DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Will Lake Tahoe’s invasive shrimp become the next mass-market health supplement?; Feinstein joins effort for SB1 changes to protect Central Valley water; Interview with Rep. Kevin McCarthy on water and other hot topics; What ‘The Other California’ Means to the Masumotos; and more …

Merced River; Photo by Verna Jigour

In California water news this weekend, Will Lake Tahoe’s invasive shrimp become the next mass-market health supplement?; Feinstein Joins Effort for SB1 Changes Protecting Valley Water; Interview With Rep. Kevin McCarthy on hot topics: water, agriculture, water, High Speed Rail, water, trade, water, homeless, USMCA and water; On seafloor, sea urchins trump abalone; Audio: What Does ‘The Other California’ Mean To The People Who Live Here? A Conversation With The Masumotos; Sunday podcasts; Thad Bettner on the Voluntary Agreements; and more …

In the news this weekend …

Will Lake Tahoe’s invasive shrimp become the next mass-market health supplement?  “First it was development runoff. Then it was algae triggered by global warming. Now UC Davis researchers have seized on a new explanation for the continued dinginess of Lake Tahoe’s blue waters — tiny invasive shrimp.  The researchers say that mysis shrimp, introduced in the 1960s to fatten trout, have proliferated to a point that they now pose a major threat to the lake’s clarity. To make Tahoe shrimp-free, the researchers are proposing to remove the crustaceans with trawlers and to mass market Omega-3 fatty acids extracted from the catch. ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Will Lake Tahoe’s invasive shrimp become the next mass-market health supplement?

Feinstein Joins Effort for SB1 Changes Protecting Valley Water:  “Five federal legislators have submitted a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom asking for amendments to a proposed state law that would empower state agencies to adopt rules and regulations more stringent than their federal counterparts set after Jan. 19, 2017.  That is one day before Donald Trump was sworn in as president.  Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), along with congressmen Jim Costa (D-Fresno), TJ Cox (D-Fresno), Josh Harder (D-Turlock) and John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove), sent the letter asking for specific changes to Senate Bill 1. … ”  Read more from GV Wire here: Feinstein Joins Effort for SB1 Changes Protecting Valley Water

Exclusive California Globe Interview With Rep. Kevin McCarthy: Hot Cali topics: water, agriculture, water, High Speed Rail, water, trade, water, homeless, USMCA and water: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy hails from Bakersfield, and has long advocated for the agriculture-rich region. Unsurprisingly, he has also repeatedly said that California needs water projects instead of High-Speed Rail. … In an interview with California Globe, McCarthy discussed a recent meeting with area farmers and the United States Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky. McCarthy explained that he hosts this meeting annually for local farmers and ranchers to discuss issues and concerns with USDA officials, and to share ideas and solutions to the most pressing matters affecting their industry. … ”  Read more from the California Globe here:  Exclusive California Globe Interview With Rep. Kevin McCarthy

On seafloor, sea urchins trump abalone:  “In the undersea world of Sonoma and Mendocino counties, divers have found many sites on the seafloor where hordes of kelp-eating purple sea urchins have invaded, conquered and left behind a barren wasteland — leaving abalone without much of a home and little to eat.  “The urchins move across the bottom and eat everything in their path,” said Jack Likins, an abalone diver who has watched the transformation over the past 50 years and photographed the results this past week. ... ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: On seafloor, sea urchins trump abalone

A giant warm-water mass—similar to ‘the blob’—could wreak havoc on West Coast marine life:  “You might remember the blob.  Not the 1958 sci-fi movie, but the giant mass of warm water that formed in the Pacific Ocean in 2013 and continued to spread until 2015. It wreaked havoc on the West Coast marine ecosystem and dampened salmon runs.  Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have identified another expanse of warm water and say this marine heatwave could rival the blob. The impact on sea life could be devastating. … ”  Read more from SF Gate here: A giant warm-water mass—similar to ‘the blob’—could wreak havoc on West Coast marine life

