DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: San Francisco Bay study gives 20-year window into marine life, climate impacts; Antibiotic resistant genes prevalent in groundwater; Money from manure; The U.S. Navy has a water problem; Want to find a place to live that will be safe from climate change? Good luck; and more …

In California water news this weekend, San Francisco Bay study gives 20-year window into marine life, climate impacts; Antibiotic resistant genes prevalent in groundwater; Money from manure; Together, Six Farms Connect and Expand Farmland Conservation; ‘Once they’re gone, they’re gone’: the fight to save the giant sequoia; PFAS Cleanup in Limbo Without a Law; The U.S. Navy has a water problem; Want to find a place to live that will be safe from climate change? Good luck; and more …

In the news this weekend …

San Francisco Bay study gives 20-year window into marine life, climate impacts:  “On a biological scale, 20 years is like the blink of an eye — if not faster.  But for San Francisco marine biology researchers, 20 years is priceless in what it can tell about the changing nature of the bay’s wildlife, especially in the face of a changing climate.  These long-term databases are rare for the region, but the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Tiburon has accomplished this milestone as of this year. The now 20-year-old study by the center’s Marine Invasions Lab has been tracking the presence of invasive and native species, mainly invertebrates, throughout the bay and delta, giving researchers like Andy Chang insights into how extremes such as droughts, heavy storms and warming waters can affect our backyard ecosystems. ... ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here: San Francisco Bay study gives 20-year window into marine life, climate impacts

Antibiotic resistant genes prevalent in groundwater:  “With climate change comes increasing water shortages, and potentially longer periods of drought. As policymakers look urgently to wastewater recycling to stem the gap in water resources, the question is — how best to reuse water and ensure public safety. New and emerging contaminants like antibiotic resistant genes (ARGs) pose a potential hazard to public safety and water security. One concern is the spread of ARGs through the water system and an increase in development of antibiotic-resistant super bugs.  Adam Smith, Assistant Professor in the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern California, and a team of researchers including Moustapha Harb, an Assistant Professor at Lebanese American University and USC Viterbi School of Engineering Ph.D. students Phillip Wang and Ali Zarei-Baygi, studied and compared samples from an advanced groundwater treatment facility in Southern California and groundwater aquifers to detect differences in ARG concentrations. … ”  Read more from Science Daily here: Antibiotic resistant genes prevalent in groundwater

Money from manure:  “A thousand miles separates Threemile Canyon Farms in Eastern Oregon, surrounded by high desert and sagebrush, from the crowded freeways of Los Angeles.  Though they might seem like distant strangers, the mega-dairy and the megalopolis are about to be connected by a most unexpected resource — cow manure. … ”  Read more from Capital Press here:  Money from manure

Together, Six Farms Connect and Expand Farmland Conservation:  “California Farmland Trust (CFT) announces the conservation of six new farms in Merced County. Four adjacent farms have created a large area of closely protected farmland; while nearby two other properties join already previously protected areas.  Nearly 220 additional acres of California farmland are now conserved forever, resulting in a total of 16,200 acres administered by CFT. Like-minded farmers worked with CFT to permanently protect their properties through agricultural conservation easements. The easements dedicate the land to farming and prohibit the conversion to non-agricultural uses, even if the land is sold or inherited. … ”  Read more from Florida Newswire here: Together, Six Farms Connect and Expand Farmland Conservation – A Reason to Celebrate

Car tires biggest source of microplastics in California coastal waters:  “Cars may be doing more damage to our environment than we realized.  The harmful effects that fossil fuels have on our environment are well documented — a study from March found that global fossil-fuel emissions account for nearly 70% of climate cooling. But cars appear to be polluting in a way that hasn’t been deeply studied. … ”  Read more from KEYT here: Car tires biggest source of microplastics in California coastal waters

‘Once they’re gone, they’re gone’: the fight to save the giant sequoia:  “Few living beings have experienced as much as the giant sequoias. With ancestors dating back to the Jurassic era, some of the trees that now grow along California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains been alive for thousands of years, bearing witness to most of human history – from the fall of the Roman empire to the rise of Beyoncé.  But a couple hundred years of human encroachment on to the sequoias’ habitat, combined with the climate crisis, increasingly intense wildfires, and drought have threatened the species’ future. … ”  Read more from the Guardian here: ‘Once they’re gone, they’re gone’: the fight to save the giant sequoia

California adopts 22 new laws taking aim at wildfire danger:  “California is adopting nearly two dozen laws aimed at preventing and fighting the devastating wildfires that have charred large swaths of the state in recent years and killed scores of people.  Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday that he had signed the 22 bills, saying several also will help the state meet its clean energy goals. ... ”  Read more from the AP here: California adopts 22 new laws taking aim at wildfire danger

