DAILY DIGEST, 1/4: Barrage of storms aiming for West Coast; The Delta – a short history of big changes; Water futures trading index elicits questions, concerns; Water sector commends Congress for relief in appropriations package; and more …
Barrage of storms to aim for West Coast through early January
“As the Northwestern states continue to get pummeled with rain and feet of snow, forecasters say that a slight southward dip in the storm track this week will bring much-needed precipitation to California, where the rainy season has been off to a slow start. Over the coming week, portions of Northern California have the potential to receive nearly as much precipitation as they did during the entire month of December. During last month, rainfall was less than half of average in places such as Eureka, Redding, Sacramento and San Francisco. ... ” Read more from AccuWeather here: Barrage of storms to aim for West Coast through early January
California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta – a short history of big changes
“Deltas globally adjust with changes and fluctuations in external conditions, internal dynamics, and human management. This is a short history of big changes to California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) in the past and present, and its anticipated future. This history is important for understanding how many of the Delta’s problems have developed, changed, and continue to change. … ” Continue reading at the California Water Blog here: California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta – a short history of big changes
Water futures trading index elicits questions, concerns
“Trading water futures in California is nothing new, according to those involved with water and financing. While those in the finance industry say it will bring a sense of transparency to water pricing, a longtime water manager says the realities remain to be seen. The water futures contract idea is merely a financial tool; It does not wheel an ounce of water. Unlike other commodity futures trades, where the buyer is guaranteed the volume of commodity purchased through the futures exchange, it does not work that way with water, according to Tom Birmingham, general manager of Westlands Water District in central California. … ” Read more from the Western Farm Press here: Water futures trading index elicits questions, concerns
Reading the landscape for fire
” … In the beginning, fire burned the world. My Miwkoʔ (Plains Miwok) ancestors have passed this understanding of fire through generations, and it is the foundation of the knowledge I use as a traditional cultural practitioner and pyrogeographer. In my career at California State University Chico, I incorporate this knowledge to study and apply fire’s natural and cultural dimensions in relationship to place and time. Fire is part of my worldview, and I am constantly assessing the world around me for how fire would burn under different conditions, how wildfire might behave in a given location, but also how I would set fire to steward that location for many different results. … ” Read more from Bay Nature here: Reading the landscape for fire
S.F.’s Embarcadero seawall is surprise beneficiary of Trump-signed spending bill
“San Francisco’s quest to rebuild its Embarcadero seawall has received a boost from an unexpected source — the 5,593-page bundle of federal legislation that includes $900 billion for pandemic relief. The boost doesn’t involve stimulus payments, since any construction to strengthen the aged barrier of concrete and rocks is several years away. But new guidelines that give the city a better shot at receiving sizable federal aid for the $3 billion-plus project were included in a bill that accompanied the stimulus package. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: S.F.’s Embarcadero seawall is surprise beneficiary of Trump-signed spending bill
Santa Monica: Bay Foundation fights beach degradation with the power of plants
“One might not think much of a ragweed plant, but this sand growing species and others like it have the ability to fight erosion, protect from sea level rise, and increase biodiversity — pretty impressive for a little shrub. The Santa Monica-based Bay Foundation is capitalizing on the power of coastal plants to help fight beach degradation through its Malibu Living Shoreline initiative. … ” Read more from the Santa Monica Daily Press here: Bay Foundation fights beach degradation with the power of plants
Water district’s next leader in limbo following controversial attempt to hire former Carson mayor
“A cloud of uncertainty hangs over the Water Replenishment District as staff, board members and the district’s attorneys try to navigate a legal minefield created by controversial attempts to hire former Carson Mayor Albert Robles as the agency’s new general manager. The board hired Robles in early December and set his start date as Jan 4, with the goal of having the new hire overlap with outgoing General Manager Robb Whitaker’s final months. But since then, the plan has seemingly collapsed, leaving the future of the district’s leadership in limbo and creating a stalemate that has overshadowed its regular business. … ” Read more from the Daily Breeze here: Water district’s next leader in limbo following controversial attempt to hire former Carson mayor
Water sector commends Congress for relief in appropriations package
