DAILY DIGEST, 6/8: Groundwater management and safe drinking water in the San Joaquin Valley; Building effective water data platforms; Plans released to drain Santa Clara County’s largest reservoir; Green stormwater infrastructure: Good jobs and healthy communities; and more …

On the calendar today …

In California water news today …

Groundwater management and safe drinking water in the San Joaquin Valley:  “To support the state’s implementation of SGMA and its continued progress on the human right to water, the Water Foundation commissioned an analysis of 26 GSPs in the San Joaquin Valley to understand how private domestic drinking water wells in the region will be affected on the path to sustainability. Among its key findings, the analysis estimates that the goals in these San Joaquin Valley GSPs, if not proactively addressed, will result in between roughly 4,000 and 12,000 partially or completely dry drinking water wells by 2040, between roughly 46,000 and 127,000 people who lose some or all of their primary water supply by 2040, and between $88 million to $359 million in costs to restore access to drinking water. ... ”  Read more from the Water Foundation here:  Groundwater Management and Safe Drinking Water in the San Joaquin Valley

Building effective water data platforms:  “Much like solving a mystery, making informed water management decisions in California involves finding and investigating all necessary information. With data scattered across multiple locations, the process of accessing and analyzing the information can be an arduous task. To remedy this challenge, California passed the Open and Transparent Water Data Act (AB 1755) in 2016 calling for the creation of a “statewide integrated water data platform” to help inform water management decisions. Analyzing 12 existing water data platforms, a new study from Stanford’s Water in the West Program informs development and implementation of water data tools, like the one required under AB 1755, finding clear plans and cooperation among essential players are key to successful adoption. … ”  Read more from Stanford News here: Building effective water data platforms

Anderson Dam: Plans released to drain Santa Clara County’s largest reservoir:  “Three months after federal dam safety regulators ordered Anderson Reservoir, the largest reservoir in Santa Clara County, to be drained due to earthquake concerns, new details are emerging on what will happen to all that water, the fish that depend on it, and the water supply for Silicon Valley.  The Santa Clara Valley Water District, which owns the 7-mile-long reservoir located east of Highway 101 between Morgan Hill and San Jose, has drawn up plans to begin emptying it starting Oct. 1. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: Anderson Dam: Plans released to drain Santa Clara County’s largest reservoir

Green stormwater infrastructure: Good jobs and healthy communities:  “In the past few years, Los Angeles County has grown into a living laboratory for green infrastructure that can create good jobs, improve water quality and reliability, and strengthen neighborhood health. Historically, infrastructure projects in US cities have focused on trying to control nature, which has often harmed wetland habitats and water quality and limited people’s access to open space.  Recently, however, LA community-based groups and public agencies have been ramping up their attention to and work on green (also called nature-based) infrastructure projects. There’s good reason for this. According to county estimates, nearly 100 million gallons of contaminated water and debris flow through its storm drain system every day. When it’s rainy, that flow can increase to 10 billion gallons per day. ... ”  Read more from the Water Foundation here:  Green Stormwater Infrastructure: Good Jobs and Healthy Communities


“Mutually repugnant:” Gov. Newsom and lawmakers pursue budget compromise:  “Even with the process controlled entirely by Democrats, a certain degree of tension is wired into the annual ritual of crafting a state budget in Sacramento. The spending plan, after all, is a powerful opportunity for the governor and each house of the Legislature to demonstrate their priorities in caring for 40 million Californians.  So despite lots of common ground on the upcoming budget, some key disagreements have surfaced as legislative leaders and Gov. Gavin Newsom hammer out a final deal in advance of a June 15 deadline. ... ”  Read more from Cal Matters here: “Mutually repugnant:” Gov. Newsom and lawmakers pursue budget compromise

California was set to spend over $1 billion to prevent wildfires. Then came covid-19:  “With the coronavirus pandemic eroding state budgets across the country, many communities risk having this disaster make them less prepared for looming climate-driven disasters.  Still recovering from devastating wildfires, California was poised to spend billions of dollars to prepare for future fires and other extreme weather disasters. The infrastructure projects, designed to make communities and homes more resistant to wildfire, have long been overlooked, fire experts say.  But with a $54 billion budget deficit, the programs are being put on hold. ... ”  Read more from Capital Public Radio here: California was set to spend over $1 billion to prevent wildfires. Then came covid-19

