DAILY DIGEST, 6/30: Migratory birds face drought, disease and death on the Pacific Flyway; Biden’s infrastructure bill could help store more water; Biden is set to meet with leaders of Western states to discuss record heat waves and drought; and more …
EVENT: The Water Board’s Water Data Symposium continues at 9am. Today’s presentations include What is a “natural” river? Understanding ecological opportunities and cultural values as flows decrease in Southern California urban rivers; Ecological racism: seeking equity and justice via social and cultural competency; Thermal vulnerability in Sierra Nevada streams: spatial scales and drivers; and Using functional flows to establish flow criteria in California’s South Fork Eel River watershed. Click here for the agenda. Click here to register.
WEBINAR: Drought messaging from 11am to 12pm. As California heads into the warmer months of its second consecutive dry year, local water suppliers are sharing information with customers about local investments in drought resiliency while promoting long-term water efficiency and, in some cases, communicating about mandatory conservation. Agencies know that water supplies can vary significantly throughout the state, making communications complicated. Tia Lebherz with California Water Efficiency Partnership and Mike Wade with California Farm Water Coalition are among the speakers to share their advice on how urban and agricultural agencies can best communicate drought messaging. Click here to register.
GRA CAST: Groundwater Analysis Tools Developed by the GAMA Program from 12pm to 1pm. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), other new regulatory measures, an increased demand by water utilities to manage their groundwater resource, and the public’s heightened awareness of groundwater quality, all require better data tools for all to access in California. The GAMA Program’s Online Tools webpage provides an ever-increasing list of spatially interactive web applications to address many groundwater issues including groundwater quality trends, groundwater age, well construction, contamination to small system and domestic wells, and risk to contaminated groundwater. This GRA Cast will go through each of these tools and provide a sneak-peek into new upcoming tools soon to be released. Click here to register.
PUBLIC MEETING: Listening Session to Develop Principles and Strategies Related to Groundwater Management and Drinking Water Wells from 12pm to 1:30pm.The State is hosting Listening Sessions to gather public input for the development of principles and strategies related to groundwater management and drinking water wells, as identified in the April 21, 2021 Executive Drought Proclamation. All perspectives are welcome and interested parties are encouraged to attend and provide input.Click here to register.
FREE WEBINAR: Yuba Water Lunch and Learn: Forest Health and Watershed Resilience from 12pm to 1pm. The Yuba River watershed, the source of water that feeds the tributaries and reservoirs managed by Yuba Water Agency, has extensive areas of overly-dense forests susceptible to high-severity wildfire. Recognizing this, Yuba Water Agency launched a trailblazing Watershed Resilience Program in 2018 to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire in our region. Learn more during this one-hour webinar. Click here to register.
FREE WORKSHOP: Bay-Delta Data Sandbox Workshop from 1pm to 4pm. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) California Water Science Center is working to expand the availability and interoperability of San Francisco Bay Delta environmental data by providing harmonized data sets from multiple sources through a unified source and portal. Several government, nonprofit, and university research efforts currently collect and compile ecological and water-quality data throughout the state, but often times data sets are disparate and challenging to relate across space, time, and differing measurement units. The USGS has been working with several technologies to relate data sets in the Bay Delta and develop a web-based “Bay-Delta Data Sandbox,” which will provide access to harmonized data sets and web services for processing and visualization. We are hosting a workshop to demonstrate how users can access data through the sandbox portal for their own analyses and visualizations and to ask for feedback on ways to improve the state of data access and analysis in California. Click here to register.
