DAILY DIGEST, 7/1: CA’s yearly rainfall totals portend trouble; Drought, worst in 1200 years, might be here to stay; Will Porterville drought crisis repeat?; U.S. weather extremes a ‘flashing red light’ for water lawyers; and more …


On the calendar today …

  • LEG HEARING: The Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife meets 30 minutes upon adjournment of the session. Bills to be heard include SB 463 Water: landowner right to modify, repair, or replace jointly used conduits; SB 496 Flood control: water development projects: Pajaro River; SB 559 Department of Water Resources: water conveyance systems: Canal Conveyance Capacity Restoration Fund; and Committee on Natural Resources and Water: Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta: Delta Independent Science BoardClick here for agenda and audio listening link.
  • PUBLIC MEETING: Potential drought actions for Scott and Shasta River watersheds from 2pm to 4pm. State Water Board staff will hold a public meeting to provide information and solicit input from the community on potential drought actions that could be implemented in the Scott River and Shasta River watersheds during the ongoing drought.  Click here for the notice and remote access instructions.

In California water news today …

California’s rain year just ended – and the data shows we’re in trouble

California’s rain year officially ended Wednesday, and the data reflects what the dry landscape in much of the Bay Area already shows: It wasn’t pretty.  Data shows that for many of the major regions of California, the July 2020-June 2021 rain year was one of the top 10 driest ever. Even more troubling is that the extreme dry spells are starting to stack up, especially in the Sierra Nevada watersheds that supply so much of the state’s water.  Jan Null, a forecaster who runs Golden Gate Weather Services, compiled California rainfall data for the most recent season and compared it to historical seasons in one-, two-, three- and four-year periods. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: California’s rain year just ended – and the data shows we’re in trouble

The drought in Southwest is the worst in 1,200 years. It might be here to stay

” ... Today, the Colorado River provides water for 40 million people in seven states, but stricken by a devastating drought, it’s not what it used to be. Lake Mead and Lake Powell are both at about 30% capacity, down more than 140 feet from “full pool”. If the lakes go much lower, the dams will be unable to generate power. The snow pack in the Rocky Mountains – that feeds the 25 tributaries of the once mighty Colorado – is low yet again. And climate models say the entire region is going to get hotter and drier. More arid, less livable. The lakes reside in picturesque red rock country, but now sit surrounded by what looks like bleached bathtub rings as they evaporate in triple-digit summertime temperatures.  Welcome to the worst drought in an estimated 1,200 years.  “It isn’t sneaking up on us,” says John Entsminger, the general manager of the Las Vegas Water District and Southern Nevada Water Authority. ... ”  Read the full story at The Guardian here: The drought in Southwest is the worst in 1,200 years. It might be here to stay

State still hasn’t fixed Porterville drinking water crisis from the last drought. Will residents go dry again?

The epicenter of dry wells during California’s last devastating drought was undoubtedly Porterville. The small Tulare County town saw wells go dry enmasse in its unincorporated east side. It became a national headline as the media descended.  Amid the glare of tv cameras, the state pledged to help and agreed to build three new wells.  Five years have gone by, the state is in the grip of another drought and Porterville is walking a tightrope as the state connected more than 755 new homes to the city’s water system but only built one new well.  “We wish those three wells were done,” said John Lollis, City Manager of Porterville. “It would make this summer much more bearable.” ... ”  Read more from SJV Water here:  State still hasn’t fixed Porterville drinking water crisis from the last drought. Will residents go dry again?

What a water shortage is doing to some of America’s best farmland

Strawberries in the middle of winter. Almond milk in your latte. Cans of tomato paste that end up on your pizza.  So much of what we eat is produced on the vast farms of California’s Central Valley.  For years, that’s been possible because of a maze of canals and tunnels that bring water from the rivers in the northern part of the state and because farmers have been able to pull water from under the ground.  This year, the rich, fertile Central Valley confronts both an exceptional drought and the consequences of years of pumping far too much water out of its aquifers. … ”  Read more from the New York Times here: What a water shortage is doing to some of America’s best farmland

Drought’s impact

Cattle producers in the U.S. are once again staring at a historic drought, one that comes as some states have yet to fully recover from the previous drought years which climaxed from 2011 to 2013.  By June 15, over 26% of the western U.S. was experiencing exceptional drought, the most intense level reported by the U.S. Drought Monitor. Nearly 98% of the West was experiencing some level of drought. Those numbers are startling considering prior to this cycle of dryness, the biggest proportion of the West dealing with drought at any one time during the past 20 years was a mere 12%. … ”  Read more from Drover’s Magazine here:  Drought’s impact

Hundreds of miles of blue oak tree cover exclusive to California have vanished. Why?

