The peaceful waters of Halfmoon Lake shine amid surrounding greenery on the Calaveras Ranger District of the Stanislaus National Forest. Photo by Roy Bridgeman.

DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Will March bring more drought misery or a miracle?; Multi-agency collaboration restores critical habitat for native species; Former FWS biologist now leads SoCal water agency; PFAS in pesticides: ‘A problem of epic proportions’; and more …

In California water news this weekend …

Cooler unsettled weather expected Monday through Wednesday with rain showers, mountain and upper foothill snow showers, and possible afternoon thunderstorms.

California is bone dry. Will March bring more misery or a miracle?

California, and Southern California in particular, is bone dry.  The calendar says spring officially begins with the equinox March 20, but the meteorological winter — consisting of December, January and February — is already in the record books. In other words, the wettest months are over. Let’s take a look at where the Golden State stands. ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here: California is bone dry. Will March bring more misery or a miracle?

California could be in for ‘critically dry year’ without more big storms

The Mother Lode and the rest of the Central Sierra could be headed toward “a critically dry year” if Mother Nature does not bring a series of strong storms in March and April, the state Department of Water Resources director warned Tuesday. Weeks of unseasonably dry, warm weather in late February and early March have prompted early blooms on dogwoods and other trees, and green fields of grass from Priest Station to the shores of Don Pedro and New Melones reservoirs, while state snow sensor data Tuesday showed 17.7 inches of snow water equivalent in the Central Sierra — 69% of normal to date. … ”  Read more from the Union Democrat here:  California could be in for ‘critically dry year’ without more big storms

Multi-agency collaboration restores critical habitat for endangered Delta smelt, other native species

View of construction on Lower Yolo Ranch Tidal Habitat Restoration Project. Photo by DWR.

Native fish, including smelt and salmon, in the southern Yolo Bypass in Yolo County have new sources of food and shelter thanks to a project that successfully restored more than 1,600 acres of former cattle pasture.  The Lower Yolo Ranch Tidal Restoration Project is a collaboration between multiple agencies including the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and Westlands Water District (Westlands) which serves western Fresno and Kings counties. The agencies are working together to meet a portion of state and federal requirements to restore 8,000 acres of tidal wetland habitat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  “As advocates of California’s natural resources, we want to be good stewards of the environment with the work that we do,” said Ted Craddock, DWR Deputy Director of the State Water Project. “As we move water through the Delta, it’s very important that we also protect the native species that live there.” … ”  Read more from DWR News here: Multi-agency collaboration restores critical habitat for endangered Delta smelt, other native species

Video: In California, the Northfork Mono Tribe brings ‘good fire’ to overgrown woodlands

The basket weavers were the first to notice that the forest was overdue for a fire.  When the artisans, who are members of the Northfork Mono tribe, foraged at Kirk Ranch in Mariposa, California, for the stalks of sourberry and redbud that make up the fibers of their baskets, they found them bent and brittle. Their weak stems were a sign not only that the overgrown woodland understory was impeding their growth, but that the forest above was in declining health and prone to burn big in a wildfire.  So on the weekend of Feb. 12, members of the tribe cut brush, trimmed limbs off trees, sawed up dead timber and cleared ground around the site. Then they set fire to the grass and scrub of the understory, which was filled with invasives like star thistle, dodder and tarweed that were crowding out the coveted redbud, elderberry and sourberry. Nearby, they ignited piles of timber dead cottonwoods. … ”  Read more from Inside Climate News here: Video: In California, the Northfork Mono Tribe brings ‘good fire’ to overgrown woodlands

