DAILY DIGEST: El Nino gone; winter outlook unclear; Climate change will mean more multiyear snow droughts in the West; Interview with Mark Gold, Director of Ocean Protection Council; What you need to know about the link between sea-level rise and coastal flooding; and more …

In California water news today, El Nino gone; winter outlook unclear; Climate change will mean more multiyear snow droughts in the West; Interview with Mark Gold, Director of Ocean Protection Council; What you need to know about the link between sea-level rise and coastal flooding; Farmers Don’t Need to Read the Science. We Are Living It, says Alan Sano; Central Valley Is Diverse, Invisible, and Most Productive Ag Region in U.S., says Frank Bergon; A rancher-led group is boosting the health of the Colorado River near its headwaters; and more …

In the news today …

El Nino gone; winter outlook unclear:  “A weak El Nino went away in July as sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean along the equator cooled to within a normal range, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Thursday.  NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center estimated the chances of neutral conditions sticking through the winter at about 55%. An El Nino has a 30% percent chance of returning, while La Nina has a 15% chance of forming, according to the center.  Neutral conditions deprive climatologists of their primary clue to what the upcoming winter will be like. El Nino conditions tend to warm up the Northwest and lead to low snowpacks. La Nina conditions cool the region. … ”  Read more from the Capital Press here:  El Nino gone; winter outlook unclear

Climate change will mean more multiyear snow droughts in the West:  “As an environmental scientist, I’ve done plenty of hiking in the western U.S. – always with a map, water bottle and list of water sources. In dry areas it’s always smart to ration water until you get to a new source. Sometimes a stream has dried up for the season, or a pond is too scummy to drink from, so your supply has to stretch further than planned.  On one memorable hike, I found that a water source was dry. The next one, three miles later, was dry too. And the one after that had a dead bear carcass in it. While one dry water source was tolerable, several in a row created a serious problem.  Something similar is happening to snow resources in the western United States. … ”  Read more from The Conversation here: Climate change will mean more multiyear snow droughts in the West

Planning Report Interview: Mark Gold, Deputy Secretary for Oceans and Coastal Policy and Director of the Ocean Protection Council: “Q: Dr. Gold, recently appointed by Governor Newsom as Deputy Secretary for Oceans and Coastal Policy as well as Director of the Ocean Protection Council at the California Natural Resources Agency, what is your mandate?  A: Mark Gold: I’m excited to be part of Governor Newsom’s new administration and to be working with Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot and CalEPA Secretary Jared Blumenfeld. I’ve known them for a while, and everybody seems to be on the same page with a very strong environmental ethic and understanding that, despite all of the wonderful things we’ve done in California on the environment, we could do better. ... ”  Read more from The Planning Report here: Planning Report Interview: Mark Gold

A cliff collapse. Three deaths. More bluff failures expected with rising seas:  “When we go hiking in California’s rugged mountains, we know to look out for bears and lions.  When we set off into the vast, bone-dry high desert of Joshua Tree, who doesn’t bring extra water?  When we stand too close to the edge of a coastal bluff, everyone yells to step back.  But resting under the shade of these cliffs in view of the ocean, it’s easy to forget what could come crashing down from above.  People often think about the beach as a place to swim, to read, to relax. In reality, it’s the tip of a wild, dynamic system that is constantly moving and succumbing to the forces of nature. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: A cliff collapse. Three deaths. More bluff failures expected with rising seas

What you need to know about the link between sea-level rise and coastal flooding:  “High-tide flooding – sometimes referred to as sunny day or nuisance flooding – is the official term NOAA uses to describe shoreline flooding that is not the result of a storm or some other weather event.  “Sea-level rise flooding is what it is,” says Billy Sweet, a NOAA oceanographer considered the guru of high-tide flooding. “It’s front and center.”  As the warming climate melts glaciers and polar ice, sea levels are rising at rates even experts are having a hard time predicting. Tides are running generally higher as a result, and high-tide flooding is happening more and more. … ”  Read more from Yale Climate Connections here: What you need to know about the link between sea-level rise and coastal flooding

