DAILY DIGEST, 3/24: Drought is real as CA faces water restrictions; Flow rules stalled as tunnel advances; Analysis of the 2020 GSPs; What would a ‘resilient’ water system look like?; and more …

On the calendar today …

2021 Groundwater Law and Legislation Forum from 9am to 4pm.  The GRA/CGC 2021 Groundwater Law and Legislation Forumwill be an interactive virtual day of learning and discussions regarding the most current legal and legislative issues affecting California groundwater.  Click here to register.

MEETING: Delta Conservancy Board Meeting from 9am to 12pm. Agenda items include updates on Prop 1, Prop 68, the Delta Conservancy strategic plan, and Eco-Restore, and a briefing on the study on identifying suitable rearing habitat for juvenile salmon in the Delta.  Click here for the full agenda and meeting materials.

ACWA WEBINAR: Federal Water Issues: WOTUS, PFAS, Lead and Copper Rule from 11am to 12pm. Since the election, the federal regulatory landscape has undergone numerous changes. This panel will outline where we’ve been, where we are now, and where we are headed in the regulatory arena. Topics will include clean water and drinking water issues such as WOTUS, PFAS, Lead and Copper, as well as, ESA regulations.  Click here to register.

WEBINAR: Water Affordability and Equity in the United States from 11am to 12pm.  This talk will seek to take a forward-looking perspective for the coming 50 years by examining a set of trends affecting our current water resources, and our ability to have a sustainable and equitable water future. Specifically, this talk will examine the rising crisis of water affordability and equity in the United States, and how this is affecting different regions of the United States and what policy responses might include.  Click here to register.

WORKSHOP: CDFW Grants: 2021 Cannabis Restoration Grant Program Public Workshop from 11am to 12pm.  This workshop will review the Cannabis Restoration Grant Program, 2021 Draft Watershed Remediation and Enhancement Solicitation (Solicitation) (PDF)(opens in new tab) and gather comments from the public.  Agenda and Workshop Details

SoCAL WATER DIALOG: Opportunities to Capture Stormwater: A Look at the Measure W Process and Other Successful Stormwater/Greenspace Projects from 12pm to 1:30pm.  Over two years have passed since the approval of Measure W by LA County voters in November 2018. The Water Dialogue will explore the progress made by organizers in realizing Measure W’s goals of capturing and treating stormwater, reducing reliance on imported water, building parks and creating green space. Click here to register.

EVENT: Between 2 States: The Tahoe Science Advisory Council from 12:30pm to 2:00pm. Join us to explore how the bi-state Tahoe Science Advisory Council is using collaborative, coordinated science to help protect Lake Tahoe.  California and Nevada agencies work together to manage the Tahoe Basin, in close coordination with federal and local partners. Our management is guided by increasingly sophisticated science that expands our knowledge of natural systems, helps us predict future conditions, and shapes planning to respond to climate change and other stressors. Join us to hear how scientists and resource managers are working together to protect this globally unique place.  Click here to register.

PUBLIC WORKSHOP: Overview of the Peer Review of the Proposed Water Loss Standards from 1pm to 3pm.  The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) will hold a public stakeholder workshop to receive input prior to initiation of the formal rulemaking process for the development of water loss performance standards. Interested persons can provide input at the meeting.  Click here for the full agenda.  Documents to be reviewed:  Water Loss Peer Review Summary and Staff Responses; Formal Response to Request to Review Complete

Special calendar note …

Due to technical difficulties, the River’s End panel discussion did not livestream to the YouTube link providedHere is the correct link.  “The film, River’s End, uses current conflicts over Central Valley water to illustrate water crises that are becoming more common. We’ve assembled a panel that can build on this theme by covering the history and likely future of water conflicts across the state and the globe.  Panelists Include:  Dr. Jon Rosenfield – Senior Scientist, San Francisco Baykeeper (moderator); Alan Bacock – Big Pine Paiute Tribe; Dr. Peter Gleick – President Emeritus, Pacific Institute; Kate Poole – Senior Director, Water Division, NRDC;  Jacob Morrison – Director, River’s End; Kate Bunney – Co-founder, Walking Water.

