WEEKLY CA WATER NEWS DIGEST for February 9 – 14: Federalism and water under the Trump admin: Has the long peace come to an end?; Headwaters to Floodplains initiative; CEQA 101

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

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This week’s featured articles …

CA WATER LAW SYMPOSIUM: Federalism and Water under the Trump Administration: Has the Long Peace Come to an End?

The California Water Law Symposium is on my short list of not-to-be-missed events on my yearly calendar.  The symposium is a collaborative student-run event where students from each law school organize a panel which bring together a variety of interesting speakers to discuss some of California’s most critical water issues.  Led this year by Golden Gate University School of Law, participant schools include USF School of Law; UC Hastings College of the Law; UC Berkeley School of Law; UC Davis School of Law; Stanford University Law School; and University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

The theme of this year’s symposium, ‘Federalism & Water: Shifts in State/Federal Roles and Relations,’ is particularly salient given the Trump administration’s changed stance of the federal government in California water rights matters.  The keynote speaker was Clifford Lee, who recently retired from the California Attorney General’s office where for the past three decades, he has played a lead role in litigation on behalf of the state of California and has been directly involved in most of the cases that have shaped the relationship between federal government and the state of California as it relates to water management issues.  In his keynote speech, he discussed some of the history surrounding federal-state relations with respect to California water rights issues and gave his insights for how the state could forward.

Click here to read this article.

CA WATER COMMISSION: Headwaters to Floodplains initiative

Recently, the Department of Water Resources, Office of Floodplain Management launched a new safety initiative called Headwaters to Floodplains which applies an integrated regional watershed management approach to the realm of flood management.  The initiative is intended to enhance public engagement and facilitate sharing innovative flood risk reduction ideas and projects on a watershed basis.

At the January meeting of the California Water Commission, Mike Mierzwa from DWR’s Office of Floodplain Management briefed the Commission members on the new initiative.  He is a civil engineer with extensive expertise in hydrodynamic modeling and the planning of large scale water systems.  He’s also been part of DWR team working on the public benefits for the Water Storage Investment Program.

Click here to read this article.

CEQA 101: Introduction to the Delta Conveyance Project CEQA Process

Recently, the Department of Water Resources posted a short video providing an overview of the California Environmental Quality Act and the preparation of environmental documents for the Delta Conveyance Project.  The video was narrated by Ken Bogdan, Senior Staff Counsel for the Department of Water Resources; this post is based in part on the video, with extra information added from internet sources and the Notice of Preparation.

Click here to read this article.

GUEST COMMENTARY: California Report Card: Water Resources & Climate Change

Guest commentary by Robert Shibatani

It’s been about 30-years since the UN based Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) came out with their inaugural Assessment Report. How much has California done and particularly, the water industry with respect to addressing climate change? First, we must identify who we mean by “water industry”. I include all public trust resource agencies at the federal, State and local levels, as well as special districts, private water purveyors and NGOs. The big players of course include the regulatory agencies (e.g., U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, etc.), the State Water Resources Control Board, etc.) as well as agencies more focused on water management (e.g., Department of Water Resources).

Click here to read this guest commentary.

In water news this week from around the web …

WEEKEND DAILY DIGEST: CA experiencing dry winter, but there still could be hope; 3 years later: A look back at the Oroville Dam spillway crisis; Ousted EPA Region 9 head lashes out over firing; Dan Walters: Has Newsom settled the water wars?; and more … Click here for the weekend Daily Digest.

MONDAY: 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 …  Click here for Monday’s Daily Digest

TUESDAY: Former PG&E lawyer named new regional EPA chief in CA; February without rain could boost wildfire danger in NorCal; Trump proposes deep energy, environmental cuts; Southern California Climate Change over; and more …  Click here for Tuesday’s Daily Digest

WEDNESDAY: No rain in sight, is it time to worry about drought, wildfire?; 500,000 acres of farmland could go fallow as SGMA goes into effect; Two Valley Congressmen have a say in whether House Dems probe Valley water boost; and more … Click here for Wednesday’s Daily Digest

THURSDAY:  One tunnel, same distrust; Is California ready for the next drought?; Tri-dam partners not satisfied with voluntary agreements; Costa, Cox vote to OK subpoenas to probe Valley water boost; San Joaquin River Chinook salmon made history last year – sort of; and more … Click here for Thursday’s Daily Digest

FRIDAY:  Trump heads west, with CA water in mind; CA analysts urge lawmakers: reject Newsom’s $1B climate loan proposal; As groundwater depletes, arid American West is moving east; and more … Click here for Friday’s Daily Digest.

Weekly features …

BLOG ROUND-UP: 5 Questions about the new proposed Delta Voluntary Agreement; The Trump-Newsom, Newsom-Trump Water Plan for the Delta; The first law of holes is: stop digging; The disappearance of the CALFED environmental water budget; and more …

SCIENCE NEWS: Unloved and unstudied: Learning more about Lamprey; Summer-run steelhead: “top athletes” and “extraordinary” and “inspiring animal”; The value of inland fisheries; We’ve been systematically underestimating sea otters’ historical habitat; and more …

Other publications …

WATER INNOVATIONS: Waste not, want not: Turning wastewater into an asset

SGMA News for 2/13: Updated pages at the Groundwater Exchange: New data and tools, new FAQS and Fact Sheets; SGMA presentations

DELTA eNEWS: ~~ New Year~ Volunteer Planting~ CEQA 101~ DSC Blog~ Estuarine Symposium ~~

WATER PLAN eNEWS: ~~ Handbook Released~ IRWM Funding~ CWC Plan~ Delta Blog~ CivicSpark Applications~ Salinity Summit ~~

DWR SGMA NEWS: View posted GSPs and make a public comment; DWR’s technical support projects; Written translation service now available; Draft Handbook for Water Budget Development released

Announcements this week …

DELTA CONVEYANCE: Additional scoping meeting scheduled for Redding on March 2

SAVE THE DATE: Annual Water Supply and Demand Assessment Workshop (SB 606)

YOUR INPUT WANTED: STORMS is Soliciting feedback on 2020-2024 workload – Fill out the survey

OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENT: 60-Day Public Comment Period Opens for Draft “Handbook for Water Budget Development: With or Without Models”

WATER SUPPLY INDEX for February 1, 2020

NOTICE: Safe And Affordable Funding For Equity And Resilience (SAFER) Drinking Water Fund Advisory Group Meeting

ANNOUNCEMENT: California Water Commission releases new Strategic Plan


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