UN Report Warns That Farming As We Know It Threatened By Warming:  “Negotiators for the world’s governments signed off on a report Wednesday that describes in alarming detail how agriculture, deforestation and other human impacts on lands are transforming the climate.  The report, from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), shows the urgent need to overhaul the global food system to help control climate-warming emissions. … ”  Read more from KQED here:  UN Report Warns That Farming As We Know It Threatened By Warming

In commentary today …

Farmers Don’t Need to Read the Science. We Are Living It, says Alan Sano:  He writes, “Many farmers probably haven’t read the new report from the United Nations warning of threats to the global food supply from climate change and land misuse. But we don’t need to read the science — we’re living it.  Here in the San Joaquin Valley, one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions, there’s not much debate anymore that the climate is changing. The drought of recent years made it hard to ignore; we had limited surface water for irrigation, and the groundwater was so depleted that land sank right under our feet. … ”  Read more from the New York Times here:  Farmers Don’t Need to Read the Science. We Are Living It,

Central Valley Is Diverse, Invisible, and Most Productive Ag Region in U.S., says Frank Bergon:  He writes, “California’s San Joaquin Valley is often dismissed as small and rural. To the contrary, it’s a massive area of farms, ranches, small towns, and growing cities, emblematic of the American West as a blend of Old West values and New West technology. It’s also historically distinctive as one of the most ethnically diverse regions in the United States.  Most Americans know little, and think less, about this complicated and neglected region. Novelist Manuel Muñoz describes the valley, where he was born and grew up, as “a strangely unexplored area of our nation. As a region, it gives so much of its bounty to the rest of the country and receives little in return.” By bounty, he means food. He could also mean the bounteous way valley migrants and immigrants have nurtured our collective American story. ... ”  Read more from GV Wire here: Central Valley Is Diverse, Invisible, and Most Productive Ag Region in U.S., says Frank Bergon

Will free markets clean up California’s dirty water? asks Kerry Jackson: He writes, “The New York Times has discovered that many of California’s public water systems are fonts of deep trouble. This might be news outside the state, but residents have been aware of the problems for some time. So have officials — whose responses are never adequate.  According to the Times, “as many as 1,000 community water systems in California may be at high risk of failing to deliver potable water,” about one in three.  Recent data indicate that water for roughly one million Californians is spiked with arsenic, lead and uranium. Sometimes the water looks like it came directly from a swamp. Though it often can be safe to drink, who would put a glass of it to their lips when stores nearby stock shelves of clear water in sanitary plastic bottles provided by the “miracle” of free markets? ... ”  Read more from Bakersfield.com here: Will free markets clean up California’s dirty water?

Former US EPA Admin. Gina McCarthy Opines On The Fight For Clean Water & Air Regulation:  “In May, at the La Kretz Innovation Campus of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), leading environmental advocates and officials gathered to highlight climate action happening at the local, state, and federal levels. Here, VX Newspresents the remarks and responses to audience questions of former US EPA Administrator in the Obama administration (2013-2017) and now Director of the Center for Climate Health and Global Environment at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Gina McCarthy, who opines on the relentless—but often unsuccessful—efforts of the Trump administration to undo years of progress on the environment. With infectious enthusiasm and focus on the human health consequences of inaction, McCarthy remains dedicated to combating climate change and fighting for a fossil-fuel-free future. … ”  Read more from The Planning Report here: Former US EPA Admin. Gina McCarthy Opines On The Fight For Clean Water & Air Regulation

In regional news and commentary today …

Groups sue over Klamath River water: KRRC’s dam removal efforts continue:  “Fishing groups and tribes have filed a lawsuit challenging new endangered species protection guidelines for the Klamath River.  The suit targets the biological opinion, which is an assessment of how the Bureau of Reclamation manages river flow, irrigation water and levels in Upper Klamath Lake to ensure protection of coho salmon and two species of sucker fish. The newest opinion was finalized earlier this year. ... ”  Read more from the Herald & News here: Groups sue over Klamath River water: KRRC’s dam removal efforts continue

