DAILY DIGEST, 5/20: State plans $30 million drought barrier to stop saltwater intrusion into Delta; CA reps takes aim at state’s water policies on Capitol Hill; Survival of migrating juvenile salmon depends on stream flow thresholds; Klamath Water Users Association urges a stop to unacceptable behaviors; and more …
FUNDING: California Financing Coordinating Committee 2021 Virtual Funding Fair from 9am to 3pm.The funding fair will provide the opportunity to learn more about available grant, loan and bond financing options for infrastructure projects from federal, state, and local agencies.Click here to register.
PUBLIC HEARING: Lookout Slough Appeal of Delta Plan Consistency Determination beginning at 9am. The Delta Stewardship Council (Council) will hold a public hearing regarding the appeals of the certification of consistency submitted by the California Department of Water Resources (Department) on February 22, 2021 regarding the Lookout Slough Tidal Habitat Restoration and Flood Improvement (Lookout Slough) Project, Certification Number C20215. The public hearing will continue tomorrow. Click here for the full hearing notice.
EVENT: Delta Lead Scientist: Ask Me Anything: Drought at 12pm. Have a question for the Delta lead scientist? Join Delta Lead Scientist Dr. Laurel Larsen and Delta Watermaster Michael George in conversation on drought. During the Instagram Live, drop your questions in the comments for Laurel and Michael to tackle one-by-one. Watch and participate on Instagram (@deltastewardshipcouncil) and with #asktheleadscientist.
MEETING: The Wildlife Conservation Board will meet at 1:00 p.m. Agenda items include selection of a chair and vice-chair, and various restoration projects. Please click the link below to join the webinar: Join the webinar Passcode: 378163 See Full Agenda (PDF) for more information.
EVENT: Lower Colorado River Tour 2021: A Virtual Journey from 2:30pm to 5:30pm. Explore the lower Colorado River where virtually every drop of the river is allocated, yet demand is growing from myriad sources — increasing population, declining habitat, drought and climate change. The 1,450-mile river is a lifeline to 40 million people in the Southwest across seven states and Mexico. How the Lower Basin states – Arizona, California and Nevada – use and manage this water to meet agricultural, urban, environmental and industrial needs is the focus of this tour. Click here for more information and to register.
MEETING: Delta Protection Commission from 4pm to 6pm. Agenda items include appointment of members to the Delta Protection Advisory Committee, introduction and comment by Sea Grant Extension Specialist Dr. Jessica Rudnick, a report on the Delta Conveyance Project Community Benefits Program, and an update on the Lookout Slough Tidal Restoration Project appeal. Click here for the complete agenda and remote access instructions.
EVENT: North Coast Townhall on drought at 6:30pm. Hosted by State Senator Tom McGuire. The roster includes Joseph James, the Yurok Tribe’s chairman; Grant Davis, general manager of Sonoma Water; Ben Horenstein, general manager of the Marin Municipal Water District; and Carmel Angelo, chief executive officer for the County of Mendocino. Click here to register.
