DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: Critically low flows prompt emergency curtailment orders for Scott, Shasta Rivers with more curtailments in the works; Study finds no elevated risk from food grown with oil field produced water; Could we use floods to prevent forest fires?; and more …

In California water news this weekend …

Critically low flows prompt emergency curtailment orders for Scott, Shasta Rivers; More curtailments in the works

With record low flows in the Scott and Shasta Rivers threatening the survival of multiple fish species, the State Water Resources Control Board today ordered right holders to stop diverting water to ensure supplies for human health and livestock needs and to protect fish.  [Friday]’s orders follow the emergency regulation adopted by the State Water Board on August 17, in response to acute water shortages, which took effect August 30. The curtailment orders today were sent to approximately 2,380 water right holders in the Scott and Shasta River watersheds. … ”  Continue reading this press release from Maven’s Notebook here: Critically low flows prompt emergency curtailment orders for Scott, Shasta Rivers; More curtailments in the works

Study finds local oil field wastewater safe for use in irrigation

Central Valley water-quality regulators released a final report Friday concluding oil field wastewater from central Kern County, when blended with other water sources, can safely be used to irrigate a variety of locally grown crops.  The report, based on five years’ work and incomplete in some respects, found no evidence of risks to human health from watering tree nuts, citrus, berries, tubers and other ag products with the saline water that comes up from the ground along with oil and which contains small concentrations of toxic chemicals. … ”  Read more from the Bakersfield Californian here: Study finds local oil field wastewater safe for use in irrigation

Study finds no elevated risk from food grown with oil field produced water

A five-year study of potential impacts to human health from consuming crops irrigated with produced water from oil fields in comparison to conventional irrigation sources has concluded that produced water creates no identifiable increased health risks.  Spearheaded by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (Board), the study was undertaken as part of the board’s Food Safety Project and is now compiled in a 37-page white paper available to the public. The Board announced the findings in February of this year and soliticited public comments for 30 days. The final version of the paper takes that public input into consideration. … ”

Click here to read the full press release from the State Water Board.

Could we use floods to prevent forest fires?

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden toured the devastation from Hurricane Ida in New York and New Jersey, speaking about the dire effects of climate change witnessed by everyone there: “The threat is here. It’s not going to get any better. The question is: Can it get worse?” Across the world, the answer seems to be yes: Extreme heat that’s been strengthened by a warming planet continues to sap up needed water, fueling droughts, while the atmosphere spits this water back out in the form of supercharged, fatal storms. This leaves our water systems and weather patterns highly unbalanced, which will lead to further—and yes, worse—damage in the future.  But could we somehow even it out again, perhaps by using the floods themselves to fix the things they break? Could we, say, corral the waters that flooded Tennessee farms, New York City subway tracks, and Californian forests and dump them on the parched land that’s fueling the Caldor and Dixie fires? … ”  Read more from Slate here: Could we use floods to prevent forest fires?

Rain helps in California firefight, lightning sparks others

Thunderstorms that dropped light rain gave some breathing room to crews struggling to quench California’s massive wildfires but lightning sparked several new blazes in the drought-stricken north, fire officials said.  The storms that rolled through Thursday night into Friday were followed by weekend forecasts of clear weather and a warming trend in fire areas into next week.  The National Weather Service said there were more than 1,100 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes in California between Thursday evening and Friday morning. Fire officials said lightning strikes ignited at least 17 fires. … ”  Read more from the AP here: Rain helps in California fire fight, lightning sparks others

Harder, U.S. Interior Secretary pledge local investments in water infrastructure

Representative Josh Harder, D-Turlock, was joined by Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland to discuss the drought and water conservation this week. Harder and Haaland both pledged to find solutions to help the Central Valley navigate through the drought.  “The department recognizes the hardships that the drought has presented to all of our communities, including the communities in the Central Valley,” Haaland said. “And Interior is committed to working with you, Representative Harder, and of course, every single one of your colleagues to make it through this water year and to find a sustainable path forward.”  Harder stressed the importance of developing short-term and long-term strategies to help mitigate current and future water crisis. ... ”  Read more from the Turlock Journal here: Harder, U.S. Interior Secretary pledge local investments in water infrastructure

Record heat approaches Dust Bowl levels: How it is changing life in California

California and several other Western states experienced their hottest summers on record this year.  Warming trends spurred by climate change are fundamentally altering life on the West Coast. Here is a breakdown of what the super-heated summer means … ”  Continue reading at the LA Times here: Record heat approaches Dust Bowl levels: How it is changing life in California

