In California water news today, Forecasters: California fire season could last into December; expect more large blazes; 5 lessons we learned from the California wildfires; Does a rain-free October signal a return to drought in California?; Odds of reaching 100% of normal water year precipitation; Feds Defeat Lawsuit Over San Francisco Bay Dredging Dispute; Marijuana and Environment: Green Rush Not So Green After All; They’ve managed the forest forever. It’s why they’re key to the climate change fight; Trump Tries to Shred California Environmental Rep as Part of Multipronged Assault; Why desalinating water is hard — and why we might need to anyway; and more …
On the calendar today …
- PPIC: Preparing California’s Water System for Climate Extremes from 9am to 12:30pm. The event is full but you can still register to watch via webcast.
- The State Water Resources Control Board meets beginning at 9:30am. Agenda items include a resolution to form the Advisory Group for Implementation of The Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund and a proposed framework for regulating direct potable reuse in California. Click here for the full agenda. Click here to watch on webcast.
- Free SGMA Survival Toolkit in Bakersfield from 1:30pm to 5:00pm. Three panels will discuss the impacts and possible unintended consequences of SGMA. More information by clicking here.
- GRA San Diego Branch: Seawater Intrusion Control in Orange County – Do We Need Another Barrier? from 6 to 8:30pm. Click here to register. You do not need to be a member to attend.
In the news today …
Also on Maven’s Notebook today …
- BLOG ROUND-UP: The good, the bad, and the ugly in the new CVP/SWP biological opinions; Climate change and the Delta: Facing an uncertain future together; Why do elected progressives feel safe espousing retrograde water policy?; For Pattie Gonia, the trail is a runway; and more …
- GUEST COMMENTARY: Water scarcity: A catch phrase of convenience
- FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Reclamation announces water management funding opportunity for Indian tribes in the 17 Western states
Forecasters: California fire season could last into December; expect more large blazes: “For a third straight year, California’s fire season is ramping up when it should be winding down. After an onslaught of wind storms and flurry of blazes, large swaths of the state are now extremely dry and primed to burn until winter rains arrive to quell the danger — when and if they do. Just a month ago, it seemed like California might avoid another bad fire season. Showers swept over the far northern part of the state, snowfall blanketed the slopes of Lassen National Park, and much of the state got a blast of wintry air. … ” Read more from the Washington Post here: Forecasters: California fire season could last into December; expect more large blazes
5 lessons we learned from the California wildfires: “California is only midway through its fire season, which traditionally occurs in autumn but has lately extended into summer and winter. But now that the fires have died down for the moment, here is what we have learned. … ” Read more from the New York Times here: 5 Lessons We Learned From the California Wildfires
(As if PG&E didn’t have enough problems …) PG&E pipe submerged in California’s delta caused boat crash, sheriff says: “A steel pipe belonging to PG&E caused a boat crash in the delta in San Joaquin County over the weekend, the sheriff’s department said. … ” Read more from KRON here: PG&E pipe submerged in California’s delta caused boat crash, sheriff says
Does a rain-free October signal a return to drought in California? ““There are 200 different definitions of drought,” said climatologist Bill Patzert. “If you’re a firefighter with no rain in the month of October, and there are strong Diablo and Santa Ana winds, it’s a drought.” Southern California got no rain during October, and it was desiccated by super-dry Santa Ana winds. ... ” Read more from the LA Times here: Does a rain-free October signal a return to drought in California?
