DAILY DIGEST, 8/27: Drought felt by California farmers, who fear worst is yet to come; CA’s ‘Cantaloupe Capital’ struggles to reign supreme; Lawsuit: Groundwater pumping threats in Sac Valley transfers tied to extra pumping plans; Understanding the drought monitor; and more …
The Central Valley Flood Protection Board meets beginning at 9am. Agenda items include the Monthly DWR report, 2022 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan Update, New Bullards Bar Dam Secondary Spillway, Sacramento Weir Widening Project, Natomas Levee Improvement Project, and a Regional Flood Management Plan Update – Mid-San Joaquin. Click here for the full agenda.
In California water news today …
Radio show: Drought felt by California farmers, who fear worst is yet to come
“Nearly half of California is mired in exceptional drought, including vast swaths of the Central Valley, which produces roughly 40% of the nation’s fruits, vegetables and nuts. Water shortages in the region are having profound effects on growers, who are uprooting crops, letting fields lie fallow and turning their lands into solar farms and other uses. We’ll hear from farmers about how the drought is affecting their operations and the steps they’re taking to mitigate the worst impacts. Guests: Ellen Hanak, vice president and director of the PPIC Water Policy Center and a senior fellow, Public Policy Institute of California; Joe Del Bosque, CEO, Del Bosque Farms in the San Joaquin Valley; Stuart Woolf, president and CEO, Woolf Farming & Processing in Fresno; and Don Cameron, vice president and general manager, Terranova Ranch; president, California State Board of Food and Agriculture.” Listen to radio show from KQED here: Radio show: Drought felt by California farmers, who fear worst is yet to come
California’s ‘Cantaloupe Capital’ struggles to reign supreme as drought pummels agriculture across the West
“This small town in California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley advertises itself as the “Cantaloupe Center of the World.” But as relentless drought punishes California and the West, the land is drying up and the cantaloupes are disappearing. Farmers have let large portions of their melon fields lie fallow as they struggle to get by on dramatically curtailed water supplies. Some are giving their vines barely enough water to stay alive in an effort to conserve. In other cases, fields that have already been planted will never get harvested because there’s not enough water for the fruit to survive. “We could have fields that could burn up because of lack of water,” said Joe Del Bosque, who grows organic melons on a 2,000-acre farm near here and sells to high-end grocers like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Del Bosque has cut back his melon crop by 20 percent this year. ... ” Red more from the Washington Post here: California’s ‘Cantaloupe Capital’ struggles to reign supreme as drought pummels agriculture across the West
Farmland repurposing bill passes state Senate committee
“A bill that would create a program to help growers find other uses for farmland idled because of groundwater pumping restrictions won approval by a Senate committee, bringing it closer to the Governor’s desk. AB 252, known as the multibenefit land repurposing incentive program, passed the Senate Appropriations Committee August 26. The bill, authored by Assemblymembers Robert Rivas (D-Salinas) and Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) will move to the Senate Floor for a vote, then back to the Assembly for final affirmation of amendments. If the bill passes those votes it will go to Governor Newsom sometime in mid-September. … ” Read more from SJV Water here: Farmland repurposing bill passes state Senate committee
Food and Ag Secretary Karen Ross talks water, sustainable workforce
“Water is the No. 1 topic for California growers, but top officials recognize that technology could help put more food on tables. Both issues were hot topics during an AgTech Summit held in Reedley. Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, addressed the issues. “I really do feel that we’re at a crossroads in California agriculture because of a cumulative impact from a number of things,” Ross said. “We also know labor availability and the new skills for labor are things we have to pay attention to. Water is always going to be topic No. 1, but the importance of the people who make this industry work so well will continue its long-term sustainability.” … ” Read more from the Visalia Times-Delta here: Food and Ag Secretary Karen Ross talks water, sustainable workforce
Audio: A view of SGMA through an almond farmer
“Stuart Woolf is president and CEO of Woof Farming Co. They farm almonds, processing tomatoes and many other crops in Western Fresno County. He outlines what he thinks SGMA will cause.” Listen ag Cal Ag Info here: A view of SGMA through an almond farmer
“With severe to exceptional drought affecting approximately 95 percent of California, questions are emerging about what lies ahead for this state’s agricultural near future. Matt Dusi of San Francisco, CA-based Wells Fargo’s food & agribusiness industry advisors team notes that as growers moved into 2021, they assumed it was going to be a difficult water situation for their then-set acreage. “Now growers are looking at 2022 and saying it may look a whole lot different. Let’s see what we planted and where we’re going to cut back based on what the allocations for water are going to be,” says Dusi, sector manager, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables for Wells Fargo. … ” Read more from Fresh Plaza here: What’s ahead for California and water?
