DAILY DIGEST: How CA wildfires can impact water availability; Groups work to restore fish populations; Kate Poole on why SB 1 must ensure that CESA applies to the federal CVP; How the future of underground mapping can be found in the cloud; and more …

In California water news today, How California wildfires can impact water availability; Groups work to restore fish populations; Dog Deaths Raise Algal Bloom Alarm as States Report More Toxins; Senate Bill 1 Continues to Move Through the California Legislature; Kate Poole on Why SB 1 Must Ensure that CESA Applies to the Federal CVP; Proposed EPA Rules Could Limit State And Tribal Power To Block Infrastructure Projects; How the Future of Underground Mapping Can be Found in the Cloud; Court Decision Compounds Confusion Over Scope of Clean Water Act Jurisdiction; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

How California wildfires can impact water availability:  “In recent years, wildfires in the western United States have occurred with increasing frequency and scale. Climate change scenarios in California predict prolonged periods of drought with potential for conditions even more amenable to wildfires. The Sierra Nevada Mountains provide up to 70% of the state’s water resources, yet there is little known on how wildfires will impact water resources in the future.   A new study by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) uses a numerical model of an important watershed in California to shed light on how wildfires can affect large-scale hydrological processes, such as stream flow, groundwater levels, and snowpack and snowmelt. The team found that post-wildfire conditions resulted in greater winter snowpack and subsequently greater summer runoff as well as increased groundwater storage. … ”  Read more from EurekAlert here: How California wildfires can impact water availability

Groups work to restore fish populations:  “To improve the ecosystem and recover fish populations, California water users and water managers routinely collaborate with state and federal fishery and water agencies and conservation groups to build habitat improvement projects that they believe will lead to a better water future for the state.  In the Sacramento River near Redding this spring, water districts, government agencies and others collaborated to construct the Market Street Gravel Project to benefit fish. The effort includes participation by U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, state agencies, nonprofit organizations and the Sacramento River Settlement Contractors. Settlement Contractors include: Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District, Reclamation District 108, River Garden Farms, Sutter Mutual Water Company and Anderson-Cottonwood Irrigation District. ... ”  Read more from Ag Alert here: Groups work to restore fish populations

Following the salmon to central California:  “Fishermen along the California coast boasted boatloads of prized salmon during this year’s season, which reportedly has been one of the better salmon fishing seasons in years.  “It was a good one,” acknowledged fisherman Richard Hagel of Crescent City, “(although) I don’t know if I’d term it one of the best. We’ve had some big years in the past, you know.  “But I would say that in recent history, it was the best season.” ... ”  Read more from the Del Norte Triplicate here: Following the salmon to central California

DWR Digs Deep to Bring Safe Drinking Water to a Rural Community Whose Wells Ran Dry:  “You probably won’t find the town of Okieville on a map of California, but it’s been a lifetime home to most of the residents of the “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it” cluster of houses in western Tulare County.  Founded by settlers escaping Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl drought that reached across America’s prairieland, this community faced a modern water crisis when their wells went dry during California’s historic drought of 2012 to 2016. … ”  Read more from DWR News here: DWR Digs Deep to Bring Safe Drinking Water to a Rural Community Whose Wells Ran Dry

Senate Bill 1 Continues to Move Through the California Legislature:  “Last week California Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) continued with its forward momentum, advancing from the California Assembly Appropriations Committee by a vote of 13 to five. The legislation that some environmental groups are referring to as ‘Trump insurance’ is now headed to the California Assembly floor. The California Environmental, Public Health, and Workers Defense Act of 2019 known as SB 1 seeks to uphold specific federal policy as it pertains to water. ... ”  Read more from Ag Net West here:  Senate Bill 1 Continues to Move Through the California Legislature

Commentary: Why SB 1 Must Ensure that CESA Applies to the Federal CVP:  Kate Poole writes, “Having made it through eight legislative committees and one floor vote, Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) now faces its final hurdles before becoming law: a majority “yes” vote on the floor of California’s Assembly, and a signature from Governor Newsom. The bill’s authors and proponents, including NRDC, have worked long and hard to resolve the vast majority of concerns raised during the legislative session. Now, some are arguing that the bill should be stripped of its longstanding provision applying the State’s own Endangered Species Act to the operations of the federal Central Valley Project. Here’s why that’s a terrible idea. … ”  Read more from the NRDC here: Why SB 1 Must Ensure that CESA Applies to the Federal CVP