Odds of reaching 100% of normal water year precipitation: “Drought status is often represented by maps of how much precipitation has fallen in the year to date, or how that amount differs from normal amounts of precipitation to date. Up-to-date examples of such maps are presented below … ” Read more from the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes here: Odds of reaching 100% of normal water year precipitation
Feds Defeat Lawsuit Over San Francisco Bay Dredging Dispute: “A state agency cannot make the federal government dredge two vital San Francisco Bay channels more frequently, a federal judge ruled Monday, despite arguments that less dredging could increase the risk of a container ship accident or oil spill. The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in September 2016, arguing the Corps violated federal law when it decided to dredge the Pinole Shoal and Outer Richmond Harbor channels every other year instead of annually. ... ” Read more from Courthouse News Service here: Feds Defeat Lawsuit Over San Francisco Bay Dredging Dispute
Marijuana and Environment: Green Rush Not So Green After All: “The growing legalization of cannabis shed some new light on the vastly overlooked phenomenon of the environmental downside of marijuana cultivation. The problem is, marijuana has been illegal for such a long time that no one measured the environmental “damage” that this crop produces. … It seems that the fastest growing industry in the United States is in desperate need of established sustainable practices and policies that aim to prevent negative environmental implication of marijuana cultivation. … ” Read more from Green Camp here: Marijuana and Environment: Green Rush Not So Green After All
El Dorado Irrigation District fights water taxes: ” … Legislation threatening “area of origin” protection for water sources was proposed by Sen. Henry Stern, who represents the 27th district that encompasses parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Senate Bill 474 would have had the effect of striking all unused state water filings and, according to Reeb, frustrated the purpose for the filings. Under existing law, applications to apply for water that will be used or conserved have priority as of the date of the filing of the application. … ” Read more from the Mountain Democrat here: El Dorado Irrigation District fights water taxes
Wildfires, power outages, now flooding? California has a dam problem – and desert communities might be in danger: “Californians have recently endured the dual hardships of wildfires and mass power outages meant to prevent them, not always effectively. Now comes word that desert communities in the Golden State could be at risk of flooding. What’s next, locusts and pestilence? … Here are five questions addressing a new risk that most Californians didn’t even know existed … ” Read more from USA Today here: Wildfires, power outages, now flooding? California has a dam problem – and desert communities might be in danger
They’ve managed the forest forever. It’s why they’re key to the climate change fight: “The first time Mandy Gull visited Canada’s Broadback Forest, she was struck by the displays of delicate lichen. By the dense, ancient trees. By the moss-covered floor, which rose and fell like a rumpled green blanket. “There’s an energy in that kind of forest that I don’t think you find just anywhere,” said Gull, a member of the Cree First Nation of Waswanipi in Quebec and the deputy grand chief of the Grand Council of the Crees. “You have to go there and see it and feel it.” … ” Read more from the LA Times here: They’ve managed the forest forever. It’s why they’re key to the climate change fight
Trump Tries to Shred California Environmental Rep as Part of Multipronged Assault: “As fierce Santa Ana winds whipped the wildfires outside of Los Angeles, stirring exactly the kind of infernos that scientists expect in a hotter, drier California, President Donald Trump was gloating over the new allies he has won in his epic battle to block that state’s efforts to fight climate change. California has been a world innovator in crafting environmental policy, and its pioneering approach to the difficult issue of carbon emissions from cars helped put the United States on course to cleaner, more efficient vehicles. But a multipronged assault by the Trump administration now seeks both to hobble California’s climate efforts and to shred the state’s reputation as an environmental leader. ... ” Read more from KQED here: Trump Tries to Shred California Environmental Rep as Part of Multipronged Assault
A fresh look at the future of hydropower requires that we see clearly its past and present: “As society grapples with climate change and the challenge of decarbonizing the national energy grid, proponents increasingly hold up hydropower as an indispensable part of the solution, touting it as “clean, green energy.” They decry what they see as the unfair federal and state tax and regulatory advantages of wind and solar. In a recent editorial arguing for “a fresh look,” the National Hydropower Association declared that hydropower “isn’t being discussed as a clean energy solution by the environmental community” despite that it is dependable, renewable and “protects and preserves our natural ecosystems.” In fact, American Rivers and many others in the environmental community acknowledge hydropower’s potential role in a decarbonized energy future, but a fresh look at that potential requires a clear view of hydropower’s past and present. ... ” Read more from The Hill here: A fresh look at the future of hydropower requires that we see clearly its past and present
Why desalinating water is hard — and why we might need to anyway: “In places like San Diego and Dubai, where freshwater is scarce, humans turn to machines that pull the salt out of seawater, transforming it into clean drinking water. This process, called desalination, has been turning sea and brackish groundwater into potable water since the mid-20th century. The technology could become increasingly important in the near future, as the rising temperatures and erratic rain patterns of climate change threaten freshwater supplies. ... ” Read more from Discover Magazine here: Why Desalinating Water is Hard — and Why We Might Need To Anyway
The world is getting wetter, yet water may become less available for North America and Eurasia: “With climate change, plants of the future will consume more water than in the present day, leading to less water available for people living in North America and Eurasia, according to a Dartmouth-led study in Nature Geoscience. The research suggests a drier future despite anticipated precipitation increases for places like the United States and Europe, populous regions already facing water stresses. … ” Read more from PhysOrg here: The world is getting wetter, yet water may become less available for North America and Eurasia
In commentary today …
With California’s water at stake, progress finally triumphs regress, says Wayne Western, Jr.: “As is all-too-often the case, it’s time to dispel some notions about California’s water wars. It’s not about farmer versus fish, north versus south, urban versus rural. It’s truly about fundamental fairness and rights versus an agenda tied to complete control. One would think those who portend to champion the environment would be active participants and marketers of a massive, collective statewide agreement to create additional safeguards financed by millions of dollars. … ” Read more from the San Joaquin Valley Sun here: With California’s water at stake, progress finally triumphs regress
In regional news and commentary today …
Opinion: Saving the Yurok way of life: Pergish Carlson writes, “I make my living showing people from all over the world how to fish. I also teach my clients about what the Klamath River means to my culture and to me personally. For centuries, my people, the Yurok Tribe, have called the Klamath River Basin home. I can still trace some of the same spots where my family once settled along the riverbank. The Yurok people may not be wealthy as a tribe but we’re wealthy in a different way. I tell my kids that we’re thankful for what we’ve got. The river provides everything for us. We depend on its fish to feed our families. … ” Read more from the Siskiyou Daily News here: Opinion: Saving the Yurok way of life
Time running out for public comment on Sacramento I street bridge options: “There are two remaining designs for the I Street Bridge connecting West Sacramento and Sacramento, and time for the public to comment is almost over. They two options are called the “Thru” bridge and the “Spring” bridge. Both bridges would lift as needed for boat traffic on the American River. The visual experience would be different for people depending on the type of support structure that’s chosen, according to Jesse Gothan, the supervising engineer for the project for the city of Sacramento. … ” Read more from Capital Radio here: Time running out for public comment on Sacramento I street bridge options
When will it rain in the San Francisco Bay Area?: “Long-term models can predict weather with some accuracy about 10 to 14 days out, and right now they’re showing no rain through at least Nov. 13 and possibly beyond. “We’re looking at the models and they don’t show anything getting to us as far out as they can predict,” says Anna Schneider, a forecaster with the National Weather Service. “No rain. Nothing.” … ” Read more from SF Gate here: When will it rain in the San Francisco Bay Area?
