DAILY DIGEST, 11/30: Functional flows can improve environmental water management; Commentary: We can find common ground to solve challenging water issues; Changes in leadership at SFPUC spark concern, hope for future water policy; If aridification choked the Southwest for thousands of years, what does the future hold?; and more …



On the calendar today …

    • FREE WEBINAR: Soarin’ Over the Surface Recharge System from 12pm to 1pm: Join OCWD for a free lunchtime webinar titled “Soarin’ Over the Surface Recharge System,” which will explore what it takes to run one of the world’s most complex recharge systems, the history behind OCWD’s groundwater recharge system, what we are doing to prepare for the upcoming storm season, and why water flows uphill in the Santa Ana River.  Click here to register.
    • SFPUC WORKSHOP at 2PM:  The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission will hold a workshop to discuss Tuolumne River water rights and the legal framework and scientific basis for the Bay Delta Water Quality Control PlanClick here for agenda and remote access information.
    • PUBLIC LISTENING SESSION: Racial Equity Listening Session 1 from 6pm to 8pm.  The State and Regional Water Boards will hold public listening sessions to hear public input on how best to ensure the Water Boards’ programs and policies preserve, protect and restore California’s drinking water and water resources equitably for people of all races.  This input will be used to guide the development of racial equity resolutions and action plans.  This is the first of four sessions. Register online at https://bit.ly/32tpnl3For more information, click here.

In California water news today …

Functional flows can improve environmental water management in California

Over the past three years, a team of scientists from universities, NGOs, and state agencies across California have been working to provide guidance on how to better manage river flows for freshwater ecosystems throughout the state. A key product of this effort is the California Environmental Flows Framework (Framework), a guidance document and set of tools to help managers and stakeholders develop environmental flow recommendations for California’s rivers. The technical approach of the Framework relies on the concept of functional flows, defined as aspects of a river’s flow that sustain the biological, chemical, and physical processes upon which native freshwater species depend. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here: Functional flows can improve environmental water management in California

Commentary: We can find common ground to solve challenging water issues

Cannon Michael, sixth-generation farmer and president and CEO of Bowles Farming, and Ann Hayden, senior director of western water and resilient landscapes at Environmental Defense Fund write, “Despite a seemingly endless era of upheaval – a surging pandemic, contentious election cycle and racial strife – we still have the responsibility to address pressing issues that cannot wait for calmer times. The future of California’s water is one of those issues.  While collaboration and relationship building have been made even more challenging due to distancing required by COVID-19, we believe that water is an issue where we can rise above party lines and entrenched perspectives. … ”  Read more from Cal Matters here:  We can find common ground to solve challenging water issues

San Franciso: Changes in leadership at SFPUC spark concern, hope for future water policy

” …  The City’s powerful utilities agency is supporting agricultural irrigation districts’ work. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) has joined them in resisting regulations designed to protect salmon by reducing diversions from the Tuolumne River, which feeds into the City’s Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite. The City’s resistance doesn’t reflect San Francisco’s values nor is it necessary. Water demand from the Tuolumne River has dropped thanks to conservation, upgrades to city systems and new local supplies.  Now, leadership at the SFPUC is changing — two commissioners recently left and Mayor London Breed has only filled one position. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Examiner here: Changes in leadership at SFPUC spark concern, hope for future water policy

Report: Integrating Planning with Nature: Building resilience across urban and rural landscapes in Silicon Valley

Over the next century, the San Francisco Bay Area is poised to face three major challenges: adapting to a changing climate, adding infill development to accommodate a growing population and maintaining natural and working lands in the face of development pressure. Despite appearing to be disparate, these problems are deeply interrelated and planning across traditionally siloed sectors will be necessary to generate effective, cross-cutting solutions. This report investigates how the implementation of nature-based strategies in rural and densifying urban landscapes can maximize our communities’ preparedness for future climate conditions while providing a wide variety of benefits to people and ecosystems. ... ”  Read more from SFEI here: Report: Integrating Planning with Nature: Building resilience across urban and rural landscapes in Silicon Valley

San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District to pay 2.8 percent of Delta Conveyance Project

