DAILY DIGEST: When the power goes out, so does the water in some places; Dispute resolution processes: Thinking through SGMA implementation; 1 billion birds en route to California; A trillion dollar storm looms for earth and it’s not a hurricane; and more …

In California water news today, When the power goes out, so does the water in some places; Dispute Resolution Processes: Thinking through SGMA Implementation; 1 billion birds en route to California; Newsom signs bill to open Hollister Ranch beaches to the public; UCI-led team to study socioeconomic effects of coastal flooding in California; EPA set to announce new standards for lead in water; A Trillion Dollar Storm Looms For Earth And It’s Not A Hurricane; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • WEBINAR: Navigating California’s New Regulations for Wetlands and State Waters from 10am to 10:45am.  Presented by Best Best & Krieger.  To register for this webinar, click here.
  • The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board begins a two-day meeting Redding at 4pm.  Board members will discuss the 2020 calendar, cannabis permitting, and the board’s strategic plan.  This meeting will not be webcast.  Click here for the full agenda.

In the news today …

When the power goes out, so does the water in some places:  “Not only did the lights go out for tens of thousands of Californians on Wednesday, but some of them were bracing for the loss of their taps and toilets, too.  Utilities across the state were warning residents that PG&E’s planned power outages could limit their ability to deliver water and carry off sewage, especially if the shut-off were to continue for days. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: When the power goes out, so does the water in some places

Northern California cities, water districts urge conservation as PG&E blackout continues:  “Cities, counties and regional water districts throughout the Sacramento Valley and Bay Area are urging users to cut down on water use during Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s public safety power shutoff, which has blacked out hundreds of thousands of customers since the early morning hours of Wednesday.  Fairfield authorities are urging residents to conserve water use after the city experienced a treatment plant issue that it is attributing to the PG&E shutoff. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: Northern California cities, water districts urge conservation as PG&E blackout continues

Dispute Resolution Processes: Thinking through SGMA Implementation:  “Building the capacity to resolve disputes and work together is critical for a sustainable water future. However recent analysis conducted by Water in the West, the Gould Center for Conflict Resolution and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis suggests that alternative dispute resolution processes are rarely used even when included in water management agreements. Given the long and expensive history associated with litigation in California and beyond, these findings suggest that local and state agencies should be doing more to educate their members on the value of alternative dispute resolution processes, like mediation and facilitation. … ”  Read more from Water in the West here: Dispute Resolution Processes: Thinking through SGMA Implementation

1 billion birds en route to California:  “The greatest aerial show on Earth, the migration of 1 billion birds on the Pacific Flyway to California, is a full go this week as early winter weather hits Canada.  One of the best predictors of bird migrations and pending winter weather is to track sandhill cranes, both their numbers and routes. A check this week shows the birds are right on schedule with the first arrivals at Woodbridge Ecological Reserve near Lodi, where the Department of Fish and Wildlife is offering weekend tours to see them. In the next three weeks, some 5,000 are expected in this region. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: 1 billion birds en route to California

Newsom signs bill to open Hollister Ranch beaches to the public:  “Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Wednesday a bill designed to open the exclusive beaches at Hollister Ranch — a significant move forward under his administration on an issue that has stalled for decades in the face of powerful landowners.  Newsom had not indicated whether he would sign the legislation, Assembly Bill 1680, which is tougher than a similar measure vetoed last year by then-Gov. Jerry Brown. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Newsom signs bill to open Hollister Ranch beaches to the public

UCI-led team to study socioeconomic effects of coastal flooding in California:  “Researchers at the University of California, Irvine are leading a new project with three other UC campuses to study the impact of coastal flooding on disadvantaged communities in California.  Launched with funding from the National Science Foundation’s Coastlines & People initiative, the effort will employ advanced simulation systems to deepen understanding of increasing flood risks within the state’s two most imperiled areas: Greater Los Angeles and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. … ”  Read more from the UC Irvine here: UCI-led team to study socioeconomic effects of coastal flooding in California

EPA set to announce new standards for lead in water:  “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will announce new standards for lead in drinking water, Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a radio interview Wednesday.  Wheeler is set to make the official announcement in Green Bay, Wis., on Thursday afternoon.  “We’re tightening those standards for the first time in over 20 years and we’re doing that because of the lead impact on children,” Wheeler told local Indianapolis station WIBC. ... ”  Read more from The Hill here: EPA set to announce new standards for lead in water