Sprinkled along the foothills of California’s Central Valley stand the iconic blue oak woodlands.  Towering up to 80 feet tall and some reaching over 400 years old, the trees are home to one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the state. But extreme drought and wildfires are forcing the woodlands into an uncertain future.  A new study conducted by U.S. Geological Survey researchers found that the historic drought of 2012-2016 alone caused nearly 490 square miles of tree cover loss — or the reduction of leaves and branches — in the blue oak woodlands. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: Hundreds of miles of blue oak tree cover exclusive to California have vanished. Why?

NRCS California offers drought assistance; identifies high priority areas

In the middle of California’s drought, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is meeting with landowners, Tribal representatives, and agencies to assess resource concerns and offer assistance to farmers and ranchers, as well as, forest and Tribal land managers. Programs through NRCS include the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the newest pilot program, EQIP-Conservation Incentive Contracts (EQIP-CIC).  “Although we still have CDC coronavirus related health precautions in place for the safety of our customers and employees, we strongly encourage you to call the nearest office and schedule an appointment,” said Carlos Suarez, NRCS California state conservationist. “Our field conservationists are available to assess your resource concerns and we have a variety of conservation practices and programs to help agricultural producers.” … ”  Read more from the NCRS here: NRCS California offers drought assistance; identifies high priority areas 

In California wildfire news …

Biden talks wildfires with Western governors, raises pay for federal firefighters

Amid a sweltering heat wave, President Joe Biden met with Western state governors on Wednesday promising to bolster wildfire prevention and federal firefighter pay.  Vice President Kamala Harris, top Cabinet officials and private sector partners also assembled in-person and remotely to take part in Wednesday’s conversation, which Biden led from the South Court Auditorium at the White House.  There he announced a temporary raise in pay for federal firefighters from about $13 an hour to at least $15 and an additional bonus for those on the front lines.  “The threat of Western wildfires this year is as severe as it’s ever been,” Biden told the assembly of governors, FEMA and administration leadership. ... ”  Read more from the Courthouse News Service here: Biden talks wildfires with Western governors, raises pay for federal firefighters

‘We’re playing catch up’ — Biden addresses wildfires, record heat wave with Western governors

President Joe Biden on Wednesday hosted a virtual meeting with Western governors to discuss the drought and heat waves in the U.S. that are growing worse with climate change, and how the country can better prepare for what could be a record-setting wildfire season.  The meeting comes as a devastating heat wave grips the Pacific Northwest, leaving thousands of people without power, and while most of the U.S. West grapples with the worst drought in the last two decades. The conditions have already triggered wildfires in California, Nevada and Washington early in the season. “The threat of western wildfires this year is as severe as it’s ever been,” Biden said during the meeting. “Right now, we have to act and act fast.” … ”  Continue reading at CNBC here: ‘We’re playing catch up’ — Biden addresses wildfires, record heat wave with Western governors

U.S. weather extremes a ‘flashing red light’ for water lawyers

Extreme heat, wildfire, and drought roiling the U.S. and connected to climate change could mark a turning point in environmental regulation and courtroom battles, experts told Bloomberg Law.  “The extremes of 2020 and now 2021 are a flashing red light for water lawyers” as heat and drought desiccate the West and its rivers and reservoirs, said Thomas Jensen, a partner at Perkins Coie LLP in Washington.  His comments came shortly before President Joe Biden met with Western state governors Wednesday and announced a pay hike for federal firefighters. … ”  Continue reading at Bloomberg here: U.S. weather extremes a ‘flashing red light’ for water lawyers

