DAILY DIGEST, 9/8: More than 2 million acres burned in CA; Bill will strengthen and expand Carlsbad fish hatchery program; Broad ‘fishnet’ PFAS testing worries industry, helps regulators; and more …



On the calendar today …

FREE WEBINAR: Erin Brockovich: Superman’s Not Coming from 9:30 to 10:30am

Superman isn’t coming to protect our water or environment, writes Brockovich in her latest book — and neither are corporations, politicians or the “gutted” EPA. How can individuals and communities take collective action to safeguard our environment and our resources? What are today’s leading activists doing to create change that lasts?  Join us for a conversation on speaking truth to power with Erin Brockovich, author of Superman’s Not Coming: Our National Water Crisis and What We the People Can Do About It.  Presented by the Commonwealth Club. Click here to register.

In California water news today …

More than 2 million acres – a modern-day record – have burned in California so far in 2020

More than 2 million acres of California have burned since the first of the year, a record since the agency began gathering such information from all areas in 1987, the State fire agency Cal Fire said Sunday.  Sunday morning, the burned acreage since Jan. 1 was at 2,094,955, agency spokeswoman Lynne Tolmachoff. Since then, a new fire broke out in the Angeles National Forest, she said.  “The number is certain to grow,” she said of the acreage tally. … ”  Read more from the Press-Enterprise here:  More than 2 million acres – a modern-day record – have burned in California so far in 2020

Bill will strengthen and expand Carlsbad fish hatchery program

A bill passed by the state Legislature and headed to the governor’s desk for his signature will strengthen and expand a marine fish hatchery program in Carlsbad, the only one of its kind on the West Coast.  The new legislation by Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Horvath will update the program and allow it to breed more of the native California species that have been depleted by commercial and recreational fishing over the years. … ”  Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here: Bill will strengthen and expand Carlsbad fish hatchery program

California’s three Delta entities: what’s the difference?

California has three Delta-related entities: Delta Protection Commission, Delta Protection Advisory Committee, and Delate Stewardship Council. What’s the difference? ”  Read more from the California Globe here: California’s three Delta entities: what’s the difference?

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In regional water news and commentary today …

Santa Rosa orders sudden curtailment for farm irrigators after miscalculation on recycled water supply

Doug Beretta is facing a water crisis this summer that he could not anticipate.  The Sonoma County organic dairy owner typically irrigates 200 acres of hay with about 80 million gallons a year of recycled wastewater from Santa Rosa’s regional plant on Llano Road. Beretta, who first turned to recycled water nearly four decades ago as a dry-season source, jokes that during particularly dry times, he asks his city friends to “just flush your toilets twice, so I can irrigate.“ … ”  Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here: Santa Rosa orders sudden curtailment for farm irrigators after miscalculation on recycled water supply

Point Reyes: California wildfires and dwindling water supply threatening Tule elk

Wildlife advocates say dwindling water supply, heat and wildfire are threatening hundreds of Tule elk at the Point Reyes National Seashore.  The area is home to several herds of elk, a population that is currently estimated at 445.  “We’re concerned that the elk are going to die. There are almost 500 in there and five years ago, 250 of the 500 died because of a lack of water,” says Jim Coda, a wildlife photographer who frequents the area. … ”  Read more from KTVU here: California wildfires and dwindling water supply threatening Tule elk

Benicia completes water, wastewater master plans

Water and wastewater master plans for Benicia have been completed.  Stantex, an engineering, architecture and consulting firm with headquarters in Edmonton, Canada, did the work for the city. The company assessed the condition of the infrastructure and provided guidance for maintenance and future needs. … ”  Read more from the Daily Republic here:  Benicia completes water, wastewater master plans

With Baylands under flood threat, Palo Alto explores projects to address sea level rise

If current predictions hold, the entire Palo Alto Baylands could be submerged by the middle of the century because of sea level rise, a destructive predicament that would threaten both the sensitive habitat and the critical infrastructure in the nature preserve.  To prepare for rising tides, the city is moving ahead with the creation of a new Sea Level Adaptation Plan, a document that will consider upgrades to vulnerable infrastructure, a risk assessment of all structures near flood-prone areas and strategies that new developments would have to adopt as they adapt to a wetter reality. It is also pushing forward with plans on a levee project that would use treated wastewater from the nearby treatment plant to support a newly created nature habitat in the transition zone between the tidal area and the terrestrial uplands area. … ”  Read more from Palo Alto Online here: With Baylands under flood threat, Palo Alto explores projects to address sea level rise

Water recycling project fits needs on Monterey Peninsula better than proposed desalination plant, says Bruce Delgado

He writes, “Expansion of the Pure Water Monterey recycled water project is the best option for the Monterey region to meet its future water supply needs. Unfortunately, California American Water Co., a private water supplier, is discrediting the project in the hopes of instead getting approval for their much more costly, oversized and environmentally harmful groundwater desalination project to be built in, around and through the city of Marina.  Regulators at the Coastal Commission, State Lands Commission, State Water Resources Control Board and other permitting agencies should not approve the California American Water desal proposal, and instead allow the Monterey region to finally focus fully on the more realistic, more responsible recycled water supply solution. … ”  Read more from Cal Matters here:  Water recycling project fits needs on Monterey Peninsula better than proposed desalination plant

Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors delays decision on Caltrans Gaviota Culvert Project appeal

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors has delayed a decision on the Caltrans Gaviota Culvert project after an appeal hearing, and will likely deny the project at another meeting later this month.  In May, the county Planning Commission approved Caltrans’ plan to build a new culvert near Canada del Barro off the Gaviota Coast due to degradation of the existing culvert in the area.  The Gaviota Coast Conservancy and the Coastal Ranches Conservancy appealed the project, alleging it has not been designed to accommodate fish and wildlife in the area and does not properly mitigate the adverse impacts. … ”  Read more from Noozhawk here: Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors delays decision on Caltrans Gaviota Culvert Project appeal

A new kind of college exam: UCSD is testing sewage for COVID-19

“Turds tell tales, and UC San Diego is listening.  As the beginning of the school year nears, the university is preparing to ramp up its testing of sewage for the coronavirus. The goal: Monitor the progress of the pandemic on campus and catch outbreaks before it’s too late to control them. Along those lines, UCSD on Saturday sent out its first campus-wide email alert about the detection of the virus in sewage from one of its seven colleges. … ”  Read more from the Voice of San Diego here: A new kind of college exam: UCSD is testing sewage for COVID-19

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Along the Colorado River …

Arizona endorses plan to sell Colorado River water to suburb

The Arizona Department of Water Resources endorsed a company’s proposal to sell water from farmland near the Colorado River to a a fast-growing Phoenix suburb despite complaints of possible negative effects for communities along the river.  The state agency recommended approval of the water sale by GSC Farm LLC to the Queen Creek suburb, The Arizona Republic reported Saturday. … ”  Read more from the Las Vegas Sun here:  Arizona endorses plan to sell Colorado River water to suburb

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In national water news today …

Broad ‘fishnet’ PFAS testing worries industry, helps regulators

North Carolina, the EPA, and an international standards organization want to use a method for detecting known and unknown “forever chemicals” in water that the chemical industry opposes for being too broad.  The test they want to use measures total organic fluorine amounts in water and can provide a broader picture of all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in a sample instead of testing for one or a few substances at a time.  By removing the need to test for individual PFAS, states may be able to speed up the process for regulating groups of the chemicals, some of which have been linked to cancer. … ”  Read more from Bloomberg Law here:  Broad ‘fishnet’ PFAS testing worries industry, helps regulators

Americans back tough limits on building in fire and flood zones

Americans support far more aggressive government regulation to fight the effects of climate change than elected officials have been willing to pursue so far, new research shows, including outright bans on building in flood- or fire-prone areas — a level of restrictiveness almost unheard-of in the United States.  The findings suggest that the public’s appetite for government action to prepare for global warming is shifting as natural disasters worsen. … ”  Read more from the New York Times here:  Americans back tough limits on building in fire and flood zones

This week in water

Will forests recover after recent wildfires? A new study says some won’t.  There’s a dispute brewing on the U.S.-Mexico border that has nothing to do with immigration—and everything to do with water.  Mites might be in a mite-y big bit of trouble with big implications for the planet.  Elephants have been dying in southern Africa recently, and the cause could be linked to water.  Just how massive was the megalodon shark that lived over two million years ago? Scientists think they finally know.”  Read stories/listen to podcast here: This week in water

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In commentary today …

Garth Stapley: `Until the Last Drop’ flows nimbly through California’s water wars

He writes, “The threat of losing a substantial amount of river water that our farmers depend on was so startling in the summer of 2018 that 1,500 people from Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced counties flocked to a well-orchestrated rally in Sacramento. Our elected officials, farmers and regular people vented anger at the proposed “water grab” while the Atwater High marching band brought an air of protest pomp.  Two years later, the water wars are far from over, a point made clear in a just-released feature-length documentary, “Until the Last Drop.” … ”  Continue reading at the Modesto Bee here: Garth Stapley: `Until the Last Drop’ flows nimbly through California’s water wars

Read more here: https://www.modbee.com/opinion/garth-stapley/article245483170.html#storylink=cpy

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Weekend Daily Digest …

This weekend in California water news …

  • Climate change could deliver more sediment and pollution to the San Francisco Bay-Delta
  • Rep. TJ Cox introduces Western Water Storage Infrastructure Act
  • MID-funded documentary explores fishery issues on Tuolumne and nearby rivers
  • California’s three fish and wildlife entities: what’s the difference?
  • Animal group accuses Foster Farms of wasting water to kill chickens
  • ‘Compound climate events’ wallop California
  • If a forest burns in a fire, does it return to normal?
  • California Supreme Courts holds categorical classification of well permits as exclusively “ministerial” does not hold water
  • Reclamation augments Klamath Project water supplies to benefit water users and wildlife refuges
  • Coming home to the Klamath
  • Different technologies help address Lake Tahoe clarity
  • Los Angeles: Construction on major Valley water projects close to beginning
  • Trump admin proposal could shrink critical habitat
  • Judge considers freezing ‘political’ environmental review rule
  • And more …

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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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