane of Beach Biodiversity: Grooming and Kelp Removal Destroys the Ecosystem in the Sand:  “Despite the fact that a pair of beaches in Carpinteria sit right next to one another, the two are not equal. This is because Carpinteria’s city beach is maintained and groomed by machinery, while the neighboring state beach is not. And the more a beach is groomed, the worse off its ecosystem and its resilience to erosion and ocean encroachment.  A recent paper in Ecological Indicators titled “No lines in the sand” reveals that these are the true costs of primping and pruning California’s southern beaches. … ”  Read more from the Santa Barbara Independent here: Southern California: The Bane of Beach Biodiversity: Grooming and Kelp Removal Destroys the Ecosystem in the Sand

San Bernardino Basin has record recharge:  “Nearing the end of the San Bernardino Basin area’s first water year with above average precipitation since 2010-11, San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District reported more than 20 billion gallons of water captured, a new record for captured groundwater recharge.  This milestone was reached the last week of July, with two months left in the water year, and represents enough groundwater to serve 180,000 families for one year, according to a conservation district press release. ... ”  Read more from the Highland Community News here: San Bernardino Basin has record recharge

Riverside County Commits to Cleanup of Salton Sea’s North Shore Marina:  “Riverside County supervisors Tuesday approved an aggregate $1.79 million in expenditures for a project to clear the Salton Sea north marina of dirt and debris to make the channel usable again by boaters who dock at the North Shore Beach & Yacht Club.  On a 4-0 vote, with Supervisor Jeff Hewitt away on personal business, the Board of Supervisors established the budget for the North Marina Dredging Project and signed off on professional services agreements tied to the enterprise. … ”  Read more from NBC Palm Springs here: Riverside County Commits to Cleanup of Salton Sea’s North Shore Marina

Santa Fe Irrigation District weighs options for water rate structures:  “The Santa Fe Irrigation District continues to evaluate potential water rate increases, aiming to bring forward a proposal for its new rate structure by the end of the year.  Last December, the board voted not to adopt a proposal to raise rates by an average of 3 percent over the three years, sending the district back to work with its consultants to come up with a different plan that would be best for ratepayers. … ”  Read more from Rancho Santa Fe Review here: Santa Fe Irrigation District weighs options for water rate structures

Along the Colorado …

Commentary: Arizona’s drought plan offers key lessons for the road ahead, say Kevin Moran and Glenn Hamer:  They write, “By now most have heard the news: Arizona, the other six Colorado River Basin states, and the federal Bureau of Reclamation secured a major victory for the health of the Colorado River by completing the Drought Contingency Plan (“DCP”) agreements this spring, and getting Congress to enact implementing legislation within weeks. It had become clear that we needed to take action to plan for a drier future in the region. … ”  Read more from the Arizona Capital Times here: Arizona’s drought plan offers key lessons for the road ahead, say Kevin Moran and Glenn Hamer

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

PERSPECTIVES: The SOURCE Interview with Brenda Burman, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner

Draft environmental documents for the long-term operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project, plus an update on the biological opinions

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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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