DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Wildfires affect water resources long after the smoke clears; Small farmers and SGMA; Envisioning and designing the floating future; The salmon cannon podcast; and more …
In California water news this weekend, Wildfires Affect Water Resources Long After the Smoke Clears; Radio show: What Is ‘SGMA?’ A Primer On California’s Groundwater Overhaul Law; Small Farmers And SGMA; Agencies release Delta-conveyed water transfer environmental reports; Envisioning and Designing the Floating Future; The salmon cannon podcast; Can Super-Sized Aquarium Bubblers Save Oxygen-Starved Fish In Oregon?; Sacramento: Water company wants Air Force to pay for contamination cleanup; Public’s input sought on state of Salton Sea and proposed fixes; and more …
In the news this weekend …
Wildfires Affect Water Resources Long After the Smoke Clears: “The number of wildfires burning across the western United States over the past 6 decades has been steadily increasing, and those fires are growing larger and more severe, especially in mountain areas where more than 65% of clean water resources for the West’s 75 million people originate. What happens when fires intersect water resources is the subject of two new papers in Hydrological Processes. … ” Read more from EOS here: Wildfires Affect Water Resources Long After the Smoke Clears
Radio show: What Is ‘SGMA?’ A Primer On California’s Groundwater Overhaul Law: “We in California are depleting our groundwater aquifers faster than we can replenish them. Over the last few decades in the San Joaquin Valley, that deficit has averaged close to two million acre-feet per year, a total that was exacerbated by drought conditions that may become more common as the climate continues to change. … While many hail SGMA as a success in state legislation and others say the law represents government overreach, most seem to agree: It could change agriculture and the economy in the San Joaquin Valley in a very big way. In this interview, we talk about the nuts and bolts of SGMA with Stephanie Anagnoson, Director of Water and Natural Resources with Madera County. ... ” Read more from Valley Public Radio here: What Is ‘SGMA?’ A Primer On California’s Groundwater Overhaul Law
Radio show: Small Farmers And SGMA: “On this week’s Valley Edition: When it comes to California’s overhaul of groundwater management, many small farmers are wondering: When will they get a seat at the decision making table?” Listen from Valley Public Radio here: Small Farmers And SGMA
Agencies release Delta-conveyed water transfer environmental reports: “A federal and state environmental review of a willing seller-buyer agreement for water transfers from the north state to the Central Valley was finalized Friday. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority announced the environmental reports, which “analyze potential impacts of approving water transfers to increase water reliability for those suffering shortages during dry times.” … ” Read more from the Daily Republic here: Agencies release Delta-conveyed water transfer environmental reports
DWR Looks to Replace Cost Allocation and Billing Systems Using Expedited Solicitation: “The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) will soon embark on an expedited and phased solicitation for its aging State Water Project Cost Allocation and Billing (CAB) system. The State Water Project (SWP) is a complex of dams, water storage facilities, aqueducts, pumping stations and electric generation facilities operated by DWR for the purposes of water supply reliability, flood protection, power generation, and recreation in California. … ” Read more from DWR News here: DWR Looks to Replace Cost Allocation and Billing Systems Using Expedited Solicitation
Envisioning and Designing the Floating Future: “On an August day that is brutally hot by San Francisco’s foggy standards, Margaret Ikeda and Evan Jones, architecture faculty at the California College of the Arts (CCA), are on one of the campus’ back lots to present a vision of the future — though at first glance, the object they’re showing off doesn’t look like much. It’s white, roughly heart-shaped, and about the size of a sedan. As a prototype for what the underside of a floating building — or possibly a whole floating community — might look like, however, it represents years of imagination, research, design, and testing. … ” Read more from Undark here: Envisioning and Designing the Floating Future
The solution to climate change is just below our feet: ” … Agriculture has played a major role in the climate crisis—about a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from land use and agriculture combined—but farmers are uniquely situated to be part of the solution. While the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached its highest level in human history, plants can draw down the carbon and restore the soil’s organic carbon content—in the right conditions. If enough farmers adopted regenerative farming practices, they could begin to reverse the effects of climate change. … ” Read more from National Geographic here: The solution to climate change is just below our feet
EPA proposes lead pipe rule changes after 20 years, but some advocates say it doesn’t go far enough: “The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing its first major revision in two decades of federal regulations on lead in drinking water, after scandals in Flint, Michigan, and other cities, eroded public confidence that tap water is safe to drink. The proposed lead and copper rule would change the requirements that local water systems must meet for testing and, if lead content is above allowable levels, the procedures to replace lead service lines from their networks. … ” Read more from CNN here: EPA proposes lead pipe rule changes after 20 years, but some advocates say it doesn’t go far enough
Assessing Cumulative Risk From Water Pollutants: “New research from scientists at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) shows that an approach that assesses cumulative risk from water contaminants could save lives. EWG senior scientist Tasha Stoiber spoke with EM about how the team developed the innovative new approach. “Our organization has worked extensively on tap water over the years, and an updated version of our tap water database was just released in 2017,” explains Dr. Stoiber. “We’ve been thinking about new ways to analyze that data.” … ” Read more from EnviroBites here: Assessing Cumulative Risk From Water Pollutants
Water Inequality Used to be a Developing World Problem Only. Not Any More.: “It is far too easy to view scarcity and poor quality of water as issues solely affecting emerging economies. While the images of women and children fetching water in Africa and a lack of access to water in India are deeply disturbing, this is not the complete picture. The city of Flint, Michigan, where dangerous levels of pollutants contaminated the municipal water supply, is a case in point – as is, more recently, the city of Newark, New Jersey. We get ever closer to “day zeros” – the point at when municipal water supplies are switched off – and tragedies such as Flint. These are not isolated stories. Instead they are becoming routine, and the public sector and civil society are scrambling to address them. We are seeing “day zeros” in South Africa, India, Australia and elsewhere, and we are now detecting lead contamination in drinking water in cities across the US. … ” Read more from Circle of Blue here: Water Inequality Used to be a Developing World Problem Only. Not Any More.