Carbon emissions may skyrocket due to California’s lack of efficiency in water usage

A new report from Next 10 – nonprofit think tank – released Thursday and the Pacific Institute researchers roughly calculated that if water use and demand remain the same in California, population growth implies that urban demand for water could rise by 24% by 2035.  In turn, that could drive up electricity use that is water-related by 21% over that same time duration, and will be accompanied by a 25% increase in natural gas use.  It takes so much energy to keep water flowing and present all over a state as big as California. California’s State Water Project, the delivery system, and the state storage is the single greatest electricity consumer in the state. … ”  Read more from Nature World News here: Carbon emissions may skyrocket due to California’s lack of efficiency in water usage

California gets OK to boost gas power to keep lights on

The Biden administration on Friday issued an emergency order allowing some California natural gas power plants to operate without pollution restrictions to shore up the state’s tight electricity supplies, the U.S. Department of Energy said.  California’s grid operator, the Independent System Operator, had sought the order in a letter earlier this week to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, saying it needed additional power supplies to be able to keep the lights on during extreme heat events.  It was the second year in a row California sought and received such an order from the federal government. ... ”  Read more from the San Bernardino Sun here: California gets OK to boost gas power to keep lights on

Iconic, longstanding Delta restaurant and bar Giusti’s destroyed in afternoon fire

Giusti’s, a popular family-style restaurant and bar in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta for more than 100 years, was destroyed in a fire Thursday afternoon.  KCRA footage showed Giusti’s burned well beyond repair. The fire began near a basement propane water heater around 3 p.m., owner Mark Morais told the TV news outlet. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: Iconic, longstanding Delta restaurant and bar Giusti’s destroyed in afternoon fire

U.S. EPA, CalEPA launch joint effort to strengthen environmental enforcement in communities overburdened by pollution

Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 (EPA) and the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) signed a five-year, first-of-its-kind Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to expand joint activities supporting the agencies’ shared goals of reducing pollution burdens, increasing environmental compliance, and improving public health outcomes in overburdened California communities.  EPA Pacific Southwest Acting Regional Administrator Deborah Jordan and CalEPA Secretary Jared Blumenfeld signed the agreement at the Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in West Oakland, in front of a small group of EPA representatives, CalEPA staff, and members of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project community organization.  The MOU creates a framework for a partnership between the two agencies and expands collaborative activities related to enforcement, inspections, compliance assistance, communication, community engagement, and training to benefit public health and the environment in overburdened communities. … ”  Read more from the US EPA here: U.S. EPA, CalEPA launch joint effort to strengthen environmental enforcement in communities overburdened by pollution

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In people news this weekend …

Sen. John Laird joins Coastal Conservancy board

State Sen. John Laird, the former Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, has been appointed to a state agency charged with protecting and improving natural coastal lands.  Laird will serve as one of six non-voting representatives of the state legislature to the Coastal Conservancy, after his appointment Wednesday by Senate Pro Tempore Toni Atkins. Laird, joining local Assemblymember Mark Stone, of Scotts Valley, on the agency board, will provide legislative oversight and participate in conservancy activities and fills the vacancy left by his predecessor, State Sen. Bill Monning. … ”  Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here: Sen. John Laird joins Coastal Conservancy board

DWR’s Ted Sommer to retire

A few months before his retirement in October 2021, Ariel Rubissow Okamoto asked Ted Sommer, lead scientist for the California Department of Water Resources, to reflect on his accomplishments and hopes for the future. Sommer is a leading researcher on native fishes, and has published more than 60 research articles in peer-reviewed scientific publications since 2001. Sommer began his long career at DWR in 1991 under Dr. Randy Brown. Early on he founded the Feather River fish monitoring program, but his work moved progressively downstream to the Bay-Delta, where he has also helped manage the Interagency Ecological Program since the late 1990s. … ”  Continue reading at Estuary News here: DWR’s Ted Sommer to retire

James Gilbert honored for work in UCSC-NOAA Fisheries Collaborative Program

James Gilbert, an associate project scientist in the Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS) at UC Santa Cruz, was recognized by the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) with its Staff of the Quarter award for the third quarter of fiscal year 2021.  Gilbert is affiliated with both UCSC and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) through the UCSC-NOAA Fisheries Collaborative Program (FCP), which brings together UCSC and NOAA scientists to conduct research for the conservation and management of California’s living marine resources. The award recognizes his work as part of the FCP’s Central Valley Salmon project. … ”  Read more from the University of California Santa Cruz here: Researcher honored for work in UCSC-NOAA Fisheries Collaborative Program