Social science in the Delta: Understanding people in the face of rapid environmental change
“We cannot solve our most pressing environmental and natural resource management challenges with a better understanding of the biophysical environment of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta alone – we need social science. To address our natural resource management challenges, we must build cooperation and collaboration among stakeholders, find a compromise between conflicting interests and values, and face tradeoffs that require hard decisions about whose needs we prioritize. Achieving these goals requires an understanding of the individuals and communities who shape and are shaped by these natural systems, as well as the larger social, political, and economic structures in which their decisions and actions are embedded. Integrating the social sciences into our understandings of environmental and natural resource management challenges can contribute to improving our understanding and decision-making in complex social-ecological systems, like the Delta. … ” Read more from the Delta Stewardship Council here: Understanding people in the face of rapid environmental change
Coalition calls for California to require only near-lead-free faucets for sale
“Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, partnered with a coalition of community health experts Thursday, Aug. 26 to garner support for a proposed law that would cut the legal limit of lead leaching from plumbing fixtures for sale by more than half. Lead is a highly toxic metal especially dangerous to kids and youth whose body and brains are still growing. Even low levels can stunt children’s physical, intellectual and behavioral development, according to Alice Kuo, a professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at UCLA. She joined Holden and members of CALPIRG, Clean Water Action, the Environmental Working Group and the Western Center on Law and Poverty during Thursday’s online news conference. The fight for lead remediation in California is far from new to Holden and his peers. … ” Read more from the Pasadena Star-News here: Coalition calls for California to require only near-lead-free faucets for sale
PFAS State Snapshot: California PFAS Regulation
“California is one of several states that has started regulating per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) in drinking water, consumer products, personal protective equipment (“PPE”), and firefighting foam. In addition to the enacted regulations described below, a public comment period is currently underway regarding proposed Public Health Goals (“PHGs”) for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water. California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) has proposed PHGs of 0.007 ppt for PFOA and 1 ppt for PFOS, both of which will be considered by the State Water Board when setting Maximum Contaminant Levels for these compounds. Businesses that discharge PFAS compounds in wastewater or into groundwater that may enter drinking water sources should be aware of the proposed PHGs, and evaluate whether a public comment is warranted. This client alert reflects the status of PFAS regulations in California as of August 26, 2021.” Read more at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner here: PFAS State Snapshot: California PFAS Regulation
Water market heats up as a parched California scrambles for supplies
“A drought in California has led to a spike in the state’s water prices, nearly doubling the value of futures contracts for the essential commodity this year and creating opportunities in water-related investments. As of Aug. 24, the Nasdaq Veles California Water Index , which represents the weighted average price of water-rights transactions across five major markets in California and is published weekly, has climbed by roughly 87% year to date to $923.54 per one-acre foot. The unit of measure represents the amount of water needed to submerge one acre of land in one foot of water, or about 325,851 gallons of water. On the CME CME, -0.47%, water futures based on that index have climbed 90% this year to $942 per one-acre foot. … ” Read more from Market Watch here: Water market heats up as a parched California scrambles for supplies
NOAA predicts 70 percent chance of rainy La Niña weather across the Pacific Northwest this fall, winter
Mariposa sheriff shares update in mysterious family death case in Sierra near Yosemite
“Weapons or “chemical hazards” along a trail have been “ruled out” as a possible cause of death in a mysterious case of a Mariposa family found dead while hiking in Sierra National Forest over a week ago. … Multiple water samples were taken in the area for testing. There is a known toxic harmful algal bloom on the south fork of the Merced River, a couple miles from where the family was found dead, which is among hazards still being considered in their deaths. … ” Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: Mariposa sheriff shares update in mysterious family death case in Sierra near Yosemite
How should we be thinking about a hotter, drier future?