Audio: The Friant-Kern Canal Is Sinking. Thirty-Mile Parallel Canal Proposed: “The Friant-Kern Canal, which delivers water to farms and communities on the east side of the Valley, is literally sinking in some areas due to groundwater pumping. And with one week to go before the California legislature wraps up its 2019 session, many hope the state will help fund the canal’s repair. FM89’s News Director Alice Daniel recently sat down with Johnny Amaral, the chief of external affairs for the Friant Water Authority to learn about one possible solution.”  Listen at Valley Public Radio here: Audio: The Friant-Kern Canal Is Sinking. Thirty-Mile Parallel Canal Proposed

Another Iconic Valley In Yosemite? Report Estimates Tourism Benefits Of A Restored Hetch Hetchy:  “Roughly four to five million visitors flock to Yosemite National Park each year, most of whom seek out the misty waterfalls and dramatic granite walls of Yosemite Valley. But how would those numbers change if the park boasted a second awe-inspiring valley? A recent report evaluates the economic benefits of restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley.  Hetch Hetchy, a glacially carved valley situated in the northern end of the park, was flooded and dammed in the early 1900s in order to serve as the primary drinking water source for parts of San Francisco and the Bay Area. … ”  Read more from Valley Public Radio here: Another Iconic Valley In Yosemite? Report Estimates Tourism Benefits Of A Restored Hetch Hetchy

There’s a silver lining to California’s wildfires: More snowpack and water storage, study finds:  “Wildfires in California leave behind acres of scorched land that make snowpack formation easier and more water runoff downstream from the Sierra Nevada to basins in the Central Valley, increasing the amount of water stored underground.  That’s the finding from researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, who discovered that blazes in some parts of the state could result in more water availability. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: There’s a silver lining to California’s wildfires: More snowpack and water storage, study finds

Audio: What Does ‘The Other California’ Mean To The People Who Live Here? A Conversation With The Masumotos:  “The writer Gerald Haslam grew up at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and is credited with coining the phrase “The Other California” to describe the part of the state where we live. Not Los Angeles. Not San Francisco. Not the coastal California but The Other California — a unique, highly diverse region with its own stories to tell. Over the next few months we’ll be developing a podcast called The Other California that looks at the people, places and themes that make this region stand out as different from the rest of the state. To get the project underway, FM89’s News Director Alice Daniel sat down with peach farmer and writer Mas Masumoto and peach farmer and artist Nikiko Masumoto to find out what The Other California means to them.”  Listen to the show from Valley Public Radio here: What Does ‘The Other California’ Mean To The People Who Live Here? A Conversation With The Masumotos

Three thought-provoking analogies for climate change:  “Though by definition no analogy is perfect, a good one can create a flash of insight or provoke thought. A strong analogy can clarify a point or an argument. It can bring dry facts to life, attaching them to images and emotions and showing us why they matter. And it can help us work through something complex and difficult.  Given a wicked problem like climate change, those who want to write, speak, or think clearly are well advised to keep an eye out for strong analogies used well.  By using a relatively obvious analogy as an expandable thinking tool, each of these three inviting essays works its way to some unexpected and useful insights. … ”  Read more at Yale Climate Connections here: Three thought-provoking analogies for climate change

In commentary this weekend …

Science shunned by Trump once more:  Larry Wilson writes,I have eaten many a salmon, and so — unless you are fish-phobic — have you.  Line-caught. Farmed. Coho. King. Atlantic. Pacific. Coho. Chinook.  Grilled. Pan-fried. Baked. Jerkied, even, as the Native Americans in the Northwest did to keep themselves well in between salmon runs.  Magnificent fish. What a story, their lives are. Born high in the fresh water upstream. A rush down the river for a long spell in the ocean. Returning against the current to their native place to spawn, and die. ... ”  Read more from the Long Beach Press Telegram here: Science shunned by Trump once more

Why California needs another water bond in 2020:  Jon Christensen writes,The California Legislature is currently considering several proposals to put a $4 billion bond measure on a 2020 ballot for safe drinking water, drought preparation, wildfire prevention, and climate resilience. An $8.9 billion bond initiative has also been filed by environmental advocates.  Many Californians might ask, “Didn’t we already pay for that?”  The answer is that while California has indeed started to make critical investments in these crucial areas,we’re still playing catch-up after failing for decades to adequately invest in basic infrastructure. … ”  Read more from Capitol Weekly here:  Why California needs another water bond in 2020

Best way to improve California’s water situation is Newsom plan, not Senate Bill 1:  Reps. Jim Costa and TJ Cox write, “Creating a sustainable water future for all Californians is one of the defining challenges of our time. As members of Congress from California, we have been at the center of efforts to solve the difficult problems of providing reliable water supplies for California’s people, its economy, and our environment. There is no silver bullet to that will solve these problems, but what we know is this: all parties must be at the table; the legislative process must be transparent; the goals must be clear and achievable. … ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here: Best way to improve California’s water situation is Newsom plan, not Senate Bill 1

Sunday podcasts …

Podcast: Pond Planning and Groundwater Recharge Workshop:Dana Stolzman and Tasha McKee discuss the upcoming Pond Planning and Groundwater Recharge Workshop and Field Tour.  [Which has already occurred] SRF and Sanctuary Forest will host a Pond Planning and Groundwater Recharge Workshop and Field Tour this summer to highlight rainwater catchment ponds and groundwater recharge concepts and opportunities. Presentations will focus on Redwood Creek planning efforts and conceptual designs for the Marshall Ranch flow enhancement planning project, Sanctuary Forest’s pioneering recharge efforts, and expert presentations on groundwater hydrology. The workshop will include a field tour to the Sanctuary Forest Baker Creek project.”  Click here and scroll to the bottom for presentation powerpoints


Jared Blumenfeld kayaks the LA River: At the heart of Los Angeles flows a forgotten but majestic waterway. I get in a kayak and travel with Chief Ranger Fernando Gomez and an intrepid crew to discover the beauty, tranquility and potential of this river to transform an entire city.”


Be a Good Neighbor:  Steve Baker writes, “Water supplies are much more obtainable and sustainable if we consider our water source in a larger area of availability. Share and consider your neighbors and yourself as the stewards and consumers of the water supply. This can develop into the dependable supply that all of us need.  Mr. Rogers was right….  Water is a Many Splendor’ed Thing brings you another water relationship that has a personally significant impact to your life.” Steve Baker, Operation Unite®; stevebaker@operationunite.co

In regional news and commentary this weekend …

Meeting scheduled to discuss lowering Klamath irrigation power costs:  “The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation expects to finish a report by Thanksgiving taking aim at skyrocketing power costs for farmers and ranchers in the Klamath Project.  Regulators will share preliminary results of the congressionally directed study at a public meeting Sept. 10 in Klamath Falls, co-hosted by the Klamath Water Users Association. ... ”  Read more from the Capital Press here: Meeting scheduled to discuss lowering Klamath irrigation power costs

Karuk climate plan makes ally of fire:  “The Karuk Tribe, like tribes across California, have used fire since time immemorial to manage the landscape. That came to an abrupt halt about a hundred years ago with the introduction of Western land management practices.  “We never were a people that would fight fire,” said William Tripp, the Karuk Tribe’s eco-cultural restoration specialist. “We worked with fire. Fire was inevitable and still is and forever will be on this landscape and many landscapes like it.” … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here: Karuk climate plan makes ally of fire

