In California water news this weekend …

Federal district court denies environmental plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction as to Shasta Dam operations:  “On June 24, 2020, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California denied the preliminary injunctive relief requested by a coalition of fishery and environmental groups (Plaintiffs) regarding the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s (Reclamation) operations of Shasta Dam and Reservoir, and related temperature management actions on the upper Sacramento River. This denial followed the court’s previous May 11, 2020 order in the case granting a three-week injunction as to Central Valley Project (CVP) export pumping operations from the Sacramento-San-Joaquin Delta. ... ”  Read more from Somach Simmons & Dunn here: Federal district court denies environmental plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction as to Shasta Dam operations

Click here for a statement from GOP delegation.

CA GOP Delegation Supports Court Ruling to Stop Detrimental Delay to Implementing the Federal Biological Opinions:  “[June 25], Representatives Kevin McCarthy, Ken Calvert (CA-42), Paul Cook (CA-08), Mike Garcia (CA-25), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Tom McClintock (CA-04), and Devin Nunes (CA-22) issued the following statement after the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled on a preliminary injunction to stop the implementation of new federal biological opinions related to operations of the Federal Central Valley Project and the California State Water Project“We are encouraged by the Court’s ruling on the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations’ baseless preliminary injunction motion, and are pleased the Court noted this injunction might have actually harmed certain protected fish. As this case now shifts to the merits, we believe the new federal biological opinions will not only withstand the Court’s scrutiny, but will also prove to be the best way to protect threatened and endangered species while improving water supplies for California’s families, farms, and communities.”

Click here for a statement by Katharine MacGregor, Interior Deputy Secretary

Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior Katharine MacGregor released the following statement in response to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California’s ruling regarding the Central Valley Project:

“The District Court’s conclusion has nationwide impacts. California farmers supply more than half of our nation’s fruit, nuts and vegetables, and the Central Valley Project irrigates millions of acres of farmland in California. The Trump Administration knows that water is the lifeblood of America’s farmers, families and communities, and this sensible decision upholds our view that we can provide a stable water supply and protect threatened and endangered species, contrary to false assertions by environmental extremists,” said Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior Katharine MacGregor.

Strong winds and low humidity will bring critical wildfire danger to much of the West:  “Red flag fire warnings are in effect for large portions of the West on Sunday and Monday, the National Weather Service said.  Strong winds and low relative humidity will cause a high risk that any fires that develop will spread rapidly.  Parts of the Sacramento Valley are under red flag warnings from 2 p.m. Sunday through 8 p.m. Monday. Southeastern California, as well as most of the neighboring states of Nevada and Arizona, are also posted. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Strong winds and low humidity will bring critical wildfire danger to much of the West

California lawmakers finish work closing $54B deficit:  “The California Legislature on Friday finished work on a state spending plan that closes a historic $54.3 billion deficit by temporarily raising taxes on businesses, cutting funding to courts, colleges and state worker salaries, and delaying billions of dollars in payments to public schools.  The $202.1 billion budget marks an incredible reversal for the nation's most populous state, which just six months ago was preparing a spending plan that included a multibillion-dollar surplus. ... ”  Read more from GV Wire here:  California lawmakers finish work closing $54B deficit

Feel funky after surfing, swimming or watching California’s neon bioluminescent waves or daytime red tide? Michael Keith remembers feeling strange, like his equilibrium was off, a few days after taking a dip into the glowing neon water when it showed up off Belmont Shores in Long Beach a few months back.  Some people have reported being itchy after swimming in the bioluminescent waves that put on a show night after night for weeks earlier this year. Some surfers complained of scratch throats, sinus issues and coughing after riding red tide waves that lingered for weeks off Southern California. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: Feel funky after surfing, swimming or watching California’s neon bioluminescent waves or daytime red tide? 

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In people news this weekend …

HydroPoint Remembers Tom Ash – Water Conservation Pioneer:  “We lost an important member of our community with the passing of Tom Ash, former HydroPoint Director of Conservation. Tom was a pioneer of water sustainability, but he was loved for reasons beyond his expertise. Tom kept us laughing and learning. He made sustainability cool, long before it was in vogue to care.  HydroPoint would not exist today without Tom’s early work, passion, dedication and influence on conservation. A life so wonderfully lived will be wonderfully remembered by all who knew him. ... ”  Read more from HydroPoint here: HydroPoint Remembers Tom Ash – Water Conservation Pioneer

Like father, like daughter:  “The eyes of the beast hovered slightly over the water. The seemingly unworldly reptile peered across its horizon at the little girl who sat frozen in the canoe.  Only a thin sliver of aluminum separated the two.  With the hot Texas sun leaving beads of sweat across her brow, Maya believed “this was it.” But, before the stare down could go on much further, a chuckle came from the other end of the boat.  As he sat an arms length away, Steve couldn’t help but laugh at the girl’s imagined doom. Her eyes may have been as big as two moons, but it was a glimpse into what this girl would one day become.  The alligator dropped back below the surface and from that day on, it was hard to convince Maya to stay home. ... ”  Read more from the Northern California Water Association blog here: Like father, like daughter