“California is in drought. Again. And the infrastructure used to sustain the state’s 40 million residents — and $50 billion agriculture industry — hasn’t kept up with changing climate patterns. The Bay Curious podcast will explore new ways of thinking about the future of water in our state as part of a five part series: State of Drought.” Listen to podcast/read transcript from KQED here: How should we be thinking about a hotter, drier future?
‘Showing climate change as it happens’: A veteran photojournalist on capturing California’s intensifying wildfires
“Kent Porter’s specialty as a photographer for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat is capturing images of wildfires, but he broke format to write an essay about how he sees reporting on fire as documenting climate change. “I’ve just passed my 34th year as a photojournalist with The Press Democrat,” he writes. “Every year I think fire season can’t get worse, and it does.” Porter writes about a “wake-up moment” in 2015, when the Valley Fire and two other wildfires torched Lake County, where he grew up. He describes it as “a preview of the new era of catastrophic wildfire in California.” ... ” Read more from KQED here: ‘Showing climate change as it happens’: A veteran photojournalist on capturing California’s intensifying wildfires
Christy Smith, former state Assembly member and current member of the Delta Stewardship Council, writes, “The Dixie wildfire, still raging in Northern California, is rapidly burning through communities, recently becoming the largest wildfire in state history after less than a month. Year after year, these record-breaking extreme weather events seem to be the new reality for Californians, and Americans across the nation. Here in California’s 25th District, we are all too familiar with the emerging threat of the climate crisis – having recently experienced wildfires in nearly every part of the district, the largest methane gas leak in U.S. history, severe drought, and water pollution from multiple sources that continues to require remediation by local agencies. … ” Read more from The Signal here: Congress must act now on water standards
California is up in smoke but still won’t stop playing with fire
Clare Frank, the first and only female chief of fire protection for Cal Fire, writes, “California’s wildfire problem is the worst it’s ever been. Just like it was last year. And the years before that. And the decades before that. The insatiable beast devouring the state has become a terror of our own making. Ineffective red and blue slogans involving rakes or carbon footprints are empty rants that do nothing to curb the devastation. The problem is fuel build-up. And it is climate change. It’s over suppression, and under suppression, and utility company practices, and funding conundrums, and invasive species, and expanding development, and carelessness, and limited aircraft and hand crews, and engine staffing levels, and federal fire pay, and protected habitats, and code pushback, and timber laws, and, and, and … Fire is winning. Humans are losing. … ” Continue reading at the San Francisco Chronicle here: California is up in smoke but still won’t stop playing with fire
Confused about what’s happening on the Klamath? Here’s a rundown.
“It’s been a tough year for the Klamath River. The Klamath, which flows through Oregon and Northern California and into the Pacific Ocean, is suffering from drought and infrastructure problems. That’s caused trouble, not just for the fish in the river, but also for the tribes and farmers who rely on it for day-to-day living. Drought conditions are so bad this year that the U.S. Department of Agriculture allocated $15 million to support farmers who don’t have enough water for their crops. Klamath Basin tribes are also struggling to feed their people, but so far they haven’t received such support. … ” Read more from High Country News here: Confused about what’s happening on the Klamath? Here’s a rundown.