What It Takes to Deep Clean a Water Reclamation Facility:  “If a water reclamation facility goes off-line, it is a major problem. Yet there are certain major maintenance operations that can’t be done while the process is running normally. So, what gives when this particular irresistible force meets this immovable object? You have to get creative.  The City of Victorville, CA built an innovative treatment plant for their community in 2010, which takes both sanitary wastewater as well as industrial wastewater from a beverage bottling facility and provides recycled water to a nearby power plant. It handles an average flow of 1.7 million gallons per day. ... ”  Read more from CWEA News here: What It Takes to Deep Clean a Water Reclamation Facility

Too much groundwater pumping is draining many of the world’s rivers:  “Humankind’s collective thirst is slowly desiccating landscapes worldwide, a study of groundwater finds.  Water stored in aquifers underground makes up the vast majority of accessible freshwater on Earth. Its abundance has fueled forays into drier locales, such as California’s Central Valley, enabling a boom in crop production (SN: 7/23/19). And overall, about 70 percent of the groundwater being used worldwide goes to agriculture. But surface waters — rivers and streams — rely on groundwater, too. When people pump too much too quickly, natural waterways begin to empty, compromising freshwater ecosystems. … ”  Read more from Science News here: Too much groundwater pumping is draining many of the world’s rivers

And lastly … A Trillion Dollar Storm Looms For Earth And It’s Not A Hurricane:  “Hurricanes can cause widespread damage because they are so expansive, long-lasting, and powerful. Two of the costliest hurricanes on record, Katrina and Harvey, tallied damage numbers close to $125 billion dollars, respectively. As impressive as those numbers sound, what if I told you that there are storms that could cause over $1 trillion (with a “t”) dollars in losses on Earth. These events are not hurricanes or tornadoes, but powerful geomagnetic storms that originate from the Sun. Space weather is a field of science that monitors and predicts them. What is space weather, and how is a trillion dollar storm even possible? … ”  Read more from Forbes here:  A Trillion Dollar Storm Looms For Earth And It’s Not A Hurricane

In commentary today …

Thomas Elias column:  Newsom cleaning up a few of his predecessor’s messes: Corruption and waste quietly abounded during the eight years of ex-Gov. Jerry Brown’s second go-‘round as governor of California, but there are signs current Gov. Gavin Newsom means to clean up at least some of those messes.  This may be the meaning of two recent reports that should have come down from state authorities years ago, but never did – perhaps in part because of the Brown family’s longstanding ties to the oil industry and to big California utilities. … ” Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here: Newsom cleaning up a few of his predecessor’s messes 

In regional news and commentary today …

Agreement Reached Between Friends of the Eel River and Humboldt County Board of Supervisors Over Culvert and Roadwork in Salmon Watersheds:  “Friends of the Eel River and the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors have reached a legal settlement to fund culvert replacements and road repairs in two Southern Humboldt watersheds critical to salmon and steelhead through 2023.  The agreement ends a lawsuit brought by Friends of the Eel River under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). … ”  Read more from the Redheaded Blackbelt here: Agreement Reached Between Friends of the Eel River and Humboldt County Board of Supervisors Over Culvert and Roadwork in Salmon Watersheds

Cleaning up Paradise as a grim anniversary nears:  “Next month, the Northern California community of Paradise and will commemorate a somber anniversary: On Nov. 8, 2018, the town burned to the ground. Nearly 11,000 properties were erased in the deadliest, most destructive wildfire in state history, which took 85 lives. Now, as California braces for peak fire season, the most extensive post-fire cleanup it has ever taken on is  nearly complete. Crews have hauled off more than 3.6 million tons of debris — twice what was removed from the World Trade Center site after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City. … ”  Read more from Cal Matters here: Cleaning up Paradise as a grim anniversary nears

Regulatory challenges postpone start of dam removal in St. Helena:  “Challenges with regulatory agencies have postponed the start of a long-delayed effort to remove an earthen dam blocking fish passage in York Creek.  The removal of the Upper York Creek Dam will not begin in 2019 as previously planned, but the project is still on schedule to be complete by the end of 2020. … ”  Read more from the Napa Register here: Regulatory challenges postpone start of dam removal in St. Helena