Dog Deaths Raise Algal Bloom Alarm as States Report More Toxins:  “A high-profile series of dog deaths has awakened the public to the growing problem of toxic algal blooms, spurred by rising temperatures and pollution.  The blooms are emerging as a national, not just regional, concern, according to preliminary data reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through July. Samples taken from New Jersey to California, and from Texas to Washington state, all show evidence of toxins given off by the blooms. ... ”  Read more from Bloomberg News here: Dog Deaths Raise Algal Bloom Alarm as States Report More Toxins

Proposed EPA Rules Could Limit State And Tribal Power To Block Infrastructure Projects:  “The Trump administration is proposing new rules that would limit state and tribal power to block projects that they deem harmful to water quality.  The rules specifically would restrict these non-federal governments’ authority to review the water quality impacts of projects that require a federal permit or license. These projects range from pipelines to hydropower facilities to dredging — any development that result in “discharge” into U.S. waters.  Under the Clean Water Act, states have the power to regulate water quality within their borders. In Oregon, that authority falls to the Department of Environmental Quality. … ”  Read more from KLCC here: Proposed EPA Rules Could Limit State And Tribal Power To Block Infrastructure Projects

TED Audiences get the Dirt on Soil and Climate Change from Berhe:  “Soil is one of the foundations of life on Earth and could be an important part of the solution to climate change, if only we can stop treating it like dirt.  That’s the message Professor Asmeret Asefaw Berhe shared with a global audience when she became the only current UC Merced researcher to give a TED Talk at this year’s annual TED conference. The video of her discussion “What’s Soil Got to do with Climate Change?” is available today (click the link to see the video). … ”  Read more from UC Merced here: TED Audiences get the Dirt on Soil and Climate Change from Berhe

How the Future of Underground Mapping Can be Found in the Cloud:  “In the late 1800s, America experienced a monumental shift as people moved from rural areas into growing industrial and trade centers. Boston was one of those great American cities that experienced the resulting population boom. To respond to the growing demands on Boston’s antiquated infrastructure, city planners and urban designers needed to rebuild outdated systems, replace failing facilities and develop new transportation systems to move the masses.  To design these new systems, designers had to be very creative. Open excavation methods could only be tolerated in certain locations, and with hundreds of years’ worth of buried foundations and utilities to contend with below increasingly congested city streets, designers need to map the underground to understand the existing site conditions. … ”  Read more from Water Finance and Management here: How the Future of Underground Mapping Can be Found in the Cloud

Court Decision Compounds Confusion Over Scope of Clean Water Act Jurisdiction:  “A decision by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia issued on August 21, 2019, highlights the continuing confusion over the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. The decision declared the Obama administration’s 2015 “Clean Water Rule” to be an impermissible construction of the statutory language and remanded the matter to the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers for further rulemaking proceedings. The case is one of numerous challenges to the 2015 Rule moving through courts across the country. The result is a muddled patchwork under which the 2015 Rule has been prevented from taking effect in 27 states but applies in 22 other states and the District of Columbia. For detailed background on the current quandary, the importance of the Georgia district court’s decision and the implications for what comes next, please see our Update by Marc R. Bruner, Christian Termyn and Rachael Rutkowski.”  Read more from Perkins Coie here: Drowning in Confusion: What Is a “Water of the United States”?

And lastly … Best new word: Monhotenous (as in ‘I’m tired of this monhotenous weather.)

In regional news and commentary today …

Sea level rise looms over Humboldt County’s shoreline, officials warn:  “The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors today unanimously formed a temporary sub-committee to strategize for impending sea level rise, the global phenomenon that science suggests will especially affect the county’s coast.  As a region, Humboldt County has the “highest rate of relative sea level rise” on the United States’ West Coast, according to data compiled by the county’s Planning and Building department. The data indicates that even one meter of sea level rise would top nearly 60% of the structures protecting Humboldt Bay’s shoreline. ... ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here: Sea level rise looms over Humboldt County’s shoreline, officials warn