In California drought news and commentary today …
State plans $30 million wall to stop saltwater intrusion into delta – drought fallout
“In the latest chapter of California’s unfolding drought, state officials are planning to build a giant rock wall across a river in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to save the vital freshwater estuary from San Francisco Bay’s saltwater. The emergency measure is a page from last decade’s drought when the delta, a maze of sloughs and man-made channels east of the Bay Area, was at risk of becoming too salty to provide water to the nearly 30 million Californians who depend on it. As in 2015, the freshwater rivers that feed the 1,100-square-mile delta have gotten so low that they no longer counter the brackish flows that push in from the bay. The state Department of Water Resources expects a temporary barrier, similar to last decade’s 750-foot-wide wall in the West False River, to slow the tides that carry in saltwater and keep the delta fresh. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: State plans $30 million wall to stop saltwater intrusion into delta – drought fallout
Water in shorter supply than ever, Calif. reps takes aim at state’s poor policies on Capitol Hill
“With communities on the West Coast once again threatened by extreme drought, Republicans on the House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing on Wednesday to discuss the issue. Central Valley representatives Kevin McCarthy (R–Bakersfield), Devin Nunes (R–Tulare) and David Valadao (R–Hanford) joined the committee to address the drought. The message was clear from all of the representatives and witnesses: The drought is a product of poor policies over the last several decades. “In California we are facing the worst drought we’ve had in four decades,” McCarthy said. “It’s more than 40 years, and we’ve had some very bad droughts just recently. The water allocation for the state water project is 5 percent. The Friant Water Authority is at 20 percent, and the Central Valley Project allocation is virtually nonexistent. Without this water the food we grow and the food that feeds the nation is in jeopardy.” … ” Read more from the San Joaquin Valley Sun here: Water in shorter supply than ever, Calif. reps takes aim at state’s poor policies on Capitol Hill
Managing for fish and wildlife during a dry year in the Sacramento Valley
“With the driest year in memory, the water resources managers and landowners in the Sacramento Valley are working hard to serve multiple benefits throughout the region with limited water supplies. This has required all hands-on deck and creative management within the region as all surface water supplies have been significantly reduced, with hundreds of thousands of farmland acres idled throughout the region, urban suppliers working with their citizens to implement various conservation measures to reduce water use and there will undoubtedly be challenges for domestic groundwater wells. During a dry year, it is easy to develop a singular focus on impacts to a specific water use or even a single species. But, water managers in the Sacramento Valley are managing the resource to provide for as many beneficial uses as possible with extremely limited supplies and must look for opportunities, as well as trade-offs, that result from water management decisions. ... ” Continue reading at the Northern California Water Association here: Managing for fish and wildlife during a dry year in the Sacramento Valley
Commentary: California doesn’t have a plan for drought
Doug Obegi with the NRDC writes, “Shockingly, California does not have a plan for drought, even though droughts are a fact of life here and scientists have been warning for years that climate change will make them worse. Instead of planning for these predictable and predicted events, California’s “plan” is to declare an “emergency” and revert to the destructive approach of violating water quality standards and praying for rain, rather than curtailing unsustainable water diversions that are diverting millions of acre feet of water, devastating native fish and wildlife — and the thousands of jobs that depend on their health. Instead of learning from the drought of just a few years ago, we’re on track to repeat the mistakes from 2014-2015.… ” Read more from the NRDC here: Commentary: California doesn’t have a plan for drought
Where’s the water? Drought threatens California’s lifeline
“Even as California moves toward a full reopening from pandemic restrictions next month, many counties are still in danger. From drought. Earlier this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom extended emergency drought orders to 41 counties across the state. According to the United States Drought Monitor, 84 percent of the West is now in drought conditions, with 47 percent rated as “severe” or “extreme.” In California, 73 percent of the state falls into those categories. And if the recent Palisades fire in western Los Angeles is any indication, an active wildfire season could already be here. All eyes are on the critical resource that can help fight the effects of another dry summer: water. … ” Read more from the New York Times here: Where’s the water? Drought threatens California’s lifeline
