WEEKLY CA WATER NEWS DIGEST for August 4 through 9

A list of posts published on Maven’s Notebook this week …

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This week’s featured articles …

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

Finding solutions for shortages on Colorado River

This post, written by Lynn Lipinski, first appeared in SOURCE Magazine and is reprinted here with permission.

Amid nearly two decades of drought on the Colorado River, seven states that rely on its water signed an historic agreement to use less voluntarily to prevent the federal government from imposing mandatory cutbacks. The U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation pushed the states and impacted water agencies to forge a voluntary agreement to prevent what would have been the first federally enforced restrictions on the river’s lower basin.  Here, Burman, the first female Reclamation Commissioner, talks about how it all came together and what is next on the Colorado River.

SOURCE: In a speech in Carson City, Nevada, just a year after the U.S. Reclamation Service was created, President Theodore Roosevelt called upon people across the nation to support federal investment in water development “because the interest of any part of this country is in the interest of all of it.” How has that legacy of finding water to make the arid lands of the West habitable evolved and what do you see as Reclamation’s mission today?

BURMAN: Teddy Roosevelt was a visionary leader who saw potential in the vast resources the American West had to offer our nation. He saw that the right investment in public infrastructure could support Western growth and prosperity. Today, Reclamation continues to serve communities by reducing flood risks; providing reliable water supplies for farms, families and wildlife; offering recreational opportunities in and around our reservoirs; and generating dependable, renewable hydropower.

Click here to continue reading this article.

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

Explainer post on what these environmental documents are all about and how they interface with the biological opinions, plus an update from Paul Souza on the biological opinions

On July 11, the Bureau of Reclamation released draft environmental documents for the Reinitiation of Consultation on the Coordinated Long-Term Operation of the Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP) for public comment. The comment period on the draft documents closes on August 26.

Click here to read this article.

BROWN BAG SEMINAR: Open Data: Making Connections for Better Science, Synthesis, and Service

The Interagency Ecological Program (IEP) is a consortium of State and federal agencies that has been conducting cooperative ecological investigations since the 1970s. The IEP relies upon multidisciplinary teams of agency, academic, nongovernmental organizations, and other scientists to conduct collaborative and scientifically sound monitoring, research, modeling, and synthesis efforts for various aspects of the aquatic ecosystem.

In 2018, the Delta Science Program hosted a series of brown bag seminars that highlighted how research and monitoring performed by the IEP is relevant to decisions being made in the Delta.

Dr. Vanessa Tobias a mathematical statistician for the US Fish & Wildlife Service; at the time of this brown bag seminar, she was a senior environmental scientist at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the chair of the Interagency Ecological Program’s Data Utilization Workgroup.  Her research focuses on answering scientific questions that inform management and restoration of coastal and estuarine ecosystems.  In this first presentation of the series, she discusses the benefits, considerations, and challenges of implementing open data.

Click here to read this article.


Presentation Covers the History, Physical Features, Statutory Authorities, Contractual Terms, Significant Legal Decisions, and Cost Allocation Framework of the State Water Project

At the January 2019 meeting of Metropolitan’s Finance and Insurance Committee, Metropolitan staff began what was intended to be a series of presentations to provide committee members with information to determine how Metropolitan should address its California Water Fix costs.  While the Cal Water Fix process appears to be in limbo while everyone waits to see what the new project will look like given Governor Newsom’s new water resilience portfolio initiative, this particular presentation gives useful background information on the State Water Project, including a brief history, physical features, statutory authorities, contract and terms, significant legal decisions, and the cost allocation framework.

The presentation was given by John Schlotterbeck, Senior Deputy General Counsel.

Click here to read this article.

GUEST COMMENTARY: What Does Climate Change Really Mean to California’s Water Resources?

Guest commentary by Robert Shibatani

Whether you are a water utility manager, elected official, or homeowner, future water availability is a concern. There are several factors fostering that concern and one of them is climate change. In fact, these days, climate change is a rapidly growing global hot topic (no pun intended). But as the empirical evidence mounts and a once doubtful citizenry become more informed, it is instructive to review what a changing climate fundamentally means to California’s water resources; arguably our most important.

Click here to read this article.

In water news this week from around the web …

WEEKEND DAILY DIGEST: Water Uncertainty Frustrates Victims Of California’s Worst Wildfire; Mark Arax on the forces that destroyed Paradise; Raise costs for water in cities to better handle droughts?; How AI and data turn city water management from an art to a science; Clean Water case ferments trouble for craft breweries and environmentalists; Confronting the unpredictable: Meteorologists can’t forecast the weather more than 2-3 weeks in advance. And they never will.; Feds Say Fisheries Are in Good Shape, But Climate Challenges Loom; Dwindling groundwater, ever-deeper wells could spell trouble for Arizonans; and more … READ IT HERE: Weekend Daily Digest

MONDAY: NASA Resources Aid a California Community Devastated by Wildfire; California is testing its water, so PFAS defendants could face Prop 65 lawsuits soon; Gov. Newsom Signs AB 1220 Safeguarding Central Basin MWD’s Seats on Metropolitan’s BOD; Water Funding for Estuaries: The Glue That Guards Against Storm Devastation; Climate liability is on the rise. Here’s what it looks like; An Earthquake Could Impact San Diego’s Water Supply; and more … READ IT HERE: Monday’s Daily Digest

TUESDAY: Radio show: CalEPA Secretary Jared Blumenfeld on California’s Environmental Priorities Under the Trump Administration; Research cruise off California finds life lacking in parts of the ocean; Climate Change Could Shrink Oyster Habitat in California; Weather Pattern Foreshadows ‘Very Active’ Northern California Fire Season; What is a ‘California Indian tribe’? How a proposed law unearthed a decades-old wound; Fertilizer, Feast, and Famine: Solving the Global Nitrogen Problem; Several US states face significant stress on their water availability, data shows; and more … READ IT HERE: Tuesday’s Daily Digest

WEDNESDAY: 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 … READ IT HERE: Wednesday’s Daily Digest

THURSDAY: Microplastics: Not Just an Ocean Problem; Swamp Rats Have Invaded Central Valley District, Prompting California Congressman to Declare War; State Agency Hopeful Chevron’s Massive Kern County Spill Is Finally Over; State Official Gives Zone 7 Look Ahead At the Single Delta Tunnel; Pink ‘watermelon snow’ found in Yosemite’s high country; The Paleo Climate of California; What a drier and hotter future means for the arid Southwest; Jay Famiglietti: The Future Of Water Security; To rein in global warming, healthy forests and sustainable diets are key, U.N. says; and more … READ IT HERE: Thursday’s Daily Digest

FRIDAY: 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 … READ IT HERE: Friday’s Daily Digest

News worth noting this week …

Weekly features …

Announcements this week …


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