DAILY DIGEST, 6/26: Reclamation increases 2020 CVP allocation for Friant Division; Water agencies and advocates join in seeking federal funds to reduce water costs; State senate passes $200B budget plan; Harmful Algal Bloom Report; National Water and Climate Update; and more …

On the calendar today …
  • ONLINE MEETING: Central Valley Flood Protection Board beginning at 9am. Agenda items include AB 1958, DWR Monthly Report, 2022 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan Update, Small Community Flood Risk Reduction Program, Delta levee subventions, Sacramento River Bank Protection Project, and PL84-99 status and improvement program update.  Click here for the agenda and online access information.
  • FREE WEBINAR: Foodwebs and Floodplains from 12pm to 1pm:  This webinar will examine the effects of food webs and aquatic habitat productivity on the growth of juvenile salmonids, particularly in productive ecosystems or where food webs strongly interact with physical habitat attributes to influence growth.  Presented by CalTrout. Click here to register.
  • FREE WEBINAR: Bringing Salmon Home: Eel River Dam Removal from 12pm to 1pm. Part of the Water Protection Speakers Series offered by Humboldt State University.  Click here for Zoom link.
  • ONLINE EVENT: AB 1755 Online Public Meeting and Reception – Launch of California Water Data Consortium from 2pm to 4pm:  Please gather virtually with the AB 1755 Partner Agency Team and the new California Water Data Consortium for a public meeting and reception. Please register for the meeting to get Zoom information and take a pre-meeting survey.  For agenda and more information, click here.

In California water news today …

Reclamation increases 2020 Central Valley Project water allocation for Friant Division:  [Yesterday], the Bureau of Reclamation increased the water supply allocation for Friant Division Central Valley Project contracts for the 2020 contract year. The Friant Division provides water for 15,000 family farms and several cities in the Central Valley.  This is the fourth update to the 2020 Central Valley Project water allocation for Friant Division this year. Initial allocations were made on February 25.    Many factors are involved in making water supply allocation adjustments, including the latest hydrologic information, operational conditions in both the Upper San Joaquin River Basin and at Millerton Reservoir, as well as canal schedules from Friant Division contractors.

Click here to continue reading press release and statement from Friant Water Authority.

Friant Division contractors’ water supply develops in the Upper San Joaquin River Basin Watershed and is delivered from Millerton Lake through Friant Dam to the Madera Canal and Friant-Kern Canal. Friant Division water supply is divided into two classifications: Class 1 and Class 2. The first 800,000 acre-feet of available water supply is considered Class 1. Class 2 is considered the next amount of available water supply up to 1.4 million acre-feet.

Given the current hydrologic conditions, Reclamation is increasing the Class 1 allocation from 60% to 65%; Class 2 remains at 0%.

Water supply updates are posted at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/cvp-water/index.html.

Friant Water Authority statement:  “Yesterday the Bureau of Reclamation increased the Central Valley Project’s 2020 water allocation from 60% to 65% for Friant Division Class 1 contractors. We are grateful to Reclamation for their frequent updates of the Class 1 allocation throughout 2020, allowing more water to be delivered to the San Joaquin Valley’s Eastside this summer, easing some stress on groundwater supplies and likely helping to keep some smaller farms afloat. 

It is not surprising that as we head into the hottest months of what has been a drier-than-normal year, the allocation for Friant Division Class 2 contractors remains unchanged at “zero.” Nonetheless, the inevitable outcome is that some farmers will still rely heavily on groundwater, with the potential to cause further land subsidence in the valley and damage critical infrastructure like the Friant-Kern Canal. We continue to work with our federal, local, and state partners to fix the conveyance limitations on the Friant-Kern Canal and implement actions that help the valley halt future subsidence and achieve a long-term water balance.”

Council appoints six new Delta Independent Science Board members:  “Atits June 25, 2020meeting, the Delta Stewardship Council (Council) appointed six internationally prominent scientists to the Delta Independent Science Board (Delta ISB): Dr. James Cloern, Dr. Virginia Dale, Dr. Tanya Heikkila, Dr. Diane McKnight, Dr. Robert Naiman, and Dr. Lisa Wainger.  The appointees came from a diverse pool of 40 applicants representing the biological, chemical, physical,and social sciences. The new members will serve five-year terms, beginning September 1, 2020, and can be reappointed for a second five-year term. These members were appointed to fill a current vacancy left by Dr. Joy Zedler and pending vacancies of the five original members appointed in 2010: Dr. Elizabeth Canuel, Dr. Tracy Collier, Dr. Richard Norgaard, Dr. Vince Resh, and Dr. John Wiens.The five original members will conclude their terms on August 31, 2020. ... ”  Read more from the Delta Stewardship Council here: Council appoints six new Delta Independent Science Board members