Severe drought, worsened by climate change, ravages the American West
“This year, New Mexican officials have a message for farmers who depend on irrigation water from the Rio Grande and other rivers: Unless you absolutely have to plant this year, don’t. … Severe drought — largely connected to climate change — is ravaging not only New Mexico but the entire Western half of the United States, from the Pacific Coast, across the Great Basin and desert Southwest, and up through the Rockies to the Northern Plains. In California, wells are drying up, forcing some homeowners to drill new ones that are deeper and costlier. Lake Mead, on the border of Arizona and Nevada, is so drained of Colorado River water that the two states are facing the eventual possibility of cuts in their supply. And 1,200 miles away in North Dakota, ranchers are hauling water for livestock and giving them supplemental forage, because the heat and dryness is stunting spring growth on the rangelands. … ” Read more from the New York Times here: Severe drought, worsened by climate change, ravages the American West
The drought’s assault on California’s $50 billion farm industry
“A growing number of drought stricken California farmers are making the painful decision not to plant as much or anything at all for fear of losing it all. It costs a lot of money to put seeds or seedlings into the ground. But if a farmer cannot be reasonably sure of a crop, why do it? Kitty Dolcini has been a farmer her entire life; a person who has lived with the triumphs and tragedies that farmers experience over the years. California’s monster drought is a farming tragedy with a growing number of farmers choosing to plant less or not at all. … ” Read more from KTVU here: The drought’s assault on California’s $50 billion farm industry
Water funding in latest budget proposal: ‘band-aids at best’
“Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed significant water funding support in the May Revise of the California budget. The governor has proposed investment in water issues of $5.1 billion over the coming years. President and CEO of the Western Agricultural Processors Association, Roger Isom noted that funding allotments fall short of addressing the overall water issue in California. “There’s nothing that’s going to create significant amounts of water that’s going to offset a year like this where we have a drought year and farmers are getting zero percent allocation. None of this money is going to do that. It’s significant, don’t get me wrong. … ” Read more from Ag Net West here: Water funding in latest budget proposal: ‘band-aids at best’
Survival of migrating juvenile salmon depends on stream flow thresholds
“Juvenile salmon migrating to the sea in the Sacramento River face a gauntlet of hazards in an environment drastically modified by humans, especially with respect to historical patterns of stream flow. Many studies have shown that survival rates of juvenile salmon improve as the amount of water flowing downstream increases, but “more is better” is not a useful guideline for agencies managing competing demands for the available water. Now fisheries scientists have identified key thresholds in the relationship between stream flow and salmon survival that can serve as actionable targets for managing water resources in the Sacramento River. The new analysis, published May 19 in Ecosphere, revealed nonlinear effects in the flow-survival relationship, meaning it changes in stepwise fashion, with significant jumps in survival rates at two key steps. … ” Read more from the University of Santa Cruz here: Survival of migrating juvenile salmon depends on stream flow thresholds
Emergency water urged for rural Latino communities before California drought worsens
“California lawmakers should take prompt action before drought conditions worsen by sending emergency drinking water to vulnerable communities in parched regions of the state, legislative advisers say. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office released a report last week providing recommendations on how to address increasingly dry conditions throughout the state. Based on an analysis of the state’s previous efforts for the last major drought, from 2012 to 2016, analysts said lawmakers should start sending emergency water supplies to vulnerable communities in the San Joaquin Valley region, prepare to remove dead and dying trees that can increase the risk of severe wildfires, and hire additional staff, among other actions. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Emergency water urged for rural Latino communities before California drought worsens
Late season spring storm brings snow, thunderstorms to the Sierra
“Updated timing on this late spring storm shows snow arriving in the Tahoe Basin around noon Thursday. The chance of snow will continue through Saturday with overnight snow levels dropping as low as 4,500 feet in some areas. The heaviest accumulation will be on Thursday with lighter showers Friday and Saturday. Totals will range from 1-6 inches on the passes. … ” Read more from Channel 10 here: Late season spring storm brings snow, thunderstorms to the Sierra
