DAILY DIGEST: California likely to see a dry winter, but nothing’s certain; Groundwater pumpers beware: The Public Trust Doctrine is lurking; California delays ballast water treatment standard; The pros and cons of introducing non-native fish species; and more …

In California water news today, California likely to see a dry winter, a federal report warns. But nothing’s certain; New groundwater law will have significant impact on Valley farmers starting in 2020; Groundwater Pumpers Beware: The Public Trust Doctrine is Lurking; California delays its almost-impossible-to-achieve ballast water treatment standard; The pros and cons of introducing non-native fish species; What climate change will do to three major American cities by 2100; and more …

In the news today …

California likely to see a dry winter, a federal report warns. But nothing’s certain:  “The coming winter is likely to be dry in California, and drought conditions may begin to emerge in the central part of the state, federal climate experts warned Thursday.  But forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also said weather patterns are fickle this year, and there’s no clear sign that another prolonged drought like the one that squeezed California earlier this decade will settle in. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: California likely to see a dry winter, a federal report warns. But nothing’s certain

New groundwater law will have significant impact on Valley farmers starting in 2020:  “The new year will bring new concerns over how much water farmers, cities, and school districts will be able to pump out of the ground.  A groundwater sustainability plan drawn up during the California drought will take effect in January, which will set new limits on how much groundwater can be pumped out of wells.  The impact of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA, will be significant. Hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland are expected to be fallowed as a result of the new law. … ”  Read more from KFSN here: New groundwater law will have significant impact on Valley farmers starting in 2020

Groundwater Pumpers Beware: The Public Trust Doctrine is Lurking:  “The Third District Appellate Court recently issued a long-awaited decision in Environmental Law Foundation vs. State Water Resources Control Board (ELF v. SWRCB). The decision confirms the expansive scope of California’s public trust doctrine by ruling that the doctrine applies to the extraction of groundwater if the extraction will adversely impact a navigable waterway. The court also determined that the 2014 enactment of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) did not displace the common law duty to consider public trust interests before allowing groundwater extractions that could potentially harm a navigable waterway. The case arose in the context of a lawsuit over Siskiyou County’s (the County) obligations in administering groundwater well permit and management programs with respect to the Scott River, a navigable waterway tributary to the Klamath River. The Scott River is a public trust resource. … ”  Read more from the National Law Review here: Groundwater Pumpers Beware: The Public Trust Doctrine is Lurking

California delays its almost-impossible-to-achieve ballast water treatment standard:  “The California Marine Invasive Species Act (MISA) is to be implemented in two parts: an interim standard and a final performance standard. The final performance standard calls for zero detectable living organisms. This is a standard higher than that of IMO and beyond that required by the USCG.  The California State Lands Commission, the enforcer of the regulation in California, has recognised that the standards are unachievable with the currently available technology. It was for this reason that in October 2015, California delayed implementing its interim ballast water discharge standards by four years, from 1 January 2016 to 1 January 2020, because of the lack of available treatment technologies. ... ”  Read more from Riviera here: California delays its almost-impossible-to-achieve ballast water treatment standard

The World’s Largest Berry Company Bets Big On Water Stewardship:  “Chances are if you’ve bitten into a strawberry, blueberry, blackberry or raspberry lately, it was supplied by the world’s largest berry company, Driscoll’s. With products sourced from 21 countries, and sold in 48, Driscoll’s supplies a third of the global berry business.  But growing berries can be a water intensive proposition, with the added challenge that prime growing regions are often located in areas of high water stress: Eighty percent of Driscoll’s acreage globally can be found in California and Mexico, regions which coincide with significant water risks to businesses and the communities in which they operate. … ”  Read more from the Triple Pundit here: The World’s Largest Berry Company Bets Big On Water Stewardship

New market would pay farmers for conservation practices:  “The Farm Foundation recently hosted a forum to examine the potential value and benefits of an ecosystem marketplace that could enable and encourage farmers and ranchers to adopt and sustain conservation management practices.  It included an evaluation of a study — commissioned by the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium — to assess the value and potential of conservation practices on private agricultural land and the potential demand for carbon and water-quality credits. ... ”  Read more from the Capital Press here: New market would pay farmers for conservation practices

