Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe; Photo courtesy GPA Archive

DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: New state water regulations cause angst on all sides; One-two punch of wintry storms to soak CA through early week; George Miller on what Gov. Gavin Newsom needs to do to protect state’s water future; and more …

In California water news this weekend …

New state water regulations cause angst on all sides:  “A new set of water regulations aimed at protecting California’s native fish came down from the state earlier this week to near universal condemnation from both agricultural and environmental water folks.  The regulations are contained in a 143-page “incidental take permit” issued by the Department of Fish and Game that lays out when  — and how much — water can be pumped out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta by the State Water Project. … ”  Read more from the Bakersfield Californian here: LOIS HENRY: New state water regulations cause angst on all sides

One-two punch of wintry storms to soak California through early week:  “A pair of storm systems have slammed into the West Coast this weekend, bringing the return of wet weather to California.  While the month of February featured nearly bone-dry conditions across the Golden State, a series of late-season events are helping to minimize concerns for the dry season ahead.  Courtesy of a southern shift in the storm track beginning in March, wetter-than-normal conditions across California have brought the average snow/water equivalent statewide to more than 50 percent above the average for April 2. … ”  Read more from AccuWeather here: One-two punch of wintry storms to soak California through early week

Robust spring storm to bring rain, mountain snow, thunderstorms to California:  ” … It’s going to be a good weekend to stay at home and help “flatten the curve” just about everywhere in California. A pretty robust spring storm will affect the entire state beginning later Saturday into Sunday, bringing widespread rainfall, heavy Sierra Nevada snowfall, and a pretty good chance of thunderstorms in some areas. ... ”  Read more from the California Weather Blog here: Robust spring storm to bring rain, mountain snow, thunderstorms to California

Following California’s water as another dry spell looms:  “What does a Central Valley almond farmer have in common with a San Diego homeowner? The answer is simple: Water. More specifically, the amount of water they need to sustain their respective lifestyles — which is a lot.  California, a state with a long, roller-coaster history of droughts and battles over water, faces yet another dry spell as the 2020s begin. At the end of last year, the looming drought had been largely washed away, more than 90 percent of the state was declared drought free. Then another dry spell, then some March rains. … ”  Read more from Capitol Weekly here: Following California’s water as another dry spell looms

‘It’s managed retreat.’ Calif. pushes homes back from ocean:  “An empty lot on a 70-foot-high bluff above the ocean seemed like the perfect place to build a house when the owners bought the parcel for $1.8 million.  Now a state ruling means they’ll have to put the house farther away from the water, where they won’t see the shore. It’s a result of climate change and California’s response to it.  Jim Lindstrom, 78, and his wife Karla, 69, lost a battle with the California Coastal Commission, a powerful agency that oversees permitting in coastal areas. The commission ruled the house in northern San Diego County must start 60 feet back to protect it for many decades, as higher waters erode the bluff. ... ”  Read more from E&E News here: ‘It’s managed retreat.’ Calif. pushes homes back from ocean

The macro problem of microplastics:  “As people walk down the bustling streets of an industrialized city, they come across plastic grocery bags, plastic soda rings and plastic straws littering sidewalks. While concern for plastic pollution is justified, there is another type of human and environmental toxicant to be wary of: microplastics.  Microplastics are defined as any small plastic piece under 0.2 inches in size. They are found in a variety of cleaning products, manufacturing and especially in popular cosmetics and hygienic products. As people are cleaning themselves, they are instead ironically polluting their skin, and, subsequently, health. Microplastics are added to these items for a number of reasons: their abrasiveness allows a squeaky-clean scrub; non-degradability ensures a long shelf life; and to add color or sparkle. … ”  Read more from the Alameda Sun here: The macro problem of microplastics

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In people news this weekend …

