DAILY DIGEST, 7/22: The Delta an oasis amid arid farmland; San Joaquin salmon program watching for possible call on Millerton water; Valadao water amendments to appropriations bill nixed by Democrats; Tahoe likely to drop below rim in 3 months; and more …


On the calendar today …

  • WORKSHOP to Develop Principles and Strategies Related to Groundwater Management Drinking Water Wells from 12pm to 1pm. As part of the April 21, 2021 Executive Drought Proclamation, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), in coordination with the State Water Resources Control Board, is advancing the development of principles and strategies related to groundwater management and drinking water well impacts.During this session DWR will present the results of recent Listening Sessions held in June 2021 and provide an overview of initial concepts for the principles and strategies.  The session agenda includes time for attendees to share comments. All perspectives are welcome and interested parties are encouraged to attend.  Click here to register.

In California water news today …

California’s Delta an oasis amid arid farmland

As California has imposed severe water cutbacks throughout the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta’s vast watershed, most growers in the Delta region itself are still getting enough water to bring their crops to harvest.  With a majority of landowners in the region holding pre-1914 riparian water rights, the state has not curtailed their ability to pump water from the Delta’s labyrinth of canals and waterways – at least yet.  In fact, growers whose land is on islands below sea level have been pumping water off, San Joaquin County Agricultural Commissioner Tim Pelican said. “You’re never really all that far from a surface water source” within the Delta’s myriad islands, said Kristopher Tjernell, the state Department of Water Resources’ deputy director of integrated watershed management. “Surface water is by far the majority of water use in the Delta.” ... ”  Continue reading at the Western Farm Press here: California’s Delta an oasis amid arid farmland

Endangered salmon program waiting, watching for possible call on Millerton water

Photo by Steve Martarano

As the summer grinds on, farms, towns and a critical native salmon restoration program that all rely on water from Millerton Lake near Fresno continue to hope their water won’t be needed to fulfill irrigation contracts further up the San Joaquin Valley.  But in this parched year, nothing is certain.  If water is required out of Millerton, which happened in drought years 2014 and 2015, that could be especially detrimental for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, which is already taking unprecedented steps to nurture its endangered spring run Chinook salmon population.  “It’s not the best conditions, but we will survive this,” said Don Portz, director of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program. … ”  Read more from SJV Water here: Endangered salmon program waiting, watching for possible call on Millerton water

California salmon suffer in drought

So many salmon once spawned each year in the Central Valley that humans all but lived on them, and chemical traces of the fish are still detectable in the soil, where the scavenged carcasses fertilized riparian vegetation.  “It was a salmon-based ecosystem,” said Peter Drekmeier, the policy director of the group Tuolumne River Trust.  All that has changed. California’s Chinook population has collapsed. The fish compete against agriculture, urban growth and climate change, and with their inland habitat mostly gone and the cold water they need to spawn a scarcer and scarcer resource, wild Chinook, especially in the San Joaquin River, face extinction. So do several other fish species, whose estuary habitat has been destroyed or drained dry by agricultural diversions. … ”  Read more from Pacific Sun here: California salmon suffer in drought

California’s salmon in upstream battle against drought

With drought-ravaged streams and rivers drying up across California and water regulators restricting flows on key waterways, environmental and fishing interests are fearing for the state’s challenged salmon populations.  The prized fish already face numerous hurdles in wet years – from predators to environmental pressures – but in times of drought their fortunes are even more tenuous. The situation has become urgent in the Lagunitas watershed in West Marin County where feeder streams have dried up, trapping tiny endangered coho salmon and steelhead trout in puddles. ... ”  Read more from NBC Bay Area here: California’s salmon in upstream battle against drought

Valadao water amendments to appropriations bill nixed by Democrats

U.S. Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) last week introduced three amendments to the Energy and Water Development Appropriations fiscal year 2022 bill that aimed to alleviate California’s ongoing drought, but House Appropriations Committee Democrats voted down all three of them during a July 16 markup.  “Once again, my colleagues across the aisle refuse to acknowledge the fact that we have a crisis on our hands,” Rep. Valadao said. “I am incredibly disappointed that the majority rejected my amendments — real people need our help, and it’s clear the Democrats are unwilling to provide it. I will not stop fighting to bring a solution to the Central Valley.” … ”  Read more from the Ripon Advance here: Valadao water amendments to appropriations bill nixed by Democrats

