DAILY DIGEST, 9/10: Biden’s interior secretary backs West Side reservoir, more CA water storage; What’s Larry Elder’s solution to water issues?; Two-Basin Partnership asks for pause in Potter Valley Project process; WMO: Weak La Niña may re-emerge; and more …


On the calendar today …

  • CDFW CONSERVATION LECTURE: Nature’s Best Hope from 10:30am to 12pm. Recent headlines about global insect declines and three billion fewer birds in North America are a bleak reality check about how ineffective our current landscape designs have been at sustaining the plants and animals that sustain us. Such losses are not an option if we wish to continue our current standard of living on Planet Earth. The good news is that none of this is inevitable. Tallamy will discuss simple steps that each of us can- and must take to reverse declining biodiversity, why we must change our adversarial relationship with nature to a collaborative one, and why we, ourselves, are nature’s best hope.  Click here to register.

In California water news today …

Biden’s interior secretary backs West Side reservoir, more California water storage

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland talked about dealing with drought, including a reservoir planned near Patterson, in a Zoom call with reporters Wednesday.  She was joined by Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock, who has urged increased federal spending on such efforts.  The 2022 proposed budget for the Interior Department includes $15 million toward building Del Puerto Reservoir in the hills west of Patterson. West Side irrigation districts would pay most of the roughly $500 million total cost. … ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here: Biden’s interior secretary backs West Side reservoir, more California water storage

Interior Secretary Haaland joins Rep. Harder to push for California drought relief, resources

A new assessment from the U.S. Drought Monitor is due out Thursday, but it’s unlikely to show any improvement for the region.  The entire state is facing a drought, with 50% of California listed in the “exceptional” drought category.  That pledge came Wednesday afternoon during U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland’s first visit to Northern California — albeit virtually. … ”  Read more from Fox 40 here: Interior Secretary Haaland joins Rep. Harder to push for California drought relief, resources

CA recall: Republican candidate Larry Elder discusses drought while visiting Valley farmers

The California recall election is fast approaching, and candidates are not wasting time. GOP frontrunner Larry Elder made a second stop in the Central Valley this week, focusing on crime and water shortages during a one-on-one with farmers.  “The lifeblood of the Valley of this agricultural community is water, and we are struggling really bad right now. 2022 is shaping up to be a nightmare at this point,” said Fresno County Farm Bureau CEO Ryan Jacobsen.  Jacobsen said farmers are hurting across the Valley and want state leaders to take action and help solve the water crisis….  With the gubernatorial recall election looming, the Republican contender Elder said he wants them to know he’s listening.  “I recognize that water is very important, jobs related to farming, and I am going to be putting that priority over the delta smelt,” Elder said to reporters. … ”  Read more from ABC 10 here: CA recall: Republican candidate Larry Elder discusses drought while visiting Valley farmers

Larry Elder talks to farmers in Fresno about California water issues. What’s his solution?

Republican recall candidate Larry Elder met with a group of farmers Thursday in Fresno to talk about water, jobs, crime and other issues during a stop on his push to unseat Gov. Gavin Newsom.  The conservative talk show host was planning several stops across California on a bus dubbed “Recall Express.” His Fresno appearance focused heavily on the state’s water woes.  He said, if elected, he would immediately suspend the California Environmental Quality Act, allowing for the raising of dams and building of reservoirs. The act has also been blamed by candidates for the state’s housing shortage. ... ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Larry Elder talks to farmers in Fresno about California water issues. What’s his solution?

Resources Secretary sends letter to legislature on CEQA exemption in trailer bill

On Thursday,  September 9, Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot a letter to the members of the legislature regarding the controversial CEQA exemption in the Natural Resources trailer bill, AB/SB 155.  Crowfoot’s letter addressed objections to the trailer bill previously raised by Restore the Delta, stating:  “The proposed CEQA exemption may only be applied to habitat restoration projects. By its own terms, it can only be used for projects that are exclusively focused on habitat. … ”  Continue reading at California Water Research blog here: Resources Secretary sends letter to legislature on CEQA exemption in trailer bill

