DAILY DIGEST, San Joaquin supervisors blast plans to move Delta tunnel project forward; Deadly bacteria persists in a CA’s prison water, state makes a plan to live with it; Field crop acreage declined during 2019; U.S. water data, refreshed daily; and more …

In California water news today, San Joaquin supervisors blast plans to move Delta tunnel project forward; Newsom’s administration seeks input on water plan; Deadly bacteria persists in water at California prison. State makes a plan to live with it; Women in Water conference showcases career opportunities; Water resource innovation, hard-earned lessons and Colorado River challenges — Western water year in review; Production of most California-grown field crops declined during 2019; GOP builds climate plan: ‘We have nothing to be afraid of’; U.S. water data, refreshed daily; and more …

In the news today …

San Joaquin supervisors blast plans to move Delta tunnel project forward:  “Response to Wednesday’s action by the California Department of Water Resources to initiate an environmental impact report for a tunnel project in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta was not popular with the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors.  “The latest action by the State does absolutely nothing to address any of the goals it seeks to accomplish,” San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors Chair Kathy Miller said in a statement released by the county. … ”  Read more from The Record here: San Joaquin supervisors blast plans to move Delta tunnel project forward

Newsom moves ahead with plan for single Delta water tunnel:  “California’s governor has restarted a project to build a giant, underground tunnel that would pump billions of gallons of water from the San Joaquin Delta to the southern part of the state.  Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration on Wednesday issued a Notice of Preparation for the project, which is the first step in the state’s lengthy environmental review process. … ”  Read more from KQED here: Newsom moves ahead with plan for single Delta water tunnel

Newsom’s Delta project begins:  “Seeking to solve a problem that has vexed governors for decades, Gov. Gavin Newsom has taken an initial step toward restarting efforts to more efficiently move water from the Sacramento River south to farms and cities. … ”  Read more from Cal Matters here: Newsom’s Delta project begins

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration seeks input on water plan:  “As Gov. Gavin Newsom and his administration attempt to establish a comprehensive and cohesive water policy for the state, officials are seeking public input on the draft water resilience portfolio released earlier this month.  The document was issued in response to Newsom’s April 2019 executive order directing his administration to inventory and assess a wide range of water-related challenges and solutions. … ”  Read more from The Press here: Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration seeks input on water plan

Deadly bacteria persists in water at California prison. State makes a plan to live with it:  “A bacteria that can cause deadly infections has become an ongoing problem requiring permanent staffing at California’s newest state prison, according to state budget documents.  California Health Care Facility, a Stockton prison that houses some of the state’s sickest inmates, wants to hire for 15 permanent positions and spend about $4.4 million per year to fight the bacteria, known as legionella, according to a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation funding request that is part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget proposal. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: Deadly bacteria persists in water at California prison. State makes a plan to live with it

Women in Water conference showcases career opportunities:  “More than 200 people explored career opportunities in the water and wastewater industry at the third annual Women in Water Symposium Thursday at Cuyamaca College.  The conference’s goal this year was to create a community of people with the interest and aptitude to take on what were previously considered non-traditional careers.  Speakers at the conference shared their personal experiences working in the water industry and offered tips for young professionals. ... ”  Read more from the Water News Network here: Women in water conference showcases career opportunities

Water resource innovation, hard-earned lessons and Colorado River challenges — Western water year in review:  “Innovative efforts to accelerate restoration of headwater forests and to improve a river for the benefit of both farmers and fish. Hard-earned lessons for water agencies from a string of devastating California wildfires. Efforts to drought-proof a chronically water-short region of California. And a broad debate surrounding how best to address persistent challenges facing the Colorado River. These were among the issues Western Water explored in 2019, and are still worth taking a look at in case you missed them. … ”  Read more from Western Water here: Water resource innovation, hard-earned lessons and Colorado River challenges — Western water year in review

Ag Report: Production of most California-grown field crops declined during 2019:  “Production of most California-grown field and grain crops declined during 2019.  According to an annual report from the USDA farmers sold less rice, cotton, wheat, corn and most other field crops last year. … ”  Read more from Channel 23 here: Ag Report: Production of most California-grown field crops declined during 2019