Nature up close: The pros and cons of introducing non-native fish species:  “A recent “Sunday Morning” Moment of Nature highlighted brook trout in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California (see below). With their bright red and orange abdomens, orange fins trimmed in black, and sides sprinkled with yellow and red dots, they flash through the water like little jewels. Brook trout are native to the U.S., but not California, so their introduction is not without controversy. … ”  Read more from CBS News here: Nature up close: The pros and cons of introducing non-native fish species

Q&A with research director of $100-million program to develop new sources for usable water:  “Late last month, the U.S. Department of Energy announced a $100 million research grant to the National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) to lead an Energy-Water Desalination Hub. Meagan Mauter, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is NAWI’s research director.  … Led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Peter Fiske, NAWI includes four DOE national labs, 19 universities and 10 industry partners. Here, Mauter explains how this very large and potentially transformative project will work, and Stanford’s role in the work. ... ”  Read more from Stanford News here: Q&A with research director of $100-million program to develop new sources for usable water

New “Voices for Clean Water” website highlights wide array of Americans speaking out against pollution threats:  “In response to a growing set of pollution threats and to mark today’s 47th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, Environment America Research and Policy Center and the Clean Water for All coalition have launched  a new website — “Voices for Clean Water” — that  features photos and testimonials from a wide array of individuals from across America. They included business owners, faith leaders, public health experts and people who love to swim, hike, kayak or just drink clean water. … ”  Read more from Environment America here: New “Voices for Clean Water” website highlights wide array of Americans speaking out against pollution threats

What climate change will do to three major American cities by 2100:  ” … Climate change will look different in different places across the world, but we chose three places with distinct geographic concerns and climate vulnerabilities—to ground all the ominous statistics and headlines in a real sense of place. These are cities you may have visited, or where you may have family, or where you may even live.  According to the research Nexus compiled, St. Louis will see flooding, extreme heat, severe rainfall, and drought in the surrounding farmland. In Houston, on the Gulf of Mexico, hurricanes will grow more destructive and temperatures will soar. San Francisco will witness rising sea levels, fierce wildfires, and extreme drought. ... ”  Read more from Quartz magazine here: What climate change will do to three major American cities by 2100

12 reports on carbon pricing, climate security, and more:  “Over the last several weeks, Americans have witnessed a remarkable burst of climate activism and communication. In two townhalls, Democratic candidates for president offered their plans for addressing climate change. Students and concerned citizens participated in climate strikes organized in cities across the nation and around the world. And Covering Climate Now, a consortium of more than 300 media outlets, gave climate change an unprecedented level of coverage for two weeks in September. ... ”  Read more from Yale Climate Connections here: 12 reports on carbon pricing, climate security, and more

In commentary today …

Change in California water will prevent catastrophe, build a more resilient Valley, says Ann Hayden:  She writes, “Change is hard. It’s human nature to resist it.  So it’s not surprising that some Central Valley farmers and water managers are raising alarm bells about the most sweeping change to state water law in a century, saying in a recent Fresno Bee series that the consequences will be “excruciating” and “catastrophic.” … ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here: Change in California water will prevent catastrophe, build a more resilient Valley

In regional news and commentary today …

Sonoma County: State could leave community without water after earthquake:  “Valley of the Moon is a small community of 27,000 people tucked away not far from Sonoma. It’s quiet normally, but the general manager of their water district has become quite the opposite.  “I will not be the guy who didn’t say he did everything he could to get water to his people,” said Alan Gardner, general manager of Valley of the Moon Water District. … ”  Read more from KRCR here: State could leave community without water after earthquake

Volunteers wrap up effort to survey Upper Truckee River for invasive species:  “Community members, supported by staff from the League to Save Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Resource Conservation District and California State Parks, have wrapped up a three-year effort to survey the Upper Truckee River for aquatic invasive plants.  This effort will help prevent the spread of invasives during major upcoming restoration projects along the river, Lake Tahoe’s largest tributary. … ”  Read more from the Sierra Sun here: Volunteers wrap up effort to survey Upper Truckee River for invasive species

Second year of Santa Cruz to Soquel Creek water transfers to continue:  “November will bring the second year of a cooperative pilot program transferring extra City of Santa Cruz riverwater to Soquel Creek Water District customers.  In an update to the water district board of directors this week, officials from both agencies described how Soquel Creek will expand its distribution of city water to a greater part of its service area this winter. … ”  Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here: Second year of Santa Cruz to Soquel Creek water transfers to continue