California’s major water reservoirs are way below where they should be

Key indicators show California’s drought appears to be accelerating. That will last until substantial rains come much later in the year. The best advice: Treat water like gold, or it will soon cost as much.  California’s biggest reservoirs are way below where their levels should be this time of year. Shasta, the biggest reservoir by far, is only a quarter full. Oroville: less than a quarter full. Trinity, a third full. San Luis Reservoir, 13 paltry percent. … ”  Continue reading at KTVU here: California’s major water reservoirs are way below where they should be

South of Delta water deliveries not hopeful

What’s the future look like in terms of water deliveries from the Delta for farmers? David Orth is a principal at New Current Water and Land based in Fresno, a consulting firm helping growers navigate SGMA.  “I believe that the long-term solution for the San Joaquin Valley is that we restore some of the surface water from Delta exports that we developed a lot of our property around to levels that pull us away from and allow us to sustainably use groundwater. … ”  Read more from Cal Ag Today here: South of Delta water deliveries not hopeful

California approves new spending on drought, wildfire prevention

California lawmakers on Thursday voted to spend more than $2 billion to prevent wildfires and address a severe drought, closing the book — for now — on a $262.5 billion operating budget that began the year with a record deficit because of the pandemic and ended with a record surplus in spite of it.  Wildfire spending in California has more than tripled since 2005, surpassing $3 billion last year. But most of that money is spent on putting out fires, not preventing them. ... ”  Read more from Channel 13 here:  California approves new spending on drought, wildfire prevention

California’s sustainable farms, models for agriculture in warming world, need help surviving it

The bustle of birds and insect pollinators is the first thing you notice at Full Belly Farm in Guinda, about 100 miles northeast of San Francisco in the Capay Valley, where Judith Redmond and her partners started farming four decades ago.  On this early morning in August, a hot, dry wind is blowing through the valley, fanning the flames that are devouring the parched lands on either side of Redmond’s 400-acre organic farm, where chickens, pigs and sheep forage alongside vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and flowers.  The day before, that wind fueled a fast-moving fire about 25 miles northwest of the farm that incinerated dozens of mobile homes. The massive Caldor and Dixie fires were continuing to spread to the east and north, and a gray smoky haze hung in the air. … ”  Read more from KQED here: California’s sustainable farms, models for agriculture in warming world, need help surviving it

U.C. Davis study finds dams ineffective for conservation of salmon and trout in Sacramento-area waterways

For many years, federal, state and corporate proponents of building more dams in California have touted cold water river releases provided by increased water storage behind dams as a key tool in “saving” struggling salmon and steelhead populations.   Yet a just published study by the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, Dams Ineffective for Cold-Water Conservation– 8/25/21, has found that dams are ineffective for the cold water conservation that is needed to preserve imperiled salmon, steelhead and trout.  … ”  Read more from the Sacramento News & Review here: U.C. Davis study finds dams ineffective for conservation of salmon and trout in Sacramento-area waterways

SEE ALSO: ‘Deadbeat dams’ and their impact on cold-water ecosystems, from High Country News

California’s vital canals are crumbling. A plan to fix them just died in the Legislature

The major arteries of California’s water-delivery system are crumbling, but a proposal in the state Legislature to spend $785 million fixing them is dead for the year.  The legislation, SB 559 was pulled off the table this week by its chief author, state Sen. Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger), after an Assembly committee stripped the funding and made other changes to the legislation. Hurtado’s decision turns SB 559 into a two-year bill that could be revived next year. … ”  Read more from the Merced Sun-Star here: California’s vital canals are crumbling. A plan to fix them just died in the Legislature

Merced Irrigation District files lawsuit to protect water supply

Merced Irrigation District has filed a lawsuit challenging the emergency drought curtailments issued by the State Water Resources Control Board last month. The lawsuit intends to protect MID water rights, local growers and multiple disadvantaged communities in eastern Merced County.  “As requested by Governor Newsom, we attempted to work cooperatively and proactively with the State Water Board in order to avoid the disputes that we knew would follow these unnecessary and illegal regulations. Unfortunately, the Water Board still hasn’t agreed to meet or even discuss our proposals,” said MID General Counsel Phillip McMurray. … ”  Read more from the Merced County Times here: Merced Irrigation District files lawsuit to protect water supply

