DAILY DIGEST: PacifiCorp can’t wash its hands of Klamath Dams, FERC rules; New study finds media coverage could discourage SGMA participation; Scientists in CA accidentally discover bacteria that eats metal in aquifer; USEPA’s temporary policy suspending enforcement terminates August 31, 2020; and more …

On the calendar today …
  • WEBINAR: How Water Reuse Creates New Ways to Manage Wastewater Discharge from 11am to 12:30pm.  Case studies from Bay Area Clean Water Agencies (BACWA) in the San Francisco Bay area and Clean Water Services in the Portland region.  Presented by WateReuse.  Click here to register.

In California water news today …

PacifiCorp can’t wash its hands of Klamath Dams, FERC rules:  “A ruling from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today requires PacifiCorp to remain a co-licensee on four Klamath dams, perhaps throwing a wrench into long-laid plans to remove them.  FERC said it’s prepared to approve ownership transfer of the dams to the Klamath River Renewal Corporation – an organization formed to decommission and remove the dams, and restore the area afterward – but only if current owner PacifiCorp remains a part of the project.  “KRRC is reviewing the FERC order with our partners to determine next steps,” was the entirety of a short statement sent out by KRRC spokesperson Betsey Hodges Thursday afternoon. … ”  Read more from the Siskiyou Daily News here: PacifiCorp can’t wash its hands of Klamath Dams, FERC rules

FERC throws curveball in Klamath Dam removal:  “Federal regulators on Thursday threw a significant curveball at a coalition that has been planning for years to demolish four massive hydroelectric dams on a river along the Oregon-California border to save salmon populations that have dwindled to almost nothing.  The deal, which would be the largest dam demolition project in U.S. history, relies on a delicate calculus: The power company that operates the Klamath River dams will transfer its hydroelectric license and contribute $250 million in order to sever itself from the removal project and avoid any further liability or unanticipated costs.  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, however, on Thursday approved the license transfer on the condition that PacifiCorp remain a co-licensee along with the Klamath River Renewal Corporation, the non-profit coalition assembled to oversee the dams’ demolition. … ”  Read more from the AP via WI Proud here: Agency throws curveball in largest U.S. dam demolition plan

Click here for the press release from the Karuk Tribe, Yurok Tribe, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, Trout Unlimited, California Trout, Sustainable Northwest, American Rivers, Save California Salmon, and Klamath Riverkeeper.

This morning the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the partial transfer of ownership of the lower four Klamath River dams from PacifiCorp to the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) for the purpose of removal. The approval is conditioned on PacifiCorp remaining a co-licensee.

A 2016 negotiated agreement proposes to transfer the dams from PacifiCorp to the KRRC for purposes of removal. The agreement allows PacifiCorp to transfer the dams and $200 million to the KRRC and then make a clean break from the project. While FERC’s conditional approval today requires PacifiCorp to remain involved, it also outlines a clear path towards dam removal. FERC’s order took pains to acknowledge that KRRC has successfully responded to requests for additional information and that there is a significant likelihood KRRC will complete the dam removal process without relying on PacifiCorp for additional funding or expertise, as envisioned the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement.

“We can work with this,” says Karuk Chairman Russell ‘Buster’ Attebery. “We understand that we will need to reconvene settlement parties and make adjustments as needed to reflect PacifiCorp’s goals. We remain committed to our partnership with PacifiCorp as we remain committed to Klamath dam removal.”

Klamath communities that depend on salmon fisheries for economic and cultural survival have campaigned for years to remove the lower four Klamath dams. The dams provide no irrigation diversions, no drinking water, and almost no flood control benefit. The dams were built for hydropower but managing the aging structures today costs more than they’re worth.

“Rural communities including tribal communities throughout the Klamath Basin from to the headwaters to the mouth of the river will benefit from dam removal.  At its heart, Klamath Dam removal is a fish restoration project that will benefit all communities in the Klamath Basin including agricultural interests throughout the basin,” explains Yurok Vice-Chairman Frankie Myers.

Declining fish populations have led to water curtailments to the Klamath Irrigation Project, located above the dams.  Meanwhile downstream Tribes have curtailed or cancelled fish harvests for the first time in millennia.  Klamath Dam removal will increase fish populations including abundance, diversity and resiliency and many believe it to be a key to ending strife over water that plagues the basin every year.

