Sandhill cranes at Cosumnes River Preserve by BLM/Bob Wick

DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Dry conditions to persist into March; Delta Conveyance update; Hurtado reworks bill to help Friant-Kern, but also state as a whole; Colorado River projects head for controversy; and more …

In California water news this weekend …

Despite cool and occasionally unsettled conditions in NorCal, unusually dry conditions to persist into March

” … A strong and persistent ridge will build in the Gulf of Alaska in the coming days, leaving California in relatively cool but also relatively dry northerly or northwesterly flow. Weak cold systems will repeatedly brush NorCal over the next 10+ days–bringing a chance of occasional coastal showers and slightly more substantial mountain snowfall (down to 2,500 to 3,000 feet at times) at times. But these systems won’t be nearly enough to keep pace with average precipitation over the next couple of weeks during what is typically the wettest time of the year in California. And even less precipitation is expected across SoCal–there is at least a chance that some areas could see a complete February shut-out (much as portions of NorCal did last season). This could also be a windy pattern at times, with fairly strong surface pressure gradients arising from multiple “inside slider”-type systems over the Great Basin. … ”  Read the full post at Weather West here:  Despite cool and occasionally unsettled conditions in NorCal, unusually dry conditions to persist into March

Southern California, Desert Southwest to bask in springlike warmth this week

Since the record-smashing warmth across Southern California that occurred back in mid-January, temperatures have largely hovered near average since then. In similar fashion to the warmup expected across the Plains and eastern United States over the coming week, Southern California and the Desert Southwest can expect to bask in springlike warmth in the coming days as well.  While the warmth and sunshine will feel great for those looking to enjoy outdoor activities, the ongoing drought conditions will continue to worsen across the region over the upcoming week. ... ”  Read more from AccuWeather here: Southern California, Desert Southwest to bask in springlike warmth this week

Delta Conveyance Project Updates:  Scoping summary report addendum published, DWR approves modifications to soil investigations project, New Delta Conveyance deep dive videos available

DWR recently published an addendum to the Scoping Summary Report for the Delta Conveyance Project, originally published in July 2020. It provides a summary of comments received after the official close of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) scoping period on April 17, 2020 through December 14, 2020. Consistent with the contents of the original Scoping Summary Report, the Addendum includes the comments DWR continued to receive after scoping that pertain to the alternatives considered and the scope of analysis in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The Scoping Summary Report Addendum can be accessed on the Delta Conveyance Environmental Planning page on DWR’s website. …

Click here to continue reading this Delta Conveyance update from DWR.

DWR Approves Modifications to Soil Investigations Project 

Consistent with the need to evaluate the alternatives in the Delta Conveyance Project EIR, DWR has approved modifications to the soil investigations that were originally approved in July of 2020. Before considering the approval of the modifications, DWR prepared an addendum to the Final Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) for the soil investigations in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta). DWR considered both the Final IS/MND that was adopted in July 2020 and the Addendum prior to approving the project modifications. The approved modified soil investigation activities, as evaluated in the Addendum, include the removal and replacement of geotechnical investigation sites not previously evaluated in the Final IS/MND. DWR has determined and documented that these changes will not result in any new potentially significant impacts and no subsequent EIR or negative declaration is required. To access a copy of the Addendum and associated Notice of Determination, visit the Delta Conveyance Environmental Planning page on DWR’s website. 

New Delta Conveyance Deep Dive Videos Available

The Delta Conveyance Deep Dive video series, which features interviews with experts on complex project-related topics such as financing, water allocations and climate change, has published several new videos over the last few months. The full list is below, or visit here for the main Delta Conveyance Project video page:

We will continue to release these videos as available and welcome feedback on areas of interest that you would like to see covered. Please email us at deltaconveyance@water.ca.gov with any suggestions.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES

Community Benefits Program Workshops Registration Coming Soon
As part of the ongoing development of the Community Benefits Program for the proposed Delta Conveyance Project, DWR will be hosting community workshops this spring to hear from people who live, work or play in the Delta on program goals, objectives and project types. Workshop details, including how to register, will be announced soon via eBlast to this distribution list and on the Delta Conveyance page on DWR’s website. For additional information about the Community Benefits Program, check out this digital article.