Historic restaurant Giusti’s in Walnut Grove burns down

A historic Walnut Grove restaurant has burned down Thursday afternoon.  Giusti’s Place is the oldest restaurant and bar in the California Delta and has been in business for more than 100 years, according to their website. … ”  Read more from Fox 40 here: Historic restaurant Giusti’s in Walnut Grove burns down

Locke: This historic California town is a living legacy to the Chinese immigrant experience

America’s oldest and best-known Chinatown is in San Francisco, but just a couple hours away is something a little different – a freestanding, historic Chinese town in the heart of California. This summer, reporters with NPR’s international desk have been taking us to destinations in the countries they cover for a travel series called Wish You Were Here. Today, John Ruwitch, who covers U.S.-China affairs, takes us to Locke, Calif., to learn about its place in the Chinese immigrant experience. … ”  Read more from Cincinnati Public Radio here: Locke: This historic California town is a living legacy to the Chinese immigrant experience

Fatal lightning strike investigated as cause of death for family who turned up mysteriously dead in Sierra National Forest

A fatal lightning strike could be behind the deaths of a couple, their one-year-old daughter and the family dog, all of whose bodies were discovered in a remote area near Yosemite National Park in Northern California last month.  Jonathan Gerrish, Ellen Chung, their toddler, Miju, and their canine companion, Oksi, were found dead by search and rescue workers on Aug. 17 along the Savage Lundy Trail in the Sierra National Forest, near the south fork of the Merced River, according to the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office. The family was reported missing the day prior. ... ”  Continue reading at the New York Daily News here: Fatal lightning strike investigated as cause of death for family who turned up mysteriously dead in Sierra National Forest

California asks Biden administration to allow gas plants to run at maximum

California’s grid operator has asked the Biden administration to allow some natural gas power plants to operate without pollution restrictions for 60 days to shore up the state’s tight electricity supplies, the U.S. Energy Department said on Thursday.  The California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which is seeking an emergency order by Sept. 10, made the ask in a Sept. 7 letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. The agency is reviewing the request, an official said. … ”  Read more from Reuters News here: California asks Biden administration to allow gas plants to run at maximum

As water scarcity grows in California, so will greenhouse gas emissions without urgent efficiency measures

Without urgent water efficiency measures, carbon emissions associated with water usage in California are likely to spike in coming years, as changing sources of water supply and population growth drive up energy-intensive urban and agricultural water needs. Climate change-fueled droughts are likely to further increase water-related energy use and carbon emissions. That’s the finding of a new report — The Future of California’s Water-Energy-Climate Nexus— out today from researchers at the Pacific Institute and commissioned by non-partisan, non-profit think tank Next 10.  “Managing California’s water system requires an enormous amount of energy. Water shortages, like the record-breaking drought we’re experiencing today, make the job of supplying water to millions of Californians and to our state’s agricultural sector even more challenging and energy-intensive,” said F. Noel Perry, founder of Next 10. “We could face a substantial increase in water sector carbon emissions in the coming years if we fail to implement water efficiency measures.” … ”  Read more from the Pacific Institute here: As water scarcity grows in California, so will greenhouse gas emissions without urgent efficiency measures

California records its hottest summer ever as climate change roils cities

California and several other Western states endured the hottest summer on record, according to federal data released Thursday, underscoring the ways rapid climate change is unleashing unprecedented wildfires, deadly heat waves and drought conditions.  In addition to California, officials said Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Utah also set all-time heat records for the meteorological summer, spanning June through August. Sixteen other states also saw a top-five warmest summer on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which issued its findings Thursday. ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here: California records its hottest summer ever as climate change roils cities

‘Explosive’ Dixie Fire could be worst in Calif. history

The Dixie Fire is headed toward becoming the biggest blaze in California history as it devours mountainsides of brittle trees and shrubs caused by a yearslong drought and record heat.  Firefighters have been battling the wildfire in the Sierra Nevada since mid-July. It has burned more than 927,000 acres, and 41% of it is still blazing uncontrollably.  Mike Yeun, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), acknowledged that the fire could overtake the huge blaze that set state records last year, but he said, “We’re hoping that it doesn’t.”  “We’re crossing our fingers,” Yeun said from the Dixie command center. “But you know … right now, as of today, it’s 59 percent contained. So we’re confident that 59 percent of the fire is not going to spread, but that means we’ve still got a lot of work to do.” ... ”  Read more from E&E News here: ‘Explosive’ Dixie Fire could be worst in Calif. history