Scientist group highlights the need to address escalating levels of contaminants of emerging concern in water:  “The protection of our environment and natural resources is crucial. A major focus is on climate change, mitigation and adaptation, a core issue of which is the availability, quantity and quality of our water resources. However, millions of people who consume drinking water every day are at risk from, amongst other factors, animal and human waste, pesticides, emerging contaminants, risks from “established” contaminants, aged water supply infrastructures, and sub-optimal water management. … ”  Read more from PhysOrg here: Scientist group highlights the need to address escalating levels of contaminants of emerging concern in water

GOP builds climate plan: ‘We have nothing to be afraid of’:  “By the time House Republicans huddled yesterday to discuss climate policy, their talking points were already in motion.  Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and GOP leaders of the relevant committees have been hitting the big ideas for months. Energy innovation should be central to climate policy, not regulation or a carbon tax. Emissions must go down in the developing world — but not through the Paris Agreement. … ”  Read more from E&E News here: GOP builds climate plan: ‘We have nothing to be afraid of’

U.S. water data, refreshed daily:  “Where is the water?  A new mapping tool from the federal government’s top Earth sciences agency aims, with greater frequency and detail, to answer that basic question about the nation’s water resources.  Updated daily, the map displays a nearly complete picture of water storage in the Lower 48 states. It shows water currently held in snowpack, soils, and shallow groundwater compared to the long-term average. It also incorporates moisture trapped in the tree canopy and wetlands, but it does not include rivers, reservoirs, and deep groundwater. ... ”  Read more from Circle of Blue here: U.S. Water Data, Refreshed Daily

In commentary today …

Review of a single-tunnel conveyance must be based on sound science, says the Mercury News:  They write, “There’s no light at the end of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed Delta tunnel — not if the Trump administration’s bogus science is the basis for justifying a Southern California water grab of epic proportions.  State Department of Water Resources officials announced Wednesday they are initiating an environmental review of the governor’s plan for a single Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta tunnel along the I-5 corridor. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: Review of a single-tunnel conveyance must be based on sound science 

In regional news and commentary today …

Roseburg drops appeal of lawsuit against Weed citizens:  “In what Water for Citizens of Weed, California is calling “a victory for free speech,” Roseburg Forest Products last month dropped an appeal of a lawsuit against the group and nine members of the Weed community.  The move came after Siskiyou County Superior Court Judge Karen Dixon in 2017 granted WCWC’s anti-SLAPP motion, or Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, thereby dismissing Roseburg’s lawsuit against the “Weed 9” and awarding the group their attorney fees. Roseburg appealed that decision, but decided last month to drop its appeal. … ”  Read more from the Siskiyou Daily News here: Roseburg drops appeal of lawsuit against Weed citizens

‘Funds and perserverance:’ WATER, tribe to continue fight against Crystal Geyser:  “For the Winnemem Wintu people, the Mt. Shasta area has been home for thousands of years, and water to them is not simply a material resource.  “It is a living being,” said the tribe’s Historic Preservation Officer, Mark Miyoshi. The tribe is working with We Advocate Thorough Environmental Review to protect the aquifer from what they believe is potential disaster if Crystal Geyser opens on Ski Village Drive, just outside Mount Shasta’s city limits.  Although there’s nothing legally stopping Crystal Geyser from opening the facility now, a company spokesperson said they “continue to assess (their) California business strategy,” so it’s unclear how they plan to use the 145,000 square foot facility after more than six years of delays due to lawsuits and other red tape. ... ”  Read more from Mt. Shasta News here:  ‘Funds and perserverance:’ WATER, tribe to continue fight against Crystal Geyser

Red Bluff: Salmon habitat projects completed along the Sacramento River at Anderson River Park:  “The Bureau of Reclamation and its diverse set of partners, including the Yurok Tribe, the State of California, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and several non-governmental organizations, completed a new side channel habitat improvement project in Anderson River Park, south of Redding, at the end of 2019.  The project re-established an historic side channel through Anderson River Park providing year-round flow through the channel for juvenile salmon rearing habitat. … ”  Read more from the Red Bluff Daily News here: Salmon habitat projects completed along the Sacramento River at Anderson River Park

