WEEKLY CA WATER NEWS DIGEST for Feb 2 though 7: Delta conveyance, voluntary agreements, Water Storage Investment Program update, Commentary on unimpaired and functional flows

A list of posts published on Maven’s Notebook this week …

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This week’s featured articles …

METROPOLITAN BAY DELTA COMMITTEE: Delta conveyance update, plus a brief update on the Voluntary Agreements

Status of the negotiations for the State Water Project contract amendment for Delta Conveyance also discussed

At the January meeting of Metropolitan's Special Committee on the Bay-Delta, an update on the Delta conveyance was at the top of the agenda.  But first, General Manager Jeff Kightlinger provided an update on the voluntary agreements.

Click here to read this article.

CA WATER COMMISSION: Update on the Water Storage Investment Program

WSIP Program Manager Amy Young updates commissioners on project schedule, progress on the projects, and how the projects will be coming before the commission

At the January meeting of the California Water Commission, staff updated the commissioners on the status of the projects in the Water Storage Investment Program (WSIP).  Amy Young, the Commission’s WSIP Program Manager, updated the Commission on the program schedule going forward, recent activity by the applicants, and how the projects will be coming before the Commission.

Click here to read this article.

STATE OF THE ESTUARY: The Wetlands Regional Monitoring Program: A regional vision for coordinated monitoring

An update on the development of a regional plan to monitor the restoration of tidal marshes in the San Francisco Bay Area

The monitoring of tidal wetlands in the Bay Area has typically been implemented on a project-by-project basis in order to fulfill regulatory permit requirements. While providing data and insights for a particular project, it doesn’t provide an understanding of regional tidal wetland status and trends or how drivers such as sea level rise and development are impacting tidal wetlands.  A regional approach to monitoring tidal wetlands is needed to provide insights into where and how to implement tidal marsh restoration projects that would provide the greatest benefit to the diversity and resilience of estuarine habitats.

Click here to read this article.

GUEST COMMENTARY (REBUTTAL): Ecologists see little difference between unimpaired and (truly) functional approaches to flow

This guest commentary was written by Julie Zimmerman, Jeanette Howard, Jon Rosenfield, and Rene Henery in response to The Final Demise of Unimpaired Flows, guest commentary by Robert Shibatani

As river ecologists that work on environmental flows, we’re often confused by the strong reactions we hear at the mention of unimpaired flows. In general, we do not advocate for, nor have we ever experienced discussions contemplating allocation of 100% of unimpaired flow to the environment in rivers that support other critical, beneficial uses. Our work, and the discussions we are party to, are focused on leaving a portion of the unimpaired flow in a river to mimic natural patterns of variability while allowing a portion of the water to be diverted for human use.  In fact, our current water rules in California (and elsewhere) are all hydrologically-sensitive, meaning they change by season and year type to reflect hydrology and allow diverters to still divert in drier years. For example, D-1641 – water quality rules that govern flows into, through, and out of the Delta – is based on unimpaired flow at a coarse scale. What's potentially different about the “unimpaired flow” approaches currently under discussion are that they would apply on a shorter time step (e.g., weekly) and at a finer scale (a continuous percentage, rather than a blocky year type). This would retain more of the natural variability in river flow.

Click here to continue reading this guest commentary.

In water news this week from around the web …

WEEKEND DAILY DIGEST: How much water do fish need? The California Environmental Flows Framework dives into the question; California ag faces a decade of challenges; The role of estuaries; How climate change could impact future Super Bowls; and more …

MONDAY: FWS: Trump regulations boost risk for migratory birds; San Diego secures $300M to intercept Mexico sewage; Legal filing: Petition for comprehensive adjudication for the Borrego Springs groundwater basin; and more …

TUESDAY: New bills aim to help canals damaged by subsidence; Tribal members, youth ask for north state hearings; Fighting sea level rise the natural way; Imperial Valley conservation efforts benefit San Diego, Southwest; and more …

WEDNESDAY: 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 …

THURSDAY: Newsom seeks peace with Trump in California water wars. Enviros are ready to fight; Regional EPA chief in CA suddenly removed from his job; Monterey: Cal Am facing permit dilemma; Kings County groundwater plan raising questions; Trump to limit regulators; and more …

FRIDAY: Region 9 chief abruptly gone; Meet the veteran insider who’s shepherding Newsom’s plan to bring climate resilience to CA; Response levels lowered for water systems statewide as PFAS investigation continues; California in a dry rut, snowpack shrinks; and more …

Other news items this week …

THIS JUST IN … Gov. Newsom: California must get past differences on water. Voluntary agreements are the path forward

VOLUNTARY AGREEMENTS: Looking for more information? Here it is.

REACTIONS: NGOs and water agencies respond to voluntary agreements

THIS JUST IN … California Marks Key Step Toward Achieving Sustainable Groundwater Management

THIS JUST IN … Public Comment Opens for Groundwater Sustainability Plans

Weekly features …

BLOG ROUND-UP: Water policy direct from Governor Newsom; Defining “resilience principles”; Hatchery steelhead smolts released just in time to chow down on baby salmon; The ecology of truth, trust, and hope; and more …


Other publications …

WATER PLAN eNEWS: ~~Groundwater Sustainability~ Web Tool~ Ag Expo~ Farm Conference~ Shared Prosperity~ Delta Strategy ~~

DELTA eNEWS: ~~ DCP Scoping~ Real McCoy~ Salmon Nests~ DSC Blog ~~

Announcements this week …

NOTICE: 2020 Water Data Symposium Submissions due February 29th

FREE WEBINARS: Storm Water Solutions 2020 Spring Webinar Fest

NOTICE OF PUBLIC WORKSHOP & TRAININGS: Draft Implementation Guidance, State Wetland Definition and Procedures for the Discharges of Dredged or Fill Material to Waters of the State

NOW AVAILABLE: Bioassessment Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) and additional resources for algae and benthic macrovertebrates

CV-SALTS: Notices to Comply with the new regulations will begin mailing out to permittees starting in March 2020.


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