DAILY DIGEST, 4/3: CA Farm Bureau urges cooperation in Delta water operations; Newsom bans water shutoffs, community advocates say it’s not enough; Unusually late-season storm this weekend; Reviving the river that runs through LA; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • FREE WEBINAR: Be a Trusted Source: How to Handle Communication Challenges During COVID-19 from 10am to 11:30am.  Presented by the American Water Works Association.  Click here to register.

In California water news today …

California Farm Bureau Federation urges cooperation in Delta water operations:  “Given all the uncertainties facing the state and national economies now, the California Farm Bureau Federation urged state and federal water and environmental agencies to cooperate on operation of water projects in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The request came after state agencies issued an environmental permit for the State Water Project that could place its operation in conflict with the federal Central Valley Project.  “This disagreement among federal and state agencies throws another layer of uncertainty on top of an already complicated situation,” CFBF President Jamie Johansson said. “State and federal governments need to work together for the mutual benefit of the environment and the economy.” … ”  Read more from the Valley Voice here: California Farm Bureau Federation urges cooperation in Delta water operations

State Senator Borgeas criticizes latest water diversion by regulators:  “Water control and supply-related politics are percolating again.  On Thursday, Mother Lode lawmaker Senator Andreas Borgeas criticized the latest move under Governor Gavin Newsom’s Administration by Department of Water Resources (DWR) regulators to divert water away the State Water Project (SWP) for species protection.  It involves DWR’s obtainment on Tuesday of an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) from the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) that will govern water delivery within the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta “to minimize, avoid and fully mitigate impacts to threatened or endangered species as a result of SWP operations.” … ”  Read more from My Mother Lode here: State Senator Borgeas criticizes latest water diversion by regulators

Coronavirus: Newsom bans water shutoffs for customers with overdue bills:  “All water service in California will continue, even for customers that have been unable to pay their bills.  Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday issued an executive order that prohibits all public water agencies from disconnecting service to residences during the coronavirus pandemic.  “Water is critical to our very lives,” Newsom said, “and in this time, it is critically important that it is available for everyone.”  The order also does not absolve customers from bills they owe. They still are responsible for payment, but cannot be disconnected if payments are late or missed. … ”  Read more from the East Bay Times here: Coronavirus: Newsom bans water shutoffs for customers with overdue bills

Community advocates say water shutoff order is good, but not enough:  “On Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsom placed an executive order restricting water shutoffs retroactively from March 4th. That’s good news, community advocates say, but it doesn’t help those whose water was already shut off.  Jonathan Nelson is the Policy Director for the Community Water Center. He says Newsom’s  order will help people who are worried about paying future bills. But what about those whose water has been shut off for over a month? ... ”  Read more from Valley Public Radio here:  Community advocates say water shutoff order is good, but not enough

Wildlife Conservation Board funds stream flow enhancement projects:  “The Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) has approved approximately $24.3 million in grants to help enhance flows in streams throughout California. A total of 19 stream flow enhancement projects were approved for funding at its April 1 meeting. The approved projects will provide or lead to a direct and measurable enhancement of the amount, timing and/or quality of water in streams for anadromous fish or special status, threatened, endangered or at-risk species, or to provide resilience to climate change. ... ”  Read more from the Department of Fish and Wildlife here:  Wildlife Conservation Board funds stream flow enhancement projects

Unusually late-season storm to target California this weekend:  “A one-two punch of wet and winterlike weather will target the Golden State this weekend, helping to chip away at the snowfall deficit in place across the Sierra. While the latter half of January and all of February featured nearly bone-dry conditions across California, a series of late-season events has helped to minimize concerns for the dry season ahead.  Courtesy of a southern shift in the storm track, a wetter-than-normal March across California has brought the average snow water equivalent statewide above 50% compared to average for April 1. … ”  Read more from Accu-Weather here: Unusually late-season storm to target California with beneficial moisture

SEE ALSO: A cold Pacific storm will bring rain and mountain snow to Southern California on Sunday and Monday, from the LA Times

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In national/world news today …

National water and climate update: The Natural Resources Conservation Service produces this weekly report using data and products from the National Water and Climate Center and other agencies. The report focuses on seasonal snowpack, precipitation, temperature, and drought conditions in the U.S.  Severe storms occurred in the central and southern U.S. over the weekend damaging or destroying  hundreds of homes and businesses across several states. The National Weather Service received  preliminary reports of 24 tornadoes that accompanied the storms. Yesterday, severe storms also impacted the Southeast with 15 tornadoes reported in southern Mississippi, Alabama, and northern Florida.”  Click here to view the report.