Harder votes to pass bipartisan clean water bill impacting Modesto, Lathrop, Sacramento, Stockton and others

Today, Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) voted to pass a landmark bipartisan bill that aims to protect every Central Valley family from dangerous chemicals in their water. While California requires the reporting of PFAS, neither the state or the federal government set safe drinking water standards. The PFAS Action Act of 2021 will establish a national drinking water standard for select per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that currently impact water systems in Modesto, Lathrop, Sacramento, Stockton and others. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) over 200 million Americans are drinking contaminated water. … ”  Read more from Congressman Josh Harder’s office here: Harder votes to pass bipartisan clean water bill impacting Modesto, Lathrop, Sacramento, Stockton and others

2020 sustainability report shows growing adoption of sustainable practices by California vineyards & wineries

The 2020 California Wine Community Sustainability Report released today by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) shows broad participation in its educational and certification programs, and wide implementation of sustainable practices in vineyards and wineries around the state.  “California is the world’s fourth largest wine producer, amplifying the importance and impact of the industry’s high level of adoption of sustainable practices, as demonstrated by data included in the report,” said Allison Jordan, CSWA Executive Director. “These practices improve resource efficiency and wine quality, reduce risks and, in many cases, reduce costs, while contributing to a healthier environment, stronger communities and vibrant businesses.” … ”  Read more from Wine Industry here: 2020 sustainability report shows growing adoption of sustainable practices by California vineyards & wineries

The megadrought is just one factor driving up the price of your bread

Last spring, pandemic-related supply chain issues led to too little flour on supermarket shelves, just as cooped-up consumers turned to home baking for comfort. The problem was never a shortage of flour or wheat. Rather, the challenge involved a slow pivot to retail packaging, transportation and logistics delays, grocery store labor shortages, and panicked pandemic buying.  This year, there’s new trouble. Historic drought conditions have already destroyed or damaged crops in the West, Northern Plains, and Southwest, key U.S. growing regions for certain types of wheat. … ”  Read more from the North Coast Journal here: The megadrought is just one factor driving up the price of your bread

Could drought flicker the lights in seven Western states?

If words were water, we’d have a surplus and lakes like Mead, Powell and Oroville wouldn’t be puddles.  For all the words written on the plight facing residents in the West, there is no dearth of words on drought. The reaction to it, however, may not match reality.  The high likelihood exists that Lake Powell on the Utah-Arizona border will lose its ability to generate hydroelectric power from Glen Canyon Dam. If that happens, 1,320 megawatts of electric generation evaporate. This will directly affect Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Nebraska. Indirectly, other states will suffer as the grid scrambles to find power to keep the lights on. … ”  Read more from the Western Farm Press here: Could drought flicker the lights in seven Western states?

Adding to state water woes, illegal pot growers in Nevada County steal water anywhere they can get it

“As if California’s dire dry season wasn’t already difficult, thieves are making matters even worse.  Illegal pot growers are stealing water anywhere they can get it. That’s why the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office has a warning that investigators are cracking down.  Officers and biologists from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Nevada County Code Enforcement, and biologists with the California State Water Resources Control Board conducted multiple marijuana search warrants within the county in early July. … ”  Read more from Channel 13 here: Adding to state water woes, illegal pot growers in Nevada County steal water anywhere they can get it

Radio: California’s drought worsens due to people stealing water to grow illegal weed

As the West Coast drought worsens, water is becoming a scarce and valuable resource, as well as a tempting target for thieves, especially those running illegal marijuana farms. They’re stealing water by tapping into fire hydrants, backing water pumps into lakes and rivers, and even creating their own systems of dams and pipelines.”  Listen to the radio show at KCRW here: California’s drought worsens due to people stealing water to grow illegal weed

Western drought has lasted longer than the dust bowl

It has lasted longer than the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.  It’s dropped water levels perilously low at two of the nation’s largest reservoirs, forced ranchers to sell off herds and helped propel scorching wildfires.  And worst of all, the drought blanketing the western United States is not going away. … ”  Read more from Scientific American here: Western drought has lasted longer than the dust bowl

Seas are rising. Will California’s ‘managed retreat’ ease fears?

