DAILY DIGEST: CA urged to update water plans as climate change spurs wilder weather; Water officials work to assist recharge projects; List of San Joaquin Valley GSAs and GSPs; As cities’ interest in green infrastructure grows, so does the need for strategies and resources to maintain it; and more …

In California water news today, California urged to update water plans as climate change spurs wilder weather; Water officials work to assist recharge projects; SGMA Update: List of San Joaquin Valley GSAs and GSPs; Another increase in irrigated lands regulatory fees; As cities’ interest in green infrastructure grows, so does the need to develop strategies and resources to maintain it; Storms and rising seas threaten coastal ecosystems — here’s what we can do; Clean Water Act: 5 things to know about [today’s] Supreme Court face-off; and more …

On the calendar today …

In the news today …

California urged to update water plans as climate change spurs wilder weather:  “Yo-yoing between heat waves, torrential rainfall and raging wildfires that burn through Thanksgiving, the explosive nature of California’s weather has been on full display over the last several years. The state’s worst drought, one of its wettest winters and both the largest and most destructive wildfires all occurred this decade.  Unpredictability has long been a staple of the Golden State’s climate, but scientists warn that warming temperatures will likely lead to shorter, more intense rainy stretches – putting added strain on the state’s overworked water infrastructure. … ” Read more from Courthouse News Service here: California urged to update water plans as climate change spurs wilder weather

Water officials work to assist recharge projects:  “A technique that would help California manage floodwater and replenish groundwater has gained more attention, and removing barriers to the strategy known as Flood-MAR provided the focus for a conference in Sacramento.  Flood-managed aquifer recharge involves moving floodwater from surface streams onto land where it could percolate into a groundwater basin. Though the concept sounds simple, it brings complications that include managing the floodwater, finding appropriate land to accept it and establishing rights to the water involved. … ”  Read more from Ag Alert here: Water officials work to assist recharge projects

SGMA Update: List of San Joaquin Valley GSAs and GSPs:  “SGMA uses Department of Water Resources Bulletin 118 to define basins and sub basins and assign them numbers. The San Joaquin Valley Basin is number 5-22. Within it are sub basins with their numbers following a decimal. Each sub basin one Groundwater Sustainability Agency or several, but DWR will only recognize one representative GSA per sub basin. Each GSA must develop a Groundwater Sustainability Plan on its own or as a contribution to an overarching GSP as again, DWR will only deal with one GSP per sub basin. … ”  Continue reading at Cal Ag Today here: SGMA Update: List of SGMA GSAs and GSPs

Another increase in irrigated lands regulatory fees:  “Agricultural water users should be preparing themselves for even higher water bills after another fee increase related to the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP). The underlying purpose for the program is to address nitrate contamination in groundwater.  “They recently passed an 11.7 percent increase on your irrigated lands regulatory fees that you pay through your water quality districts and water quality areas,” said Chris McGlothlin, Director of Technical Services for Western Agricultural Processors Association. “What they’re associating the fees with is basically the staff time to evaluate those applications and that paperwork.” … ”  Read more from Ag Net West here: Another increase in irrigated lands regulatory fees

Improving nutrient management in California:  “The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Fertilizer Research and Education Program and the Western Plant Health Association recently held their annual Nutrient Management Conference where attendees heard two days of discussions on research as well as practical applications of best management practices. CDFA Secretary Karen Ross highlighted some of the progress made in improving overall nutrient management in California. … ”  Read more from Ag Net West here: Improving nutrient management in California

During Fresno stop, Dennis Miller throws a jab at water wars, delta smelt: “It might not have been a Weekend Update, but a Tuesday night visit to Fresno’s Saroyan Theatre had all the hallmarks of a hilarious and thought provoking episode of late 1980s Saturday Night Live.  The former SNL star and sardonic comedian was the featured speaker of the San Joaquin Valley Town Hall, the 82-year-old lecture series.  His topic: civility in today’s age of hyperconnected hyper-partisanship. … ”  Read more from the San Joaquin Sun here: During Fresno stop, Dennis Miller throws a jab at water wars, delta smelt

Traditional boat building helps native community hone ecological knowledge:  ““Water is sacred, water is life, water is us, water is everything.” Cindi Alvitre, Tongva educator, culture bearer, and professor of American Indian studies at California State University, Long Beach, eloquently states these insightful words in the premiere episode of the second season of “Tending Nature,” in which tribal groups share how they are currently involved in ocean stewardship through the lens of cultural revitalization. … As we look to the future of living sustainably in this fragile state (both California, and our state of being), “Tending Nature” raises awareness of the importance of Indigenous voices in environmental thinking as much needed voice in the dialogue. … ”  Read more from KCET here: Traditional boat building helps native community hone ecological knowledge

California’s wildfires prove that resilient design needs constant evolution: “Set against the backdrop of California’s ongoing wildfire crisis, a group of sustainable design leaders across architecture, urban design, and product manufacturing recently gathered at SCI-Arc for the Metropolis Perspective: Sustainability symposium to examine what’s next in building for resilience and how our buildings and cities can better adapt to rapidly changing natural systems. The elements that originally made our cities the economic powerhouses that they are today — access to coastlines and bodies of water and trade and transportation routes — have now become liabilities as urban areas across the United States are experiencing an exponential rise in historic climate incidents related to those same geographical features. … ”  Read more from Metropolis here: California’s wildfires prove that resilient design needs constant evolution

As cities’ interest in green infrastructure grows, so does the need to develop strategies and resources to maintain it:  “In Lafayette, Indiana, six people spent half the summer of 2019 hand-sweeping a road. That’s not how the city typically cleans its streets, but in this case, the road was permeable pavement, which puts gravel in between the pavers to let water filter into the soil below. Sweeping by hand was necessary to get the loose gravel back between the brick pavers after cleaning, says Vanessa Rainwater, the city’s green infrastructure manager. The process was time consuming, but was the only way to remove debris without damaging the underlying drainage system, she says. While Rainwater has another, more efficient sweeping method lined up for next summer, her year as the city’s first supervisor overseeing water-absorbing infrastructure installed as a climate adaptation measure has shown her several other ways Lafayette can improve how it cares for such installations. … ”  Read more from Ensia here: As cities’ interest in green infrastructure grows, so does the need to develop strategies and resources to maintain it

Despite a warmer, wetter world, there may be less water available for human use, study finds:  “In a warmer world, plants could consume more water than they currently do, leaving less for human consumption and activities, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience. This future shortage is despite an increase in precipitation in places like the United States and Europe. ... ”  Read more from Yale E360 here: Despite a warmer, wetter world, there may be less water available for human use, study finds

Essay: Storms and rising seas threaten coastal ecosystems — here’s what we can do:  “A century from now, the U.S. coastline will look very different from how it looks today. In the coming decades our beaches, wetlands and estuaries along the shore will be lost or degraded by a one-two punch of more severe storms and rising seas. This combination will drive communities inland and force the relocation of critical infrastructure. The consequences for fish, wildlife and ecosystems could also be devastating.  We’re already getting a glimpse of how bad things can get. … ”  Read more from The Revelator here: Essay: Storms and rising seas threaten coastal ecosystems — here’s what we can do

Clean Water Act: 5 things to know about [today’s] Supreme Court face-off:  “It’s the Supreme Court showdown that almost didn’t happen.  After months of wrangling between local officials over whether to settle the case, justices for the nation’s highest court are poised to hear arguments tomorrow in County of Maui v. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund, a heated debate over the scope of the Clean Water Act.  By next summer, the court will make a decision on a key question: Are pollutants that flow through groundwater from a single, identifiable source on their way to navigable waters subject to federal permitting requirements? … ”  Read more from E&E News here:  Clean Water Act: 5 things to know about [today’s] Supreme Court face-off

In commentary today …

Newsom must stand up to Trump assault on the Delta and California’s endangered species, says Kim Delfino:  She writes, “A recent United Nations report concluded that “nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely.”  It’s not a surprise that President Donald Trump’s administration is worsening this crisis, particularly in California. Trump Administration actions in California combine active hostility, a disdain for science, and anti-environmental policies. … ”  Read more from Cal Matters here: Newsom must stand up to Trump assault on the Delta and California’s endangered species

Trump administration plan allows Delta water managers to kill off winter-run chinook salmon:  Alistair Bland writes, “Eight-hundred pages into the text of a lengthy new report, federal biologists have quietly granted government water managers permission to nearly exterminate an endangered run of Sacramento River salmon so they can send more water south from the river’s delta to farmers in the arid San Joaquin Valley.  The so-called biological opinion, released Oct. 21 by the National Marine Fisheries Service in tandem with a similar review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, analyzed the Trump Administration’s new water storage and delivery plan, which the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation unveiled in January. That plan proposes to increase water withdrawals from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta by roughly 10 percent, often during critical migration periods for fish like chinook salmon and Delta smelt. … ”  Read more from the East Bay Express here: Trump administration plan allows Delta water managers to kill off winter-run chinook salmon

In regional news and commentary today …

Butte County Board of Supervisors decide against funding water pipeline survey from Paradise to Chico:  “Tuesday, the Butte County Board of Supervisors decided they will not fund a study to build a water pipeline from Paradise to Chico.  A study that Butte County Board of Supervisors was looking at to bring water from Paradise to down in the Valley is no longer on the agenda.  Supervisor Debra Lucero says she just wanted the study to cover more. “It was surprising to me the three supervisors, Supervisor Teeter, Supervisor Lambert, and Supervisor Connolly voted to end the study, if I had been given the time to make the points I wanted to make, I think we needed a broader study,” said Lucero. … ”  Read more from KRCR here: Butte County Board of Supervisors decide against funding water pipeline survey from Paradise to Chico

Camp Fire: Water contamination goes under the microscope:  “As recovery from the Camp Fire’s destruction continues, a far less visible but critical consequence continues percolating into awareness.  A team of Chico State faculty and student researchers is examining the magnitude of water contamination that resulted from the blaze, as well as the possible public health and environmental implications for urban and environmental users in Butte County and beyond. With more than 14,000 structures lost to the fire, as well as hundreds of businesses, thousands of cars, and widespread infrastructure, the implication for impacts is significant. ... ”  Read more from Chico State Today here: Water contamination goes under the microscope

Woodland ramps up Cache Creek flood control:  “Woodland city officials are continuing to build the case for Cache Creek flood control, recently approving $900,000 for another study that could be yet another downpayment on a multi-million dollar project ultimately paid for by federal, state and local governments.  For now, the city is trying to get the timing right to trigger a review by the Army Corps of Engineers, which will ultimately be responsible for building whatever seems best to provide protection against a flood is so devastating it might occur only once every 200 years. … ” Read more from the Woodland Daily Democrat here: Woodland ramps up Cache Creek flood control

Historic $93 million deal reached to preserve San Jose’s Coyote Valley:  “Ending more than 35 years of development battles on one of Silicon Valley’s most sought-after landscapes, the San Jose City Council on Wednesday is expected to approve a $93 million deal to purchase 937 acres in Coyote Valley, a rural expanse of farmland and open space on the city’s southern edges.  In the 1980s, Apple eyed Coyote Valley as a place to build its world headquarters. In the 1990s, Cisco Systems tried to build a massive campus there. Both were fought by environmental groups, who said the area — currently used by farmers and wildlife — should be left in its natural state. ... ” Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: Historic $93 million deal reached to preserve San Jose’s Coyote Valley

Look out for a helicopter hoisting a giant hexagon over Paso. Here’s what it’s up to:  “In the next few weeks, a large hexagon will soar through the sky, dangling from a low-flying helicopter over the rural towns and farms east of Paso Robles.  It isn’t the latest trend in skydiving. Rather, it’s the frame for an aerial mapping technology that California is borrowing from Denmark to study how water moves underground.  That’s important information to have. … ”  Read more from the San Luis Obispo Tribune here: Look out for a helicopter hoisting a giant hexagon over Paso. Here’s what it’s up to

Bakersfield: Farmers urged to think big and small to survive groundwater cutbacks:  “The thinking started small and then grew much bigger at a gathering Tuesday in Bakersfield that was intended to provide a “survival toolkit” for farmers and water managers facing drastic restrictions on Central Valley groundwater pumping.  Irrigation and other technical specialists opened the meeting by promoting ways to maximize the region’s existing water resources. Discussions ranged from individual investments in desalination to gathering water-use data as a way for farmers to defend against government accusations of over-pumping. … ”  Read more from Bakersfield.com here:  Farmers urged to think big and small to survive groundwater cutbacks

Can desalinated water help Kern County’s water needs?  “Water is one of California’s biggest needs. In Kern County, there are three types of water sources: ground water, state water from canals and surface water from the Kern River. Santa Barbara has similar access to their own ground water, state water and surface water; but they use the Pacific Ocean to help offset their water needs. … ”  Read more from Channel 23 here: Can desalinated water help Kern County’s water needs?

Castaic Dam to be retrofitted:  “State water officials working on ways to reduce the impact earthquakes have on Castaic Dam are expected to begin the retrofitting process by examining a concrete chute this week.  As part of a statewide effort to reduce seismic and hydrologic risk to State Water Project facilities, the California Department of Water Resources’ Castaic Dam Modernization Program was scheduled to begin last week with an assessment of a stream release structure at Castaic Dam. … ”  Read more from the Signal here: Castaic Dam to be retrofitted

SCV Water unveils details of its emergency plan:  “In response to concerns about power outages, wildfires and the water used to put them out, local water officials unveiled details of an emergency plan Tuesday, explaining how SCV Water is prepared for emergencies.  With the extreme weather the Santa Clarita Valley has experienced lately – red flag wind warnings, extremely low humidity and massive wildfires – residents and businesses may be wondering about water supplies during a power outage, agency spokeswoman Kathie Martin wrote in a news release issued Tuesday. … ”  Read more from The Signal here: SCV Water unveils details of its emergency plan

Army Corps raises failure risk rating of Mojave River Dam:  “Federal engineers have found that a dam protecting the high desert communities of Victorville, Hesperia, Apple Valley and Barstow falls short of national safety standards and could erode and collapse in an extreme flood, inundating thousands of people.  Officials for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Tuesday that they had raised the risk factor for the Mojave River Dam from “low” to “high urgency action” because of “performance concerns” discovered at the 48-year-old structure, which joins a growing inventory of California dams showing signs of severe stress. ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Army Corps raises failure risk rating of Mojave River Dam

San Diego farmers find innovative solutions to climate change problems:  “San Diego County farmers are finding innovative solutions to problems brought on by climate change.  “It’s getting hotter and drier, and we’re in longer, more frequent droughts,” says Al Stehly, who manages 15 farms in the North County. “So we have to use the water we do have better.”  Stehly says water is the biggest concern as temperatures rise. ... ”  Read more from Channel 10 here: San Diego farmers find innovative solutions to climate change problems

And lastly …

Shipping Minnesota water to sate a thirsty world: Could it happen? Last week came the surprising news that a company in Lakeville, Minn., wants to pump water from below the ground in Dakota County and transport it by rail to the western United States, where water is scarce.  Environmental groups quickly opposed the idea. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said the plan likely won’t meet state law.  But could a plan like this ever become reality? … ”  Read more from MPR News here: Shipping Minnesota water to sate a thirsty world: Could it happen? 

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

GROUNDWATER TWO-FOR: The disconnect between groundwater legal systems and groundwater hydrology; Proactively managing groundwater to sustain communities and nature in an uncertain future

NEWS WORTH NOTING: PPIC: Priorities for California’s water; Metropolitan to study stormwater recharge potential in So Cal; IID Board issues letter of support for local emergency proclamation at Salton Sea

SAN JOAQUIN RIVER RESTORATION: Draft channel capacity report For the 2020 restoration year Available for review

NOTICE OF PROPOSED REGULATORY ACTION: Proposed urban water conservation reporting regulations

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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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