West faces little-known effect of raging wildfires: contaminated water

Early this spring, water bills arrived with notes urging Fort Collins Utilities customers to conserve. The Colorado customers may have thought the issue was persistent drought in the U.S. West.  But the problem was not the quantity of water available. It was the quality.  Utilities are increasingly paying attention to a little-known impact of large-scale fires: water contamination.  Huge forest fires last year denuded vast areas of Colorado’s mountains and left them covered in ash – ash that with sediment has since been washed by rains into the Cache la Poudre River. The river is one of two sources for household water in this college town of 165,000. With more and fiercer storms expected this year, officials worry about water quality worsening beyond what treatment systems can handle. … ”  Read more from Reuters News here: U.S. West faces little-known effect of raging wildfires: contaminated water

NASA-funded study uses International Space Station to predict wildfire effects

Breaking through branches and stepping over logs, Andrew Barton pauses to run his hand up and down the trunk of a silver leaf oak tree.  After finding the perfect spot he preps his drill as Helen Poulos hands him a sap flow monitor. Within moments, it’s firmly in place.  The two researchers are leading a team that is studying the burn scar of the 2011 Horseshoe II Fire, which scorched nearly 223,000 acres across the Chiricahua Mountains in southeastern Arizona. By combining data taken on the International Space Station with readings from on-the-ground monitors, the team hopes to understand tree water use in different post-fire settings. … ”  Read more from the Arizona Republic here: NASA-funded study uses International Space Station to predict wildfire effects

In other California water news …

Flood-MAR Multi-Benefit Recharge Incentive Program online workshop planned

The Nature Conservancy and the Department of Water Resources’ Flood-MAR Program will host an online workshop next month on their 2021-22 program to implement multi-benefit flood-MAR practices on farm fields in the Sacramento Valley.  “Working in partnership with your local Groundwater Sustainability Agency, this program provides an opportunity for growers to receive financial compensation for recharging groundwater in the course of normal farming operations while also providing critical, temporary wetland habitat for migratory birds and, if applicable, flood-risk reduction benefits,” it was stated in a release issued by the Nature Conservancy and DWR. … ”  Read more from the Sun-Herald here: Flood-MAR Multi-Benefit Recharge Incentive Program online workshop planned

Sen. Dodd’s water access & equity bill approved in committee

As Californians recover from the pandemic shutdown, legislation advanced today from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, that would help hundreds of thousands of families who have fallen behind on their water bills and are at risk of being disconnected from water service.  “Ensuring everyone in the state remains connected to drinking water is an absolute necessity for a full economic recovery,” Sen. Dodd said. “My bill ensures families will be able to pay for water services needed to protect their health and safety.”  Sen. Dodd’s legislation comes as the State Water Resources Control Board heard results of a survey that found water debt in California climbed to about $1 billion. The survey estimated 12% of California households are behind on their water bills with an average debt of $500 per household. Many of those people are on the brink of service disconnection.  Senate Bill 222, the Water Rate Assistance Program, would allow low-income ratepayers experiencing economic hardship to maintain their drinking and wastewater services. … ”  Read more from Senator Dodd’s website here: Sen. Dodd’s water access & equity bill approved in committee

Commentary: Water is a human right. Here’s how California can ease the burden of utility bills

Senator Bill Dodd and Senator Lena Gonzalez write, “California is answering the call to keep the tap open to millions of people who have fallen behind on their water bill payments through a recent $1 billion investment from Gov. Gavin Newsom.  The timely assistance comes amid serious economic fallout from the pandemic that caused record unemployment and left 1.6 million households drowning in water debt.  At the same time, some small water systems are struggling to keep the water flowing due to lost income from unpaid bills. The governor’s plan addresses both problems, for now. But what happens next year? And the year after that? … ”  Continue reading this commentary at the Sacramento Bee here: Commentary: Water is a human right. Here’s how California can ease the burden of utility bills

USDA seeks new partnerships to safeguard, restore wetland ecosystems

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing up to $17 million for conservation partners to help protect and restore critical wetlands on agricultural lands through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP). USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is prioritizing proposals that focus on assisting historically underserved producers conserving wetlands. Proposals from partners are due August 15, 2021.  Restored wetlands help to improve water quality downstream, enhance wildlife habitat, reduce impacts from flooding and provide recreational benefits. “Our goal is to support agricultural producers in their efforts to conserve natural resources on their land,” said NRCS Chief Terry Cosby. “Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnerships help partners and producers work together to protect wetland ecosystems on working lands.” … ”  Read more from the Natural Resource Conservation Service here: USDA seeks new partnerships to safeguard, restore wetland ecosystems 

