DAILY DIGEST, 1/27: Kings River floodwater dispute goes to the state; Farmers’ planting plans hinge on water, pandemic; Atmospheric river arrives; President Biden to take action to uphold commitment to restore balance on public lands and waters; and more …


On the calendar today …

  • ONLINE MEETING: The Delta Conservancy Board meets from 9am to 1pm.  Agenda items include Prop 68 and Prop 1 update, Invasive species, Delta Conservancy Implementation Plan, and updates from the Delta Stewardship Council, Delta Protection Commission, Delta Conveyance Project, and EcoRestore. Click here for the full meeting notice and online access instructions.
  • MEETING: Delta Independent Science Board from 9am to 11am. The Delta ISB will primarily be discussing the Delta ISB Workplan and Direction.  Click here for the full meeting notice.
  • VIRTUAL TOWN HALL: Sites Reservoir from 10am to 12pm.  The Sites Authority is pleased to invite you to a virtual Town Hall meeting to learn more about the Sites Reservoir Project and ask questions in a real-time format. Whether you are a Sites Authority Board or Reservoir Committee member, a board member, general manager or staff member of an investor agency, or an interested stakeholder, we encourage your participation and welcome your questions.  Click here to register.
  • FREE WEBINAR: Reverse Osmosis: Getting the Credit it Deserves from 10am to 11am. This presentation provides an overview of the use of naturally occurring surrogates for monitoring RO integrity in treatment facilities for potable reuse. The findings showed that free ATP (adenosine triphosphate), Peak C fluorescence, sulfate and strontium are four possible surrogates that can be used for this purpose related to achieving regulatory-required pathogen log removal value (LRV) credits. These surrogates demonstrated average LRVs that exceed those achieved by current methods, such as total organic carbon (TOC) or conductivity.  Presented by the Orange County Water District.  Click here to register.
  • FREE WEBINAR: Expanding Nature Based Solutions and Advancing 30 by 30 from 11am to 12pm. Join the Natural Resources, Cal EPA, and others for an update on the implementation of Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-82-20, which calls for utilizing innovative strategies on California’s natural and working lands to meet state environmental priorities. This convening will highlight opportunities to engage in shaping this effort, with a particular focus on advancing the “30 by 30” goal to conserve 30% of California’s land and coastal waters by 2030 and to advance a Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy.  Click here to register.
  • WEBINAR: Water Reuse Policy in the 117th Congress and Biden Administration from 11am to 12pm.   Top Washington water sector lobbyists will discuss the status of key legislation and explain the opportunities to advance a water reuse policy agenda. Whether you plan to participate in our Virtual Water Week in the spring or are interested in what to expect from Congress and the new Administration in 2021, this webcast will be a national advocacy primer for water professionals.  Click here to register.
  • SO CAL WATER DIALOG: PFAS and Forever Chemicals: Update on Agency Actions from 12pm to 1:30pm. To understand the options open to retail, wastewater and recycled water agencies, speakers will focus on how PFAS is impacting imported and local water supply, the status of the state’s rule making process and potential new regulations, how agencies are working with polluters, the latest treatment technologies for drinking water systems, and how remediation projects could be funded.  Presented by the Southern California Water Dialog.  Click here to register.
  • UWMP WEBINAR – How to Prepare a Water Shortage Contingency Plan from 1pm to 4pm. DWR will host its eighth topic-specific webinar to support training those preparing Urban Water Management Plans, due July 1, 2021. This webinar will walk-through the elements required for developing a Water Shortage Contingency Plan (WSCP). The full set of structured elements, including specific shortage levels, and describing protocols and procedures for the Annual Water Supply Demand Assessment, are new in 2020 UWMP preparation.  Click here for more information and to register.
  • WEBINAR: Lunch & Learn: Reversing Federal Environmental Rollbacks from 1pm to 2pm.  Over the past four years, the Trump Administration has rolled back environmental protection across the federal government. President Biden’s first executive order on climate calls on federal agencies to immediately begin reviewing their environmental rules and policies. Join Berkeley Law’s own Ken Alex, Daniel Farber, and Ted Lamm next week for a discussion of the current environmental regulatory landscape and how the new administration might go about reversing some of these rollbacks.  Click here to register.
  • MEETING: Delta Conveyance Project Stakeholder Engagement Committee from 3pm to 6pm. Agenda items include CEQA update, Bethany Alternative wrap up, geotechnical field work update, and community benefits program update.  Click here for the full agenda and remote access instructions.