Culverts will come off for East Bay creek’s restoration to natural state: “More than 2,000 feet of McCosker Creek in the Robert Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve is covered by a failing metal culvert that’s 60 years old. Giant sinkholes have opened up and dissolved the metal, allowing sediment to seep in, according to the East Bay Regional Park District. But an influx of $4 million in state funding — secured by Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, working with park district officials — should help save the day and provide new opportunities for viewing wildlife, recreation and even camping at the site. ... ” Read more from the East Bay Times here: Culverts will come off for East Bay creek’s restoration to natural state
Restoring a San Mateo County creek to keep new generations of fish thriving: “The heavy construction equipment had been removed, so Kellyx Nelson walked out on a breezy bluff to take stock of the stunning panorama of newly channeled waterways and marsh that she helped design near Pescadero State Beach. The executive director of the San Mateo Resource Conservation District was admiring the restoration of 8,000 feet of the Butano Creek stream channel, the largest and most ambitious of a series of projects the district is spearheading to stop chronic flooding, bring back endangered fish and restore 28 acres of degraded wetlands at Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Restoring a San Mateo County creek to keep new generations of fish thriving
Monterey editorial: Desal – No sale, says KSBW: They write, “Over the next two weeks we can expect plenty of news about the future of the Monterey Peninsula’s water supply. Expected November 7th – the Environmental Impact Report for Pure Water Monterey’s expansion of their water recycling project. November 12th – we get our first look at the feasibility study for a public purchase of Cal-Am Water. And November 14th– the Coastal Commission is expected to decide the fate of Cal-Am’s desal project. …” Read more from KSBY here: Monterey editorial: Desal – No sale, says KSBW
Imperial County seeks help from state for Salton Sea emergency: “The Imperial County is asking for Governor Newsom’s help as Salton Sea Conditions continue to worsen, affecting the health of county residents. On October 22, 2019, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the Proclamation of Local Emergency for Air Pollution at the Salton Sea, addressing extreme conditions that affect the safety of county residents. The letter breaks down the steady downhill of the Salton Sea’s conditions, beginning in the 1980’s when the body of water still receiving steady inflows. … ” Read more from Channel 11 here: Imperial County seeks help from state for Salton Sea emergency
New Baja California Governor Promises To Stop Cross-Border Sewage: “Baja California has a new governor. Jaime Bonilla was sworn into office Friday as governor of California’s neighboring Mexican state. As a member of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s Morena party, his election marks the first time in 30 years that the PAN party hasn’t held power in Baja. ... ” Read more from KPBS here: New Baja California Governor Promises To Stop Cross-Border Sewage
Along the Colorado River …
Water problems throughout Arizona recognized in studies: “Two recently released Arizona State University (ASU) studies take a hard look at the growing crises in adequate water supplies for property owners, developers and agricultural users across the state. “The Elusive Concept of an Assured Water Supply, the Role of CAGRD and Replenishment,” focused on the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD), brought to light the difficulties facing the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) to prove adequate water supply for 100 years. … ” Read more from the Herald Review here: Water problems throughout Arizona recognized in studies
Also on Maven’s Notebook today …
BLOG ROUND-UP: The good, the bad, and the ugly in the new CVP/SWP biological opinions; Climate change and the Delta: Facing an uncertain future together; Why do elected progressives feel safe espousing retrograde water policy?; For Pattie Gonia, the trail is a runway; and more …
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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.