“Dam removal is a lynchpin for settling water disputes,” adds Glen Spain, Regional Director with the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. “More fish and better water quality will mean fewer regulations for farmers and ranchers.”

Commercial salmon fishermen from San Francisco to Coos Bay, Oregon depend on Klamath River stocks and their industry has been hard hit with restrictions on catch. “Salmon fishing families are eager to restore the river and get back to helping feed America,” added Spain.

Tribes and their allies have fought for years to remove the dams. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) owns PacifiCorp, which in turn owns the dams slated for removal under a 2016 negotiated agreement.

The plan to implement America’s most ambitious salmon restoration project involves $200 million in financing from PacifiCorp, $250 million that was earmarked in a 2014 California water bond, and creation of the non-profit KRRC to take over the dams and manage the removal effort.

Parties hope to begin dam removal in 2021 but the timing depends on how quickly they can reconcile today’s FERC ruling with the terms of the settlement agreement and how quickly the required environmental reviews can be completed.

“The decision to partially transfer PacifiCorps’s license is a testament to the strength and vision of the people of the Klamath,” said Morning Star Gali, from Save California Salmon. “Dam removal is a crucial step toward restoring the Klamath’s diminished salmon populations, healing the river’s people, and upholding the rights, and honoring the responsibilities to the river’s Tribes. It is also in the best interest of PacifiCorp’s ratepayers. PacifiCorp has proven they can successfully remove dams. We hope they chose to move forward with us.” 

“Dam removal is the essential first step toward restoring safe and clean water, strong runs of salmon and steelhead, and healthy communities in the Klamath,” said Chrysten Lambert, Oregon Director of Trout Unlimited.  “We remain committed to working with PacifiCorp and our agricultural, tribal, and conservation partners to reconnect the economies, cultures, and ecosystems of the upper and lower Klamath Basins.”

“As we’ve seen time after time on rivers across the country, dam removal works. Thanks to FERC’s decision today, the Klamath River is on the way to rebounding back to life. With ongoing cooperation from PacifiCorp and federal regulators, our children and future generations will know a healthy, free-flowing Klamath River,” said Curtis Knight, Executive Director of California Trout.

More information on the Klamath River dams can be found at http://www.klamathrenewal.org/.

Click here to read statement from Congressman Doug LaMalfa.

Congressman Doug LaMalfa issued the following statement after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) announced that the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) lacked the finances and experience to be the sole licensees of the four dams on the Klamath River. At PacifiCorp’s discretion KRRC may be a co-licensee, but PacificCorp would retain liability for the hydropower dams on the Klamath River. PacifiCorp previously announced they would seek to transfer the license to operate these dams to the Klamath River Renewal Corporation, who would assume all liability and then oversee their removal. FERC’s July 16th Order states KRRC is “not equipped to handle” this project, and “has limited finances and no experience with hydropower dam operation or dam removal.” 

LaMalfa said: “The Commission’s Order today reinforces what I have been saying since KRRC’s inception: KRRC is incapable of handling any hydropower project. Rather, KRRC is nothing more than a shell corporation created for California, Oregon, and other supporters of dam removal to avoid liability and leave local communities to clean up the mess they would create. I am happy to see that FERC agreed with the many issues I, and other stakeholders, brought to their attention. It would have set a dangerous precedent to give a shell cooperation sole liability for the immense damage to the environment and local economy that this project would create. Smaller dam removal projects have faced significantly higher costs than originally estimated and this project has made the same failed assumptions. This Order clears the way to stop this terrible project without wasting more of California taxpayer funds or Oregon ratepayer dollars. PacifiCorp should instead pursue relicensing of all four Klamath dams, ensuring the Basin continues to receive ample carbon free, clean power for years to come.”