California Fish and Game Commission holds June meeting remotely:  “At its June remote meeting, the California Fish and Game Commission took action on a number of issues affecting California’s natural resources. The following are just a few items of interest from this week’s meeting.  The Commission acknowledged the sesquicentennial of the beginnings of the Commission and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). Staff had long been preparing celebratory activities throughout the year, but due to the global pandemic, those events were canceled. A video was shared at the Commission to honor the past 150 years of protecting and conserving fish and wildlife in the state. ... ”  Read more from the Department of Fish and Wildlife here: California Fish and Game Commission holds June meeting remotely

Water agencies and advocates join in seeking federal funds to reduce water costs:  “A broad coalition of business organizations, government agencies and consumer and environmental groups is pushing for increased aid for water providers to be included in the latest federal coronavirus relief bill – with the dual goals of keeping water agencies solvent and ensuring consumers have access to safe drinking water.  Led by the Association of California Water Agencies, the group also includes the California Municipal Utilities Association and the California Water Association, as well as the consumer and environmental groups Clean Water Action, Community Water Center and Sierra Club California and the Western United Dairymen, Western growers and Bay Area Council business groups. ... ”  Read more from SF Gate here: Water agencies and advocates join in seeking federal funds to reduce water costs

Study: Calif. Ag sector sees billions in coronavirus losses pile up across-the-board:  “Despite serving as the lynchpin of survival during the lockdown following the initial outbreak of coronavirus, California’s farms, ranches, and agricultural businesses were not spared from the economic fallout from the pandemic.  A recent study estimates the pandemic-related losses to total between $5.9 billion and $8.6 billion this year, and the agricultural sector in California is already facing $2 billion in losses so far from disrupted markets and rising production costs due to the pandemic. … ”  Read more from the San Bernardino Sun here: Study: Calif. Ag sector sees billions in coronavirus losses pile up across-the-board

State senate passes $200 billion budget plan; Assembly set to approve in Friday vote:  “The California Senate on Thursday approved a $202.1 billion spending plan that covers the state’s $54.3 billion deficit through a combination of temporary tax increases, delayed spending and cuts to colleges, courts and state worker salaries.  The vote came hours after Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a “budget emergency” for the first time, giving the Legislature permission to take nearly $8 billion from the state’s primary savings account to avoid even deeper spending cuts amid an economic downturn caused by the coronavirus and a subsequent stay-at-home order that has caused more than 6.7 million Californians to file for unemployment benefits. ... ”  Read more from the AP via KPIX here:  State senate passes $200 billion budget plan; Assembly set to approve in Friday vote

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In national/world news today …

Who’s suing over Trump’s WOTUS rule? Opponents of the Trump administration’s new definition of which waterways and wetlands are protected under the Clean Water Act have lined up in court to make their grievances known.  Don’t expect clarity on the rules anytime soon.  The Trump administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule is already on hold in one state — Colorado — and could still be frozen by any one of the various federal judges who are now examining the regulation. Unlike lawsuits over Clean Air Act rules, which land in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Clean Water Act challenges can be heard in any of the nation’s nearly 100 federal district courts. … ”  Read more from E&E News here: Who’s suing over Trump’s WOTUS rule? 

Navajo Nation sues EPA over Clean Water Act“The Navajo Nation filed a lawsuit this week against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, arguing that the recent 2020 Waters of the United States Rule significantly diminishes the number and extent of Navajo waters protected by the Clean Water Act.  The suit says the the recent rule is in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act and could adversely impact the amount of federal funding the Navajo EPA receives for its water programs.  … ”  Read more from KNAU here: Navajo Nation sues EPA over Clean Water Act

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In regional news and commentary today …

Supreme Court punts on Klamath takings case:  “The U.S. Supreme Court this week declined to take up a case in which Klamath Basin farmers whose water was famously shut off in 2001 were seeking compensation from the federal government.  After nearly two decades of legal proceedings, an appeals court ruled that since the region’s Native American tribes have senior water rights, the irrigators in the basin that straddles the California-Oregon state line couldn’t claim the water was property that had been taken, Oregon Public Broadcasting explained. … ”  Read more from the Western Farm Press here: Supreme Court punts on Klamath takings case

Humboldt County: Ten thousand plants eradicated, illegal water diversion/pollution violations cited in Dinsmore raid yesterday, sheriff’s office says:  “On June 24, 2020, deputies with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET) served two search warrants to investigate illegal cannabis cultivation in the Mad River drainage area of Dinsmore. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Department of Food and Agriculture CalCannabis Division assisted in the service of the warrant. ... ”  Read more from the Lost Coast Outpost here:  Ten thousand plants eradicated, illegal water diversion/pollution violations cited in Dinsmore raid yesterday, sheriff’s office says

St. Helena City Council awards $3.2 million contract for York Creek dam removal:  “The St. Helena City Council awarded a $3.2 million contact Tuesday to an Arcata firm to remove the Upper York Creek Dam.  McCullough Construction will be charged with notching the dam, restoring the creek’s aquatic habitat, and removing an illegal barrier to fish passage that the city first agreed to remove in 2006.  Work is scheduled to begin next week and finish by the end of October. ... ”  Read more from the Napa Register here:  St. Helena City Council awards $3.2 million contract for York Creek dam removal