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Podcasts …

INGRAINED PODCAST:  Go Time for Harvest and the Wildlife Migration

Even during difficult times like we’ve been experiencing, it helps to look for the positive.  In Sacramento Valley rice country – two positives are unfolding. After a difficult year where drought left 20 percent of fields unplanted, harvest of America’s sushi rice is underway and early reports are favorable.  A second positive is there’s help on the way for the Pacific Flyway – a program that should provide emergency water to support the millions of birds heading to our region’s rice country to rest and refuel. 


DIGGING DEEP PODCAST: Planning for Sacramento’s Next Big Storm

US Army Corps Sacramento District Planning Division Chief Ms. Alicia Kirchner leads one of the largest planning divisions within the USACE enterprise, responsible for providing planning expertise to help identify and solve water resource problems for the district.  Ms. Kirchner joins Digging Deep to help us better understand the need for Sacramento region flood protection projects and the planning team’s role in those projects from their onset. And Ms. Kirchner goes “old school” on her favorite superhero.


ESTUARY VOICES: Sam Schuchat, The Coast Whisperer

Sam Schuchat, executive officer of the California State Coastal Conservancy for twenty years, retired on June 25, 2021. Just before that he shared his insights and reflections on changes in the times and the coast with reporter Ariel Rubissow Okamoto. The 30-minute interview is part of the Estuary Voices series produced by the Estuary News team.


WATER IS A MANY SPLENDOR’ED THING PODCAST: How Much is Too Much 

Steven Baker writes, “Washington Department of Ecology focuses on protecting the natural environment in the state of Washington. A mission of this sort must deal with water in nearly every situation that the department is active. One of the rapidly growing concerns in the state of Washington is the drilling and use of permit exempt wells. Owners of these wells sometimes sidestep the rigorous permits needed to obtain a more formal water right in the state. Water is a Many Splendor’ed Thing brings you another water relationship that has a personally significant impact to your life.”  Produced by Steven Baker, Operation Unite® Bringing People Together to Solve Water Problems, Online at www.operationunite.co


JIVE TALKING: Michael Campana has a lifetime of x-disciplinary wisdom for managing (ground)water

Michael E. Campana is a ‘pracademic’ who, for 45 years, has taught and conducted groundwater research at universities in Nevada, New Mexico and now, Oregon (since 2006). He focuses on Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) & water supply resilience these days but has also broadedned his horizons to include Integrated water resources management and adaptation. He is the founder and CEO of the hydrophilanthropy Ann Campana Judge Foundation that funds/conducts Water and Sanitation projects in Honduras. 


WATERLOOP PODCAST: Inside the Waters of the U.S. with Ken Kopocis and Dave Ross

The scope of waters covered by the federal Clean Water Act – called Waters of the U.S. – is one of the most complex, controversial, and contentious issues in environmental policy. Waters of the U.S. has been the focus of Supreme Court rulings, lobbying and litigation by stakeholders, and rulemakings by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Obama and Trump administrations. The history is explained in this episode with Ken Kopocis, the head of water at EPA under President Obama, and Dave Ross, the head of water at EPA under President Trump and now a partner at Troutman Pepper.  Ken and Dave discuss the difficulty of defining Waters of the U.S., misconceptions and distortions of their respective rulemakings, their approach to working with stakeholders, the influence of politics on the issue, and if there could ever be a compromise.

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In regional water news this weekend …

Tensions over use of Klamath River basin’s water were magnified by drought

Many rely on the Klamath River Basin on the California border, especially with the historic drought in the West. Things got heated this summer between the area’s tribes and ranchers.  Over the past week, our colleagues over at The Indicator have been reporting on the historic drought in the West. They spent some time with ranchers on the front lines, including the Klamath River Basin. Sally Herships and Ashley Ahearn report. … ”  Read or listen from NPR’s All Things Considered here: Tensions over use of Klamath River basin’s water were magnified by draught

Federal judge grants stay in water transport lawsuit, temporarily reversing Siskiyou County ordinances