New study finds media coverage could discourage many from guiding groundwater use:  “Superficial media coverage of California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) could discourage democratic engagement on resource-management issues by having focused on relatively few stakeholders, a new study from UC Merced shows.  Because water is essential to everyone, all have a stake in how groundwater is managed., Media reports published from January 2014 to April 2019 about the SGMA, however, tended to be simplistic, presenting only one stakeholder instead of considering holistic management, the study’s authors said.  Media coverage portrayed stakeholders as limited to major economic interests, such as agriculture, the study found. … ”  Read more from UC Merced here: New study finds media coverage could discourage many from guiding groundwater use

Scientists in California accidentally discover bacteria that eats metal in aquifer:  “Scientists have discovered a type of bacteria that eats and gets its calories from metal, after suspecting they exist for more than a hundred years but never proving it.  Now microbiologists from the California Institute of Technology (or Caltech) accidentally discovered the bacteria after performing unrelated experiments using a chalk-like type of manganese, a commonly found chemical element.  Dr. Jared Leadbetter, professor of environmental microbiology at Caltech in Pasadena, left a glass jar covered with the substance to soak in tap water in his office sink, and left the vessel for several months when he went to work off campus. When he returned, Leadbetter found the jar coated with a dark material. ... ”  Read more from CBS Channel 13 here: Scientists in California accidentally discover bacteria that eats metal in aquifer

There were no reports of coronavirus in Yosemite. Then they tested the park’s sewage:  “Like a lot of the rural West, Yosemite National Park stood as a safe haven from the coronavirus. No park employees or residents tested positive. No visitors reported being sick. The fresh air and open space seemed immune.  That’s until local health officials started looking for the coronavirus in the park’s raw sewage — that’s right, the poop. This week, lab analysis of feces at two wastewater treatment plants serving Yosemite revealed the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19. Dozens of people in Yosemite Valley are believed to have been infected. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: There were no reports of coronavirus in Yosemite. Then they tested the park’s sewage

California wineries take note: State Water Board releases draft general order for winery process water for public comment:  “On July 3, 2020, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) released proposed General Waste Discharge Requirements for Winery Process Water Treatment Systems (proposed General Order) along with the draft California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Initial Study and Mitigated Declaration for public comment.  The proposed General Order will apply statewide, and includes requirements to ensure winery operations will not adversely impact water quality. The State Water Board also noticed a July 22, 2020 public workshop and future proposed adoption of the proposed General Order.  The July 22, 2020 public workshop will begin at 9:30 a.m. via remote attendance only.  Although a quorum of the State Water Board will be present at the public workshop, no final action will be taken at the workshop. … ”  Read more from JD Supra here: California wineries take note: State Water Board releases draft general order for winery process water for public comment

California, Washington, and British Columbia work together on forest health:  “Some of the largest wildfires on record have swept across the West in recent years.  Restoring these areas and managing forests to prevent more dangerous fires is complicated, especially as the climate warms.  “A lot of our management has been designed up until now with the expectation of a stable climate. And that expectation is no longer accurate,” says Dan Siemann if the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. “And so we’re having to think about things like, ‘What species should we be planting here that can survive not only in our current climate, but in future climates?’” … ”  Read more from Yale Climate Connections here: California, Washington, and British Columbia work together on forest health

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In national/world news today …

USEPA’s temporary policy suspending enforcement terminates August 31, 2020:  “On June 29, 2020, USEPA issued a memorandum on a termination addendum to the COVID-19 temporary enforcement policy. USEPA has selected August 31, 2020, as the termination date for the temporary enforcement policy, as it recognizes that the circumstances surrounding the temporary policy are changing, but also ensures that there is adequate time to adjust to the changing circumstances.  Since the issuance of the COVID-19 Implications for USEPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program on March 26, 2020, new federal guidelines and directives have been issued to support both the public health response and economic recovery efforts. ... ”  Read more from the National Law Review here: USEPA’s temporary policy suspending enforcement terminates August 31, 2020

Chippewa Lake (in Ohio) free of toxic algae nearly 1 year after innovative technology was implemented:  “After years of being plagued by toxic algae blooms, Chippewa Lake is on the verge of celebrating a full year of being toxic algae-free after implementing technology to treat toxic algae blooms.  Chippewa Lake had been closed to the public during the summer seasons since 2014 due to toxic algal blooms.  In August 2019, Chippewa Lake became the first lake in the country to have the BlueGreen Water Technologies Lake Guard Blue treatment tested on the toxic algae. The company reported that in just 24 hours, all of the toxic algae had been killed. ... ”  Read more from News 5 here: Chippewa Lake free of toxic algae nearly 1 year after innovative technology was implemented

