DAILY DIGEST, 12/17: Hoopa Tribe asks judge to block permanent water contract with Westlands; Zero Delta smelt and Sacramento splittail reported in November CDFW survey; Is farming with reclaimed water the solution to a drier future?; and more …
FREE WEBINAR: Ready for Winter: Stormwater Capture in SoCal from 12pm to 1pm. This webinar will explore how OCWD works with the Army Corps of Engineers to capture stormwater behind Prado Dam, how we use that water to recharge the groundwater basin, and how the role of upstream agencies like Valley District affect what happens downstream. This one hour webinar is perfect for those with and without knowledge of OCWD operations. Click here to register.
FREE WEBINAR: Jose Bolorinos: Conservation and rebound after California’s 2012-2016 drought at 12pm. This webinar presented by the California Data Collaborative will feature the latest research about how household water use responded to and rebounded from the 2012-2016 drought! Led by Mr. Jose Bolorinos, the first installment in our webinar series will feature a discussion of current work illustrating the impact of drought conservation efforts on future rebounding patterns for different customer segments. Click here to register.
WEBINAR: Calculating Compliance with Water Use Targets – SBX7-7 from 2pm to 4pm. This webinar will focus on reporting a supplier’s compliance with the per capita water use targets, which is a 20 percent reduction in urban water use by 2020 (per Senate Bill X7-7). Register here: https://csus.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_qMFOpL5uRXeYUh8WsJhi3A
Northern California tribe asks judge to block permanent water contract with Westlands
“The Hoopa Valley Tribe in Humboldt County argued before a federal judge last Thursday that no Trinity River water can be sent to the Central Valley at the expense of the tribe’s fishery. The main dispute is over whether to block the U.S. Department of Interior from signing permanent water delivery contracts with Valley agribusiness interests, including Westlands Water District. Opponents say the real agenda is being driven by environmental groups that don’t want extra money going towards water storage projects, and they’re singling out Westlands because of their name recognition. … ” Read more from GV Wire here: Northern California tribe asks judge to block permanent water contract with Westlands
Estuary in Collapse: Zero Delta smelt and Sacramento splittail reported in November CDFW survey
Dan Bacher writes, “For the third month in a row, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) this November found zero Delta smelt and Sacramento splittail during the 2020 Fall Midwater Trawl Survey of pelagic (open water) fish species on the Delta, although they did report an index of 22 longfin smelt rather than the zero longfin smelt they reported the two previous months. We will see the final results for the pelagic (open water) species surveyed at the end of December or in early January after the October through December totals of Delta smelt, longfin smelt, striped bass, threadfin shad, American shad and Sacramento splittail caught in the annual trawl are tallied by the CDFW. … ” Read more from the Daily Kos here: Estuary in Collapse: Zero Delta Smelt and Sacramento Splittail Reported In November CDFW Survey
Is farming with reclaimed water the solution to a drier future?
“On a Saturday in late October, Carolyn Phinney stands hip-deep in a half acre of vegetables, at the nucleus of what will one day be 15 acres of productive farmland. “You can’t even see the pathways,” she says, surrounded by the literal fruits of her labors. The patch is a wealth of herbs, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, kale, winter squash, and zucchini. So much zucchini—fruits the size of bowling pins hidden under leaves as big as umbrellas. “Zucchini plants are supposed to be 30 inches across. Ours are 8 feet,” she says. “Everything looks like it’s on steroids.” Phinney, pictured above, is the farmer behind CoCo San Sustainable Farm of Martinez, California, a farm built on reclaimed land, using reclaimed water, and started with a simple mission: to get kids to eat more vegetables. … ” Read more from Civil Eats here: Is farming with reclaimed water the solution to a drier future?
Skyrocketing coronavirus levels in California sewage points to rapid spread of virus in fall
“Sewage data analyzed in Silicon Valley wastewater treatment plants confirms that the latest wave of coronavirus infections is sharply worse than the ones in the spring and summer. Officials in Santa Clara County have been routinely testing solid waste samples in sewage to detect levels of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 as part of a project funded by Stanford University. … ” Read more from the LA Times here: Skyrocketing coronavirus levels in California sewage points to rapid spread of virus in fall
New SGMA resource for underrepresented growers
“Vicky Espinoza is a PhD candidate at UC Merced who is researching the impacts of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act on agricultural land use. She noticed that there weren’t enough resources out there for underrepresented growers about SGMA, especially those who English is not their first language. So she developed a series of bilingual videos and posted them on a new YouTube channel: CaliWaterAg. … ” Read more from Cal Ag Today here: New SGMA Resource for Underrepresented Growers
Monterey: Cal Am sues water management district over public takeover report
“California American Water has sued the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District challenging the environmental review of the district’s potential public takeover bid of the company’s local water system. At the same time, Cal Am’s oft-delayed desalination project suffered another setback when California Coastal Commission staff declared a revised application submitted last month is incomplete, asking a series of questions and for additional information that could delay the proposal by several more months. … ” Read more from the Monterey Herald here: Cal Am sues water management district over public takeover report
What lurks beneath: PG&E and water board reach draft settlement over water flushed back into ocean from Diablo Canyon Power Plant
“PG&E has agreed to pay $5.9 million to a local nonprofit as part of a tentative settlement between the company and water regulators that resolves a long-running investigation into Diablo Canyon Power Plant and its cooling system’s impact on the marine environment. The draft settlement, announced on Dec. 7, is the result of more than 20 years of investigation and monitoring at the nuclear power plant site. Officials say that Diablo’s “once-through cooling system”—which functions by continuously sucking seawater into the plant to condense steam and then flushing it back into the ocean at a warmer temperature—has caused a “degradation of the marine habitat” that violated its permits. … ” Read more from New Times SLO here: What lurks beneath: PG&E and water board reach draft settlement over water flushed back into ocean from Diablo Canyon Power Plant
