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DAILY DIGEST: Can salmon eat their way out of climate change?; California officials urged to move faster on sea-level rise; Precipitation above normal in Southern California and adding up in the north; Can Calif.’s smart grid double as wildfire defense?; and more …

In California water news today, Can salmon eat their way out of climate change?; California officials urged to move faster on sea-level rise; Precipitation above normal in Southern California and adding up in the north; Can Calif.’s smart grid double as wildfire defense?; Water cutbacks set to begin under deal designed to ‘buy down risk’ on Colorado River; Found water: reuse and the deconstruction of “wastewater”; America’s dams are aging. Is it time to take them down?; 2019 closes with thousands of 10-inch pulsing “penis fish” stranded on a California beach; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • WEBINAR: Troubled Water: What’s Wrong with the Water We Drink? from 10am to 11am.  In this webinar, Seth Siegel, author of Troubled Water: What’s Wrong with the Water We Drink?,  will discuss how US drinking water got contaminated, what it is doing to us, and what we can do to fix America’s drinking water.  Click here for more information and to register.
  • WEBINAR: Agricultural Managed Aquifer Recharge from Local to Regional Scales: Lessons Learned and Challenges Ahead from 12pm to 1pm.  Agricultural managed aquifer recharge (Ag‐MAR) initiatives have been piloted in California to mitigate the effects of unsustainable groundwater withdrawals. This webinar includes two parts, considering Ag-MAR projects at regional and local scales. Click here for more information and to register.
  • DCA Delta Stakeholder Engagement Committee in Rio Vista at 3pm.  The meeting agenda and streaming link are available here.
  • SONOMA COUNTY WORKSHOP: Groundwater Recharge: What is it? What is it not? from 4:30pm to 7:00pm.  Learn about recharge in the context of SGMA, what it is and isn’t and different types of recharge. Hear from state experts on the innovative projects in other basins and learn from local experts about studies underway by farmers and others in Sonoma County.  Click here for more information.

In the news today …

Can salmon eat their way out of climate change?  “Warm waters are a threat to cold water fish like salmon and trout. But a study led by researchers at University of California, Davis suggests that habitats with abundant food sources may help buffer the effects of increasing water temperature.  The study, published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences today, Dec. 10, shows that the availability of food in a natural system — not just stream temperature and flows — is an essential component of fish habitat. … ”  Read more from UC Davis here: Can salmon eat their way out of climate change?

California officials urged to move faster on sea-level rise:  “While the damaging side-effects of climate change have been exposed in California over recent years in the form of drought and deadly wildfires, another threat is looming off its shores.  With 840 miles of coastline, California is alarmingly susceptible to sea-level rise – and state scientists warn the ocean could rise up to 7 feet over the next century. If the experts’ predications are anywhere near accurate, the encroaching Pacific Ocean would have dire economic consequences for cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego and force hundreds of thousands of people to flee the coast. … ”  Read more from Courthouse News Service here: California officials urged to move faster on sea-level rise

Without urgent action, California’s sea-level rise a threat to housing, economy, report says:  “Despite years of urgent warnings, local governments are moving too slow to prevent the worst damage from sea-level rise caused by climate change, risking repercussions as severe as housing shortages or an injured state economy, according to a report released today by the Legislative Analyst’s office.  The report suggests California would need to start building 100,000 more housing units annually in coastal cities to mitigate the problems caused by sea-level rise. Funding for public schools might be affected as well, as higher sea levels hurt property values and lower tax revenue. And it’s not just beachside housing that will be impacted. Commercial property like Oakland’s airport could face severe flooding in the coming years. In years with what’s called a ten-year storm surge, the airport would be useless. … ”  Read more from Cal Matters here: Without urgent action, California’s sea-level rise a threat to housing, economy, report says

Precipitation above normal in Southern California and adding up in the north:  “Skiers and snowboarders already know this: California’s recent storms have lifted the state’s precipitation totals to the respectable range in the northern part of the state, and to well above normal in the south, according to Jan Null of Golden Gate Weather Services.  The statewide distribution of precipitation for the period from July 1 to Dec. 9 has been irregular, said Null, showing the effects of concentrations caused by atmospheric rivers. For example, areas from the southern Bay Area south to Big Sur received especially heavy rain from one of these fire hose-like systems during Thanksgiving week. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Precipitation above normal in Southern California and adding up in the north

Can Calif.’s smart grid double as wildfire defense?  “California, the tragic ground zero for ruinous wildfires in the United States, has also led the nation in pushing its power grid into a lower-carbon future, hoping to counteract climate change that feeds the wildfire menace.  Could the growing population of smart meters, rooftop solar units, backup batteries and automated grid controls in the Golden State become a technology foundation for future wildfire defenses? ... ”  Read more from E&E News here: Can Calif.’s smart grid double as wildfire defense?

Climate change contributing to weather catastrophes ‘right now’:  “Devastating wildfires in California. A sweltering drought in the American Southwest. Punishing heat waves in Europe and Asia. Record-low sea ice in the Bering Sea.  Scientists detected the fingerprints of human-caused warming on each of these extreme weather events from 2018, according to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society’s latest report, called “Explaining Extreme Events from a Climate Perspective.” … ”  Read more from KQED here: Climate change contributing to weather catastrophes ‘right now’

Found water: reuse and the deconstruction of “wastewater”:  ” … Western states have made solid progress in reducing water consumption over the past few years. But the question remains: can water utilities keep up with growing populations, expanding economies, drought, and climate variability?  A set of new practices and technologies, collectively referred to as water reuse, provide new opportunities to discover “found water” in a community’s own wastewater stream and convert it into a valuable resource (American Water Works Association, 2016). These new approaches deconstruct the very idea of “wastewater.” No longer is there such a thing. There is only water that is wasted. … ”  Read more from Water Finance and Management here: Found water: reuse and the deconstruction of “wastewater”

America’s dams are aging. Is it time to take them down?  ” … Old age is hard to beat. In the United States, many of the structures that were once engineering marvels are nearing the age most humans decide to retire. Despite steadily increased budgets for dam repair and maintenance, over the past four decades more than a 1,000 have failed — suddenly releasing huge amounts of water.  Although some dams are having critical maintenance done, states and private entities are also coming up with a different solution: take them down. … ”  Read more from Deseret News here: America’s dams are aging. Is it time to take them down?

Congress to halt military use of toxic foam contaminating drinking water:  “Congress has reached a deal on a spending bill that would require the military to stop using firefighting foam containing toxic chemicals linked to cancer, but would abandon efforts to place stronger regulations on the chemicals.  The bill, called the National Defense Authorization Act, has been the focus of intense negotiations for months. House Democrats saw it as their best chance to force President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency to increase its oversight of a class of chemicals, called perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances — commonly known as PFAS — that have contaminated drinking water sources across the country. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Congress to halt military use of toxic foam contaminating drinking water

In regional news and commentary today …

Helping salmon survive: late fall release from Coleman National Fish Hatchery:  “It is said a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Something similar has recently taken place at the only federal fish hatchery in California. This time, however it could be better described as the first “splash” towards the open ocean.  Action News Now Morning Anchor Julia Yarbough recently visited Anderson, to go behind the scenes to learn more about the process of getting young fish from a hatchery to the ocean. ... ”  Read more from Action News Now here: Helping salmon survive: late fall release from Coleman National Fish Hatchery

Humboldt County: Trinity River salmon could face ‘irreversible harm’:  “The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved two letters on Tuesday threatening to yank back support for a reservoir project that would divert more water from the Trinity River and pose further harm to its fishery.  The board’s vote was met with widespread public support as tribal members and water rights advocates called on the county to stand against the latest environmental impact report for the Sites Reservoir project, an off-stream storage of water that partly diverts Trinity River water to the Sacramento Basin. … ”  Read more from the Redwood Times here: Humboldt County: Trinity River salmon could face ‘irreversible harm’

Humboldt County asks for assurance that Trinity River water won’t get diverted to new Central Valley reservoir:Humboldt County officials are rethinking their support for a massive new reservoir being developed in the Central Valley after learning that the project could negatively impact the Trinity River.  The project in question is called Sites Reservoir, a proposed $5.1 billion water storage facility that’s been in the works for more than 20 years. The massive reservoir, capable of holding 1.8 million acre feet of water, would be located in Glenn and Colusa counties, northeast of Clear Lake along the I-5 corridor. ... ”  Read more from the Lost Coast Outpost here: Humboldt County asks for assurance that Trinity River water won’t get diverted to new Central Valley reservoir

Sonoma County unveils blueprint for development on coast:  “The guiding blueprint for development and land-use decisions along the Sonoma Coast is again up for revisions, marking the revival of a sometimes contentious policy debate over one of Sonoma County’s most prized landscapes.  The process was put on hold after the first round of revisions in 2015, when some land-use activists feared changed rules would open the way for an explosion of winery events and tasting rooms on coastal agricultural lands. … ”  Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here: Sonoma County unveils blueprint for development on coast

Valley Water, Palo Alto and Mountain View approve historic water agreement:  “Valley Water’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a two-part agreement with the cities of Palo Alto and Mountain View that includes a local advanced treatment facility for recycled water and potential for a regional advanced water purification center.  “By adopting the agreement, Valley Water and its regional partner agencies have secured an increased future supply of safe, clean water that will be reliable, drought-resistant and locally controlled,” said Valley Water District 7 Director, Gary Kremen. … ”  Read more from Valley Water News here: Valley Water, Palo Alto and Mountain View approve historic water agreement

Ridgecrest: Water district board discusses GA budget:  “Discussion over groundwater authority finances once again dominated discussion at the Indian Wells Valley Water District board of directors meeting Monday night.  Board member Ron Kicinski provided fellow directors with an update on the IWV Groundwater Authority and its upcoming public workshop Thursday night at Kerr McGee Center. During the update, he noted that finances for the young agency continue to be a concern. … ”  Read more from the Taft Midway Driller here: Ridgecrest: Water district board discusses GA budget