Time for transparency in San Geronimo Creek salmon fight, says Dick Spotswood:  He writes, “Fish in San Geronimo Creek are again the source of litigation. The Salmon Protection and Watershed Network and the Center for Biological Diversity have sued the county of Marin to void the recently approved supplemental environmental impact report for San Geronimo Valley.  It’s time for all involved to become a bit more transparent. For the average Marinite to know what’s at stake, fish proponents and the county need to answer three obvious but, so far, unanswered questions. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: Time for transparency in San Geronimo Creek salmon fight

PG&E Power Shutoff: Benicia, Vallejo Use Backups For Water Supply:  “Although customers in the cities of Benicia and Vallejo have not lost power in PG&E’s widespread Northern California public safety power shutoff Wednesday, officials with both cities took actions to keep the water flowing to their customers.  The city of Benicia said Wednesday afternoon that because of outages in other parts of Solano County, it has temporarily switched its water source from the State Water Project to Benicia’s Lake Herman Reservoir. … ”  Read more from the Patch here: PG&E Power Shutoff: Benicia, Vallejo Use Backups For Water Supply

Central Coast water board workshop examines the homelessness crisis’ relationship to water:  “Typical discussions about homelessness tend to focus on its most obvious problem, a lack of shelter. What often gets left out, though, are the tangential issues that arise from the crisis.  On Oct. 3, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board set out to examine one such issue: the ways in which homelessness and water quality intersect. … ”  Read more from New Times SLO here: Central Coast water board workshop examines the homelessness crisis’ relationship to water

Future of Pacoima and Tujunga washes, other LA River tributaries, is the subject of upcoming meetings:  “The public will have an opportunity to weigh in on a plan that is being developed for the San Fernando Valley tributaries that feed into the Los Angeles River, during a meeting in Pacoima on Thursday.  The meeting held from 6 to 8 p.m. at Pacoima Neighborhood City Hall, 13520 Van Nuys Blvd., will offer a glimpse at the beginnings of a blueprint laying out a vision for the mostly channelized waterways that run through much of the Valley, including the Pacoima Wash, the Tujunga Wash, the Aliso Canyon Wash and the Verdugo Wash. … ”  Read more from the LA Daily News here: Future of Pacoima and Tujunga washes, other LA River tributaries, is the subject of upcoming meetings

Desalination: Poseidon still trying to plant its trident into Huntington Beach:  “Southern California was hit with enough rain in 2019 for many experts and observers to declare an end to the region’s most recent drought – which could be bad news for Poseidon Water’s plans to build a desalination plant near land’s edge in Huntington Beach. It is hard to drum up a lot of noise for water security when we’re not in a drought. The current state of Southern California’s water security – or insecurity – certainly isn’t giving Poseidon any ammunition to make its case for a $1 billion desalination plant in Huntington Beach. … ”  Read more from The Log here: Desalination: Poseidon still trying to plant its trident into Huntington Beach

How the Salton Sea Became an Eco Wasteland:  “California’s largest inland lake, the Salton Sea, lies in the Imperial and Coachella valleys. The lake, which is more than 50 percent saltier than the Pacific Ocean, is becoming more salt than water because it’s essentially evaporating. The lake and the area that surrounds it — once hotspots for tourism and wildlife — have essentially become ghost towns.  But while people no longer visit, the lake’s evaporation still has consequences for both humans and animals. Rates of asthma there are disproportionately high and are thought to be caused by dust blown up from the dry lakebed. Meanwhile fish populations are plummeting as are populations of migratory birds. So, what is happening at the Salton Sea and is anything being done about it? … ”  Read more from How Stuff Works here: How the Salton Sea Became an Eco Wasteland

San Diego: Sweetwater Authority begins overdue effort to flush out its pipelines:  “For the first time in 11 years, the Sweetwater Authority has started to flush out all 400 miles of its pipelines across South County.  Commonly referred to as flushing, because built-up sediments are “flushed out,” the system-wide cleaning is a promise the water agency made to its ratepayers last year as it put together a plan to increase rates over the next five years. … ”  Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here: San Diego: Sweetwater Authority begins overdue effort to flush out its pipelines

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

GROUNDWATER RECHARGE: Balancing our depleted groundwater supplies and ecosystem needs

SCIENCE NEWS: Otherworldly worms with three sexes discovered in Mono Lake: Valley Fever the Focus of Public Event; Collapse of desert bird populations likely due to heat stress from climate change; and more …

WATER PLAN eNEWS: ~~ Data Challenge~ Proposals Wanted~ CDFW Grants~ Climate Discussion~ WestFAST News~ CWEMF Meeting ~~ Splash: Climate Change ~~

 

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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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