Where California regions rank on the fire danger ‘Burning Index’ right now
“The 2020 fire season was brutal for California. Wildfires wreaked havoc across the state, burning more than 4.2 million acres, the most in recorded history, and resulting in the deaths of 33 people and the destruction of more than 10,000 structures. The outlook for the 2021 fire season isn’t any more promising. A Chronicle analysis shows multiple measures of fire danger all pointing in the same direction — California is headed toward alarming, perhaps record-setting, dryness, and heightened risk of wildfires. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Where California regions rank on the fire danger ‘Burning Index’ right now
With the help of the White House and Congress, water shortage does not have to be a way of life
Jennifer Pierre (State Water Contractors), Dan Keppen (Family Farm Alliance), and Dave Puglia (Western Growers), write, “Much has been written about the drought gripping the West, which we are being warned may become the worst in modern history. With “boom or bust” water years the new norm, we all knew we’d be back here again. An infrastructure package working its way through Congress has the potential to promote drought resiliency in the West, protect our food supply and ensure communities have the water they need to run their homes and power their businesses. Drought-induced water shortages in the West are a national problem that all Americans have an interest in solving. Western states contribute significantly to the nation’s food supply with more than 80 percent of our domestic fruits, nuts and vegetables being grown west of the Continental Divide. … ” Read more from The Hill here: With the help of the White House and Congress, water shortage does not have to be a way of life
Bluetech workforce and desal could help solve California water crises
Peter Fiske, scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and executive director of the DOE’s National Alliance for Water Innovation, writes, “Facing extended drought, diminishing snowpack, and depleted aquifers, California water managers face a harsh reality: our 20th century water systems – essentially linear designs in which fresh water is extracted, centrally treated, distributed to users, returned as wastewater, and finally treated and discarded – are breaking down. Although this approach has served us well for decades, we can no longer sustain ourselves with a paradigm that uses water once and throws it away. With the nation’s most productive agricultural region and diverse ecosystems in the balance, we must innovate now to ensure adequate future water supplies. … ” Read more from the Modesto Bee here: Bluetech workforce and desal could help solve California water crises
California’s budget surplus can help achieve a climate-safe future
Nayamin Martinez, executive director of the Central California Environmental Justice Network, and Judith Mitchell, formerly with the California Air Resources Board and the South Coast Air Quality Management District, write “California is becoming ground zero for the climate crisis. Intensifying drought and wildfire emergencies caused by climate change are the harbingers of a great gamble that risk the loss of California as we know it. The drought is not an anomaly but part of a multi-decadal pattern caused by climate change, threatening dust bowl-like impacts to California’s agricultural heartland. It fueled the largest wildfires in state history. More than 4.2 million acres burned last year, causing a toxic smoke storm that smothered much of the state. With vegetation now the driest on record in many locations, we have already experienced almost twice as many fires as this time last year. … ” Read more from Cal Matters here: California’s budget surplus can help achieve a climate-safe future
Klamath Water Users Association urges a stop to unacceptable behaviors
“Klamath Water Users Association today urged that supporters of agriculture stop intimidating and inappropriate behaviors immediately. Reports say that names and addresses of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation employees have been published on social media, inviting that anger be directed toward those public servants, and there have been other inappropriate communications. “Stop it,” said KWUA President Ben DuVal. “It is completely out of line. It will hurt Klamath Project agriculture.” Reclamation is not driving the decisions that are depriving irrigators of desperately needed water. “Reclamation is the messenger for bad news, but rarely the cause of that bad news,” said KWUA Executive Director Paul Simmons. “Blaming them for our problems reflects a lack of understanding, and will get no more results than blaming President Nixon for signing the Endangered Species Act.” ... ” Continue reading at Klamath Falls News here: Klamath Water Users Association urges a stop to unacceptable behaviors
Klamath Water Users Association urges calm during irrigation crisis
