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DAILY DIGEST: Changing the ground (water) rules; Private capital speeding up forest restoration; Scientists pinpoint parasite killing sea otters; How blockchain can help agriculture; Swimming through the Pacific garbage patch; Enviromentalists’ secret water plans; and more …

In California water news today, Changing the ground (water) rules; How Private Capital is Speeding up Forest Restoration in the Sierra Nevada that Benefits Water; Audit: Agricultural association misspent California money; Scientists Pinpoint Parasite Killing Sea Otters; How Blockchain Technology Might Be the Solution Agriculture Needs; This is what it’s like to swim through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch; Secret plans on water? They start with environmentalists, not the Feds, says Wayne Western Jr.; and more …

In the news today …

Changing the ground (water) rules:  “In 2014 California introduced the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) into state law to help manage the conflict between ground and surface water. But updating legal structures to accommodate evolving scientific knowledge involves far more than simply rewriting statutes, according to researchers in the US.  “Understanding the interconnections between groundwater and surface water doesn’t make those conflicts go away,” says Dave Owen of University of California, Hastings. “But at least acknowledging those interconnections in law puts legal decision-makers in a position to start managing conflicts, rather than just letting them play out without any legal oversight.” … ”  Read more from Physics World here: Changing the ground (water) rules

How Private Capital is Speeding up Forest Restoration in the Sierra Nevada that Benefits Water:  “A century of fire suppression and logging practices, coupled with drought and beetle infestations that killed millions of trees, have left the Sierra Nevada forests primed for wildfire. Fires devastate Sierra watersheds, the water source upon which millions of Californians depend. But in the North Yuba River watershed northeast of Sacramento, a forest restoration effort has been kicked into high gear thanks to an innovative infusion of public and private sector dollars that fund forest projects with many benefits — including improved water supply.”  Read the story at Western Water here: How Private Capital is Speeding up Forest Restoration in the Sierra Nevada that Benefits Water

Audit: Agricultural association misspent California money:  “Employees of one of California’s 54 district agricultural associations misspent hundreds of thousands of dollars in state money, and the agency in charge of oversight failed to catch the violations for years, according to an audit released Tuesday.  The state auditor’s report details “gross mismanagement” of the district, but does not identify it by name. District associations hold local fairs and expositions that highlight California’s agricultural resources and products. … ”  Read more from the Capital Press here: Audit: Agricultural association misspent California money

Trump’s secret water report and the species it kills:  “The Trump administration’s plan for water use in the Central Valley was found to have catastrophic effects on one of California’s unique species of salmon. The report, called a biological opinion, lays out how proposed changes of government water use would pose a huge threat to the Chinook salmon as well as steelhead trout and killer whales who eat them.  Scientists at the National Marine Fisheries Service wrote in the report that the proposed changes to California’s water operations “will produce multiple stressors” on the salmon “that are expected to reduce survival and the overall fitness of individuals.” ... ”  Read more from KCRW here: Trump’s secret water report and the species it kills

California Sails Toward Biggest Salmon Harvest in Years:  “Trolling off the California coast, Sarah Bates leans over the side of her boat and pulls out a long, silvery fish prized by anglers and seafood lovers: wild king salmon.  Reeling in a fish “feels good every time,” but this year has been surprisingly good, said Bates, a commercial troller based in San Francisco.  She and other California fishermen are reporting one of the best salmon fishing seasons in years, thanks to heavy rain and snow that ended the state’s historic drought. … ”  Read more from US News and World Report here: California Sails Toward Biggest Salmon Harvest in Years

What’s Killing Sea Otters? Scientists Pinpoint Parasite Strain Genetic Link Found Between Deadly Pathogen and Wild and Feral Cats on Land:  “Many wild southern sea otters in California are infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, yet the infection is fatal for only a fraction of sea otters, which has long puzzled the scientific community. A study from the University of California, Davis, identifies the parasite’s specific strains that are killing southern sea otters, tracing them back to a bobcat and feral domestic cats from nearby watersheds.  The study, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, marks the first time a genetic link has been clearly established between the Toxoplasma strains in felid hosts and parasites causing fatal disease in marine wildlife. … ”  Read more from UC Davis here: What’s Killing Sea Otters? Scientists Pinpoint Parasite Strain Genetic Link Found Between Deadly Pathogen and Wild and Feral Cats on Land