The San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District recently took major action to restore lost water supplies and ensure the long-term reliability of the Inland Empire’s imported water supplies. Valley District’s board of directors voted unanimously to commit to pay 2.8 percent of the costs of building the Delta Conveyance Project, a tunnel that will reliably carry drinking water beneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The 2.8 percent commitment translates into about $9 million in planning and permitting costs for Valley District over the next four years and about $445 million over the life of the project. … ”  Read more from Inland Empire Community News here:  San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District to pay 2.8 percent of Delta Conveyance Project

Torrance’s Madrona Marsh wins grants for restoration and education

Torrance’s Madrona Marsh Preserve and Nature Center will, by March, finally see the overdue restoration of its vernal pools, critically important wetland habitat home to numerous rare plants and animals, including two species of fairy shrimp, at a cost of about $470,000.  The 43-acre tract, a former oil field tucked behind Del Amo Fashion Center, will also become home to a three-quarter acre demonstration native plant garden — across the high-profile southeast portion of the preserve, between Sepulveda Boulevard and Maple Avenue — by the end of next year. Thousands of vehicles that use the major commuter route will pass by the drought-tolerant garden daily. … ”  Read more from the Daily Breeze here:  Torrance’s Madrona Marsh wins grants for restoration and education

Orange County: Environmental groups will do their own tests of radioactive wastewater from San Onofre

Just how dangerous is the wastewater released into the ocean off San Onofre?  Radiation levels are so tiny you could swim there every day for the next 100 years and get a dose that’s only a fraction of what’s in a single dental X-ray. That’s if, scientists for the Surfrider Foundation caution, the nuclear plant’s operator is telling the truth about the radiation levels in those releases.  To test that, Surfrider and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Our Radioactive Ocean initiative will do independent water quality testing at San Onofre State Beach after radioactive wastewater releases from the retired San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. … ”  Read more from the OC Register here: Environmental groups will do their own tests of radioactive wastewater from San Onofre

If aridification choked the Southwest for thousands of years, what does the future hold?

The ancient people of Danger Cave lived well. They ate freshwater fish, ducks and other small game, according to detritus they left behind. They had a lush lakeside view, with cattails, bulrush and water-loving willows adorning the marshlands.  But then, the good life became history. As heat and drought set in, the freshwater dried up and forced the ancients to survive by plucking tiny seeds from desert shrubs called pickleweed. Archaeologists know this from a thick layer of dusty chaff buried in the cave’s floor. … ”  Read more from Inside Climate News here:  If aridification choked the Southwest for thousands of years, what does the future hold?

Closing the funding gap: Finance considerations for today & tomorrow

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic volatility cast a blanket of uncertainty over many industries, causing key stakeholders — from investors to business leaders — to assess the shifting landscape and long-term implications for various sectors.  For the water/wastewater infrastructure sector, there is little dispute regarding the significant need for investment now that nearly 100 years have passed since the 20th century infrastructure build-out that created enormous economic and public health benefits for Americans. Since then, much of the nation’s critical underground infrastructure is either nearing the end of its useful life or has fallen into a state of disrepair. … ”  Read more from Water Finance & Management here: Closing the funding gap: Finance considerations for today & tomorrow

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Weekend Daily Digest …

In California water news this weekend …

  • When rubber hits the road—and washes away
  • Farmland consolidations could save water, promote solar
  • Sunny and dry, emphasis on dry
  • What a strengthening La Niña tells us about SoCal’s winter weather outlook
  • Along the crumbling Sonoma coast, an ambitious project paves the way for ‘managed retreat’
  • Potter Valley Project: A second chance for Eel River salmon and steelhead?
  • Trump administration withdraws plan to deepen SF bay shipping channel for oil tankers
  • Oceanside gets $175,000 for wetlands enhancement
  • Colorado River runoff plunges, raising shortage concerns
  • And more …

Click here for the Daily Digest, weekend edition.

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Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

NOTICE: Agenda and workbook now online for Southeastern CA Water Conveyance Public Workshop

WATER COMMISSION: Public workshop to focus on water conveyance needs and funding options in Southern California

WATER COMMISSION: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Special Application for Early Funding in the Water Storage Investment Program

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: NRCS Announces Application Deadline for California Wildfire Disaster Recovery Funding

OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENT/WORKSHOPS: Hexavalent Chromium Maximum Contaminant Level Estimates of Costs

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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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