DAILY DIGEST, 10/28: Fresno River rights to be decided; 5 disasters waiting to happen (1 in CA); Winter drought relief unlikely in Western U.S.; L.A. Council approves $50 million for utility payment assistance program; and more …



On the calendar today …

MEETING: Delta Conservancy Board from 9am to 1pm.

Agenda items include updates on Prop 1, Prop 68, Nutria eradication program, Delta Stewardship Council, Delta Protection Commission, Delta Conveyance Project, EcoRestore.  Click here for the agenda and remote access instructions.

WEBINAR: Breweries and Reuse – Reuse is Brewing Up from 11am to 12pm

The use of purified recycled water to brew beer has been an effective public education tool, but what is the market outlook for growth? Join us to learn about the market drivers and business strategies for breweries and water reuse providers within the beer brewing market. This presentation will provide, in dollars, a market size for water reuse technology providers and brewers as well as the outlook for this market. This information will help companies and municipalities plan for the future and develop comprehensive relationships.  Click here to register.

FREE WEBINAR: Health Effects Associated with Harmful Algal Blooms and Algal Toxins from 11am to 12pm

Presented by the EPA.  Click here to register.

WEBINAR: Regulating Groundwater Quality Across SGMA, CV-Salts, and ILRP from 12pm to 1:30pm

Join us for a panel discussion on how the Irrigated Lands Program (ILRP), the Central Valley Salinity Alternatives for Long-Term Sustainability (CV-Salts) initiative, and Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) can work together to support water quality improvements across the San Joaquin Valley.  Click here to register.

SO CAL WATER DIALOG: Update on the proposed Regional Recycled Water Program: A New Source of Water for Southern California from 12pm to 1:30pm

For the first time ever, Metropolitan is making a major investment in its own water recycling program to diversify Southern California’s water supply portfolio and ensure water reliability for the future.  Please join us to learn more about the proposed Regional Recycled Water Program including progress to-date, unique partnerships, exciting next steps, and opportunities to support this effort.  Click here to register.

WEBINAR: Water Markets, SGMA & California’s First Open-Source Water Accounting and Trading Platform from 12pm to 1:30pm

Learn about California’s water market and a new innovative tool to help California water agencies address the landmark Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) by enabling groundwater users to track, use and trade their water supplies.  Click here to register.

WEBINAR: Groundwater Control for Construction Projects from 12pm to 1pm

This GRA webinar will give you an understanding of how groundwater control plays a key part in many construction and tunneling projects. The presentation will discuss groundwater problems that may be encountered in excavations, including running sands, excessive ground loss, base heave and collapse of excavations, resulting in additional costs and time delays.  Click here to register.

In California water news today …

Historic move: Fresno River rights to be decided

If all you’ve ever seen of the Fresno River is through Madera as you drive over it on Highway 99, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s just a weed-infested, shopping cart collector rather than a real river.  But there’s a lot to this unobtrusive waterway, which just made history as the first river in 40 years about to go through a rights settlement under the State Water Resources Control Board.  The Fresno has it all — allegations of self-dealing, accusations of outright theft, inflated rights, hoarding and other alleged skullduggery — all on a stubby, 53-mile stretch of the river. … ”  Read more from SJV Water here:  Historic move: Fresno River rights to be decided

RELATED CONTENT:  MEETING: State Water Board grants petition for statutory adjudication of the Fresno River watershed, from Maven’s Notebook

Disasters waiting to happen: 5 major infrastructure projects in need of repair

There’s nothing quite like an infrastructure disaster to get the American public’s attention, whether it is the discovery of a drinking water system with dangerous levels of lead in Flint, Michigan, or a near-catastrophic dam failure in Oroville, California.  In fact, immediately after such an event, views on the American Society of Civil Engineers’ infrastructure report card website increase as the public tries to put such failures into context, said Emily Feenstra, ASCE managing director of government relations and infrastructure initiatives. … ”  One of the five is in California.  Read more from Construction Dive here:  Disasters waiting to happen: 5 major infrastructure projects in need of repair

5 reasons to rethink the future of dams

The tide has shifted on dams. Once a monument to our engineering prowess, there’s now widespread acknowledgment that dam-building comes with a long list of harms. Some of those can be reversed, as shown by the 1,200 dam removals in the past 20 years.  But the future of our existing dams, including 2,500 hydroelectric facilities, is a complicated issue in the age of climate change. Dams have altered river flows, changed aquatic habitat, decimated fish populations, and curtailed cultural and treaty resources for tribes. But does the low-carbon power dams produce have a role in our energy transition? … ”  Read more from the Revelator here: 5 reasons to rethink the future of dams

Winter drought relief unlikely in Western U.S.