Design of Yorba Linda Water District’s new 19 MGD PFAS treatment plant

Recent years have witnessed the emergence of PFAS in our nation’s groundwaters. … Locally, the Yorba Linda Water District (YLWD) has been especially hard hit. To learn more about what the District has planned to deal with the issue, OCWA was pleased to host Rosanne Weston, the YLWD Engineering Manager, for the second of our monthly Industry Insight webinars for 2021. Her presentation was underwritten, in part, by three of our Corporate Sponsors for 2021, Tetra Tech, Carollo Engineers, and Richard C.  Slade & Associates. A record 198 people signed up to view the presentation, strong testament to the importance of this topic to the Orange County water community. … ”  Read more from the Orange County Water Association here: Design of Yorba Linda Water District’s new 19 MGD PFAS treatment plant

Legal brief: Proposed “California Clean Water Act” (AB 377) would restrict ability to secure schedules of compliance in water quality permits or other water quality-related orders

AB 377, entitled the “California Clean Water Act,” introduced by Assemblymember Rivas in February 2021, includes provisions to eliminate all “impaired waterways” and make all waters in California suitable for drinking, swimming, and fishing by 2050.  If adopted, this bill would have significant impacts on the ability to timely and cost-effectively comply with discharge requirements set forth in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permits, Waste Discharge Requirements (“WDRs”), and waivers of WDRs (collectively, “water quality permits”).  The bill would also usher in an era of focus on enforcement, rather than good-faith compliance. … ”  Read more from Downey Brand here: Legal brief: Proposed “California Clean Water Act” (AB 377) would restrict ability to secure schedules of compliance in water quality permits or other water quality-related orders

Legal brief: Must CEQA compliance precede project approval? When State Water Board water quality certifications are involved, the answer is as “clear as mud”

One of CEQA’s bedrock principles is that environmental review must precede project approval.  (E.g., POET, LLC v. California Air Resources Board (2013) 217 Cal.App.4th 1214; CEQA Guidelines, § 15004(a).)  To reverse the order and “put the cart before the horse” would be anathema, i.e., to sanction uninformed and undemocratic lead agency decision making, and to encourage irretrievable commitments of resources and post-hoc rationalizations that foreclose mitigations and alternatives and sweep environmental considerations under the rug.  Right?  Well …  maybe not.  In the area of State Water Resources Control Board (“SWRCB” or the “State Board”) water quality certifications (“WQCs”) under the Federal Clean Water Act (“CWA”; 33 U.S.C § 1251 et seq), this bedrock principle appears to have been watered down, and it may be significantly eroding under pressure from a preemptive federal law deadline. … ”  Read more from Miller Starr Regalia here: Must CEQA compliance precede project approval? When State Water Board water quality certifications are involved, the answer is as “clear as mud”

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In commentary this weekend …

Column: This desalination plan stinks all the way from Orange County to Gov. Newsom’s office

Columnist Steve Lopez writes, ” … It was easy to miss a development that flew under the radar in recent months, until my colleague Bettina Boxall laid out the details of a desalination plant project that stinks all the way from Huntington Beach to the French Laundry restaurant in the Napa Valley to the office of Gov. Gavin Newsom. … Let me begin by saying that desalination may have a role to play in addressing California’s long-running water shortage issues. After all, we’ve got a 1,100-mile coastline in a drought-stricken state, and it’s only natural to think: Hey, let’s just stick a straw in the ocean, and our rabid thirst will be quenched once and for all. ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Column: This desalination plan stinks all the way from Orange County to Gov. Newsom’s office

Column: Overcomplicated environmental rules for new projects must be streamlined

Columnist Dick Spotswood writes, “President Joe Biden and the Democrats’ narrow congressional majority will soon launch national infrastructure plans.  Their effort is desperately needed. It’s been decades since the federal government updated America’s deteriorated transportation networks, electrical grid and utility distribution facilities.  Due to dilapidated infrastructure, 21st century America is less globally competitive with Europe and Asia while our collective quality of life is diminished.  Even when funds become available, improvements are delayed for years by intricate environmental rules and the United States’ odd propensity to litigate common policy disputes. … ”  Continue reading at the Marin Independent Journal here:  Column: Overcomplicated environmental rules for new projects must be streamlined