Feinstein to HHS, EPA: Test wastewater nationwide for early coronavirus detection:  “Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today called on the Department of Health and Human Services and the Environmental Protection Agency to develop and implement a nationwide COVID-19 wastewater surveillance program.  Testing wastewater is a proven early detection method for other viruses and diseases. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, communities in California, Massachusetts and Arizona are exploring this approach in partnership with universities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationwide wastewater surveillance has already been implemented in other countries.  “Effective wastewater surveillance holds the potential to detect an outbreak in a community up to a week before people start showing up in the hospital,” Senator Feinstein wrote. “This advanced warning would allow all levels of government to preposition medical supplies, shore up hospitals in the affected community, and begin locking down the area. “Given surging caseloads in many states, it is clear that the United States needs to find innovative ways to get ahead of the curve, and I urge you to prioritize funding to implement nationwide wastewater surveillance efforts related to COVID-19.”

Click here to read the text of the letter.

Full text of the letter follows:

July 16, 2020

The Honorable Alex M. Azar II
Secretary
Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201

The Honorable Andrew R. Wheeler
Administrator
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW 
Washington, D.C. 20004

Dear Secretary Azar and Administrator Wheeler,

In light of promising new research on the potential for early detection of COVID-19 outbreaks through the testing of wastewater, I write to ask that the Department of Health and Human Services and the Environmental Protection Agency expedite efforts to develop and implement a nationwide COVID-19 wastewater surveillance program.

Testing wastewater has long been successfully used as a method for early detection of polio and cholera disease outbreaks. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, wastewater surveillance is now being implemented in Finland, Germany, and the Netherlands, and communities in California, Massachusetts and Arizona have begun exploring this approach in partnership with universities and the CDC.

Effective wastewater surveillance holds the potential to detect an outbreak in a community up to a week before people start showing up in the hospital. This advanced warning would allow all levels of government to preposition medical supplies, shore up hospitals in the affected community, and begin locking down the area.

Given surging caseloads in many states, it is clear that the United States needs to find innovative ways to get ahead of the curve, and I urge you to prioritize funding to implement nationwide wastewater surveillance efforts related to COVID-19. Thank you for your consideration of this request, and I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

New issue brief explores a business framework for water and COVID-19:  “A new Issue Brief from the Pacific Institute explores the role of the business community in combatting the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, rebuilding the economy, and reducing the risk of future shocks through action on water.  Water and the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Business Framework for Water and COVID-19: Practical Actions to Contain the Pandemic provides a practical framework of actions companies can take to advance COVID-19 response efforts in their operations, supply chains, and the communities where workers live. … ”  Read more from the Pacific Institute here: New issue brief explores a business framework for water and COVID-19

EPA adds new PFAS treatment options and scientific references to drinking water treatability database:  “Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an update to its Drinking Water Treatability Database with new treatment options and scientific references for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). This update is another example of the Trump Administration delivering on an important commitment under EPA’s first-of-its-kind PFAS Action Plan. The database update will further help states, tribes, and local governments, as well as water utilities, make better decisions to manage PFAS in their communities.  “The latest addition of four PFAS compounds and 20 new scientific references to the Drinking Water Treatability Database increases our depth of scientific knowledge on this emerging chemical of concern. The update serves as an important tool for states, tribes and communities across the country as they can now use these new treatment technologies to better protect public health and manage PFAS in drinking water,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. ... ”  Read more from the EPA here: EPA adds new PFAS treatment options and scientific references to drinking water treatability database

White House completes generational update of NEPA regulations:  “On Wednesday, July 15, 2020, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) published a Final Rule updating its regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) across the federal government. 85 Fed. Reg. 43304; 40 C.F.R. § 1500 et seq. The Final Rule is substantially similar to the Proposed Rule unveiled in January 2020, which according to CEQ elicited over a million public comments. Proponents have applauded CEQ for undertaking this update of its NEPA regulations, believing it will improve the NEPA process, making it more effective, efficient, and responsive to the country’s infrastructure needs while ensuring environmental integrity. Critics, on the other hand, have condemned the changes, alleging negative impacts on public health and the environment, restrictions on public participation, and a diminished opportunity to challenge projects. Courts of course have not yet weighed in. ... ”  Read more from the National Law Review here: White House completes generational update of NEPA regulations

