DAILY DIGEST: The next big CA vs. Trump fight is over water and endangered species; Feinstein, Harris ask for probe of EPA notice against SF; A ‘Chilling Message’: Trump critics see a deeper agenda; Which places can expect another snowy winter? AccuWeather’s winter forecast; and more …

In California water news today, The next big California vs. Trump fight is over water and endangered species; Feinstein, Harris ask for probe of EPA notice against SF; A ‘Chilling Message’: Trump Critics See a Deeper Agenda in California Feud; ‘Extreme Weather’ Focus of DWR Climate Change Summit; This sprayable gel could prevent wildfires from catching hold; The Bay Foundation Director Tom Ford Advocates for National Estuary Program Funding; Which places can expect another snowy winter? AccuWeather’s winter forecast; and more …

In the news today …

The next big California vs. Trump fight is over water and endangered species:  “Just how far will Gov. Gavin Newsom go in his high-profile fight with the Trump administration over environmental protections?  The next few months will provide an answer, as Newsom is forced to take a stand on Trump rollbacks in a long-contested battleground — the Northern California delta that helps supply more than half the state’s population with drinking water and fills irrigation canals on millions of acres of farmland. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: The next big California vs. Trump fight is over water and endangered species

Feinstein, Harris ask for probe of EPA notice against SF:  “California’s senators have asked the Environmental Protection Agency’s watchdog to investigate whether the agency abused its enforcement powers when it accused San Francisco of improperly dumping waste into the ocean.  In a letter sent Thursday, first reported by The Chronicle, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris asked the EPA’s inspector general to look into whether the White House was involved in the agency’s decision to issue a notice of violation accusing San Francisco of sending waste into the ocean and bay. ... ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Feinstein, Harris ask for probe of EPA notice against SF

Senators Request Investigation of Trump Administration Role in Slapping SF for Pollution:  “California’s senators want to know whether the Trump administration was involved in slapping San Francisco with an environmental violation.  They are pressing the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of the Inspector General to examine if the agency’s decision to cite the city for improperly dumping sewage into the ocean was politically motivated.  In a letter, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris asked the watchdog agency to determine if EPA officials abused their power by reprimanding the city. They are also asking if officials acted in coordination with the White House and without the knowledge of the federal agency’s regional staff. … ”  Read more from KQED here: Senators Request Investigation of Trump Administration Role in Slapping SF for Pollution

A ‘Chilling Message’: Trump Critics See a Deeper Agenda in California Feud:  “President Trump’s political feud with California has spread collateral damage across more than a dozen other states, which have seen their regulatory authority curtailed and their autonomy threatened by a Trump administration intent on weakening the environmental statutes of the country’s most populous state.  When the administration last month revoked California’s authority to set state-level standards on climate-warming tailpipe emissions, it simultaneously stripped that power from 13 other states that follow California’s standards and ensured that no other state could set fuel-efficiency standards in the future. The Environmental Protection Agency last week followed up with letters to California that threatened to wield rarely used provisions of environmental law to withhold federal funding from the state if it did not take specific steps to clean its air and water. … ”  Read more from the New York Times here: A ‘Chilling Message’: Trump Critics See a Deeper Agenda in California Feud

‘Extreme Weather’ Focus of DWR Climate Change Summit:  ““Mother nature is changing fast, and we need to change along with her,” California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot told an audience of climate scientists, water managers, and other stakeholders at a climate change conference on September 17 in Sacramento.  At the three-day event, entitled Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation Summit: Planning for Change, representatives from the Department of Water Resources (DWR) joined Secretary Crowfoot to highlight how resilience and adaptation to extreme weather have moved to the forefront of state operations. ... ”  Read more from DWR News here: ‘Extreme Weather’ Focus of DWR Climate Change Summit

UC Cooperative Extension survey results on cannabis cultivation:  “A UC Cooperative Extension survey of California registered and unregistered marijuana growers will help researchers, policymakers and the public better understand growing practices since cannabis sales, possession and cultivation first became legal for recreational use.  “This survey is a starting point from which UC scientists could build research and extension programs, if possible in the future,” said lead author Houston Wilson, UCCE specialist with UC Riverside. A report on the survey results was published in the July-December 2019 issue of California Agriculture journal, the research publication of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. … ”  Read more from the Daily Democrat here: UC Cooperative Extension survey results on cannabis cultivation