In California water news today …

Kings River floodwater dispute goes to the state

A bid by Kern County farmers to take Kings River floodwater officially got underway Tuesday as state regulators hashed out procedures and next steps with the various parties.  An initial hearing had been set for April 15, but may now be pushed back to July, depending on how Administrative Hearing Officer Nicole Kuenzi rules.  Kuenzi discussed coming deadlines and other procedural issues with representatives of the Kings River Water Association, Semitropic Water Storage District and others during a pre-hearing conference Tuesday morning. … ”  Read more from SJV Water here: Kings River floodwater dispute goes to the state

Farmers’ planting plans hinge on water, pandemic

As California farmers weigh decisions on what to plant and how much, lack of rainfall so far this winter has further clouded a 2021 crop outlook already complicated by market uncertainties created by the pandemic.  With current precipitation levels looking even drier than the 2014-15 drought years, Kings County farmer Brian Medeiros said he’s already making decisions about what ground to fallow. He noted that if he does not receive surface-water deliveries and must rely on groundwater all year, it becomes cost-prohibitive to grow many of the field crops that have been core to his business.  “At this point, other than keeping the trees alive, I don’t know that there’s going to be much of anything else that we’re going to do,” Medeiros said. … ”  Read more from Ag Alert here:  Farmers’ planting plans hinge on water, pandemic

Audubon study highlights the high conservation value of the Central Valley and the Colorado River Delta

Today, scientists from National Audubon Society published a study highlighting the high conservation value of California’s Central Valley and the Colorado River Delta for tens of millions of migratory landbirds each year. The study, led by Audubon’s new Migratory Bird Initiative and published in Ornithological Applications, estimates that more than 65 million birds use major portions of the Central Valley during fall migration, and about 17 million birds use the Colorado River Delta during spring migration. These regions are important migratory routes at the population level for dozens of species. Audubon scientists also found the Central Valley and Colorado River Delta to be migratory “bottlenecks,” because these regions had highly concentrated numbers of birds compared to similarly sized geographies at the same latitude. Protecting the Central Valley and the Colorado River Delta will be critical in conserving the populations of North American migratory birds into the future. … ”  Read more from Audubon here:  Audubon scientists reveal migration bottlenecks used by tens of millions of birds

SEE ALSOTens of Millions of Western Birds Depend on These Two Regions During Migration

State Water Board imposes new rules on most wineries

Despite pleas from winery owners and their representatives—one of whom described the wine sector as “an industry on the brink”—state water regulators adopted new regulations on wastewater discharge.  The State Water Resources Control Board voted unanimously last week to adopt a general, statewide order for how winery wastewater must be processed and discharged. Winery representatives said they consider the requirements excessive.  More than 2,000 California wineries that apply winery process water to land for irrigation and soil amendment uses would be affected by the new regulation, which will be implemented by regional water boards—a process that will begin after the state board adopts a fee schedule for the statewide order at a meeting scheduled for March 9. The board said the order would safeguard groundwater and surface water through a permitting process for water discharge. … ”  Read more from Ag Alert here: State Water Board imposes new rules on most wineries

Central Coast congressman’s bill would delay oil, gas fracking on ‘precious public lands’

U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal introduced a bill to the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday that aims to delay new oil and gas fracking on public lands by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.  The California Land Protection Act would require the BLM’s Bakersfield field office to complete a new environmental impact statement before it can issue new oil and gas leases. The Bakersfield office encompasses areas of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Kern, Kings, Ventura, Tulare, Fresno and Madera counties. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: Central Coast congressman’s bill would delay oil, gas fracking on ‘precious public lands’

From Principle to Policy: Codifying the California Wild Trout Program

California is known for its variety of trout species and classic trout streams. Once, its waters teemed with fabled bank-to-bank runs of salmon and steelhead. Following the gold rush, though, human endeavor chipped away at these streams until, by the mid-20th century, most had vanished.  What we take for granted about the quality of stream fishing here today is mostly a product of the second half of the 20th century, and owes much to the Wild Trout Waters designation that protects dozens of rivers and lakes throughout California … ”  Read more from Cal Trout here: From Principle to Policy: Codifying the California Wild Trout Program

Return to top

Atmospheric river arrives …

Extreme rainfall could top 20 inches in California

Relentless rain and mountain snow are expected to pound California for days this week as a more potent system will take aim at the region. AccuWeather meteorologists say it will bring a deluge of nearly two feet of rain — and up to 10 feet of snow to the Golden State. Even though precipitation is greatly needed across the drought-stricken state, the storm will bring too much all at once and lead to serious flooding and mudslide concerns as snowfall could shut down travel through the passes. … ”  Read more from AccuWeather here: Extreme rainfall could top 20 inches in California

Wind downs trees, power lines across Sacramento as massive storm hits California

A menacing and massive winter storm, fueled by an “atmospheric river” from the north Pacific Ocean, has reached the Sacramento region on Tuesday night.  The extreme storm is bringing heavy winds, near-freezing rain and dangerous driving conditions to the Valley floor; even at low elevations, snow is falling in several areas in Northern California. ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: Wind downs trees, power lines across Sacramento as massive storm hits California

