WEEKLY CA WATER NEWS DIGEST for October 13 – 18: Dam removal projects, DWR Director Karla Nemeth interview
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This week’s featured articles …
DAM REMOVAL: Dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t
The time, expense, and regulatory uncertainty of providing viable and effective fish passage have propelled reservoir operators to pursue dam removal in watersheds throughout the state. The Caramel River Reroute and the San Clemente Dam Project is the largest dam removal project ever to occur in California to date.
Next year, the largest dam removal project in U.S. history is set to begin on the Klamath River. As fish populations dwindle and legacy hydroelectric and water supply facilities age, this trend is sure to continue.
The pace of dam removal has been accelerating across the country. Since the 1970s, 1400 dams have been removed, 82 in the last year alone. California led the nation in dam removals in 2018 with 35 different projects across the state. These aging dams are degraded, full of sediment and they no longer provide the intended flood control, water supply, hydropower and economic benefits, and they almost always block or degrade valuable habitats for threatened and endangered species.
At the spring conference of the Association of California Water Agencies, a panel discussed three dam removal projects: the completed San Clemente Dam removal project, the Klamath Dam removal project set to begin next year, and the Matilija Dam removal project which is still in the planning phases.
PERSPECTIVES: DWR Director Karla Nemeth on Oroville Dam, the Governor’s water resilience portfolio, Delta conveyance, the Voluntary Agreements, and more …
In late August, California Department of Water Resources (DWR) Director Karla Nemeth graciously set aside some time to talk with us about the Department she leads and its role in confronting California’s water challenges. The wide-ranging interview included background information about the Department and discussion of a significant list of issues she is charged with addressing. Topics included: plans for DWR’s workforce; the response to the Oroville Dam spillway crisis; the Governor’s proposal for a California Water Resilience Portfolio and the administration’s approach to management of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) — among other things.
In water news this week from around the web …
WEEKEND DAILY DIGEST: 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 … READ IT HERE: Weekend Daily Digest
MONDAY: Increased population strains limits of Chico’s sewer system; Study: Former San Geronimo Golf Course should be wastewater site; A floating plastic island in the San Francisco Bay may offer a new way to protect coasts from floods; The Monsoon Was A Total Letdown For The Southwest; Park Service plan for Colorado River below Glen Canyon to include reward for catching brown trout; Enviros lament ‘lost opportunity’ with lead rule revamp; The week in water podcast; and more … READ IT HERE: Monday’s Daily Digest
TUESDAY: 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 … READ IT HERE: Tuesday’s Daily Digest
WEDNESDAY: As Groundwater Law Plows Forward, Small Farmers Seek More Engagement; New Chevron Crude Spills Emerge in Kern County Oil Field; Forest plans affect grazing, logging, water; Guerrilla Gatherers: California tribes are breaking the law to maintain their traditional ways of life.; The Quiet, Intentional Fires of Northern California; Here’s What We Know About Newsom From The 1,042 Bills Sent His Way; E.P.A. Bypassed Its West Coast Team as a Feud With California Escalated; BLM cites threat to environment as a reason for more border wall in San Diego; New national effort to predict, respond to algae blooms; Wildlife Photographer of the Year winners showcase stunning scenes from nature; and more … READ IT HERE: Wednesday’s Daily Digest
THURSDAY: California Water Board OKs 35-Year Plan to Tackle Farm Pollution; Groundwater Recharge Projects Get Boost Under AB 658; New California Law Creates Path to Water Industry Jobs for Vets; DWR Prepares California Water System for Next ‘Big One’; ‘I’m standing right here in the middle of climate change’: How USDA is failing farmers; State requirements face off with federal law in a recent decision requiring more water from Lake Cachuma for steelhead; Aerial view shows environmental disaster at the Salton Sea; and more … READ IT HERE: Thursday’s Daily Digest
FRIDAY: 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 … READ IT HERE: Friday’s Daily Digest
News worth noting and other news items this week …
- THIS JUST IN … State Water Board Approves Central Valley Water Board Plan to Reduce Nitrate Contamination in Groundwater and Provide Replacement Drinking Water
- NEWS WORTH NOTING: State Water Contractors provide $7 Million in funding for the Tule Red Tidal Restoration Project; New SGMA resource on water quality available from the State Water Board
- 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
- NEWS WORTH NOTING: Reclamation, SLDMWA release revised final EIS for long-term transfers; Metropolitan, Sanitation districts launch new water recycling demonstration plant; LADWP’s Upper Stone Canyon Reservoir returns to service with newly installed floating cover
Weekly features …
- CALENDAR EVENTS: State of the Estuary conference; Flood MAR public forum; Localizing California waters conference; PPIC: Preparing California’s water system for climate extremes; Mountain Counties water symposium
- 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 …
- SCIENCE NEWS: Chinook salmon flocking to revitalized San Joaquin River; California power shutdowns raise air pollution worries; Our energy grid is vulnerable. Locally sourced power may be the answer; On the Northwest’s Snake River, the case for dam removal grows; and more …
Announcements this week …
- DELTA eNEWS: ~~ Delta Voice~ Delta Heart~ Heritage Day~ Clarksburg Fair~ Estuary Conference~ DSC Meeting ~~
- WATER PLAN eNEWS: ~~Yosemite Conference~ Sustainable Infrastructure~ Basin Water~ Utility Information~ Using P3s~ Splash: Flood Risk ~~
- FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: NOAA’s Environmental Literacy Program’s resilience education grant competition now open
- FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: 2020 Nonpoint Source (NPS) Grant Program – Clean Water Act section 319(h) & Timber Regulation & Forest Restoration Fund
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