In California water news today …
Refuge no more: Migratory birds face drought, disease and death on the Pacific Flyway
“Extreme drought conditions gripping the West have stirred familiar struggles over water in the Klamath Basin, which straddles the Oregon-California border. Even in a good year, there’s often not enough water to keep ecosystems healthy and farms green — and this year is anything but good. For the past two decades critics have simplistically reduced water woes in the basin to “fish vs. farms” in the battle for an increasingly scarce resource. This year, which is expected to be the lowest water year on record, it’s clear there aren’t any winners. … ” Read more from the Revelator here: Refuge no more: Migratory birds face drought, disease and death on the Pacific Flyway
As drought ravages California, Biden’s infrastructure bill could help store more water
Historic heatwave, extreme drought and wildfires plague the West
“The summer of 2021 is already shaping up to be one for the record books, with much of the American west gripped by historic heatwaves, extreme drought, and the threat of large wildfires that have already begun to burn across the region. The crisis has also extended into Canada, with temperatures in British Columbia soaring to 118F (46.6C) on Monday, shattering records for the area where few are set up for such intense heat. Experts and officials fear that the catastrophic conditions, fueled by the climate crisis, will only get worse through the coming months. This week an unprecedented and dangerous heatwave scorched the Pacific north-west, obliterating records set just the day before. … ” Read more from the Guardian here: Historic heatwave, extreme drought and wildfires plague North American west
In pictures: The West’s historic drought
“Much of the Western United States has been experiencing a historic and unrelenting drought, the worst in the region in at least 20 years. The most severe drought is centered in the Southwest, in California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. But areas of extreme and exceptional drought extend into the Pacific Northwest as well. During the drought, many areas have also had to cope with extreme heat. The heat and the drought are part of a damaging feedback loop enhanced by climate change, experts say: The hotter it gets, the drier it gets. And the drier it gets, the hotter it gets. The conditions are also fueling wildfires and exacerbating water demands. … ” Read more from CNN here: In pictures: The West’s historic drought
Water woes continue for this California dairy farmer
“California dairy producer, Ray Prock, says the quote often attributed to Mark Twain, “Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting,” captures the ongoing California water crisis. California’s agriculture sector is likely to experience the biggest impact of the record-breaking drought. The economic toll on agriculture was estimated at $2.7 billion in 2015, the worst year of the last drought, according to the University of California-Davis. The drought’s impact on California farms is uneven, depending on the source in the state’s over tapped water distribution system. Prock, who runs a 600-cow dairy in Denair, is starting to see the effects of the current drought in such areas. His current share in water allotments is 8 inches less than his normal 42 inches. “In our situation, we have added several infrastructure improvements on our dairy facility to be more efficient with our water use,” he says. … ” Read more from CNN here: Water woes continue for this California dairy farmer
How polluted is your favorite California beach? Read this report card
“Here’s some good news (and then, some not-so-good news) for those seeking a summer respite by the sea: Beaches across California are much cleaner than in years past. In its annual survey of more than 500 beaches, Heal the Bay reported Tuesday that 93% of California’s beaches logged good water-quality marks between April and October 2020 — an encouraging assessment for a coastline that sees all manner of trash, pesticides and bacteria (not to mention microplastics, automotive fluids and tire particles) flushed into the ocean whenever it rains. A severe drought has meant less-polluted beaches during the summer — particularly in Southern California, where Orange County had 10 of the state’s cleanest beaches. But even a dry year has led to troubling patterns during the winter and stubborn pockets of pollution along the coast. … ” Read more from the LA Times here: How polluted is your favorite California beach? Read this report card
Dan Walters column: How budget ‘trailer bills’ get misused
“To understand a sharp-elbows squabble that’s developing behind the scenes in the state Capitol, one must first understand “pumped-storage hydro,” a way for electrical energy to be stored. In its simplest form, water stored in a reservoir is released to generate power as it flows into a second reservoir at a lower elevation. Later, when the electrical grid’s need for power diminishes, the water is pumped back into the upper reservoir so the cycle can be repeated when demand increases. It’s not a new technology; in fact it’s been around for more than a century although never more than a marginal factor in global power generation. However, it’s drawing more interest of late in California because the state is pushing hard, in the name of battling climate change, to eliminate natural gas-fired generation in favor of wind, solar and other sources that do not emit greenhouse gases. … ” Read more from Cal Matters here: How budget ‘trailer bills’ get misused
Expansion of public meeting teleconferencing during pandemic set to expire in California
“In response to public agencies’ urgent need to adapt to the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, in March 2020, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-29-20 (amending in part Executive Order N-25-20) to suspend portions of the Brown Act that ordinarily limit the use of teleconferencing public meetings. In anticipation of California’s so-called reopening on June 15, 2021, Gov. Newsom issued Executive Order N-08-21 on June 11, 2021, where he provided a timeline for the expiration of various portions of his prior executive orders. In it, he set Sept. 30, 2021, as the final date on which public agencies may hold virtual meetings under the modified Brown Act provisions within Executive Order N-29-20. Thereafter, full compliance with the Brown Act is required, absent passage of pending legislation that amends the Brown Act. … ” Read more from Brownstein Hyatt here: Expansion of public meeting teleconferencing during pandemic set to expire in California
In California wildfire news today …
Biden is set to meet with leaders of Western states to discuss record heat waves and drought.