$1.55 million creek project in Novato moving forward:  “Workers are gearing up for a $1.55 million dredging project in three Novato creeks that aims to reduce the flood risk and increase creek capacity.  The summer project will target the lower reaches of Novato, Warner and Arroyo Avichi creeks from Diablo Avenue near downtown to downstream off Rowland Way behind the Century Rowland Plaza movie theater.  Crews using heavy equipment are expected to work from early July through October. Work will be between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays. The project will be overseen by the Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: $1.55 million creek project in Novato moving forward

Solano, SCWA look to buy property along Putah Creek:  “The Solano County Board of Supervisors this week agreed, in partnership with the Solano County Water Agency, to purchase about 74 acres along the Solano side of Putah Creek.  The property is located at 3373 Sackett Lane in Winters, between the Monticello Dam and the diversion dam at Lake Solano, and will be kept as conservation land and for habitat restoration. … ”  Read more from the Daily Republic here: Solano, SCWA look to buy property along Putah Creek

Brentwood moves ahead with wastewater expansion project:  “The Brentwood City Council previously postponed awarding a construction contract for expanding the municipality’s wastewater treatment plant, but now the project is expected to commence without delay.  The council formally approved a $44.5 million construction contract to C. Overaa & Co. this week, about two weeks after holding off on that decision, in part because the arrangement didn’t include a specialized agreement that would have likely prohibited labor shortages caused by strikes or lockouts. … ”  Read more from The Press here: Brentwood moves ahead with wastewater expansion project

Monterey Peninsula mayors water authority poised to dissolve:  “After more than eight years, the Monterey Peninsula mayors water authority is moving toward dissolution by the end of August, just as the local water supply debate is likely to get even hotter.  During a special meeting on Tuesday, the Monterey Peninsula Regional Water Authority board unanimously agreed to start the dissolution process and set an Aug. 31 end date. Board members cited the prospect of ongoing costs of keeping the water authority going, noting that the authority hadn’t previously met in nearly a year and had essentially accomplished nothing during that time. ... ”  Read more from the Monterey Herald here:  Monterey Peninsula mayors water authority poised to dissolve

Cal Am is blocking the Pure Water Monterey expansion, says Melodie Chrislock:  She writes, “It seems some are willing to wait forever for a new water supply. After 25 years of failure, they still trust Cal Am to come up with a solution.  But the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District is clearly done waiting. Last Monday, the district board withdrew its support for Cal Am’s proposed desal plant. It voted 4-3 to send a letter to the Coastal Commission asking to deny the project’s permit so that the Pure Water Monterey Expansion can move forward. Directors Alvin Edwards, Molly Evans, Mary Adams and George Riley voted to send the letter. Gary Hoffmann, Dave Potter and Jeanne Byrne voted against it. ... ”  Read more from Voices of Monterey here: Cal Am is blocking the Pure Water Monterey expansion

Montecito Water District signs up for a 50-year supply from Santa Barbara:  “In a historic move, the Montecito Water District board voted unanimously on Thursday to “drought-proof” the wealthy enclave by importing a large supply of Santa Barbara water every year for the next 50 years, rain or no rain. The initial annual cost will be $4.6 million.  The vote comes on the heels of the severe drought of 2012 to 2018, in which Montecito, a community of one-acre lots, big estates, and luxury hotels and golf courses, faced heavy fines for over-watering. Montecitans cut their water use by as much as 50 percent, but between 5 and 10 percent of property owners, including the San Ysidro Ranch and the Biltmore, chose to pay the fines instead. ... ”  Read more from the Santa Barbara Independent here: Montecito Water District signs up for a 50-year supply from Santa Barbara

Imperial County hits IID, feds with violation notice for Salton Sea air pollution:  “The Imperial County Air Pollution Control District on Tuesday hit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Imperial Irrigation District with notices of violation for ongoing pollution at a long-stalled Salton Sea restoration project.  The violations allege that the federal agency and the water district have only made sporadic attempts since 2016 to complete work at the several-hundred-acre Red Hill Bay site, “causing numerous instances of elevated levels of airborne dust.”   As the Salton Sea retreats, leaving the dry playa exposed, dust particles become airborne and mobilize lung-damaging toxins from agricultural runoff. Red Hill Bay, located near the southeastern corner of the sea, would restore habitat by flooding the area, but it’s one of several mitigation projects that have taken flack for progressing so slowly. ... ”  Read more from The Desert Sun here: Imperial County hits IID, feds with violation notice for Salton Sea air pollution

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Harmful Algal Bloom Report


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National Water and Climate Update

The Natural Resources Conservation Service produces this weekly report using data and products from the National Water and Climate Center and other agencies. The report focuses on seasonal snowpack, precipitation, temperature, and drought conditions in the U.S.


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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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