DAILY DIGEST, 5/18: After rolling out $19bil in cuts, Calif. seeks funds for Trump water lawsuit; Flights into the stratosphere study changes to atmospheric rivers; Legislation to speed Anderson Dam project passes committee; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • WEBINAR: Hydrology in the Supercomputing Age: How Computational Advances Have Revolutionized Our Field, and What Big Data and Massively Parallel Simulations Mean for the Future of Hyrdologic Discovery from 5pm to 7pm.  Click here for more information and to register.

In California water news today …

After rolling out $19bil in cuts, Calif. seeks funds for Trump water lawsuit:  “On the same day Gov. Gavin Newsom announced $19 billion in budget cuts to his 2020-2021 budget, two of California’s environmental protection agencies filed a request to fund a lawsuit against the Federal government over its boost in water supplies sent to the San Joaquin Valley.  The request, made by the California Natural Resources Agency and California Environmental Protection Agency, would a $1.03 million to fund a pending lawsuit against the U.S. Departments of Interior and Commerce over new environmental rules governing the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. ... ”  Read more from the San Joaquin Valley Sun here: After rolling out $19bil in cuts, Calif. seeks funds for Trump water lawsuit

Flights into the stratosphere study changes to atmospheric rivers:  “Scientists are racing to better understand atmospheric rivers, bands of moisture that start in the tropics and can bring torrential rain to the U.S. They’re projected to intensify with climate change. … Over the past six months, scientists have been flying high over the Pacific Ocean, into the stratosphere to study weather phenomena called atmospheric rivers. These rivers in the sky can deliver huge amounts of rain and snow to the west coast. And they may be getting more intense. NPR’s Nathan Rott joined them for a flight. ... ”  Read more from National Public Radio here:  Flights into the stratosphere study changes to atmospheric rivers

Assemblymember Robert Rivas’s legislation to speed replacement of Silicon Valley Dam garners strong bipartisan support (press release):  “On May 14, 2020, the Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee passed AB 3005, The Expedited Dam Safety for Silicon Valley Act, authored by Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister), by a 14 to 0 vote. The bill received strong bipartisan support for important changes in law that will help facilitate the expedited and expert construction of the Anderson Dam Seismic Retrofit Project in Santa Clara County – a project that is urgently needed to ensure the safety and water supply of the region.  “Today’s unanimous vote by the Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee shows bipartisan support for expediting the life safety, water supply, and environmental benefits of the Anderson Dam project,” said Assemblymember Rivas. “It also demonstrates the Legislature’s readiness to accelerate infrastructure projects that provide timely economic stimulus to restore California’s economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.” … ”  Read more from Assemblyman Robert Rivas’s website here: Assemblymember Robert Rivas’s legislation to speed replacement of Silicon Valley Dam garners strong bipartisan support.

LAFCO approves public vote for FPUD-Rainbow detachment:  “When the proposal for the Fallbrook Public Utility District and the Rainbow Municipal Water District to detach from the San Diego County Water Authority and annex to the Eastern Municipal Water District is heard by San Diego County’s Local Agency Formation Commission, a public vote will follow any LAFCO board approval.  LAFCO’s board voted 8-0 to call for a public vote, May 4, and the motion also included the creation of a technical advisory committee. LAFCO executive officer Keene Simonds will draft proposed tasks for the committee and a proposed membership composition, and LAFCO is scheduled to approve that criteria June 1. … ”  Read more from the Village News here: LAFCO approves public vote for FPUD-Rainbow detachment

Carlsbad supports modified plan to restore Buena Vista Lagoon:  “A hard-fought compromise on the saltwater restoration of the Buena Vista Lagoon won the enthusiastic support of the Carlsbad City Council last week.  The agreement between property owners, nonprofits and multiple governmental agencies outlines a plan to remove the weir, or low wooden dam at the mouth of the lagoon, and excavate the entire 220-acre preserve to restore tidal flushing.  Silt has been steadily filling the lagoon since the weir was built in the 1970s, and in the last 30 years about 62 acres of the formerly open water has been filled by cattails and reeds. Without intervention, the lagoon would continue to fill with sediment and vegetation until it eventually disappears. … ”  Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here:  Carlsbad supports modified plan to restore Buena Vista Lagoon

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In national/world news today …

Trump’s water jurisdiction rule: what’s all the fighting about?  “The Trump administration’s long-anticipated water jurisdiction rule has already drawn a half-dozen legal challenges since its April release, with more on the way.  The Navigable Waters Protection Rule narrows which types of wetlands and waterways trigger federal Clean Water Act oversight, replacing interpretations by Obama-era officials and earlier administrations.  The new approach means developers no longer need federal permits for work that affects some types of waterways now excluded from the definition of “waters of the United States,” or WOTUS. … ”  Read more from Bloomberg Law here:  Trump’s water jurisdiction rule: what’s all the fighting about?