Surrounded on three sides by the San Francisco Bay, residents of Richmond are used to being near the ocean. But as rising seas threaten to bring it even closer, Mayor Tom Butt is candid about the risks.  “It basically takes out a significant chunk of Richmond,” he said from the low-lying peninsula city, where little more than a road or narrow beach separates the ocean from densely populated neighborhoods, elegant seaside mansions, and cliff cottages. Parts of Richmond are estimated to be at risk from a three-foot increase in sea levels, even as the waters of the Pacific Ocean along California’s coast are projected to rise by more than twice that due to climate change this century. … ”  Read more from the Christian Science Monitor here: Seas are rising. Will California’s ‘managed retreat’ ease fears?

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In regional water news and commentary today …

As drought slams California and Oregon, Klamath farmers grow fish to quell a water war

It’s a strange place to find fish, deep in the high desert, where drought-baked earth butts against scrubby mountains.  But water spews from the hot springs on Ron Barnes’ land near the California-Oregon border, pure and perfect for rearing c’waam and koptu, two kinds of endangered suckerfish sacred to Native American tribes.  Barnes, who holds an advanced degree in aquaculture from UC Davis, has dug dozens of ponds on his property and filled them with thousands of young suckerfish. He hopes raising and releasing them into the wild will end the region’s epic water wars — or at least get federal regulators out of the mix before his neighbors descend into violence. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: As drought slams California and Oregon, Klamath farmers grow fish to quell a water war

Some Klamath Basin families lose running water as wells run dry

Many homes in rural parts of the basin rely on their wells for running water. The Oregon Office of Emergency Management and local agencies are scrambling to get water storage tanks to those properties so they could have running water again.  About 360 water tanks are headed to the basin. Klamath County Public Health is providing free water deliveries once a week to fill the tanks.  Health officials warn that the tanks will only hold non-potable water, so families will still need to buy bottled water for drinking and cooking. ... ”  Read more from Jefferson Public Radio here: Some Klamath Basin families lose running water as wells run dry

What’s a guzzler, and how does it help Siskiyou County’s wildlife in a drought?

As humans struggle with the drought, wildlife has an even harder time adapting. Siskiyou County’s deer, elk, bear, bobcat, mountain lion and bird populations are in danger as creeks dry up and lakes evaporate into hot air.  That’s where guzzlers come in.  These large plastic or aluminum water collection devices – 240 of them – are scattered throughout the Klamath and Shasta-Trinity national forests in Siskiyou County. When it rains, water is collected in the tanks, which range in size from 500 to 1,800 gallons. Set slightly below ground level, guzzlers have a step, stairs or drinking platform which allows thirsty wildlife to step down and reach the water. … ”  Read more from the Siskiyou Daily News here: What’s a guzzler, and how does it help Siskiyou County’s wildlife in a drought?

Eureka council talks water plan

The Eureka City Council voted to approve adopting two resolutions to manage the city’s water supply and usage for a long-term timeframe and in case of a shortage.  The council first approved a resolution to adopt the 2020 urban water management plan, which includes a framework to support long-term resource planning and ensure there is sufficient water to meet current and future demand.  The document must be prepared every five years and submitted to California’s Department of Water Resources, which then reviews it to ensure the plan aligns with the state’s water code. The last time such a document was adopted was in 2016. … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here: Eureka council talks water plan

Sacramento Valley: Seizing the moment: Preparing for next year with groundwater recharge opportunities

As water resources managers work hard this summer to deliver limited water supplies to cities, rural communities, farms, refuges and fisheries–while also providing essential hydropower for the state’s energy grid–there is increasing attention to prepare for the next water year. We previously wrote about Managing for Fish and Wildlife During a Dry Year in the Sacramento Valley, which will include efforts to help birds along the Pacific Flyway and reactivating our floodplains for fish and wildlife later this year. As we think about water management opportunities for next year, there is an increasing focus on groundwater recharge as an essential management tool to capture surface water when available and help bolster our critical groundwater supplies.  Although we cannot predict when we will see precipitation or any available surface supplies, now is the time to start preparing for that moment when we have available surface supplies. … ”  Read more from the Northern California Water Association blog here: Seizing the moment: Preparing for next year with groundwater recharge opportunities

Colusa County officials urge drought preparedness and domestic well reporting

California is currently experiencing its driest year on record since 1977, and local groundwater levels are at an all-time low.  So low, that Governor Gavin Newsom declared a State of Emergency in 41 California counties, including Colusa, in May related to the current drought conditions across the state.  Local officials are urging residents with wells to prepare for the drought by determining the condition of your well, testing water quality in your well regularly, and stockpiling enough bottled water for a minimum seven-day household supply, developing a family plan to address potential well outages as well as a plan to supply water for pets and livestock in case of a well outage and communicate your drought preparedness plans with your neighbors so you can better work together. … ”  Read more from the Colusa Sun Herald here: Colusa County officials urge drought preparedness and domestic well reporting