This winter is likely to be warmer and drier than average for most of the continental United States, in line with the conditions of a typical La Niña year. This information is according to the most recent NOAA seasonal forecast released on 15 October.  Like the past 2 years, more than two thirds of the continental United States, northern and western Alaska, and Hawaii will likely experience hotter than average temperatures through January 2021. Southern Alaska and states along the northern U.S. border may see colder than average temperatures, and no confident temperature forecast can be made for the remaining regions. … ”  Read more from EOS here:  Winter drought relief unlikely in Western U.S.

SEE ALSOAnother drought year a real possibility, from the Lake County Bee

Off the charts:  Dryness stat shows why West is burning

On Aug. 3, researchers at the Plumas National Forest in Northern California received a startling result: Sticks and logs they gathered from the forest floor to assess wildfire risk had a moisture level of just 2%.  The reading was the lowest ever recorded in 15 years of measurements at a site in the forest’s southwest corner. It also was a warning: The area was tinderbox-dry and primed to burn.  Two weeks later, when lightning struck the region, the dry forest helped propel one of the largest and deadliest wildfires in California history, killing 15 people as it consumed an area the size of Los Angeles. ... ”  Read more from E&E News here: Off the charts:  Dryness stat shows why West is burning

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In regional water news and commentary today …

Tehama County: Groundwater Sustainability Plan outreach meetings get underway

The first round of public outreach meetings for the Groundwater Sustainability Plan kicked off Thursday with a virtual meeting via Zoom.  The plan, which is the undertaking of the Tehama County Groundwater Sustainability Agency, is a part of meeting the requirements of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act passed into law in 2014, said Groundwater Commission Chairman Clay Parker.  The meeting, and additional tailgate meetings planned for October, are the first step of public outreach to determine what information is still needed, what is done and what is next in the plan, said Project Manager Ryan Teubert. … ”  Read more from the Red Bluff Daily News here:  Groundwater Sustainability Plan outreach meetings get underway

Placer County: Go with the flow — SMUD’s latest powerhouse nearly operational

“Drive down a winding dirt road at the bottom of a very steep canyon and you’ll find one of the newest additions to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s hydroelectric power generating capabilities.  Located right below Slab Creek Dam and Reservoir and priced at $16.5 million, including $1.5 million in U.S. Department of Energy grant funding, the project has two main functions.  One includes a recreational flow release on a nine-mile stretch below the reservoir that will improve boating, rafting and kayaking opportunities rather than relying on water spills over the dam to fill the river. The other release feeds water into the powerhouse to drive the turbine. … ”  Read more from the Mountain Democrat here:  Placer County: Go with the flow — SMUD’s latest powerhouse nearly operational

‘Not out of the woods’: Latest Bay Area fire threat eases, but dry weather isn’t over

The latest wildfire scare appears to be over as offshore winds subside in Northern California, but a lingering pattern of hot, dry weather suggests the threat of new blazes remains for firefighters and beleaguered residents.  No more extreme fire weather is expected in the next couple of weeks, climate scientists and meteorologists said, but there isn’t any rain in the forecast either, and that troubling scenario could linger throughout much of November, possibly even past Thanksgiving. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  ‘Not out of the woods’: Latest Bay Area fire threat eases, but dry weather isn’t over

L.A. Council approves $50 million for utility payment assistance program

The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday, Oct. 27, to provide a total of $50 million in federal relief funding to assist low-income residents with utility costs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  “Our low-wage workers continue to suffer in silence,” said Council President Martinez, who authored the motion to create the program. “They are the first to put themselves and their families at risk through their essential work. I am unapologetically dedicated during this pandemic to help them get whatever resources they need to hang on and stay in their homes.” … ”  Read more from the Daily Breeze here: L.A. Council approves $50 million for utility payment assistance program

Long Beach inches closer to climate action and adaptation plan approval

A plan calling for everything from alternative fuel vehicles to an approach of “managed retreat” from the coast is expected to come before the Long Beach City Council in December of January for final approval.  The council received an update on the plan last Thursday, Oct. 20.  Work began in 2016 on the city’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP). It is designed to meet greenhouse gas reduction levels mandated by the state, address expected sea level rise and make Long Beach a sustainable city. … ”  Read more from the Grunion Gazette here: Long Beach inches closer to climate action and adaptation plan approval