Trump rewrite of longstanding environmental law pushes climate change aside:  “A deep dive into President Trump’s rollback of a bedrock environmental law shows the extent to which the administration is dramatically narrowing the scope of government reviews for major projects by setting aside consideration of climate change and other impacts.  Trump on Wednesday announced a rewrite of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which for 50 years has required careful consideration of environmental and community impacts before approving new pipelines, highways, factories or drilling permits on federal lands. … ”  Read more from The Hill here: Trump rewrite of longstanding environmental law pushes climate change aside

As waters rise, so must we. New report calls for equitable solutions to urban flooding:  “Scientists tell us we have less than 10 years to avert irreversible and devastating impacts of the climate crisis. And yet, climate change is already hurling towards us with disproportionate impacts for low-income and communities of color. We see this frequently in the water sector, where climate impacts are felt first, and most often. From the record-breaking Midwestern floods of 2018 to the aftermath of Hurricanes Sandy, Katrina, Maria, and Harvey, floodwaters are rising around the nation. … ”  Read more from the US Water Alliance here: As waters rise, so must we. New report calls for equitable solutions to urban flooding

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In commentary today …

Racism is fueling disparities in access to safe water, say Senator Kamala Harris and Dolores Huerta:  They write, “As our nation grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, sky high unemployment and police brutality against Black people, America must recognize that these crises are interconnected and have devastating effects on communities of color.  People of color face unique obstacles when accessing necessities that many take for granted — things such as health care, jobs, good schools and healthy food. And especially clean water.  Safe water is a human right. Yet, in 2020, the United States remains divided between those with the privilege of having clean, running tap water and those who don’t. As we reckon with systemic racism, our fight for safe and affordable water cannot be disentangled from the fight for justice. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: Racism is fueling disparities in access to safe water, say Senator Kamala Harris and Dolores Huerta

It’s time to deliver on human right to clean, affordable water, say Susana De Anda and Allison Harvey Turner:  “Amid the deadly COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide uprisings for racial justice, California’s promise to fulfill the human right to water has never been more clear or urgent.  A year ago this month, the state legislature, led by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia and Senator Bill Monning, passed and Governor Newsom signed the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund (SB 200) into law, the result of years of frontline community organizing and advocacy. … ”  Read more from the Visalia Times-Delta here: Commentary: It’s time to deliver on human right to clean, affordable water

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In regional news and commentary today …

Water woes weighing on Marin County community of Inverness:  “As if pandemic, social unrest, and economic uncertainty weren’t enough, the community of Inverness is facing a water shortage.  The unincorporated census-designated place doesn’t have reservoirs. It doesn’t have wells, nor is it connected to a nearby water district. They only have small streams and rainfall, said Wade Holland, Inverness Public Utilities District Customer Services Manager.  “In the middle of May, we only had 23 inches for the year and our normal is 37,” said Holland. “We began to realize there was a problem but, there was still hope of getting more rain. We didn’t.” ... ”  Read more from KPIX Channel 5 here: Water woes weighing on Marin County community of Inverness

Marin commentary: A new vision for the coast:  Bill Johnston writes,The Marin ranch wars are underway over the seashore’s general management plan. Whoever loses will sue the other side, and so it will go on for many years. Yet if we look at the dairy and cattle sectors’ prospects and take a long view of coastal protection in the 21st century, we may be able to get beyond the issue entirely. The agricultural economy is changing, as are public preferences.  Since the early 20th century, Marin has led California in protecting open space for future generations: creating the Muir Woods National Monument in 1908, protecting the slopes of Mount Tamalpais, and stopping the filling of Richardson Bay and the Bolinas Lagoon. As a result of these and many other forward-looking actions, 84 percent of Marin’s undeveloped lands are protected as permanent open space or by strict agricultural zoning. But our economic and environmental challenges are changing. ... ”  Continue reading at the Point Reyes Light here: Marin commentary: A new vision for the coast