Hundreds in Glenn County without water as wells dry up during drought

As California’s drought continues to worsen, people living and working in Glenn County say their wells are drying up. That means no clean drinking water and no plumbing.  Glenn County’s Office of Emergency Services said this year’s drought is breaking records, in a bad way. During the last drought, from 2014 to 2017, the maximum number of residents at one time with dry wells was 30. … ”  Read more from KCRA here: Hundreds in Glenn County without water as wells dry up during drought

Butte County supervisors proclaim local state of emergency for drought

As drought conditions continue to hit much of the state, Butte County included, the Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution during Tuesday’s meeting proclaiming a local state of emergency due to the conditions and emphasized the urgent need for more resources to reach residents impacted.  The unanimous vote by the board came after the Butte County Drought Task Force met last week and recommended the action to the board. The task force received numerous reports of dry wells, lack of water storage, unavailability of tanks for homeowners to purchase, as well as related agricultural issues for farms and ranches, said Cindi Dunsmoor, the county’s emergency services officer, during the meeting. … ”  Read more from the Oroville Mercury-Register here: Butte County supervisors proclaim local state of emergency for drought

Tahoe likely to drop below rim in 3 months

After two consecutive dry winters, Tahoe’s lake level is sitting a little over 1.5 feet above its natural rim — a threshold the alpine lake is forecasted to drop below in the next three months.  And while the rise and fall of Lake Tahoe’s water level is cyclical in the short-term (with evaporation and downstream flow offsetting spring runoff filling the lake each year) and the long-term (the lake has fallen below it’s natural rim over 20 times in the last century since data collection began), experts are concerned by the severity of the current drought and its impacts on water supply, wildfires and wildlife.  To start, it’s the third driest year in terms of precipitation from melted snow and rain in 111 years, reports Chad Blanchard, the Federal Water Master responsible for upholding the legal mandates of Tahoe’s water flow. … ”  Read more from the Tahoe Daily Tribune here: Tahoe likely to drop below rim in 3 months

Sacramento leaders take action to remove homeless from critical infrastructure

A homeless encampment was blamed for flames that erupted from a broken gas line under a Sacramento bridge back in May. It’s just one example of how the City of Sacramento says its homeless are impacting critical infrastructure.  “It can be devastating,” explained Daniel Bowers, director of Sacramento City Emergency Management.  The city has the power to remove encampments from critical infrastructure from an ordinance passed in 2020. ... ”  Read more from Good Day Sacramento here: Sacramento leaders take action to remove homeless from critical infrastructure

Yolo Basin Foundation seeking wetland tour docents

Yolo Basin Foundation is hosting two upcoming trainings to become a wetland tour docent for leading and assisting with tours of the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area and the City of Davis Wetlands.  The first training will take place on Saturday, July 24, 9-11 a.m. at the City of Davis Wetlands. The second training will take place in the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area on Saturday, Sept. 25, 9 a.m.-noon.  Training covers the establishment, significance and management of the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area and the Davis Wetlands, the roles of Yolo Basin Foundation, the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the City of Davis, how to lead or assist on a tour, basic interpretation techniques and an introduction to wetland habitats and common birds. … ”  Read more from the Woodland Daily Democrat here: Yolo Basin Foundation seeking wetland tour docents

Marin water district restricts new landscaping for development

New development projects in most of Marin won’t have new landscaping irrigated with drinking water under drought restrictions imposed by Marin Municipal Water District this week.  The Board of Directors voted Tuesday to approve the ban aimed at preserving the district’s dwindling reservoir supplies in the Mount Tamalpais watershed amid severe drought conditions. The district estimates it could run out of reservoir supplies by next summer if the region experiences a similarly historic dry winter as last year and conservation efforts do not improve. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: Marin water district restricts new landscaping for development