Red-legged frogs making a comeback at Yosemite with help of SF Zoo:  “After four years, San Francisco Zoo officials wrapped up a successful reintroduction program Monday by releasing the last of more than 1000 red-legged frogs into Yosemite National Park.  The zoo began partnering with the National Park Service and Yosemite Conservancy in 2015 to reintroduce the threatened frogs back into Yosemite National Park, where they underwent a steady decline 50 years ago.  The park now features an all-time high of 1,073 red-legged frogs, all reared at the San Francisco Zoo. ... ”  Read more from the SF Examiner here:  Red-legged frogs making a comeback at Yosemite with help of SF Zoo

History: Truckee’s ice industry kept the West cool:  “One hundred years ago, winters were much colder in Truckee with temperatures often 30 to 40 degrees below zero. In those days, the Truckee Basin was known for producing some of the finest and best quality ice in the West.  Before electric refrigeration brought cheap and available ice in the early 20th century, ice was harvested along Truckee’s lakes and rivers. Truckee’s cold mountain air and readily available clear streams created an ideal environment for ice companies to create and harvest ice. ... ”  Read more from the Sierra Sun here:  History: Truckee’s ice industry kept the West cool

Another Plunge of Cooler Temperatures Will End August in Central U.S. as Heat Wave Arrives in Parts of the West:  “A relatively cool end to August is anticipated in parts of the central U.S., while a heat wave will take hold in parts of the West.  … By early next week, a heat wave will build in parts of the West.  High temperatures 5 to 15 degrees above average will stretch from western Texas into parts of the Northwest to start the week. This means highs in the 100s in parts of Texas, the Southwest and into portions of central California and southwestern Oregon. … ”  Read more from the Weather Channel here: Another Plunge of Cooler Temperatures Will End August in Central U.S. as Heat Wave Arrives in Parts of the West

NATIONAL

Environmental Groups File First Suit Over Trump’s Endangered Species Act Rollback:  “Seven environmental and animal protection groups teamed up to file the first lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s rollback of the Endangered Species Act.  The environmental law nonprofit Earthjustice filed the lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Parks Conservation Association, WildEarth Guardians and the Humane Society of the United States. The lawsuit comes after the federal government earlier this month announced a series of changes to weaken the Endangered Species Act. … ”  Read more from KQED here: Environmental Groups File First Suit Over Trump’s Endangered Species Act Rollback

How Blockchain Technology Might Be the Solution Agriculture Needs:  “The agriculture industry presents 6.4% of the globe’s entire economic production, and yet, the sector still deals with complicated ecosystems and financial structures. Most people want to know where, how, and who produces the food they consume, but often, these questions go unanswered. Why? Because when food leaves the farm, it becomes part of a large supply chain that features several intermediaries. But blockchain technology might be the solution to this problem, and here’s why. … ”  Continue reading at Micro Small Cap here: How Blockchain Technology Might Be the Solution Agriculture Needs

Despite A Massive Cleanup Effort, People Near Some Military Bases Still Can’t Drink Their Tap Water:  “For decades, the Venetucci family ran a small farm in Colorado Springs. Each Halloween, they grew pumpkins that they gave away to local children.  When the Pikes Peak Community Foundation took over the farm in 2006, it continued the pumpkin tradition and also grew organic vegetables – until chemical runoff traced to firefighting foam at nearby Peterson Air Force Base contaminated the soil.  “This kind of blindsided us,” said Sam Clark, the Foundation’s director of philanthropy. “Nobody really understood what the firefighting foam was.” ... ”  Read more from KPBS here: Despite A Massive Cleanup Effort, People Near Some Military Bases Still Can’t Drink Their Tap Water

This is what it’s like to swim through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch:  “Roughly a thousand miles southwest of San Francisco, Ben Lecomte, a 52-year-old French long-distance swimmer, is exploring one of the ocean’s most polluted places. It’s day 71 of his 80-day swim across the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a swirling repository for some 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic weighing nearly 90,000 tons. He’s dubbed the project the Vortex Swim and his route is determined by University of Hawaii scientists using satellite imagery and ocean modeling to locate the highest concentrations of debris. When they locate a particularly trashy spot, Lecomte jumps in from his 67-foot sailboat. ... ”  Read more from National Geographic here: This is what it’s like to swim through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

In commentary today …

Secret plans on water? They start with environmentalists, not the Feds, says Wayne Western Jr.  He writes, “It seems like it’s hard to click too far away from Facebook without stumbling onto screaming headlines of President Donald Trump’s secret plan to destroy California salmon or conspiracies of suppressed government reports buried deep in the swamp of Washington, D.C.  The fact is nothing has been hidden or even suppressed. The headlines, particularly one from the Los Angeles Times, are referring to a process that is proceeding exactly as it was intended.  Currently, the Bureau of Reclamation is accepting public comment on a draft environmental impact report related to updating its operations in California, especially the Central Valley Project. Public comment closes on Monday. ... ”  Read more from the San Joaquin Sun here:  Secret plans on water? They start with environmentalists, not the Feds