Dan Walters: A rift over closing the budget deficit:  “As the COVID-19 pandemic alters life in California in ways never before seen, one impact is on the annual ritual of fashioning a state budget.  With just a few days remaining until the June 15 constitutional deadline for enacting a 2020-21 budget, Gov. Gavin Newsom and his fellow Democrats in the Legislature are engaged in a fairly cordial debate over closing a deficit that Newsom pegs at $54 billion.  It’s essentially a conflict over how much direct relief, if any, California can expect from President Donald Trump and Congress to cover about $15 billion of the deficit that would remain after other actions have been taken. … ”  Read more from CalMatters here: A rift over closing the budget deficit

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In national/world news today …

Trump’s latest environmental rollback threatens minority communities, experts warn:  “President Trump’s latest executive order, lifting environmental review of major projects, will have a disproportionately harmful effect on minorities, experts warn.  The order signed on Thursday relies on emergency authorities to sidestep a suite of environmental laws, allowing for the fast-tracking of major construction projects in a bid to boost the economy.  That could mean rapid approval of not just highways but also pipelines, oil and gas projects and other polluting industries that have historically landed in communities of color.  Trump’s latest environmental rollback threatens minority communities, experts warn. … ”  Read more from The Hill here: Trump’s latest environmental rollback threatens minority communities, experts warn

EPA water rule won’t speed up new oil, gas pipeline construction:  “A new EPA water rule to curtail state vetoes won’t necessarily ease the path for new oil and gas interstate pipeline projects, energy analysts and lawyers say.  They say this is partly due to the sharp decline in oil and gas linked to the coronavirus pandemic. But the hurdles also come from a federal court’s suspension of the Clean Water Act Nationwide Permit 12, or NWP 12, that would allow developers to dredge and fill wetlands and stream crossings in order to lay pipelines. ... ”  Read more from Bloomberg Law here: EPA water rule won’t speed up new oil, gas pipeline construction

The next generation of pumped storage:  “The first slide of Daybreak Power’s first-ever presentation to potential investors quotes Paul Allen, the legendary co-founder of Microsoft, asking what he calls the most exciting question imaginable: “What should exist? … What do we need that we don’t have?”.  The answer I reached in the years leading up to co-founding Daybreak in 2018 is this: A bunch of big-honkin’ pumped storage hydropower projects, for the simple reason that we’re going to need a ton of cost-effective, proven, long-duration energy storage if we, as a society, are to have any hope of integrating high levels of intermittent wind and solar power, and thereby slash greenhouse gas emissions to put the brakes on catastrophic climate change.  Plus, we can create a lot of jobs and maybe make some money on it! ... ”  Read more from Water Power & Dam Construction here: The next generation of pumped storage

‘Megadrought’ and ‘aridification’ — understanding the new language of a warming world:  “After nearly two decades of declining water flows into the Colorado River Basin, scientists have decided the word drought doesn’t cut it anymore. We need different terms, they say, to help people fully grasp what has happened and the long-term implications of climate change — not just in the Southwest, but across the country.  The term that’s caught the most attention lately is “megadrought.” ... ”  Read more from The Revelator here: ‘Megadrought’ and ‘aridification’ — understanding the new language of a warming world

This week in water:  “Trump ordered federal agencies to bypass critical environmental laws for projects, including oil and gas pipelines, highways, and mines.  In another order, Trump rolled back protections for an East Coast marine monument established by President Obama. The EPA was found to have broken the law in its approval of weed killing products with dicamba.  Could floating turbines help solve our energy needs?  How you do your laundry matters.” Listen to podcast/read stories here:  This week in water

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Along the Colorado River …

Study says Phoenix reservoirs are resilient to warming, scientists warn risks remain:  “Scientists have found that climate change is playing a big role in shrinking the flow of the Colorado River, but recent research suggests Arizona’s reservoirs on the Salt and Verde rivers could fare better as temperatures continue to rise.  The findings back the assurances of water managers at Salt River Project that their system of reservoirs appears to be relatively resilient in the face of climate change.  Some climate scientists still caution that uncertainties remain and that the Salt and Verde rivers could be hit hard as the burning of fossil fuels continues to heat up the planet. … ”  Read more from Arizona Central here:  Study says Phoenix reservoirs are resilient to warming, scientists warn risks remain

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Weekend Daily Digest

This weekend in California water news:

  • The Great Divide: California communities battle for rights to water;
  • The government is scaling back water quality protections. These surfers are picking up the slack;
  • California climate programs see bottom fall out of main funding source;
  • UC: Pandemic has impacted Calif. food, ag, environment;
  • Trump uses ‘emergency’ to speed up infrastructure projects;
  • What Trump’s permit order means for NEPA, energy and race;
  • Ex-EPA staffer on leaked water research, ‘insane’ regs;
  • Enthusiasm but obstacles in using sewage to monitor coronavirus;
  • Visualizing science: how color determines what we see;
  • and more …

Click here to read the Weekend Daily Digest.

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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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