Lathrop seeks discharge of treated wastewater into San Joaquin River:  “The City of Lathrop wants to secure a permit that will allow for the discharge of treated wastewater into the San Joaquin River.  And on Monday they agreed to spend more than $400,000 to take steps towards achieving that longstanding goal.  As part of the consent calendar of items that were discussed and approved the Lathrop City Council agreed to sign three contracts with specialized consulting firms that will allow the processes involved with securing the permit – which the city believes will help stave off future sewer rate increases – to move forward. … ”  Read more from the Manteca Bulletin here: Lathrop seeks discharge of treated wastewater into San Joaquin River

North Coast farmers challenge Santa Cruz water rates:  “A Santa Cruz County Superior Court judge on Thursday denied an effort to short-circuit a civil lawsuit by North Coast farmers who are suing the City of Santa Cruz over the cost of its water.  Sunset Farms Inc. and Mario Rodoni, whose agricultural properties purchase irrigation water from the city, first filed suit against the city in June 2019. Judge Timothy Volkmann this week heard and ultimately dismissed a legal challenge to the complaint, made on the city’s behalf. … ”  Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here: North Coast farmers challenge Santa Cruz water rates

California investigating groundwater contamination at Santa Maria airport: “Levels of chemical agents tied to health problems were detected in soil and groundwater samples taken from the Santa Maria Public Airport in March, according to a preliminary state investigation report released in June.  Per- or polyfluoroalkys, also known perfluorinated alkylated substances (PFAS), were found in varying levels in samples taken from numerous sites at the airport, according to the report released by the State Water Resources Board on June 1. ... ”  Read more from the Santa Maria Times here: California investigating groundwater contamination at Santa Maria airport

Environmentalists fear oil company bankruptcy could strand SoCal’s idle wells:  “The owner of more than 2,000 idle oil wells in Southern California declared bankruptcy this week, raising fears among environmentalists that those wells might never be properly sealed.  The local petroleum industry has been in decline for years, because what little oil remains underground is expensive to extract. But as those old wells sit idle and unsealed, they present a potential pollution hazard to drinking water underground and people living nearby. ... ”  Read more from the LAist here: Environmentalists fear oil company bankruptcy could strand SoCal’s idle wells

Los Angeles County settles lawsuit over Devil’s Gate Dam project:  “After years of litigation, Los Angeles County reached a settlement over the Devil’s Gate Dam sediment removal project, agreeing to limit the long-term scope of the controversial “Big Dig.”  The settlement, which county supervisors approved Tuesday, requires the county Flood Control District to exclude 14 acres from the project, which has sought to remove up to 1.7 million cubic yards of sediment from behind the dam, according to the agreement. … ”  Read more from Outlook here: Los Angeles County settles lawsuit over Devil’s Gate Dam project

Crowds removing sea creatures from San Pedro tide pools put delicate ecosystem at risk:  “It was against the backdrop of a pounding surf one recent morning that almost 30 people had gathered on the cragged and slippery folds of White Point tidal pools in San Pedro and set to work with gardening spades, buckets and bags.  As ocean water rippled about their knees, they collected mussels, black turban snails, purple sea urchins and even a lobster. Then, as the tide began to rise, they trundled back to their cars hauling sacks, backpacks and five-gallon buckets filled with intertidal creatures.  “It’s a fun way to spend the day and grab a free dinner,” said Lisa Yan, 55, an unemployed casino card dealer. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Crowds removing sea creatures from San Pedro tide pools put delicate ecosystem at risk

Redlands water system undergoing bacteria tests after leak:  “A water line in Redlands that broke and spilled millions of gallons is now repaired, but a state requirement for two bacteria tests 16 hours apart means the system will not be back on line until sometime Friday, a city spokesman said Thursday, July 16.  Water remains safe to drink and pressure is good because of conservation by residents and pipeline workarounds, city spokesman Carl Baker said. An estimated 23,000 residents have been affected by the break that was first noticed early Monday, he said. ... ”  Read more from the Redlands Daily Facts here: Redlands water system undergoing bacteria tests after leak

Imperial Irrigation District statement on Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeals decision in the Michael Abatti, et al. v. Imperial Irrigation District case:  “This is a historic decision by the Court of Appeals whose ruling affirms IID’s position that it (IID) is the water rights holder for Imperial Valley and that there is no privileged class of water users; and that, furthermore, agricultural water users have the same rights to service that all other water users do,” stated Norma S. Galindo, IID board president.”

Click here to view/download court decision.

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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.

dmrpt-20200716

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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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