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DAILY DIGEST: Newsom says CA will sue Trump over Delta water, endangered fish; Can a new approach to managing reservoirs save water and still protect against floods?; Aging DWP equipment is a risk for sparking wildfires; and more …

In California water news today, Newsom says California will sue Trump over Delta water, endangered fish; Can a new approach to managing California reservoirs save water and still protect against floods?; Study: Increase in cannabis cultivation or residential development could impact water resources; In Napa Valley, winemakers fight climate change on all fronts; Environmentalists seek to halt expansion of California oilfield; Montecito water rates would increase significantly with Santa Barbara desal deal; Aging DWP equipment is a risk for sparking wildfires, L.A. city controller warns; Judge advances LA county’s spat with Monsanto over PCB cleanup; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • The Central Valley Flood Protection Board meets at 9am. Agenda items include the monthly report from DWR, action items on resolutions of necessity for various levee projects, and an update and consideration of final EIR for American River Watershed Common Features project.  Click here for webcast link and full agenda.

In the news today …

Newsom says California will sue Trump over Delta water, endangered fish:  “Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration said Thursday it will sue the Trump administration over its efforts to push more water through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, saying the federal plan would harm the sprawling estuary and the fragile fish populations that live there.  In a 610-page environmental report, Newsom’s administration sketched out its own plan for managing water flows through the Delta, while issuing a separate statement that blasted the Trump plan, which is designed to increase water supplies for San Joaquin Valley farmers, the president’s political allies. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Newsom says California will sue Trump over Delta water, endangered fish

California to sue over federal rules governing water:  “California officials said Thursday they will sue the federal government over proposed rules managing the state’s scarce water, arguing its conclusions are not scientifically adequate and fall short of protecting species and the state’s interests.  The state, which has historically relied on the federal government to set rules, is proposing its own rules governing the State Water Project, which captures and stores water originating in the Sierra Nevada and delivers it to 27 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area and Central and Southern California.  “We value our partnerships with federal agencies on water management,” the state’s Secretary for Environmental Protection Jared Blumenfeld said. “At the same time, we also need to take legal action to protect the state’s interest and our environment.” … ”  Read more from the AP here: California to sue over federal rules governing water

Newsom administration sends mixed signals on delta endangered species protections:  “California officials sent mixed signals Thursday when they said they will sue to block a Trump administration rollback of endangered species protections for imperiled fish — while also proposing new water operations that mimic parts of the Trump plan.  The state moves reflect the political pressure the Newsom administration has been under as it confronts one of California’s most intractable environmental conflicts — the battle over the ailing Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the center of the state’s water system. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Newsom administration sends mixed signals on delta endangered species protections

California Gov. Newsom makes move to halt Trump water grab:  “California’s water wars escalated Thursday, as state leaders vowed to fight the Trump administration over plans to ship more water to Central Valley farms.  Gov. Gavin Newsom and members of his administration announced that they were preparing a lawsuit against the federal government to prevent California’s rivers and wildlife from being cheated out of vital supplies. … ”  Read more from the SF Chronicle here: California Gov. Newsom makes move to halt Trump water grab

California intends to sue against Trump water plan, releases EIS for SWP operations:  Dan Bacher writes, “The Gavin Newsom Administration today announced two separate but related actions that will have a big impact on protections for Delta smelt, Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon and other endangered fish species.  First, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) issued a draft Environmental Impact Report on the long term operations of the State Water Project (SWP).  Second, the Newsom Administration also announced that it intends to sue the federal government over the Trump Administration’s recent biological opinion that would increase water flows from federal water projects to corporate agribusiness interests in the San Joaquin Valley and away from the San Francisco Bay-Delta, imperiling endangered fish like the Delta smelt. … ”  Read more from the Daily Kos here: California intends to sue against Trump water plan, releases EIS for SWP operations

RELATED CONTENT:

Can a new approach to managing California reservoirs save water and still protect against floods?Many of California’s watersheds are notoriously flashy – swerving from below-average flows to jarring flood conditions in quick order. The state needs all the water it can get from storms, but current flood management guidelines require reservoirs to dump water each winter to make space for flood flows that may not come. However, new tools and operating methods could lead the way to a redefined system that improves both water supply and flood protection capabilities.”  Read more at Western Water here: Can a new approach to managing California reservoirs save water and still protect against floods?