EPA sends letter to all members of Congress to correct the record on the temporary enforcement policy:  “Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent a letter  to all Members of Congress to correct the record on the temporary enforcement policy that was released last week.  As should be apparent to anyone who reads the policy, allegations that EPA “will cease all enforcement actions during the coronavirus pandemic” and that the temporary policy “absolves polluters of all responsibility” are simply not true.  “EPA’s enforcement authority and responsibility remains active,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This is not a nationwide waiver of environmental rules. We will continue to work with federal, state and tribal partners to ensure that facilities are meeting regulatory requirements, while taking appropriate steps to protect the health of our staff and the public.” … ”  Read more from the EPA here:  EPA sends letter to all members of Congress to correct the record on the temporary enforcement policy

Scientists predict more major hurricanes than normal in 2020 season:  “Meteorologists are forecasting a significant hurricane and tropical storm season for the Atlantic coast in 2020, according to researchers at Colorado State University.  Experts have listed the names of 16 storms, including the prospects of eight turning into hurricanes, according to a report from CNN.  The advanced forecast predicts four of the hurricanes will become major storms registering as category 3 to 5, with winds amounting to 111 mph. … ”  Read more from The Hill here:  Scientists predict more major hurricanes than normal in 2020 season

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In regional news and commentary today …

Reviving the river that runs through Los Angeles“The Los Angeles River is special to Ed Reyes, who considers it an integral part of his childhood.  Reyes, 60, the executive director of River LA and a former Los Angeles City councilman, grew up about a half-mile from the river. He remembers playing chicken with the rail cars and using his Stingray bike to dodge the cars coming and going.  “I was about 9,” Reyes said. “Me and my friends would jump the fence. For us, we thought of it as a pool to swim in. We could fish. It became our Shangri-La. … ”  Read more the The Wave here: Reviving the river that runs through Los Angeles

UC San Diego virus expert pleads with surfers to stay out of the ocean to avoid coronavirus:  “Kim Prather — a UC San Diego atmospheric scientist who studies how viruses and bacteria are ejected from the ocean — pleaded with surfers on Monday to stay out of the water to minimize their chances of contracting the coronavirus.  Prather urged people who have been bicycling or walking along the coast to do the same.  “Surfers are saying that they’re safe if they stay 6 feet away from other people, but that’s only true if the air isn’t moving,” said Prather, who works at UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography. “Most of the time, there’s wind or a breeze at the coast. Tiny drops of virus can float in the air and get blown around.” ... ”  Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here:  UC San Diego virus expert pleads with surfers to stay out of the ocean to avoid coronavirus

San Diego: Water supply diversification overcomes dry winter:  “No ‘March Miracle’ for snow and rain in California, but the San Diego County Water Authority has diversified water supply sources to weather the boom-and-bust cycle of California winters.  March brought abundant precipitation throughout California, but not enough to offset a dry February. Most large urban water agencies in the state maintain a reliable water supply in wet and dry years.  “California’s climate variability is why a water resilience portfolio is needed to provide a safe and plentiful water supply,” said Goldy Herbon, Water Authority senior water resources specialist. “Whether a wet or dry year, the Water Authority and its 24 member agencies have successfully diversified water sources to ensure a reliable supply to meet the needs of the region’s 3.3 million people.” … ”  Read more from the San Diego Water News Network here:  San Diego: Water supply diversification overcomes dry winter

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Precipitation watch ...

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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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