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In regional water news and commentary today …

Judge: County can’t ban water delivery to Hmong pot farmers

A federal judge has ruled Northern California county officials can’t stop trucks from delivering water to Hmong farmers who are illegally growing marijuana, saying the practice raises “serious questions” about racial discrimination and leaves the growers without a source of water for drinking, bathing and growing food.  Chief U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller last week issued a temporary injunction against Siskiyou County’s prohibition on trucked-in water deliveries to Hmong farmers who run illegal operations in the Mount Shasta Vista subdivision in the Big Springs area about 300 miles (480 kilometers) north of San Francisco. … ”  Read more from SF Gate here: Judge: County can’t ban water delivery to Hmong pot farmers

Cleanup of more than a century’s worth of fuel leakage to begin in Dunsmuir next week

An effort to clean up more than 100 years worth of fuel leaked from historic tanks at Dunsmuir’s Union Pacific Railroad facility was prompted by a citizen who in 2018 reported oil in the Sacramento River.  State and federal agencies will work together with Union Pacific starting next week to remove contamination caused by leaking fuel tanks first installed in the early 1900s. Union Pacific is responsible for the costs to stop fuel from seeping into the soil, groundwater and the Upper Sacramento River and to clean up the contaminated area. … ”  Read more from the Mt. Shasta Herald here: Cleanup of more than a century’s worth of fuel leakage to begin in Dunsmuir next week

Two-Basin Partnership asks for pause in Potter Valley Project process

A group that formed two years ago to explore a new future for the Potter Valley Project, which is a hydroelectric plant in Mendocino County that diverts water from the Eel River and into the Russian River via Lake Mendocino, is requesting more time from federal regulators to study their options and the ramifications of each.  “The Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission, Sonoma County Water Agency, California Trout, Inc., the County of Humboldt, and the Round Valley Indian Tribes hereby request that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission grant an abeyance in the schedule established by the Revised Process Plan and Schedule for relicensing the Potter Valley Project … until May 31, 2022,” states a letter to FERC Secretary Kimberly Bose dated Sept. 2, 2021. … ”  Read more from the Ukiah Daily Journal here: Two-Basin Partnership asks for pause in Potter Valley Project process

SEE ALSO: More time sought for Potter Valley Project license takeover, from the Eureka Times-Standard

OES to host additional bottled water distribution events in Glenn County

The Glenn County Sheriff’s Office – Office of Emergency Services has teamed up with local volunteer law enforcement agencies to host additional emergency bottled water distribution events to help residents that have been impacted by dry wells due to the current drought.  Distribution events, scheduled for today (Wednesday) and Sept. 22, will take place in the rear parking lot of the Orland Fire Department, 810 Fifth St., Orland, from 4-6 p.m.  According to a release issued by the county, Glenn County has received 185 reports of well related incidents. … ”  Read more from the Glenn County Transcript here: OES to host additional bottled water distribution events in Glenn County

Butte County: Groundwater management draft plan going to public

A draft plan to manage groundwater in northwestern Butte County was expected to be available for public review today or Monday.  The plan is required by a state law requiring groundwater to be managed to avoid “adverse impacts.”  The law applies to the Sacramento Valley floor in Butte County. That area has been divided into three “sub-basins.” Two of them — Butte and Wyandotte Creek in the south county — don’t have serious groundwater issues.  But the third — the Vina Sub-Basin — will have to reduce pumping to meet the mandates of the state law, known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. ... ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here: Butte County: Groundwater management draft plan going to public

Emergency water starts flowing to Mendocino Coast communities

Emergency water shipments have begun making their way to desperate consumers on the Mendocino Coast, a result of collaborative efforts by county and city officials from Ukiah and Fort Bragg.  But the rollout is starting slowly, and Mendocino County officials are still working to recruit haulers with the right kind of tankers to meet the demand.  Only one truck hauling 5,000 gallons a trip is working at the moment, with enough time in a day to make two deliveries from the water source in Ukiah to Fort Bragg, according to county Transportation Director Howard Dashiell. … ”  Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here: Emergency water starts flowing to Mendocino Coast communities