“Congress recently released the Fiscal Year 2021 Consolidated Appropriations bill. The legislation contains a provision to create the first ever Low-Income Household Drinking Water and Wastewater Emergency Assistance Program with $638 million in appropriations – an historic win for water accessibility and the first appropriation of its kind for water assistance. The National Association of Clean Water Agencies, Water Environment Federation, American Water Works Association, National Rural Water Association, and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies released the following joint statement: … ” Water sector commends Congress for relief in appropriations package
Radio report: Locally driven water initiatives critical for helping guide national assistance
“Locally driven efforts are critical for helping to guide national conservation assistance initiatives. Several leaders of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently heard from industry members about water quantity issues in the central and western states. NRCS Acting Chief Kevin Norton told stakeholders and landowners during the listening session that NRCS has had great success in addressing conservation goals through local collaboration. … ” Read more from Ag Net West here: Radio report: Locally driven water initiatives critical for helping guide national assistance
One in three US rivers have changed color since 1984. Here’s what this means
“A new study reveals that roughly one out of three large American rivers have appeared to change color since 1984, with many of the bodies of water seeming to slowly turn yellow and green — and scientists tell Salon that this could mean some very bad things for human health. Analyzing approximately 15.9 million satellite images taken over a period of more than three decades, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Pittsburgh and Colorado State University discovered that of the more than 108,000 kilometers (roughly 67,000 miles) of rivers at least 60 meters (197 feet) wide studied throughout the country, 56% appeared predominantly yellow and 38% appeared predominantly green. ... ” Read more from Salon Magazine here: One in three US rivers have changed color since 1984. Here’s what this means
Green groups have a racism problem. Waterkeepers are trying to solve it.
“In August, the Waterkeeper Alliance, a global network of grassroots leaders dedicated to the preservation of local waterways, finalized the charter for its justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) committee. This step toward racial equity and representation, which took months of planning, is in line with the surge of anti-racism commitments made over the summer by environmental nonprofits around the country. The Waterkeeper Alliance is set on doing more than paying lip service to diversity and inclusion. Instead, it wants to make them priority areas for waterkeepers worldwide. ... ” Read more from Grist here: Green groups have a racism problem. Waterkeepers are trying to solve it.
More certainty needed for NPDES permits
“The Clean Water Act forbids “any addition” of any pollutant from “any point source” to “navigable waters” without an appropriate permit from the Environmental Protection Agency. The United States Supreme Court in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund ruled on what requires a permit and EPA recently issued a draft guidance that clarifies how that decision should be applied under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program. ... ” Read more from the Western Farm Press here: More certainty needed for NPDES permits
Supreme court sets February date for Florida-Georgia water clash
“The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in February in the latest round of a long-running brawl between Florida and Georgia over how to divvy up water from a shared basin. The court released its latest argument schedule Thursday, setting Florida v. Georgia for Feb. 22, marking the dispute’s second time landing before the justices. The case is an original jurisdiction proceeding, a rare type of dispute that goes straight to the Supreme Court rather than working through lower benches first. … ” Read more from Bloomberg Law here: Supreme court sets February date for Florida-Georgia water clash
Biden climate plan looks for buy-in from farmers who are often skeptical about global warming
“When the incoming Biden administration released its policy roadmap in November, it was clear that tackling climate change would be a top priority and agriculture will be a key part of a broad, cross-agency effort. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the administration said, “has not historically received the sustained political attention of other agencies that play a role in climate policy.” But it would become “a lynchpin of the next Administration’s climate strategy.” The incoming administration’s clear focus on climate change was remarkable. That it would enlist the country’s farms and farmers—who are largely skeptical of climate change—in the battle was even more so. … ” Read more from Inside Climate News here: Biden climate plan looks for buy-in from farmers who are often skeptical about global warming
Federal and State reservoirs in California have lost about 132,000 AF since the beginning of December. Overall north CVP storage still stands at 89% of the 15-year average with Trinity, Shasta, New Melones, Folsom and San Luis reservoirs at 90, 82, 113, 79 and 71% of their 15-year averages, respectively. Oroville Reservoir stands at 76% of its 15-year average. Total storage in CVP reservoirs and Oroville is about 6.91 MAF representing about 45% of the total CVP and Oroville storage capacity.
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.