DAILY DIGEST, 2/10: CA’s risk of a flooding catastrophe – in LA; 209 mph wind gust recorded on Sunday; Another groundwater management lawsuit filed; How unlikely allies got White House to tackle Tijuana River mess; and more …

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On the calendar today …

 

In California water news today …

California’s risk of a flooding catastrophe – in Los Angeles:  “There is a flooding catastrophe awaiting California — not only in the Sacramento Delta, but in the Los Angeles region. The Great Flood of 1862 is best remembered for filling the Central Valley of California with flood water, bankrupting the State, and forcing government to move from Sacramento to San Francisco. However, it also struck southern California hard as many small towns were completely destroyed, and the region was cut off for weeks from communication with state leaders in San Francisco and Sacramento.   In 1862, there were less than 15,000 people living in Los Angeles and the region was mainly used for cattle grazing. But today, there are 14 million people and a trillion-dollar economy.  … ”  Read more from Advanced Science News here:  California’s risk of a flooding catastrophe – in Los Angeles

209 mph wind gust recorded in California on Sunday:  “Talk about a windy Sunday in California.  While strong winds howled throughout the Golden State on Sunday, a 209 miles-per-hour (mph) gust was recorded atop Kirkwood Mountain in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range. While the gust will undergo quality checks over the next few days, two National Weather Service offices reported it on Sunday.  That said, the National Weather Service office in Sacramento sprinkled doubt on the figure on Sunday night (read the bottom of the Twitter thread below). … ”  Read more from Weather Nation here: 209 mph wind gust recorded in California on Sunday

San Francisco public utility acquires Wool Ranch property in Milpitas:  “The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission recently purchased nearly 800 acres of verdant, rolling hills and expansive bay area views east of Milpitas, a property known as Wool Ranch, adding cohesion to its collection of protected lands that surround the watershed feeding the Calaveras Reservoir. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  San Francisco public utility acquires Wool Ranch property in Milpitas

Unlikely allies got White House to tackle Tijuana River mess: How they pulled it off:  “For decades, millions of gallons of raw sewage and trash have flowed from the Tijuana River to the Pacific Ocean, fouling beaches, angering Southern Californians and getting worse by the year.  An estimated 143 million gallons of waste from Tijuana spilled into the river valley in 2017, overwhelming a treatment plant built by the United States and Mexico nearly 25 years ago. Last October, a corpse clogged a sewage intake screen, causing a backup and sending 14.5 million gallons of polluted water over the border and into the U.S. ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Unlikely allies got White House to tackle Tijuana River mess: How they pulled it off

Will there be a dazzling ‘super bloom’ again this year?  “Wildflowers are fickle. Ample rain is needed each winter month, especially in January and February, in order for the plants to blossom at the proportions that create a super bloom, flower enthusiasts say.  Following that rule, this year’s wildflower season might not be as bright as last year’s, when an epic bloom blanketed the California desert in a palette of petals. … ”  Read more from the Record here:  Will there be a dazzling ‘super bloom’ again this year?

Sewerball: The art of managing storm and wastewater using data:  “Stormwater and sanitary sewer systems may be some of the least technologically sophisticated systems in the utility’s arsenal. Most often, these systems are gravity-based and out of sight. As a result, operational assessments are limited to the occasional visual inspection when an operator lifts a manhole to check conditions, or worse when called out due to backups, overflows or odors. With this lack of visibility, operators are left to use their experience, intuition and instincts to operate these vital systems. … ”  Read more from Water Finance and Management here: Sewerball: The art of managing storm and wastewater using data

The Week in Water Podcast:  “Scientists warn that environmental threats to the planet could cascade, leading to a global systemic collapse.  Bumblebees are having a hard time taking the heat as the planet warms—but you can help.  Municipal wastewater contains valuable minerals, nutrients—and energy.  Wildfires can increase snowpack—but there’s a downside.  Dogs may save your orange juice.”  Click here to read or listen to podcast.

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In legal briefs …

The McMullin Area Groundwater Sustainability Agency sued the James Irrigation District and James Groundwater Sustainability Agency in Fresno Superior Court, in a fight over groundwater management.  via Courthouse News Service.

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In commentary today …

Newsom’s water framework is imperfect but necessary. The alternative is further deterioration of the Delta, say Ellen Hanak and Jeff Mount:  They write, “Gov. Gavin Newsom has put forward a framework for managing water and habitat in the Delta and its watershed. As far as we can tell, no one is very happy with the framework—and that may be a good sign.   The framework is the product of years of effort to negotiate an agreement among water users, other stakeholders, and regulatory agencies. Details are yet to be worked out, including firm commitments for water and funding, along with critical negotiations with the federal government on how to cooperatively manage upstream dams and the Delta pumps. Ultimately, the package has to be acceptable to state and federal regulators. … ”  Read more from Cal Matters here: Newsom’s water framework is imperfect but necessary. The alternative is further deterioration of the Delta

Once again, San Francisco officials are limiting public access to the majestic Hetch Hetchy Valley:  Spreck Rosekrans writes, “In the waning moments of 2019, San Francisco’s Water Department persuaded Congress to deny long-promised access to unreachable areas of Yosemite National Park.  This power play would ban environmentally benign boating on Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. The move reverses the guarantees of improved access and recreation which San Francisco made in 1913, when it pleaded with Congress to pass the Raker Act and allow it to build the reservoir in Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park. … ”  Continue reading at Cal Matters here:  Once again, San Francisco officials are limiting public access to the majestic Hetch Hetchy Valley

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Precipitation watch …

Nada.

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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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