“With a record-shattering heat wave suffocating much of the Pacific Northwest and a drought-fueled wildfire season already well underway in New Mexico, Arizona and California, President Biden will attend a virtual meeting with leaders of Western states on Wednesday to discuss strategies to minimize weather-related disasters this summer. Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Friday that the president planned to bring together members of his cabinet and the Western governors to assess “the devastating intersection of drought, heat, and wildfires,” as well as “prevention, preparedness, and response efforts for this wildfire season.” … ” Read more from the New York Times here: Biden is set to meet with leaders of Western states to discuss record heat waves and drought.
Gov. Gavin Newsom retreats on $1 billion wildfire prevention plan ahead of meeting with President Biden
“Gov. Gavin Newsom rolled back a more ambitious wildfire prevention plan set by his predecessor, and this week his administration nixed more than half a billion dollars in promised fuel reduction spending, an investigation by CapRadio and NPR’s California Newsroom has found. Newsom, who is set to talk wildfires with President Joe Biden and governors of other western states Wednesday, has said the reality of climate change with its hot summers and dry winters, means the state’s approach to wildfires “fundamentally has to change.” But the plan he trumpets, to treat 500,000 acres a year by 2025, represents a retreat from a 2018 executive order signed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown, which mandated the state reach that goal by 2023. … ” Read more from Capital Public Radio here: Gov. Gavin Newsom retreats on $1 billion wildfire prevention plan ahead of meeting with President Biden
California fires 2021: What to know about this year’s wildfires
“Wildfire season came early this year in the Bay Area after a meager rainy season left the landscape tinder-dry, offering an abundance of fuel for wildland blazes. In just the past few years, California has seen some of the largest, deadliest and most destructive fires in state history. Last year was a record-buster, with nearly 10,000 blazes burning more than 4 million acres. Meanwhile, most of the state is in extreme or exceptional drought conditions, prompting Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a drought emergency in a majority of the state’s counties. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: California fires 2021: What to know about this year’s wildfires
State, counties fighting bigger wildfires with technology
“Bay Area-born startup Lumineye began with a goal of giving soldiers power to see through walls. But climate change has broadened the market, and Lumineye is now working with firefighters to tweak its product: a handheld device that uses radar to see people inside buildings and in thick brush. “Unfortunately, the more often fires are occurring, the more we’ll be focused on that use case,” said Megan Lacy, co-founder and co-CEO of the company birthed from a Stanford University entrepreneurship class. California’s drought, plus forests full of fuels and communities along narrow roads in heavily treed areas, make for a lethal recipe, tragically exemplified by the 2018 Camp Fire that killed 86 people in Paradise. With scientists agreeing that climate change will make wildfires increasingly catastrophic, the specter of flames devouring communities and smothering the state in smoke is driving innovation, much of it in Silicon Valley, to fight fires with new technology. … ” Read more from TechWire here: State, counties fighting bigger wildfires with technology
States spend big as water levels fall, raising risks for catastrophic fires
“Governments across the Western United States are allocating unprecedented sums of money to prepare for what experts expect will be one of the worst wildfire seasons in memory, as low water levels and high temperatures conspire to create tinderbox conditions. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has proposed spending $2 billion on emergency preparedness. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed a measure allocating $125 million every biennium for the next two decades on fire relief and mitigation. Oregon legislators are preparing to send a $220 million wildland protection measure to Gov. Kate Brown (D). … ” Read more from The Hill here: States spend big as water levels fall, raising risks for catastrophic fires
How California’s leaders can end the salmon slaughter
Rachel Zwillinger, water policy advisor for Defenders of Wildlife, writes, “Dan Walters’ June 16 column (“California drought sharpens water conflict”) highlights the strain that climate change is placing on our water management regime. So where do we go from here? Our leaders must take bold action to adapt to our new reality and create a system that can support healthy rivers and wildlife, communities with access to safe drinking water and a thriving agricultural economy. Unfortunately, that’s not what we’re seeing today. The state’s water regulators are draining our reservoirs and depleting our rivers to deliver vast volumes of water to a small number of powerful agricultural interests during a historically dry year. Protecting fish and wildlife and water quality for Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta communities does not mean eliminating agriculture in the Central Valley. … ” Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: How California’s leaders can end the salmon slaughter