Polluted stormwater is fouling L.A. beaches. Little has been done about it, report finds:  “California’s storms do plenty of good, including replenishing the state’s water supply by filling its reservoirs and dampening the risk of wildfires. But the rainwater runoff also carries heavy pollutants that wash directly onto the shore, creating a toxic mix that’s unsafe for beachgoers.  Anyone who’s visited a beach after it rains has encountered such stormwater pollution, the unfiltered trash that piles onto the sand after flowing from rooftops, sidewalks and streets, picking up a trail of pesticides, bacteria, oil and grease before traveling through the storm drains. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Polluted stormwater is fouling L.A. beaches. Little has been done about it, report finds

Los Angeles County is falling short on stormwater goals, according to Heal the Bay report:  “Despite decades of trying to get a handle on the estimated 100 billion gallons of stormwater that flow into the ocean each year in Los Angeles County, various efforts to manage and treat often-polluted stormwater are falling short of their intended goals, a recent report said.  The conservation nonprofit Heal the Bay on Tuesday, Dec. 10, released a report analyzing 12 watershed management groups throughout the county and compared how much stormwater they currently have the ability to capture and treat compared to their stated goals. … ”  Read more from the Long Beach Press Telegram here: Los Angeles County is falling short on stormwater goals, according to Heal the Bay report

Coachella Valley Water District to give free water to Oasis mobile home park residents:  “Starting Wednesday, the nearly 2,000 residents of a Thermal mobile home park whose well water had been contaminated with arsenic will receive 60-day emergency supplemental water supplies from the Coachella Valley Water District, to be paid for by Riverside County. The assistance was approved unanimously on Tuesday by the water district board. The water will be distributed free of charge from a trailer on a county-approved site directly in front of the park, which sits on tribal land. … ”  Read more from the Desert Sun here: Coachella Valley Water District to give free water to Oasis mobile home park residents

Members of different water districts are blaming the Mayor and City of Poway for water problems:  “Members representing different water districts set up a news conference Tuesday to collectively show they weren’t happy with how the mayor and City of Poway handled last week’s water situation.  Frank Hilliker, a member of the Lakeside Water District, said, “We’re here to make sure all of our constituents know and understand that we’re not asleep at the wheel.” … ”  Read more from Channel 10 here: Members of different water districts are blaming the Mayor and City of Poway for water problems

Along the Colorado River …

Water cutbacks set to begin under deal designed to ‘buy down risk’ on Colorado River:  “Arizona, Nevada and Mexico will start taking less water from the Colorado River in January as a hard-fought set of agreements kicks in to reduce the risk of reservoirs falling to critically low levels.  The two U.S. states agreed to leave a portion of their water allotments in Lake Mead under a deal with California called the Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan, or DCP, which the states’ representatives signed at Hoover Dam in May. … ”  Read more from Arizona Central here: Water cutbacks set to begin under deal designed to ‘buy down risk’ on Colorado River

Revived stretch of Santa Cruz River provides oasis for wildlife:  “Much of the Santa Cruz River is a dry, desert wash, only flowing after heavy monsoon rains. As Tucson Water hydrologist Dick Thompson and I walk along the river south of Starr Pass Boulevard, he points out how brown the vegetation looks.  “Dry as a bone,” he said.  We walk down the dry riverbed, toward the stretch of the Santa Cruz that does have water. And has it year-round. ... ”  Read more from Cronkite News here: Revived stretch of Santa Cruz River provides oasis for wildlife

And lastly …

Naturally, 2019 closes with thousands of 10-inch pulsing “penis fish” stranded on a California beach:  Nature can sometimes be x-rated, you know:  “You could be forgiven for being offended by the above photo: thousands of 10-inch wiggly pink sausages strewn about Drakes Beach. The same phenomenon has been reported over the years at Pajaro Dunes, Moss Landing, Bodega Bay, and Princeton Harbor. I’ve heard my share of imaginative theories from beachcombers, such as flotsam of a wrecked bratwurst freighter. In truth, these are living denizens of our beaches rudely, yet also mercifully, mostly called “fat innkeeper worms.”  What in the name of Secretariat is a fat innkeeper worm? … ”  Read more and see pictures here: Naturally, 2019 closes with thousands of 10-inch pulsing “penis fish” stranded on a California beach

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

DR. MICHAEL KIPARSKY: Can Recharge Net Metering contribute to sustainable groundwater management?

NEWS WORTH NOTING: LAO Report: Preparing for rising seas: How the state can help support local coastal adaptation efforts; CDFW awards $11.35 million for greenhouse gas reduction grant projects; Metropolitan to help fund San Diego’s Pure Water recycling facility

FUNDING WEBINAR: EPA Grants Award Process Webinar

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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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