DAILY DIGEST: Why limiting PFAS in drinking water is a challenge in the US; New coalition for safe drinking water in the Sacramento Valley; Funding for completion of Whittier Narrows Dam Safety Project; and more …

On the calendar today …

In California water news today …

Why limiting PFAS in drinking water is a challenge in the US:  “An article in the local newspaper caught Andrea Amico’s eye in May 2014. It reported that one of the three drinking-water wells at a sprawling business and industrial park nearby was shut down because of high levels of chemical contamination.  “Instantly, my heart sank,” says the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, woman. Amico recalls her reaction to the news: “My husband works there and he drinks water all day, and my two kids go to daycare there and they drink water all day.”  She’d never heard of the substances tainting the tap water—Portsmouth was one of the first communities in the US to discover these chemicals in public drinking water. Amico, who holds a master’s degree in occupational therapy and works in health care, started researching health effects from these contaminants and at first found little information.  Today, the situation has changed.  ... ”  Read more from Chemical and Engineering News here: Why limiting PFAS in drinking water is a challenge in the US

SEE ALSO: INSIGHT: PFAS, Covid-19, and Immune Response—Connecting the Dots, from Bloomberg Law

North State Drinking Water Solutions Network: Over 65 participants join inaugural meeting:  “On Wednesday, July 8, NCWA hosted the inaugural meeting of the North State Drinking Water Solutions Network via webinar. Over 65 participants joined the meeting to learn more about existing efforts and new opportunities to help ensure that all communities in the Sacramento River Basin have access to safe drinking water.  NCWA is convening the North State Drinking Water Solutions Network to serve as a forum for all parties interested in advancing safe drinking water solutions in the region. … ”  Read more from the Northern California Water Association blog here: North State Drinking Water Solutions Network: Over 65 participants join inaugural meeting

The Living Landscape: Egads! Crawdads:  “Crawdads, crayfish, craydids: whatever you choose to call those crustaceans that bear a resemblance to mini-lobsters, they are probably not native to our creeks and waters.  Did you know that the one remaining native species of crawdad to California is the Shasta crawdad?  The signal crayfish is a prolific crustacean found in Lake County. Many of the crawdads that you find in our lakes and streams today are descendants of those brought in around 1912 from Oregon and Washington. … ”  Read more from the Lake County News here:  The Living Landscape: Egads! Crawdads

When the ground sinks, arsenic levels in drinking water may rise:  “Water for our home in Bayside comes from our well as does the water of most homes on our street. As someone who drinks about a quart of well water a day, I was very interested in a recent article in Science magazine (https://science.sciencemag.org/content/368/6493/845) that reviews the distribution of arsenic in well water around the world. Fortunately for those of us who live in this beautiful area on the northwest coast of California, the levels of arsenic in our water are below the levels for safe water set by the World Health Organization. What does arsenic do to you and are there places in California and the rest of our planet that are affected by unhealthy levels of this chemical? … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here: When the ground sinks, arsenic levels in drinking water may rise

Napolitano and Sánchez announce $384.9 million to complete Whittier Narrows Dam Safety Project:  “Today, Reps. Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA-32) and Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA-38) announced that the FY2021 Energy and Water Appropriations bill is providing $384,900,000 as part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Dam Safety and Seepage Program.  “Since first learning about flood risk concerns over a decade ago, I have encouraged the Army Corps of Engineers and my colleagues in Congress to make Whittier Narrows Dam the top budgetary priority,” Napolitano said. … ”  Read more from the Los Cerritos News here:  Napolitano and Sánchez announce $384.9 million to complete Whittier Narrows Dam Safety Project

Governor says Baja used water as a piggy bank. Critics worry about his bigger plan:  “Baja California’s new governor, Jaime Bonilla, says he is battling to clean up widespread corruption that for years ate away at the state’s water agency. Even Bonilla’s critics acknowledge the corruption and the failing water system, which results in frequent sewage spills that foul Tijuana and San Diego beaches.  But those critics also allege the high-profile investigation, which has already led to 30 criminal complaints, is aimed at Bonilla’s political enemies. And they worry that it could be used to build up his own nest of public funds. ... ”  Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here: Governor says Baja used water as a piggy bank. Critics worry about his bigger plan

Glen Canyon day; is the dam a tombstone or a giver of new life?  “To some, it’s a tombstone. To others, it has been a giver of new life.  There are few events or issues in the annals of U.S. environmental history that have been as controversial as the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam, what the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation considers a crown jewel and a monument to its success at harnessing the waters of the mighty Colorado River. ... ”  Read more from the St. George News here: Glen Canyon day; is the dam a tombstone or a giver of new life?

Urgent dredging requested for Oceanside harbor; entrance hazardous for boaters:  “City and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials say the entrance to the Oceanside harbor will have to be dredged again this fall, the second time this year, to keep it open and safe for navigation through the winter.  Sand bars are growing and areas near the harbor jetty are as shallow as 8 feet, according to an update issued recently to the Oceanside City Council. The shallow areas create breaking waves and make the passage hazardous for small boats. ... ”  Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here: Urgent dredging requested for Oceanside harbor; entrance hazardous for boaters

This week in water: “Despite decent winter snowfall, runoff in the Colorado and Rio Grande River Basins is not looking very good.  The number of dust storms in the Southwest has doubled in recent decades—a situation that could strain ICU units already dealing with COVID-19.  Beavers might make the Arctic melt even faster.  NOAA may not be doing right by the North Atlantic right whale.  Your favorite type of beer could reveal something about your personality.”  Listen to podcast or read stories here: This week in water

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In commentary today …

State Water Board trying to drain away Merced County’s chief supply, says Daron McDaniel, Third District Supervisors for Merced County:  “Less than a week before Christmas in 2016, the State Water Resources Control Board held a single public hearing in our community. The topic? Draining our community’s water supply and sending it to the Bay Delta.  Not only was the hearing deliberately held when our community’s attention was focused on the holiday — it was the only local hearing the Water Board held in Merced before adopting its ill-conceived Bay Delta Water Quality Control Plan SED.  That callous act in December of 2016 set the stage for what would unfold in the state’s attempt to steal our community’s water supply. What has happened in the past few weeks is almost inconceivable. … ”  Read more from the Merced Sun Star here: State water board trying to drain away Merced County’s chief supply

Commentary: Border wall in Jacumba wilderness threatens groundwater for communities and an endangered species, the crucifixion thorn, says Craig Deutsche:  He writes, “There have been a number of articles in large newspapers about the border wall and legal challenges. Most probably the story in California is only a detail in the big picture, although there might be several unique concerns here. One concern is that the Congressional designation of the Jacumba Wilderness in 1994 is very explicit and very restrictive in what is permitted within the boundaries.  More recently in 2019, the Department of Homeland Security waived seventeen federal environmental laws where border security was involved in Imperial County. … ” Read more from the East County Times here: Commentary: Border wall in Jacumba wilderness threatens groundwater for communities and an endangered species, the crucifixion thorn

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Weekend Daily Digest

This weekend in California water news:

  • Watch for La Nina, federal forecast says;
  • Location, location, location: New tool shows where groundwater recharge will maximize benefits;
  • Delta Conveyance Project scoping summary report now available;
  • Lack of plumbing makes fighting COVID-19 difficult;
  • Phil Isenberg: Challenging conventional water wisdom;
  • IID files opening brief in CEQA challenge to DCP;
  • California’s ultimate outdoor bucket list: 45 natural wonders;
  • 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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