A federal judge in California has granted a stay in the lawsuit filed by the Hmong community in Siskiyou County.  Multiple Hmong community members sued the county following ordinances issued in May that prohibited the transportation of water on certain county roads surrounding the Mt. Shasta Vista subdivision, which is a predominately Asian community.  The court-ordered stay allows for transportation of water needed for survival while the lawsuit moves forward. Water transport for illegal marijuana is still prohibited under the court order. … ”  Continue reading from Channel 12 here: Federal judge grants stay in water transport lawsuit, temporarily reversing Siskiyou County ordinances

Drought forces closure of Shasta Valley Wildlife Area to waterfowl hunting; other northeastern waterfowl properties impacted by water shortages

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has announced that the Shasta Valley Wildlife Area in Siskiyou County will be closed to waterfowl hunting for the entirety of the 2021-22 season as a result of lost wetlands and waterfowl habitat due to drought conditions.  The Northeastern Zone waterfowl season runs from October 2, 2021, through January 12, 2022. The closure includes the preseason Northeastern Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days scheduled for September 18-19, 2021, and the postseason Veterans and Active Military Personnel Waterfowl Hunting Days scheduled for January 15-16, 2022.  The 4,700-acre Shasta Valley Wildlife Area typically provides important seasonal wetlands for migrating waterfowl supplied by three reservoirs on the property. … ”  Read more from the Department of Fish and Wildlife here: Drought forces closure of Shasta Valley Wildlife Area to waterfowl hunting; other northeastern waterfowl properties impacted by water shortages

Here’s how agencies will use $14 million in Shasta County to reduce the wildfire threat

Forest thinning projects in eastern Shasta County are once again getting top priority from California officials who want to reduce fire danger and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.  State officials have awarded nearly $14 million in grants to clear thousands of acres of overgrown forest areas around Shingletown and Whitmore, according to leaders with the Lassen, Shasta County and Shingletown Fire Safe Councils.  The Lassen Fire Safe Council will receive $8.9 million. That money will be used to do forest thinning work on some 15,000 acres around Shingletown, Inwood, Viola and Manton, according to a news release from the Lassen Fire Safe Council. … ”  Read more from the Redding Record Searchlight here: Here’s how agencies will use $14 million in Shasta County to reduce the wildfire threat

Sacramento: Ancil Hoffman Habitat Project is underway

With permits in hand, construction is now fully underway on the Water Forum’s Habitat Restoration Project at Ancil Hoffman Park.  Teams finished surveying the site to mark grading limits and elevations for the future spawning and rearing alcove areas. This week, they are making significant progress excavating the alcove, which will provide a protected place for young salmon and steelhead to find food and grow. Crews also started sorting rock and gravel into the size that salmonids prefer. And, early next week, equipment will begin to place gravel and cobble into the river to enhance spawning habitat adjacent to the rearing area.”  Find out more about the Ancil Hoffman Habitat Project from the Water Forum here:  Big Trucks for Baby Fish

Water agency official hopeful about Woodland’s water supply during drought

With the daunting events that have occurred in the last year or so, it seems fitting that California would be facing one of the worst droughts in its history while also dealing with the aftermath of some of its worst wildfires.  However, according to Tim Busch, general manager of the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency, Woodland has little to nothing to worry about in regards to its water supply.  Busch recently delivered a presentation to the Woodland Chamber of Commerce addressing some frequently asked questions while also explaining where Woodland’s water usage has been coming from this year. He started by addressing the severity of the drought and the impact it’s had on reservoirs. … ”  Read more from the Woodland Daily Democrat here: Water agency official hopeful about Woodland’s water supply during drought

How much water are Marin golf courses using?

As Marin residents are asked to watch their lawns dry out amid a historic drought, attention can naturally turn to the acres of turf at local golf courses.  It begs the question: how much water do they use?  Four of the seven golf courses in Marin rely on local reservoir supplies for irrigation and are required to cut their water use by as much as 40% compared to 2020 as the county faces what may become its worst drought on record. The courses have so far complied with or exceeded mandated conservation levels, according to local water districts.  “From my interpretation of what they’re doing and their conservation, they want to be part of the community and part of the solution,” said Carrie Pollard, Marin Municipal Water District water efficiency manager. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: How much water are Marin golf courses using?

