DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Voluntary agreement framework is a starting point with an uncertain end; The improbable comeback of spring-run Chinook salmon in the San Joaquin River; Jared Blumenfeld podcast: The Farallones – California’s Gallapagos; and more …
Framework for agreements to aid health of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a starting point with an uncertain end: “Voluntary agreements in California have been touted as an innovative and flexible way to improve environmental conditions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the rivers that feed it. The goal is to provide river flows and habitat for fish while still allowing enough water to be diverted for farms and cities in a way that satisfies state regulators. But no one said this would be easy.” Read more at Western Water here: Framework for agreements to aid health of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a starting point with an uncertain end
Science of an underdog: the improbable comeback of spring-run Chinook salmon in the San Joaquin River: ““You can’t design a worse evolutionary strategy for the Anthropocene” There are many variants on this quote, and we’ve heard them often in reference to the status of native fishes in California and other freshwater organisms worldwide. Indeed, the statement rings true for Pacific salmon, but especially spring-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in California. And although the current situation certainly looks bleak overall for endangered salmon (Moyle et al. 2017), there are signs in a few corners that the arrow may finally be pointing up. For the last four years, our team at UC Davis has been conducting scientific studies on reintroduced spring-run Chinook salmon in the San Joaquin River and we wanted to take a minute to share some of what we’ve learned. Plus, everyone loves a good comeback story right? … ” Continue reading at the California Water Blog here: Science of an underdog: the improbable comeback of spring-run Chinook salmon in the San Joaquin River
Dems call for state, feds to coordinate water rules: “With Governor Newsom and the Trump Administration issuing different standards for how Central California water should be managed, Democrats are calling on both to come up with a coordinated effort. But the Democrats also urged the Trump administration to abide by the Incidental Take Permit long-term operation of the State Water Project. Republicans, including U.S. Representative Kevin McCarthy, has called for the Trump administration approach based on federal biological opinions to be used. … ” Read more from the Porterville Recorder here: Dems call for state, feds to coordinate water rules
Reclamation provides $710,771 in grants for drought planning to four entities in California and Montana: “The Bureau of Reclamation has chosen four projects to share $710,771 for the development of a drought contingency plan or to update an existing plan. These drought contingency plans help communities proactively plan for the next drought to reduce or mitigate potential impacts. The four selected projects all required a match for this grant program. “Every community in the Western United States needs to plan for drought,” said Commissioner Brenda Burman. “These grants will help local stakeholders work together to understand what actions they can take to build long-term drought resiliency.” ... ” Read more from the Bureau of Reclamation here: Reclamation provides $710,771 in grants for drought planning to four entities in California and Montana
USDA invests in conservation projects: “USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced April 16 that it is investing over $15.4 million in California for partner-driven conservation projects through its Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). NRCS will leverage an additional $25.2 million in partner contributions in California. “I’m excited to announce the first RCPP awards under the 2018 Farm Bill,” said RaeAnn Dubay, NRCS assistant state conservationist for programs in California. “By leveraging collective resources and collaborating on common goals, RCPP demonstrates the power of partnerships in delivering results for agriculture and conservation.” … ” Read more from Morning Ag Clips here: USDA invests in conservation projects
Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute to to receive innovation in sustainability science award: “The Ecological Society of America (ESA) has announced that Dr. Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute will receive the Innovation in Sustainability Science Award, along with co-authors, for the paper “Nexus Approaches to Global Sustainable Development,” published in the journal Nature Sustainability. The Innovation in Sustainability Science Award recognizes the authors of a peer-reviewed paper published in the past five years exemplifying leading-edge work on solution pathways to sustainability challenges. ... ” Read more from ESA here: Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute to to receive innovation in sustainability science award
Chris Garner, Long Beach Water Department’s general manager, to serve as board president of the California Municipal Utilities Association: “The general manager of the Long Beach Water Department will serve as board president of the California Municipal Utilities Association, it was announced Tuesday, April 14. The CMUA Board of Governors unanimously elected Chris Garner to head up the board for 2020-21. The association represents 71 publicly owned water agencies and electric utilities statewide, who together provide water and electricity service to 70 and 25% of Californians, respectively. … ” Read more from the Long Beach Signal-Tribune here: Long Beach Water Department’s general manager to serve as board president of the California Municipal Utilities Association
Chelsea Martinez named new director of the Yolo Basin Foundation: “Yolo Basin Foundation’s Board of Directors announced this week that Chelsea Martinez has been named the Foundation’s new executive director. “We are excited to have Chelsea taking on the role of executive director. She brings to the job an exceptional background of skills and experience working with a variety of environmental education programs,” said Bill Ziebron, chairman of the Foundation’s board of directors. Martinez replaces Martha Ozonoff, who was named executive director in October 2015. Ozonoff replaced Robin Kulakow, the founder and executive director of 25 years. Kulakow stepped down at the end of 2015. … ” Read more from the Woodland Daily Democrat here: Chelsea Martinez named new director of the Yolo Basin Foundation