Ukiah’s wastewater no longer being wasted:  “The city of Ukiah made its first delivery of recycled water through its extensive Purple Pipe system this week, putting about 2 million gallons of water reclaimed from local sinks, showers and toilets into an irrigation pond just south of the Ukiah Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant.  “This is the coolest thing in the world,” said David Koball Thursday, explaining that his full pond will be used later for frost protection, while the water irrigating his 44 acres of vineyards through sprinklers and drip lines was coming straight from pipes drinking out of the city’s new ponds that can hold 66 million gallons of treated wastewater. “If all goes well, I won’t ever have to draw from the river again.” ... ”  Read more from the Ukiah Daily Journal here: Ukiah’s wastewater no longer being wasted

UC San Francisco researcher gets grant to study water contamination after Camp Fire:  “The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has agreed to fund a study of possible contamination of the indoor plumbing of homes that survived the Camp Fire in Paradise and Magalia.  The federal research agency has awarded a grant worth $275,000 to Gina Solomon, a clinical professor in the division of occupational and environmental medicine at UC San Francisco, and a team from UC Davis and the Public Health Institute, for the project. The researchers plan to start collecting and analyzing samples from 10 percent of standing homes getting water from Paradise Irrigation District or Del Oro Water Company, or around 175 homes, in early October. … ”  Read more from the Oroville Mercury-Register here:  UC San Francisco researcher gets grant to study water contamination after Camp Fire

Creating a legacy for South Sacramento: Habitat conservation plan balances urban growth with open space:  “The Sacramento area is known for its rich agriculture, beautiful landscapes and growing cities, but finding balance between these attributes has become a challenge. So, county and city planners, the building industry, environmental groups, ranchers, farmers, and state and federal government agencies developed a plan that supports community growth while conserving agricultural lands and open spaces.  The South Sacramento County Habitat Conservation Plan is 317,000 acres in size – about 10 times the size of the city of San Francisco. Stretching from Rancho Cordova to Galt, this plan recognizes key areas where housing and business development have been planned by local jurisdictions to capitalize on existing infrastructure, such as roads and powerlines. It also contains criteria for lands that should be considered to create a 36,000-acre, interconnected preserve system through which wildlife can travel. ... ”  Read more from the US FWS here: Creating a legacy for South Sacramento: Habitat conservation plan balances urban growth with open space

San Geronimo homeowners open land to salmon restoration:  “As homes along San Geronimo Creek face the threat of erosion and coho salmon face the threat of extinction, a series of projects nearly a decade in the making is working to find a win-win solution.  On Friday, crews completed the first of these projects along the creek near the home of 24-year Lagunitas residents Michael Snyder and Carol Stanger. Where tangles of blackberry bushes once hung over a heavily eroded stream bank now sits the smoothed slopes of a new alcove where young fish can take refuge from heavy winter flows. ... ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: San Geronimo homeowners open land to salmon restoration

$1.5 Million Awarded to Protect San Francisco Bay:  “A $1.5 million grant is being given to the San Francisco Estuary Partnership to protect the bay, according to the Association of Bay Area Governments. … ”  Read more from NBC Bay Area here: $1.5 Million Awarded to Protect San Francisco Bay

Salinas Valley Basin draft plan proposes millions in projects, management actions: “More than $670 million in water projects and five priority management actions are options under a draft plan for helping get the Salinas Valley Basin to sustainability by 2040.  A draft Salinas Valley Basin groundwater sustainability plan includes 13 projects ranging from Salinas River invasive species eradication such as arundo and improving existing water projects to a seawater intrusion barrier using a series of wells to head off saltwater contamination from migrating inland and possibly even a desal plant to use that brackish water. ... ”  Read more from the Monterey County Herald here: Salinas Valley Basin draft plan proposes millions in projects, management actions

American Farmland Trust Awarded Conservation Innovation Grant to expand San Joaquin Land and Water Strategy:  “American Farmland Trust, the organization behind the national movement No Farms No Food®, was recently awarded a Conservation Innovation Grant by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The grant will be used to expand AFT’s San Joaquin Valley Land and Water Strategy, with a focus on increasing water infiltration and groundwater recharge in the San Joaquin Valley counties of Madera and Stanislaus. … ”  Read more from Dairy Business here:  American Farmland Trust Awarded Conservation Innovation Grant to expand San Joaquin Land and Water Strategy

