DAILY DIGEST, 1/21: Rain and snow return, but it won’t be enough to quench NorCal’s needs; CA water restrictions to become more severe; Weed and water woes in the Emerald Triangle; Could Sacramento flood like New Orleans?; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • The State Water Board will meet beginning at 9:30am. Agenda is rather light, with only the consent calendar, Board Member Report, Executive Director’s Report, and a discussion of Board Members’ priorities and organizational issues.  Click here for the full agenda.  Click here to watch on webcast.
  • The CA Data Collective Winter Workshop will be held from 1pm to 3pm in Sacramento.  Come hear about the City of Sacramento’s efforts to create a unified data warehouse for business intelligence along with updates on the latest water research and other data projects from within the water community.  Attend in person or via webcast.  Click here for more information and to register.

In California water news today …

Rain and snow return, but it won’t be enough to quench Northern California’s needs:  “More rain and snow area headed to Northern California on Tuesday, although the storm won’t be nearly enough to make up for what’s been a relatively dry January.  The National Weather Service said rain is expected to start falling at around 7 a.m. Tuesday, just in time for the morning commute. Light snow should hit the Sierra Nevada a couple of hours later, said NWS forecaster Craig Shoemaker.  “It’s a fairly weak storm,” Shoemaker said. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: Rain and snow return, but it won’t be enough to quench Northern California’s needs

California water restrictions to become more severe:  “Water woes in California’s major dairy shed are likely to get worse. The state will soon begin to implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which could boost the cost of milk production while devaluing dairy farm assets for some producers, says Sarina Sharp, analyst with the Daily Dairy Report.   “Over the next two decades, the SGMA will dramatically alter groundwater use throughout the state, especially in the Central Valley, where water shortages are most severe,” Sharp says. California dairy producers will also likely see production costs rise as feed crops lose acreage to cash crops. … ”  Read more from Milk Business here: California water restrictions to become more severe

Don’t fall for this old hoax about showering and doing laundry in California:  “The police won’t come knocking for Californians who shower and do laundry on the same day, despite what some social media users would have you believe.  An old hoax about California’s water conservation laws recently resurfaced after a guest on a Los Angeles TV station shared misinformation on air.  “Starting Jan. 1 California residents can’t take shower, do laundry, poop in toilet and flush on same day,” said one Facebook post that drew thousands of views to the segment, which was broadcast Dec. 31 on KTLA. “No really! This is not satire. 55 Gallons per person!” … ”  Read more from PolitiFact here: Don’t fall for this old hoax about showering and doing laundry in California

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In national/world news today …

DHS, federal agencies urge vigilance from infrastructure operators, facilities:  “The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal agencies continue to urge critical infrastructure operators to be vigilant against attacks following the death of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. airstrike on Jan. 2.  On Jan. 6, the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released two new resources focused on Iranian threats. The first was an alert titled Potential for Iranian Cyber Response to U.S. Military Strike in Baghdad. It described previous Iranian cyber activity, recommended mitigation actions, and previously observed attack techniques. The second was a CISA Insights bulletin, which described potential physical and cyber threats from Iran. It included 15 recommended protective actions: nine addressed cyberattacks and six discussed physical attacks. … ”  Read more from Water Finance & Management here: DHS, federal agencies urge vigilance from infrastructure operators, facilities

Q&A:  ‘Things will blow up' if you ignore climate risks — CEO:  “Rich Sorkin, CEO of Jupiter Intelligence, sees more than raging fires, rising seas and damaging winds in a warming world.  He also sees a business opportunity.  Sorkin, a longtime technology entrepreneur who's worked in financial services and energy, is leading Jupiter, a Silicon Valley startup that analyzes physical and financial risks tied to climate change. In the past year, the company has roughly tripled its customer base, which includes utilities and oil and gas companies eager to understand what may be coming. … ”  Read more from E&E News here: Q&A:  ‘Things will blow up’ if you ignore climate risks — CEO

Meet America's new superpolluters: Plastic plants:  “The Sunshine Project, a gargantuan petrochemical complex planned on 2,500 acres along the Mississippi River south of Baton Rouge, La., will be one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters in America when it becomes fully operational in 2029.  Earlier this month, Louisiana regulators approved an air quality permit that will allow the facility to pump 13.6 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. That's equivalent to adding 2.6 million cars to the road annually.  No industrial facility in the United States reported emissions of that magnitude between 2011 and 2018, according to an E&E News review of EPA data. In 2018, only 13 coal plants emitted more. … ”  Read more from E&E News here: Meet America’s new superpolluters: Plastic plants

Trump hails WOTUS overhaul as critics call for investigation:  “President Trump yesterday touted his repeal of key Clean Water Act regulations as more than three dozen current and former government officials called for an investigation into the scientific basis of his forthcoming replacement rule.  Trump told a gathering of the country's farmers that last fall he repealed “one of the most ridiculous regulations of all,” the Obama administration's Waters of the U.S., or WOTUS, rule, which defined which marshes, creeks and streams quality for federal protections.  The president called the previous rule “disastrous.” … ”  Read more from E&E News here:  Trump hails WOTUS overhaul as critics call for investigation

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In regional news and commentary today …

Weed and water woes in the legendary Emerald Triangle:  “In early September, the run of Supply Creek near Ken Norton's office on the Hoopa Valley Reservation has gone dry.  The boulders and logs placed to create salmon and trout habitat lie bare under the sun.  Norton, director of the Hoopa Valley Tribal Environmental Protection Agency and a member of the tribe, is worried about the stream's future. Under California's new cannabis regulatory system, 266 marijuana farmers are applying for permits to grow on the Hoopa Valley Tribe's traditional lands—some of which are now privately held and lie outside reservation boundaries.  More than 20 of the grows are in Supply Creek's steep headwaters. After years of habitat restoration work, Norton is concerned that cannabis farms may lower flows and kill off young fish. … ”  Read more from Environmental Health News here: Weed and water woes in the legendary Emerald Triangle

Sonoma County winegrowers begin comprehensive Climate Certification Program with California Land Stewardship:  “After celebrating Sonoma County being recognized as the 2019 Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast, it was time for local winegrowers and vintners to get down to business at the 29th annual Dollars & $ense Seminar and Trade Show and the first joint annual meeting for the two organizations. Over the years, attendees have come to expect significant industry announcements from the organization’s president, Karissa Kruse. This year Kruse again delivered as the attendees expected.  With Sonoma County established as the leading sustainable wine region in the world, the Sonoma County Winegrowers will continue to build upon its leadership by targeting climate change. … ”  Read more from Wine Industry Advisor here: Sonoma County winegrowers begin comprehensive Climate Certification Program with California Land Stewardship

Could Sacramento flood like New Orleans? It's possible, but water managers are trying to make it less likely.  “Three years ago, water began seeping out of yards and pooling in roadways in the Sacramento Pocket neighborhood.  But the water wasn’t from a recent storm.  “It hadn’t rained for a couple of weeks,” said Rick Johnson, executive director of the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency. “This is water coming up through and under the levees into people’s yards. What’s scary about it is that the homes are right there.” … ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here: Could Sacramento flood like New Orleans? It’s possible, but water managers are trying to make it less likely.

Tulare County: Eastern Tule Groundwater Sustainability Agency Board approves GSP; Friant-Kern Canal among concerns:  “Now that the Groundwater Sustainability Plan has been approved, the real work begins so to speak.  The Eastern Tule Groundwater Sustainability Agency Board approved the GSP at its meeting on Friday, laying out the goals for the agency to meet the state requirement to reduce groundwater usage to what’s considered a sustainable level by 2040.  The plan was due to be submitted to the state by January 31. The ETGSA covers virtually all of Southeastern Tulare County. … ”  Read more from the Porterville Recorder here:  Tulare County: Eastern Tule Groundwater Sustainability Agency Board approves GSP; Friant-Kern Canal among concerns

City of Poway cited for ‘confusing’ public during water quality emergency:  “California's Water Board cited the city of Poway Thursday for their handling of a malfunction at its water treatment plant that led to a lengthy boil water advisory, which forced businesses to shutter for nearly a week.  The citation faults the city of Poway for its failure to communicate with citizens on the severity of the water quality emergency and said statements contradicting a boil advisory confused the public. … ”  Read more from San Diego's Channel 7 here: City of Poway cited for ‘confusing’ public during water quality emergency

San Diego: Concerns raised about lagoon dredging:  “Plans to dredge Agua Hedionda Lagoon and place the sand on Carlsbad beaches suffered a setback this week after residents raised concerns about pollutants.  The city’s Planning Commission delayed approval of a permit needed for the project, scheduled to start in January, until more information can be gathered about the quality of the sand to be dredged. ... ”  Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here: Concerns raised about lagoon dredging

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Along the Colorado River …

Utah public comment period closes for Lake Powell pipeline:  “Officials say more than 1,100 public comments were submitted for the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline designed to pump water to two southern Utah counties. Officials say the cost of the potentially $1-Billion project that would pump water to Utah’s Washington and Kane counties would be repaid over 50 years.  U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials will consider all the comments before releasing a draft environmental impact statement. … ”  Read more from Utah Public Radio here:  Utah public comment period closes for Lake Powell pipeline

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Precipitation watch …

From the National Weather Service: “Light to moderate amounts of precipitation are expected across interior NorCal today and tonight as a weather system moves through the region.”

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Also on Maven's Notebook today …

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Image credit: CA streamflow assessment map, courtesy of Belize Lane.   From this paper: Lane, B. A., Dahlke, H. E., Pasternack, G. B., & Sandoval‐Solis, S. (2017). Revealing the diversity of natural hydrologic regimes in California with relevance for environmental flows applications. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association53(2), 411-430.

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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