Snow-free view of Mount Shasta prompts climate worries
“Photos shared thousands of times on social media of a snow-free Mount Shasta have been raising worries about a new example of climate change in recent days. Having so little visible snow on the 14,000-foot Northern California mountain is unique, but it’s not a first. “It’s not true that it’s unprecedented to have so little snow or almost no snow. It does happen. But it’s been happening more because of the last 20 years we’ve had a lot more droughts than before that,” says Ryan Sandler, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Medford, OR. … ” Read more from Jefferson Public Radio here: Snow-free view of Mount Shasta prompts climate worries
Low water levels allow kayakers to paddle through a historic train tunnel on Shasta Lake
“California’s historic drought brings plenty of negative impacts on the region, including water shortage and an already historic wildfire season. With low water levels plaguing Northern California waterways, we are beginning to find structures from our past that can bring a silver lining to this bad situation. When the Sacramento River was flooded with the building of the Shasta Dam in 1945, water covered the town of Tennant and put nearby highways and railroads underwater. Now, as Shasta Lake reaches incredibly low water levels, we can see some of the areas that have been underwater for so many years. … ” Read more from Active NorCal here: Low water levels allow kayakers to paddle through a historic train tunnel on Shasta Lake
James Gallagher’s design-build sewer pipe bill passes state senate
“The California State Senate unanimously passed a bill Thursday that would allow for both a Paradise sewer pipe and water pipe to Chico to be built using design-build procurement methods. Assembly Bill 36 written by both Assemblyman James Gallagher and Sen. Jim Nielsen would allow the town of Paradise and Paradise Irrigation District to use the method to build future water projects. The process essentially cuts the formal bidding from circulation and allows for designers and builders to work together with the goal of being more flexible and communicating. … ” Read more from the Oroville Mercury-Register here: James Gallagher’s design-build sewer pipe bill passes state senate
Lawsuit: Groundwater pumping threats in North State Counties transfers tied to extra pumping plans
“AquAlliance, the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, and the California Water Impact Network filed a lawsuitin federal District Courtagainst the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation)over Extra Groundwater Pumping Plans by Sacramento River water districts. The districts are hammeringalready taxed local groundwater basins during the serious 2021 drought, because they don’t want to accept cuts in river water deliveries even though their25% cut is much lessthan thoseother users have experienced.1The same districts have enough river water to sell to south–of–Delta interests, however(see table below).Reclamation seeks to pay the Extra Groundwater pumpers for their energy costs based on the analysis found in the Environmental Assessment for Groundwater Actions to Offset Surface Water Diversions from the Sacramento River in Response to Drought in 2021. … ”
Click here to read the full press release from AquAlliance.
Clear Lake: Marine Patrol moves its boats due to low water; Water Resources looks at ramp extensions, seeks help identifying lake hazards
“Clear Lake’s dropping water level isn’t just presenting challenges to boaters and causing ramp closures, it’s now making it harder for the Lake County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol to keep its boats on the water, and county officials are asking for help in identifying hazards on the lake. Clear Lake’s level was -1.54 feet Rumsey, the special measure for the lake, early Friday morning, according to the United States Geological Survey, or USGS, gauge. For context, a mean of daily mean values for water years of record for 1913 to 2021 based on USGS data, puts the daily mean lake level for Aug. 27 at 2.31 feet Rumsey. … ” Read more from the Lake County News here: Clear Lake: Marine Patrol moves its boats due to low water; Water Resources looks at ramp extensions, seeks help identifying lake hazards
Delta Cross Channel gates to close for maintenance
“The Delta Cross Channel gates will close for maintenance Monday and Tuesday, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced. The gates control the diversion channel near Walnut Grove and are used primarily for flood protection and to manage water quality by allowing fresh water from the Sacramento River into the interior of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. ... ” Read more from the Daily Republic here: Delta Cross Channel gates to close for maintenance
Manteca: $3.6M needed to avoid outlet canal flooding
“It could cost $3.6 million to reduce the chances of the French Camp Outlet Canal on Manteca’s western flank from spilling its banks during a future 48-hour storm event that has a 1 percent chance of happening in any given year. That is based on increased runoff that would be generated under the proposed updated general plan for Manteca that envisions a population of possibly 119,000 by 2040. … ” Read more from the Manteca Bulletin here: Manteca: $3.6M needed to avoid outlet canal flooding
Pipe bursts in East Bay, spilling 12,500 gallons of raw sewage
“A collapsed underground pipe leaked at least 12,500 gallons of raw sewage into Martinez storm drains and residents are being cautioned to avoid surface water in the area, authorities said. The leak, first noticed on Monday by oil refinery workers, was blamed on the deterioration of a municipal sewer line just south of the PBF oil refinery, formerly known as the Shell refinery. “It took time to identify which pipe was involved,” said Lilia Corona, district manager of the Mount View Sanitary District. She said dyes were used to spot the leak. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Pipe bursts in East Bay, spilling 12,500 gallons of raw sewage
Bay Area: Do you know where your water comes from?