Proposed agreement would commit $600 million to expand San Francisco’s sewer capacity and reduce overflows

The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board is proposing an agreement with the City and County of San Francisco that would require a $600 million investment to expand the capacity of sewer systems in three lowlying neighborhoods. Sewer overflows in these areas occur frequently after heavy rainstorms, posing risks to human health and groundwater quality.   With an estimated completion date of 2029, the projects outlined in the agreement, or stipulated cleanup and abatement order, would address combined sewer system issues in three neighborhoods hardest hit by overflows and flooding: 1) the Mission near 17th and Folsom streets, 2) Bernal Heights along Alemany Boulevard, and; 3) West Portal near 15th Avenue and Wawona Street. “This is a major step forward for San Francisco,” said Michael Montgomery, Executive Officer of the San Francisco Bay Water Board. ... ”  Continue reading this press release from the State Water Board here: Proposed agreement would commit $600 million to expand San Francisco’s sewer capacity and reduce overflows

Commentary: Protect Bay Area shorelines for future generations

I grew up in the Bay Area, and our state’s golden coasts, beaches and cliffs were a pillar of my upbringing. However, at the same time that I kayaked in the bay, built sandcastles on the beach and enjoyed local seafood, I also witnessed wildfires that washed toxins into our ocean, rising seas that threatened cities like mine, and intense flooding paired with extreme drought.  It’s clear the climate crisis is washing away an integral piece of our California life. Sea level rise, coastal flooding and erosion pose major threats to our state — where nearly 85% of people live and work in coastal counties such as San Francisco.  Left unchecked, the climate crisis jeopardizes our health, homes, safety and economy. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: Commentary: Protect Bay Area shorelines for future generations

Palo Alto only jurisdiction meeting South Bay water reduction goals

As of July, just one Santa Clara County jurisdiction was meeting the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s goal of reducing water use by 15 percent from 2019 levels after declaring a drought emergency earlier this summer.  Only Stanford University has cut water usage by 15 percent between July 2019 and July 2021, according to a report by the Mercury News. Overall, water use throughout the county fell by 6 percent, well short of the target. … ”  Read more from the Patch here: Palo Alto only jurisdiction meeting South Bay water reduction goals

Fresno County towns with no drinking water drown in debt while hope fades for new well

“The longer it takes for two new wells to be dug in Cantua Creek and El Porvenir in western Fresno County, the deeper in debt the towns are mired.  Now, with the drought, those well projects are in a race against dropping groundwater levels as farmers, cut off from surface water supplies, are leaning more heavily on the aquifer.  The well projects started in 2018 and aren’t scheduled to be completed until sometime next year. … ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here: Fresno County towns with no drinking water drown in debt while hope fades for new well

Nacimiento reservoir low but officials say San Luis Obispo remains water-secure

Officials say the City of San Luis Obispo is water-secure for now, despite several years of drought conditions.  The City of San Luis Obispo relies on water from Santa Margarita Lake, Whale Rock Reservoir and Nacimiento Reservoir.  Mychal Boerman is Deputy Director of Water for the city. He said Nacimiento’s water capacity is at 13 percent, due to low rainfall years and continuous use of the reservoir for Salinas Valley farming. … ”  Continue reading at KCBX here: Nacimiento reservoir low but officials say San Luis Obispo remains water-secure

Santa Barbara’s bird refuge water level drops, revealing another sign of the ongoing drought

You only need to take a walk or a drive by the Andree Clark Bird Refuge in Santa Barbara on Cabrillo Boulevard to see how tiny the rainfall-runoff has been this year. The shores are longer and deeper than normal. The undergrowth smells. The appearance is dismal.  “I think it’s pretty bad, yea,” said Bela Taron on a walk with her dog Teddy. … ”  Read more from KEYT here: Santa Barbara’s bird refuge water level drops, revealing another sign of the ongoing drought

Pomona wins $48 million in groundwater pollution case

A federal jury awarded the city of Pomona $48 million in damages to be paid by a foreign corporation for contaminating its groundwater with a toxic chemical mixed with fertilizer and sold to citrus farmers for decades.  On Sept. 7, the city won its case against the American subsidiary of a multi-billion dollar Chilean company, Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile, known as SQM. The case, which began in 2011, bounced between courts until the city won after presenting its full argument recently in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. … ”  Read more from the Daily Bulletin here:  Pomona wins $48 million in groundwater pollution case

Here’s how Upland and Rancho Cucamonga could gain influence over neighboring forest lands

With redistricting underway, a push is on to link the western part of the San Bernardino National Forest with adjacent foothill communities that are forced to deal with overflowing forest issues such as trail access, water management, wildfires, traffic and vandalism.  But making a formal connection in Congress between the communities of Upland and Rancho Cucamonga with the vast federal forest lands north of their borders is not as easy as tying a knot.  Because the 2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission must account for voting rights of minority communities, keeping districts equal in population and other factors, requiring one member of Congress to represent the adjacent forest along with nearby foothill cities doesn’t always match up. … ”  Read more from the San Bernardino Sun here: Here’s how Upland and Rancho Cucamonga could gain influence over neighboring forest lands

