On the calendar today …
- FREE WEBINAR: May Colorado River Basin Water Supply Webinar from 9am to 10am. The National Weather Service Colorado Basin River Forecast Center (CBRFC) produces water supply forecasts for the Colorado River Basin and the eastern Great Basin. CBRFC conducts these webinars through the run-off season, explaining the forecasts and current conditions. Click here to register.
- FREE WEBINAR: A Collaborative Project: Plausible Scenarios for Future Colorado River Drought from 10am to 11am. In this webinar, Connie Woodhouse (University of Arizona) will present on recent Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center (CASC) funded research that addresses the concerns of a set of Colorado River Basin water managers regarding future drought and water supply reliability in the Upper Colorado River. Researchers collaborated with this water resource management community of practice to develop plausible scenarios of future droughts in the Upper Colorado River Basin, then used these scenarios to examine future reductions in streamflow. Click here to register.
- FREE WEBINAR: Tapping into the Future: Potable Reuse in Tomorrow’s World from 10:30 to 12:00pm. Experts in the field of potable wastewater reuse will discuss the current landscape of potable reuse and future prospects for the expansion of potable reuse in the U.S. The panel discussion will take place over 60 minutes and include 15 minutes of audience Q&A. Click here for more information and to register.
- FREE WEBINAR: TEK Science & Management Webinar Series: Oceans from 11am to 11:40am. Featuring Marva Jones, Tolowa Dee-ni/California Kitchen and Hillary Renick, Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians/First Nations Development Institute. Register at: http://tinyurl.com/scsTEKseries.
- FREE WEBINAR: Upper Eel River Salmon Park from 5pm to 6pm. PG&E wants to abandon the Potter Valley Project and the thousands of acres they own are dedicated to conservation, restoration and recreation as their only allowable uses as a result of a Settlement Agreement. Our concept is to transfer PG&E land to the Mendocino National Forest and get them a budget to manage for recreation, restoration and conservation of the area between the dams. Click here to register.
On the calendar tomorrow …
- VIRTUAL TOUR: Grasslands Regional Park Vernal Pool from 9am to 10am. Yolo Basin Foundation is now offering virtual Vernal Pool Tours of the restored vernal pool habitats onsite of Grasslands Regional Park. These areas are protected and off limits to the public due to the various plants and animals present retaining an endangered or threatened status. Explore these crucial, incredible habitats with Yolo Basin Foundation staff and volunteers through a virtual experience. Discover how vernal pools are naturally created, restored, and special. Zoom in more closely to view amazing wildflowers and small creatures that call the vernal pools home. Click here to register.
- WEBINAR: Evolving Restoration Practices in an Era of Climate Change — The Intertwined History of Two Connected Watersheds from 10am to 1pm. Join Salmonid Restoration Federation and Sanctuary Forest for a Virtual Flow Enhancement and Restoration workshop to explore the evolving restoration in Redwood Creek and the Mattole. These two connected watersheds are intertwined historically, geologically, and from a fisheries recovery perspective. Restoration techniques and flow enhancement strategies have evolved to address climate change resilience and longer dry seasons. Click here to register.
In California drought news today …
Drought hits second year, but experts say the state is better prepared
“As California heads through its second year of drought after the fourth driest winter on record, it’s in better shape to deal with the lack of water than during the 2012-2016 drought — particularly in Southern California, where reservoirs have yet to fall below historically average levels, according to experts attending a webinar hosted by the Public Policy Institute of California. Unlike the last drought, Sacramento and the North Coast regions have been hardest hit this time. That led Gov. Gavin Newsom last month to declare a drought emergency for Mendocino and Sonoma counties. Last time, Southern California bore a greater portion of the dry weather. While the scientific consensus is that as climate change makes the state susceptible to increasingly severe droughts, steps are being taken to adapt. … ” Read more from the OC Register here: Drought hits second year, but experts say the state is better prepared
“We have third-world conditions.” Arambula one of few holdouts in requesting drought emergency
“Over a dozen local elected officials recently sent a letter requesting Newsom declare an emergency. Newsom has failed to introduce water restrictions in the San Joaquin Valley despite mounting pressure to do so. Instead, he made emergency declarations in Mendocino and Sonoma counties, which are popular for winemaking. … Asm. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) is one of those who did not join a letter written to Newsom requesting an emergency declaration. Arambula is a notable Newsom supporter who seems disinclined to break ranks with the governor’s lack of action on the San Joaquin valley drought problems. … ” Read more from the San Joaquin Valley Sun here: “We have third-world conditions.” Arambula one of few holdouts in requesting drought emergency
‘Are we going to have water?’ | Amid worsening drought, California rice growers to cut back an estimated 20%
“Look to the skies north of Sacramento this time of year and chances are you’ll see low-flying planes seeding the rice fields. But the California drought has had a ripple effect across industries, particularly agriculture. “We were faced with the tough decisions. Are we going to have water? And if so, how much? And where?” said Fritz Durst, a rice farmer of 40 years. California Rice says the industry contributes more than $5 billion annually and 25,000 jobs to the state economy, but this year farmers are expected to cut back production by an estimated 20% to conserve water. “The drought is impacting our farms in a very real way,” said Cal Rice President & CEO Tim Johnson at a media event Thursday. … ” Read more from ABC 10 here: ‘Are we going to have water?’ | Amid worsening drought, California rice growers to cut back an estimated 20%
As surface water supplies dry up, California rice growers worry about ripple effect
“California’s drought is impacting more than how you water your lawn, but also the way your food is grown on hundreds of thousands of acres in the Sacramento Valley. Growing rice is a multi-billion dollar industry that supports 25,00 jobs. “Farmers are eternal optimists to risk so much with so many things out of your control,” said Fritz Durst. … This year, a third of normal rainfall combined with hot weather and drying winds have him pumping more groundwater than usual and fallowing half his rice fields – meaning Durst won’t plant, and he’s not alone. … ” Continue reading at Channel 13 here: As surface water supplies dry up, California rice growers worry about ripple effect