Meet Calistoga’s water conservation expert

Mitchell Egert doesn’t have a degree in science or engineering. As a matter of fact, he spent the last few years in the wine and hospitality business in Calistoga, most recently as manager of Amaro Italian Kitchen. But when the Calistoga Department of Public Works put out the word over the summer that it was looking for a water conservation technician, Egert applied immediately and got the job. ... ”  Read more from the Napa Register here: Meet Calistoga’s water conservation expert

Napa: ‘Water witch’ in high demand during drought years

When surface water is scarce Marc Mondavi grabs his trusty copper rods and starts asking them questions.  “I first ask my rods. Is there any water on the property? That means ‘yes,’” Mondavi says as he watches his bent copper rods mysteriously cross in his hands.  After a little walking he asks the rods a second question and waits to see if they move. “Is there 65 gallons a minute? Yep.” Mondavi is what you call a water witch or a dowser. ... ”  Read more from Channel 10 here: ‘Water witch’ in high demand during drought years

Project to combat climate change, rising sea levels begins at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers celebrated the Ocean Beach Nourishment Project Thursday, a project designed to confront the issue of climate change.  “We are experiencing sea level rise here in San Francisco, including on the ocean side of the city. And we are experiencing chronic erosion in this area, which is threatening critical wastewater infrastructure, which protects water quality in San Francisco,” explained project manager Anne Roche. … ”  Read more from Channel 7 here: Project to combat climate change, rising sea levels begins at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach

Amid California drought, Santa Clara County’s water conservation isn’t going well

One of the largest water districts in the San Francisco Bay Area is falling dramatically short of water conservation goals amid extreme drought conditions across California.  Santa Clara Valley Water declared a water shortage emergency in June with its reservoirs reaching historically low levels, requiring customers to reduce water use by 15% compared with 2019 levels. In July, the district fell short of the goal with residents only reducing water use levels by 6% compared to 2019 levels, according to newly available data first shared by the San Jose Mercury News. ... ”  Continue reading from SF Gate here: Amid California drought, Santa Clara County’s water conservation isn’t going well

Legality issues further delay Cal Am recycled water deal, push sides further apart on Pure Water Monterey expansion

After four months of discussions, utility California American Water and the public agencies negotiating an agreement to bring much-needed water to the Monterey Peninsula appear back at square one and further apart on their terms for a deal. Some close to the negotiations say a deal is no longer imminent.  The public agencies—Monterey Peninsula Water Management District, which oversees the area’s water distribution, and Monterey One Water, the region’s sewage utility—and their boards need Cal Am to buy the additional water promised by the approved expansion of Pure Water Monterey, a project that recycles the area’s wastewater and makes it drinkable. The area is facing an increasingly critical water shortage and Cal Am, an investor-owned utility that has operated in the region for decades, owns the distribution system. … ”  Read more from Monterey Weekly here: Legality issues further delay Cal Am recycled water deal, push sides further apart on Pure Water Monterey expansion

Some Monterey County growers are risking a fragile resource to survive the drought.

In the midst of a widespread drought, Lakes San Antonio and Nacimiento, critically important reservoirs for Monterey County, are at their lowest capacity levels since 2017. When the lakes get low, the ability to get enough water to some agricultural growers gets complicated. Add politics and Covid to the mix and you get the scramble underway between the region’s sewage agency, the city of Salinas and the Monterey County Water Resources Agency to deliver water to thousands of acres of crops and protect a fragile underground water supply. … ”  Read more from the Monterey County Weekly here: Some Monterey County growers are risking a fragile resource to survive the drought.