Yurok Tribe breaks new ground with genetically engineered organism ordinance:  “The Yurok people in northern California have enacted their solemn obligations as “World Renewal People” since time immemorial, a fact codified in the Yurok Tribe’s constitution. The Tribe fulfills these obligations by exercising its inherent sovereignty to “restore, enhance, and manage the tribal fishery, tribal water rights, tribal forests, and all other natural resources,” and “preserve forever the survival of our Tribe and protect it from forces which threaten its existence.” Central to this existence is the salmon of the Klamath River, which is vital to the Tribe’s spiritual, cultural, and physical sustenance. … ”  Read more from Indian Country Today here:  Yurok Tribe breaks new ground with genetically engineered organism ordinance

Lake Oroville Community Update: August 8:  “Oroville residents and visitors received great news today as the Department of Water Resources announced the reopening of the Spillway Boat Ramp area on Lake Oroville. Beginning Friday, August 9, the Spillway Boat Ramp area will be open to the public Friday through Sunday from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Boat Ramp area will remain closed Monday through Thursday as construction activities continue. … ” Read more from DWR News here: Lake Oroville Community Update: August 8

Coastal Commission Gives Green Light to 100-Room Hotel on Trinidad Rancheria … as Long as the Tribe Can Find a Reliable Water Supply:  “Well, for much of the afternoon and early evening it looked like things were headed in the other direction, but the California Coastal Commission on Thursday night gave a conditional go-ahead to the Trinidad Rancheria to build a five-story, 100-room hotel on the bluff above Scenic Drive, overlooking the majestic Pacific Ocean.  That condition? Finding a reliable source of water. … ”  Read more from the Lost Coast Outpost here: Coastal Commission Gives Green Light to 100-Room Hotel on Trinidad Rancheria … as Long as the Tribe Can Find a Reliable Water Supply

Flatiron Ridge sees restoration project:  “A wilderness crew from the Sierra Institute is assisting with manual fuels reduction activities on Flatiron Ridge in Lassen Volcanic National Park through September.  “We appreciate this opportunity to work with our partners Sierra Institute and Sierra Nevada Conservancy,” said Lassen Volcanic National Park Superintendent Jim Richardson. “This project highlights our joint commitment to improve watershed conditions while minimizing impact to Wilderness.” … ”  Read more from Plumas County News here: Flatiron Ridge sees restoration project

Ghost town remnants make way for Lagunitas Creek salmon habitat:  “Remnants of the ghost town of Jewell could still be found scattered in the upturned dirt banks along Lagunitas Creek near Olema this past week: a bed frame, a refrigerator door, concrete foundations, old pipes, wiring casings, a rusted oven frame, even old cans of pesticides.  Over the next few months, these last vestiges of the former creekside subdivision will be plucked from the earth to restore the historic floodplains and channels where the now-endangered coho salmon once found refuge. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: Ghost town remnants make way for Lagunitas Creek salmon habitat

Livermore: Growth Puts on Pressure to Expand Water Resources:  “Water shortfalls are expected to become more frequent in the next 20 years, Tri-Valley Water Liaison Committee members heard during their July 24 meeting.  Droughts are expected to continue to put stress on the water supply as they have in the past. However, new development in the Valley is likely to increase that pressure with the number of homes and businesses predicted to grow from 260,000 in 2020 to 300,000 in 2040. … ”  Read more from the Livermore Independent here: Growth Puts on Pressure to Expand Water Resources

Jumbo Squid Are Missing From Monterey Bay. Will They Ever Return?  “Jumbo squid live up to their name. They can grow up to six feet long and can weigh 100 pounds. They’re deep red, muscular, and just plain mean. Mexican fisherman call them diablo rojo — red devil — because they eat each other and anything they can. When the squid invaded Monterey Bay in 2002, they devoured over 50 kinds of fish.  After eight years of feasting, the jumbo squid suddenly disappeared; they haven’t come back to Monterey. With the proper bait and skill, jumbo squid are usually so voraciously hungry that, although they live deep in the ocean, they’re not hard for humans to catch. ... ”  Read more from KQED here: Jumbo Squid Are Missing From Monterey Bay. Will They Ever Return?

