DAILY DIGEST: Our wacky weather: From record heat to snowfall as first storm of season rolls in; Illegal pot farms on CA’s public land creating an enviro hazard; Tribes teaching landowners and agencies how to fight fire with fire; Lois Henry on hunt for new Kern County water manager; and more …

In California water news today, Our wacky weather: From record heat to snowfall as first storm of season rolls in; Illegal pot farms on California’s public land are creating an environmental hazard; In the Sierra, scientists bet on ‘survivor’ trees to withstand drought and climate change; California’s wildfire policy totally backfired. Native communities know how to fix it.; West Basin Municipal Water District to weigh proposed desalination plant in El Segundo; Lois Henry: Wanted: Big vision, small ego for water agency manager; and more …

In the news today …

Our wacky weather: From record heat to snowfall as first storm of season rolls in:  “The first storm of the season is set to roll into Southern California this week, bringing rain and the potential for snow at higher elevations, but the area isn’t completely in the clear for fire danger, weather officials said Monday.  Starting Tuesday night, the Los Angeles area is expected to see about half an inch of rain, with the San Gabriel Valley foothills and mountains getting a stronger downpour, said Andrew Rorke, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Our wacky weather: From record heat to snowfall as first storm of season rolls in

Illegal pot farms on California’s public land are creating an environmental hazard:  “Two months after two men were arrested at an illicit marijuana farm on public land deep in the Northern California wilderness, authorities are assessing the environmental impact and cleanup costs at the site where trees were clear-cut, waterways were diverted, and the ground was littered with open containers of fertilizer and rodenticide. … ”  Continue reading at TIME Magazine here: Illegal pot farms on California’s public land are creating an environmental hazard

In the Sierra, scientists bet on ‘survivor’ trees to withstand drought and climate change:  “The sugar pine, with its foot-long cones and feathery branches that stretch out high above the forest, used to be one of the most common trees standing guard over Lake Tahoe’s clear waters. But drought, bark beetles and climate change have ravaged this beloved conifer, whose population was already diminished by logging, development and other human activities.  From 2012 to 2016, drought and bark beetles killed more than 129 million trees in California, most of them conifers in the Sierra Nevada. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: In the Sierra, scientists bet on ‘survivor’ trees to withstand drought and climate change

California’s wildfire policy totally backfired. Native communities know how to fix it.When it came time to set fire to the hillside, Kitty Lynch paused. A 70 year-old retired waitress, Lynch’s job during the controlled burn of a 2,200 acre ranch in Humboldt County, California this June was to keep the fire in check by tamping down small, errant flames with a tool called a McLeod. Lynch had been attending lectures by Indigenous tribes in her region about prescribed fires, blazes lit intentionally to control dry brush and prevent unplanned burns, for over a decade. But she was the oldest person in this group of about fifty, and she worried she wouldn’t be able to keep up.  The effort was organized by the Humboldt County Prescribed Burn Association, a grassroots team of wildfire experts, local landowners and community members that hosts hands-on trainings on controlled burns as a method of natural disaster prevention. … ”  Read more from Mother Jones here: California’s wildfire policy totally backfired. Native communities know how to fix it.

In commentary today …

California can keep the water flowing, says Ted Sheely:  He writes, “California is in trouble.  We can’t keep the lights on, the fires out, or the air clean.  Worst of all, from my perspective as a farmer, is that we’ve failed to keep the water flowing.  That may change, thanks to the Trump administration. It recently updated federal regulations that have limited the delivery of water to the places where we need it most: the cities and suburbs where so many people live and the farms and fields where we grow food, feed and fiber for everyone. …”  Read more from Ag Web here: California can keep the water flowing

Gov. Newsom needs to give more than lip service to at-risk California native tribes, says Morning Star Gali:  She writes, “Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a proclamation declaring October 14, 2019 “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” in California. In this proclamation, he acknowledged that native people were stewards of the land before the conquest of California.  I thank the governor for the proclamation. However, last month — on California Native American Day — the governor also vetoed legislation, Senate Bill 1, that could have helped the state protect our salmon from Trump’s environmental rollbacks. This is unacceptable.  We need more than lip service from the governor. We need action. … ”  Continue reading at the Sacramento Bee here: Gov. Newsom needs to give more than lip service to at-risk California native tribes