In Memoriam of DWR’s Leader William Gianelli:  “William Gianelli, the Department of Water Resources’ (DWR’s) third Director, passed away at the age of 101 in Monterey, California on March 30. Known for being an engineering expert, water community leader, and champion of the State Water Project (SWP), Gianelli dedicated more than 30 years to public service in both state and federal government.  “Every day Californians benefit from William Gianelli’s leadership,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “DWR is lucky to have had someone with his expertise and commitment to public service at the helm during the development of the State Water Project. His service to the state and country throughout his entire career will be remembered for years to come.” … ”  Read more from DWR News here: In Memoriam of DWR’s Leader William Gianelli

Dam Guardian:  “David Sarkisian grew up in the 1980s in Salinas, California, a town of about 150,000 people located just 20 miles east of Monterey Bay and one of the country’s most scenic coastlines. … Today, as the chief of dam safety services within the Division of Operations and Maintenance (O&M) of California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR), Sarkisian guides a team of 25 engineers that monitors, surveils, inspects and guides the on-going maintenance of the 26 dams and reservoirs within the California State Water Project (SWP), many of which are more than 50 years old. … ”  Read more at Persons of Infrastructure here: Dam Guardian 

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In commentary this weekend …

What Gov. Gavin Newsom needs to do to protect state’s water future: George Miller writes,Today, responding to a global pandemic is every governor’s top priority. When we emerge from this crisis, Gov. Gavin Newsom will face a challenge to ensure California’s future economic and environmental health. In this context, his water policies will represent critical decisions. Along with public health, jobs, energy, transportation, education, housing and fire protection, water is a compulsory gubernatorial priority. Over the past few months, Newsom has sent mixed signals on water. ... ” Continue reading at the San Francisco Chronicle here: What Gov. Gavin Newsom needs to do to protect state’s water future

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Sunday podcasts …

Ocean Bound: “In less than a minute, a large group of young salmon were released into the Sacramento River, en route to the Pacific Ocean.  These were no ordinary fish. Equipped with small transmitters, these baby salmon are part of a pilot project by the California Rice Commission and UC Davis. Grown in rice fields of Yolo County, scientists hope to find ways that the farm-raised fish will add to the dwindling wild salmon population.  This is part of a larger effort to reconnect the Sacramento Valley flood plains; strategically adding water to the landscape to benefit our environment.”

Data Solutions for Water Scarcity – Future of Agriculture: Chris Peacock is the CEO and Founder of AQUAOSO, a company that aims to build a water-resilient future through software and technologies that identify, analyze, and monitor water risk in the economy. Chris is a three-time water tech entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in the water industry. He works with agricultural lenders and helps reduce their financial risk by providing analytics and insights on water risk management.  Chris joins me today to share AQUAOSO’s main goal and how it can help interpret water data that can benefit both banks and farmers. He discusses the importance of knowing where farm water is sourced and how much water they use. He explains why there is an imperative need to address water needs from both an economic and humanitarian perspective. Chris also describes what happens if AQUAOSO becomes a successful company in the future.

COVID-19 is a Wimp: Steve Baker writes, “Lifestyles around the world have changed because of the proliferation of a recent virus called COVID-19. This highly infectious virus and its ability to put an end to people with compromised health has motivated our world population to close down economies and shelter at home. But, do you know that this virus is a wimp when we take effective actions? Water is a Many Splendor’ed Thing brings you another water relationship that has a personally significant impact to your life.”  Produced by Steven Baker, Operation Unite® Bringing People Together to Solve Water Problems, Online at www.operationunite.co

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In regional news and commentary this weekend …

Reclamation seeks public input on proposed Klamath Project interim operations:  “The Bureau of Reclamation invites public comment on a draft environmental assessment that evaluates a proposed water management approach for the Klamath Project, according to a news release.  The Project provides irrigation for approximately 230,000 acres of farmed lands in the Klamath Basin. ... ”  Read more from the Herald & News here:  Reclamation seeks public input on proposed Klamath Project interim operations