“Following the announcement that one of the Klamath Basin’s main irrigation canals won’t open this summer, the Klamath Water Users Association is asking for peace. Last week, the Bureau of Reclamation announced the shutoff the A Canal, the principal irrigation canal for the Klamath Project, meaning thousands of farmers are without water for the irrigation season. This past Thursday, several dozen people took to the streets of Klamath Falls to peacefully protest. Around 50 people gathered in front of the Klamath Irrigation District office. They asked for more water to be released from Upper Klamath Lake. “The canal has been delivering water since 1907, and this is the first year in history that it will convey no water for irrigation,” said Paul Simmons, the KWUA’s executive director. … ” Read more from KOBI 5 here: Klamath Water Users Association urges calm during irrigation crisis
‘The Definition of a Disaster’ : Tribes, environmentalists brace for catastrophe on the drought-plagued Klamath
“The climate crisis looks different in different places but on the Klamath River, it looks like scores of baby salmon floating dead in the shallows. With the Klamath Basin facing historic drought conditions, a crisis is unfolding in slow motion, day by day, on multiple fronts as the various entities that depend on Klamath water vie for what little there is of it. “No one is winning in the Klamath Basin and what we hold sacred is being sacrificed across the board,” Yurok Tribe Vice Chair Frankie Myers tweeted last week. “We must come together to find a better solution to this ongoing climate crisis or we will all go extinct together.” … ” Continue reading at the North Coast Journal here: ‘The Definition of a Disaster’ : Tribes, environmentalists brace for catastrophe on the drought-plagued Klamath
Lawmakers propose $57 million in disaster relief after Bureau of Reclamation turns off water for thousands of farmers in response to Klamath water crisis
“A week after the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced it would cut off Upper Klamath Lake water supplies to more than 130,000 acres of farmland in the Klamath River Basin until October due to the extreme drought plaguing the region, a team of lawmakers has introduced a $57 million relief proposal for residents and wildlife affected by the water crisis. Republican Congressmen Doug LaMalfa of California and Cliff Bentz of Oregon spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday, calling for federal relief for the basin’s water users, including farmers, fishermen, tribes and affected wildlife. … ” Read more from the Lost Coast Outpost here: Lawmakers propose $57 million in disaster relief after Bureau of Reclamation turns off water for thousands of farmers in response to Klamath water crisis
Fort Bragg: Water everywhere — and not a drop to drink
“It’s going to be a long, hot, and perhaps most importantly: A dry summer. Already, the coast’s water levels are dipping below 1977’s records — that’s the worst drought year in living memory. … “We’re trying to get everyone ready for what’s coming this summer,” said Fort Bragg City Manager, Tabatha Miller. And what’s coming? Well, it’s not rain or fog, that’s for sure. The Fort Bragg City Council declared a Stage 1 water emergency at its last meeting, on May 10. A few days before that, the Mendocino City Community Services District declared a Stage 4 drought at its meeting, and held another special listening session to review the report and recommendations developed by the community Groundwater Management Advisory Committee. ... ” Read more from the Fort Bragg Advocate News here: Water everywhere — and not a drop to drink
Around 2,000 cannabis plants eradicated, water diversions observed at unpermitted grow in far east Humboldt County
“On May 18, 2021, deputies with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET) served one search warrant to investigate illegal cannabis cultivation in the Blake Mountain area of Eastern Humboldt County. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services Environmental Health – HazMat Unit, Humboldt County Code Enforcement and the California State Water Resources Control Board assisted in the service of the warrant. One parcel was investigated during the service of the warrant. The parcel did not possess the required county permit and state license to cultivate cannabis commercially. … ” Read more from the Lost Coast Outpost here: Around 2,000 cannabis plants eradicated, water diversions observed at unpermitted grow in far east Humboldt County
Ukiah: Environment: Controlling water in our region – Part 1
““There is no doubt that we are in a very severe drought; the Upper Russian River Watershed is in particularly dire straits and some of the modeling is quite alarming. It is difficult to overstate the seriousness of the need to have everyone in the Russian River Watershed begin their conservation practices. We know how to do it; we’ve done it in years before; and we have to practice it.”~~Grant Davis, General Manager of Sonoma Water, speaking on May 10th, at Congressman Jared Huffman’s Emergency Drought Summit. … ” Article provides background on water management in the Russian River watershed. Read more at Ukiah Daily Journal here: Ukiah: Environment: Controlling water in our region – Part 1
As drought worsens, water conservation front of mind ahead of Napa Valley’s tourism rebound
“A dry spring coupled with existing drought conditions statewide could have consequential implications for Napa Valley’s parallel wine and tourism economies, industry members say. Napa County’s Oakville region has received less than 11 inches of rainfall since October 2020, according to the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE), one of its driest seasons on record. During previous droughts, the county has relied upon state water allocations to bridge usage gaps, but water resources have been depleted this year even at the state level. Napa County is expected to receive just 5% of its full state water allotment, according to Napa Deputy Utilities Director Joy Eldredge. All five of the county’s cities are promoting water conservation going into this summer, with St. Helena adopting a rationing program. … ” Read more from the Napa Register here: As drought worsens, water conservation front of mind ahead of Napa Valley’s tourism rebound
Drought: Marin Municipal Water District might suspend water hookups, complicating housing
“The Marin Municipal Water District might temporarily ban new service hookups for the first time in nearly three decades in response to historic drought conditions. Such a ban could impact future development in the much of the county, potentially for several years, and at a time when the state is pressing for stepped-up housing production. The district board signaled its support for the move this week, but also wants to give developers the option of paying a fee to fund local water conservation projects and programs. “It’s going to have real-world effects,” director Larry Bragman said of the possible ban at the board meeting on Tuesday. “It’s going to inconvenience people. It’s going to ripple out into our economy. I know none of us are taking it less than very seriously but it’s a serious decision.” ... ” Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: Drought: Marin Municipal Water District might suspend water hookups, complicating housing
Marin County declares local emergency over drought conditions: ‘Grim and deteriorating’
“Amid deepening anxieties over worsening drought conditions throughout California, Marin County officials declared a state of emergency Tuesday. The unanimous vote by the Board of Supervisors makes the county eligible for state funding and other resources as residents brace for a hot, dry summer. Parched conditions are already “severely affecting” West Marin farms, the county said, where officials have described the situation as “grim and deteriorating.” County officials said ranchers have been trucking in water and reducing the size of their herds to keep their animals alive. Livestock are eating imported feed shipped in from other states in the absence of local vegetation for them to graze on. ... ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Marin County declares local emergency over drought conditions: ‘Grim and deteriorating’
‘Bones of Great Beasts;’ Hundreds of prehistoric fossils discovered in EBMUD’s Mokelumne River watershed
“Fossils dating back some five to ten million years have been found in the Mokelumne River watershed in the Sierra Nevada foothills in what’s being called one of the most significant fossil discoveries in California history, researchers announced Tuesday. California State University, Chico and the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) said the trove of fossils was found in areas along the Mokelumne River near the town of Valley Springs. The watershed provides drinking water to EBMUD’s 1.4 million customers. … ” Read more from CBS SF Bay Area here: ‘Bones of Great Beasts;’ Hundreds of prehistoric fossils discovered in EBMUD’s Mokelumne River watershed
Central Coast: How California vegetable growers can adapt to new nitrogen rules
“Growers in the Central Coast region of California produce most of the cool-season vegetables for the U.S. from March to mid-November. After several years of multi-cropping vegetables, the groundwater in many of the coastal valleys has become contaminated with nitrate. Some wells have concentrations of nitrate several times the federal drinking water standard of 10 ppm (parts per million) nitrate-N. Rural communities that rely on groundwater as their sole source of drinking water must purchase bottled water or install small reverse osmosis systems. … ” Read more from Growing Produce here: How California vegetable growers can adapt to new nitrogen rules
Will the nutria ever be wiped out in the Valley?
“The swamp rat population in Central California is beginning to diminish. But a state biologist says elimination is still a few years away. FOX26 reporter Rich Rodriguez updates us on the nutria… one of Valley agriculture’s biggest enemies. The State Department of Fish and Wildlife has spent more than three years trying to round up and euthanize nutria. … ” Read more from Fox 26 here: Will the nutria ever be wiped out in the Valley?
Wells starting to dry up in Fresno County
“We’re in the second year of drought, and wells are drying up. Wes Shaw, who lives in Fresno County, says he noticed his water wasn’t flowing properly, but he never considered it would dry up entirely. “When I first put the well in, it did the full two acres, and I’d pastured the full two acres. At that time, I had about forty animals,” said Shaw. … ” Read more from Fox 26 here: Wells starting to dry up in Fresno County
Environmental crimes discovered at illegal cannabis grow in Santa Barbara County
“The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) with assistance from Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Deputies served a search warrant related to environmental crimes associated with illegal cannabis cultivation on April 30. Along with CDFW wildlife officers and environmental scientists, support for the investigation also came from the State Water Resources Control Board, California Highway Patrol, California Department of Food and Agriculture and Santa Barbara County Code Enforcement. “This egregious activity will not be tolerated at the expense of the environment and those in the regulated cannabis market,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of the Law Enforcement Division. “Illegal operations of this nature fuel other associated criminal behavior and put public safety at risk. I applaud this allied agency effort with our enforcement partners in Santa Barbara County.” … ” Read more from the Department of Fish & Wildlife here: Environmental crimes discovered at illegal cannabis grow in Santa Barbara County
Landmark collaborative water purchase provides ongoing benefits for Ventura County
“For the first time in nearly a half-century, United Water Conservation District (UWCD) has secured the purchase of State Water Project water from local partners so that this vital resource remains in Ventura County for use by local residents, businesses and the County’s agricultural industry. The unprecedented deal was struck between UWCD, the City of Ventura and Casitas Municipal Water District, who together represent a contractor group for the State Water Project (SWP). Historically, since the three entities formed the contractor group in 1970, any Table A carryover water allocations held by the City and the Casitas Water District was either sold to water contractors outside the region or forfeited. “These mutually beneficial transfer agreements with Ventura and Casitas mark an important milestone in an ongoing effort to build bridges and develop a spirit of cooperation that is critical to effective water management for the region,” said UWCD General Manager Mauricio Guardado. … ”
Click here for the full press release from United Water Conservation District.
What you need to know about drought, water, and fire danger in the Coachella Valley
“Riverside County is in severe to extreme drought conditions. Strong winds and dry conditions elevate fire danger. Through Thursday, A First Alert Weather Alert Day is in effect for strong winds that will keep fire danger elevated. Desert Water Agency shared information Wednesday about drought conditions in California and the Coachella Valley. They described how the agency is preparing. “California does have very unpredictable water patterns and we need to be prepared for that unpredictability,” said Vicki Petek, with Desert Water Agency. … ” Read more from Channel 3 here: What you need to know about drought, water, and fire danger in the Coachella Valley
Rep. Ruiz sends letters to IID & FWS regarding the Red Hill Project at the Salton Sea
“Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. tells News Channel 3 exclusively that his office has sent letters to Fish and Wildlife Service and Imperial Irrigation District in regards to the Red Hill Bay Project at the Salton Sea. The joint effort between IID and FWS broke ground in 2015, but has yet to be completed. It was designed to create over 600 acres of shallow saline ponds by mixing water from the Salton Sea and the Alamo River. These new ponds would faciliate a new habitat for birds, while also preventing dust from emerging into the air. ... ” Read more from Channel 3 here: Rep. Ruiz sends letters to IID & FWS regarding the Red Hill Project at the Salton Sea
Salton Sea-area Supe says new funding good but not enough
“New funding proposed at the Salton Sea could bring about 8,000 acres of projects to the drying body of water, but one Imperial County official is saying more will be needed for more permanent measures. As part of the biggest economic recovery package in California history, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s $100 billion California Comeback Plan proposes $220 million for the Salton Sea to fund projects to improve conditions in the region over a two-year period. The plan includes $50 million proposed for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. … ” Read more from the Holtville Tribune here: Salton Sea-area Supe says new funding good but not enough
Troubled Waters: The Salton Sea project part 3 – a lake languished
“Along the dusty shoreline of the Salton Sea, you could blink and you’d miss it, the Ski Inn, the only bar in 40 miles. It’s a local watering hole that’s been here for decades, an obscure Anthony Bourdain stop, wallpapered with years of visitors’ dollar bill legacies. It’s certainly a bar that’s seen better days. “There was five bars in this town. And they were all packed every weekend. And slowly, they all went away,” said Sonia Herbert, the owner of the Ski Inn. Gone away with the shrinking waters of the Salton Sea, Sonia says she has watched life at the lake wither away for the past 45 years. “It’s a crying shame that they’re letting this whole beautiful area die,” Sonia said. … ” Read more from Channel 3 here: Troubled Waters: The Salton Sea project part 3 – a lake languished