In people news this weekend …

Heather Dyer: Former Fish and Wildlife Service biologist now leads So Cal water agency

Nobody understands the dangers facing the Santa Ana sucker and other threatened or endangered species in the Santa Ana River more than Heather Dyer.  For four years years, beginning in 2010 when she moved to California, Dyer was the fish biologist spearheading U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service efforts to protect the Santa Ana sucker, the tiny fish whose habitat was threatened by water projects along the Santa Ana River.  San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District hired Heather Dyer away from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2014 to guide water agency efforts to coordinate development of a habitat conservation plan for the Santa Ana River.  Dyer has since been promoted to CEO/General Manager, providing the agency with unique insights on ways to balance the water needs of people with the need to protect our environment.

Click here to read this profile of Heather Dyer.

Water Replenishment District GM retires after 30 year career

After a WRD career spanning nearly 30 years, General Manager Robb Whitaker has announced his retirement. Hired as Water Resources Engineer in 1991, Whitaker became District Engineer in 2000 and Assistant General Manager in 2001. He was appointed General Manager by the Board in 2003 and is the longest-serving General Manager in WRD’s 61-year history.  “Under Robb Whitaker’s leadership WRD has become a leader in regional water sustainability,” said Congresswoman Grace Napolitano. “His vision has been a large part of Southern Los Angeles County’s water future.” ... ”  Read more from ACWA’s Water News here: Water Replenishment District GM retires after 30 year career

Scientist profile: Jennifer Hemmert

Jennifer Hemmert has taken an interesting route before landing with the Department of Fish and Wildlife as a wild trout biologist and experiencing a career highlight of saving a species of fire-threatened fish three different times. Born in Ohio and a graduate of Ohio State (yes, she is a huge fan of Ohio State football), she has worked in medical research and at a marine park in Hawaii called Dolphin Discovery. Later she worked for the environmental non-profit group Sierra Nevada Alliance as an AmeriCorps member, UC Davis and the state Department of Water Resources. With CDFW since 2012, Jennifer’s trout biology work is done in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. … ”  Continue reading at the Department of Fish & Wildlife here: Scientist profile: Jennifer Hemmert

Jack Thomson (1922-2021): Farmer helped establish State Water Project, served on various local boards

It was just like Buttonwillow farmer Jack Thomson to ask for a new wheelbarrow for his 94th birthday. Here was a man who’d done for others his whole life — a founding member of the Kern County Water Agency who helped bring Northern Californian water to Kern County, a volunteer for countless local causes, the man neighborhood kids came to for help shearing their sheep before the county Fair — who even in his sunset years refused to stop working.  “He was a real doer, you know?” son Tim Thomson recalled Friday. “And when he saw something that needed to be done, he didn’t reflect a whole lot on it. He just went ahead and did it. And he was kind of that way his whole life.” … ”  Read more from the Bakersfield Californian here: Jack Thomson (1922-2021): Farmer helped establish State Water Project, served on various local boards

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Podcasts …

MY AG LIFE PODCAST: More water problems for California farmers

A fifth straight dry month is now officially in the books and farmers are warned to expect low supplies. Sabrina Halvorson talks with Cannon Michael of Bowles Farming about the current situation, farming with less water and what he’s expecting for this year. We also have highlights from the California Walnut Board and Commission industry meeting and Commodity Classic.


DOWN ON THE FARM PODCAST: The San Joaquin Valley Blueprint

Is it inevitable that our San Joaquin Valley must retire 1,000,000 acres from production, one fifth of all irrigated agriculture, by 2040 to comply with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act? A community of innovative visionaries thinks not. Join “Down on the Farm” host Tom Willey, in conversation with Don Wright of “Water Wrights” and Milk Producers Council spokesperson Geoff Vanden Heuvel over a ‘San Joaquin Valley Water Blueprint’.”  Click here to listen to this podcast.


INGRAINED PODCAST: Episode 19: The Sushi Prodigy

Jim Morris writes, “Sushi is often a high culinary art form and its popularity continues to grow. Since the countries first sushi roll was served in Little Tokyo Los Angeles in the 1960s, is has grown into a multi-billion dollar a year industry. Interest in the cuisine is fueled by creative chefs, who push boundaries and take painstaking steps to ensure the best customer experience.  One example is Billy Ngo, founder, chef and partner of Kru Restaurant in Sacramento, whose innovation and emphasis on quality has garnered loyal customers and rave reviews.  The Sacramento Valley provides virtually all of America’s sushi rice, and this region has some outstanding sushi. Ian Scharg and his family are regular customers at Kru Restaurant.”  More resources here


WATER IS A MANY SPLENDOR’ED THING PODCAST: A Most Notable Moment

Steve Baker writes, “Water appreciation comes in many forms and experiences. As our experiences with water mount, it can shape our lives in many ways. Water experiences started with Soon Joon Yoon 29 years ago in South Korea. Sometimes, it’s the experience of not having water that sets the stage for recognizing the value of water.  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


MONGABAY PODCAST: Rewilding, restoration, and real hope for the future

“On today’s episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we take a look at the growing movement to restore degraded ecosystems worldwide. The decade of 2021 to 2030 has been declared the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.  Author Judith Schwartz joins us to discuss her 2020 book The Reindeer Chronicles: And Other Inspiring Stories of Working with Nature to Heal the Earth, which documents numerous restoration projects around the globe and highlights the ways the global ecological restoration movement is challenging us to reconsider the way we live on planet Earth.  We’re also joined by Tero Mustonen, president of an NGO based in Finland called the Snowchange Cooperative, who tells us about the group’s Landscape Rewilding Programme, which is “rewilding” Arctic and Boreal habitats using Indigenous knowledge and science.”  More resources here

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In regional water news this weekend …

Northern California: Weekly evapotranspiration reports assist farm water management

The Northern Region of the California Department of Water Resources and the University of California Cooperative Extension have teamed up to provide Weekly ET Reports to agricultural water users.  This is the first Weekly crop ET Report for the 2021 irrigation season. It includes water use information for a variety of crops. Background information about the reports and ways to use them in on-farm water management are outlined in this article. … ”  Continue reading at the Daily News here: Northern California: Weekly evapotranspiration reports assist farm water management

The collapse of Northern California kelp forests will be hard to reverse

Bull kelp at Pescadero Point. Photo by Steve Lonhart/NOAA, MBNMS

Satellite imagery shows that the area covered by kelp forests off the coast of Northern California has dropped by more than 95 percent, with just a few small, isolated patches of bull kelp remaining. Species-rich kelp forests have been replaced by “urchin barrens,” where purple sea urchins cover a seafloor devoid of kelp and other algae.  A new study led by researchers at UC Santa Cruz documents this dramatic shift in the coastal ecosystem and analyzes the events that caused it. This was not a gradual decline, but an abrupt collapse of the kelp forest ecosystem in the aftermath of unusual ocean warming along the West Coast starting in 2014, part of a series of events that combined to decimate the kelp forests. ... ”  Read more from UC Santa Cruz here: The collapse of Northern California kelp forests will be hard to reverse

Commentary: A public process that excludes the public

John Dunlap, member of the Guerneville Forest Coalition writes, “A plan to log 224 acres of redwood and Douglas fir trees along the Russian River in Guerneville is just one of several timber harvests proposed or scheduled to take place this year in Sonoma and Mendocino counties.  The Guerneville project is small in comparison to most, but noticeable in its proximity to hundreds of homes. Ninety-six percent of the plan area is within the Highway 116 scenic corridor. The site is home to the tallest tree on private property in the world — the 2,000-year-old Clar tree — and a pair of rare and endangered northern spotted owls. The location along the river and on steep terrain is alarming for those who monitor water quality and landslide risk. … ”  Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here: Commentary: A public process that excludes the public

Sonoma County eases permitting for low-impact vineyard replanting

In a move hailed by grape growers, Sonoma County supervisors have streamlined the permitting process for a vineyard replanting technique intended to reduce erosion.  On a unanimous vote, with no questions from board members or the public, the supervisors on Tuesday approved an expedited approval process for low-impact vineyard replanting, commonly known as “pluck and plant.”  The vote followed a December meeting in which the board did much of its deliberation on regulatory revisions sought by local grape growers. ... ”  Read more from the North Bay Business Journal here: Sonoma County eases permitting for low-impact vineyard replanting

Pelicans make a visit to the Delta Loop in Isleton

Along with all the waterfowl that call the Delta home, locals have been seeing more pelicans lately.  Along the Delta Loop, pelicans could be seen bobbing along the Mokelumne River just off Highway 12 on Thursday.  Some people KCRA 3 spoke with say they aren’t surprised to see a few pelicans now and then. But this year, there seems to be more than many can remember. … ”  Read more from KCRA Channel 3 here: Pelicans make a visit to the Delta Loop in Isleton

Massive erosion to Pacific Grove properties raises question of who is responsible

A Pacific Grove homeowner is attributing what he likens to a canyon being eroded through his property to a poor design of Pebble Beach Co.’s Morse Road just on the upstream side of his property.  But Pebble Beach says the erosion is a natural occurrence in a waterway that has been running for decades and possibly much longer and that Pebble Beach Co. is in the midst of constructing erosion control measures, as should the homeowner.  Morse Road is roughly the dividing line between Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach. … ”  Read more from the Monterey Herald here: Massive erosion to Pacific Grove properties raises question of who is responsible

Pure Water Monterey expansion could have new life

A newly constituted Monterey One Water board plans to consider whether to move forward with an environmental impact report for the previously stalled Pure Water Monterey expansion proposal.  Last month, the board unanimously agreed to direct agency staff to prepare a report on the cost and timeline for reviving the supplemental EIR for the board’s consideration at its March 29 meeting. The board would presumably decide whether to actually go ahead with the work to update the document for potential certification. ... ”  Read more from the Monterey Herald here: Pure Water Monterey expansion could have new life

Officials and community groups envision future use of Diablo Canyon site

Leaders from federal, state, and county government, Cal Poly, The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County, the yak tityu tityu yak tiłhini Northern Chumash, and the Tri-Counties Building and Construction Trades Council have announced a new partnership under the coordination of REACH to pursue future use opportunities at Diablo Canyon.  The shared vision, outlined in a new ​memorandum of understanding​, embraces job creation and clean energy innovation at the 600-acre industrial Parcel P site while honoring the complementary effort to preserve the unique natural resources and cultural heritage of the surrounding 12,000 acres of Diablo lands. … ”  Read more from the Paso Robles Daily News here: Officials and community groups envision future use of Diablo Canyon site 

This tiny wetland area in SLO County is getting a nearly $1 million makeover

A small wetland area in southern San Luis Obispo County will soon see massive restoration efforts to a freshwater pond, wetlands and coastal dune scrub. The California State Coastal Conservancy received a $584,909 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to “restore and enhance” a freshwater pond, freshwater wetlands and coastal scrub in a 45-acre area in the Black Lake Ecological Area near Nipomo. … ”  Read more from the San Luis Obispo Tribune here: This tiny wetland area in SLO County is getting a nearly $1 million makeover

Ventura commentary: Support the city of Ventura proposed water and wastewater rate changes