Klamath: Drought has pitted farmers against native tribes protecting endangered fish
“Along the California-Oregon border, the Klamath Basin is in the midst of a record drought, pitting farmers against native tribes with historic water rights who are trying to protect endangered fish. In the drought-stricken Klamath Basin along the California-Oregon border, water is precious. This year, Native American tribes and farmers are competing for this shrinking resource. It’s an indicator of future water wars in the West. Jefferson Public Radio’s Erik Neumann explains. … ” Listen/read transcript from Capital Public Radio here: Klamath: Drought has pitted farmers against native tribes protecting endangered fish
Hopes for imperiled fish rise as FERC approves transfer of Klamath River dam license
“In a big step toward the removal of four PacifiCorp dams on the Klamath River, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, recently approved the transfer of the license for the Lower Klamath Hydroelectric Project from PacifiCorp to the Klamath River Renewal Corporation, as well as the states of California and Oregon, who will be co-licensees. The approval of the transfer takes place at a critical year for imperiled salmon populations on the Klamath River, the second largest producer of salmon behind the Sacramento River in California. Biologists from the Yurok and Karuk Tribes have documented a massive fish kill of juvenile Chinook salmon on the Klamath since early May in this record drought year. … ” Read more from the Sacramento News & Review here: Hopes for imperiled fish rise as FERC approves transfer of Klamath River dam license
Here’s what Mount Shasta City’s new water restrictions mean to you
“Starting July 1, Mount Shasta City residents will be asked to reduce their water usage by 30%, with restrictions between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Public Works Director Rod Bryan said this will give the city’s tank time to refill while Cold Springs water production is down due to low snowpack and California’s drought. The resolution was approved by the Mount Shasta City Council unanimously on Monday evening, during which it was announced that the city’s finance director, Muriel Howarth Terrell, will take over the city manager duties until a permanent applicant can be found to replace Bruce Pope, who retires in July. … ” Read more from Mount Shasta News here: Here’s what Mount Shasta City’s new water restrictions mean to you
Last accessible Lake Oroville boat launch ramp predicted to close after July 4 weekend
“Water levels at Lake Oroville continue to drop, seemingly painting the reservoir as the poster child for California’s current, severe drought. By the end of April, the lake was just under 730-feet above sea level. That dropped to 711 by the end of May, warranting several houseboats across multiple marinas be pulled due to underwater islands appearing over the lake’s surface. As of Tuesday, June 29, now losing roughly a foot and a half a day, the lake sits at 684.3 feet above sea level. This is far from the full amount of 900 feet above sea level, a number that has not been reached since this time in 2019. … ” Read more from KRCR here: Last accessible Lake Oroville boat launch ramp predicted to close after July 4 weekend
Lake Oroville water level continues to fall dangerously low
“A lack of snow and rainfall along with California’s historic drought conditions have left the state’s second-largest reservoir with historically low levels. Here’s a look at Lake Oroville’s storage conditions as of June 28, 2021. This image shows the lake with 32% of the total capacity. The reservoir elevation is 685.32 feet. If levels continue to fall, the dam — which uses generators to produce electricity through the Edward Hyatt Power Plant — may not have enough water to power those generators. … ” Read more from Channel 10 here: Lake Oroville water level continues to fall dangerously low
Nevada County column: Rise Gold, show me the money
Randall J. Newsome writes, “A lot of print has been devoted to the pros and cons of Rise Gold Corp.’s reopening of the Idaho-Maryland Mine. The opponents have focused on various environmental impacts of the mine. Proponents point to the potential for as many as 300 new jobs, and urge that the company and its CEO, Benjamin Mossman, be given a chance to prove themselves. Putting aside whether reopening the mine is a good or bad idea, there has been little discussion of whether Rise Gold has, or ever will have, the financial wherewithal to carry out its business plan. My experience as a U.S. bankruptcy judge for 28 years leads me to believe that this company is destined for financial failure. ... ” Read more from The Union here: Nevada County column: Rise Gold, show me the money