San Luis Obispo County launches Arroyo Grande Subbasin sustainability project
“SLO County recently launched a project aimed at developing a groundwater sustainability plan for the Arroyo Grande Subbasin and is calling for community members with wells that tap into the basin to help improve the county’s water level data. Although the state considers the Arroyo Grande Subbasin to be very low priority and it is not required to have a sustainability plan, SLO County Water Resources Division Manager Courtney Howard said that’s largely because it serves a smaller population than others throughout California. “But for us locally that’s an important basin,” Howard said. “There’s a lot of agriculture there.” … ” Read more from New Times SLO here: San Luis Obispo County launches Arroyo Grande Subbasin sustainability project
Central Valley crop reports reveal new, old trends in Valley agriculture
“Delays involving coronavirus pushed the publishing of Central Valley crop reports back this year. While farm receipts from 2018 to 2019 show an almost unchanging total, beneath the surface, shifts in dominant crops have begun to occur as growers face labor shortages and higher water demand. Cumulatively, ag commissioners across Fresno, Tulare, Kings and Madera counties report gross values in 2019 equaling $19.41 billion, down from $19.45 billion in 2018. … ” Read more from The Business Journal here: Crop reports reveal new, old trends in Valley agriculture
Ridgecrest: ‘Searles Valley Minerals launches ‘Save Searles’ website
“Searles Valley Minerals on Friday, Dec. 11 launched a new website at www.savesearles.com, according to a news release from the company. The website represents SVM’s latest move in opposition to the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority’s proposed replenishment fee, which SVM in the release claims would have “devastating economic impacts.” … ” Read more from the Daily Independent here: ‘Searles Valley Minerals launches ‘Save Searles’ website
EPA reports nearly $400,000 settlement with Ventura County company over wastewater pollution
SoCal: Former California mayor could add millions to his pension if water district hires him to 6-month job
“If former Carson Mayor Albert Robles lands a $275,000 temporary position at the Water Replenishment District of Southern California, it could spike his pension over his lifetime by more than $2.7 million for just six months of work, according to an analysis by the Southern California News Group. His pension would jump by $5.4 million if the board later extended his contract to a full year. “It’s not a red flag, it’s a garbage truck full of red flags,” said Robert Fellner, executive director of Transparent California, a public pay database. “It’s just so obviously corrupt from every angle you look at it.” ... ” Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: SoCal: Former California mayor could add millions to his pension if water district hires him to 6-month job
Drought keeps Lake Mead levels low, but there is plenty of winter left
“Last week’s storm did little to ease the drought in Arizona’s reservoirs. But there’s still plenty of winter left. The Bureau of Reclamation makes two-year projections, based on weather and water levels in Colorado River reservoirs, and its most recent projections have been dire. … ” Read more from KJZZ here: Drought keeps Lake Mead levels low, but there is plenty of winter left
“Large rivers powerfully sculpt landscapes, but their smaller brethren—streams—are much more numerous and affect local communities and ecosystems. Now, scientists have used multidecadal data sets to trace how streamflow across the continental United States has changed in response to urbanization. They found a variety of trends, complicating the long-standing notion that city growth has a consistent impact on nearby waterways. … ” Read more from EOS here: Waterways change as cities grow nearby
Should global virtual water trade go local?
“In 2008, British geographer John Anthony Allan received the Stockholm Water Prize for developing the concept of virtual water (VW). The concept of virtual water proposes that when goods and services are exchanged, the water involved in making those goods and services is exchanged, too. Accounting for the “hidden” amounts of water that go into the production of exported goods has gained currency as a way of informing policy to address the exchange of resources between the water-haves and the water-have-nots. … ” Read more from EOS here: Should global virtual water trade go local?
CDC estimates costs of waterborne pathogens in the United States
“Contaminated water is making U.S. residents sick — millions of them each year. Though this tally includes summertime nuisances like swimmer’s ear, the most costly and deadliest risks are the microbes that grow within building plumbing or in rivers and lakes, according to a study from the federal government’s top health agency. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that some 7.2 million cases of waterborne disease were recorded in the country in 2014. Of those cases, about 601,000 required an emergency room visit and 118,000 resulted in hospitalization. The cost of those trips to the doctor added up, amounting to about $3.3 billion. … ” Read more from the Circle of Blue here: CDC estimates costs of waterborne pathogens in the United States
Photo gallery: Transforming land and sea for a more sustainable world
“Aerial photos often document the destruction of the natural world. But these striking satellite images show how countries are beginning to respond to the global environmental crisis by restoring ecosystems, expanding renewable energy, and building climate resiliency infrastructure. … ” Read more from Yale E360 here: Photo gallery: Transforming land and sea for a more sustainable world
WESTERN GROUNDWATER CONGRESS: SGMA and the Human Right to Water
Natalie Cochran is a water resources planner at Woodard Curran who has spent the last two and a half years primarily working on developing, coordinating, and implementing groundwater sustainability plans, primarily within the Delta Mendota subbasin. In this presentation from the Western Groundwater Congress held in September of 2020, Ms. Cochran discussed how the groundwater sustainability plans intersect and juxtapose the human right to water doctrine, focusing on the lessons learned from the 2020 GSPs, and how development and implementation of GSPs can be applied to help achieve safe, reliable, and sustainable drinking water for all users throughout the state.
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.