Sandy Smith, former mayor of Ventura writes, “Residents and rate payers in the city of Ventura should support Ventura Water’s proposed water and wastewater rate changes, scheduled for City Council review and approval this month. These rate adjustments fund critical investments needed to provide safe and reliable water and wastewater services for the city of Ventura’s customers now and into the future.  During the eight years I sat on the City Council, I served as the city and council’s representative on the Association of Water Agencies of Ventura County, and for many years, as that agency’s Vice President. … ”  Continue reading from the Ventura County Star here:  Ventura commentary: Support the city of Ventura proposed water and wastewater rate changes

Oxnard to apply for $27.6M loan for recycled water project

Oxnard has some major infrastructure projects on the horizon aimed at ramping up recycled water production.  The City Council last week authorized staff to begin the process of seeking a $27.6 million federal loan to expand the Advanced Water Purification Facility and increase the capacity to purify the city’s wastewater. The loan, administered by the Environmental Protection Agency, would cover about half of the total costs of the latest expansion project. ... ”  Read more from the Ventura County Star here:  Oxnard to apply for $27.6M loan for recycled water project

More rain forecast for Southern California but it won’t be enough to end drought

A cold storm is expected to bring rain to Southern California next week but it won’t be enough to pull the region out of a lingering drought.  The storm system is expected to move into the Los Angeles area Tuesday afternoon and depart Thursday morning, with the best chance of rain during the day on Wednesday, said Rich Thompson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  More rain forecast for Southern California but it won’t be enough to end drought

Attorney ordered to pay back $1.65 million in DWP case

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has ordered an attorney who worked on a lawsuit against the Department of Water and Power over faulty bills to pay back $1.65 million in fees that he earned in the case.  The attorney, Michael Libman, was also ordered to pay more than $116,000 in sanctions, cited for contempt of court and fined $44,000 by Judge Elihu M. Berle. … ”  Continue reading from the LA Times here: Attorney ordered to pay back $1.65 million in DWP case

California tries to tamp down Salton Sea dust after years of delays

California is spending more than $200 million to keep an unfolding ecological crisis from getting worse. The state wants to stabilize habitat along the southern bank of the Salton Sea, the state’s largest lake.  That is good news for nearby residents concerned about their health, but the restoration also could affect everyone who draws water from the Colorado River.  At issue is the wide swaths of exposed lakebed that have been uncovered as the thirsty lake’s water evaporates in the desert air. ... ”  Read more from KPBS here: California tries to tamp down Salton Sea dust after years of delays

San Diego’s Pure Water sewage recycling system ready for construction with all hurdles cleared

San Diego is ready to start building the long-awaited Pure Water sewage recycling system, now that city officials have resolved litigation that delayed the project 18 months and increased its estimated cost to $5 billion, city officials say.  Pure Water will boost San Diego’s water independence by recycling 83 million gallons of treated sewage into potable drinking water by 2035. … ”  Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here:  San Diego’s Pure Water sewage recycling system ready for construction with all hurdles cleared

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Next door in Nevada …

Inside the lithium mining war that could poison the Nevada desert’s water

One of the largest known lithium deposits in the world has sat undisturbed under the Nevada desert for centuries. Now, a mining giant wants to extract the resource to power electric cars using a potentially harmful method.  Before bringing in its equipment, however, the company will have to go through a blockade of environmental protesters that have been camped out at the site since December. “Like the wildlife, we hunker down when the weather gets very bad and wait for the storm to break,” said Max Wilbert, who started the Protect Thacker Pass, the grassroots organization leading the occupation. “But we’re not backing down. What is at stake here is the soul of the entire environmental movement.” … ”  Read more from Vice here: Inside the lithium mining war that could poison the Nevada desert’s water

Along the Colorado River …

Arizona seeks to create surface water protections after Clean Water Act rollback

Since June 2020, a large proportion of Arizona’s rivers, lakes and streams have not been protected by the Clean Water Act. That’s due to a change to the federal rule the Trump administration made in 2019. The state relied on the landmark law to keep its arid streams free of pollution.  But after the federal protections were limited, Arizona decided to come up with its own set of surface water quality standards.  For the last two years, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has been working to craft the new rules with public input. … ”  Read more from KUNC here: Arizona seeks to create surface water protections after Clean Water Act rollback

What about us? Ute Tribe asks as Utah moves to protect its share of the Colorado River.