Santa Margarita River wildlife milestone – fish passage for endangered steelhead

The Santa Margarita River in northern San Diego County is a high priority river for endangered steelhead recovery and has just met a major milestone in recovering this iconic species on the brink of extinction. CalTrout was recently awarded a grant from the California Natural Resources Agency to replace an aging concrete flood-prone river crossing near Fallbrook with a new steel bridge. Nearly $6 million was secured from this funding program, completing the 18 million dollars needed for Project construction. ... ”  Read more from Cal Trout here: Santa Margarita River wildlife milestone – fish passage for endangered steelhead

Along the Colorado River …

Here’s what’s in the $1T infrastructure package for Western water

A $1 trillion infrastructure bill that received bipartisan support in the Senate last month includes billions of dollars for Western water projects and programs.  The Biden administration has called the infrastructure bill, which includes $8.3 billion for Western water infrastructure, “the largest investment in the resilience of physical and natural systems in American history.”  Of the $8.3 billion dedicated to Western water, $450 million is set aside for a competitive grant program to fund large-scale projects that advance water recycling. …”  Read more from the Las Vegas Review Journal here: Here’s what’s in the $1T infrastructure package for Western water

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 Aspen Public Radio here: With water dwindling in the Southwest, Arizona plans for coming restrictions

Federal agencies are ready to loosen protections on certain fish native to the Colorado River

The razorback sucker fish could be downlisted from an endangered species to threatened in the next year or so, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This week, environmental groups sent the agency a letter in opposition to the move.  The letter argues the razorback sucker is still in trouble, despite recoveries it’s made in the last 30 years, which is when it was first listed as federally endangered. The fish is native to the Colorado River, which is facing historic shortages due to the west’s megadrought. … ”  Read more from KUER here: Federal agencies are ready to loosen protections on certain fish native to the Colorado River

In national water news this weekend …

Are ‘water positive’ pledges from tech companies just a new kind of greenwashing?

Corporate America is making a new kind of climate pledge. In recent months, multiple tech giants have pledged to use their reach and resources to join the fight for water conservation. Facebook made an announcement at the end of August declaring their efforts to “be water positive by 2030.” And just this week, Google made a similar announcement to make its data centers more efficient and support water security in the communities it operates in.  Google, Facebook, and several other companies have promised to put more water back into the environment than they pipe in—an exchange they call “water positive.” This means they plan to cut the amount of water needed to run their facilities, while protecting natural waterways and preserving access to clean drinking water in drought-prone areas. The math is based on the number of gallons they want to restore, not newly produced H2O. Both Facebook and Google have also promised to share their conservation research and tech with others. … ”  Read more from Popular Science here: Are ‘water positive’ pledges from tech companies just a new kind of greenwashing?

How to effectively show climate change in 25 images

Wildfires have decimated parts of Canada and the Pacific Northwest. Deadly floods struck the subways of Zhengzhou and London. Climate change is wreaking havoc on millions of people around the world. … Visual images have a critically important role to play in engaging and informing the public about the problem and its solutions. That’s, in part, because the human brain is incredibly fast and efficient at processing visual information, which aids learning.  But it’s also because, for climate change in particular, visual imagery adds concrete detail and context to an issue that often feels distant in time and space. Strong visuals of the causes, impacts, and solutions to climate change can give the issue meaning and help people understand how and why it’s affecting our daily lives and what we can do about it.  But, how can you tell which images are most effective? … ”  Read more from Yale Climate Connections here: How to effectively show climate change in 25 images

Also on Maven’s Notebook this weekend …

THIS JUST IN … Critically low flows prompt emergency curtailment orders for Scott, Shasta Rivers; More curtailments in the works …

NOTICE: Consideration of a Drought-Related Emergency Regulation for Curtailment of Diversions in Mill Creek and Deer Creek Watersheds

NOTICE: Update on Curtailment Status of Water Rights and Claims in the Delta Watershed

NOTICE: Status Conference Ruling and Notice of Status Conference for Nevada Irrigation District and South Sutter Water District water right application

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: North Coast Coho Recovery PSN Pre-Application Workshop Recording and Presentation Available

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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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