Supervisors uphold North Marin well permit

The Marin County Board of Supervisors denied an appeal of the permit for North Marin Water District’s proposed second well on the Gallagher ranch, largely on the grounds that the board didn’t have jurisdiction over the issues at hand.  “I think this is a simple case of where our jurisdiction lies and where it doesn’t lie,” board president Dennis Rodoni said. “I don’t disagree with Gordon Bennett or the water district in this case. I think everyone’s interested in protecting the fish, and there’s certainly different perspectives [on] how to do that. And what Mr. Bennett is proposing may be quite logical, but it needs to be taken to Fish and Wildlife and the regional agencies to implement that, should they agree with him.” … ”  Read more from the Point Reyes Light here: Supervisors uphold North Marin well permit

As drought worsens, Central Coast cities rolling out new water conservation messaging, programs

As the drought tightens its grip on California, several Central Coast cities are rolling out new water conservation messaging and programs for its residents.  “During a hot, dry summer, water supplies are reduced throughout the state due to the drought,” said Santa Maria Utilities Director Shad Springer. “We just want to encourage people to be cognizant of that and to conserve water where they can.” … ”  Read more from KEYT here: As drought worsens, Central Coast cities rolling out new water conservation messaging, programs

Paso Robles: Airborne Electromagnetic (AEM) Surveys

The Department of Water Resources conducted airborne electromagnetic (AEM) surveys in the North County from Jul. 15 through Jul. 20. The survey collects data from medium-priority groundwater basins, where feasible to assist local water managers as they implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) to manage groundwater for long-term sustainability.  The AEM project provides state and federal agencies, groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs), stakeholders, and the public with basin-specific and cross-basin geophysical data, tools, and analyses. … ”  Read more from the Paso Robles Daily Press here: Paso Robles: Airborne Electromagnetic (AEM) Surveys

Death of contractor in Lemoore water tank explosion could have been prevented, city manager says

Lemoore city officials now say the tragic death of a contractor due to a water tank explosion could have been prevented.  On June 21st, a 1.5 million-gallon water tank exploded, killing 41-year-old Dion Jones.  Jones was a longtime employee of a Southern California-based construction company. He left behind a wife and three kids. … ”  Read more from KFSN here: Death of contractor in Lemoore water tank explosion could have been prevented, city manager says

Santa Barbara County proclaims local emergency caused by drought

On July 8, Governor Gavin Newsom added Santa Barbara County to the list of California counties experiencing a drought and subject to his emergency proclamation initially declared on April 10, 2021. On July 13, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors proclaimed a local emergency caused by current drought conditions within the county.  Proclaiming the existence of a drought emergency enables the county and water utilities to take immediate actions to mitigate and respond to the current drought conditions. “It is important that measures are taken now to mitigate the impacts of drought to ensure the resilience of our drinking water systems,” a press release from the county stated. … ”  Read more from Coast Views here: Santa Barbara County proclaims local emergency caused by drought

Metropolitan releases independent report on allegations of workplace harassment, discrimination and retaliation

An independent report of allegations of systemic Equal Employment Opportunity-related discrimination, harassment and retaliation at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is now available following an intensive eight-month review of agency workplace conditions.Metropolitan’s Board of Directors voted on July 13 to make public the report, which includes recommendations to address the report’s observations. The 67-page report, produced by the Sacramento-based Shaw Law Group, will be presented and discussed at a special July 27 meeting of the board’s Organization, Personnel and Technology Committee. “We look forward to reviewing the report and discussing its recommendations to support our board’s unequivocal commitment to ensuring every employee feels safe and valued,” Metropolitan board Chairwoman Gloria D. Gray said. “Providing a work environment that promotes and respects equity, inclusion, and diversity–both in policy and in practice–has been and will continue to be my highest priority.” ”  Read the full release and report from Metropolitan Water District here: Metropolitan releases independent report on allegations of workplace harassment, discrimination and retaliation

Report on powerful water agency finds no widespread issues in handling employee complaints

A powerful Southern California water agency accused by some employees of sexual harassment and other workplace violations “generally provides a safe and respectful working environment” for people of color, women and LGBTQ+ workers, a report on the agency concludes.  The review of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California found no systemic problems in how the agency handles complaints of harassment, racism, retaliation and other alleged discrimination. But it found the agency had not properly responded to such complaints in the past and said some current equity policies are inconsistently applied. ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Report on powerful water agency finds no widespread issues in handling employee complaints

