DAILY DIGEST, 4/6: Potent storm bringing heavy mountain snow, flood risk to CA; Report: 40 years of CA water policy: What worked, what didn’t and lessons for the future; New method to improve water demand management; Elevation maps reveal world rivers; and more …


Statewide News | National/World | Commentary | And lastly ...
Today's featured article | Precipitation Watch | Also on the Notebook today

In California water news today ...

Potent storm bringing heavy mountain snow, flood risk to California:  "A winter-like storm system will continue to bring rain, snow and cooler air to California into midweek.  While the month of February featured nearly bone-dry conditions across the Golden State, a series of late-season storm events are helping to minimize concerns for the dry season ahead. ... "  Read more from AccuWeather here: Potent storm bringing heavy mountain snow, flood risk to California

Report: Forty years of California water policy: What worked, what didn’t and lessons for the future:  Former Executive Director of the Association of California Water Agencies Tim Quinn recounts his extensive career in water policy in this report:  " ... Why have some initiatives succeeded, and others failed? Answering this question and discerning the lessons for the water policy of future state and federal administrations is the challenge of this report. One key lesson over recent decades is that in 21st century, California collaboration works and conflict doesn’t. Conflict has played a constructive role in the water management of the past.  For example, the decisions to protect the ecological resources of Mono Lake and add environmental values to the purposes of the federal Central Valley Project arose from decision-making processes characterized by high levels of conflict. But over time, circumstances are changing to substantially enhance the importance of collaboration and inclusion in making resource management decisions, especially in controversial and complex policy arenas like California water. ... "  Read the report from Stanford's Water in the West here: Forty years of California water policy: What worked, what didn’t and lessons for the future

New research brief: New method to improve water demand management:  "A new method of consumption change detection can improve water utilities’ demand management responses by pinpointing the timing and magnitude of customer-level water use shifts resulting from climate-related mass media and policy events."  Read the research brief from Stanford here: New method to improve water demand management

Fracking in California gets green light after 9-month pause; Aera Energy receives permits:  "California regulators on Friday issued fracking permits for the first time in nine months, saying federal scientists had given clearance for 24 permits to Aera Energy for oil well stimulation in Kern County.  Another 282 applications remain on hold pending individual review, until a comprehensive audit of the state's drill permitting practices is completed.  "Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory experts are continuing evaluation on a permit-by-permit basis and conducting a rigorous technical review to verify geological claims made by well operators in the application process," said Teresa Schilling, spokeswoman for the California Geologic Energy Management division, or CalGEM. "Permit-by-permit review will continue until the Department of Finance Audit is complete later this year." ... "  Read more from the Desert Sun here: Fracking in California gets green light after 9-month pause; Aera Energy receives permits

Will climate change push these amphibians to the brink?  "Aerial photos of the Sierra Nevada — the long mountain range stretching down the spine of California — showed rust-colored swathes following the state’s record-breaking five-year drought that ended in 2016. The 100 million dead trees were one of the most visible examples of the ecological toll the drought had wrought.  Now, a few years later, we’re starting to learn about how smaller, less noticeable species were affected. ... "  Read more from The Revelator here: Will climate change push these amphibians to the brink?

March fails to deliver Napa rainfall bailout as dry season approaches:  "Napa County had a meager March instead of the hoped-for miracle March on the rainfall front and that could mean one of the driest rainy seasons on record.  How about an amazing April? Mike Pechner of Fairfield-based Golden West Meteorology was expecting rain to fall Saturday and Sunday, with showers possible Monday and Tuesday. Some areas could receive more than an inch.  Late season rains, while likely too late to turn around an extremely dry rainy season, aren’t too late to make a positive difference. ... "  Read more from the Napa Valley Register here: March fails to deliver Napa rainfall bailout as dry season approaches

Mono County Supervisors send letter to CDFW requesting delay in Trout Opening:  "At last Wednesday’s special meeting of the Mono County Board of Supervisors, they voted to ask the State of California – Natural Resources Agency Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) for consideration to delay the date of the Regular Fishing Season out of consideration for Governor Gavin Newsom’s Stay at Home Executive Order and public safety. ... "  Read letter at Sierra Wave here:  Mono County Supervisors send letter to CDFW requesting delay in Trout Opening

Oceanside harbor dredging finishes early, short of goal:  "Health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with rough weather, forced this year’s Oceanside harbor dredging project to wrap up earlier than expected, well short of its intended goal of 400,000 cubic yards of sand.  The contractor, Manson Construction, pulled up anchor March 21 after dredging about 250,000 cubic yards of material, which is closer to average amount removed most years during the annual spring cleaning of the harbor entrance and channel.  “As it got to the end, they went from three shifts, 24 hours a day, down to one shift a day,” said Oceanside Harbor Division Manager Ted Shiafone. “A lot of employees went home to be with their families.” ... "  Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here: Oceanside harbor dredging finishes early, short of goal

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In national/world news today ...

This week in water: "Wet markets are known for selling dead and living animals—and are ripe for infection that can jump to humans.  How coronavirus spreads may depend not only on social distancing but also on our indoor environments.  "Blue energy" has increased tenfold in the last decade and is set to go higher.  There’s an ancient underwater forest off the coast of Alabama that could hold a treasure trove of new medicines.  Social distancing will slow the spread of the coronavirus if lobsters are any guide."  Read stories/listen to podcast here:  This week in water

How do you study microfibers? Get creative:  "Three years ago, Dimitri Deheyn noticed intensely blue stringy shapes as he examined jellyfish samples through a microscope in his marine biology lab at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.  He assumed his lens was dirty, so he wiped it off with a special cloth. Then he tried taking it apart and airbrushing the optics. But the particles kept showing up.  At first, Dr. Deheyn thought the culprit might be microplastics, tiny plastic bits that have invaded the oceans in the past decade. But a quick literature search revealed that the stringy shapes, each about a fifth as wide as a strand of hair, were actually microfibers from fabric. ... " Read more from the New York Times here: How do you study microfibers? Get creative:

Virus hunters find coronavirus clues in sewage:  "Even before it was confirmed by medical tests of infected individuals, the story of the new coronavirus in the city of Amersfoort was being recorded in water.  Scientists from KWR Water Research Institute in the Netherlands detected genetic traces of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in wastewater samples from Amersfoort’s sewage treatment plant on March 5, a day before the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in the city. Covid-19 is the disease caused by the virus.  That discovery, the researchers say, means that urban sewage systems could function as “a sensitive tool” for monitoring the spread of the virus thorough a city before it is detected in individuals. Similar sewage-sleuthing methods have been used to detect polioviruses or to assess illegal drug use. ... "  Read more from Circle of Blue here: Virus hunters find coronavirus clues in sewage

Navigating government regulations in the storm water sector:  "As government regulations evolve, municipalities and manufacturers must evolve as well.  SWS spoke with Rodney Wynn, who was previously with the Maryland Department of Transportation and is currently working with East Coast Erosion Control to help the team navigate DOT compliance.   Wynn takes us back to the basics and offers insight on how to handle changing compliance. Additionally, Wynn oversees a web-based tool on the East Coast Erosion website that organizes DOT standards, APLs/QPLs, etc. ... "  Read more from Storm Water Solutions here: Navigating government regulations in the storm water sector

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In commentary today ...

Collaboration is the answer to California’s fishery and water supply challenges, says Roger Cornwell:  He writes, "California has the opportunity to enter a new era in water management. Unprecedented efforts by leaders at the state and national level have led to the kind of cooperation that will provide valuable benefits to water users and the environment.  I know because that’s what we’ve been doing in the Sacramento Valley for many years. The kinds of success we’ve achieved can be replicated in other parts of the state. By working together, we can accomplish much more than can ever be achieved when competing interests are fighting.  California’s current water regulatory system is completely broken. Farms, towns and cities suffer continued cutbacks and threatened fish species continue to dwindle. The only recourse currently available seems to be an ongoing parade of lawsuits that further paralyze the system and help no one. ... "  Read more from Cal Matters here: Collaboration is the answer to California’s fishery and water supply challenges

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And lastly ...

Show with the flow: elevation maps reveal world rivers:  "These maps of rivers around the world were created by Esri UK, a mapping and spatial analytics company, from detailed elevation data collected using remote sensing techniques. The information was taken from Esri’s Living Atlas, one of the world’s largest collections of geographic information.  By eliminating any vegetation or infrastructure, the maps show each river’s geomorphology as it would appear on bare ground. Elevation data can be valuable in highlighting river features and landforms that cannot be seen from normal satellite images, such as slight changes in elevation, run-off, levees, sediment deposits and how the land has changed over time. ... "  Check it out at the Guardian here:  Show with the flow: elevation maps reveal world rivers

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Today's feature article ...

UPCOMING WEBINARS: California water goes online ...

Online content includes the voluntary agreements, on-site non-potable water systems, an Earth Day celebration, water budgets, drought preparedness, PFAS, Harmful Algal Blooms, SGMA, and more ...

Staying at home?  No need to just sit around in your house and do nothing. Here's a listing of upcoming webinars and virtual conferences.  The best part is that many of them are free!

Click here to check out the list.

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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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