Citing decades of conflict with the state over water, the Ute Indian Tribe is upset with a freshly passed bill that would set up a new state agency to advance Utah’s interests in the Colorado River, potentially at the expense of the tribe’s more senior rights.  On Wednesday, tribal Chairman Luke Duncan sent a letter to Gov. Spencer Cox, insisting on guarantees that the newly proposed Colorado River Authority of Utah wouldn’t take steps that would diminish the tribe’s water rights.  “We were a tribe long before Utah was a state and controlling law prevents Utah or its Colorado River Authority from taking any action that would impact our water rights,” the Ute Indian Tribal Business Committee said Friday in a statement. … ”  Read more from the Salt Lake Tribune here: What about us? Ute Tribe asks as Utah moves to protect its share of the Colorado River.

Research on flow rates in Colorado River fuels new thinking for future agreements

A recent report from the Center for Colorado River Studies at Utah State University takes a deep dive into the history of water flow on the Colorado River to help water users assess the future of this high use, drought plagued resource. Professor Jack Schmidt is the Center’s Director. Today we take a quantitative look at the future of a river that was once called the Nile of America.  … ”  Read more from KAWC here: Research on flow rates in Colorado River fuels new thinking for future agreements

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In national water news this weekend …

PFAS in pesticides: ‘A problem of epic proportions’

“Forever chemicals” are present in multiple common pesticides, according to new testing conducted by an environmental watchdog group and released exclusively to E&E News.  The findings, described as “deeply concerning,” raise a host of public health concerns — including implications for food safety — and could trigger pressure on EPA to address the issue. The agency has faced repeated scrutiny over pesticides in the past, with the latest findings already adding fuel to the fire.  The testing done by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) found per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) — a class of chemicals tied to a wide range of health concerns, including cancer — in a handful of publicly available herbicides and insecticides. … ”  Read more from E&E News here: PFAS in pesticides: ‘A problem of epic proportions’

Louisiana coastal plan passes major milestone

The Army Corps of Engineers has completed an environmental impact study on a nearly $2 billion plan to help Louisiana’s rapidly eroding coastline.  The report, released Thursday, is considered a major milestone in the effort to divert water and sediment from the Mississippi River to rebuild land in southeastern Louisiana.  It’s projected to build thousands of acres of freshwater marshes on the western side of the Mississippi River to help knock down storm surge in the New Orleans area. But it will also have damaging effects on some coastal communities, the state’s important shrimping and oyster industries and dolphins. ... ”  Read more from the Weather Channel here: Louisiana coastal plan passes major milestone

Nuisance flooding worsening as seas, tides rise

So-called nuisance flooding is happening more frequently in coastal cities in the continental U.S., and researchers have found that rising sea levels and coastal development have caused more high tides to result in such flooding in recent years compared to the 19th and early 20th centuries.  Nuisance flooding, also known as tidal flooding or sunny day flooding, is more destructive than its name might imply. The term refers to the minor floods that occur in low-elevation coastal cities, where high tides can swamp streets, drainage infrastructure, businesses and residences, adding to the millions of dollars in damages floods cause yearly. ... ”  Read more from the Courthouse News Service here: Nuisance flooding worsening as seas, tides rise

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NASA Snow Water Equivalent report …

20210301_RT_SWE_Report

Also on Maven’s Notebook this weekend …

NOTICE: Announcing the Final 2021 Nationwide Permit (NWP) Regional Conditions for California, Nevada, and Utah

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

WEEKLY WATER NEWS DIGEST for Feb. 28 – March 5: Regional conveyance workshop overview, Update on voluntary agreements, plus all the top water 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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