Return to top

In regional water news and commentary today …

Pacific Northwest heat wave explodes in wildfires, extreme drought

The historic heat wave plaguing the Pacific Northwest has led to extreme drought and a surge in wildfires.  As temperatures have hit extreme, record-breaking highs, the dry conditions have led to wildfires in California, Arizona, and Oregon, among other states.  In California, the Lava Fire has been raging since lightning ignited the dry area of Siskiyou County on Friday. The fire continues to spread among the devastating conditions, burning more than 13,300 acres with only 19 percent of it contained as of publishing.  There are more than 20 wildfires burning in Arizona at this time. … ”  Read more from The Hill here: Pacific Northwest heat wave explodes in wildfires, extreme drought

Chinook salmon season to open July 1 on portions of Klamath, Trinity rivers

Fishing regulations for the spring Chinook fishery in the Klamath River Basin remain in effect following the June meeting of the California Fish and Game Commission.  The Commission did vote to list Upper Klamath and Trinity River spring Chinook salmon as threatened under the California Endangered Species Act. Sport fishing regulatory changes implemented during species candidacy remain in effect. Additional regulatory changes were not made at the meeting and may be forthcoming in the future if warranted.  The spring Chinook salmon fishery on the lower Klamath River (downstream of the Highway 96 bridge at Weitchpec) and Trinity River (upstream of the confluence of the South Fork Trinity River) will open July 1 and run through August 14 on the Klamath River and through August 31 on the Trinity River. The daily bag limit remains at one Chinook salmon (no size restrictions), and a possession limit set of two Chinook salmon. … ”  Read more from the Department of Fish and Wildfire here: Chinook salmon season to open July 1 on portions of Klamath, Trinity rivers

Investing in ecosystem restoration in the Sacramento Valley

Adam Davis, Managing Partner at Ecosystem Investment Partners, writes, “Earlier posts here like this one by Grant Lundberg and this one by David Guy have done a great job of describing the virtues of floodplain restoration.  The profound dedication of people like Julie Rentner and Jacob Katz inform and energize the work of the entire Floodplain Forward coalition that I’m proud to be part of.  But moving beyond plans to actually get work done on the ground is a task that needs broad support.  Restoring floodplains in the Sacramento Valley can only happen in places where there is room to let the river move beyond its banks, because that’s what floodplains are of course.  The tremendous success of our economic development here in California means that every square inch of land is already being used for something and has an appraised value.  At the same time, our remarkably diverse ecological niches mean that many species must be protected because their survival indicates the health of the underlying ecosystem itself. … ”  Read more from the Northern California Water Blog here:  Investing in ecosystem restoration in the Sacramento Valley

Corning providing water to Paskenta, local residents with dry wells

For several years now the town of Paskenta, about 15 miles west of Corning, has seen its domestic wells run dry during the summer/fall months as the community suffers through droughts and a lowering water table.  In addition, several residents in the unincorporated area Corning are also seeing their wells run dry, mostly on the west side of Interstate 5.  In an effort to help and support the residents in Paskenta and those around Corning who are in desperate need, the City Council on June 22 approved a temporary emergency water usage policy, and agreement with the community of Paskenta, to provide water from the city wells when and if the need arises. … ”  Read more from Corning Observer here: Corning providing water to Paskenta, local residents with dry wells

Sonoma: Groundwater management plan underway

If everyone drawing water from wells from Glen Ellen to San Pablo Bay can’t voluntarily stop or reverse declining water levels throughout the groundwater basin, mandatory measures may be put into place. The Sonoma Valley Groundwater Basin is tapped by residential, agricultural and commercial users every day for over half the total water use for the whole valley.  The Sonoma Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agency (SVGSA) is currently developing a long-range plan that must be submitted to State Water Resources directors, who are looking at a second round of rate and fee studies that may be put into place. SVGSA hosted a virtual meeting on June 23 to describe the progress on a formal plan and take public input. ... ”  Read more from the Kenwood Press here: Sonoma: Groundwater management plan underway

Marin Water studying creek release impacts

Marin Water is studying whether it can release less water from its reservoirs into Lagunitas Creek without harming aquatic species, allowing the district to hold onto more water this winter amid a historic drought.  The flow reductions would occur from November to March, when the changes could affect spawning and the rearing of fish eggs. Hydrologists chose four stretches of the creek that are typical habitat and will complete a detailed topographic survey there, then use modeling to determine the conditions at a range of flows, from 20 to 10 cubic feet per second. ... ”  Read more from the Point Reyes Light here: Marin Water studying creek release impacts

Marin Agricultural Land Trust funds water projects

With springs and ponds running dry, Marin’s ranchers and farmers are racing to secure their water. The Marin Agricultural Land Trust launched a drought resilience and water security initiative this summer to fund improvements to water collection, storage and distribution. Twenty-one projects have been funded at a total cost of $250,000, and MALT’s board approved another round last week, funded by private donations.  Most of the projects include adding large water tanks to existing infrastructure. The tanks are limited to 5,000 gallons to avoid the need for a building permit, and they allow landowners to truck in water and capture overflow from springs. Ranchers and farmers are also cleaning out springs that have been silted in for decades, connecting pipes to old sources, digging out the bottoms of ponds and creating rain catchment systems. The projects are intended to address the emergency and provide a long-term benefit. ... ”  Read more from the Point Reyes Light here: Marin Agricultural Land Trust funds water projects

‘Every drop counts’ amid record dry year in East Bay

As the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) forges ahead with providing water and sewage treatment services around-the-clock for 1.4 million customers, the public utility is taking steps to conserve water while asking its customers – residents, businesses and industrial alike – to  join the effort amid the driest year on record for the East Bay.  The challenges are not something locals haven’t overcome in the past, according to EBMUD Board Member Lesa R. McIntosh, a Richmond resident who recently spoke with the Standard about her agency’s strategies to respond to yet another ultra-dry year. McIntosh notes that in 1970, the utility’s service area included 1.1 million customers using about 220 million gallons of water per day. The 1976-77 drought led to severe mandatory water rationing, and prompted EBMUD to invest nearly $1 billion since to diversify and increase water supplies. … ”  Read more from the Richmond Standard here: ‘Every drop counts’ amid record dry year in East Bay

State finds deficiencies in Paso and Cuyama basin plans

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) published its first reviews of local groundwater sustainability plans as part of a 2014 state law regulating groundwater—and two Central Coast aquifers are included in the initial wave of feedback.  DWR reviewed and found “deficiencies” in the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin and Cuyama Valley Groundwater Basin sustainability plans—declining to give final approval to either.  In separate letters about the basins, DWR identified issues ranging from a lack of discussion about impacts to shallow and domestic wells, to a lack of planning for surface waters, like creeks and rivers. Six points of deficiencies were listed in all—two for Paso and four for Cuyama. … ”  Read more from New Times SLO here: State finds deficiencies in Paso and Cuyama basin plans 

Lawsuit claims Kern County Water Agency shorted a key local canal’s volume

The Cross Valley Canal is a key cog in the southern San Joaquin Valley’s water machinery.  It moves water east and west between the California Aqueduct along Kern County’s western edge to the Kern County Water Agency’s facilities near Manor Street in Bakersfield. Along the way, it also connects with the federally owned Friant-Kern Canal, making it important structure for farms and towns that get water from both the state and federal systems.  To get even more out of the canal, the agency embarked on a $79 million expansion of the canal in 2004. The project was completed in 2012. The work was supposed to have increased the amount of water the canal could carry from 922 cfs (cubic feet per second) to 1,422 cfs.  Except that didn’t happen ... ”  Continue reading at SJV Water here: Lawsuit claims Kern County Water Agency shorted a key local canal’s volume

Los Angeles councilmen seek reports on water resilience strategies for drought

Councilmen Paul Koretz and Mitch O’Farrell Wednesday introduced a motion to obtain reports from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Metropolitan Water District on water resilience strategies amid the drought.  “Given the enormity of the alarming drought crisis across the Southwest, we need to do everything we can sooner rather than later to protect the future of our great city,” Koretz said. “We are at a critical juncture with new leadership at MWD, the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan in place and rapidly-worsening climate breakdown occurring all around us. Now we must work collaboratively with our partners across the Southwest toward a healthy, resilient tomorrow.” … ”  Read more from My News LA here: Los Angeles councilmen seek reports on water resilience strategies for drought