Opinion: Dam destruction through KRRC’s ‘lens’: Rex Cozzalio writes, “Once again KRRC’s Mr. Cox, in his paid assignment to advance regional destruction regardless of outcome, wants you to look through his lens, whether we live in the city or Siskiyou County. Where do you think he lives? His writing must be easy, constantly repeating the same previously refuted fallacies. Why not, Siskiyou is just a keystroke on his email media list marketing those claims to the outside uninformed, knowing we have minimal access. His only concern with us is to defer regional opposition and public awareness until after they push FERC into License Transfer approval. If KRRC coerces FERC approval before this house of cards collapses, their income and Klamath destruction is assured. … ”  Read more from the Mt. Shasta News here: Opinion: Dam destruction through KRRC’s ‘lens’

Mendocino:  Groundwater management hearings set for late April:  “Registered voters that live in Mendocino have the opportunity and responsibility to decide the direction of groundwater management in Mendocino at two upcoming Mendocino City Community Services District Public Hearings scheduled for April 16 and 27.  The purpose of the April 16 hearing is to consider the adoption of Resolutions of Intention to adopt an amendment to the Groundwater Extraction Permit, re-adopt the Water Shortage Contingency Plan and its accompanying Ordinance.  … ” Read more from the Fort Bragg Advocate here:  Groundwater management hearings set for late April

San Francisco’s sea stars are making a comeback:  “While San Franciscans are maintaining an appropriate 6-foot separation and avoiding crowds at the beach, our local sea stars aren’t following any of the guidance. Large, plump purple and orange stars are piling up on Baker Beach, China Beach and Lands End as they munch on mussels.  “I was excited to see them,” William Von Eichhorn, a 7-year-old San Franciscan who spotted at least 50 sea stars on a trip to the beach last month, told me. “I just freakin’ love starfish!” ... ”  Read more from the San Francisco Examiner here:  San Francisco’s sea stars are making a comeback

A firsthand look at how Valley Water provides safe, clean drinking water to Santa Clara County:  Valley Water writes, “Dozens of residents participated in our inaugural Water Infrastructure Bus Tour in February to experience our facilities up close and understand the work we do to provide safe, clean drinking water to Santa Clara County.  The tour, which included stops at Anderson Reservoir, the Penitencia Water Treatment Plant, and the Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center, was well received. “I thoroughly enjoyed the tour!  The staff was so friendly and knowledgeable.  I liked finding out about the complex system of water delivery,” exclaimed one participant. ... ”  Read more from Valley Water News here:  A firsthand look at how Valley Water provides safe, clean drinking water to Santa Clara County

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Along the Colorado River …

Reservoirs that supply water to Phoenix area nearly full after wet winter:  “Bartlett Lake is filled to the brim. Roosevelt Lake sits 97% full. And whitewater has been thundering down the spillway at Horseshoe Dam.  Runoff from rain and snow across the mountains of central Arizona this year has filled reservoirs nearly to capacity along the Verde and Salt rivers. Salt River Project’s system of six reservoirs is now 98% full, the highest level since 2010.  A year ago, SRP’s reservoirs stood at 79% of their full capacity. And a year earlier in 2018, the reservoirs were 60% full. … ”  Read more from Arizona Central here: Reservoirs that supply water to Phoenix area nearly full after wet winter

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Precipitation watch …

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Sunday video …
From More Than Just Parks on Vimeo: “MTJP | Redwood is the culmination of several weeks spent exploring Redwood National and State Parks. Redwood National and State Parks in Northern California are home to the tallest trees in the world, the mighty Redwood, which can reach staggering heights of over 360ft and weigh more than 500 tons. These parks feature magical forests, miles of spectacular beaches, stunning overlooks, and the largest herd of Roosevelt elk on the planet. This film was shot entirely in 4K.” MTJP | Redwood from More Than Just Parks on Vimeo.

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Image credit: Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, photo courtesy GPA Archive.

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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