Base water policy on science, not politics, says the Santa Rosa Press Democrat:  They write, “President Donald Trump’s contempt for all things environmental isn’t any secret.  As the world copes with the threat of climate change, he wants to burn more coal and expand offshore oil drilling. He’s working to roll back clean air and fuel-efficiency standards for automobiles. He has filled top administration posts with like-minded people. And when science gets in the way, well, then it’s time to get rid of the scientists.  The latest example is right here in California. ... ”  Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here: Base water policy on science, not politics

In regional news and commentary today …

Siskiyou County: Local salamander won’t be protected under ESA:  “The lawsuit claimed that the USFWS failed to respond to a 2018 petition requesting Endangered Species Act protection for the Siskiyou Mountains salamander.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on Aug. 14 that, after review, protection under the federal Endangered Species Act is not required for the Siskiyou Mountains salamander. This finding was preceded by a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Secretary of the United States Department of Interior David Bernhardt, which was filed by several conservation groups on July 1. ... ”  Read more from the Siskiyou Daily News here: Local salamander won’t be protected under ESA

Lake Oroville Community Update: August 22, 2019:  “DWR and California State Parks recently announced expanded Labor Day Weekend operating hours for the Spillway Boat Ramp Area. The facilities will be open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Labor Day, September 2. The Spillway Boat Ramp, the largest boat ramp facility at Lake Oroville, currently has 12 boat launch lanes with three loading docks available for use. Once lake levels drop below 820 feet, leaving the upper ramp above the water line, a lower boat ramp with eight boat launch lanes will be available. ... ”  Continue reading from DWR News here: Lake Oroville Community Update: August 22, 2019

Climate change, wildfire risk highlighted at Lake Tahoe Summit:  “Hundreds gathered on the lawn at Valhalla Tahoe this week to hear from members of congress and the governors of California and Nevada about the threat of wildfires and climate change to the Tahoe Basin.  Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Tuesday hosted the 23rd annual Lake Tahoe Summit on Tahoe’s South Shore, which included speeches from Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, of Nevada; Gov. Steve Sisolak, of Nevada; Rep. John Garamendi; and Rep. Tom McClintock.  Gov. Gavin Newsom served as the morning’s keynote speaker for the bipartisan event, which examined restoration projects and ways to address new challenges facing Lake Tahoe. … ”  Read more from the Sierra Sun here: Climate change, wildfire risk highlighted at Lake Tahoe Summit

Oyster study shows nuances in changing Tomales Bay:  “Oysters that grow in estuaries and bays face a particular set of challenges with a changing climate, according to a recent study led by the University of California, Davis conducted on Tomales Bay.  Two seasonal phenomena that are believed to intensify and become more frequent with climate change—ocean upwelling during the spring and summer, and freshwater input from streams and rivers during winter storms—significantly influence water chemistry in Tomales Bay to the detriment of both the native Olympia oyster and farmed Pacific oyster, the study found. As a result, the areas closest to both the mouth of the bay and freshwater inlets saw lower growth and survival rates for both species. … ”  Read more from the Point Reyes Light here: Oyster study shows nuances in changing Tomales Bay

Marin: State approves $20M for Bel Marin Keys wetlands restoration:  “Restoration of nearly 1,600 acres of wetlands near Bel Marin Keys is set to begin this year after the approval of $20 million in funding on Thursday.  The state Coastal Conservancy voted unanimously during its meeting in Sausalito on Thursday to allocate the money to begin the first phase of construction of its Bel Marin Keys Unit V project – the largest of three restoration projects in the 20-year-old Hamilton Wetlands Restoration Project and one of the largest wetland restoration projects in the bay. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: Marin: State approves $20M for Bel Marin Keys wetlands restoration

Discovery Bay algae prompts study, possible solutions:  “Blue-green algae is a hot topic in Discovery Bay.  While some residents are unconcerned each summer as the algae’s trademark scum appears atop stagnant water in the bays around town, many are worried about the algal blooms’ toxic effects. The Discovery Bay Community Foundation (DBCF) has formed a harmful algae bloom (HAB) subcommittee, partnering with agencies across the state to help mitigate the epidemic. … ”  Read more from Discovery Bay here: Discovery Bay algae prompts study, possible solutions