LADWP and the community of Bishop recognizes Clarence Martin for decades of service as he steps down as aqueduct manager:  “After almost 32 years with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Clarence Martin will be stepping down as Aqueduct Manager. Deputy Aqueduct Manager Adam Perez will be taking over, come July 1.  Martin has lived in Bishop for 27 of his 32 years with the department, building a legacy of service to the community as a volunteer umpire for Bishop Little League, a youth sports coach and as a longtime member of the Lions Club.  “I have always appreciated and respected Clarence’s desire and ability to put aside differences in order to work on things that are a mutual benefit to the City of Los Angeles and Inyo County. It has allowed us to accomplish a variety of important projects for the community,” said Clint Quilter, Inyo County Administrative Officer who has worked with Martin for six years. … ”  Read more from LA DWP here: LADWP and the community of Bishop recognizes Clarence Martin for decades of service as he steps down as aqueduct manager

Ken Manning, architect of groundwater cleanup in San Gabriel Valley, Chino Basin, retires:  “His career was a lot like the water he made cleaner for almost three decades, flowing across county lines, churning from one project to the next, working behind the scenes, hidden from public view.  Mostly, the people didn’t know that their groundwater was polluted, either from industrial solvents that seeped into the San Gabriel Basin, or cow waste and salts in the southern part of the Chino basin. And they didn’t know that the contaminated portions shut down by federal authorities in many instances were finally being restored. … ”  Read more from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune here: Ken Manning, architect of groundwater cleanup in San Gabriel Valley, Chino Basin, retires

Marc Marcantino to retire; Brett Barbre to become General Manager:  “Marc Marcantonio of the Yorba Linda Water District (YLWD) has announced his retirement from the position of General Manager effective May 8, 2020. The Board of Directors has named Assistant General Manager Brett R. Barbre to the position of General Manager.  “It has been my honor and pleasure to serve the Yorba Linda Water District Community. The YLWD team is the best, and I will miss my fellow employees more than anything else”, said Marcantonio. In addition to his years of service at the YLWD, General Manager served with distinction in the United States Army; as well as a distinguished career serving forty-five years in public service.

Click here to continue reading.

Marcantonio came to YLWD in 2014 and quickly made a difference to the District and the entire community. During his time as General Manager, he developed the District’s water supply master plan, implemented long-term capital improvement programs for water supply, and oversaw the maintenance of all public works facilities, including water and wastewater systems. He was also instrumental in developing new technology to assist in wildfire prevention.

“Marc’s dedication to providing safe and reliable water to the customers each and every day was always his primary role when he came to work. His commitment and dedication to serving the YLWD water community was demonstrated at the highest level of integrity”, said Board President, Phil Hawkins. “With the promotion of Brett to General Manager, we look to his twenty-two years of leadership in the water community and his commitment to serving the District. Brett’s work as Assistant General Manager at YLWD; as well as serving as a Director of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Board and as a Director on the Municipal Water District of Orange County Board brings a wealth of experience to lead our District for years to come”.

Orange County Coastkeeper founder Garry Brown honored with ‘Hero Award':  “When Garry Brown started to turn his attention toward the environment two decades ago, Southern California was a much different place when it came to caring for the coast.  “People said Orange County would never support a full-time environmental organization,” said Brown, founder and executive director of Orange County Coastkeeper. “I’m not saying they were against it, they just didn’t talk about it. There was a feeling, if you talked too much about the environment, you were a tree hugger.”  That changed, in much part, because of Brown and his nonprofit’s efforts to improve water quality and challenge developments and projects that threaten the ocean and wildlife that live near the coast. Recent efforts have expanded into the Inland Empire and Coachella Valley. … ”  Read more from the Redlands Daily Facts here:  Orange County Coastkeeper founder Garry Brown honored with ‘Hero Award’

Q&A with Russell Barabe, coldwater fisheries biologist with CDFW:  “Russell Barabe is a coldwater fisheries biologist based out of CDFW’s South Coast Region office in San Diego. Though he grew up San Jose, where his mom was a nurse and his dad was a facilities maintenance supervisor, Russell’s family frequently went camping and trout fishing in Shasta County. Russell was an Environmental Studies student at San Jose State University when a summer internship with the Student Conservation Association introduced him to researching fire effects at different national parks. He was hooked on the idea of working in the great outdoors as much as possible. A Master’s degree in fisheries biology at Mississippi State University put him on the path to becoming a CDFW biologist, where he’s been employed since 2009. His first duties included enforcing lake and streambed alteration regulations. ... ”  Read more from CDFW here: Q&A with Russell Barabe, coldwater fisheries biologist with CDFW

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In national/world news this weekend …