In commentary this weekend …
Newsom’s veto of Delta water bill best for California residents, farms,says Eric Bream: He writes, “California has a vibrant and expansive agricultural industry. We grow and raise over 400 agricultural products and lead the nation in the production of many of them. Agriculture is part of what makes our state’s economy strong and helps provide for all our families, which is why it is crucial that we do absolutely everything we can to protect our state’s farms and allow them to operate without the fear of major obstacles. … ” Read more from the Visalia Times-Delta here: Newsom’s veto of Delta water bill best for California residents, farms
Dan Walters: Newsom’s a mixed bag so far: “As Gavin Newsom disposes of the last few bills from the 2019 legislative session, he more or less closes the book on his first year as governor and it’s an appropriate moment for a progress report. Overall, he’s had a moderately successful rookie season. He made some progress on some of his campaign promises, but what he called “big hairy, audacious goals” remain elusive and probably impossible to achieve. … ” Read more from Cal Matters here: Dan Walters: Newsom’s a mixed bag so far
Ocean overlooked when it comes to climate change, say Heidi Cullen and Aimee David: They write, “A growing majority of Americans now understand and accept the scientific basis of climate change: The carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases we release into the atmosphere are making our planet warmer and our weather more destructive. Here in California we are painfully aware that the risk of wildfires, drought and more powerful storms comes hand in hand with climate change. But there’s another side of the issue that gets too little attention. It’s the story of how, for decades, the ocean has been quietly defending us against the full impacts of climate change. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Ocean overlooked when it comes to climate change
Sunday podcasts …
The Salmon Cannon – Fish Passage Technology – Vince Bryan – Whooshh: “Meet Vince Bryan – CEO of Whooshh innovations, the company behind what media has dubbed, “The Salmon Cannon”. Vince talks about the early days and origins of the device (hint – it wasn’t intended for fish passage) and why the company decided to pivot. Also learn about how the device was designed, and its current capabilities.”
US Foreign Policy and Water: Steve Baker writes, “Virtually every major U.S. foreign policy objective is dependent on how well the U.S. addresses global water. This is important because water and sanitation issues can undermine democracy building and poverty reduction. An even greater benefit is when relationships and trust gained by solving water issues manifest into resolving other key issues of conflict. 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®; Bringing People Together to Solve Water Problems
In regional news and commentary this weekend …
Can Super-Sized Aquarium Bubblers Save Oxygen-Starved Fish In Oregon? “You’d never suspect it on a whisper-still morning, with the mountains and marsh reflecting off the water, but Upper Klamath Lake is a tough place to be a fish. The shortnose and Lost River suckers provide a case in point. The two species of fish, which look like a big-lipped cross between a carp and cod, used to be common in this southern Oregon lake. For millennia, they were an important traditional food source for the local tribes. The federal government considers them endangered species. … ” Read more from OPB here: Can Super-Sized Aquarium Bubblers Save Oxygen-Starved Fish In Oregon?