Indigenous people gather in St. Helena to honor Napa River
“Vineyards, towns and roads have transformed the landscape, but one thing hasn’t changed since the days when indigenous people camped alongside the Napa River. Water is still, after all these years, life. Descendants of the Pomo, Mishewal Wappo and other native peoples gathered at Wappo Park on Sunday to pay tribute to the Napa River through speech, song and prayer. “Life is water and water is life,” said Sal Garcia-Pinola, a member of the Pomo. … ” Continue reading at the Napa Register here: Indigenous people gather in St. Helena to honor Napa River
Marin County: Salmon Habitat Restoration in the Face of Drought
“The Salmon Protection And Watershed Network (SPAWN) is approaching one year from removing Roy’s Dam on San Geronimo Creek, which was NOAA’s highest priority fish barrier for recovering endangered central California coast coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). The removal of Roy’s Dam, and the formation of what we’re calling “Roy’s Riffles,” now creates unimpeded fish passage above (and soon below when Marin County modifies the sill under San Geronimo Valley Drive) the former dam. However, we are currently in a historic drought. Little streamflow matched with increased temperatures have exacerbated drought conditions across California and we’re seeing significant effects of the drought in our streams and rivers. Throughout San Geronimo Creek, creek flow is becoming disconnected, habitat is limited, water quality has declined, and algae blooms persist. This is even happening at the Roy’s Riffles site. … ” Read more from the Turtle Island Restoration Network: Salmon Habitat Restoration in the Face of Drought
Monterey water officials told to pay for another Cal Am review
“An inter-governmental body wants Monterey Peninsula water officials to pay for an independent third-party review of costs associated with a planned takeover of California American Water Co., a study water officials say they’ve already performed at a cost of over a half-a-million dollars. A majority of commissioners with the Local Area Formation Commission for Monterey County (LAFCO) said Monday night they want the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District to foot the bill for an independent review to better establish the financial wherewithal of the district to operate a water delivery system, something the district believes it has already performed reliably. … ” Read more from the Monterey Herald here: Monterey water officials told to pay for another Cal Am review
Fresno: Water deliveries ending early for local farmers as dry conditions continue
Teviston residents desperate for water after well failure
“For the last several weeks, Teviston residents have had little to no water flowing through their homes. Some are fortunate enough to get a trickle from their faucets while others are bone dry. Shelly Soriano is frustrated and at her wit’s end. “You feel sick all the time, it is awful,” she said. “You can’t cool down, you can’t take a proper shower, nothing.” ... ” Read more from KFSN here: Teviston residents desperate for water after well failure
Groundwater issues in the Santa Ynez Valley
“WE Watch and the Santa Ynez Valley Natural History Society are inviting local residents and the public to a presentation by Bill Buelow of the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District (SYRWCD) on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). Mr. Buelow will discuss the three Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) that are currently being developed for the Santa Ynez River Basin and will be submitted to the State in January 2022. This timely presentation will be held via Zoom at 7:00 p.m. on July 8th. … ” Read more from the Santa Barbara Independent here: Groundwater issues in the Santa Ynez Valley
Lawsuit against county aimed at protecting Santa Barbara’s water supplies
“The Central Coast Water Authority (CCWA) and its Member Agencies, including the City, filed a lawsuit against the Santa Barbara County Flood Control and Water Conservation District (County) in an important step toward protecting Member Agencies’ ability to manage their water supply. Other Member Agencies include the Cities of Buellton, Guadalupe, and Santa Maria, Carpinteria Valley Water District, Goleta Water District, Montecito Water District and Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District, Improvement District No. 1 (where the City of Solvang is located). … ” Read more from Edhat here: Lawsuit against county aimed at protecting Santa Barbara’s water supplies
Threatened California red-legged frog found breeding in the Santa Monica Mountains for first time in 50 years
“A threatened species of frog have been found to be independently breeding at two sites severely burned by the 2018 Woolsey Fire, National Park Services biologists said Tuesday. The California red-legged frog, which are listed as federally threatened under the Endangered Species Act and are considered a species of special concern by the state of California, have not bred in the wild since the 1970s, according to National Park Services. But a recent stream survey has uncovered egg masses at two sites – one in Los Angeles County and another in Ventura County. … ” Read more from CBS LA here: Threatened California red-legged frog found breeding in the Santa Monica Mountains for first time in 50 years
Construction underway on groundwater treatment facilities as part of historic settlement agreement between LADWP and Honeywell
“The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is implementing a landmark settlement agreement with Honeywell that will significantly expedite the remediation of groundwater in the San Fernando Basin (SFB) that is due to, among other factors, past industrial contamination. As part of the historic agreement, Honeywell is designing, funding and is currently constructing groundwater treatment facilities. When fully operational, the facilities will help expand LADWP’s ongoing groundwater cleanup efforts in the North Hollywood area of the SFB by treating approximately 2.8 billion gallons of groundwater annually. … ” Continue reading this press release from LADWP here: Construction underway on groundwater treatment facilities as part of historic settlement agreement between LADWP and Honeywell
Monsoonal storms are on the horizon. How to prepare for SoCal’s weather threat
“First came the drought. Then there were fires. Next up: monsoons. The National Weather Service is warning that a surge of monsoonal storms Tuesday and Wednesday could bring flash flooding and elevated fire threats. Here’s what you need to know about the latest weather woe in Southern California. … ” Read more from the LA Times here: Monsoonal storms are on the horizon. How to prepare for SoCal’s weather threat
Heal the Bay’s 2021 beach report card shouts out OC, Malibu among California’s best
“The beaches are back, and according to research taken from the coastal watchdogs at Heal the Bay, there are plenty of excellent Southland beaches for people to enjoy this summer. Even so, a handful of beaches across California, including a perennial “beach bummer” in Los Angeles County, leave something to be desired. Heal the Bay’s complete 2020-2021 Beach Report Card covers the entirety of the west coast, from the Pacific Northwest down to Tijuana, and includes brief water quality updates from along the coast. It also features grades on freshwater sources and swimming holes, such as those along the LA River. … ” Read more from Spectrum 1 here: Heal the Bay’s 2021 beach report card shouts out OC, Malibu among California’s best
Conservationists receive another $8-million boost from state legislators for Banning Ranch acquisition
“Conservationists are now at the $72-million mark of their $97-million goal to acquire Banning Ranch, a 384-acre property at the mouth of the Santa Ana River, and turn the oil field into a public park. The Trust for Public Land announced Monday that state legislators allocated $8 million to be put toward the purchase of the property. Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) said in a Facebook post that she was “thrilled” to have secured the allocation in this year’s upcoming state budget. The budget is now on its way to Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign prior to the start of the new fiscal year on July 1. … ” Read more from the LA Times here: Conservationists receive another $8-million boost from state legislators for Banning Ranch acquisition
San Diego: Valley Center residents blame SDG&E project for low water supply
“Residents in Valley Center say they are running out of water and blaming an SDG&E project meant to reduce fire danger. The olive trees that line Kristen Bazata’s Valley Center farm have not been watered recently – at a time they need all the H20 they can get. “The olives take the most amount of water right now, and we can’t do that with having to decide to shower versus watering the tree,” she said. … ” Read more from Channel 10 here: San Diego: Valley Center residents blame SDG&E project for low water supply
Proposed federal grant program could bolster Lake Mead water levels
“Water officials in Las Vegas are backing a federal bill that could help pay for a California project that would leave more water in Lake Mead. The bill, heard by a House subcommittee Tuesday, would create a grant program to help build major water recycling projects in the West. It would allow the federal government to award up to $750 million in grants from fiscal year 2023 through 2027 for projects costing at least $500 million. In testimony to the House Committee on Natural Resources’ subcommittee on water, John Entsminger, general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, called the proposal “vitally important” to Southern Nevada. … ” Read more from the Las Vegas Review-Journal here: Proposed federal grant program could bolster Lake Mead water levels
Historic drought year leaves colorado river basin water users high and dry