Drought and water allocations …

Drought is real and California is now facing water restrictions

State and federal water officials have delivered their most dire warning yet of California’s deepening drought, announcing that water supply shortages are imminent and calling for quick conservation.  Among a handful of drastic actions this week, the powerful State Water Board on Monday began sending notices to California’s 40,000 water users, from small farms to big cities like San Francisco, telling them to brace for cuts. It’s a preliminary step before the possibility of ordering their water draws to stop entirely. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here:  Drought is real and California is now facing water restrictions

California, get ready for water cutbacks. Cities, farms receive grim warning about supply

The rainy season is nearly over, there’s been no “March miracle” and the possibility of parched lawns and fallowed farm fields is growing.  State and federal officials issued remarkably bleak warnings Tuesday about California’s summer water supplies, telling farmers and others to gear up for potential shortages.  The Department of Water Resources, in a rare turnabout, actually lowered its forecast of the deliveries it expects to make to the cities and farms that belong to the State Water Project. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: California, get ready for water cutbacks. Cities, farms receive grim warning about supply

Feds suspend, Calif. cuts water allocation for Valley farmers

A slim, five-percent water allocation expected to be sent to agricultural water users on the western side of the San Joaquin Valley is currently on hold, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced Tuesday.  The Bureau announced that delivery of its initial allocation to westside farmers, made in late February, would be suspended until further notice.  The reason? Poor rainfall and struggling flow of water from snowpack in the Sierras. … ”  Read more from the San Joaquin Valley Sun here: Feds suspend, Calif. cuts water allocation for Valley farmers

Friant-Kern Canal water allocation currently unchanged after storm

Currently it is a mystery whether last week’s downpour has added to a needing California snowpack.  The latest survey taken at Phillips Station by the California Department of Water Resources on March 2, recorded 56 inches of snow depth with a snow water equivalent (SWE) of 21 inches. According to DWR, that is 86% percent of average for that location. … The federal Bureau of Reclamation announced allocation for Friant-Kern Canal contractors on Feb. 23. If recent storms had any affect on federal water allocations the Bureau hasn’t said anything. As of late last month, Friant Division contractors were given 20% of the 800,000-acre feet of “Class 1” water, and 0% of 1.4 million acre feet of “Class 2” water. … ”  Read more from the Foothills Sun-Gazette here: Friant-Kern Canal water allocation currently unchanged after storm

ICYMI: State Water Project and Central Valley Project allocations updated (and the news is not good), press releases from DWR and USBR on water allocations

Water agencies, Irrigation districts, and legislators react

Statement from the Association of California Water Agencies

ACWA Executive Director Dave Eggerton issued this statement: “DWR’s sobering announcement makes it abundantly clear that action must be taken now at the state and federal levels to improve our aging water infrastructure to realize a more reliable, resilient water supply for our people and food supply as the extremes of climate change grow more severe.  ACWA and its member agencies have long supported such investments in water supply resilience and cautioned that the challenges of adapting to a changing climate require investment by all interested parties: state, federal and local.

Statement from Assemblyman Adam Gray

“California’s water infrastructure is so broken that we can suffer from severe flooding and drought in the same year.  So-called environmentalists have tried to use climate change to justify everything from subsidizing Tesla to banning the car outright. At the same time, they have ignored the impacts of climate change that demand we significantly expand our surface water reservoirs.  Over the next few decades, climate change will cause California’s snowpack to shrink by a third or more because warming temperatures will cause snow to fall as rain instead. That means instead of growing our snowpack during colder months and collecting that snowmelt during spring and summer, we need reservoirs that allow us to collect water all year long. That is the real inconvenient truth for special interests like the Sierra Club and NRDC who religiously oppose any new water storage.

Click here to continue reading the statement from Assemblyman Adam Gray.

The only significant funding package to address water infrastructure in the last decade was the Water Bond that I helped negotiate in 2014. Since then, my repeated calls for increasing our state’s water storage capacity have fallen on deaf ears.  These reductions are evidence that we need to address all of the impacts of climate change instead of only the aspects blessed by the far left.”

Statement from Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District issued the following statement: “The state’s deteriorating water supply conditions reinforce the need to maintain the lower water use we have seen among Southern Californians since the last drought. This water conservation ethic, combined with Metropolitan’s investments in storage and a more flexible system, has allowed us to build a record high level of reserves that will help us manage through this critically dry year.  California’s existing water system, however, isn’t prepared for the extremes brought by future climate change that may arrive sooner than later. We need reinvestments in our water infrastructure to ensure the reliability of our imported supplies and new investments in local supply development.”

Statement from the Sacramento Regional Water Authority and the Water Forum

Jim Peifer, Executive Director of the Regional Water Authority, and Jessica Law, Executive Director of the Water Forum, issued the following statement:  “The announcements today sound the alarm about just how dry conditions are around the state.  “For the last several months, the Regional Water Authority, working with local water providers, and the Water Forum, which brings together water providers, environmental groups, and local government and business groups, have been coordinating with each other, as well as federal and state agencies, on the possibility of drought this year and what can be done to alleviate its effects. As we move toward April, it has become solidly clear that this will be a serious dry year.  We are continuing to work together to understand the scope of impacts on the Lower American River, and the region. Recognizing that this is the second dry year in a row, we are looking ahead, knowing that dry conditions in 2021 and beyond could have lasting impact.

Click here for the statement from the Sacramento Regional Authority and the Water Forum.

“While managing a worsening water supply situation on top of an ongoing health crisis may seem daunting, it’s important to recognize that we’ve been here before—and frankly, we will be here again. The positive news is that the Sacramento region is in a stronger position to meet human and environmental needs in consecutive dry years, which are becoming a more frequent and intense part of life in California due to climate change.

“Since the last drought, when water levels in Folsom and the Lower American River dropped to historically low levels, local water providers have implemented nearly 20 projects—from new pipelines that move water across communities to pumps that can move water in new directions—all designed to strengthen the Sacramento region’s resiliency to drought conditions.

“The region is working together to identify additional actions that can be taken in the next few months to reduce the region’s reliance on Folsom Reservoir, protect the health of the Lower American River, and continue to serve the communities in our region.

Plans include:

  • Shifting to using more groundwater: Over the past several decades local water providers have been working together to strategically shift the region’s water use to surface water or groundwater according to availability. This has allowed more groundwater to be available for dry times, such as we are currently facing.  This approach was successful during California’s most recent drought. For example, the Sacramento region used more groundwater than typical in order to leave more in our waterways for fish and wildlife. We are planning to do the same in 2021.
  • Sharing water around the region: Since the last drought, water providers have invested in new pipelines, interties, pumps and groundwater wells to move water where it’s needed. This system is ready to assist the communities most directly impacted by lower levels at Folsom.
  • Asking customers to be vigilant about stopping water waste: We ask our customers to use water efficiently no matter the weather. Now, they must be even more focused on efficiency and stopping water waste. During the last drought, local residents reached some of the state’s highest conservation rates and ultimately contributed 12 percent of the state’s total water savings even with only 5 percent of the population. We know our customers will answer the call to conserve when needed.

“We appreciate the collaboration and partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operates Folsom Reservoir, to help ensure sufficient storage in Folsom and adequate flows in the Lower American River for local drinking water and environmental needs while working to meet water needs elsewhere. We are also ready to work in coordination with state agencies to help make sure the state’s water needs can be met.  Beyond this year or even next, we’re working hard to prepare for the more frequent and intense cycles of drought projected to come with climate change.

“The region’s water providers have developed a comprehensive water resilience portfolio called WaterFuture, which encompasses our entire ‘supershed’ from the mountain tops of the American River watershed to the groundwater basin below the valley floor. You can learn more about this at rwah2o.org/WaterFuture.”

Statement from the San Luis & Delta Mendota Water Authority

Federico Barajas, Executive Director of the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority (“Authority”), released the following statement:  “The San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority understands that dryer than expected hydrology is the main driver for Reclamation’s decision to delay access to initial allocations for our member agencies. The Authority wishes that California had experienced more rainfall and snowpack in February and into early March, but unfortunately that did not occur. We appreciate Reclamation’s commitment to preserving the initial water allocation it made in February, while limiting access to its use, given the extraordinary dry conditions this water year. Today’s announcement, while disappointing, is a reasonable approach to meeting the multiple objectives in a very dry year.

Statement from Congressman David Valadao

I am concerned and disappointed to learn of the Bureau of Reclamation’s decision to suspend the already low South-of-Delta 5% allocation,” said Congressman Valadao. “The Central Valley farming community has survived not only devastating drought conditions and burdensome regulations for decades, but also a global pandemic; however, our farms cannot survive without greater water allocations for South-of-Delta agriculture. Halting the allocation entirely is simply irresponsible. It is critical that allocations of California’s water supply reflect the needs of our farms so they may continue to produce the food our nation relies on.”

Statement from the Westlands Water District

Tom Birmingham, Westlands Water District general manager, issued the following statement:  “Given extraordinary dry conditions this water year, Reclamation’s announcement represents a balanced, prudent approach that ensures it can fulfill both its regulatory and contractual obligations for water from the Central Valley Project. We recognize the challenge presented by the ongoing drought conditions, and we remain committed to working with partners at the federal, state, and local levels to find sensible approaches that reduce harm to people in rural areas and California’s important ecosystems by maximizing the beneficial use every drop of water available.”

Other drought & hydrology stories

Sub-standard snow

At a glance, the recent winter storms and inches of snow in the Sierra seem like a reassuring sign: more snow means more snow melt, which means more water moving through our freshwater systems during dry summer months.  But it turns out that there are different types of snow with differing levels of moisture locked up inside — and the latest Sierra snowfall appears to be holding less water than usual. This means the Bay’s streams and estuaries could have drier conditions ahead, despite this winter’s semi-regular storms. … ”  Read more from Estuary News here: Sub-standard snow

Hertzberg’s Drought Resilient Communities Act to invoke action against looming “megadrought”

Today, Californians find themselves staring down another climate emergency – this time, it’s drought. The Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced it expects to deliver a mere 5 percent of requested water supplies this year – a low we have not seen since the last historic drought.  …  Senator Hertzberg introduced SB 552 to protect vulnerable communities from extended periods of water shortages by making changes to local drought and water shortage plans. These tools are more important now than ever for communities hit hardest by drought, and will help ensure water security for all Californians.  “As I’ve said time and time again – every Californian should be able to turn on their tap and expect clean water to flow,” continued Hertzberg. “We must remain vigilant in protecting this fundamental right in light of DWR’s recent announcement. This will take careful and thoughtful planning, which is exactly what my bill (SB 552) intends to do. Today’s news from the DWR shows the latest water crisis isn’t just coming – it’s already here.”  Read the full statement from Senator Hertzberg here:  Hertzberg’s Drought Resilient Communities Act to invoke action against looming “megadrought”

Drought worries surface at Farm Bureau Capitol AG Day

On a day when state and federal water projects announced reductions or delays in deliveries, speakers at the California Farm Bureau Capitol AG Day conference discussed drought and other challenges facing the state’s farmers and ranchers.  The conference, held virtually on National Agriculture Day, featured California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson speaking via video conference with leaders from the state Legislature and Newsom administration.  During the conference, Johansson discussed the likelihood of cutbacks by the water projects. Later in the day, the State Water Project announced it would reduce its water allocation to 5%, down from an initial allocation of 10%, and the federal Central Valley Project said it would delay “until further notice” delivery of its 5% allocation to agricultural customers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. … ”  Read more from Ag Alert here: Drought worries surface at Farm Bureau Capitol AG Day

Mendocino County: Task Force takes proactive steps in advance of potential State Water Board actions

Leaders in the Mendocino County Water Resiliency Task Force have engaged with the State Water Resources Control Board to address the growing drought conditions in the Upper Russian River. Work is being done by Task Force members to identify the risks of water supply cutbacks, including possible State Water Board restrictions, and to craft solutions that will most effectively utilize the limited water resources forecast for 2021. … ”  Read more from the Mendocino Beacon here: Mendocino County: Task Force takes proactive steps in advance of potential State Water Board actions

Spring outlooks highlight severe weather threat in South and worsening drought in West

Long-range forecasters are calling for a mild spring, with above-average temperatures into June. At long last, much of the Lower 48 has escaped the icy throes of winter, with flowers blooming and snow beginning to melt.  But the arrival of warmer weather comes at a price — the likelihood for severe thunderstorms and the prospect of an extra-busy tornado season in the South. … ”  Read more from the Washington Post here: Spring outlooks highlight severe weather threat in South and worsening drought in West

In other California water news and commentary today …

Flow rules stalled as tunnel advances

As California stares down the barrel of yet another dry year, alarm bells are already ringing over conditions in the Delta. Environmental groups, fishermen, tribes, and a host of others are calling on the State Water Resources Control Board to complete and implement a long-delayed update to the Water Quality Control Plan for the Bay and Delta (Bay-Delta Plan), to protect the imperiled ecosystem. At the same time, plans for a structure with the potential to divert more water than ever to southern cities and farms are creeping ahead.  … ”  Read more from Estuary News here: Flow rules stalled as tunnel advances

California regions submitted their first Groundwater Sustainability Plans in 2020. How did they do?

” … With support from the Water Foundation, a collaborative effort among California nonprofits and community groups has been leading statewide advocacy to ensure public agencies and elected officials implement the legislation fairly, effectively, and equitably. This month, the group marked an important milestone.  Over the past year, researchers and advocates at Ag Innovations, Audubon California, Clean Water Fund, Local Government Commission, The Nature Conservancy, and Union of Concerned Scientists, among others, have been pouring over thousands upon thousands of pages of local groundwater sustainability plans. … ”  Continue reading at the Water Foundation here:  California Regions Submitted Their First Groundwater Sustainability Plans in 2020. How Did They Do?

Delta study predicts stronger floods and less water supply

Though most don’t realize it, practically all Californians are linked to the Bay-Delta region via its triple function as a source of drinking water for some 27 million Californians, a critical water provider for the Golden State’s hefty agricultural industry, and a rich and unique ecosystem. But for those who live in the legal Delta zone – some 630,000 people – the braided weave of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers and their maze of associated wetlands and levees provides a place of home, community, and recreation. And, as a recent study by the Delta Stewardship Council shows, climate change is tugging on the watery thread holding it all together. ... ”  Read more from Estuary News here:  Delta study predicts stronger floods and less water supply

Commentary: What would a ‘resilient’ water system look like?

Justin Fredrickson, environmental policy analyst for the California Farm Bureau writes, “In the California water world, “resilient” is the new buzzword and everybody is trying to be it. But what is a “resilient” water system and how do we get one?  The state of California completed an elaborate process last year to answer that question. Thinking inspiring thoughts on a supremely important topic—”visioning,” as it’s called—is not a bad way to work up some resolve to actually do something, and that’s half the battle. But the other, much bigger half is actually doing those things, and that is kind of where we are with the California Water Resiliency Portfolio.  As was well known to the giants who built the 20th century system we’ve been relying on for many years, to solve big, you have to dream big. California faces daunting water challenges—so another question we might ask is whether we are actually dreaming big enough. … ”  Read more from Ag Alert here: What would a ‘resilient’ water system look like?

Asm. Garcia urges Gov. Newsom to allocate $100 million for PFAS water treatment

Dear Honorable Gavin Newsom: I respectfully urge you to prioritize at least $100 million to create a grant program to help off-set the treatment costs for PFAS (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances) contamination of water systems serving underserved communities. This group of fabricated chemicals includes PFOA and PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals. Chemicals within the PFAS group have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the globe, including the United States since the 1940s. … ”  To continue reading this letter, go here: PFAS Budget Letter

Lindsay faces $192K bill on Friant-Kern Canal fix

Contractors who’ve lost water from the Friant-Kern Canal’s subsidence are not the only ones feeling a pinch. The city of Lindsay realized last week that as a contractor themselves they’re on the hook to help fund the canal’s fix. Only it appears as if they won’t be able to afford their share.  Public services director for the city, Mike Camarena told the council that Lindsay may have to fork over $192,000. Payments will be made on a quarterly basis beginning in October 2021 through January 2023, and would range from $27,000 to $45,000. … ”  Read more from the Foothills Sun-Gazette here: Lindsay faces $192K bill on Friant-Kern Canal fix

Pipe dream: Feds sued over desert water pipeline ok’d by Trump

Just before the Trump administration headed out the door, a federal agency this past December cleared the way for a private company to begin pumping groundwater from under the Mojave Trails National Monument in Southern California.  The Cadiz water project would extract roughly 16.3 billion gallons of groundwater every year for 50 years from aquifers north of Joshua Tree National Park. The project would overtax the surrounding environment, according to environmentalists who filed a lawsuit to halt the project Tuesday. The latest iteration of this project involves repurposing an existing oil and gas pipeline. … ”  Read more from Courthouse News Service here: Pipe dream: Feds sued over desert water pipeline ok’d by Trump

SEE ALSO:  Here is the press release from the Center for Biodiversity and the statement from Cadiz, Inc.

Water solutions are climate adaptation solutions

We are undeniably already living with climate change. For millions of people, and disproportionately for Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities and neighborhoods struggling to make ends meet, it’s being felt first and worst through water, from dry taps to unhealthy stormwater pollution to complete loss of freshwater ecosystems.  At the Water Foundation, we’re focused on solutions that help communities and watersheds adapt to climate change that is already here, with a focus on places and people with the fewest resources to pull through and recover.  Here’s a sampling of how our work and collaborations are advancing adaptation solutions … ” Water solutions are climate adaptation solutions

California took more than 3,500 actions against alleged polluters since 2020, report finds

California is near the top in the country in state enforcement actions and fines levied against polluting industries since 2000, according to a new report that highlights the fragmented U.S. environmental compliance system.  The report was published Tuesday by Good Jobs First, a nonprofit researching government and corporate accountability.  California’s 3,571 environmental cases, violations and other actions were the third-most brought by any state — behind Texas and Pennsylvania — while the roughly $1.1 billion it assessed in penalties was second only to Mississippi. … ”  Read more from the Desert Sun here:  California took more than 3,500 actions against alleged polluters since 2020, report finds

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In regional water news and commentary today …

Ukiah Valley Water 101: Crises as tipping points

Ukiah Valley, we’ve arrived at a crisis level regarding our water supply. Wait, what? You haven’t heard? Well, that’s unfortunate.  Ukiah Valley gets its water from Lake Pillsbury through the Potter Valley Water Project, ultimately dumping into Lake Mendocino, and water is pumped from wells tapping the underneath aquifers. All of these sources are replenished through rainfall. For the second consecutive rain season, rainfall is around 33 percent of average for this time of year. Cyclical droughts and floods dot the historical timeline here in our serene, picturesque valley. However, with the growth of residential and agricultural demands, our water is now taxed at levels not sustainable with consecutive severe drought years. So here we go again. … ”  Read more from the Ukiah Daily Journal here: Ukiah Valley Water 101: Crises as tipping points

Pier pressure at Meeks Bay on Tahoe’s West Shore

Lake Tahoe has 72 miles of shoreline. Nooks, crannies and bays big and small dot the shoreline. Sixty-three streams feed the lake.  Meeks Bay is on Tahoe’s West Shore. Meeks Creek comes out of Rubicon Lake and flows to Meeks Bay. The bay was named after John Meeks who, with his brothers, harvested 25 tons of wild hay in the meadow there in 1862. From that time to now the meadow and creek, like a lot of other places on the lake, have been damaged.  Until somewhat recently natural resources around the lake were taken for granted. There was just so much of everything it didn’t occur to anyone those resources were finite. … ”  Read more from the Tahoe Daily Tribune here: Pier pressure at Meeks Bay on Tahoe’s West Shore

Registration opens for groundwaters users on Santa Rosa Plain

Groundwater users who own property in the Santa Rosa Plain area now have an opportunity to review and update their water use information, according to an announcement Monday by the Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Sustainability Agency. The opportunity is part of a new program — the Groundwater User Information Data Exchange — to improve understanding of how groundwater is used as well as the number and types of water wells in the Santa Rosa Plain basin. … ”  Read more from SF Gate here:  Registration opens for groundwaters users on Santa Rosa Plain

Bay Area: Refreshing the Estuary Blueprint

The San Francisco Estuary Partnership’s next update to it’s 2016 Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for the Estuary—or Estuary Blueprint—will bring a new focus on equity and environmental justice to ongoing efforts to restore and protect the Bay and Delta.  “We really want to do more to engage communities of color and indigenous communities as partners in our work,” says Partnership Director Caitlin Sweeney. “So we are looking at all our actions and initiatives through the lens of environmental justice and racial equity inclusion, as we do with climate change.” … ”  Read more from Estuary News here: Refreshing the Estuary Blueprint

California Geological Survey issues updated tsunami hazard map for Monterey County

The California Geological Survey has issued new tsunami hazard maps for three California counties, and one of them is Monterey County.  Map users can enter an address to find out whether it is within an area that could experience tsunami flooding. CGS says the maps use new data and computer modeling to show how far a surge of water might go in a worst-case scenario, but there is also a small buffer to roads or landmarks to help officials with evacuation plans. … ” Read more from KION here: California Geological Survey issues updated tsunami hazard map for Monterey County

Bill would change board overseeing San Joaquin River access. Is update needed?

The San Joaquin River Conservancy Board could expand under proposed legislation from Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula.  The 15-member board — its membership comprised of elected officials from Fresno and Madera, along with appointees from state agencies and the public — sets policy and manages lands for the river parkway from Highway 99 to the Friant Dam.  Arambula’s plan — AB 559 — would add two new members, for 17 total. One new member would represent a local tribal organization; a second would represent “statewide interests” without any specific residency requirements. Both would be appointed by the governor. … ”  Read more from GV Wire here: Bill would change board overseeing San Joaquin River access. Is update needed?

New leaders named to Kern water districts

The personnel deck of who’s who in Kern County water has shuffled recently at several agricultural water districts.  The Rosedale-Rio Bravo and North Kern water storage districts both recently named new general managers.  And the newly formed Westside Water Authority, made up of four different ag water districts, also brought on a new general manager. … ”  Read more from SJV Water here: New leaders named to Kern water districts

San Diego: Heavy metal: Facility upgrades enhance flexibility of regional water system

San Diego County Water Authority crews recently replaced two pickup truck-sized valves at the agency’s Pressure Control and Hydroelectric Facility in central San Diego – each valve weighing about 35,000 pounds.  The replacement project took place during a scheduled shutdown of a portion of Pipeline 5, which delivers untreated water throughout the county. The pressure-control facility is a key piece of the Emergency and Carryover Storage Project, which ensures water is available around the region if imported water deliveries are disrupted. … ”  Read more from the Water News Network here: San Diego: Heavy metal: Facility upgrades enhance flexibility of regional water system 

Audit: San Diego’s effort to inspect industrial polluters is outdated, inefficient

A San Diego program that aims to keep toxic sewer water out of the Pacific Ocean suffers from outdated methods and inadequate efforts to identify and inspect the business sites of industrial polluters, a new city audit says.  The 56-page audit says the program, which oversees industrial polluters served by San Diego and 12 other local sewer districts, needs to step up efforts to find polluters and modernize its inspection program. … ”  Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here: Audit: San Diego’s effort to inspect industrial polluters is outdated, inefficient

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In national water news today …

Republicans won’t ‘take the bait’ on infrastructure

Top congressional Republicans are warning Democrats against splitting up the upcoming infrastructure package, raising new doubts for the prospects of bipartisan cooperation on a top Biden priority in the months ahead.  Key GOP senators yesterday threw cold water on reports that the White House is considering advancing some infrastructure components with bipartisan support through regular order, while moving policies favored only by Democrats through the budget reconciliation process, which allows certain bills to skip a Senate filibuster.  “If this is what they decide to employ, it’s a pretty cynical ploy to try and appeal to Republicans to vote for all that stuff, and then do reconciliation to do all the other hard stuff,” Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) told reporters in the Capitol. … ”  Read more from E&E News here: Republicans won’t ‘take the bait’ on infrastructure

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And lastly …

If sea level rise, hurricanes, alligators, and large sinkholes weren’t enough reasons not to live in Florida, now there is this …

Toilet-invading iguanas among invasive species now banned in Florida

” … An animal once prized as an exotic curiosity is now widely decried as a pest. The iguanas hang out on roofs, dig under houses and to the horror of home owners can crawl into sewers only to emerge, thrashing around, in the toilet bowl.  The state conservation commission now encourages Floridians to humanely kill the lizards, which can grow up to 5ft and 17lbs, on their own property. No hunting licenses are required. ... ”  Read more from the Guardian here:  Toilet-invading iguanas among invasive species now banned in Florida

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Today’s featured articles …

YOSEMITE LAW CONFERENCE: Take me to the river: Evolving frameworks for environmental flows

Integrating consumptive use with environmental flows is a core challenge for water management. Regulatory methods for protecting instream flows have evolved over the decades. Currently, California is engaged in a robust conversation about these approaches as the state grapples with the challenge of meeting multiple water demands.

The panelists discussed approaches to implementing environmental flows, a case study of the Dos Rios Project and instream flows, and the voluntary agreements.

Click here to read this article.

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Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

WATER PLAN eNEWS: ~~Drought Actions~ Loss Standards~ Adaptation Strategy~ Water Smart~ Water Rights~ California Almanac~ Agency Report ~~

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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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