Court dismisses lawsuit against Crystal Geyser, Siskiyou County: “WATER and the Winnemem Wintu Tribe said they are preparing for an appeal after Siskiyou Superior Court Judge Karen Dixon on Aug. 29 struck down their lawsuit pertaining to the Crystal Geyser facility just outside Mount Shasta’s city limits. The court denied the petitioner’s challenge, which questioned the validity of the county’s Environmental Impact Report, according to the Statement of Decision. ... ” Read more from the Taft Midway Driller here: Court dismisses lawsuit against Crystal Geyser, Siskiyou County
Napa County working toward a solution for Berryessa water, sewage finances: “Napa County is taking a hard look at two small, remote Lake Berryessa-area communities to try to keep their aging utility services from once again falling into dire straits. Both communities face capital and maintenance needs for water and wastewater systems built in the mid-1960s, county reports said. But costs must be spread among only 330 customers in Berryessa Highlands and 171 in Berryessa Estates. … ” Read more from the Napa Register here: Napa County working toward a solution for Berryessa water, sewage finances
Marysville Ring Levee on track for 2024 completion: “It’s well known that the City of Marysville and its critical infrastructure have experienced extensive and repetitive flooding in the past. That’s why the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its partners, the California Central Valley Flood Control Board and Marysville Levee District, have been working since 2010 to upgrade the 7.6 miles of levee that surrounds Marysville, including its population of more than 12,700 residents and the region’s largest hospital, Rideout Memorial. … ” Read more from the Army Corps of Engineers here: Marysville Ring Levee on track for 2024 completion
New Sac Metro training tool saves millions of gallons of water: “Sacramento Metro Fire has a new tool to assist in their firefighter trainings, which also helps recycle millions of gallons of water at the same time. The Pump Pod is a mobile tank that assists in catching and recycling thousands of gallons of water during firefighter training exercises. … ” Read more from KCRA Channel 3 here: New Sac Metro training tool saves millions of gallons of water
Sacramento: Water company wants Air Force to pay for contamination cleanup: “A provider of drinking water in Sacramento County is seeking reimbursement from the U.S. Air Force for a filtration system it installed to take contaminants out of groundwater near the former Mather Air Force Base. California American Water built a $1.3 million treatment plant in Sacramento County after it discovered in 2016 that one of its wells was contaminated by polyfluoroalkyl, or PFAS,which is a foam the Air Force used to control airplane fires. … ” Read more from the Sacramento Business Journal here: Water company wants Air Force to pay for contamination cleanup
Monterey: Court ruling pauses Cal Am desal plant project: “A Monterey County Superior Court judge has called a halt to work on the California American Water desalination plant project, at least temporarily, while a California Coastal Commission appeal challenging the project’s source wells is pending. Noting the “uncertainty” around availability of source water for the project, Judge Lydia Villarreal on Tuesday issued a “brief stay” on the operation of the county’s approval of the desal plant permit and prohibited Cal Am from “engaging in any physical construction of the desalination plant and from making any further changes to the land.” … ” Read more from the Monterey Herald here: Court ruling pauses Cal Am desal plant project
California Supreme Court Rejects Environmental Challenges to Monterey Water Project: “The $330-Million Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project (MPWSP) took a step forward, as the California Supreme Court recently denied challenges to the sufficiency of the project’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR)/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The long-awaited desalination plant located off the coast of Monterey is being developed by California American Water Company (CalAm) and is intended to replace the Monterey Peninsula community’s existing Carmel River and Seaside Groundwater Basin supplies. … ” Read more from ENR here: California Supreme Court Rejects Environmental Challenges to Monterey Water Project
Yucca Valley: Fines will be steep for jumping the gun on sewer system: “The Hi-Desert Water District is prepping for the first flush for the sewer project and on Wednesday afternoon, the board of directors set strict fines for property owners who hook up to the sewer before their allotted time. Staff and the public information committee recommended that the board of directors consider adopting changes to the sewer connection ordinance that allows the district to set rules for property owners before hooking up to the district. The new changes require property owners to be properly assessed and go through permitting and inspection before hooking up to the system. … ” Read more from the Hi Desert Star here: Yucca Valley: Fines will be steep for jumping the gun on sewer system
Public’s input sought on state of Salton Sea and proposed fixes: “A public meeting to decide what fixes might be applied to change the fate of the dying Salton Sea — and how much taxpayer money should be spent on the effort — will be held Tuesday morning in North Shore, hosted by a committee chaired by Riverside County Supervisor Manuel Perez. “I’m glad we’re having this meeting in North Shore, which is where our efforts are centered on in providing a safe and stable Salton Sea, protecting public health and the environment and creating economic, tourism and recreation opportunities,” Perez said. … ” Read more from KESQ here: Public’s input sought on state of Salton Sea and proposed fixes
San Diego Foundation Awards $364,000 to Six Agencies to Assist with Diminishing Water Supplies: “Six nonprofit agency programs will share in $364,000 in 2019 grants from The San Diego Foundation (TSDF) to increase equity and strengthen regional resilience as it relates to diminishing water supplies due to the impacts of climate change. Since 2015, The San Diego Foundation Climate Initiative has partnered with the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation to engage local stakeholders at the intersections between water, climate, agriculture, equity, land use and housing. … ” Read more from California Water News Daily here: San Diego Foundation Awards $364,000 to Six Agencies to Assist with Diminishing Water Supplies
Along the Colorado River …
In Pinal, groundwater insufficient to meet long-term projected demands, officials say: “Arizona’s top water official presented new long-term projections Friday showing that Pinal County doesn’t have enough groundwater to provide for the fast-growing area’s cities, farms and many planned subdivisions over the coming decades. Pinal is one of the “active management areas” under Arizona’s groundwater law, where new subdivisions are required to have what officials deem to be an “assured water supply” for 100 years. The state’s updated groundwater model for Pinal found that there isn’t enough water to meet all the projected demands, even though the state had previously issued initial analyses for dozens of planned subdivisions indicating they would likely have a 100-year-supply. … ” Read more from Arizona Central here: In Pinal, groundwater insufficient to meet long-term projected demands, officials say
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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.