Strong storm system barrels into Bay Area, bringing rain, wind and threat of landslides

A strong storm system brought heavy rain and powerful winds to the Bay Area late Tuesday, increasing the risks of mudslides and flash floods that have already prompted evacuations in some parts of Northern California.  An atmospheric river barreled into the West Coast, causing flooding, evacuations and dropping snowfall in the Sierra.  In some places, including San Benito County and Big Sur, the storm was expected to bring up to 10 inches of rain by Wednesday. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  Strong storm system barrels into Bay Area, bringing rain, wind and threat of landslides

SEE ALSO:

Return to top

In commentary today …

Collaborative projects help Sacramento River salmon, says Todd Manley, director of government relations for the Northern California Water Association

He writes, “In the latter part of 2020, various actions were implemented in the Sacramento Valley to promote salmon recovery that point positive as we begin 2021. Even during a pandemic, partners were working together on efforts to advance science to inform salmon recovery decisions and tangible projects to improve habitat for fish.  Voluntary partnerships were formed or renewed to collaborate on actions ranging from individual projects to comprehensive programs to prioritize work and support project implementation. These partnerships included local landowners, water management entities, academic institutions, conservation organizations, and state and federal agencies—all working together on common objectives to help salmon recovery. Importantly, this work occurred throughout the valley, in the upper, middle and lower reaches of the region’s rivers, to benefit all Chinook salmon freshwater life-cycle stages. … ”  Read more from Ag Alert here:  Collaborative projects help Sacramento River salmon

Return to top

In regional water news and commentary today …

Plans call for raising Los Vaqueros Reservoir dam height

The 160,000-acre reservoir seen from the crest of the Black Hills Trail from perhaps 1,000 feet above looks like a perfect place for nature to have created a lake.  Rolling hills spread out from a wide bowl in the Northern Diablo Range.  But nature did not create Los Vaqueros. The Contra Costa Water District did. … ”  Read more from the Oakdale Leader here: Plans call for raising Los Vaqueros Reservoir dam height

Monterey: Crews move sand at Carmel Lagoon ahead of storm

Crews were out working Tuesday to move roughly 150 cubic yards of sand from the Carmel Lagoon sandbar as part of a project to minimize flood potential.  Special crews will be brought in as part of a management plan that lowers the sandbar in the winter to minimize flood risk, said Karen Riley-Olms, management analyst of the Monterey County Housing and Community Development department. The bar is then raised in the summer as part of habitat protection. … ”  Read more from the Monterey Herald here:  Crews move sand at Carmel Lagoon ahead of storm

Delano’s “big dig”

The state’s new groundwater law has prompted a lot of dirt movement in the Central Valley.  The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act passed in 2014 mandates that overdrafted water basins get their aquifers in balance — don’t pump out more than goes back in — by 2040.  In order to get there without massive farmland fallowing, most valley water managers have been adding as many acres of recharge ground as possible. … ”  Read more from SJV Water here: Delano’s “big dig”

Santa Clarita Valley Water seeks public input on removal of hazardous material in water wells

The Santa Clarita Water Agency (SCV Water) is asking for the public’s input on the Engineering Evaluation Cost Analysis (EE/CA) of removing perchlorate and volatile substances from the Saugus Formation Aquifer, officials said Tuesday.    As part of this effort, SCV Water is seeking input on the removal of these substances during a 30-day public comment period from Jan. 26 to Feb. 24, 2021, according to officials. … ”  Read more from SCV News here: Santa Clarita Valley Water seeks public input on removal of hazardous material in water wells

Army Corps allocates $1.5 million to Encinitas-Solana Beach sand project

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will allocate an additional $1.5 million for the planning, engineering and design of a federal sand project expected to beef up beaches in Encinitas and Solana Beach for the next 50 years, Rep. Mike Levin, D-San Juan Capistrano, announced Friday.  The Encinitas-Solana Beach Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project was authorized in 2016 to stabilize the eroding bluffs against high-energy storm swells and rising sea levels. … ”  Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here: Army Corps allocates $1.5 million to Encinitas-Solana Beach sand project

Tens of thousands of San Diegans are in debt over their water bills

The coronavirus pandemic shook the economy of the United States and San Diego.  More than 100,000 people in San Diego County lost their jobs last year, and many have made tough choices financially. That’s led, in part, to nearly a billion dollars in statewide water-bill debt, according to a new report from the state water board.  “Folks are trying to scrape by and make ends meet,” said Allen Carlisle, the CEO & general manager of Padre Dam Municipal Water District. “The first things on our minds are those families who are struggling and how do we try to help them?” … ”  Read more from NBC San Diego here: Tens of thousands of San Diegans are in debt over their water bills