“The Bay Area water system is a byzantine patchwork of agencies — more than 50 in all — that provides water to customers. Some are the ones you see on your water bill. Others are middlemen that provide water to local agencies at the wholesale level. And some of that water makes a long journey. Southern California has the reputation for tapping far-flung sources for its water needs, but the Bay Area is in the same boat. … ” Read more from KQED here: Bay Area: Do you know where your water comes from?
Valley Water reaches milestone in work to improve fish habitat in Santa Clara County
“As Santa Clara County deals with extreme drought, Valley Water is taking every necessary step to ensure our communities have safe, clean water. Our agency also provides natural flood protection and protects our county’s watersheds and aquatic ecosystems. We must be mindful of balancing these objectives. Valley Water recently reached a milestone in our essential work of improving fish habitat along our creeks while also considering Santa Clara County’s water supply. On June 30, our agency published the draft environmental impact report (EIR) on the Fish and Aquatic Habitat Collaborative Effort. This document will serve as a roadmap to balancing our water supply operations while considering impacts to the environment. … ” Read more from Valley Water here: Valley Water reaches milestone in work to improve fish habitat in Santa Clara County
Valley Water begins work on next phase of the Upper Llagas Creek Flood Protection Project in Morgan Hill
“Although Santa Clara County is facing a drought, flooding remains a threat to many of our communities. The last drought was followed by one of the wettest winters on record. Climate change has made extreme weather the new normal. Valley Water remains committed to keeping residents, schools and businesses safe through our flood protection projects and programs. On June 21, 2021, Valley Water began construction on the next phase of the Upper Llagas Creek Flood Protection Project. The entire project consists of about 13.9 miles of flood protection improvements along East Little Llagas Creek, West Little Llagas Creek and Llagas Creek within Gilroy, Morgan Hill and the unincorporated area of San Martin. … ” Read more from Valley Water here: Valley Water begins work on next phase of the Upper Llagas Creek Flood Protection Project in Morgan Hill
Despite the risks, Monterey water district considers leaving Cal Am behind
“With what is seen as a water crisis solution in the balance, board members for the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District are sending a message to embattled private utility California American Water: agree to our terms or be left behind. The quickest path to an expansion of the Pure Water Monterey recycled water project is for Cal Am agree to buy and deliver the water it produces; however, it is not the only path. This is where it gets into the fine print of a water purchase agreement. … ” Read more from Monterey Weekly here: Despite the risks, Monterey water district considers leaving Cal Am behind
San Juan Bautista: A small family-owned farm is using a method that’s conserving water and cutting costs
“Believe it or not, the last time the tomatoes, at Miramonte Farms and Nursery, were watered has been about a month. That’s all thanks to a method called dry-farming. The small family-owned farm has been using this method for decades, and the results; less water usage and tomatoes jammed packed with flavor. “It’s a labor of love, you have to love what you do especially this kind of farming,” said Andy Jones (A.J), Miramonte Farms and Nursery Co-Owner/ Farmer. Unlike leafy greens, tomatoes are drought resistant which makes dry-farming doable. When the plant is young, they’re watered like a normal tomato. When the fruit begins to develop, its water supply slowly gets cut off. Which helps conserve water and costs. … ” Read more from KION here: San Joan Bautista: A small family-owned farm is using a method that’s conserving water and cutting costs
Cal Poly reports examine ways to repurpose Phillips 66 refinery on Nipomo Mesa
“When Phillips 66 shutters its Santa Maria Refinery next year, what will happen to the 1,780-acre site is a question undertaken by teams of Cal Poly students that produced two reports, one taking a brief look at almost half a dozen possible uses and the other diving deeper into another option. Potential uses analyzed by one team include a regional park, green hydrogen generation, grid-scale battery storage, plastics recycling and an anaerobic organic waste digester. The second team produced a more in-depth analysis of the environmental constraints involved in using the site for a desalination facility, which would help address a potential water shortage looming on the horizon. ... ” Read more from the Santa Maria Times here: Cal Poly reports examine ways to repurpose Phillips 66 refinery on Nipomo Mesa
Arroyo Grande urges conservation after county passes plan to cut reservoir deliveries