Preservationist still not happy with Arroyo Seco Canyon project

A local preservationist is not happy with a compromise passed by the City Council on Monday that included the certification of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR).  The Arroyo Seco Foundation along with reservationists oppose the Arroyo Seco Canyon Project because they say repairing and replacing new facilities in the Hahamongna endangers trout swimming in the area.  On Monday, Councilmember Felicia Williams introduced a motion that removed several conditions from the EIR and modified others to provide accountability to the City’s Water and Power Department. “Hahamongna lost,” said Tim Brick, executive director of the ASF. ... ”  Read more from Pasadena Now here: Preservationist still not happy with Arroyo Seco Canyon project

L.A. Controller Galperin demands answers on Hyperion sewage environmental disaster

L.A. Controller Ron Galperin sent a letter and information request to the General Manager of LA Sanitation and Environment (LASAN) seeking answers about the cause and true impact of the spill that sent 17 million gallons of untreated sewage directly into the Santa Monica Bay from the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant last week. Galperin called the spill an “environmental disaster and imminent threat to the health and safety of millions of residents in and around the City.” … ”  Read more from the Santa Monica Daily Press here: L.A. Controller Galperin demands answers on Hyperion sewage environmental disaster

SoCal has water reserves that will last through this year, beyond

” … California is facing one of the worst droughts in history, with reservoir levels at near-record lows and the governor asking all residents to reduce their water usage by 15% voluntarily.  Climate change is only expected to exacerbate this problem in the future. Everywhere is feeling it, except for Southern California. And removing thirsty lawns is what Brad Coffey, Metropolitan’s water resource manager, said is a conservation success story.  “People responded to the public message to use less water out of doors, and they found that their lawn and their outdoor landscaping still survived,” Coffey said. … ”  Read more from Spectrum News here: SoCal has water reserves that will last through this year, beyond

Cleaning of Newport Harbor of invasive algae species completed, but diver surveys will continue

Vacuum dredging of an invasive algae species out from Newport Harbor was completed earlier this month, but city officials extended a local emergency declaration on the issue to allow for federal and state officials to complete the final stages of its removal.  Divers will soon be conducting surveys in and around Newport Harbor over the next few weeks to check for any other signs of Caulerpa prolifera, a species of algae that is not harmful to humans but could have damaging effects on Newport Harbor’s ecosystem.  A team of divers, setting out from China Cove, completed removal of the algae by way of vacuum pumps on July 12. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here:  Cleaning of Newport Harbor of invasive algae species completed, but diver surveys will continue

Legal brief: San Diego excess water fees

A class action lawsuit was filed against San Diego and its public utilities department on Wednesday, alleging that residential and commercial customers were overcharged in fees to make up for shortfalls from industrial wastewater dischargers.”  Read the complaint from Courthouse News here:  Legal brief: San Diego excess water fees

San Diego gets state funding for Ocean Beach Pier repairs, energy storage, Pure Water program

A windfall of state funding is coming to San Diego, including money for Ocean Beach Pier repairs, an energy-storage project at San Vicente Reservoir, and the city’s Pure Water program.  Money from California’s state budget, signed last week, will fund the series of San Diego projects and programs.  “The dollars that San Diego is receiving from the state will upgrade critical infrastructure, help us fight homelessness, ensure a reliable supply of clean water, enhance our arts and culture and much more,” San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said. … ”  Read more from Channel 10 here: San Diego gets state funding for Ocean Beach Pier repairs, energy storage, Pure Water program

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Along the Colorado River …

Shift to remote work could exacerbate water shortage as stay-at-home order tied to increased use in Henderson

As some businesses embrace a permanent shift to remote work across the Las Vegas Valley, some economic experts are concerned that an increase in residential water consumption could strain the region’s water resources.  A study published in June by economists at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas found that the state’s pandemic-related stay-at-home order issued in March 2020 led to a significant increase in water usage in Henderson, driven by a rise in residential water consumption. … ”  Read more from the Nevada Independent here: Shift to remote work could exacerbate water shortage as stay-at-home order tied to increased use in Henderson

Rain during monsoon season is becoming less reliable, less effective

It’s monsoon season in the American Southwest. For Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, the seasonal rains are very important for rivers and pastures and for keeping wildfires in check. But climate change has made the monsoon less regular. Here’s Michael Elizabeth Sakas from Colorado Public Radio. … ”  Listen or read at NPR here: Rain during monsoon season is becoming less reliable, less effective

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In national water news today …