‘Deadly’ consequences if stagnant water in shuttered buildings is not properly addressed:  “The extensive closure of offices, hotels, restaurants and other commercial buildings in response to the coronavirus pandemic is a potential health hazard once those structures are reopened to the public.  Of greatest concern to plumbing and water quality experts is Legionnaires’ disease, a respiratory infection that is the deadliest waterborne illness in the United States.  Legionnaires’ is spread by inhaling airborne droplets that carry Legionella bacteria, a pathogen that flourishes in the tepid, stagnant water that can be found in the nooks and crannies of building plumbing, especially in buildings that have sat idle for several months. ... ”  Read more from the Circle of Blue here: ‘Deadly’ Consequences If Stagnant Water in Shuttered Buildings Is Not Properly Addressed

Why the World Wildlife Fund is trying to spark an indoor farming revolution:  “A network of caves in St. Louis, Missouri, was once used for brewing beer before the advent of refrigeration. Now, the conservation organization World Wildlife Fund is interested in helping the city repurpose some of that unused space for indoor farming—in a new pilot that can demonstrate how the indoor agriculture industry can become more sustainable and a viable way to make the food system more resilient.  The organization is best known for its work to save iconic species, such as protecting tiger habitat or reducing demand for elephant ivory. But within a section of the nonprofit called the Markets Institute, it also studies trends in agriculture and ways to help lower the massive environmental footprint of growing food, from the energy and water used on farms to the impact of clearing forests to make room for farmland. … ”  Read more from Fast Company here: Why the World Wildlife Fund is trying to spark an indoor farming revolution

This week in water: The EPA will take no steps to regulate a water contaminant that presents serious health risks to as many as 16 million Americans.  The 1987 Montreal Protocol got rid of dangerous CFCs—but their replacement has unintended consequences.  A fabric coating has been able to repel viruses—and might be effective against COVID-19.  A retreating glacier in Alaska is creating a dangerous situation that could trigger a tsunami.  Scientists are making sure that moisture isn’t silencing The Scream.” Listen to podcast or read stories here:  This week in water

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In commentary today …

: Safe drinking water must be part of coronavirus response package:  They write, “An extraordinary coalition representing over 500 California voices on water — from local water agencies to environmental justice and community-based organizations to agriculture to environmentalists to civil rights leaders like Dolores Huerta — have come together in this time of crisis with a simple message to our leaders.  Access to water must be included as part of the next major federal legislative package. We cannot expect to halt the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic without water for handwashing and basic sanitation. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: : Safe drinking water must be part of coronavirus response package

Frankie Myers: Keep momentum going to remove Klamath River dams and restore salmon runs:  “With the outbreak of COVID-19, many Americans are starting to realize how fragile our economy and social safety nets really are.   Many people face economic uncertainty and food shortages for the first time in their lives. For Indians, confronting economic uncertainty and food shortages has been part of life since Europeans arrived in our lands. We have known for a long time that in order to survive, we must prioritize the protection of our salmon, acorns, mushrooms, eels and the hundreds of other sources of food and fiber in our environment.   This is why the Yurok Tribe is fighting so hard to remove Klamath River dams and restore the salmon runs that have fed our people since the beginning of time. ... ”  Read more from CalMatters here: Keep momentum going to remove Klamath River dams and restore salmon runs

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Weekend Daily Digest …

This weekend in California water news:

  • Marchlike storm could be last of the season to bring needed rain, sierra snow to California;
  • Dan Walters: State has a budget problem — but how big?;
  • $1.2 billion in contracts issued for USDA food box program;
  • Shrub encroachment on grasslands can increase groundwater recharge;
  • Yurok Tribe, Earthjustice seek temporary restraining order to restore water flows to Klamath River;
  • The City of Trinidad and the Trinidad Rancheria are at odds again over the water supply for the tribe’s hotel project;
  • Monterey: Coastal Commission expected to consider Cal Am project in August;
  • Regulators express concerns about Huntington Beach desalination project;
  • Questions simmer about Lake Powell’s future as drought, climate change point to a drier Colorado River Basin;
  • and more …

Click here to read the Weekend Daily Digest.

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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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