“San Luis Obispo County is officially in a state of “extreme drought,” prompting authorities to urge water conservation across the region and try to keep more water in local reservoirs. During its Aug. 24 meeting, the board approved the plan, which was developed by an advisory committee during the last drought. The committee’s goal was to preserve water bodies for as long as possible, since Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, Pismo Beach, Oceano, and Avila Beach depend on Lopez Lake for drinking water. … ” Read more from New Times SLO here: Arroyo Grande urges conservation after county passes plan to cut reservoir deliveries
Significant summer rain not enough to erase SoCal drought
“It has been a very active monsoon season, especially in Arizona. However, here in Southern California, we do not expect much rain during the summer, and the totals we have seen thus far will not be a drought buster. … ” Read more from Spectrum 1 here: Significant summer rain not enough to erase SoCal drought
San Bernardino: $14.3 million project to help Highland neighborhood flooded in 2010
“Days before Christmas 2010, a 100-year storm event dropped 10 inches of rain in some places, causing the worst flooding in Highland’s history. In the East Highland Village neighborhood south of Greenspot Road and east of Church Street, an overflowing drainage system led to mud pouring into homes, partially burying vehicles and covering streets. In that neighborhood alone more than 200 residents were evacuated and 30 houses were declared uninhabitable. … ” Read more from the San Bernadino Sun here: $14.3 million project to help Highland neighborhood flooded in 2010
City of Needles’ drinking water crisis averted – state finally approves much needed funding
“Rebuild SoCal Partnership (RSCP) is pleased to announce that the City of Needles has received funding for a much-needed new well from the California State Water Resources Board (SWRCB). The City of Needles worst fears were realized In July when the onlywell that supplies the community with portable drinking water failed. The city was able to identify the replacement part and repaired the well within 24 hours. The city relied on storage tanks during this outage to get through the day in temperatures exceeding 115 degrees. By the time the spare part was installed, and the well was returned to operations approximately 16 feet of water remained in the storage tanks. The city’s distribution system has over 200 leaks a year and they continue to increase. … ” Read more from Cision here: City of Needles’ drinking water crisis averted – state finally approves much needed funding
Pipeline to water golf courses in drought-stricken west is US’s ‘stupidest project’
“As the western US grapples with record drought, legislators around the Colorado River Basin are weighing plans for a project that would divert water away from this already-strained natural resource to Southwest Utah, home to people critics call some of “the most wasteful water users in America.” “The Lake Powell pipeline is so stupid. It’s such a bad idea,” said Zachary Frankel, executive director of Utah Rivers Council, which has vocally opposed the project. “This is one of the stupidest projects proposed anywhere in the United States.” … ” Read more from Vice here: Pipeline to water golf courses in drought-stricken west is US’s ‘stupidest project’
Chandler: As drought worsens, city, Intel partner for new reclaimed water facility
“As the Colorado River reaches new lows causing concern about the Southwest’s long-term water resources, Chandler officials say the city is well-positioned to handle drought and has plans to expand the city’s reclaimed water system. Central to that confidence is the knowledge that the city gets its water from multiple sources and uses reclaimed water and some 32 water wells when it can, officials said. A new reclaimed water facility will be underway this fall that will further enhance Chandler’s water supply, said John Knudson, director of public works and utilities for Chandler. … ” Read more from Community Impact Newspapers here: Chandler: As drought worsens, city, Intel partner for new reclaimed water facility
With water dwindling in the Southwest, Arizona plans for coming restrictions
“The federal government declared a water shortage for much of the Southwest last week, resulting in the first ever mandatory cutbacks for some who draw from the Colorado River. As two decades of drought, increased demand and climate change cut deep into the West’s water supply, the region is looking ahead to a future where supplies might drop further still. The first to see cuts will be farmers in central Arizona. “Nobody is feeling like this is just a blip on the radar and we’re going to have to ride this out for two or three years and then things will get back to normal,” said Chelsea McGuire, director of government relations at the Arizona Farm Bureau. … ” Read more from KNAU here: With water dwindling in the Southwest, Arizona plans for coming restrictions
Column: Arizona stored water to help during shortages. What happens when we start using it?