House sets deadline for EPA to limit toxic man-made chemicals in drinking water

The House on Wednesday approved a bill setting deadlines for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement drinking water regulations for so-called forever chemicals.  Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly called PFAS, are widely used, man-made compounds that are found in manufacturing and consumer products like Scotchguard, flame-resistant materials, nonstick cooking surfaces and firefighting foam used on military bases since the 1940s. They have been found in water wells throughout California and thousands of water sources across the country. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: House sets deadline for EPA to limit toxic man-made chemicals in drinking water

‘Burden falls on exposed people’ as EPA weighs PFAS rules

Breast cancer doesn’t run in his family. But that didn’t prevent Tom Kennedy’s diagnosis with the disease five years ago, and it won’t stop the cancer, now in his brain and spine, from killing him.  Kennedy, 49, blames the tap water he drank for more than a decade before learning it was contaminated with the chemical compound GenX. … Part of a family of chemicals known as PFAS, GenX has been linked to liver and blood problems, as well as certain types of cancer. But EPA, tasked with regulating contaminants in drinking water, has no action planned to immediately crack down on the compound. Rather, the agency’s efforts to regulate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in drinking water are focused on just two chemicals: PFOA and PFOS. … ”  Read more from E&E News here: ‘Burden falls on exposed people’ as EPA weighs PFAS rules

Officials warn of cybersecurity vulnerabilities in water systems

Lawmakers and experts on Wednesday warned of gaping cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the nation’s critical water sector amid escalating attacks against a number of U.S. organizations.  “I believe that the next Pearl Harbor, the next 9/11, will be cyber, and we are facing a vulnerability in all of our systems, but water is one of the most critical and I think one of the most vulnerable,” Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), the co-chairman of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission (CSC), testified to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. … ”  Read more from The Hill here: Officials warn of cybersecurity vulnerabilities in water systems

Senators bullish about finalizing infrastructure deal

A bipartisan group of senators remains “optimistic” they can strike an infrastructure deal in the coming days, despite suffering a setback yesterday when the Senate blocked the emerging legislation.  The senators insisted they are “close” to agreement with Republicans. They’ve suggested Democrats hold another cloture vote Monday, betting the deal would be done by then and senators would agree to call it up.  “We will continue working hard to ensure we get this critical legislation right — and are optimistic that we will finalize, and be prepared to advance, this historic bipartisan proposal to strengthen America’s infrastructure and create good-paying jobs in the coming days,” said a statement signed by 21 senators who have been meeting behind closed doors for weeks to hatch the agreement. … ”  Read more from E&E News here: Senators bullish about finalizing infrastructure deal

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Today’s featured articles …

BAY-DELTA SCIENCE CONFERENCE: Floating wetlands: A potential solution for Delta food-web support and habitat

The Delta pelagic food web no longer adequately supports native species, and developing management strategies for foodweb support and habitat for fish species of concern is a key goal as well as a substantial challenge.It is expected that tidal marsh restoration will produce food resources to benefit species on-site, as well as export food resources to support pelagic habitat in adjacent waters and regionally.  However, deeply subsided Delta islands inhibit large-scale tidal restoration in most of the central and western Delta.  Considering the difficulty of creating tidal habitat on subsided Delta islands, floating peat mats that could provide marsh habitat is being investigated on Bouldin Island.

Dr. Steve Deverel, president of Hydrofocus in Davis, discussed the potential of using floating peat mats for food web support and habitat at the 2021 Bay-Delta Science Conference.

Click here to read this article.


DELTA STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL:  Delta Conservancy update: Analysis of juvenile salmonid habitat in the Delta

At the June meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council, Campbell Ingram, Executive Officer of the Delta Conservancy, updated the council members on the Conservancy’s activities.  Then, Bruce DiGennaro, program manager for the Collaborative Science and Adaptive Management Program and Principal Planner and Lead Facilitator with the Essex Partnership, gave a brief overview of a recent analysis of juvenile salmonid habitat in the Delta.

Click here to read this article.

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Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

VELES WEEKLY REPORT: NQH2O up $21.52 or 2.62% to $842.38. Indications of price stabilization.

NOTICE: Biodiversity Advisory Panel Releases Summary Document, Virtual Workshop July 27

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About the Daily Digest: The Daily Digest is a collection of selected news articles, commentaries and editorials appearing in the mainstream press. Items are generally selected to follow the focus of the Notebook blog. The Daily Digest is published every weekday with a weekend edition posting on Sundays.

 

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