Utilities in Sonoma, Marin counties ask customers to reduce water use by 20 percent
“Eight public water utilities in Sonoma and Marin counties have called on customers to voluntarily reduce their water usage by 20 percent as the region faces worsening drought conditions. The Water Advisory Committee to the Sonoma County Water Agency passed a resolution Monday asking residents to do so as water supply in the Russian River watershed and both Lake Mendocino and Lake Sonoma are at historic lows. ... ” Read more from KTVU here: Utilities in Sonoma, Marin counties ask customers to reduce water use by 20 percent
Entire Bay Area has gone from ‘severe’ to ‘extreme’ drought levels in just 2 weeks
“The drought situation in the Bay Area has officially gone from bad to worse. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the entire Bay Area is now in the “extreme” drought category, along with nearly three-quarters of California. According to the latest summary, precipitation in the state for the water year that began Oct. 1 is well below normal, in the bottom 10th percentile, and the greater Bay Area is “experiencing record or near-record dryness.” … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Entire Bay Area has gone from ‘severe’ to ‘extreme’ drought levels in just 2 weeks
Farms, ranches in southern Santa Clara county grapple with worsening drought
“As Santa Clara County falls deeper into drought, local wine and crop growers said they would be okay for this year, but cattle ranchers are already hurting. The beauty of pasturelands in southern Santa Clara County hides hard facts. Grasses used for cattle grazing are short and stubby because of little rainfall this year and what’s there is drying out fast in the sun. “It’s already bad and it’s probably not going to get any better because we won’t get any rain now until next fall,” said rancher Jim Warren. Santa Clara County’s $4 million cattle industry is facing hard times in the face of what are now extreme drought conditions. … ” Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: Farms, ranches in southern Santa Clara county grapple with worsening drought
In other California water news …
Garamendi bill unlocks federal financing for Western water storage
“Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA-03) introduced legislation (H.R. 2979) making low-interest federal financing available for reservoir and drought resiliency projects, with Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA-04) as the original cosponsor. This bipartisan legislation (H.R. 2979) would amend the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) of 2014 to make public water projects like the off-stream Sites Reservoir Project eligible for low-interest, longer-term federal loans from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Specifically, the bill would allow water projects with longer useful life spans, like Sites Reservoir, to receive federal WIFIA financing for 55-year loan terms instead of the current 35-year loan terms, thereby lowering the capital costs for such projects. ... ” Read more from Congressman Garamendi’s office here: Garamendi bill unlocks federal financing for Western water storage
No bear, but John Cox tells Fresno that he has the ‘beast’ in him to tackle Calif. issues
“California gubernatorial candidate John Cox swung through Fresno on Thursday as part of his “Meet the Beast” campaign tour, holding a press conference at Machado Farms. … With the state once again in the midst of another drought, Cox said he would do something that Newsom has so far refused to: declare a state-wide emergency. Instead of a state-wide declaration, Newsom enacted an emergency in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties. Cox also suggested that California should divert money from the over-budget and routinely-delayed High-Speed Rail – referring to it as the “train to nowhere” – to fund water projects, such as the Friant-Kern Canal. … ” Read more from the San Joaquin Valley Sun here: No bear, but John Cox tells Fresno that he has the ‘beast’ in him to tackle Calif. issues
Q/A: What are the risks of a major earthquake in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta?
“In the first of two Delta Conveyance Deep Dive episodes on seismic risks in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Laurence Sanati, head of the DWR Flood Systems Analysis Section, speaks about the potential consequences of a major earthquake in or near the Delta and the measures currently in place to deal with such an event. Q: What would the State do if a major earthquake struck the Delta and caused damage to the levees? A: So, this issue is obviously something that we’re well aware of and we’ve been planning for and strategizing on how to address for a long time now. We’ve developed many detailed plans to guide our response and recovery efforts. We’ve built some enormous stockpiles of rock, material and steel that can be distributed throughout the Delta to repair these potential levee breaches should they occur. We have equipment in place that can load these materials onto barges and transport them to where they’re needed. … ” Continue reading at DWR News here: Q/A: What are the risks of a major earthquake in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta?
Public slow to respond to new drinking water program for rural San Joaquin Valley residents
“The state is finally beginning to address a decades-long problem of dangerous drinking water in parts of the San Joaquin Valley under a new “management zone” program but hardly anyone is paying attention. Even the prospect of free water testing and free water hasn’t garnered much enthusiasm. Regardless of the lackluster response, program managers will offer free nitrate testing for domestic well owners starting May 7. If the water has nitrate above the safe level, those residents can also get free bottled water. … ” Read more from SJV Water here: Public slow to respond to new drinking water program for rural San Joaquin Valley residents
Reclamation provides $2.5 million to improve snow water supply forecasting
“The Bureau of Reclamation is providing $2.5 million for 12 projects to advance snow measurement technology development, demonstration and application to improve water supply forecasting. Four projects will include partner contributions of $720,000. “With the changing climate and droughts occurring in the West, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the processes and methods used to forecast snow water runoff needs improvement,” said Chief Engineer David Raff. “The research and demonstrations being undertaken is another way that Reclamation is working to improve our forecasting.” This program supports President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad as it increases resilience to the impacts of climate change. … ”