In regional news and commentary today …

Supervisor gives take on Paradise Intertie study:  “Let me be clear. I am not against feasibility studies and BIG ideas.  I am not an “anti-growth radical” nor am I attempting to block the “re-birth of Paradise.” In fact, I would love to see a partnership between Paradise Irrigation District (PID) and the Town of Paradise. There’s something truly special about the public being able to weigh in on resources like water and power and air. A relationship between the town and its water district seems ideal. ... ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here: Supervisor gives take on Paradise Intertie study

Sewage spill at CMC dumps 33,000 gallons of wastewater — and a SLO creek was impacted:  “Thousands of gallons of partially treated wastewater was released from California Men’s Colony into Chorro Creek Thursday morning, the San Luis Obispo County Public Health department said Thursday afternoon.  Approximately 33,000 gallons of wastewater were released from the prison north of San Luis Obispo around 10:13 a.m., a news release said. … ”  Read more from the San Luis Obispo Tribune here: Sewage spill at CMC dumps 33,000 gallons of wastewater — and a SLO creek was impacted

West Basin Municipal Water District to weigh proposed desalination plant in El Segundo:  “A proposed desalination plant in El Segundo could soon be one step closer to reality.  The West Basin Municipal Water District will hold a special meeting in Carson on Monday, Nov. 18, where the board will weigh whether to certify an Environmental Impact Report for the proposal.  The suggested location for the desalination plant, which would turn 20 million gallons of seawater per day into drinkable tap water, is next to the NRG power plant. The board has not yet selected a company to build the proposed plant, which could cost more than $400 million. … ”  Read more from the Daily Breeze here: West Basin Municipal Water District to weigh proposed desalination plant in El Segundo

Ratepayers deserve more information on desalination costs, says Greg Pierce:  He writes, “As Southern California awaits a rainy season that is becoming less reliable every year, it’s clear that we need to invest more in local water supplies to keep our taps flowing, whatever the weather brings. In the wake of the drought, several coastal communities have turned to the Pacific Ocean as a possible source of drinking water.  Right now, the West Basin Municipal Water District is considering building an estimated half-billion-dollar desalination plant in El Segundo. I say “estimated,” because the district is considering different size plants, the largest of which could cost roughly twice that sum.  … ”  Read more from the Daily Breeze here: Ratepayers deserve more information on desalination costs

Lois Henry: Wanted: Big vision, small ego for water agency manager:  “One of California’s most important water jobs is coming open next month.  It’s a job with immense responsibilities, clout and high pay. And even though it’s the head of a public agency, most people have no idea how much it affects their daily lives, especially in the southern San Joaquin Valley.  Kern County Water Agency General Manager Curtis Creel will retire Dec. 7, leaving a very large and important hole to fill. … ”  Read more from the Bakersfield Californian here: Lois Henry: Wanted: Big vision, small ego for water agency manager

Along the Colorado River …

As Arizona’s suburban water tables drop, some potential solutions begin to emerge:  “A “disconnect” in water-management practices risks draining many of Arizona’s aquifers, an ASU study recently warned.  The study referred to the fact that when groundwater is pumped in suburban areas — often leading to significant drops in water tables there — developers, companies and others are allowed to compensate by putting other water back into the ground at locations far away. … ”  Read more from the Arizona Star here: As Arizona’s suburban water tables drop, some potential solutions begin to emerge

More news and commentary in the weekend edition …

DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Pattern change will bring first significant rain, snow of season to parched CA; Are atmospheric rivers the reason for NorCal’s extreme weather?; Millions of gallons of oily water still surfacing in a Kern County oil field; Dan Walters on the Westlands contract; and more …

Precipitation watch …

Rain, snow expected from the upcoming mid-week weather system from Tuesday evening through Thursday morning.

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

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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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