Fears of more flooding in north Chico area may halt building permits:  “Farmers and landowners who came to the Rock Creek Reclamation District Board meeting Wednesday afternoon had hard questions for the board and the county representatives there, but were met with few answers.  A proposed moriatorium, however temporary, on building permits and land use approval was not welcome news. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here: Fears of more flooding in north Chico area may halt building permits

Mendocino: Water ordinances held up by lively protest:  “A special meeting held by the Mendocino City Community Services District on Jan. 9 to consider the Groundwater Extraction Permit and the Water Conservation plan and ordinance drew approximately 15 attendees and Supervisor Ted Williams.  The purpose of the meeting was to announce the intent to vote on the water conservation measures at the upcoming Jan. 27 regular meeting. … ”  Read more from the Mendocino Beacon here:  Water ordinances held up by lively protest

Commentary: How Newsom will assist in ‘suicide’ of northern SJ Valley using a straw:  Dennis Wyatt writes, “If you happen to run into Gavin Newsom persuade him to go with you to your friendly neighborhood 7-Eleven and buy him a politically incorrect Super Big Gulp.  Fill it with Coca-Cola. It’s a poison — as defined by Michael Bloomberg who wants you to vote for him as Nanny in Chief on March 3 in the California primary — that more people chose than let’s say Sprite and Orange Crush. With a little luck the Coca-Cola will run out of syrup just as he finishes filling the cup. ... ”  Read more from the Manteca Bulletin here: How Newsom will assist in ‘suicide’ of northern SJ Valley using a straw

Patterson: ‘The dam must be moved.’ Speakers cite flood risk in opposing Stanislaus reservoir project:  “People commenting on an environmental study for a proposed dam near Patterson urged water districts to scrap the plan or build the dam someplace else.  About 150 people attended the hearing Wednesday at Patterson’s senior center and comments were heavily against the 800-acre reservoir that would inundate part of Del Puerto Canyon, just west of Interstate 5. … ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here: ‘The dam must be moved.’ Speakers cite flood risk in opposing Stanislaus reservoir project

Merced County: Project pushes river back from roadway’s edge:  “A month-long, emergency construction project has moved the Merced River away from Hills Ferry Road.  Merced County Supervisor Lloyd Pareira said the road was in danger of being washed out due to erosion which was creeping ever closer to the shoulder at a bend where the Merced River flows into the San Joaquin River, just east of the Hills Ferry bridge. … ”  Read more from Westside Connect here: Project pushes river back from roadway’s edge

Gustine: Plan lays out possible water sustainability measures:  “A plan adopted by the Gustine City Council in December lays out potential steps the city may take to meet state groundwater sustainability mandates.  But which the city elects to implement remains to be seen.  City Manager Doug Dunford said staff will present alternatives to the council early in 2020, and some measures could be taking shape by the end of the calendar year. ... ”  Read more from Westside Connect here: Plan lays out possible water sustainability measures

Heavy rains cause headache for East Bay sewer treatment plant officials in Concord:  “Thursday’s heavy rains in the East Bay caused headaches for sewer treatment managers trying to handle a huge increase in water flows.  It’s the rain effect you can’t see that keeps East Bay Municipal Utility District (MUD) officials up at night. … ”  Read more from Channel 7 here: Heavy rains cause headache for East Bay sewer treatment plant officials in Concord

Gilroy: New fees to affect private water wells:  “When Valley Water announces new wholesale water rates this spring, the new rate structure will include new fees for non-water-district wells. This could boost water rates in July for municipal system customers in Morgan Hill and Gilroy, and for hundreds of mostly residences with private wells.  Hundreds of others, mostly in South County, will no longer have to pay the public water district for using private wells, in the first systematic evaluation of groundwater rates in decades. … ” Read more from the Gilroy Dispatch here: New fees to affect private water wells

Monterey County dam repair, maintenance tax bid on fast track:  “A proposed $160 million tax assessment for dam repairs and deferred maintenance at two Monterey County-owned reservoirs is moving ahead, with a pair of public workshops planned in the next several weeks and a vote tentatively set to start in late March if the Board of Supervisors ultimately gives the go-ahead, according to a county water official.  “We’re moving quickly,” county Water Resources Agency general manager Brent Buche said on Thursday. ... ”  Read more from the Monterey Herald here: Monterey County dam repair, maintenance tax bid on fast track