San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy gets $10,000 grant from REI
“The nonprofit San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy received a $10,000 grant for its Next to Nature program (N2N) from the REI Co-op. The program shows residents how to create sustainable landscapes that are beneficial for the environment. To show people how to develop eco-beneficial areas around their homes or businesses, the conservancy is working with locally based production company Condor Visual Media to put out six free webinars focusing on Landscape Site Design, Sustainable Gardening, Urban Green Infrastructure, Wildfire Risk Reduction, Water Management and Conservation and Landscape Material and Energy Management. … ” Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here: San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy gets $10,000 grant from REI
Q&AZ: Are microchips too thirsty for drought-stricken Arizona? The answer is complicated
“Intel has announced a $20 billion, two-factory expansion in Chandler, and Taiwan Semiconductor is building a new plant in Phoenix. But why do so many companies bring such a water-intensive process to drought-stricken Arizona? One listener asked just that through KJZZ’s Q&AZ project. Part of the answer lies in the state’s history. “We were Silicon Valley before Silicon Valley. Really, Silicon Valley didn’t come about until sort of like the middle ’50s, but Galvin put a stake in the ground here in Arizona in 1949,” said Steven Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council. … ” Read more from KJZZ here: Q&AZ: Are microchips too thirsty for drought-stricken Arizona? The answer is complicated
Following pipeline cyberattack, Biden vows to better protect water systems
“A dangerous cyberattack on critical U.S. infrastructure this month has underscored the ongoing threat that these kinds of attacks pose to drinking water systems, and the president has taken notice. The FBI has confirmed that hackers successfully forced the Colonial Pipeline, which provides gasoline and jet fuel to much of the East Coast, to shut down. … “We launched a new public private initiative in April, began the 100-day sprint to improve cyber security in the electric sector, and we’ll follow that with similar initiatives in natural gas pipelines, water and other sectors,” Biden said, according to Nikkei Asia. … ” Read more from Water Online here: Following pipeline cyberattack, Biden vows to better protect water systems
New collaboration aims to help states prepare for, adapt to natural disasters
“With each passing year, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and other disasters are becoming more intense and more frequent, requiring state and local leaders to respond with greater urgency. These leaders are investing time and resources to reduce the catastrophic impact of these events on their communities while building long-term resilience through planning, policy, and projects. The Pew Charitable Trusts and the American Flood Coalition (AFC) have taken the lead in creating a new partnership to assist in this effort: the State Resilience Partnership. ... ” Read more from the Pew Charitable Trust here: New collaboration aims to help states prepare for, adapt to natural disasters
Why 2021 is the year to highlight how critical water sources are for the climate
“This year, two momentous climate events will take place: the kick-off of the UN Decade for Ocean Science in June, and the United Nations Climate Change Conference (commonly known as COP26) in November. This was not the intended timeframe. COP26 should have been held in November 2020, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the fact that these two events are now happening in this same year provides a unique opportunity. This is the moment to remind ourselves how critical water sources are for climate. In fact, that water is climate. … ” Continue reading at the World Economic Forum here: Why 2021 is the year to highlight how critical water sources are for the climate
Increases in extreme precipitation cost the U.S. $73 billion over three decades
“Torrential rain storms can flood homes, wash out roads and bridges, and destroy crops. Over the past three decades, flooding from heavy precipitation has caused about $200 billion of damage in the U.S. Frances Davenport is a PhD student in Earth system science at Stanford University. She wanted to know how much of that enormous price tag can be blamed on global warming. “We’ve seen that extreme precipitation events are increasing in frequency or intensity, and so we wanted to quantify what are the financial costs of those changes in precipitation,” Davenport says. ... ” Read more from Yale Climate Connections here: Increases in extreme precipitation cost the U.S. $73 billion over three decades
The California Water Commission is in the process of completing the task assigned to them in the Water Resilience Portfolio of examining the state’s role in funding conveyance projects. At the April meeting, the last two speakers on the panel discussed governance issues and collaboration.
First, Sharon Farrell is the Executive Vice President of Projects, Stewardship & Science with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, a cooperating association of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. She discussed how to build and sustain integrated regional networks and how they can help advance state priorities, such as resilient conveyance and water management. Then Dr. Michael Kiparsky, director of the Wheeler Water Institute at the Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment at UC Berkeley School of Law, discussed multi-benefit project governance and the role of innovation in sparking transformation.
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.