Groundwater authority to host public workshops in Colusa and Glenn counties:  “The Colusa and Glenn groundwater authorities will host a pair of public workshops about local groundwater conditions and areas of concern in portions of Glenn and Colusa counties, according to a press release.  Both workshops will cover the same material. … ”  Read more from the Appeal Democrat here: Groundwater authority to host public workshops in Colusa and Glenn counties

Bay Area: Open Space Park or Hotel? The Future of the Burlingame Shoreline Could Set a Precedent for Climate Adaptation:  “For perhaps the first time in 80 years the California State Lands Commission, which negotiates and hands out leases for state-owned shoreline property, faced a decision this summer between competing ideas for the same parcel. The commission staff announced at the end of August that it will enter negotiations to lease a shoreline parcel for a park in Burlingame, potentially shaping the way the lands commission considers sea level rise in its decision-making, and the way the Bay shoreline is developed in the future. ... ”  Read more from Bay Nature here: Open Space Park or Hotel? The Future of the Burlingame Shoreline Could Set a Precedent for Climate Adaptation

Monterey: Supreme Court won’t consider Marina’s challenge to Cal Am desalination plant:  “With every passing week, California American Water clears more hurdles as it sets out to build a desalination plant near Marina. The most recent victory for the proponents of the $329 million project came on Aug. 28 at the California Supreme Court.  The court announced it would not hear a challenge to the plant filed by the city of Marina and Marina Coast Water District—which means the approval by the Public Utilities Commission last year will stand. … ”  Read more from Monterey Weekly here: Monterey: Supreme Court won’t consider Marina’s challenge to Cal Am desalination plant

New Keyes plant filters out arsenic:  “The community of Keyes celebrated the installation of a new water treatment system designed to remove arsenic from the town’s drinking water supply.  The project has been a long time in the works, said Ernie Garza, general manager of the Keyes Community Services District (KCSD). On Saturday morning the district showed off its new system of tanks and pipelines at 4290 Jessup Road and offered tours. The new system will be in operation shortly. … ”  Read more from the Ceres Courier here: New Keyes plant filters out arsenic

Ridgecrest: IWVGA committees meet Thursday:  “The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority policy and technical advisory committees meet Thursday afternoon at Ridgecrest City Hall council chambers, 100 W. California Ave.  The TAC meets at 1 p.m. and the PAC meets at 6 p.m.  The TAC will discuss the latest updates on the draft chapters for the IWVGA’s groundwater sustainability plan, as well as the shallow well impacts detailed under a model scenario designed to project potential outcomes over a 50-year period. ... ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here: Ridgecrest: IWVGA committees meet Thursday

Katy Young Yaroslavsky Unpacks Measure W Implementation of LA’s ‘Safe, Clean Water Program’: Passed by voters in November 2018, Measure W—the Safe, Clean Water Program—imposed a 2.5 cent/sq. ft. parcel tax on impermeable surface construction in LA County and is set to provide upwards of $300 million annually to support stormwater and clean water infrastructure projects. TPR spoke with Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s Deputy for the Environment and Arts, Katy Young Yaroslavsky, on the Board of Supervisors’ recent approval of the Measure W Implementation Ordinance and the committee appointees tasked with determining how this new funding will flow into Los Angeles County community water projects. … ” … ”  Read more from The Planning Report here: Katy Young Yaroslavsky Unpacks Measure W Implementation of LA’s ‘Safe, Clean Water Program’

Carlsbad adopts organic pesticide policy:  “Roundup, the most widely used chemical pesticide in the world, will no longer be the weed killer of choice in Carlsbad.  The city earlier this month became the first in the county to adopt a policy that makes organic pesticides the preferred method for getting rid of weeds, bugs and rodents on hundreds of acres of city property and school athletic fields. … ”  Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here: Carlsbad adopts organic pesticide policy

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

CV-SALTS: An overview of the salt and nitrate permitting changes proposed for the Central Valley

NEWS WORTH NOTING: Governor Newsom appoints Kristin Peer as deputy secretary and special counsel for water policy at to Cal EPA; U.S. EPA awards close to $8 million to protect and restore San Francisco Bay and its watersheds

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Water conservation, pollution prevention, habitat restoration grants available in Santa Clara County

OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENT: A Proposed Framework for Regulating Direct Potable Reuse in California, Second Edition

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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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