Lomita drains its $13 million water reservoir because of cancer-causing chemicals:  “Lomita has stopped using a 5 million-gallon emergency reservoir that blends local groundwater and more expensive imported water, another fallout from the discovery of cancer-causing chemicals in the water supply, prompting renewed criticism from some residents that the $13 million project doesn’t work as designed.  An annual state test at the end of May found the chemical benzene, a known carcinogen, in groundwater at levels almost three times higher than is allowed in California, prompting Lomita to shut down its well and water treatment facility. … ”  Read more from the Daily Breeze here: Lomita drains its $13 million water reservoir because of cancer-causing chemicals

Lake Elsinore fish survey aims to preserve ‘jewel of the city’:  “Joe Kearney helped pull the 450-foot-long, quarter-inch mesh net to Elm Grove Beach on Lake Elsinore’s eastern shore and place fish in a large plastic bin.  “I almost lost them a couple of times,” said the volunteer coordinator for the city of Lake Elsinore.  Kearney then measured, weighed and tagged the fish. … ”  Read more from the Daily Breeze here: Lake Elsinore fish survey aims to preserve ‘jewel of the city’

Water meters in Banning are getting smarter:  “As part of Banning’s transition to smart meters, one of its own local businesses will benefit.  The city council approved paying Zenner USA, a Texas firm that bought the former Performance Meter Inc. in Banning, $1.6 million to purchase automatic metering infrastructure, water meters, communications equipment and software and hardware at its Aug. 27 meeting.  The meters themselves will be made in Banning. … ”  Read more from the Record Gazette here: Water meters in Banning are getting smarter

San Diego: New State Bill Would Require a PLA for Pure Water Project:  “To end a labor dispute that’s halted work on one of the largest and most important water projects in San Diego history, Assemblyman Todd Gloria rolled out a bill Friday to require union-friendly terms for work on the project.  The project, known as Pure Water, would provide a third of the city’s drinking water in coming decades. After years of starts and stops, the first $1.6 billion part of the project looked to be on track, until a labor dispute put everything on ice this summer. … ”  Read more from the Voice of San Diego here: New State Bill Would Require a PLA for Pure Water Project

Along the Colorado River …

Audio: Arizona: Groundwater and climate change: Using computer models to predict the effect of climate change on groundwater in the West:  “Utilities typically turn to groundwater to make up for surface water depleted by drought. University of Arizona hydrology professor Laura Condon is using computer models to predict what climate change will do to the availability of groundwater. She is exploring a series of “what if” scenarios on how to respond to water shortages.  Laura Condon spoke to Leslie Tolbert, Ph.D Professor Emerita in Neuroscience at the University of Arizona.” Listen to the segment from Arizona Public Media here: Episode 198: Groundwater and climate change

Ancient watering hole in Southern Arizona at risk from border wall construction:  “An ancient spring near Lukeville has slaked the thirst of desert travelers for centuries, but its days may be numbered as groundwater is pumped to build a 30-foot border wall.  Water has bubbled out of the granite at Quitobaquito Springs for thousands of years, making it a key watering hole for the Tohono O’odham, Spanish missionaries, U.S. and Mexican boundary surveyors, and countless other humans and animals. … ”  Read more from the Arizona Daily Star here: Ancient watering hole in Southern Arizona at risk from border wall construction

Sunday video …

Voluntary Agreements: Thad Bettner of Glenn Colusa Irrigation District talks about the Sacramento Valley Voluntary Agreements with Jennifer Harrison.

Also on Maven’s Notebook this weekend …

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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.

Maven’s Notebook
where California water news never goes home for the weekend

no weekends

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