Lack of perchlorate standard paves way for Superfund slowdown:  “The EPA’s decision not to regulate perchlorate in drinking water will slow Superfund cleanups, especially in the majority of states that lack their own restrictions on the chemical, environmental attorneys said.  The Environmental Protection Agency last week announced that it wouldn’t set an enforceable limit for perchlorate, a chemical commonly used in rocket fuel.  Since entities involved in Superfund cleanups often lean on federal drinking water limits to decide how much of a chemical to remove, a lack of federal authority on perchlorate could slow that decision-making process, said Michael Blumenthal, of counsel at McGlinchey Stafford PLLC in Cleveland. ... ”  Read more from Bloomberg Law here:  Lack of perchlorate standard paves way for Superfund slowdown

Quantifying the socioeconomic benefits of using satellite data to detect cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms: “If summer swimming sounds like a blast, just make sure you know what you’re diving into.  A cyanobacterial harmful algal bloom (cyanoHAB) is an environmental event that occurs when cyanobacterial algal populations become incredibly dense and threaten human and ecosystem health. CyanoHABs have become more common in recent years due to increasing temperatures, which create hospitable waters for algal blooms; New York State reported more than 1,000 toxic blooms in 2019 alone. CyanoHABs can pose human health risks when lake goers in affected water are exposed to cyanobacterial toxins through accidental ingestion of cyanoHAB-affected water while swimming, inhalation of water vapor while boating or water skiing, and direct skin contact while swimming or wading. … ”  Read more from Resources Magazine here: Quantifying the socioeconomic benefits of using satellite data to detect cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms

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Sunday podcasts …

Impacts to a Community:  Steve Baker writes, “Nobody thought it would happen. Food lines stretched across city blocks in 2009 because loss of work in the Central Valley of California prevented buying food at the store. Water limitation certainly has an effect on our social, economic systems. 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

Podship Earth: Firefighters:  This weekend on Jared Blumenfeld's Podship Earth: “Are now frontline responders in the battle against climate change: fighting raging wildfires, helping urban dwellers overcome extreme heat, and rescuing victims of rising seas. What is less known is that firefighters are being exposed to a toxic soup of chemicals from melting flat-screen TVs to nylon carpets, each time they respond to a residential fire. I talk with Tom O'Connor, Battalion Chief with the San Francisco Fire Department, about how firefighters are leading the charge to clean up our planet one community at a time.”

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In regional news and commentary this weekend …

SF breaks ground on nature center near Sunol to spotlight its water:  “San Francisco’s water department, known for sourcing some of the best supplies in the West, including the bounty of Yosemite National Park, is building its first nature center to commemorate its watersheds.  The $27 million facility, which broke ground this spring, is taking shape on city-owned land in Alameda County, near the town of Sunol. The center is designed to extend the tribute paid by the Sunol Water Temple, a 110-year-old monument honoring local creeks, with 10,000 square feet of exhibits and education space that tell the story of the area and of San Francisco water. ... ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: SF breaks ground on nature center near Sunol to spotlight its water

Kern County: Person wanted to lead the Water Association of Kern County:  “A Kern County nonprofit is looking for a new executive director to help educate the public about its most precious resource — water.  Beth Brookhart Pandol is retiring after leading the Water Association of Kern County for the past 10 years.  She said the executive director doesn’t have to know a ton about water, but it helps. ... ”  Read more from SJV Water here:  WANTED: Water maven to lead Kern nonprofit

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 five and 10 percent of property owners, including the San Ysidro Ranch and the Biltmore, chose to pay the fines instead. ... ”  Read more from Edhat here: Montecito Water District signs up for a 50-year supply from Santa Barbara

Eastern Municipal Water District approves San Jacinto Basin groundwater monitoring equipment, Hemet Water Filtration Plant tank replacement design, Pat Road booster engines replacement:  “The June 17 meeting of the Eastern Municipal Water District included approving the purchase of groundwater monitoring equipment for the West San Jacinto Basin, approving a consultant contract for the final design of the Hemet Water Filtration Plant sodium hypochlorite tank replacement and awarding Pacific Hydrotech Corporation a contract to replace the booster engines at the Pat Road facility. ... ”  Read more from Valley News here: Eastern Municipal Water District approves San Jacinto Basin groundwater monitoring equipment, Hemet Water Filtration Plant tank replacement design, Pat Road booster engines replacement

Water Replenishment District receives grant to prevent groundwater contamination:  “The Water Replenishment District (WRD) has received a $844,240 grant from the California State Water Resources Control Board to remove inactive water wells from production.  This grant was made possible by California’s Proposition 1 which authorized $7.545 billion in funds for water supply infrastructure projects and was approved by voters in 2014.  The goal of the well destruction program is to eliminate the potential threat of contaminants entering an inactive well and moving into and impacting the water quality in aquifers. These wells are primarily located in industrial areas. … ”  Read more from Los Cerritos News here: Water Replenishment District receives grant to prevent groundwater contamination

Also on Maven's Notebook this weekend …

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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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