This sprayable gel could prevent wildfires from catching hold:  “The usual pattern for wildfires is they ignite, then they spread, and then firefighters go to battle to mitigate the damage. A team of researchers wants to stop that destructive process before it even starts.  Scientists and engineers from Stanford have created a gel-like fluid that can be sprayed on at-risk areas of land. The cellulose-based fluid acts as a carrier for fire retardants. While traditional fire retardant applications only work short-term, the gel’s strength is that it can last through wind and rain, making it feasible as a preventive measure. ... ”  Read more from SF Gate here: This sprayable gel could prevent wildfires from catching hold

Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoes environmental bill SB 1:  “While touting his commitment to defending the environment, Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) last week — legislation designed to safeguard California’s natural resources in the face of expected rollbacks of federal protections.  “We are deeply disappointed in Governor Newsom’s decision to veto SB 1,” wrote Kim Delfino, California director of Defenders of Wildlife. “This bill is one of the most important environmental bills nationwide, and would have provided California with critical tools to defend against the Trump administration’s ongoing attacks on California’s water, fish and wildlife, and communities.” ... ”  Read more from The Press here: Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoes environmental bill SB 1

Environmental bill’s veto sparked surprise:  “Gov. Gavin Newsom’s veto of a major environmental protection bill angered and surprised environmentalists – and left some wondering what happens next.  The measure, SB 1 authored by Senate Leader Toni Atkins and backed by an array of environmental groups, was aimed at safeguarding California’s environmental policies against the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back water, air quality and other standards in California.  The bill’s opponents feared it would unfairly cut water deliveries to farms and water districts. … ”  Read more from Capitol Weekly here: Environmental bill’s veto sparked surprise

The Bay Foundation Director Tom Ford Advocates for National Estuary Program Funding:  “Facing persistent threats to federal funding, leaders of National Estuary Programs (NEPs) across the US were invited to speak before the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Water, Resources, and the Environment to highlight the incredible success and leveraging power that US EPA funding brings to coastal communities and ecosystems. With the mission to protect and restore Santa Monica Bay and its adjacent waters, The Bay Foundation’s Executive Director and Santa Monica Bay NEP Director, Tom Ford, spoke to The Planning Report on the progress being made to address some of the challenges wrought by climate change and the ripple effect that such success can have when shared. … ”  Read more from The Planning Report here:  The Bay Foundation Director Tom Ford Advocates for National Estuary Program Funding

It’s killing dogs and cattle. It’s making people sick. It’s spreading throughout the country. And answers remain elusive:  “An epidemic is growing. It’s compromising drinking water in cities, making people sick. It’s killing dogs and cattle, even bats. It’s closing down lakes, resulting in economic losses for those reliant on lakeside recreation. And the reasons for its spread remain elusive.  Algae blooms have gripped Utah lakes, and their seasonal spread across the country is on the rise. By the end of August, a record 354 outbreaks had been reported since the beginning of the year, compared to 289 over the same period in 2018, according to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization that researches water pollution. … ”  Read more from the Deseret News here: It’s killing dogs and cattle. It’s making people sick. It’s spreading throughout the country. And answers remain elusive

Which places can expect another snowy winter? AccuWeather’s winter forecast has the answer to this — and much more:  “The wait is over. AccuWeather’s annual winter forecast for the lower 48 is out. As 2019 comes to a close, AccuWeather’s long-range forecast team predicts an active winter season is ahead for the northeastern United States.  The Southeast, however, is more likely to be targeted by rain than wintry weather. Meanwhile, ample snowfall during winter in California will help stave off drought conditions come springtime. And will Arctic air surging down from a disturbance in the polar vortex make a return this winter?  Take a look below at a complete region-by-region breakdown. … ”  Read more from Accu-Weather here: Which places can expect another snowy winter? AccuWeather’s winter forecast has the answer to this — and much more

In regional news and commentary today …

Nevada County says previously identified source may not have caused Yuba River E. coli plume: “Nevada County health officials continue to investigate a “plume” of contamination on the South Yuba River that tested positive for E. coli bacteria last month, now saying that a property previously identified as a possible source of the pollution does not appear to be connected to the incident.  Authorities had declared a no-swim advisory for a stretch of the river, as well as Englebright Lake, after discolored water near the Highway 49 bridge tested positive for “dangerous” levels of E. coli and unknown sediments on Sept. 20. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: County says previously identified source may not have caused Yuba River E. coli plume

Ellis Lake proposal rejected:  “The Marysville City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday night to deny a request to authorize the privately-funded repair and testing of the Yuba River/Ellis Lake pump facility.   The reasoning behind the vote according to councilman Bill Simmons was that that Yuba Water Agency has a plan in place to move forward on improving the water quality with Ellis Lake.  … ”  Read more from the Appeal-Democrat here: Ellis Lake proposal rejected

Marin hit with lawsuit over fish protections:  “The Salmon Protection and Watershed Network and the Center for Biological Diversity sued Marin County last week, disputing the adequacy of its recently finalized environmental analysis on the cumulative impacts of future development on salmonids in the San Geronimo Valley. The county had undertaken the five-year project as a result of previous legal action by SPAWN.  In addition to substantive concerns over a supplemental environmental impact report that the Board of Supervisors certified last month, the lawsuit argues that the document’s primary strategy for offsetting the impacts of development—an expanded stream conservation ordinance—unlawfully delays mitigation. … ”  Read more from the Point Reyes Light here: Marin hit with lawsuit over fish protections

Saving SF Bay may mean filling parts of it in, agency says:  “The state agency created in 1965 to protect San Francisco Bay voted Thursday to do something that might seem counterintuitive — to prepare for the threat of sea level rise by making it easier to fill in portions of the bay.  The unanimous vote by the Bay Conservation and Development Commission is part of a larger effort to create marshes and restore habitat that can serve as a buffer against rising sea levels. In some cases, this would mean filling what now are shallow waters so that native vegetation can take root and establish itself. ... ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Saving SF Bay may mean filling parts of it in, agency says

Commentary: Water makes a difference in Bakersfield, Kern County, says Bob Smith:  He writes, “What a wonderful water year it has been.  We have had water in the Kern River through Bakersfield since February and it is now October. What a beautiful difference this has made in the community as a whole. It has been an aesthetic and recreational paradise and has continuously recharged our groundwater for future use.  My daily commute is along the Kern River running through our beautiful city so I have been able to observe and enjoy many of the sites and sounds made possible by this phenomenon. ... ”  Read more from Bakersfield.com here: Commentary: Water makes a difference in Bakersfield, Kern County

Riverside judge dismisses challenge to WMWD water rate structure; a victory for customers who use water efficiently:  “Western Municipal Water District, which provides water to Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District and Rancho California Water District in southwest Riverside County, won a court challenge from two excessive water users to share their higher costs with those who efficiently conserve their water usage and save on their water bills.  Craig Miller, Western’s general manager said that Friday, Sept. 13, a Riverside Superior Superior Court judge dismissed a legal challenge against Western Municipal Water District’s water rate structure. … ”  Read more from Valley News here: Riverside judge dismisses challenge to WMWD water rate structure; a victory for customers who use water efficiently

San Bernardino: Water conservation district closes water year with record recharge:  “Local water basins were filled with record-breaking deposits of snowmelt, rainfall and imported water, with 2018-19 Water Year totals achieving numbers not seen since 1987, the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District announced Tuesday, Sept. 30.  Totals for the 2018-19 Water Year, which runs annually from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, reflect numbers not seen since 1987, with 70,000 acre feet — or 22.8 billion gallons — recharged underground. ... ”  Read more from the Community News here: Water conservation district closes water year with record recharge

San Clemente: The Rising Tide: A Look at How Local Cities Are Addressing Sea Level Rise:  “Will our “Spanish Village by the Sea” see the impacts of sea level rise?  The past month saw an increased amount of activism and engagement centered around climate change and the potential threats of sea level rise, in light of the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23 in New York City. Millions participated in the Global Climate Strikes from Sept. 20-27 to demand action on climate change. The nearest strike to San Clemente was held in Laguna Beach. … ”  Read more from the San Clemente Times here: San Clemente: The Rising Tide: A Look at How Local Cities Are Addressing Sea Level Rise

To survive global warming, Mojave Desert birds will need a lot more water — and they probably won’t get it:  “Bird populations in the Mojave Desert have collapsed over the last century, and now scientists say they know why: The animals’ bodies can’t cope with the hotter and drier weather brought on by global warming.  The discovery, described this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, draws upon historical records and high-tech virtual bird modeling to explain how climate change has caused such drastic population losses — and how it will likely cause even deeper losses in the future. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: To survive global warming, Mojave Desert birds will need a lot more water — and they probably won’t get it

Along the Colorado River …

Groups Sue Feds Over Management of Glen Canyon Dam:  “A trio of conservation groups is suing the federal government to force it to use climate science in its management of Glen Canyon Dam and the upper Colorado River.  In the suit, the groups are asking a federal judge to invalidate a 2016 Bureau of Reclamation environmental study, and order a new analysis using data developed by climate scientists to predict future flows in the upper Colorado River.  Gary Wockner, executive director of the group Save the Colorado, alleges the government used flawed information to develop the plan. … ”  Read more from the Public News Service here: Groups Sue Feds Over Management of Glen Canyon Dam

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

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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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