Los Angeles River: The once and future river

In a park along the industrial banks of the Los Angeles River, roughly a mile northeast of where the Los Angeles Dodgers play home games, Matthew Teutimez pulls on the stem of a sickly native plant, installed here by well-meaning ecologists to at least hint at what this land once was: a resource so profound and productive that the indigenous Kizh tribe built their civilization around it. “They’re forcing vegetation in areas that it doesn’t want to be,” says Teutimez, who serves as the Kizh tribe’s official biologist. He holds between his fingers a small rose hip, the nutrient-rich fruit of the rose plant, struggling to survive among the encroaching Bermuda grass. “This isn’t restoration when we do this,” he says. “It’s revegetation.”  Teutimez, who makes his living as an independent consulting ornithologist on environmental studies, puts air quotes around the word “restoration” when he uses it in the context of projects for the river. Restoration would mean more planting specimens of native foliage; it would mean digging swales to absorb falling water and replenish the aquifer. It would mean giving back to the Los Angeles River and all of its creeks and tributaries their natural functions – their power to move rocks, to accrete land, to build dunes and barrier islands at the coast.  … ”  Read more from the Red Canary Collective here: The once and future river 

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Along the Colorado River …

Depleted by drought, Lakes Powell and Mead were doomed from the beginning

For the first time, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation issued a water shortage for Lake Mead starting in 2022. Located between southern Nevada and northwestern Arizona, Lake Mead provides water and generates electricity for the more than 20 million people in the lower Colorado River Basin.  This shortage isn’t a surprise. Water levels at Lake Mead and Lake Powell to the northeast have already reached historic lows amid the summer drought. By January, the bureau projects water levels at Lake Mead to fall to 1,065.85 feet — nine feet below the first shortage trigger elevation. Levels on Lake Powell, which stores water for the Upper Colorado River Basin, are only marginally better, projected to be just 45 feet above the required elevation to produce hydropower. … ”  Read more from the Washington Post here: Depleted by drought, Lakes Powell and Mead were doomed from the beginning

St. George Spectrum:  Local waters alternative to the Lake Powell Pipeline revisited

Lisa Rutherford, resident of Ivins, writes, “State and local officials keep banging the drums for the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline (LPP), but most people realize that the LPP’s future looks doomed. What does Washington County’s water future look like without the LPP water?  The revised Local Waters Alternative to the Lake Powell Pipeline 2.0 (Local Waters 2.0) came out recently. The original Local Waters report was produced in 2013 by Western Resource Advocates and challenged the LPP. Now, in 2021, the Local Waters Alternative has had an update by Western Resource Advocates and Peter Mayer of Water Demand Management. … ”  Read more from The Spectrum here: Local Waters Alternative to the Lake Powell Pipeline revisited

Page mayor: Lake Powell is not drying up

The reservoir created by Glen Canyon Dam is sinking to its lowest level ever because of extreme drought.  And climate change is making it worse.  The signs of drought are noticeable at Lake Powell. Rocks that were once underwater now appear on the lake’s surface.  A thick, white band of exposed rock face marks where the reservoir once reached. And the embankments stretch high above recreationists. … ”  Read more from the Navajo Times here: Page mayor: Lake Powell is not drying up

Nearly half of Colorado has shed its drought status since last year, but the coming months don’t look good

As drought loosened its grip across nearly half Colorado in the past year, parts of Colorado could see conditions worsen in the coming months due an autumn and winter that experts say will be hotter and drier than normal.  About 52% of the state’s geographic area now faces some type of drought — ranging from abnormally dry to exceptional drought. This time last year, the entire state was plagued by the lack of rain, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. While the drought was somewhat alleviated by the summer’s monsoon season, already punishing drought conditions have begun to worsen, with the most severe impacts hitting the Western Slope. … ”  Read more from the Colorado Sun here: Nearly half of Colorado has shed its drought status since last year, but the coming months don’t look good

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In national water news today …

Google says it will replenish 120 percent of the water it consumes by 2030

Google has announced a new water stewardship target that will see the company commit to replenishing on average 120 percent of the water it consumes at its data centers and offices by 2030. To that end, the search giant says it will use freshwater alternatives to cool its server farms. In places like Douglas County, Georgia, the company already uses reclaimed wastewater to keep its servers running. Moving forward, it will work to double down on that practice by finding more opportunities to use wastewater and seawater. … ”  Read more from Engadget here: Google says it will replenish 120 percent of the water it consumes by 2030

SEE ALSO: Google sets new water goals as droughts worsen, from the Verge

World Meteorological Organization: Weak La Niña may re-emerge

A weak La Niña event may re-emerge later in 2021 for the second consecutive year, with the risk that forecast precipitation patterns may exacerbate existing drought in some parts of the world and increase the risk of heavy rainfall and flooding in others. But despite La Niña’s cooling influence, temperatures over land areas are expected to be above average between September and November, especially in the northern hemisphere, according to the World Meteorological Organization. … ”  Read more from the World Meteorological Organization here: World Meteorological Organization: Weak La Niña may re-emerge

There’s PFAS in our water. How do we get them out?