What happens to LA’s storm water? 5 things to know

When it rains in our drought-ridden area, it feels like a miracle from above, heaven-sent water. So shouldn’t we be using it? Here are five things to know: 1.  Los Angeles County loses more than 100 billion gallons of rainwater — basically the equivalent of a thousand million swimming pools times 100, the length of a football field that are 10 feet deep. Now that’s a lot of water! … ”  Read more from Spectrum 1 here: What happens to LA’s storm water? 5 things to know

State launches audit of sexual harassment policies at powerful Southern California water agency

State authorities approved an audit of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California over its handling of sexual harassment complaints, following allegations that leaders at the powerful water agency tolerated bullying and abuse of women in the workforce.  The audit was adopted during a hearing Wednesday afternoon of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee and comes after a Times investigation earlier this year found a pattern of complaints from women enrolled in the district’s trades apprenticeship program.  Only 18 women worked in trades positions for the district between 2005 and 2019, according to district records. Six filed equal employment opportunity complaints with the district, records show. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: State launches audit of sexual harassment policies at powerful Southern California water agency

Water treatment plant in Fullerton makes history as Orange County’s first operating PFAS extraction plant

The Orange County Water District (OCWD; the District) and the City of Fullerton have begun operation of the Kimberly Well 1A PFAS Treatment Plant, Orange County’s first wellhead filtration treatment plant to remove perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) from local well water.  PFOA and PFOS are manmade, heat-resistant chemicals that are prevalent in the environment and were once commonly used in consumer products to repel water, grease, and oil. They are part of a larger group referred to as per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Due to their prolonged use, PFAS are being detected in water sources throughout the United States, including the Orange County Groundwater Basin.  “OCWD cannot be prouder of our amazing staff that designed and deployed this state of the art PFAS treatment system in record time to combat the PFAS chemicals which were released into the environment by third parties,” said OCWD President Steve Sheldon. … ”

Click here to read the full press release.

Cadiz completes acquisition of 220-mile pipeline asset

Cadiz Inc. (“the Company,”NASDAQ: CDZI) is pleased to announce today that it completed the acquisition of an existing 220-mile pipeline, the Cadiz “Northern Pipeline,” making final payment of $19 Million to El Paso Natural Gas (“EPNG”). As California continues to address supply inequalities, infrastructure challenges and intensifying drought, the Northern Pipeline can provide new water conveyance access and supplement California’s water infrastructure along an underserved, growing east-west route with additional regulatory approvals.  The Northern Pipeline extends southeast from California’s Central Valley near Bakersfield and terminates at the Company’s Cadiz Ranch agricultural operations. The pipeline crosses underserved and disadvantaged communities as well as existing water infrastructure including the State Water Project, Los Angeles Aqueduct, and the Mojave River Pipeline. The existing 30″ steel pipeline has the design capacity to convey up to 30,000 AFY transferred between communities along the route and can bring others together across California through water exchanges. … ”  Read more from Cision here: Cadiz completes acquisition of 220-mile pipeline asset

Port of San Diego to replenish sand at Kellogg Beach to protect from erosion

The Port of San Diego announced on Monday that sand replenishing at Kellogg Beach will begin next week to help protect it from natural erosion.  Around 2,200 cubic yards of natural sand will be placed on the beach between Kellogg and McCall streets beginning on or shortly after July 6. The project is anticipated to be completed in two to three weeks, said Port of San Diego spokeswoman Brianne Mundy Page.  The port placed 2,000 cubic yards of sand on the beach in June 2020. … ”  Read more from NBC San Diego here: Port of San Diego to replenish sand at Kellogg Beach to protect from erosion

SDG&E’s end to controversial groundwater pumping in Valley Center pushed back another day

To mitigate fire risk in the Keys Creek community SDG&E started construction in April to place underground powerlines along Cole Grade Road.  The company thought they’d be removing about 13,000 gallons of ground water for 6 to 8 days, but since dewatering began on May 31, SDG&E said they’ve been removing way more than even the company anticipated.  “We anticipate that dewatering at the two bore pits will stop by July 1, but we need to ensure a safe demobilization. Therefore, this date could move,” SDG&E spokesman Robert Ieezza said in a statement Tuesday. ... ”  Read more from NBC San Diego here: SDG&E’s end to controversial groundwater pumping in Valley Center pushed back another day 