Hurtado reworks bill to help Friant-Kern, but also state as a whole

As she promised, State Senator Melissa Hurtado has reintroduced legislation that would provide fund to improve California’s water infrastructure, including the Friant-Kern Canal.  On Friday, Hurtado, a Democrat from Sanger whose district includes Porterville, introduced the State Water Resiliency Act of 2021 that would provide $785 million to restore the ability of infrastructure such as the Friant-Kern Canal to deliver water at their capacity.  The bill would also go to fund other infrastructure such as the Delta-Mendota Canal, San Luis Canal and California Aqueduct. Along with the Friant-Kern Canal they are the main sources of water deliver for the state. … ”  Read more from the Porterville Recorder here: Hurtado reworks bill to help Friant-Kern, but also state as a whole

SEE ALSOHurtado Introduces the “State Water Resiliency Act of 2021” to Improve California’s Water Resilience and Restore Critical Infrastructure from the Impacts of Drought and Climate Change, press release from Senator Hurtado

Assemblyman Rivas co-introduces statewide Clean Water Act

Nearing the 50th anniversary of the federal Clean Water Act, Assemblyman Robert Rivas held a press conference on Feb. 2 to discuss the proposed California Clean Water Act, AB 377. The legislation, co-introduced by Rivas and state Senate Majority Leader Robert Hertzberg, would work to ensure all rivers, lakes, oceans and other bodies of water in California are clean enough for drinking, swimming and fishing purposes by 2050.  Along with Rivas, chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee and vice chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, a coalition of Californians spoke on what it would take to provide access to clean water to underserved communities. … ”  Read more from Benito Link here: Assemblyman Rivas co-introduces statewide Clean Water Act

Warmer temperatures may offer California farmers a rare silver lining: fewer frosts

Few things affect where fruit and nut trees can thrive more than temperature. Nuts and many fruit trees need enough cold hours to produce quality yields, whereas too much cold, especially at the wrong time, can prove disastrous.  Ill-timed frosts have resulted in nearly $400 million in insurance payments to California farmers for damage to perennial orchard crops in the last two decades. But the true cost of frost is much larger, because not all farmers carry insurance and yield losses don’t capture all the money spent on frost prevention.  Now, in a rare bit of good climate news for California farmers, a recent study suggests that orchards may see fewer crop-destroying frosts by midcentury.  … ”  Read more from Inside Climate News here: Warmer temperatures may offer California farmers a rare silver lining: fewer frosts

Cal Trout looks back at Mono Lake

Most of California’s abundant Sierra Nevada snowmelt runs down the gently sloping foothills westward toward the Pacific Ocean. But for every 100 drops that run west, a few drops of that precious water escape down the much steeper “backside”, down the eastern slope and into the rain-shadow-lands of the Great Basin. Some of those drops end up in Mono Lake.  Mark Twain wrote in 1872 in his famous travel journal Roughing It, a century before CalTrout’s founding:  “Half a dozen little mountain brooks flow into Mono Lake, but not a stream of any kind flows out of it. It neither rises nor falls, apparently, and what it does with its surplus water is a dark and bloody mystery.” ... ”  Continue reading this photo feature at Cal Trout here: Cal Trout looks back at Mono Lake

SEE ALSOA century-old fight for tribal recognition simmers over the eastern Sierra Nevada’s Mono Lake

Climate change and suppression tactics are critical factors in increasing fires, study shows

The millions of people affected by 2020’s record-breaking and deadly fire season can attest to the fact that wildfire hazards are increasing across western North America.  Both climate change and forest management have been blamed, but the relative influence of these drivers is still heavily debated. The results of a recent study show that in some ecosystems, human-caused climate change is the predominant factor; in other places, the trend can be attributed mainly to a century of fire suppression that has produced dense, unhealthy forests.  Over the past decade, fire scientists have made major progress in understanding climate-fire relationships at large scales, such as across western North America. But a new paper published in the journal Environmental Research Letters details a study that takes this progress to the next level. … ”  Read more from UC Merced here: Climate change and suppression tactics are critical factors in increasing fires, study shows

Texas froze. California baked. The power failed because both states failed to plan

A few weeks after California’s rolling power outages last summer, Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw of Texas pulled out his iPhone and tapped out a political dig at the Golden State. … Crenshaw blamed California’s ongoing energy supply problems on its aggressive adoption of solar, wind and other renewable resources.  It’s worth noting California and Texas have very different energy systems. Texans generate about two-thirds of its power from natural gas. The remaining third comes from nuclear, wind, solar and coal. Most of the state’s electricity is managed by a grid operator independent of the rest of the U.S.  California, like most states, is different from Texas in that it’s connected to a larger regional grid system by transmission lines that operate as a backup system. When California’s demand outpaces its supply, it’s able to acquire power from its neighbors. … ”  Read more from KQED here: Texas froze. California baked. The power failed because both states failed to plan

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Sunday read …

Climate legislation signals a renewed focus on the San Francisco Bay

In the interest of disclosure, the following piece was written by Hudson Fox, a sophomore at Carlmont High School for his school’s news website, the Scot Scoop. “The San Francisco Bay, one of the nation’s most valuable but neglected ecosystems, faces an existential threat posed by climate change.  Throughout the Bay Area, rising sea levels have begun to inundate the lowest-lying areas of the bay’s coastline. Climate change has reshaped the habitats of many Bay Area animals, devastating the nesting locations of birds such as the Western Snowy Plover and putting multiple species at risk of extinction, according to the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.   These threats have culminated in an increase in public awareness of the effects of climate change in the Bay Area. Intensifying efforts to reduce climate change both now and in the future, as well as preparing for and adapting to its inevitable impacts, is essential to the sustainability of the Bay Area. … ”  Continue reading at the Scot Scoop here:  Climate legislation signals a renewed focus on the San Francisco Bay

In people news this weekend …

Jasmin Hall to Chair Inland Empire Water Board

Two elections held in the last three months have placed San Bernardino County resident Jasmin Hall in a position where she wields the most influence among a handful of African Americans serving in California water industry leadership roles.  Late last year, Hall’s colleagues elected her the first African American president of the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA).  Earlier this year, she was sworn in to serve in that role. Now, as the head of the board of one of the largest water agencies in California, Hall takes the helm of an essential public utility for about 875,000 people living in Southern California. IEUA’s service area covers a region in the Inland Empire that includes Chino Hills, Upland, Ontario, Fontana, and Montclair. ... ”  Read more from Black Voice News here:  Jasmin Hall to Chair Inland Empire Water Board

CA Water Data Consortium Q&A with Board Chair Mike Myatt


Q: For those learning about our new nonprofit, what is the Consortium?  Mike Myatt (MM): The California Water Data Consortium is an independent, nonprofit organization that fosters collaboration and engagement between state agencies, water agencies, industry, NGOs, tribes, academia and many others to improve water management in California through more accessible and useable water and ecological data. We’ve created a governance structure that intentionally brings together leaders in state government with local leaders charged with collecting and reporting data, as well as data users including researchers, NGOs, and entrepreneurs. We work collaboratively to identify opportunities to increase access to high quality, comprehensive and interoperable data and form teams to implement projects that improve water data management decision-making. ... ”  Read more from the California Water Data Consortium here: CA Water Data Consortium Q&A with Board Chair Mike Myatt

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Podcasts …

WATER IS A MANY SPLENDOR’ED THING PODCAST: Latino Coalition of Water

Steve Baker writes, “I first met Mario Santoyo in the Central Valley in 2009.  Water shortages created severe impacts resulting from a multi-year drought and changes in the Endangered Species Act. Mario led the California Latino Water Coalition which focused on the impacts experienced by the farmworkers and other Latino communities. Water’s relationships are not limited by nationality, ethnic origin, or any other status.   Mario explains how this organization came about and how he articulates who they are really trying to help. Water is a Many Splendor’ed Thing brings you another water relationship that has a personally significant impact to your life.”  Produced by Steven Baker, Operation Unite® Bringing People Together to Solve Water Problems, Online at www.operationunite.co

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In regional water news this weekend …

Ukiah City Council alerted to possible expansion of FEMA floodplain maps

The Ukiah City Council Wednesday was alerted to a potential expansion of the local floodplain maps created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a change that city staff said could have a significant impact on the amount of insurance property owners would have to pay to protect their homes.  “(Wednesday) we met with FEMA officials and got some somewhat disturbing information,” Public Works Director Tim Eriksen told the council at its Feb. 17 meeting. “They have been working on reevaluating the floodplain maps for a year or two, but (Wednesday) is the first day we saw the maps, which involve a higher flood plain, which would then put a lot of properties into the floodplain (and trigger a need to get flood insurance).” … ”  Read more from the Ukiah Daily Journal here: Ukiah City Council alerted to possible expansion of FEMA floodplain maps

Steelhead from Reclamation’s Nimbus Fish Hatchery released into American River

In partnership with Reclamation, approximately 440,500 steelhead trout from the Nimbus Fish Hatchery were released into the Lower American River by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife from Feb. 10-12.  “Reclamation is appreciative of our partnership with CDFW to operate our Nimbus Fish Hatchery on the Lower American River,” said Drew Lessard, Central California area office manager. “Despite the challenges we faced from the pandemic, CDFW was still able to fulfill the production goals for the steelhead trout this year.” The fish were hatched in 2020 and are around 10 inches long and marked with an adipose-fin clip. Fin-clipping is done to ensure hatchery-raised fish are properly identified as such to anglers, as well as fisheries biologists.  CDFW spawns and releases steelhead trout at Nimbus Fish Hatchery and releases them at various locations under a federal financial agreement with Reclamation. This requirement was established in the 1950s by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as mitigation for Reclamation’s construction of Folsom and Nimbus dams on the Lower American River.” (USBR)

Prominent Bay Area redwood forest preserved in $24.7 million deal

A vast redwood forest located 80 miles north of San Francisco and sprawling nearly as large as Big Basin Redwoods State Park has received permanent protection under a deal between a Bay Area environmental group and the property’s longtime owners.  Under the agreement, Save the Redwoods League paid $24.7 million to buy a conservation easement over the sweeping Mailliard Ranch, located in southern Mendocino County near the Sonoma County line.  The 14,838-acre property is believed to be the largest family-owned coast redwood forest remaining in California. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: Prominent Bay Area redwood forest preserved in $24.7 million deal

City of Antioch breaks ground on water project in Delta

On Friday, the City of Antioch, along with local and State dignitaries, broke ground on their new and historic Brackish Water Desalination Plant.  At a price of $110 million, the project was made possible with $93 million in funding from the State, and $17 million from the City of Antioch.  “Through this project, Antioch continues establishing itself as both a State and regional leader on environmental best practices,” said Lamar Thorpe, Mayor, City of Antioch. “I would like to thank Governor Newsom for California’s investment in making our Brackish Water Desalination Plant a reality. By working together, we exemplify the very best of our State and our City.” … ”  Read more from East County Today here:  City of Antioch breaks ground on water project in Delta

Antioch Dunes wildlife refuge being restored

There are photos in the Antioch Historical Society Museum showing a 120-foot-high wall of sand that once stretched for 2 miles along the Antioch shoreline of the San Joaquin River. This natural wonder along the city’s Wilbur Avenue corridor serves as a habitat for species that exist nowhere else in the world. That view is long-gone now, but the species that live there have held on.  Now a national wildlife refuge under the authority of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Antioch Dunes are going through a long-range restoration project to support the three endangered species that live on the property. Since 2013, Fish and Wildlife has worked with the Port of Stockton and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to bring dredged sand material to the dunes to help restore the land to its natural beginnings. … ”  Read more from the East Bay Times here: Antioch Dunes wildlife refuge being restored

Lehigh quarry update set to address residents’ ongoing concerns

As Lehigh Permanente Quarry digs itself in deeper with those who have long objected to its cement production in the Cupertino foothills, Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian expects that “the level of public interest will be high” for a Zoom meeting he’s hosting March 3 to update the public on operations at the quarry.  These operations include Lehigh’s 2013 settlement with the Sierra Club requiring the cement company to cut its discharge of selenium and other pollutants into Permanente Creek within 2½ years. Lehigh Cement agreed to restore approximately 3½ miles of Permanente Creek, which Sierra Club officials said had been degraded by the company’s quarry mining overburden and waste. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: Lehigh quarry update set to address residents’ ongoing concerns

Saratoga Creek restoration project removes more than trees: Some residents lose their backyards

““I’ve lived here for more than 50 years, and this creek was dry longer than I’d ever seen it. It was dry for seven months. No water at all.”  Retired Navy pilot Phil Livengood stood in the backyard of his home in Saratoga, Calif., on Feb. 1 and gestured to Saratoga Creek, a tributary that originates from the Santa Cruz Mountains and once surged with mountain runoff, but now collects dust and slabs of concrete in its parched gully. … ”  Read more from SF Gate here: Saratoga Creek restoration project removes more than trees: Some residents lose their backyards

Commentary: Saving Goleta Beach Park

Terry Dressler writes, “So, what to do about the inexorable erosion of Goleta Beach Park?  People first came to live in the land that we now call Goleta about 13,000 years ago. At that time the coast was littered with wide and productive estuaries at the mouth of every drainage that flowed out of the Santa Ynez Mountains from Carpinteria to Hollister Ranch. They lived simple and rich lives from the shellfish easily gathered from the estuaries and the small seeds from the chaparral plants on the nearby shore. The sea levels were low, due to all the glaciation to the north; the canyons out of the mountains were deep and broad, all the way to the sea, where they formed the productive habitats on which the progenitors of the Chumash lived and thrived. … ”  Continue reading at the Santa Barbara Independent here: Commentary: Saving Goleta Beach Park

Santa Clarita Valley Water gathers input on Urban Water Management Plan

The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency hosted a virtual public meeting to inform residents of the Urban Water Management Plan and gather community input Wednesday.  With the agency’s nearly 275,000 users each consuming approximately 112 gallons of water each day, this plan is used to ensure there’s enough good, clean, reliable water, and is updated every five years as required by the state, according to SCV Water officials. … ”  Read more from The Signal here: Santa Clarita Valley Water gathers input on Urban Water Management Plan

Santa Clarita Valley Water announces second virtual public meeting, extension to public comment period

The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency has announced it will extend its public comment period for the Saugus Aquifer Non-Time Critical Removal Action to March 19 and will host a second virtual public meeting on Thursday, March 4 at 4 p.m.  The meeting will provide community members with an additional opportunity to learn more about how the Agency is keeping its water safe for drinking water consumption by addressing the public health and environmental effects of hazardous substances that have been identified in the Saugus Formation Aquifer. … ”  Read more from SCV News here: Santa Clarita Valley Water announces second virtual public meeting, extension to public comment period

L.A. council president threatens to sever ties to water agency under fire over sexual harassment allegations

The president of the Los Angeles City Council has threatened to sever the city’s relationship with the agency that supplies much of the city’s water over allegations that women working for the organization faced systemic sexual harassment.  Council President Nury Martinez this week asked for city officials to report back within 10 days on the city’s relationship with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California after a Times article detailed a pattern of accusations from women saying they were sexually harassed. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: L.A. council president threatens to sever ties to water agency under fire over sexual harassment allegations

Marine researchers team up with Long Beach boat owners in an effort to restore Olympia oyster populations

Local conservationists and members of the Long Beach Yacht Club partnered on Saturday afternoon to suspend strings of oyster shells throughout Alamitos Bay in an effort to restore populations of the Olympia oyster in Southern California. Katie Nichols, marine restoration director with the Orange County Coastkeeper organization, said the stringed oyster shells would serve as potential homes for the oyster larvae to latch onto and grow. The shells were distributed to yacht owners in Long Beach to hang around docks in Alamitos Bay. … ”  Read more from the Long Beach Post here: Marine researchers team up with Long Beach boat owners in an effort to restore Olympia oyster populations

Laguna Beach mulls sewer pipeline redo after $1.5M penalty

The Laguna Beach City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the first steps to mitigate damage and assuage a $1.5 million state fine resulting from a 1.7 million gallon sewage spill in November 2019. During the virtual workshop, City Manager John Pietig pointed out a warning prominently posted in bold print at the bottom of a presentation slide discussing the details of revamping the city’s faulty 4.5-mile sewer pipeline that runs mainly along Coast Highway. The message read: “most disruptive construction in city history.” … ”  Read more from the Laguna Beach Independent here: Laguna Beach mulls sewer pipeline redo after $1.5M penalty

Reporter notebook: Will EPA fix for Tijuana River keep pace with growth?

Reports of Tijuana sewage leaking over the border into the San Diego region stretch back at least to the 1930s. The fundamental issue hasn’t changed all that much over time. Plumbing still isn’t keeping pace with population growth.  Water officials in Baja California have frequently pointed out that sewage collection in Tijuana far exceeds that in many parts of Mexico. It’s estimated that roughly 90 percent of homes are hooked into the sewer system, compared to 50 percent nationwide. … ”  Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here: Reporter notebook: Will EPA fix for Tijuana River keep pace with growth?

Along the Colorado River …

Troubled waters: Colorado River projects head for controversy

Two controversial governmental actions recently surfaced regarding water rights, as government officials seek to ensconce water rights for development at both state and local levels. Governor Cox has created a new state agency to advocate for Colorado River water and, in Southwest Utah, county water managers are proposing a new $30 million reservoir for Kane and Washington Counties. At both levels of government, environmental groups claim the stated intentions for the new projects conceal their true real purpose: harnessing more water for growth and development. … ”  Read more from the Moab Sun here: Troubled waters: Colorado River projects head for controversy

Colorado River study means it’s time to cut water use now, outside experts say

Less water for the Central Arizona Project — but not zero water. Even more competition between farms and cities for dwindling Colorado River supplies than there is now.  More urgency to cut water use rather than wait for seven river basin states to approve new guidelines in 2025 for operating the river’s reservoirs. That’s where Arizona and the Southwest are heading with water, say experts and environmental advocates following publication of a dire new academic study on the Colorado River’s future. ... ”  Read more from Tucson.com here:  Colorado River study means it’s time to cut water use now, outside experts say

As Arizona lawmakers consider clean-water rules, critics say the proposal falls short

When the Trump administration rolled back protections for many streams and wetlands, Gov. Doug Ducey’s administration supported the change and convened a series of meetings to develop a “local control” approach to regulating Arizona’s waters.  A proposal emerged from those meetings in December, and a bill that’s now working its way through the Arizona Legislature would establish a new state surface water regulatory program.  The proposed legislation, House Bill 2691, was introduced by Rep. Gail Griffin, R-Hereford, and has been supported by representatives of the mining industry, agriculture and developers, among others. … ”  Read more from Arizona Central here: As Arizona lawmakers consider clean-water rules, critics say the proposal falls short

Assessing the Colorado River through the eyes of a 19th century explorer

Renegotiations around the use of the Colorado River are on the horizon for seven western states, including Utah. On Thursday, scholars in the state held a panel to discuss how explorer John Wesley Powell would think about water and land policies today.  Powell is seen as a utilitarian, according to Robert Keiter, a law professor at the University of Utah. He along with U professors Robert Adler and Daniel McCool are contributing authors to a book about Powell, “Vision and Place.”  Keiter said Powell was interested in fully developing western resources but backing up reasoning with science. … ”  Read more from KUER here: Assessing the Colorado River through the eyes of a 19th century explorer

In national water news this weekend …

Why water is a huge issue for Texans right now

As millions across Texas battle power outages and freezing temperatures during the massive winter storm, one element has proved especially problematic — water.  Whether it’s too much water or too little, high pressure or low pressure, or simply just the wrong form, water has been a huge issue for Texans during this ongoing catastrophe.  “A lot of people are losing water in my area and were told that they would be shutting (the) water off for the whole city with no idea when it would be back, so we filled up pitchers and tubs,” San Antonio resident Jordan Orta told CNN. “I went to H-E-B yesterday and there was no water left, so if we lose water, it’s all we got until who knows when.” … ”  Read more from CNN here:  Why water is a huge issue for Texans right now

Natural Resources Committee’s first meeting turns into partisan brawl

A perfunctory House Natural Resources Committee organizational meeting yesterday at times turned into a partisan free-for-all, including on the issue of guns.  Convening virtually to adopt a rules package for the 117th Congress, members of the panel squabbled over issues including jurisdictional turf, the pros and cons of remote proceedings, the majority’s power to issue subpoenas, and the individual rights to carry guns inside the hearing room.  There was a brief digression where a Republican lawmaker — Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida — asked if Democrats would insist on using gender-neutral titles to address colleagues over the course of committee business. … ”  Read more from E&E News here: Natural Resources Committee’s first meeting turns into partisan brawl

And lastly …

No, the snow is not fake or generated by the government

Just in case you were wondering … “As strange winter weather brought frigid temperatures and snowfall as far south as Houston, some social media users were claiming that there’s something strange about the snow itself.  A series of videos posted to Facebook show social media users holding snowballs over lighters. To their surprise, the snowballs don’t melt away, but begin to develop black scorch marks.   “It’s not even melting!” one user exclaims. “It’s just turning black!”   The users posit various explanations for this phenomenon: “fake snow,” alien technology, a simulated reality, and a massive government conspiracy. ... ”  So what’s really going on?  Check it out here: No, the snow is not fake or generated by the government

Also on Maven’s Notebook this weekend …

NOTICE OF WORKSHOP/OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENT: 2020 Safe Drinking Water Plan

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed Changes to Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program General Orders to Incorporate CV-SALTS Requirements

Catch up on last week’s news in the Weekly Digest …

WEEKLY WATER NEWS DIGEST for Feb 14-19: What is Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM)?; Climate change adaptation, equity, and water; plus all the top water news stories of the week and more …

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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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