Damned from the Start: Many U.S. Reservoirs Could Be Rendered Useless—And That Was Part of the Plan:  “We’ve heard about the deteriorating status of American infrastructure and most imagine crumbling bridges and potholed roads. But there’s another looming infrastructure crisis that’s getting little to no attention—and it will eventually impact everyone: America’s reservoirs are filling up with sediment. Their storage capacity peaked in the 1980s and it’s been going downhill ever since—sometimes with disastrous consequences. ... ”  Read more from H2O Radio here: Damned from the Start: Many U.S. Reservoirs Could Be Rendered Useless—And That Was Part of the Plan

PFAS Cleanup in Limbo Without a Law:  “As the number of communities in the U.S. discovering high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in water supplies continues to grow, industry and local officials are waiting on legislative and regulatory leadership to set limits and standards for this pollutant class. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA and PFOS.  “The current lack of guidance on safe threshold levels, both federally and in many states, creates a challenging environment for utilities. They are left on their own to determine what are safe levels while facing public pressure to remove it all without raising rates—an impossible task,” says Dustin Mobley, a process engineer with Black & Veatch, which is helping water utilities address PFAS chemicals in their systems. … ”  Read more from ENR here: PFAS Cleanup in Limbo Without a Law

The U.S. Navy has a water problem:  “The United States Navy has a big problem, one quite peculiar for such a huge seagoing organization: too much water. The problem isn’t the water itself; the Navy knows how to handle water. The problem is that global warming is putting too much water in the wrong places.  One of those places is Naval Station Norfolk, a vast complex in southeastern Virginia whose 80,000 active-duty personnel make it the largest naval base on earth by population. … ”  Read more from Public Integrity here:  The U.S. Navy has a water problem

Want to find a place to live that will be safe from climate change? Good luck: The year is 2050 or 2060, and as climate change progresses, extreme weather is getting worse. If you live in the U.S., you might be tempted to move to another city or state—but where should you go?  By midcentury, the number of massive wildfires in California could increase by 50%. The sea level along parts of the Florida coast might rise as much as 34 inches; throughout the coastal U.S., sea-level rise could put hundreds of thousands of homes at risk from chronic flooding. Colorado could face severe droughts and lose millions from the ski industry. … ”  Continue reading from Fast Company here: Want to find a place to live that will be safe from climate change? Good luck

In commentary this weekend …

California must defend its environmental protection laws, says Garry Brown:  He writes, “The governor of California delivered a blow to the environmental community recently by vetoing a bill that would have ensured that laws protecting water, as well as air, climate, worker safety and endangered species, could not be weakened by future federal government rollbacks.  At Orange County Coastkeeper, we are disappointed that Gov. Gavin Newsom chose to veto SB 1 because of pressure from water interests, particularly in the San Joaquin Valley. … ”  Read more from Capitol Weekly here: California must defend its environmental protection laws

Protecting California’s clean waters Grace Napolitano writes,Water is life. It is essential to the survival of all living things and has been at the center of my work for over three decades as a public servant. I did not select this cause arbitrarily, but because our communities were suffering, and no one was speaking out about safe, clean water supplies for residents of the San Gabriel Valley and greater east Los Angeles County.  I saw it early on as a Norwalk city councilwoman in the late 1980s. Cities were left to their own devices — out of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) purview — while medicine, what we now know are dangerous opioids, and other contaminants piled up in our local water supply. … ”  Read more from the San Gabriel Tribune here: Protecting California’s clean waters

Kern County groundwater overdraft numbers ‘don’t add up,’ and that’s a big problem, says Lois Henry:  “San Joaquin Valley farmers have pumped the basin’s groundwater so furiously and for so long that parts of the valley are sinking, endangering roads and bridges and even breaking one of the main canals that brings in water to support local agriculture.  Yet, here in Kern County, state-mandated water budgets presented by several large ag water districts and groundwater sustainability agencies have painted a far rosier groundwater picture.  So rosy, the numbers simply couldn’t be believed — and they aren’t. … ”  Read more from Bakersfield.com here: Groundwater overdraft numbers ‘don’t add up,’ and that’s a big problem

Trump Governs by Grudge in California, says the New York Times:  They write, “In 1961, at a news conference three years before he became the Republican presidential nominee, the right-wing Arizona senator Barry Goldwater, surveying the progressive tendencies of voters in New York and its neighbors, was moved to observe: “Sometimes I think this country would be better off if we could just saw off the Eastern Seaboard and let it float out to sea.”  President Trump may be forgiven for feeling the same way about California, a state that gets the president’s goat more than any other. ... ”  Read more from the New York Times here: Trump Governs by Grudge in California

Sunday podcasts …

How Mokelumne Fish Hatchery Survived California’s Ten Year Drought: As many of you know California experienced one of the worst droughts on record this past decade. Many native fish species suffered through this period while others did much better – like on the Mokelumne River.  In this episode we sit down with Jose Setka, Manager of the Fish and Wildlife Division at East Bay Municipal Utility District, colloquially referred to as “East Bay Mud” or simply EBMUD. Learn how Setka and his team navigated California’s 10 years of drought and exceeded expectations in terms of salmon returns right here on this episodes of Barbless Fly Fishing Podcast.”


Kelp killers: Jared Blumenfeld writes, “Purple sea urchins, a “blob” of warmer water, and star fish wasting syndrome have all conspired to turn California’s northern pacific coastal kelp forests into wastelands. As a result, ocean biodiversity, including prized Abalone, are all suffering. I get into scuba gear and go with Jack Linkins a local abalone fisherman and Mike Esgro a dive master and ocean expert to find out what’s going on.”


Water is Really, Really Good: Steve Baker writes, “Colorado priorities for using groundwater are a lot like Washington, Montana, Wyoming and Nevada. When water shortage areas are identified, people are recognizing that working together is the most desirable response to keeping a health supply of good quality groundwater.  Retired Colorado State Engineer, Robert Longenbaugh, believes that the wise use of both surface and groundwater is absolutely essential  to maximize the use of water for Colorado.  Water is a Many Splendor’ed Thing brings you another water relationship that has a personally significant impact to your life.” Operation Unite®; Bringing People Together to Solve Water Problems stevebaker@operationunite.co

In regional news and commentary this weekend …

Red Bluff: Work to start Monday on salmon habitat project:  “A salmon habitat project will get underway Monday just outside the city of Red Bluff.  One of several such projects in the North State, the Rio Vista Side Channel Habitat Project will offer protection for juvenile salmonids, including endangered winter-run Chinook, according to a press release issued Tuesday by the Sacramento River Forum. A seasonal side channel will be excavated down an average of 5 feet to allow Sacramento River waters to flow year-round.  The project is southwest of Rio Vista Estates and northeast of Agua Verdi Drive in Red Bluff. ... ”  Read more from the Red Bluff Daily News here: Work to start Monday on salmon habitat project

Pure Water Monterey project nears finish line with ceremony:  “Hailing it as a regional and even national model, local, state and federal officials and other dignitaries marked substantial completion of the Pure Water Monterey recycled water project on Friday.  Underscoring the popularity of the project, and the scope of regional cooperation it required, the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new advanced water purification facility near the regional wastewater treatment plant north of Marina was well-attended by dozens of area representatives and universally praised for its ingenuity. ... ”  Read more from the Monterey Herald here:  Pure Water Monterey project nears finish line with ceremony

Pure Water Monterey Project is the largest new water supply on the Monterey Peninsula:  “The Pure Water Monterey Project is the largest new water supply on the Monterey-Peninsula, converting four sources of water into reusable drinking water. Friday morning, a ceremonial ribbon cutting was held at Monterey One’s Water Regional Treatment Plant, to celebrate the new project.  “The Pure Water Monterey Project is the largest new water supply we’ve had in more than 50 years. [Adding an additional] 3500-acre feet, which is more than a third of what the peninsula uses in a year,” explained Melodie Chrislock, the director of Public Water Now. … ”  Read more from Channel 8 here: Pure Water Monterey Project is the largest new water supply on the Monterey Peninsula

San Diego: Volunteers celebrate 10 years of combating silt, pollution in Tijuana River Valley:  “Pulling weeds is not usually a great way to start a party.  But filling a dumpster with invasive species was just the right activity to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Tijuana River Action Month on Saturday.  Since 1999 volunteers have been showing up at the 2,300-acre river estuary reserve to haul out trash, remove non-native plants and generally give a little love to a place often overshadowed by its position directly on the U.S.-Mexico border. … ”  Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here: San Diego: Volunteers celebrate 10 years of combating silt, pollution in Tijuana River Valley

Along the Colorado River …

More Water or More Wild: The Decades-Long Struggle over the Gila River’s Fate:  “On the sunny afternoon decades ago when M.H. “Dutch” Salmon first set eyes on the Gila River, he was not impressed. “This was no river,” he would later write. “It was a stream, and standing on the bank, I could see that if you picked out a riffle, you could cross on foot without wetting your knees.” Rivers he knew growing up in the East could float freighters. “This Gila,” he wrote, “would ground a canoe.”  Indeed, the Gila where Salmon first saw it runs shallow and warm in the summer. It moseys through southwestern New Mexico, passing cottonwood trunks too big to wrap arms around and curtains of willows that shield its bends from view as it strolls toward its confluence with the Colorado River in Yuma, Arizona. It can be tough to see, at least at first, the current that would reshape a man’s life and spark debate about water and wild places in the West. ... ”  Read more from New Mexico in Depth here: More Water or More Wild: The Decades-Long Struggle over the Gila River’s Fate

Sunday video …

Understanding the Dangers of Blue-Green Algae (Cyanobacteria):The Department of Water Resources regularly tests the waterways of the State Water Project for blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), and posts warning signs when the water is considered unsafe. This video helps the public know how to spot the algae and understand why it’s important to heed posted warning signs.”

And lastly …

Farmer humor …

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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