“While arid conditions have prevailed in the Colorado River Basin since the turn of the century, 2021 stands out as a particularly dry year across all of the seven basin states, and Colorado’s western slope provides insight into the depth of the drought. Despite near- to above-average precipitation along Colorado’s Front Range/Denver-metro area this year, Colorado’s western slope is facing water supply conditions that are among the worst in generations. The US Drought Monitor currently classifies more than 17% of the state, all on the western slope, as experiencing “Exceptional Drought,” which means that possible impacts include widespread crop losses and water shortages creating emergencies. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) streamflow forecasts for many of Colorado’s western slope streams predict that annual runoff volumes will be less than 50 percent of average, some even below 30 percent of average. If you are a water user in the Colorado River Basin whose use has been or might be curtailed, you may be looking for solutions in what is likely to be a drought year of record. … ” Continue reading at Somach Simmons & Dunn here: Historic drought year leaves colorado river basin water users high and dry
40 weeks and counting: This chart shows the severity of the U.S. drought
“A major heatwave is affecting the Pacific Northwest of the United States, but the stretch of unusually hot and dry weather is just the latest addition to drought conditions the country has been experiencing since late 2020. The extreme circumstances have spurred demand for water and cooling, while leaving reservoirs emptier than usual. With the drought comes a heightened risk of heat-induced medical emergencies and wildfires. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, extreme and exceptional drought affected the Southwest strongest, but also stretched into Oregon, Washington, North Dakota and Texas. As of this Monday, droughts of different levels of severity affected almost 61 percent of the area of the continental United States. … ” Read more from the World Economic Forum here: 40 weeks and counting: This chart shows the severity of the U.S. drought
Despite Capitol Hill enthusiasm for planting crops to store carbon, few farmers are doing it, report finds
“The Biden administration and a growing coalition of lawmakers have promoted the planting of carbon-trapping crops as a key strategy in the fight to control climate-warming emissions. But farmers across the country’s Upper Midwestern Corn Belt are only planting a small fraction of their land with these plants—known as cover crops—despite tens of millions of dollars in federal and state funding encouraging them to do so. … ” Read more from Inside Climate News here: Despite Capitol Hill enthusiasm for planting crops to store carbon, few farmers are doing it, report finds
U.S. Chamber official warned of climate danger in 1989
“Twenty years before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce called for climate science to be put on trial, an official from the powerful pro-business lobby group crafted what would prove to be a prescient message on global warming. Harvey Alter, who ran the Chamber’s resources policy department at the time, said in 1989 there was “broad consensus” that human-made climate change would likely have a disastrous impact on coastal communities and farmers. Alter warned of rising sea levels and the litany of changes that would accompany a hotter planet. “Wetlands will flood, salt water will infuse fresh water supplies, and there will be changes in the distribution of tree and crop species and agricultural productivity,” Alter said. … ” Read more from E&E News here: U.S. Chamber official warned of climate danger in 1989
DELTA STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL: Emergency drought barrier and the Temporary Urgency Change Petition (with photo gallery)
The Department of Water Resources takes action in the Delta to conserve water in upstream reservoirs
Last month, the Governor signed two executive orders regarding the drought, one of which included authorizing the Department of Water Resources to construct a salinity barrier at the False River to address salinity intrusion into the Delta.
At the June meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council, Jacob McQuirk, the South Delta Chief of O & M, and Lenny Grimaldo, the Assistant Environmental Director, both from the Department of Water Resources, gave a presentation on the Department’s construction of a drought barrier across West False River in the Delta, and the Department’s Temporary Urgency Change Petition.
WEBINAR: Managing California’s Groundwater: Drinking Water Needs & Disadvantaged Community Engagement
Local Government Commission and the Groundwater Exchange are excited to launch a three-part webinar series to share key learnings from the Groundwater Leadership Forum’s 2020 Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) review and provide detailed guidance about how GSPs can address specific areas of interest.
The second webinar discussion focused on drinking water needs and disadvantaged community engagement.
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.