San Luis Obispo: After years of talk, SLO is dredging Laguna Lake for the first time ever. Here’s why:  “After decades of discussion and planning, San Luis Obispo’s Laguna Lake will be dredged using hydraulic equipment for the first time.  The work, which will take place this summer and cost an estimated $500,000, will focus on removing about 2,000 cubic yards of accumulated sediment at the mouth of Prefumo Creek. … ”  Read more from the San Luis Obipo Tribune here: After years of talk, SLO is dredging Laguna Lake for the first time ever. Here’s why

Kern’s final groundwater plan approved:  “After months of fireworks over lowball pumping numbers and concerns that some groundwater agencies wouldn’t get on board, Kern’s last groundwater sustainability plan was approved Wednesday with barely a murmur.  The Kern Groundwater Authority board of directors voted unanimously to adopt its final GSP with just two weeks to spare before the massive document is due to the state Department of Water Resources. ... ”  Read more from the Bakersfield Californian here: Kern’s final groundwater plan approved

San Bernardino: Imported water helps the valley endure another year of drought:  “Thanks in part to a wet December that brought heavy snow to the Sierras, 2020 is off to a good start with reservoir storage levels at or above historic averages throughout most of the state – good news for San Bernardino Valley residents.  Even though water districts and cities throughout the San Bernardino Valley rely on local rainfall and mountain runoff for about 70 percent of their water supply, local supplies are not enough. The region relies on Sierra snowmelt from Northern California to meet the remaining 30 percent. … ”  Read more from Community News here: Imported water helps the valley endure another year of drought

Santa Ana River Wash Plan aims to protect land and species:  “The San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District laid out its goals for the Habitat Conservation Plan (Wash Plan) for the Santa Ana River Wash area.  The Wash Plan area is 4,892 acres between Highland and Redlands at the meeting of the Santa Ana River and Mill Creek. … ”  Read more from Community News here: Santa Ana River Wash Plan aims to protect land and species

‘Forever chemicals’ in Orange County drinking water to force widespread well closures:  “The Orange County Water District, which serves 2.5 million county residents, expects to see nearly a third of its 200 groundwater wells shut down by year’s end because of the presence of toxic PFAS, a chemical family linked to cancer, liver and kidney damage, low birth weight and other health problems.  Nine of those wells have already been closed and 32 more are expected to be closed in coming weeks as state regulators continue to lower acceptable thresholds for the toxins, according to district officials. As many as 42 additional wells could be shut down after testing is expanded later this year. ... ”  Read more from the OC Register here: ‘Forever chemicals’ in Orange County drinking water to force widespread well closures

FPUD and Rainbow to work together on new supply: “The Fallbrook Public Utility District and the Rainbow Municipal Water District now have a Memorandum of Understanding to work with each other on new water resource development and emergency supply.  The Dec. 3 Rainbow board meeting included a 4-0 vote with Michael Mack absent to approve the Memorandum of Understanding with FPUD while FPUD’s Dec. 9 board meeting approved the MOU on a 4-0 vote with Don McDougal absent. The MOU provisions include both collaborating on long-term water supply development and working together to improve emergency water supply capabilities. ... ”  Read more from Village News here: FPUD and Rainbow to work together on new supply

State Water Board cites Poway for ‘failure to protect its public water system’:  “The City of Poway was officially cited by the State Water Resources Control Board after a problem with the city’s water system led to a week-long boil water advisory last month.  The citation, issued in a letter dated Jan. 15, said a water overflow drain that connects directly to a storm drain caused a failure on the city’s part to “provide pure, wholesome, healthful and potable water” and resulted in the delivery of untreated water to Poway residents. ... ”  Read more from Fox Channel 5 here: State Water Board cites Poway for ‘failure to protect its public water system’

State: Poway failed to protect its water system, customers:  “A state water board is faulting the city of Poway for “failing to protect its public water system” and is ordering the municipality to take immediate action to correct a series of violations that led to a week-long boil-water advisory.  In a letter that accompanied the official citation, the State Water Resources Control Board said Poway “failed to provide pure, wholesome, healthful and potable water by delivering untreated storm drain water to customers.” … ”  Read more from the San Diego Union Tribune here: State: Poway failed to protect its water system, customers

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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