DAILY DIGEST, 7/27: Federal agency reaffirms support for how MID, TID want to operate Don Pedro Reservoir; Can the new Santa Ana wash plan protect habitat and human uses?; 106 years of water supply reliability; Peter Gleick on Donald Trump’s water problem; and more …

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On the calendar today …

ONLINE MEETING: CA Advisory Committee on Salmon and Steelhead Trout from 10am to 3:15pm.

Agenda items include an update on the status of the Steelhead Report and Restoration Program, an update on CDFW progress on CMP Action Items listed following the 10/24/19 CAC meeting, a review of the Department ‘s efforts with regard to Public Resource Code (Sec. 6217.1) to develop and maintain a program to restore salmon and steelhead resources, an update on Klamath Dam, Matilija Dam, and Eel River dam removal projects, and a Department update on the Annual Salmon Information Meeting and status of major salmon stocks and forecasts for 2020.  Click here for the full agenda and remote access information.

WEBINAR: California-Nevada Drought & Climate Outlook Webinar from 11am to 12pm.

The California-Nevada Drought Early Warning System (CA-NV DEWS) July 2020 Drought & Climate Outlook Webinar is part of a series of regular drought and climate outlook webinars designed to provide stakeholders and other interested parties in the region with timely information on current drought status and impacts, as well as a preview of current and developing climatic events (i.e. El Niño and La Niña). The webinar takes place at 11 a.m. PT, Monday July 27, 2020.  Click here to register.

In California water news today …

Federal agency reaffirms support for how MID, TID want to operate Don Pedro Reservoir

The owners of Don Pedro Reservoir have reached a key milestone in determining how much of its water goes to human uses and how much to Tuolumne River fish.  The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission stated its support once again for the fishery releases proposed by the Modesto and Turlock irrigation districts.  The action reaffirmed FERC findings in February 2019 that dismissed pleas from environmental and sport-fishing groups for much higher flows. … ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here:  Federal agency reaffirms support for how MID, TID want to operate Don Pedro Reservoir

Zone 7 Water Agency to buy Napa’s surplus

Zone 7 Water Agency directors authorized General Manager Valerie Pryor to negotiate an agreement with Napa County’s water division to buy some of its surplus water this year — a move that could open doors for similar deals in the future.  A need to meet local water demand for the next few years prompted Zone 7 to act at its regular meeting July 16. The State Water Project (SWP) has been unable to guarantee as much water as it has in the past. This year, the state’s allocation amounted to only 20%. In good years, the allocation has reached around 60%. The shortfall this year triggered a response to the Napa water offer, according to a report by Amparo Flores of the Zone 7 integrated planning division. … ”  Read more from the Livermore Independent here:  Zone 7 Water Agency to buy Napa’s surplus

Santa Ana: Can a new plan for the wash that runs between Redlands and Highland protect flowers, animals and mining?

The 4,800 acres where the Santa Ana River has rolled out of the steep mountains and meandered through flat, scrubby eastern San Bernardino Valley is rare, government agencies, conservationists and miners would agree.  Owned and managed by a patchwork of interests, until now there has been no unifying plan to balance the need for aggregate, groundwater recharge and habitat for endangered species, all of which have limited placement options. … ”  Read more from the San Bernardino Sun here:  Can a new plan for the wash that runs between Redlands and Highland protect flowers, animals and mining?

Brush fire burns Bolsa Chica wetlands in Huntington Beach

Firefighters quickly brought under control a brush fire that ignited Sunday in the Bolsa Chica wetlands area of Huntington Beach.  The fire near Pacific Coast Highway and south of Warner Avenue began at 4 p.m. and triggered a voluntary evacuation of the Brightwater neighborhood.  The blaze grew to 63 acres and was fully contained by 7 pm., said Huntington Beach Fire Department spokesman Eric Blaska.  The Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is a 1,300-acre coastal estuary known for its rare seabirds. It is still unknown how the fire might affect the wetlands’ delicate ecosystem. ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Brush fire burns Bolsa Chica wetlands in Huntington Beach

106 years of water supply reliability

Water supply reliability is a major policy and management goal in California, and in the rest of the world, today and since the beginning of time. The goals of reliable water supplies have grown from supporting human health, to supporting economic prosperity, to supporting healthy ecosystems, even when these goals conflict.  Since ancient times, water supply planning, engineering, and operations have sought to provide reliable water supplies. But until 106 years ago, there was little sophistication on exactly how reliable a water supply would be or should be. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here: 106 years of water supply reliability

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In national water news today …

How Cargill’s new science-based water targets go with the flow

Cargill, the giant food and ag conglomerate, last week announced a new set of 2030 corporate water targets, the latest to do so among firms in its sector.  But this was no me-too kind of endeavor. Rather, it put the company at the front of the pack, going well beyond its own operational footprint to engage its entire supply chain, and to do so using a novel science-based approach for water.  Specifically, Cargill said that by the end of the decade it would restore about 158 billion gallons of water, reduce about 5,500 tons of water pollutants and boost access to safe drinking water — all in what it refers to as priority watersheds, regions around the world where the company has a significant operational or supply-chain water footprint.  … ”  Read more from Green Biz here: How Cargill’s new science-based water targets go with the flow

Without water

The Navajo Nation occupies nearly 30,000 square miles of territory across parts of three Western states, bountiful in its beauty but often barren of the most basic needs.  COVID hit this community especially hard; infections per capita were higher than even New York’s at its peak.  While health officials warned the nation to wash our hands frequently, here that basic protection is a luxury. In more than a third of the homes, the taps are bone dry.  Not a drop. ... ”  Read more from CBS Sunday Morning here:  Without water

This week in water

A cave in Nevada is revealing some dire implications for the American Southwest.  A group of heavy hitters from the world of finance are warning of economic disaster without urgent action on climate change.  There’s a mysterious hole off the Gulf Coast of Florida about 150 feet beneath the water’s surface.  The amount of plastic trash piling up in our oceans every year is expected to nearly triple by 2040.  There might be a powerful treatment for COVID-19…in our oceans.” Listen to podcast/read stories here: This week in water

Trump talks up his rule-cutting, but courts saying otherwise

President Donald Trump is positioning himself as a champion regulation-cutter in the leadup to the Nov. 3 election, but in between his showy red-tape-cutting events, his deregulatory agenda is taking a beating in the courts.  One day, he’s hailing a massive rollback to one of the nation’s most important environmental laws, which he hopes will speed up gas pipelines and all kinds of other big projects. Another, he’s holding forth between two pickup trucks being used as props on the South Lawn of the White House — a blue one piled with weights identified as government regulations and a red one, of course, that has been unburdened. … ”  Read more from the AP here: Trump talks up his rule-cutting, but courts saying otherwise

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In commentary today …

Now is the time to create a shared vision for water in the San Joaquin Valley, says Tommy Esqueda, Associate Vice President for Water and Sustainability, Executive Director, California Water Institute

He writes, “Water.  Life as we know it cannot survive without water, and as we continue our exploration of space, scientists search for the presence of water on other planets. If there is water, there could be life, or maybe the planet could sustain life.   We search for usable water on other planets because we know it to be essential to sustaining life.  Despite the essential nature of water, in California, water management is so broken that every attempt to improve water management ends up in court. You would think that after more than 100 years of litigation, we would find a better – more lasting – approach to manage water for the world’s fifth-largest economy and most productive agricultural region.  Unfortunately, this is how we have conditioned ourselves to manage water in California – litigate first, litigate last, litigate always. … ”  Read more at Water Wrights here:  Now is the time to create a shared vision for water in the San Joaquin Valley

Message to PacifiCorp: Bring the dams down, says Steve Madrone

He writes, “One of the many things that make me proud to represent Humboldt County’s 5th District is the tenacity of my constituents in defending their cultures, economy, and natural resources. No effort embodies this spirit more than the fight to remove four aging Klamath River dams.  For decades, Klamath River Tribes, local commercial fishermen, and their allies have battled ferociously against a true corporate Goliath — Warren Buffett. Buffett’s investment company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns PacifiCorp, which in turn owns the Klamath River dams. … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Herald here: Message to PacifiCorp: Bring the dams down

Peter Gleick on Donald Trump’s water problem

He writes, “There must be something seriously wrong with the plumbing in the White House or at Mar-a-Lago. For the past few months, Donald Trump has complained about having to flush “toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once” and showers, faucets, and dishwashers that didn’t work, to the amusement of his audiences and the evening talk shows. Last week, on the White House lawn, he again lambasted showers and dishwashers: “So shower heads, you take a shower, the water doesn’t come out. You wanna wash your hands, the water doesn’t come out. So what do you do? You just stand there longer, or you take a shower longer because my hair … I don’t know about you but my hair has to be perfect, perfect.” … ”  Continue reading at Newsday here: Peter Gleick on Donald Trump’s water problem

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Daily Digest, weekend edition …

Lake Tahoe from the top of Mount Tallac, photo by Jonathan Cook-Fisher

In California water news this weekend …

  • Feinstein bill would fix San Joaquin Valley canals;
  • New high-tech system protects Lake Tahoe from invasive species;
  • Scientists search for source of microplastics in the Lake Tahoe Basin and nearby Sierra;
  • California had a plan to bring clean water to a million people. Then the pandemic hit;
  • Bill that allows California to apply for swamp rat-eradication funding passes House;
  • THE ECONEWS REPORT: A State of the Klamath Update: A Spirited Discussion on What That Big FERC Decision Means;
  • For many on the Navajo Nation, getting water requires travel, a wait in long lines and lots of patience;
  • And lastly … You’d never guess nestled within this ordinary beige building is the future of farming;
  • And more …

Click here for the Daily Digest, weekend edition.

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

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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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