Groundwater Sustainability Plan workshop affects Oxnard:  “The Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency will hold a workshop on how to make groundwater pumping more efficient Aug. 21, at 6 p.m. at the Ventura County Administration Building in the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room.  According to state law, the Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency (GMA) needs to adopt a groundwater sustainability plan by the end of the calendar year.  The Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency began in 1982 and preserves and manages groundwater resources. ... ”  Read more from the Tri County Sentinel here: Groundwater Sustainability Plan workshop affects Oxnard

EDF and Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District to Build New Groundwater Trading Market:  “Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District (Rosedale) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) announced a joint pilot project today to build the first online, open-source groundwater trading platform in the Central Valley in response to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.  An early design of the trading platform, which is being co-created by landowners, Rosedale and EDF, will be available in September. The platform will be further tested and refined this fall during a series of workshops and mock trading sessions prompted by various scenarios. ... ”  Read more from the Environmental Defense Fund here: EDF and Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District to Build New Groundwater Trading Market

Just How Clean Is DWP’s Water? I know everyone likes to beat up on the Department of Water and Power, especially since recent accusations about the City Attorney and DWP “fixing” lawsuits over the billing debacle.  But lost in the headlines is the fact that there are some things that the DWP, which is an engineering firm at its heart, does very well. Just to eliminate the suspense, the answer to the question is that in the latest 2018-19 Report, DWP’s water is in fact at least two times as clean as the stringent requirements of both the EPA and California’s regulations. All at a cost of less than a half cent per gallon. Here’s the who and the how … ”  Read more from City Watch here: Just How Clean Is DWP’s Water?

San Clemente: Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment Open for Review: “A draft of the city’s Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment (SLRVA) will be available for public review through Sept. 23 and can be viewed online from the city’s homepage.  Staff members gave a presentation on the draft at the Aug. 7 Planning Commission meeting and are expected to present the SLVRA draft to the Coastal Advisory Commission on Aug. 8.  “The draft Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment is a useful tool in first identifying sea level rise projections and analyzing any potential physical effects on San Clemente’s beaches, bluffs and community assets, such as coastal access points and public infrastructure,” said Cecilia Gallardo-Daly, the city’s Community Development Director. ... ”  Read more from the San Clemente Times here: Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment Open for Review

Santa Margarita River Project to Increase Local Water Supply:  The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors voted in July to authorize a Local Resources Program Agreement with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the Fallbrook Public Utility District for the Santa Margarita River Conjunctive Use Project.  The Local Resources Program, managed by MWD, provides funding for local water supply projects. MWD is expected to provide final approval of the project in coming months.  Earlier this year, an agreement between FPUD and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton settled a lawsuit that was filed in 1951 over the right to use water from the Santa Margarita River. … ”  Read more from the Water News Network here: Santa Margarita River Project to Increase Local Water Supply

Imperial Valley: Humanities Grad Students Drive Community Engagement, Public Understanding Through Research:  “Since his undergraduate days in Environmental Studies at Humboldt State University, Ivan Soto has aspired to produce research with a positive impact on the public — not just to benefit the academic community.  As a doctoral student in the Interdisciplinary Humanities at UC Merced, Soto is doing just that by producing humanities data that could influence and inform future water board decision-makers to understand the need for systemic change in California’s water monitoring for human health. His research examines the power dynamics of infrastructure and water politics through an environmental history of southernmost California’s Imperial Valley along the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. … ”  Read more from UC Merced here: Humanities Grad Students Drive Community Engagement, Public Understanding Through Research

Along the Colorado River …

A rancher-led group is boosting the health of the Colorado River near its headwaters:  “High in the headwaters of the Colorado River, generations of families have made ranching and farming a way of life, their hay fields and cattle sustained by the river’s flow. But as more water was pulled from the river and sent over the Continental Divide to Denver and other Front Range cities, less was left behind to meet the needs of ranchers and fish. Now, a partnership of state, local and conservation groups is engaged in a river restoration effort that could serve as a template for similar regions across the West.”  Read more from Western Water here: A rancher-led group is boosting the health of the Colorado River near its headwaters

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Reclamation announces grant funding opportunity for drought resiliency projects in 2020 and 2021

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Reclamation announces funding opportunity grants to improve water reliability and energy efficiency

DELTA eNEWS: ~~ DPAC Applications~ Stockton Beer~ Farmers’ Market~ Isleton Saturday~ Yolo Bypass~ Sea Grant~~

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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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