South Santa Clara County’s groundwater is getting a boost that will benefit farms, residents and businesses:  “Recently, Valley Water completed work on the Main Avenue and Madrone Pipeline Restoration Project, a project involving the installation of 2.7 miles of raw (untreated) water pipeline that allows us to replenish our groundwater basin in South Santa Clara County. Water from Anderson Reservoir will pass into the Main Avenue percolation ponds and Madrone Channel and from there, to the groundwater aquifer.  South County gets most of its water from groundwater, so this project, part of the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program that was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2012, is vital to ensuring a reliable water supply for the region. ... ”  Read more from Valley Water News here:  South County’s groundwater is getting a boost that will benefit farms, residents and businesses

Paso Robles Groundwater Sustainability Agency meets to discuss draft plan for basin:  “The Paso Robles Groundwater Sustainability Agency met Wednesday afternoon at the Paso Robles Library Conference Room. The agency includes representatives from the City of Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, San Juan Water District and San Miguel. About 50 people in attendance learned that the draft plan for the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin has been finalized and is available to be viewed on the website, PasoGCP.com.  Among those to speak at the meeting Wednesday afternoon, Steve and Jerry Lohr, who cultivate vineyards on the east side of Paso Robles. Jerry Lohr explained how his managers monitor groundwater levels and how they plan to manage reclaimed waste water from the city of Paso Robles with Lake Nacimiento water to protect water in the groundwater basin. … ”  Read more from the Paso Robles Daily News here: Paso Robles Groundwater Sustainability Agency meets to discuss draft plan for basin

Could a hurricane lash Los Angeles? 80 years ago, this deadly storm came close:  “September 1939 was a stormy month on the world stage. On Sept. 1, Hitler invaded Poland. On Sept.3, Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand responded by declaring war on Germany. In Los Angeles that month, as residents sweated through an unusual heat wave and nervously watched the storm clouds of World War II gathering overseas, four tropical cyclones that would affect Southern California were born in the eastern North Pacific.  No tropical cyclones had made it north of 25 degrees latitude in the northeastern Pacific basin during all of 1937 and 1938. Then in 1939 there were four such storms in the space of a month, including an unnamed tropical storm that came ashore in San Pedro, dropping torrential rain totaling 5.62 inches on Los Angeles from Sept. 24-26. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Could a hurricane lash Los Angeles? 80 years ago, this deadly storm came close

Public water agency in Montclair helps public conserve water and protects future water needs:  “The Waterwise Community Center for the Chino Basin Water Conservation District in Montclair features a California Native Garden display.  Established in 1949, the Chino Basin Water Conservation District services Chino, Chino Hills, Montclair, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga and Upland, as well as some unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County.  The agency’s goal is the protection of the Chino Groundwater Basin in order to guarantee that current and future water needs will be met. This is done through programs, services, and resources that serve audiences of all ages to cultivate a community-wide conservation ethic and build regional capacity for water resilience. … ”  Read more from the Daily Breeze here: Public water agency in Montclair helps public conserve water and protects future water needs

Artificial Reef Expanded To Mitigate Environmental Impacts Of San Onofre:  “The Wheeler North Reef off the San Clemente coast is one of the largest artificial reefs in the world, and now it’s getting bigger by about 200 acres. The utility Southern California Edison started expanding the reef in recent weeks.  Jenny McGee, Restoration Project Manager at Edison, holds on tight to the side of a rickety boat surging toward a massive barge. It’s filled with a massive mound of rocks.  She points toward it.  “We’re building an artificial reef. We’re building a 200 acre expansion to the existing Wheeler North artificial reef that’s already here,” said McGee. ... ”  Read more from KPBS here: Artificial Reef Expanded To Mitigate Environmental Impacts Of San Onofre

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

NEWS WORTH NOTING: CDFW seeks information related to listing of Northern California Summer Steelhead; Reclamation awards funding for CA water recycling projects; Ninth annual Tribal Lands and Environment Forum wraps up in Palm Springs

DELTA eNEWS: ~~ Chili Cook-off~ Pittsburg Fest~ Invasive Species~ DPC Meeting~ Franks Tract~ Delta NHA~~

WATER PLAN eNEWS: ~~ CWC Meeting~ Prescribed Fires~ WaterSMART Grants~ Soil App~ CARCD Conference~ Splash ~~

NOTICE: Public Meeting August 26 2019: SWP Contract Amendment for Delta Conveyance

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: CDFW Propositions 1 & 68 Grant Programs

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Revising the Prop 1 Storm Water Grant Program Guidelines

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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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