Video: An Unnatural River: Treated effluent and recycled water flowing into the lower Santa Cruz River fosters abundant native vegetation and wildlife, and brings recreational and economic opportunities
“The Colorado River feeds Lake Mead, which is a lifeline for over 40 million people in the western United States and Mexico. Whenever a study is released showing low water levels at Lake Mead, one question flows to the forefront of a lot of people’s minds: “Why are we sharing our water?” The answer is as simple: we agreed to it. The Colorado River Compact is the complicated back story to that answer. Established in 1922 and ratified in 1944, theagreement between seven states located in the Colorado River Basin, was negotiated between the states and the federal government. … ” Read more from the Las Vegas Review-Journal here: Background: Colorado River Compact Agreement
The West’s water supply is low. Some cities may have to cut back on water use soon
“The federal government has declared a water shortage for much of the Southwest. It’s led to the first ever mandatory cutbacks for some who draw water from the Colorado River. Two decades of drought and climate change are cutting deep into the West’s water supply. From member station KUNC, Alex Hager reports that the region is looking ahead to a future where that supply might keep dropping. … ” Listen to radio spot or read transcript from NPR here: The West’s Water Supply Is Low. Some Cities May Have To Cut Back On Water Use Soon
An extra 586 million gallons of water headed into Colo. rivers
“The Orchard Mesa Irrigation District is working with a number of partners on a Colorado River water restoration project. The Colorado Water Trust and Grand Valley Water Users Association are also leading the effort. An extra 586 million gallons of water, provided by an anonymous donor, will be flowing into waterways. … ” Read more from Channel 11 here: An extra 586 million gallons of water headed into Colo. rivers
Ask the Expert: Understanding the U.S. Drought Monitor; a Q&A with Brian Fuchs
“In this Ask the Expert, climatologist Brian Fuchs, National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, discusses the U.S. Drought Monitor, the USDA programs triggered by the Monitor data and how the data can be used to inform decision-making by America‘s agricultural producers. The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) is an online, weekly map showing the location, extent, and severity of drought across the United States. It categorizes the entire country as being in one of six levels of drought. The first two, None and Abnormally Dry (D0), are not considered to be drought. The next four describe increasing levels of drought: Moderate (D1), Severe (D2), Extreme (D3) and Exceptional (D4). The map is released on Thursdays and depicts conditions for the week that ended the preceding Tuesday. … ” Read more from the USDA here:Ask the Expert: Understanding the U.S. Drought Monitor; a Q&A with Brian Fuchs
Anatomy of a drought: How the West may change for decades to come
“During his tenure as Utah governor, Gary Herbert repeatedly stressed that water is the only limiting factor to the state’s growth. That day is here for the nation’s fastest-growing state, and water managers are scrambling. Drought is gripping 17 states in 95% of the service area of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and half of that area is experiencing severe or extreme conditions. Those states stretch from the West, into the Southwest and the Great Plains region of the United States. Aside from Utah, victims of this megadrought are Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, California, Nevada, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. … ” Read more from Deseret News here: Anatomy of a drought: How the West may change for decades to come
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.