A citizen group’s repeal could come at a cost to Morro Bay residents:  “Morro Bay pushed through discussions about 17 possible locations before it finally pinned down the South Bay Boulevard and Highway 1 site for its water reclamation facility. But the location is unacceptable to a group of residents who are petitioning the city’s decision to purchase the site of the future facility.  City officials say the petition won’t halt the project, but it could cost residents more money. ... ”  Read more from New Times SLO here: A citizen group’s repeal could come at a cost to Morro Bay residents

Paso Robles: State letter chides SLO County for diminished role of agriculture in groundwater plan:  “The California State Board of Food and Agriculture called out San Luis Obispo County in a letter expressing concern about irrigated agriculture’s “limited” involvement in crafting groundwater plans over the Paso Robles basin.  The Sept. 30 letter, addressed to 5th District Supervisor Debbie Arnold, stated that recent state department meetings in SLO drew “robust” feedback from farmers frustrated about how the county has crafted plans to comply with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. … ”  Read more from New Times SLO here: State letter chides SLO County for diminished role of agriculture in groundwater plan

Owens Valley Groundwater Authority update:  ” The Owens Valley Groundwater Authority has set up what seems like a permanent residence in Limbo—still no final word on how the California Department of Water Resources has prioritized the valley’s aquifer.  While the basin went from medium to low last spring that designation has not been finalized. The deadline for medium Groundwater Sustainability Plans is still early 2022. … ”  Read more from Sierra Wave here: Owens Valley Groundwater Authority update

Geologists Tout Lessons Learned From Ridgecrest Quakes:  “Months after Southern California experienced its largest earthquake sequence in over two decades, scientists have learned the temblors are more complex than previously thought.  The earthquake sequence near the Kern County town of Ridgecrest comprised of a magnitude 6.4 foreshock on July 4, followed by a magnitude 7.1 mainshock 34 hours later and more than 100,000 aftershocks. Based on data from orbiting radar satellites and ground-based seismometers, researchers built a distinct picture of an earthquake rupture far more complex than previous models could predict. ... ”  Read more from Courthouse News Service here: Geologists Tout Lessons Learned From Ridgecrest Quakes

Along the Colorado River …

As developers built homes, Arizona groundwater levels fell. It can’t continue, report says:  “A set of water rules that has fueled rapid growth in Arizona’s suburbs is riddled with weaknesses, according to a new report by researchers at Arizona State University, who argue the system needs to be overhauled to protect homeowners from rising costs and to ensure sufficient water supplies for the future.  Kathy Ferris and Sarah Porter of the Kyl Center for Water Policy focused in their report, released Thursday, on the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District, examining the role it plays in enabling new development in parts of the state. … ”  Read more from Arizona Central here: As developers built homes, Arizona groundwater levels fell. It can’t continue, report says

Commentary: Arizona’s Pinal County doesn’t have enough water for the long haul. What will we do about it?  Joanna Allhands writes, “There is not enough water in Pinal County for the long term.  Let that sink in.  If things don’t change by 2115, the Pinal Active Management Area (AMA), which actually includes portions of Pinal, Maricopa and Pima counties, will lack the water to supply more than 8 million acre-feet of demands.  That’s a lot of water – about 10% of total demand, or roughly 2.6 trillion gallons more than what may be available there over the next hundred years. … ”  Read more from Arizona Central here: Commentary: Arizona’s Pinal County doesn’t have enough water for the long haul. What will we do about it?

Climate whiplash: Four Corners residents and ranchers adapting to weather extremes:  “Climate change has been called the new normal. But after the past two years, residents in some parts of the Southwest say there’s nothing normal about it.  Communities in the Four Corners – where Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona meet – have been bouncing between desperate dryness and record-breaking moisture since the winter of 2017, forcing people dependent on the reliability and predictability of water to adapt. ... ”  Read more from Cronkite News here: Climate whiplash: Four Corners residents and ranchers adapting to weather extremes

Precipitation watch …

From NWS Sacramento:A weak weather system will be passing through the Pacific Northwest and NorCal tonight and Saturday bringing a threat of light precipitation to parts of the north state mainly mountains north of interstate 80. The northern Sacramento valley will see a chance of rain as well. Clearing and warming are expected Sunday.”

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

DELTA eNEWS: ~~ Delta Voice~ Delta Heart~ Heritage Day~ Clarksburg Fair~ Estuary Conference~ DSC Meeting ~~

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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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