Study: Increase in cannabis cultivation or residential development could impact water resources:  “Cannabis cultivation could have a significant effect on groundwater and surface water resources when combined with residential use, evidence from a new study suggests.  Researchers in Canada and the US investigated potential reductions in streamflow, caused by pumping for cannabis irrigation, in the Navarro River in Mendocino County, California, and contextualized it by comparing it with residential groundwater use. … ”  Read more from PhysOrg here: Study: Increase in cannabis cultivation or residential development could impact water resources

And lastly … San Francisco’s Quest to Make Landfills Obsolete: In a giant building south of downtown, a river of paper, cans, cardboard, and plastic rushes along 150 yards of conveyor belts. It flows past human sorters who snatch unsuitable items from the stream, zips past air jets that blow sheets of cardboard onto a separate track, and crosses over shaking grates that sift out paper and more cardboard. Bottles, clamshell containers and more pass under a robotic arm that jabs tirelessly at the blur of plastic like a mechanical heron stabbing at minnows. The robot’s camera connects to an artificial-intelligence system that’s learning to identify shapes and pluck them out at a speed no human can match. The belt, now carrying a pure stream of plastic bottles, moves on.  This is the front line of San Francisco’s ongoing battle to reduce to zero the amount of waste it sends to landfills. ... ” Read more from Politico Magazine here: San Francisco’s Quest to Make Landfills Obsolete

In commentary today …

California rejects federal water proposal, lays out its vision for protecting endangered species and meeting state water needs:  Wade Crowfoot and Jared Blumenfeld write, “California’s water policy can be complex, and—let’s be honest—often polarizing. Water decisions frequently get distilled into unhelpful narratives of fish versus farms, north versus south, or urban versus rural. Climate change-driven droughts and flooding threats, as well as our divided political climate, compound these challenges. We must rise above these historic conflicts by finding ways to protect our environment and build water security for communities and agriculture. We need to embrace decisions that benefit our entire state. Simply put, we have to become much more innovative, collaborative and adaptive. … ”  Read more from Cal Matters here: California rejects federal water proposal, lays out its vision for protecting endangered species and meeting state water needs

In regional news and commentary today …

In Napa Valley, winemakers fight climate change on all fronts:  “Every wine region has had to deal with some manifestation of climate change, but few have had to deal with as many devastating consequences as Napa Valley.  On Labor Day 2017, as the weeks-long harvest was getting underway, the temperature reached 43 deg C here in the heart of cabernet sauvignon country. But extreme summer heat has not been the only issue.  An abnormally warm January and February in 2015 set the growing season in motion early. But a cold snap in May caused many growers to lose 40 to 50 per cent of their crop. ... ”  Read more from the Business Times here: In Napa Valley, winemakers fight climate change on all fronts

Time for a Swim: Chinook salmon — crucial to California’s fishing industry — return to Rancho Cordova’s Nimbus Fish Hatchery:  “During the first week of November every year, like clockwork, the gates to the fish ladder open at Nimbus Fish Hatchery on the American River and the Chinook salmon — crucial to California’s commercial and recreational fishing industry — climb 22 steps to complete their final journey home.  “It’s our favorite day of the year,” says Laura Drath, interpretive services supervisor at Nimbus for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, during this year’s Nov. 4 opening. … ”  Read more from Comstock’s Magazine here: Time for a Swim: Chinook salmon — crucial to California’s fishing industry — return to Rancho Cordova’s Nimbus Fish Hatchery

Trio of Monterey Peninsula water projects delayed, again:  “In what has become an all-too-familiar occurrence, three water projects designed to serve the Monterey Peninsula have again experienced delays, including the Pure Water Monterey recycled water project and its proposed expansion, and California American Water’s proposed desalination project.  While the Pure Water Monterey project is still expected to start producing water for Peninsula use in the next several months, the latest delays make it increasingly likely that neither the recycled water expansion proposal nor the Cal Am desal project can be completed and operational by the state water board’s Carmel River pumping cutback order deadline at the end of 2021. … ” Read more from the Monterey Herald here: Trio of Monterey Peninsula water projects delayed, again

Environmental group sues EPA over oil waste dumping into aquifer near Pismo Beach:  “A California environmental group on Thursday sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, alleging the agency wrongly allowed oil waste to be dumped into a San Luis Obispo aquifer and ignored impacts to the California red-legged frog and other endangered species. The complaint, filed by the Center for Biological Diversity in the U.S. District Court’s Northern California division, contends the federal agency wrongly exempted the Dollie Sands in the Arroyo Grande Oil Field from the Safe Drinking Water Act without first evaluating and disclosing foreseeable environmental impacts, as required under the National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act. … ”  Read more from the Desert Sun here: Environmental group sues EPA over oil waste dumping into aquifer near Pismo Beach

Environmentalists seek to halt expansion of California oilfield:  “A Central California oilfield expansion project approved by the federal government failed to consider the impact to the environment, wildlife or drinking water, according to a federal lawsuit filed on Thursday.  The Center for Biological Diversity says state and federal regulators did not consider the environmental impact of over 400 new oil wells at the project site in San Luis Obispo County, a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act. … ”  Read more from the Courthouse News Service here: Environmentalists seek to halt expansion of California oilfield

Montecito water rates would increase significantly with Santa Barbara desal deal:  “Which Montecito water customers should bear the greatest share of the $4.3 million yearly cost of purchasing Santa Barbara water for the next 50 years?  A draft overview of potential water rate increases, presented by the Montecito Water District board at a sparsely attended public workshop on Monday, included scenarios that would raise the monthly service charge for a ¾-inch water meter, standard for many single-family homes, from $45 now to up to $128 by 2024. … ”  Read more from Noozhawk here: Montecito water rates would increase significantly with Santa Barbara desal deal

Refining Montecito water rates for desal: a balancing act:  “Which Montecito water customers should bear the greatest share of the $4.3 million yearly cost of purchasing Santa Barbara water for the next 50 years?  A draft overview of potential water rate increases, presented by the Montecito Water District board at a sparsely attended public workshop on Monday, included scenarios that would raise the monthly service charge for a ¾-inch water meter, standard for many single-family homes, from $45 now to up to $128 by 2024. Higher fixed charges would provide more fiscal stability for the district, the presentation showed, but small users would be hit with larger bills. … ”  Read more from Edhat here: Refining Montecito water rates for desal: a balancing act

Aging DWP equipment is a risk for sparking wildfires, L.A. city controller warns:  “Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin released an audit this week that urges the Department of Water and Power to speed up repairs of utility equipment to reduce the risk of sparking wildfires.  The report listed 50 transformers in fire hazard zones that the DWP had identified for replacement as of August.  The report also identified 2,230 utility poles that the DWP had selected for replacement in such zones. But on Wednesday, the utility said the correct number was 30. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Aging DWP equipment is a risk for sparking wildfires, L.A. city controller warns

Judge advances LA county’s spat with Monsanto over PCB cleanup:  “A federal judge Thursday denied Monsanto’s bid to dismiss a lawsuit seeking payment from the company to clean up cancer-causing chemicals from Los Angeles County waterways and storm sewer pipelines.  Cities up and down the West Coast have sued Monsanto in recent years, accusing it of polluting waterways and beaches with carcinogenic polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. … ”  Read more from the Courthouse News Service here: Judge advances LA county’s spat with Monsanto over PCB cleanup

Buena Park neighborhood has dealt with yellow tap water for years. New plan might help:  “Rust-colored water is part of Ron Cathcart’s routine.  The Buena Park resident has lived with his family at their Panama Drive home for 20 years. Often, when they’re about to cook or use a washing machine, they open a tap first.  On unlucky days, cloudy water pours out. That’s when they run every faucet in the house, for up to 45 minutes or until the water clears up. … ”  Read more from the OC Register here: Buena Park neighborhood has dealt with yellow tap water for years. New plan might help

Laguna Beach: South Coast Water District examines drilling plan for desal plant:  “An engineering firm advising the South Coast Water District on its proposed Doheny desalination project was summoned Thursday, Nov. 14, to explain how officials might mitigate the risks of using a relatively-new drilling method to siphon seawater from beneath the ocean floor.  Brian Villalobos, principal geohyrdrologist for GEOSCIENCE Support Services, told the SCWD Board of Directors that drilling slant wells, rather than vertical or horizontal wells, off Doheny State Beach is ideal because of the dynamic hydrological and environmental conditions. … ”  Read more from the Laguna Beach Independent here: South Coast Water District examines drilling plan for desal plant

San Juan Capistrano: Reservoir project aims to store recycled water:  “A reservoir and water dam project aiming to store recycled water is on track, according to water management officials.  The Santa Margarita Water District gave a tour of the Trampas Canyon Reservoir and Dam on Saturday, Nov. 16. Construction began in January 2018 and is expected to finish by 2020. … ”  Read more from the Capistrano Dispatch here: Reservoir project aims to store recycled water

Yucaipa moves ahead with grant agreement for basin project:  “On Nov. 13, the Yucaipa City Council voted for approval of a California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) California River Parkways grant for the construction of components of the Wilson III Basin Project as a part of the North Bench River Parkways Groundwater and Habitat Enhancement Project, with a loan agreement.  “The component of the loan amount could be paid back at once when the development impact fees are received or over time, however city council chooses,” said Fermin Preciado, director of public works/city engineer. … ”  Read more from the Yucaipa News-Mirror here: Yucaipa moves ahead with grant agreement for basin project

San Diego: After rain, avoid swimming at beaches: “San Diego County is in the middle of its first fall storm of the season. With that rainfall, the county is warning residents to stay away from swimming at San Diego beaches because of a rise in bacteria levels from urban runoff.  A water contact closure was issued for the shoreline from the U.S.-Mexico Border to Imperial beach on Thursday due to sewage-contaminated runoff. … ”  Read more from NBC here: After rain, avoid swimming at beaches

After Wet Winter, Why Is Tijuana Running Low On Water?  “Water shutoffs aren’t uncommon in the growing cities of Tijuana and Rosarito. But they’re rarely announced beforehand, and they’re often isolated to certain neighborhoods after pipes or pumps fail.  Earlier this month, however, Tijuana officials announced that it was planning wide-ranging shutoffs for the next two months, in an attempt to replenish a vital reservoir that is perilously low.  “We have to fill up buckets or those big barrels filled with water, or just live off those for a couple of days,” said Jose Sanchez, a tech worker who lives in the Juarez neighborhood of Tijuana. His water was shut off this week. … ”  Read more from KPBS here: After Wet Winter, Why Is Tijuana Running Low On Water?

Along the Colorado River …

Battle over water rights: Proposed transfer of Colorado River water:  “Wednesday night, the Yuma City Council unanimously passed a resolution opposing a proposed transfer of water from the Colorado River to a town in central Arizona.  Thursday, the Arizona Department of Water held a meeting to hear from the public on their concerns about the history, use, and future of Colorado River water. … ”  Read more from KYMA here: Battle over water rights: Proposed transfer of Colorado River water

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

REACTIONS to State of California’s announcement of intent to litigate

THIS JUST IN … State Agencies Lay Out Actions to Protect Endangered Species and Meet State Water Need

THIS JUST IN … DWR moves to strengthen protections for fish, improve real-time management of State Water Project

DELTA eNEWS: ~~ DPC Meeting~ Public Feedback~ Delta Fair~ DSC Blog ~~

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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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