DAILY DIGEST: Tests of California water supplies reveal widespread PFAS contamination; State water officials to vote on valley-wide plan to reduce nitrate and salt; Deadly bacteria lingers at CA prison 7 months after inmate death; New laws help prepare communities for wildfire; and more …

In California water news today, Tests of California water supplies reveal widespread PFAS contamination; State Water Officials To Vote On Valley-Wide Plan To Reduce Nitrate And Salt; Deadly bacteria lingers at California prison 7 months after inmate death, and costs climb; Surplus for New Water Year Will Help Farmers in 2020; Researchers Find Antibiotic Resistant Genes Prevalent In Groundwater Samples In Southern California; New Laws Help Prepare Communities for Wildfire; Blooms of potentially toxic algae have become more intense over the past 30 years thanks to climate change; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

Tests of California water supplies reveal widespread PFAS contamination:  “A class of toxic chemicals linked to cancer, known as PFASs, are present in numerous wells used for drinking water across California, according to new state tests performed on a fraction of California’s many well water supplies.  The test samples, released Monday by the State Water Resources Control Board, represent California’s fledgling effort to get a handle on contaminants that until recently haven’t been well tracked and regulated. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Tests of California water supplies reveal widespread PFAS contamination

California finds widespread PFAS contamination in water sources: Nearly 300 drinking water wells and other water sources in California have traces of toxic chemicals linked to cancer, new state testing has found. Testing conducted this year of more than 600 wells across the state revealed pockets of contamination, where chemicals widely used for decades in manufacturing and household goods have seeped into the public’s water supply. An analysis by the Los Angeles Times found that within this class of chemicals, called perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, the two most common compounds were detected in 86 water systems that serve up to 9 million Californians. ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here: California finds widespread PFAS contamination in water sources

State Water Officials To Vote On Valley-Wide Plan To Reduce Nitrate And Salt:  “Later this week, the State Water Resources Control Board will vote on a long-anticipated plan to reduce some of the pollutants flowing into Central Valley water. However, not everyone agrees on the details.  The program is called Central Valley Salinity Alternatives for Long-Term Sustainability, or CV-SALTS. It aims to provide cleaner water for drinking and irrigation by reducing the nitrate and salt that are discharged into ground and surface water. … ”  Read more from Valley Public Radio here: State Water Officials To Vote On Valley-Wide Plan To Reduce Nitrate And Salt

Deadly bacteria lingers at California prison 7 months after inmate death, and costs climb:  “A bacteria outbreak at a state prison in Stockton has cost California $8.5 million and doesn’t appear to be going away seven months after it infected two inmates, one of whom died.  The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reported in March that two inmates had tested positive for Legionella, a bacteria that can cause a life-threatening form of pneumonia when inhaled in water vapor. One of the inmates died. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: Deadly bacteria lingers at California prison 7 months after inmate death, and costs climb

Surplus for New Water Year Will Help Farmers in 2020:  “The Oct. 1 new water year, has brought the state a surplus— with statewide reservoir storage 128% of average.  “The wet 2017 was needed for our reservoirs to refill after an extended drought, and we’re hopeful that the upcoming water year will be generous,” said Mike Wade, Executive Director of the California Farm Water Coalition based in Sacramento.  The coalition educates consumers and others in the state about the importance of water for farms. … ”  Read more from Cal Ag Today here: Surplus for New Water Year Will Help Farmers in 2020

Researchers Find Antibiotic Resistant Genes Prevalent In Groundwater Samples In Southern California:  “With climate change’s undeniability comes not only increasing water shortages, but longer periods of drought. As policymakers look urgently to wastewater recycling to stem the gap in water resources, the question is not whether or not reuse is necessary—it is—but how best to approach it. New and emerging contaminants like antibiotic resistant genes (ARGs) pose a potential hazard to public safety and water security. Among adverse health implications that could emerge from the spread of ARGs through the water system is an increase in development of antibiotic-resistant super bugs—bugs we do not currently have medicine to treat. … ”  Read more from Water Online here: Researchers Find Antibiotic Resistant Genes Prevalent In Groundwater Samples In Southern California

New Laws Help Prepare Communities for Wildfire:  “California has taken a number of steps over the past two years to reduce the pervasive threat of wildfires to the state’s communities and mountainous forests. Last year, Governor Brown focused on fostering more active management of headwater forests to improve their resilience to fire, drought, and pests. CalFire has begun spending the $1 billion allocated for forest health and fire prevention on projects across the state. These efforts are especially important to improve the health of headwater forests, which have become overly dense as a result of fire suppression. ... ”  Read more from the PPIC blog here: New Laws Help Prepare Communities for Wildfire

Blooms of potentially toxic algae have become more intense over the past 30 years thanks to climate change:  “Algal blooms are invading lakes all over the world, a global survey has revealed.  Researchers have found this aquatic phenomena has become more frequent and intense over the last 30 years.  Although the reasons for the increase varied from lake to lake, the team determined that lakes with the most improved algal blooms experienced the least warming over the past three decades — suggesting climate change could be the a culprit. ... ” Read more from the Daily Mail here: Blooms of potentially toxic algae have become more intense over the past 30 years thanks to climate change

Scattering BLM will be good for policy, boss William Pendley says. Not with him at the helm, advocacy groups argue.: Colorado will get more of the Bureau of Land Management’s Washington staff under the Trump administration’s proposed agency reorganization than any other Western state — but whether those employees will have decision-making authority is a hotly contested point. … The goal of the reorganization is to get decision-makers closer to the land they oversee and at the same time better inform people in the West on how Washington works, Pendley said. … Critics counter that at best it will make decision-making harder as relevant officials are strewn across the West and will keep key decision-making with a small group in the Trump administration. At worst, it will completely undermine the agency. … ”  Read more from the Colorado Sun here: Scattering BLM will be good for policy, boss William Pendley says. Not with him at the helm, advocacy groups argue.

In commentary today …

The next fight in California’s water crisis is over salt, pollutants, say Michael Claiborne and Arnold Sowell Jr.:  “When it comes to drinking water in California — safety, supply and reliability — we can never rest. None of us. For those who think it’s a crisis that only impacts rural communities in our state, you are wrong. Children in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego and other urban communities are drinking lead-contaminated water from their drinking fountains, and nearly all of California’s 58 counties include communities with tainted water. ... ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here: The next fight in California’s water crisis is over salt, pollutants

Poor Central Valley communities deserve safe, affordable water service, say  Rebecca Quinatana and Ramon Prado: They write, “We write on behalf of la Asociación de Gente Unida por el Agua (AGUA) and Protectores del Agua Subterránea (Protectores), representing over 30 communities around the Valley, to make a public appeal to the State Water Board, which on Wednesday, Oct. 16 will make a decision that will determine the quality of our water in the Central Valley for decades to come.  Access to safe and affordable water is a basic human right. Many of our communities have been without safe water for years or even decades because of contamination of our drinking water sources. ... ”  Read more from the Visalia Times-Delta here: Poor Central Valley communities deserve safe, affordable water service

In regional news and commentary today …

Eel River Forum Studying Impacts and Causes of Rising Stream Temperatures:  “Scientists from various tribes, state and federal regulatory agencies, and environmental watchdog groups who focus on watershed health and restoration met at the Eel River Forum in Willits late in September. They paid particular attention to how climate change will affect the river and will continue to explore the implications at their next quarterly meeting as well.  The 30 or so people at the forum learned from Dr. David Dralle that, contrary to expectations, late season steam flow in the evergreen forests of the North Coast is determined not by the amount of rain that falls in a given year, but rather, as a result of what lies under the ground. … ”  Read more from the Redheaded Blackbelt here: Eel River Forum Studying Impacts and Causes of Rising Stream Temperatures

Lake Mendocino benefits from high-tech weather forecasting system:  “Lake Mendocino made it through a typically long, hot summer with an abundance of water and now, thanks to an ongoing experiment with high-tech weather forecasting, the reservoir can retain more water through the winter, benefiting people, fish and farmers along the Russian River.  A dollop of spring rain pumped up the 3-square-mile reservoir near Ukiah, and water managers are now hailing the initial success of an experimental program intended to maximize storage in the second largest source of water for more than 655,000 people in three North Bay counties. ... ”  Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here: Lake Mendocino benefits from high-tech weather forecasting system

Sonoma County Grand Jury report raises alarms about water security following earthquake:  “First the electrical grid, now the water supply is being identified as one of the necessities of modern life that may be at risk in case of disaster.  The 2018-2019 Sonoma County Grand Jury report, issued in July, addresses several areas of concern that county residents and governments should be aware of, and prepare for. One of them is found in the “water report,” a 17-page document that poses the question, “Will there be water after an earthquake?” … ”  Read more from the Sonoma Index-Tribune here: Grand Jury report raises alarms about water security following earthquake

Local nonprofits sue the EPA over Cargill salt ponds ruling:  “A coalition of local nonprofits has teamed up to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its head, Andrew Wheeler, over the agency’s recent decision that the Redwood City Salt Ponds, owned by Cargill, Inc., are not subject to the U.S. Clean Water Act.  The EPA’s decision was a reversal of a prior draft determination by the agency, released in November 2016, that laid out findings that the majority of the Salt Ponds property and the areas surrounding it constitute waters of the United States, according to the lawsuit. … ” Read more from the Almanac here: Local nonprofits sue the EPA over Cargill salt ponds ruling

East Bay water district considers buying giant cattle ranch that straddles four counties:  “The Alameda County Water District is considering shelling out $72 million for a fourth-generation, 50,500-acre cattle ranch — touted as the largest potential land sale in the state — to preserve water quality, officials say.  Much of the property lies in watersheds that feed into critical water supply facilities for millions of Bay Area residents, including Lake Del Valle, Calaveras Reservoir and Alameda Creek. ... ”  Read more from the East Bay Times here: East Bay water district considers buying giant cattle ranch that straddles four counties

Salinas Valley, Marina groundwater plans under public review, at odds:  “Groundwater management plans have been released for public review by both the Salinas Valley and City of Marina groundwater sustainability agencies even as the deadline for submitting final plans looms less than four months away with no agreement between the two agencies in place and California American Water’s desalination project at the center of a dispute.  Last week, both the Salinas Valley groundwater agency and the Marina groundwater agency released their plans for 45-day public review periods that will extend through Nov. 25, the week before Thanksgiving. They have also announced plans for public workshops on the plans. … ”  Read more from the Monterey County Herald here: Salinas Valley, Marina groundwater plans under public review, at odds

Ridgecrest: Budget talks on the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority agenda for Thursday:  “When the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority board of directors meets Thursday morning, 11 a.m., at Ridgecrest City Hall, it will consider carefully its budget for 2020.  At the September board meeting, board members saw in clear red numbers that projections through the end of next year aren’t good.  The IWVGA would be in continued shortfall due to underperformance of its current pump fee and a lack of other revenue streams beyond grants. It stands to end that year with a debt of $515,718, according to a staff report. ... ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here: Budget talks on the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority agenda for Thursday

Metropolitan, Sanitation Districts launch new water recycling demo plant:  “In a major step toward the potential construction of one of the largest water recycling plants in the nation, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County were joined today by federal, state and local water leaders to celebrate the start of operations at the Regional Recycled Water Advanced Purification Center. ... ”  Read more from Water World here: Metropolitan, Sanitation Districts launch new water recycling demo plant

Mesa Water tweaks pipe replacement policy, cutting estimated cost:  “The Mesa Water District board took a step Thursday to reduce the estimated cost of replacing its pipeline system.  With newly adopted methodology, district staff estimates the 100-year replacement cost at $131 million — down from $200 million under the former standards.  A previous resolution the board adopted in 2014 to guide its pipe replacement policy required testing pipe thickness and outside pressure before replacing a pipe. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Mesa Water tweaks pipe replacement policy, cutting estimated cost

Work on the Yucaipa’s Oak Glen Creek Detention Basins begins:  “The Oak Glen Creek Corridor, in the flood plain between Pendleton Avenue and the Oak Glen Creek Detention Basins at Bryant Street, is getting an ecological make-over that will be completed in two steps. Step one started this week.  Over the last several years, the city has acquired open space areas for habitat preservation with the benefit of public recreational use. One of the primary reasons in acquiring open space is to mitigate the impacts of construction within natural drainage channels. … ”  Read more from the News Mirror here: Work on the Yucaipa’s Oak Glen Creek Detention Basins begins

Supervisors vote Wednesday on withdrawing San Diego County as Groundwater Sustainability Agency for Borrego Valley groundwater basin:  “Faced with a state mandate to reduce water use by 75 percent after years over over-pumping groundwater, major water users in Borrego Springs have submitted a stipulated agreement for reducing the desert community’s water use by an estimated 75 percent. On Wednesday, San Diego County Supervisors will vote on withdrawing as a groundwater sustainability agency for the Borrego Valley Groundwater Basin, with a goal toward transitioning into water management. ... ”  Read more from East County News here: Supervisors vote Wednesday on withdrawing San Diego County as Groundwater Sustainability Agency for Borrego Valley groundwater basin

Along the Colorado River …

New Project Keeps Water Running To Las Vegas:  “More than 42 million tourists traveled to Las Vegas in 2018 to see the shows, the entertainers, and the gambling halls that make the city one of the nation’s most popular travel destinations. The Las Vegas valley is also the home of more than 2.25 million residents, easily the most densely populated region in the state of Nevada.  What the tourists and the residents do not see, however, is a unique vision for the future that is being implemented about 30 miles to the east of the city. That’s where the Southern Nevada Water Authority is building the Lake Mead Low Lake Level Pumping Station, a $650-million, five-year project that plans to open next year. ... ”  Read more from Water Online here: New Project Keeps Water Running To Las Vegas

You could get paid to fish for an invasive species in the Grand Canyon. Here’s how:  “Invasive fish species have long been a challenge for scientists in the Grand Canyon because they attract fishermen but can devour threatened native species.  Now, the National Park Service is ready to try a new approach to keeping things in balance: pay fishermen and women to harvest one of the worst offenders, the brown trout.  These invaders like to eat other fish, including the Canyon’s endangered native species, the humpback chub. … ”  Read more from Arizona Central here: You could get paid to fish for an invasive species in the Grand Canyon. Here’s how

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

BLOG ROUND-UP: Payback and crossing enviro community; Climate change and instream flows, Perspectives on groundwater sustainability; Wrong advice for Klamath River salmon; From “The Great Mistake” to “Science Be Dammed”; and more …

NEWS WORTH NOTING: Statewide well test results for contaminants PFOA and PFOS now available through web-based maps; State Water Board set to consider CV-SALTS program

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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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