Return to top

Along the Colorado River …

The Colorado River is shrinking. Hard choices lie ahead, this scientist warns

On a spring morning in 1996, then–Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt stood at Glen Canyon Dam, a concrete bulwark in Arizona that holds back the Colorado River to form Lake Powell. During a live broadcast on the Today show, a popular national TV program, Babbitt opened valves to unleash an unprecedented experimental flood into the Grand Canyon just downstream. As onlookers applauded, water gushed from gaping outlet pipes. Babbitt called the experiment, which was testing one way of restoring Grand Canyon ecosystems damaged by the dam, the start of “a new era” in environmental management.  Jack Schmidt was underwhelmed by the scene. … ”  Continue reading from Science Magazine here: The Colorado River is shrinking. Hard choices lie ahead, this scientist warns

In national water news today …

More demand, less supply: Drought and heat test U.S. power grid

The scorching temperatures and the drought pummeling the western United States are creating a perfect storm for the electric grid, exposing how future extreme weather events will increasingly push a thinly stretched power system to the brink.  As Oregon, California, New Mexico and other states grapple with record-setting heat and diminishing water supplies, Americans are relying even more on electricity and water supply systems. Yet the same factors that are driving up demand for power can also limit the ability to generate it.  From generation at power plants to the transmission lines that carry electricity to homes and businesses, just about every part of the power system performs worse in conditions that are intensely hot and dry. ... ”  Read more from NBC News here: More demand, less supply: Drought and heat test U.S. power grid

Drought, extreme heat sharpen focus on data center water usage

Extreme heat and drought are bringing sharper scrutiny of data center water use, and testing assumptions about climate in some data center destinations. The heightened awareness of water constraints is raising the bar for fast-growing hyperscale computing specialist, as well as data center developers.  Data center water use was in the national media spotlight recently as NBC News took a critical look at cloud computing’s potential water use in regions facing severe drought. The story highlighted the enormous water used by some data center cooling technologies, as well as the efforts by some leading cloud builders to address worries that their facilities may compete with local residents for access to water. … ”  Read more from Data Center Frontier here: Drought, extreme heat sharpen focus on data center water usage

Assembly of satellite to track world’s water shifts from US to France

The Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission took a big step toward launch this week when a team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California shipped the scientific heart of the satellite to France. A U.S. Air Force C-17 airplane carrying the hardware – which includes finely tuned research instruments – left March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, California, on June 27. It arrived today, June 30, at a Thales Alenia Space clean room facility near Cannes, France, where engineers and technicians will spend the next year integrating the hardware with the rest of the satellite. … ”  Read more from NASA here: Assembly of satellite to track world’s water shifts from US to France 

Return to top

Today’s featured articles …

BAY DELTA SCIENCE CONFERENCE: Governing multiple forms of connectivity in the Bay-Delta

Governance of cross-scale dependent systems such as estuaries requires integrating knowledge about biophysical and ecological connectivity in its multiple forms and scales. While scientists, managers, and policymakers increasingly recognize the importance of connectivity, ecosystems with strong cross-boundary dependencies challenge current environmental governance structures.  In each of its forms, managing connectivity requires building social connectivity to increase the flow of information and social and financial capital among formal and informal governance bodies.

Dr. Annika Keeley and Eva Bush, both senior environmental scientists at the Delta Science Program, are among the co-authors on a paper titled Connectivity Metrics for Conservation Planning and Monitoring, synthesizing this body of work and directly applying it to conservation challenges.  In the article, they reviewed 35 different connectivity metrics and developed a decision tree for conservation managers to help them determine the most appropriate connectivity metric for their conservation objective, given the landscape context, and if applicable, the species of interest.

At the 2022 Bay-Delta Science Conference, Dr. Annika Keeley gave a presentation describing the different types of connectivity within ecosystems and how multiple forms of connectivity can be governed in the Bay-Delta.

Click here to read this article.

Return to top

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

VELES WEEKLY WATER INDEX REPORT: NQH2O price eases by $18.61 to $839/AF. Biden Infrastructure Bill to help water storage and drought

NOTICE OF OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENT/WORKSHOP: Proposed 401 Water Quality Certification for Restoration Projects Statewide Order

NOTICE: Contra Costa Water District Water Transfer to Del Puerto, Panoche, Santa Clara Valley and Westlands Water Districts

Return to top

 

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.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
%d bloggers like this: