DAILY DIGEST, 9/10: Climate change may bring unexpected benefits to the Delta; CA’s four water entities: what’s the difference?; Lawmakers plead for federal help as Western fires rage; 6 Western states blast Utah plan to tap Colorado River water; and more …



On the calendar today …

FREE WEBINAR: What is Integrated Regional Water Management? from 10am to 12:15pm

As a preview to the Statewide Virtual Summit, “Ensuring Equitable Engagement in Regional Water Planning” scheduled for October 8th, 13th and 14th, the Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Roundtable of Regions invites you to join us to learn more about the benefits of regional planning and who should participate in IRWM; how to participate in your region’s IRWM; and the role of the IRWM Roundtable of Regions and their “Disadvantaged Communities Working Group”.  The webinar will also feature local representatives from three IRWM regions who will share their perspectives on the benefits, successes, and challenges of participating in their region’s IRWM program.  Click here to register.

FREE WEBINAR: How eDNA and population genetic surveys support fisheries management from 12pm to 12:30pm

Dan Bingham of Cramer Fish Sciences will discuss how eDNA and population genetics surveys support fisheries management.  Topics include Environmental DNA: Procedural basics and recommended uses, How to maximize probability of detection for rare organisms, How to evaluate community composition, How eDNA informs management decisions; and Population genetics: Fundamentals of population genetic surveys, How many adults of a specific life history return (e.g., spring-run)?, How to evaluate VSP criteria, How many adults spawn successfully?, How do management actions affect reproductive success?  Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

In California water news today …

Climate change may bring unexpected benefits to San Francisco Bay-Delta

The San Francisco Bay-Delta is literally threatened from all sides: rising sea levels from the ocean, disruptions to sediment supply from upstream, and within the Bay-Delta itself, development and other land use changes have left only a tiny fraction (5%) of marshland untouched.  Under climate change, coastal wetlands across the world, like the Bay-Delta, are disappearing. The rivers that feed coastal wetlands sediment which provide habitat for wildlife and form the structure of the ecosystem are transporting about a third less sediment, on average. Less sediment supply contributes to increased erosion of the ecosystem. … ”  Read more from Forbes here:  Climate change may bring unexpected benefits to San Francisco Bay-Delta

California’s four water entities: what’s the difference?

California has four water-related entities: California Water Commission, California Water Quality Monitoring Council, Department of Water Resources, State Water Resources Control Board. What are the differences? … ”  Read more from the California Globe here:  California’s four water entities: what’s the difference?

Audio: Almond update: irrigation research plans for future of water management

It’s safe to assume that growers will rely more and more on artificial intelligence for their water needs as the industry pushes towards the year 2025. The Almond Board of California has developed a strategic plan for irrigation research that will support that growth.   ABC’s Associate Director of Agricultural Research Sebastian Saa said that plan includes furthering actual evapotranspiration and spatial variability technology and impelling integration in the industry. Saa said ABC is accepting proposals next week for their next round of research funding to fall in line with their strategic plan.”  Listen to the show from Ag Net West here: Audio: Almond update: irrigation research plans for future of water management

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In California wildfire news …

U.S. Forest Service closes all national forests in California over fire danger

Because of what the U.S. Forest Service calls “unprecedented and historic fire conditions” throughout California, the forest service is closing all national forests in the state.  The forest service’s Pacific Southwest Region announced Wednesday the temporary closure of 10 national forests throughout California, in additional to the eight national forests already closed because of wildfires. … ”  Read more from CBS Sacramento here: U.S. Forest Service closes all national forests in California over fire danger

Oregon’s congressional delegation urged President Trump yesterday to approve the state’s request for an emergency declaration to help with wildfire recovery, as Western blazes reignited congressional debates over managing fire-prone lands.  “Given the severity and speed in which these fires are spreading across the state, we urge you to expedite the declaration process to ensure that local communities have the resources they need to respond to and recover quickly from these devastating wildfires,” said Democratic Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, as well as House members — four Democrats and Republican Rep. Greg Walden — in letter to Trump. … ”  Read more from E&E News here:  Lawmakers plead for federal help as Western fires rage

Wildfires have burned record acreage in California. Here’s where the biggest fires are

Wildfires raged unchecked in California and other western states on Wednesday, with gusty winds forecast to drive flames into new ferocity.  Diablo winds in Northern California and Santa Ana winds in the south state were stoking unprecedented numbers of fires that have already grown explosively.  “Yesterday, and overnight, wind conditions allowed many fires to grow significantly with extreme fire behavior,” said Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant in a Wednesday morning statewide update. “While containment on many of last month’s lightning fires grows closer, several new wildfires ignited and were fanned by strong gusty winds.” … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Wildfires have burned record acreage in California. Here’s where the biggest fires are

Devastating wildfire ‘anatomy’ explained

Every year wildfires leave a trail of devastation across parts of the U.S. but there’s more to the science behind wildfires and their deadly “anatomy.”  Wildland fires “are fires that occur on undeveloped land such as forests, prairies and shrublands; they include both wildfires and prescribed fires,” according to the United States Geological Survey.  Citing 2000 to 2017 data based on Wildland Fire Management Information (WFMI), and the U.S. Forest Service Research Data Archive, the National Park Service reports that nearly 85% of wildland fires in the U.S. are caused by humans. … ”  Read more from Fox News here:  Devastating wildfire ‘anatomy’ explained

Think the 2020 California wildfires are bad? Experts see worse natural disasters in future

A record amount of California is burning, spurred by a nearly 20-year mega-drought. To the north, parts of Oregon that don’t usually catch fire are in flames.  The most recent fires, including the Bear Fire burning in Northern California and the Creek Fire northeast of Fresno have been coupled with intense smoke, giving the skies above the Bay Area and other parts of the west an ominous orange hue. … ”  Read more from CBS Bay Area here:  Think the 2020 California wildfires are bad? Experts see worse natural disasters in future

In regional water news and commentary today …

Pleasanton City Council addresses water well issue

The Pleasanton City Council recently moved forward on a plan to mend a contaminated groundwater well and prepare to meet future water quality regulations.  The council unanimously approved a contract with Carollo Engineers in the amount of $437,374 to prepare a basis of design report for Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) treatment and the rehabilitation of city-owned and -operated wells 5, 6 and 8. … ”  Read more from the Livermore Independent here: Pleasanton City Council addresses water well issue

San Lorenzo Valley Water District rebuilds after ‘most expensive disaster in history’

Emergency repairs are underway after a historic fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains wreaked havoc on the San Lorenzo Valley’s water infrastructure.  The CZU August Lightning Complex fire caused an estimated $11 million in damage to pipes, meters, mains, tanks and other San Lorenzo Valley Water District infrastructure and equipment, according to District Manager Rick Rogers.  “This will be our most expensive disaster in history,” Rogers said. … ”  Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here:  San Lorenzo Valley Water District rebuilds after ‘most expensive disaster in history’

City of Anaheim, Brown and Caldwell to partner on PFAS removal project

The City of Anaheim, California, has enlisted Brown and Caldwell to provide owner advisory services for the design-build delivery of multiple groundwater treatment plants. The new facilities will play a key role in Anaheim’s compliance with recent state Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) regulations and ensure water supplies continue to meet state and federal quality standards.  Following the nation’s largest PFAS pilot program undertaken by the Orange County Water District to identify a local remedy to remove trace amounts of the manmade chemicals from groundwater, Anaheim is installing multiple groundwater treatment plants to eliminate PFAS from local groundwater supplies. … ”  Read more from Brown & Caldwell here:  City of Anaheim, Brown and Caldwell to partner on PFAS removal project

Have an idea for how to fix the Salton Sea? The state wants your input this month

Do you have an idea for how to address the public health and environmental crises around the Salton Sea? Are you concerned the state is far behind on implementing solutions? You can let them know this month.  The California Natural Resources Agency announced it will be hosting a new round of public engagement sessions in September to get input to assist in the development of wildlife habitat restoration and dust suppression projects for the Salton Sea Management Program’s 10-year plan. … ”  Read more from the Desert Sun here:  Have an idea for how to fix the Salton Sea? The state wants your input this month

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Along the Colorado River …

6 Western states blast Utah plan to tap Colorado River water

Six states in the U.S. West that rely on the Colorado River to sustain cities and farms rebuked a plan to build an underground pipeline that would transport billions of gallons of water through the desert to southwest Utah.  In a joint letter Tuesday, water officials from Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming urged the U.S. government to halt the approval process for the project, which would bring water 140 miles (225 km) from Lake Powell in northern Arizona to the growing area surrounding St. George, Utah.  If the approval moves forward, state water leaders wrote, “multiyear litigation” would likely be inevitable and could complicate negotiations over the future of the Colorado River, which serves 40 million people but faces threats from persistent drought and climate change that are dwindling the supply of water. … ”  Read more from ABC News here: 6 Western states blast Utah plan to tap Colorado River water

Colorado River flow now part of caddisfly battle in Bullhead City

Bullhead City is located along the Colorado River, across from Laughlin, Nevada.  The area is known as a place to take advantage of Arizona’s mild winters, to gamble or spend time along the river.  But it had a problem. Twice a year, caddisflies emerge from the river in swarms.  “They don’t bite. They don’t sting. They just are a nuisance. They get into people’s food. They get into people’s ears, noses. They’re all over you,” said Michael Cavallaro, a pest control expert for Bullhead City. … ”  Read more from KJZZ here: Colorado River flow now part of caddisfly battle in Bullhead City

Arizona’s extreme drought continues

The lack of rain from Arizona’s summer monsoon is putting that state in dangerous territory when it come to the drought.  “This year, the monsoon has just really not materialized much rainfall for the region. And so, that’s allowing us to be very very dry on top of record warmth across, not just Phoenix but across much the entire state” said Larry Hopper, meteorologist for the National Weather Service. … ”  Read more from the Arizona Republic here:  Arizona’s extreme drought continues

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In national water news today …

Companies Eager to ‘Lock In’ Trump-Era Water Rule Exemptions

Coal miners, stone quarrying companies, and other businesses are rushing to lock down any exemptions to federal water jurisdiction for at least five years, under changes the Trump administration recently made to the nation’s water rule.  Interviews and a Bloomberg Law analysis of agency data show the Army Corps of Engineers is making regulatory decisions, called jurisdictional determinations, with ease and speed since the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (RIN: 2040-AF75) took effect June 22 all across the country, save Colorado where a federal court stayed it. … ”  Read more from Bloomberg Law here:  Companies Eager to ‘Lock In’ Trump-Era Water Rule Exemptions

Top EPA lawyer to step down

Matthew Leopold, the top lawyer at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said in a letter on Thursday that he will resign.  “Today, I’m announcing my intent to step down as General Counsel of EPA to return to private practice. To serve the American people in this critical role for more than two and a half years has been a tremendous honor,” Leopold wrote to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. Following Leopold’s departure, Deputy General Counsel David Fotouhi will become the agency’s acting general counsel, according to EPA spokesperson Molly Block.  … ”  Read more from The Hill here:  Top EPA lawyer to step down

What are drainage tiles and why are they an environmental issue?

On the outside, farming may seem simple. You plant something, watch it grow, and then harvest it. Farmers wish it were so easy. But in reality, it is a complex science spanning from what variety you plant and when you plant it to what nutrients you give it.  One part of that complicated process has to do with what is happening underneath the soil. That’s where drainage tiles come in. A reader named Erin asked us to help her understand how this system works and what it does. Even more, she wanted to know what implications drain tiles have on the environment and water quality.  I looked through some studies and spoke with some researchers as well as agricultural officials to get their perspective. Here’s what I learned. ... ”  Read more from the Indy Star here: What are drainage tiles and why are they an environmental issue?

Adapting to the ‘new normal’ in a post-COVID water sector

Beyond all the health-related impacts of the coronavirus pandemic — masks, social distancing, work from home scheduling, etc. — there have been some ripple effects to the daily operations and related employment conditions for water-treatment personnel. This synopsis of experiences provides perspective and outlines some opportunities and approaches for water-industry professionals to adopt if they have not already done so as part of the post-COVID ‘new normal’. … ”  Read more from Water Online here: Adapting to the ‘new normal’ in a post-COVID water sector

Study of ocean salinity reveals amped-up global water cycle

There is something in the water on planet Earth.  A study published Wednesday reveals climate change has amplified the water cycle, which explains the more frequent extreme weather patterns in recent years.  The water cycle is the continuous movement of water on Earth. It’s the naturally occurring pattern of rain, runoff, evaporation and repeat, but that cycle is being thrown for a loop as Earth heats up according to the study published in the Journal of Climate.   Saltwater and freshwater have been evaporating at higher rates in the last 50 years while rainfall has increased, according to the study authors. … ”  Read more from Courthouse News Service here: Study of ocean salinity reveals amped-up global water cycle

La Nina develops during peak hurricane season

A La Nina climate pattern has developed and is likely to persist through the winter, according to an advisory issued today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.  La Nina  — translated from Spanish as “little girl”— is a natural ocean-atmospheric phenomenon marked by cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures across the central and eastern Pacific Ocean near the equator, the opposite of El Nino (“little boy”) which features warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in that region. … ”  Read more from Climate.gov here: La Nina develops during peak hurricane season

Summer 2020 ranked as one of the hottest on record for U.S.

August 2020 will be remembered for its extreme heat and violent weather: The U.S. endured heat waves, hurricanes, a devastating derecho and raging wildfires out West.  Meteorological summer — June through August’s end — was a standout: It ranked 4th hottest and in the driest one-third of all summers in the historical record.  Here are more highlights from NOAA’s latest monthly U.S. climate report … ”  Read more from Climate.gov here:  Summer 2020 ranked as one of the hottest on record for U.S.

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Today’s featured articles …

SCIENCE NEWS: Climate change could deliver more sediment and pollution to the Delta; Improving our odds; Salmon subsidies get tossed aside; and more …

HISTORY: Delta Science Program: 10 Years On

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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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