Return to top

Along the Colorado River …

‘We’re all going to have to live with less water’: Upper basin states activate Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan

It’s only a few weeks into the new year, and things aren’t looking good for our water future already. Last week, dry conditions activated a 2019 drought plan for the first time in the upper reaches of the Colorado River basin, forcing states and the region to plan for an even drier future. KUNC’s Luke Runyon covers the Colorado River basin for the region. He joins us now with more on all of this.  … ”  Read/Listen from KJZZ here:  ‘We’re all going to have to live with less water’: Upper basin states activate Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan

Return to top

In national water news today …

Forever chemicals are widespread in U.S. drinking water

Many Americans fill up a glass of water from their faucet without worrying whether it might be dangerous. But the crisis of lead-tainted water in Flint, Mich., showed that safe, potable tap water is not a given in this country. Now a study from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit advocacy organization, reveals a widespread problem: the drinking water of a majority of Americans likely contains “forever chemicals.” These compounds may take hundreds, or even thousands, of years to break down in the environment. They can also persist in the human body, potentially causing health problems. … ”  Read more from Scientific American here: Forever chemicals are widespread in U.S. drinking water

DOI FACT SHEET: President Biden to take action to uphold commitment to restore balance on public lands and waters, invest in clean energy future

President Joe Biden will sign an Executive Order today that will help restore balance on public lands and waters, create jobs, and provide a path to align the management of America’s public lands and waters with our nation’s climate, conservation, and clean energy goals.  In implementing the Executive Order, the Department of the Interior will engage diverse stakeholders across the country, as well as conduct formal consultation with Tribes in recognition of the U.S. government’s trust responsibilities. … ”  Read more from the Department of Interior here: President Biden to take action to uphold commitment to restore balance on public lands and waters, invest in clean energy future

How heavy rain and drought influence California crustal strain

Earth’s crust may feel rigid beneath our feet, but it responds elastically to temperature gradients, atmospheric pressure, and hydrological loads. Everything from heavy rain and snow to human activities like groundwater pumping can deform the crust on seasonal scales. Researchers are particularly interested in such deformations when they occur near plate boundary zones, like in California, where they can influence seismicity rates. … ”  Read more from EOS here: How heavy rain and drought influence California crustal strain

Republican opposition to Haaland grows more vocal

When President Biden picked Rep. Deb Haaland to be his Interior secretary, the positive response to the historic choice was so enormous, it virtually overshadowed any meaningful dissent.  Supporters who had been lobbying for the New Mexico Democrat cheered the selection of a staunch progressive and environmental defender, while news stories played up the groundbreaking nature of her appointment: the first Native American to ever lead the federal agency with direct oversight of tribal interests.  But now that Haaland could be on track for confirmation hearings to begin next month — perhaps as soon as next week — the fierce opposition is starting to make itself known. … ”  Read more from E&E News here: Republican opposition to Haaland grows more vocal

Biden to bar oil & gas drilling on federal lands

President Joe Biden is readying a moratorium on new leases for oil and gas drilling on federal lands.  Existing permits would be allowed to continue under the administration’s directive, according to a Washington Post report this morning that quoted three officials with intimate knowledge of the order Biden will likely issue in the next 24 hours.  The same executive order is expected to also stand up a task force aimed at assessing the federal government’s plans to reduce carbon emissions nationwide, and to make the issue of climate change a national security priority. Labeling it as such falls in line with widely accepted wisdom from climate and defense experts alike who have linked rising greenhouse gases to threatened food and water security, higher rates of refugeeism, and greater likelihood of conflict, territorial or otherwise.  ... ”  Read more from the Courthouse News here: Biden to bar oil & gas drilling on federal lands

Return to top

Today’s featured article …

FEATURE: The What, Why, and How of Groundwater Modeling

Abishek Singh, Ph.D., is Vice President of Intera’s Western Region based out of Los Angeles.  His professional experience has focused on research and application experience in groundwater and surface water modeling, planning and decision analysis, risk and uncertainty analyses, optimization techniques, and temporal/spatial statistics. He has expertise in developing, calibrating, and applying hydrologic and data-driven models to support robust water-resources decision-making.

In a recent webinar presented by Intera, Dr. Singh gave a presentation explaining what groundwater models are, uses for groundwater models, how groundwater models work, and provided some case studies.

Click here to read this post.

Return to top

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

WATER PLAN eNEWS: ~~Lunch-MAR~ Delta Assessment~ Storage Projects~ Grants Awarded~ Water Partnerships~ Ecological Drought~ Irrigation Conference~~

Photo credit: Solana Beach by Sergei Gussev

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.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
%d bloggers like this: