DAILY DIGEST, 2/5: Newsom proposes new water rules for Delta; Local agencies file management plans for aquifers; Some funding for Friant-Kern, Shasta Dam; Thousands served, noticed in Ventura’s water lawsuit may get reprieve; and more …

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On the calendar today …

In California water news today …

Governor Newsom proposes new water rules for San Joaquin Delta:  “California’s governor proposed rules on Tuesday that would keep more water in the fragile San Joaquin River Delta while restoring 60,000 acres of habitat for endangered species and generating more than $5 billion in new funding for environmental improvements.  The framework announced Tuesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom is a unique approach to managing the state’s scarce water resources. Historically, California has governed water usage by issuing regulations — regulations that are often challenged in court by farmers or environmental groups. … ”  Read more from CBS Sacramento here: 🔓 Governor Newsom proposes new water rules for San Joaquin Delta

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Local agencies file management plans for aquifers:  “The deadline passed at the end of January for local agencies representing 19 of the state’s most stressed groundwater basins to submit plans for how the basins will reach sustainability during the next 20 years. It’s a milestone in implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.  Speaking during the annual California Irrigation Institute conference in Sacramento last week, Tim Godwin of the California Department of Water Resources said the department is now reviewing the submitted plans. DWR will ultimately grade the plans as adequate; incomplete, which gives agencies 180 days to submit clarifying information; or inadequate, which requires DWR to consult with the State Water Resources Control Board on next steps. … ”  Read more from Ag Alert here:  🔓 Local agencies file management plans for aquifers

Extra $11M coming for Friant-Kern Canal repairs:  “Repair work on the Friant-Kern Canal is getting $11 million in new federal funding, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday.  The funds are coming from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. They are in addition to $2.35 million that Congress designated to fix the canal’s sinking and leaking sections.  “Restoring capacity of the canal is expected to increase average annual water deliveries by 8,000 acre-feet,” McCarthy said in a news release. … ”  Read more from GV Wire here: 🔓 Extra $11M coming for Friant-Kern Canal repairs

Efforts to raise the height of Shasta Dam continue despite Westlands backing out:  “The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation last year lost a major partner willing to help pay for raising the height of Shasta Dam, but that hasn’t stopped the agency from going forward with the project.  The federal agency continues to look for new partners after the Fresno-based Westlands Water District backed out, and the bureau continues to do “pre-construction” and design work on the dam.  “Reclamation is engaging various stakeholders to look at all options for cost-sharing partners to help support this project to improve California’s future,” bureau spokesman Todd Plain said in an email. … ”  Read more from the Redding Record-Searchlight here:  Efforts to raise the height of Shasta Dam continue despite Westlands backing out

To study atmospheric rivers, scientists need to get close. So they fly to them:  “The Air Force research crew on the WC-130J Super Hercules airplane was cruising at 28,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean, preparing to deploy 25 weather-sensing devices over a long band of water vapor known as an “atmospheric river” when the hazards of air travel got in the way of science.  Lt. Col. Jeff Ragusa, a pilot with the Air Force Reserve 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, known as the Hurricane Hunters, was on the second of 12 missions to study atmospheric river storms and was ready to drop the sensors when fuel suddenly began leaking from a tank, forcing the aircraft to turn back. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: To study atmospheric rivers, scientists need to get close. So they fly to them

California scientists create bionic jellyfish to explore oceans:  “California scientists looking for new ways to explore the world’s oceans have created something that seems right out of a Hollywood movie — a cyborg jellyfish, half animal, half robot, that can swim nearly three times faster than a regular jellyfish — and which one day might be remotely steered to collect information from deep ocean waters.  Engineers at Stanford University and Caltech in Pasadena say the sci-fi jellyfish may rekindle memories of Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator, but could actually help expand our understand of the deep seas. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: California scientists create bionic jellyfish to explore oceans

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In national/world news today …

Wildfires increase winter snowpack — but that isn’t necessarily a good thing:  “Deep in the Tushar mountains, some three hours south of Brigham Young University’s campus in Utah, Ph.D. student Jordan Maxwell and two other students found themselves in deep snow, both literally and figuratively.  It was December 2014 and the students had just started field work under the tutelage of BYU forest ecologist Sam St. Clair for research on the impact of wildfires on snowpack levels. Unfortunately, the snowmobiles they’d been using could go no further and there were still dozens of measurements they needed to take.” o, we put on our skis and got to work,” Maxwell said. … ” Read more from Science Daily here:  🔓 Wildfires increase winter snowpack — but that isn’t necessarily a good thing

BLM may exempt plans from environmental review:  “The Bureau of Land Management may stop studying how its long-term blueprints for millions of acres of public lands would affect the environment, according to a document shared with Bloomberg Environment.  Land use plans are updated every two decades or more, and govern the management of more than 245 million acres of public land under BLM control. They determine, for example, which lands are developed for fossil fuels and mining, grazed by livestock, or protected from development entirely. … ”  Read more from Bloomberg Environmental here: 🔓 BLM may exempt plans from environmental review

Why clouds are the key to new troubling projections on warming:  “It is the most worrying development in the science of climate change for a long time. An apparently settled conclusion about how sensitive the climate is to adding more greenhouse gases has been thrown into doubt by a series of new studies from the world’s top climate modeling groups.  The studies have changed how the models treat clouds, following new field research. They suggest that the ability of clouds to keep us cool could be drastically reduced as the world warms — pushing global heating into overdrive. … ”  Read more from Yale E360 here:  🔓 Why clouds are the key to new troubling projections on warming

Rise in sea levels is accelerating along U.S. coasts, report warns:  “The rate of sea level rise along much of the U.S. coastline continues to accelerate, according to a new report.  The report’s key message “is a clear trend toward acceleration in rates of sea-level rise at 25 of our 32 tide-gauge stations,” said Virginia Institute of Marine Science emeritus professor John Boon in a statement. “Acceleration can be a game changer in terms of impacts and planning, so we really need to pay heed to these patterns.” … ”  Read more from USA Today here:  🔓 Rise in sea levels is accelerating along U.S. coasts, report warns

SEE ALSO: 🔓 Where America’s Climate Migrants Will Go As Sea Level Rises, from MSN

Newly released satellite data poised to significantly improve weather forecasts:  “As the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) releases the first data from the newly launched COSMIC-2 satellite system, meteorologists are finding evidence that the detailed observations of the atmosphere will significantly improve short-term weather forecasts.  “The data are looking very good,” said Bill Schreiner, director of the UCAR COSMIC program. “The mission is absolutely a success so far.” … ”  Read more from NCAR here: 🔓 Newly released satellite data poised to significantly improve weather forecasts

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In regional news and commentary today …

Early Santa Cruz city water shows good supply, poor rainfall:  “Were Santa Cruz to read its water future in a Magic 8 ball, the message would read “Outlook unclear.”  At the midpoint of the winter season, the city has seen a recent dry spell, especially when compared to last year’s rainy season. Prior to a discussion about how the city is working to update its water shortage response plan, Santa Cruz Water Conservation Manager Toby Goddard told the city Water Commission on Monday that the city has a “few things in our favor.” … ”  Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here: Early Santa Cruz city water shows good supply, poor rainfall

Thousands served, noticed in Ventura’s water lawsuit may get reprieve:  “More than 14,000 property owners recently noticed or served in the city of Ventura’s litigation over use of the Ventura River may get a bit of a reprieve.  The Ventura City Council announced Monday that it may request a six-month extension from the court for the thousands who were sent legal notices or served with a court summons in the case.  Without the delay, property owners have 60 days to file with the court to become a participant in the lawsuit, which would require them to pay $435 in court fees and, in some cases, hire an attorney. … ”  Read more from the Ventura County Star here: Thousands served, noticed in Ventura’s water lawsuit may get reprieve

Watchdog group claims stored nuclear fuel at San Onofre could produce “radioactive geysers”:  “As Southern California Edison begins its eight-year-long process of decommissioning and dismantling the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, a local watchdog group has filed a petition to put a halt to actions at the seaside plant located south of San Clemente.  Public Watchdogs, a nonprofit advocacy group, claims that if the facility is flooded with rain or ocean water, the proposed method of disposing nuclear waste could lead to explosive radioactive steam geysers. It is asking for a detailed look into disaster-proofing the site while it still has radioactive materials present. … ”  Read more from ABC 10 here: 🔓 Watchdog group claims stored nuclear fuel at San Onofre could produce “radioactive geysers”

Imperial Valley: Judge Anderholt takes Abatti contempt lawsuit against Imperial Irrigation District under submission:  “The Imperial Irrigation District appeared before Imperial County Superior Court Judge Brooks Anderholt, Tuesday, to defend itself in a contempt-of-court lawsuit filed by farmer Mike Abatti. This is an extension of the litigation brought against the district by Abatti in 2013 that challenged IID’s Equitable Distribution Plan, and is currently on appeal before the Fourth District Court of Appeal.  In his latest legal challenge to IID’s water rights and operations, Abatti asked the trial court to find IID in contempt for violating the judge’s August 2017 order prohibiting the district from entering into any new industrial water supply contracts until it implements an EDP based on water history.  At issue is an amendment approved by the IID board late last year to an existing water supply contract with longtime customer Ormat. … ”  Read more from the Imperial Irrigation District here:  🔓 Judge Anderholt takes Abatti contempt lawsuit against Imperial Irrigation District under submission

San Diego: InfraTerra given CWA contract for seismic vulnerability and repair time study“InfraTerra Inc. has been awarded a contract to provide seismic vulnerability assessments and repair time estimates for San Diego County Water Authority pipelines.  A unanimous SDCWA board vote, Jan. 23, authorized the award of a $724,939 contract for InfraTerra to perform the work. The study is expected to be complete during summer 2021.  The CWA has five large-diameter pipelines with prestressed concrete cylinder, reinforced concrete and welded steel pipe. The most recent major seismic vulnerability study on the CWA pipelines was performed in 1993 and provided an estimate of the number of pipe breaks and repair time needed to restore water service in the event of a significant earthquake. The estimated repair time ranged from two to six months. ... ”  Read more from Village News here: 🔓 InfraTerra given CWA contract for seismic vulnerability and repair time study

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And lastly …

And lastly … On this day in 2001, engineering students hung a red Volkswagen Beetle off the Golden Gate Bridge:  “At about 3:40 a.m. on Feb. 5, 2001, a moving van stopped abruptly in the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge. Although it was still dark, witnesses said they saw around a dozen figures emerge and push a large object over the side of the bridge. They then reboarded the van, and sped away into the night. Nothing to see here. Move along.  A couple of hours later, as the morning light began to filter through the thick fog that often envelops San Francisco, viewers at Vista Point on the north end of the Golden Gate could make out the silhouette of a red Volkswagen Beetle. It was dangling from the underside of the bridge, 10 storeys above the water. A Canadian flag was painted on one side of the car. A big red “E” was on the other side. … ”  Continue reading at Macleans here: 🔓 The Golden Gate prank by UBC engineering students may have been the best ever

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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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