Humans helped cause worst ‘megadrought’ in 500 years: “A “megadrought” gripping the western United States is the worst one in 500 years, scientists say. And it’s the first to be influenced by human-caused climate change. A study published this week in the journal Science investigates the occurrence of megadroughts in western North America over the last 1,200 years. While a megadrought has no strict scientific definition, most studies classify them as severe droughts typically lasting a couple of decades at least — longer than any drought event that occurred during the 20th century. Led by Park Williams of Columbia University, the researchers relied heavily on historical data derived from analyses of tree rings. Tree rings can provide a variety of information on past climate conditions. ..,. ” Read more from E&E News here: Humans helped cause worst ‘megadrought’ in 500 years
Water where you need it: “In 2018, Cody Friesen, PhD ’04, trekked through the bush in Kenya’s Rift Valley to comprehend the perils the girls of the Samburu Girls Foundation faced when they went out to gather water. … Friesen eliminated that daily trek to the river by installing an array of 40 devices resembling solar panels on the foundation’s grounds. He designed the device, which he calls the Source Hydropanel, to pull water out of air, powered only by solar energy. It solved the water safety crisis at the Kenyan girls’ refuge—and Friesen says his device can do the same for people around the globe who lack access to clean drinking water. ... ” Read more from Technology Review here: Water where you need it
Jared Blumenfeld: The Farallones – California’s Gallapagos: Jared Blumenfeld writes, “I travel on a supply boat 30 miles of the coast of San Francisco to visit the remote Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. This rocky outcrop in the Pacific is home to millions of birds, five species of seals, whales and great white sharks – it is the Galapagos of the Northern Hemisphere! I meet up with Pete Warzybok with Point Blue Conservation Science who has spent much of the past 20 years studying the wildlife of the Farallones and I learn about what happens when we leave nature alone.”
The United States Coast Guard: Steven Baker writes, “The United States Coast Guard is a unique arm of the government that promotes maritime safety, security and environmental stewardship. Thanks to the US Coast Guard, the citizens of the US and freedoms of our waters are well guarded and accessible today and into the future. 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
Water users in the Klamath Project petition the U.S. Supreme Court for certiorari: “On March 13, 2020, water users in the Klamath Reclamation Project (Project) petitioned the United States Supreme Court to review the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Baley, et al. v. United States, et al. (Baley). The decision denied the water users’ takings claims for the 2001 Project water shutoff on water law grounds. A copy of the petition for writ of certiorari is available here. The petition explains that the Federal Circuit improperly deemed the Bureau’s regulatory action under the Endangered Species Act to constitute adjudication and administration of water rights for tribal purposes, and thereby sidelined Oregon’s adjudication and administration of water rights in the Klamath Basin. The water users argue that the appellate ruling is contrary to western water law because it circumvents deference to state water rights administration by allowing federal regulators to determine and enforce their own rights outside the state system. … ” Read more from Somach Simmons & Dunn here: Baley v. United States: Water users in the Klamath Project petition the U.S. Supreme Court for certiorari
Fall chinook salmon run in Eel River estimated to have dipped below 10,000 fish for the first time since ERRP began assessments in 2012: “Times are changing in the world of salmon assessment on the Eel River as technology provides more accurate counts than people can, with sonar in the river and drones in the sky. But the data do not provide good news, with the 2019–2020 fall Chinook salmon total run size dipping below 10,000 fish for the first time since the Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) began assessments in 2012. ... ” Read more from the Redheaded Blackbelt here: Fall chinook salmon run in Eel River estimated to have dipped below 10,000 fish for the first time since ERRP began assessments in 2012
Video: Preparing for climate change in Sonoma County: “As our global climate warms and changes fast, organizations in the Bay Area are rallying to reduce threats of fires, floods and severe ecological damage that are growing and spreading rapidly. We’ll see the work of the Sonoma Land Trust and its many partners to make the diverse and beautiful landscape of Sonoma County as resilient as possible in the warming years ahead. We’ll reveal Sonoma’s strategies to adapt to rising seas along San Pablo Bay and manage open space treasures in and around Sonoma Valley to avoid catastrophic fires. And we’ll explore large and magnificent wild lands being saved and managed to allow nature to flourish and provide us with clean air and clean water in these challenging times.” Watch video from NBC Bay Area here: Preparing for climate change in Sonoma County
San Jose: Valley Water Board Chair outlines 2020 priorities: Chair Nai Hsueh writes, “These first few months of 2020 have been unprecedented, as our local, state, national and global community responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the 2020 Chair of the Valley Water Board of Directors and on behalf of my colleagues, we want to reassure our community that this virus is not impacting the safety of your drinking water, or our ability to supply water in Santa Clara County. During this challenging time, my fellow Board Members and I will continue to focus on policies that provide Silicon Valley with a reliable supply of safe, clean drinking water; ensuring our water supply for the future; reducing flood risk to our communities; and protecting and restoring our natural environment. … ” Read more from Valley Water News here: San Jose: Valley Water Board Chair outlines 2020 priorities
The coming battles over Monterey Peninsula water will be fought on Zoom. “From the safety of their coronavirus shelters, the water warriors of the Monterey Peninsula carry on the fight, and so can you. These are the two battles that are coming up. The environmental merits of removing the local water system from private ownership and placing it under the control of a government agency will be discussed in a virtual public scoping meeting on April 21 at 5pm, via Zoom video conference. ... ” Read more from Monterey Weekly here: The coming battles over Monterey Peninsula water will be fought on Zoom.
Sacramento: Natomas levee improvements hit high gear: “With the Sacramento River to its west, and the American River to the south, the Natomas Basin sits at the confluence of two major waterways. Streams, creeks and tributaries mark the northern and eastern boundary. Water surrounds the basin’s perimeter. Levees help keep flowing waters in their channels and out of growing neighborhoods, where approximately 100,000 people live, but a breach to any section of the 42 miles of levee surrounding Natomas could be catastrophic. This wasn’t always the case. Historically, the Natomas Basin was home to agriculture. For decades, a sea of bean and alfalfa farms sprouted from the soil here. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that Natomas really became the suburban hub we know it to be today, more than doubling its population. ... ” Read more from the Army Corps of Engineers here: Sacramento: Natomas levee improvements hit high gear
Amador County: Water contamination confirmed in wells near Mule Creek: ““The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is using storms to dump a mixture of industrial waste, sewage, gray water, and stormwater containing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Semivolatile Organic Compounds (SVOCs) into Mule Creek, violating direct orders to cease and desist from the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) that regulates the CDCR and the Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP) facility,” said David Anderson. “The original contracted sewage treatment plant that CDCR was to build to mitigate and handle their prison industries waste, and sewer systems from MCSP was never built, despite courts upholding the contracts legitimacy twice, the MCSP sewer systems are commingling due to failures, and local city and county governments say their hands are tied. This is criminal! Criminal!” ... ” Continue reading at the Amador Ledger-Dispatch here: Water contamination confirmed in wells near Mule Creek
Bioluminescence tide captured along San Diego’s coast: “Photos posted on social media are capturing the annual return of the red tide and beautiful bioluminescence phenomenon. The blue, neon glow of the tide is created by algae blooms, known as red tides, that are filled with phytoplankton called “dinoflagellates.” The organisms react with bioluminescence when jostled by the moving water. Photos of illuminated tides were caught in Encinitas, Oceanside, San Diego, and Ocean Beach this week, according to photos posted on social media. … ” Read more and see pictures at Channel 10 here: Bioluminescence tide captured along San Diego’s coast
Report: Arizona’s Colorado River water supply will hold steady next year: “Arizona’s water supply from the Colorado River will remain consistent into next year. That’s good news in the eyes of state water managers. Under the drought contingency plan hammered out by Colorado River Basin states last year, Arizona agreed to voluntarily reduce its water use by 192,000 acre-feet, or about 7%, leaving that water in Lake Mead to help reduce the likelihood of greater cutbacks down the road. Tom Buschatzke, director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources, says data from a new Bureau of Reclamation report show that plan is working. ... ” Read more from Arizona Public Media here: Report: Arizona’s Colorado River water supply will hold steady next year
USBR Forecasts “Tier Zero” Shortage On Colorado River: “The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released its projections for the Colorado River’s water supply for the next two years. Spring and summer inflow to Lake Powell is expected to be 78 percent of average, due to dry conditions last fall. Lake Mead is projected to fall into “Tier Zero” conditions for 2021 and 2022. … ” Read more from KNAU here: USBR Forecasts “Tier Zero” Shortage On Colorado River
New Colorado River Basin climate & hydrology report may be most valuable ever: “When 40 million people and some of the most fruitful croplands in the world rely heavily on a single source of water, it seems only natural to want to know as much as possible about the source. How will climate and hydrologic conditions, for example, affect the future productivity of that source? What are the trends? What can we expect in the near-term future? In the long run? How effective have forecasting models been? And how might we improve them? And, similarly, how can we best leverage our knowledge about the past – all the climate and hydrologic data we have collected over the years – to improve our capacity to anticipate the future? ... ” Read more from the Arizona Department of Water Resources here: New Colorado River Basin climate & hydrology report may be most valuable ever
Colorado: It’s official: This is Boulder’s snowiest season on record: “There has been 145.9 inches of snowfall in Boulder this season (and counting) – meaning it’s one for the record books. The National Weather Service said with the addition of Thursday’s snowstorm, this is officially Boulder’s snowiest season on record. That breaks a more than 100-year-old record. The previous snowiest season was 1908-09, when 142.9 inches of snow fell in Boulder. … ” Read more from Channel 9 here: Colorado: It’s official: This is Boulder’s snowiest season on record
Take a quick trip over Bassi Falls: The FISHBIO Drone takes you to beautiful Bassi Falls in El Dorado County, California. Bassi Falls is over 100 feet and water running down Bassi Falls is generated by snowmelt runoff. The best time to see this scenic site is in the spring (late April through May).
Image credit: Along the Parkfield-Coalinga Road, Photo by Maven, April 2012.
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.