DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Santa Barbara water agencies say no to state water tunnel project; Trump plan could bring growers more water. But will it harm salmon?; Farmland owners look to solar as groundwater restrictions loom; and more …

Kunde Winery, photo by Frank Schulenberg

In California water news this weekend, Santa Barbara Water Agencies Say No to State Water Tunnel Project; Trump plan could bring growers more water. But will it harm California’s rare salmon?; Farmland owners look to solar as groundwater restrictions loom; Radio show: How Climate Change Affects The Earth’s Most Massive Trees; New data show severity of water contamination in poor neighborhoods; Interior removes controversial proposed change from final FOIA rule; and more …

In the news this weekend …

Santa Barbara Water Agencies Say No to State Water Tunnel Project:  “Local water agencies aren’t buying into the new version of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta “twin tunnels” project, and Santa Barbara County members of the State Water Project voted Thursday to opt out entirely.  The California Department of Water Resources’ Cal Waterfix project, also known as the twin tunnels, aimed to increase State Water Project reliability by building two 40-foot-diameter tunnels to move water under the Delta instead of through it. … ”  Read more from Noozhawk here: Santa Barbara Water Agencies Say No to State Water Tunnel Project

Trump plan could bring growers more water. But will it harm California’s rare salmon?  “The Trump administration this week declared that pumping more water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to supply farms will not jeopardize the endangered salmon and smelt that live in the estuary. This clears the way for the federal government to deliver more water, possibly as soon as next year.  The decision is a big and controversial step toward providing more water for people and less for fish. But the battle, yet another in a decades-long struggle for California’s water, has only just begun. ... ”  Read more from Cal Matters here: Trump plan could bring growers more water. But will it harm California’s rare salmon?

Farmland owners look to solar as groundwater restrictions loom:  “New solar energy installations may be headed to the valley portion of Kern County as investors, government officials and advocacy groups weigh options for reusing land that will have to be taken out of production as a result of state restrictions on groundwater pumping.  Photovoltaic solar arrays, for years an attractive investment for local farmland owners, would appear to align with California’s ambitious goal of meeting all its electricity needs with renewable energy. ... ”  Read more from the Bakersfield Californian here: Farmland owners look to solar as groundwater restrictions loom

Radio show: How Climate Change Affects The Earth’s Most Massive Trees:  “With the recent purchase of the Alder Creek property in the Southern Sierra Nevada, 99 percent of giant sequoias are under protective ownership. But that doesn’t mean they’re safe. A combination of climate change and fire suppression has resulted in an alarming loss of these majestic trees. FM89’s Kathleen Schock discusses the future of giant sequoias with Mike Theune, Fire Information Officer for Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, Rob York, Adjunct Professor of Forestry at UC Berkeley, Dr. Kristen Shive, Director of Science for Save the Redwoods League, and Adam Hernandez, instructor of wildland fire technology at Reedley College.”  Listen to the radio show from KVPR here: How Climate Change Affects The Earth’s Most Massive Trees

New data show severity of water contamination in poor neighborhoods: “Curious to know exactly what’s in the water that flows from your taps? Then simply plug your zip code into the latest iteration of the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Tap Water Database.  The database provides an analysis of the water springing from the nation’s faucets, with updated information pertaining to issues like the water quality impacts from agricultural runoff, lead contamination stemming from aging infrastructure, as well as the growing human health and environmental threats posed by Per- and Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances, otherwise known as PFASs. As of October 2019, 1,026 sites in 49 states are known to be impacted by this potentially toxic family of chemical, according to the EWG. … ”  Read more from Salon here: New data show severity of water contamination in poor neighborhoods

Interior removes controversial proposed change from final FOIA rule:  “The Interior Department has removed heavily criticized language from the final version of its public records rule that some worried would give officials too much leniency in withholding documents.  The final iteration of the department’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulation issued Friday removes several proposed language changes that government watchdog groups argued would place an unlawful burden on public records seekers and offered the agency broader authority to reject requests that didn’t fit the more narrow request format. … ”  Read more from The Hill here: Interior removes controversial proposed change from final FOIA rule

In commentary this weekend …

Gov. Newsom must defend the Delta, says the San Francisco Chronicle:  They write, “Gov. Gavin Newsom hasn’t flinched in fighting President Trump when it comes to loosening pollution rules in a smoggy state or punishing immigrants seeking protection. But he’s oddly noncommittal when it comes to a federal water grab that rewards thirsty farmers and Southern California cities.  Last week, federal rule makers followed White House dictates and issued looser restrictions on diversions from the state’s prime water faucet, the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Newsom’s response: near silence. “We will evaluate the federal government’s proposal,” said a spokeswoman for the governor’s Natural Resources Agency. ... ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Gov. Newsom must defend the Delta, says the San Francisco Chronicle

We must press California, federal officials to clean up toxic rivers, say Jessica Javier, Osiris Chavez and Kelli Daniels:  They write, “Contamination of soil and groundwater takes a huge toll on California’s environment.  In 2017, the amount of untreated sewage and industrial waste dumped into Southern California rivers was equal to at least 500 Olympic-sized swimming pools. More than 100 million gallons of untreated sewage were dumped into the Tijuana River near Imperial Beach in September 2019.  The problem is getting worse. … ”  Read more from The Desert Sun here: We must press California, federal officials to clean up toxic rivers

This week in podcasts …

The Crown of the Continent: Steve Baker writes, “Glacier National Park is rich in water. It’s where you find a triple continental divide. Hudson, Hudson Bay, the Atlantic and the Pacific are the ultimate destinations for Glacial National Park source water. Wild, beautiful and alive. Water is a Many Splendor’ed Thing brings you another water relationship that has a personally significant impact to your life.”  Podcast by Steve Baker, Operation Unite® Bringing People Together to Solve Water Problems

In regional news and commentary this weekend …

Tehama/Glenn County: Local agencies to hold public meeting on groundwater management:  “The public will have an opportunity to learn about the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and local implementation of this law at a public meeting 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6 at the Corning Senior Center, 1015 4th Ave. in Corning.  Governor Brown in 2014 signed into law a legislative package comprised of three bills. These laws are collectively known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The act defines sustainable groundwater management as the “management and use of groundwater in a manner that can be maintained without causing undesirable results.” … ”  Read more from the Red Bluff Daily News here: Tehama/Glenn County: Local agencies to hold public meeting on groundwater management

El Dorado County: Local students monitor high-country watershed:  “For the past 22 years the Watershed Education Summit has brought together students and teachers from local high schools with resource specialists in an extensive watershed monitoring project in the Crystal Basin Recreation Area of the Eldorado National Forest.  El Dorado, Ponderosa, Union Mine, Foresthill and Golden Sierra students set out for the forest on Sept. 25 and spent three nights under the stars.  “We’ve been collecting data for over 22 years,” explained Golden Sierra High School’s Brad Mason. “Not only is that an amazing amount of information but it’s also had an amazing impacted on a lot of kids.” … ”  Read more from the Mountain Democrat here: El Dorado County: Local students monitor high-country watershed

Sacramento: Emergency response teams meet district’s newest flood fight tool:  “There is a recurring theme often heard among experts who train others to respond during emergency situations. The adage states, “An emergency is not the time to be trading business cards.” In other words, when the emergency is underway, you’d better already have established contacts you can reach out to and make things happen.  Nick Lesourd, natural disaster program manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District echoed that motto at a recent flood fight equipment seminar and drill held with several partner agencies at the district’s Bryte Yard warehouse in Sacramento. … ”  Read more from the Army Corps of Engineers here: Emergency response teams meet district’s newest flood fight tool

East Bay Water Agency Prepares for Planned Weekend Power Shutoffs:  “Emergency generators are being connected at East Bay Municipal Utilities District facilities in the East Bay to ensure that water service in Alameda and Contra Costa counties continues uninterrupted during this weekend’s public safety power shutoff.  EBMUD said Friday that it anticipates more than 180 of its facilities — including water treatment plants, pumping plants and local water storage tanks — will be affected by the shutoff. … ”  Read more from Channel 5 here: East Bay Water Agency Prepares for Planned Weekend Power Shutoffs

Soquel Creek water supply project eligible for competitive $50M loan:  “The Soquel Creek Water District has been chosen as a finalist in a competitive federal loan program that, if awarded, would cover half the costs of a planned major supply project.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act could provide a $49 million loan toward the district’s Pure Water Soquel recycled water project plan, an estimated $90 million project. The water district was one of 38 applicants chosen from 51 applicants to move forward in obtaining the loans, with an interest rate of 1.8% — compared to a typical 3% rate, said Special Projects-Communications Manager Melanie Mow Schumacher. … ”  Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here: Soquel Creek water supply project eligible for competitive $50M loan

Searles Valley Minerals reasserts water claims to IWVGA board:  “Searles Valley Minerals reasserted that its right to pump water from the Indian Wells Valley during public comment at the IWV Groundwater Authority meeting on Oct. 17.  Tom Bunn, SVM’s attorney, cited that this right trumps the Navy’s 1943 federal reserve rights, the year that the naval air facility at China Lake was established. … ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here: Searles Valley Minerals reasserts water claims to IWVGA board

Santa Clarita: Water Supply Info in the Pipeline, says Gary Martin:  He writes, “In her Oct. 9 Signal commentary, “Updated Water Supply Info Needed,” Lynne Plambeck uses a conflation of opinion, facts and her biased and often faulty version of reality to conclude that our policy makers are not following the law in using updated water supply information when considering new development projects and thus not making “informed” decisions.  At issue is whether our local planning authorities are adhering to the legal requirements of two bills that were passed in 2000, SB 610 and SB 221. … ”  Read more from The Signal here: Water Supply Info in the Pipeline

Sunday video …

Stunning Fall Colors in the Hope Valley:  From the Sacramento Valley folks: “Aerial view of a seasonal pilgrimage for many – seeing fall color in the Hope Valley. John Hannon shot and edited this video.”

Also on Maven’s Notebook this weekend …

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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.

Maven’s Notebook
where California water news never goes home for the weekend

no weekends

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