Sand retention concepts studied for Oceanside

Consultants are taking a closer look at six preliminary concepts for replenishing and retaining sand on Oceanside’s eroding beaches.  “These concepts include sand-bypass systems, environmentally sensitive retention devices such as groins and artificial reefs, and the exploration of other potential long-term sand sources,” Oceanside Public Works Director Kiel Koger said by email recently. … ”  Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here:  Sand retention concepts studied for Oceanside

San Diego scientists track the region’s biggest rainmakers

San Diego researchers are getting a better understanding of the storm systems that bring the region most of its rain and they are getting that information the old fashion way — from weather balloons.  Last March, gray rain-filled skies seemed to dip into the ocean as a storm moved across the region.  It was a busy 24 hours for Chad Hecht, Allison Michaelis, and Brian Kawzenuk. … ”  Read more from KPBS here:  San Diego scientists track the region’s biggest rainmakers

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Along the Colorado River …

Forecasting water supply in Colorado River may benefit water resource management

What if I purchase an early season ski pass– will it pay off with good snow this winter? Yoshimitsu Chikamoto, a climate scientist at Utah State University Utah had an idea to use climate modeling to help him decide.  Weather forecasting targets a short term, days to weeks, mostly based on atmospheric conditions. Forecasting climate patterns a year in advance is more complex, said Chikamoto. … ”  Read more from Utah Public Radio here: Forecasting water supply in Colorado River may benefit water resource management

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In national water news today …

President Trump takes action to modernize America’s water resource management and infrastructure

To address America’s challenges, President Trump takes a common sense, straightforward approach. Rather than following bureaucratic, outdated, and inefficient processes, President Trump takes action to drive decision making that achieves practical results. This includes changing the Federal Government’s approach to managing our Nation’s water resources. … ”  Read more from the White House here: President Trump takes action to modernize America’s water resource management and infrastructure

EPA announces new actions to support water reuse, highlights water subcabinet coordination

Today, at the Future of Water Infrastructure and Innovation Summit, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator for Water David Ross announced four new proposed actions under the National Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP). The event, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), featured members of the newly formed Water Subcabinet and highlighted, among other issues, the importance of federal coordination on water reuse.  … ”  Read more from the EPA here: EPA announces new actions to support water reuse, highlights water subcabinet coordination

National Drought Resilience Partnership responsibilities under new executive order

National Drought Resilience Partnership (NDRP) staff provided an overview of the NDRP’s role under the Presidential Executive Order (EO) issued October 13 on Modernizing America’s Water Resource Management and Water Infrastructure at the National Integrated Drought Information System Executive Council fall meeting on Tuesday.  Established in 2016, the NDRP is an interagency task force responsible for enhancing coordination of federal drought resilience policies and monitoring the implementation of the activities and goals as set out in the Presidential Memorandum that established the partnership. Under the EO, the NDRP will implement the “Priority Actions Supporting Long-Term Drought Resilience” document issued on July 31, 2019. … ”  Read more from the USDA here:  National Drought Resilience Partnership responsibilities under new executive order

Pipes could release toxic chromium into tap water

Hexavalent chromium is a carcinogen that was made famous by the 2000 film “Erin Brockovich,” which dramatized a case of industrial pollution that contaminated water supplies in California. A new study shows that Cr(VI) can slip into drinking water when commonly used chlorine disinfectants corrode cast iron water distribution pipes. The newly discovered mechanism suggests other pathways for controlling levels of toxic chromium in drinking water (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2020, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.0c03922). … ”  Read more from Chemical and Engineering News here:  Pipes could release toxic chromium into tap water

Can Texas stop its taps running dry?

Population growth, a booming economy and the demands of development are set to strain Texas’ water supplies to the limit. A similar trend is unfolding in other major economies around the world, such as China and India.  As things stand, the Lone Star State will need to find an extra 10 trillion litres of water a year by 2070; the question is how. … ”  Read more from the World Economic Forum here:  Can Texas stop its taps running dry?

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Today’s featured articles …

MEETING: Delta Watermaster breaks down water use in the Delta, addresses implementation of reduced reliance on the Delta

At the October 22nd meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council, Delta Watermaster Michael George gave a detailed presentation on estimating water use in the Delta, something he acknowledged doesn’t matter much when there’s plenty of water in the system, but in times of drought, it becomes very important.  He also discussed the implementation of the state’s policy of reducing reliance on the Delta and provided updates on the preparations for the next drought, progress on the alternative compliance plan for implementing SB-88 Delta measurement reporting, and efforts to addressing ongoing deterioration in the south Delta.

Click here to read this article.

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Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

Announcements, etc.

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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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