If you’ve grown up drinking tap water in the United States, it’s likely that you’ve consumed some amount of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances at some point in your life. PFAS, sometimes referred to as forever chemicals, are a class of over 5,000 chemicals that are found in a wide range of industry and household products including the nonstick coating on cookware, cling wrap, foods like microwave popcorn, and firefighting foam. And when they enter the human bloodstream, they don’t leave. … ”  Read more from The Discover Magazine here: There’s PFAS in our water. How do we get them out?

EPA wastewater rules to set first PFAS limits

EPA is seeking to bolster public health and environmental protections through new wastewater regulations that include the first limitations on “forever chemicals.”  Amid mounting pressure to crack down on water contaminants, the agency yesterday released its latest preliminary effluent guidelines plan, including an announcement concerning three new rulemakings. Those newer components target nutrient discharges as well as contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as forever chemicals.  “To protect drinking water supplies, recreational waters, and aquatic ecosystems, it is essential that we utilize the latest scientific and technological breakthroughs in wastewater treatment,” Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox said in a statement. “This plan illustrates one way that EPA is following science to better protect public health and the environment.” … ”  Read more from E&E News here: EPA wastewater rules to set first PFAS limits

When rivers are contaminated, floods are only the first problem

Dioxins—the category of chemicals that includes Agent Orange—have been banned in the United States since 1979. But that doesn’t mean they’re gone. Like in the plot of countless scary movies, dioxins and other banned chemicals are just buried beneath the surface waiting to be unearthed.  A new perspective paper in Journal of Hazardous Materials calls attention to an understudied area: the remobilization of pollutants buried in riverbeds. Chemicals have a knack for binding to sediments, meaning chemical spills in rivers frequently seep into sediments instead of flowing downstream. Future layers of silt bury the pollutants and hide the problem.  But persistent chemicals in riverbeds are “ticking time bombs,” warned Sarah Crawford, an environmental toxicologist at Goethe University Frankfurt and lead author of the paper. The buried chemicals can easily be remobilized. “It just takes one flood event,” she said. … ”  Read more from the EOS here: When rivers are contaminated, floods are only the first problem

New estimate makes groundwater, not ice sheets, largest water reservoir on land

New research more than doubles the estimated volume of ancient, salty groundwater stored deep within Earth’s crust.  Around 24 million cubic kilometers (5.8 cubic miles) of groundwater reside within the top two kilometers (1.2 miles) of Earth’s crust. This shallow groundwater is what we use for drinking and irrigation, and it’s mostly freshwater. But below that are vast reservoirs of brine, some of it hundreds of millions to more than a billion years old, locked away in the rocks. The question was: How much is there? … ”  Read more from PhysOrg here: New estimate makes groundwater, not ice sheets, largest water reservoir on land

The U.S. just had its hottest summer on record

“The United States had its hottest summer on record this year, narrowly edging out the previous milestone that was set 85 years ago during the Dust Bowl.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday that the average temperature this summer for the contiguous U.S. was 74 degrees Fahrenheit, or 2.6 degrees warmer than the long-term average. The heat record caps off a season full of extremes, with parts of the country experiencing persistent drought, wildfires, record-breaking heat waves, hurricanes and other extreme weather exacerbated by climate change. … ”  Read more from NBC News here: The U.S. just had its hottest summer on record

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Precipitation watch …

The Natural Resources Conservation Service produces this weekly report using data and products from the National Water and Climate Center and other agencies. The report focuses on seasonal snowpack, precipitation, temperature, and drought conditions in the U.S.

dmrpt-20210909

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Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

DETLA eNEWS: ~~ CWC Meeting~ ISB Meeting~ DPC Meeting~ Route Closure~~

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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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