DAILY DIGEST, 9/21: How the San Francisco Giants are paving the way for water conservation in sports; What are the solutions to CA water crisis?; Plug Power will make hydrogen from water in CA drought; Water Markets: Broadening the water governance toolkit; and more …


On the calendar today …

  • The State Water Resources Control Board meets at 9am.  Agenda items include an update on the drought, consideration of approval of the 2020 Safe Drinking Water Plan, consideration of adoption of guidelines for wastewater and water arrearage payment program; and consideration of approval of amendments to the Los Angeles Water Quality Control Plan. Click here for the full agenda.
  • TOWNHALL: Climate Change, Environmental Stewardship & the Drought Town Hall, hosted by Senator Bill Dodd, 6pm.  Watch livestream here.

In California water news today …

How the San Francisco Giants are paving the way for water conservation in sports

Have you ever thought about how much water it takes to power one major sporting event? Think about all of those toilet flushes, those beers, the grass irrigation and the concession stands. That’s a ton of water. But one Major League Baseball team, the San Francisco Giants, has figured out how to cut that way back.  But it wasn’t by choice, per se. … “We knew this was a moment that would create change for our industry as well as the county and the state and everyone else,” said Greg Elliott, the director of operations for the San Francisco Giants. ...”  Read the full story at NBC Washington here: How one MLB team is paving the way for water conservation in sports

California’s water crisis is real. What are the solutions?

In California, there will always be droughts. And even in good years, there will never be quite enough water to satisfy the demands of the state’s urban population, its natural environment and an insatiable $50 billion agriculture industry. Climate change has only made the problems worse. … The potential remedies for the state’s many drought-related problems come from all directions and are far more complicated than simply throwing money at major capital investment. As beneficial as new water infrastructure would be (while also creating thousands of new jobs), water experts say it must be part of a larger effort that includes better management of existing water supply, with rainwater harvesting, recycled water and changes to outdoor landscaping and farming. … ”  Read more from Capital and Main here: California’s water crisis is real. What are the solutions?

E. Joaquin Esquivel confirmed to second term on California’s State Water Board

The California State Senate has confirmed Chair E. Joaquin Esquivel for a second four-year term on the five-member State Water Resources Control Board, the California agency responsible for protecting the state’s water quality and water supplies.   Esquivel was first appointed to the State Water Board’s public seat by Governor Jerry Brown in March 2017, designated by Governor Gavin Newsom as its Chair in February 2019, and reappointed to a second term in July 2020. His Senate confirmation extends his tenure to January 15, 2025. ... ”

Click here to read the full press release.

Plug Power will make hydrogen from water in California drought

Plug Power Inc. plans to make green hydrogen from waste water in drought-stricken California, a potential model for producing the clean-burning fuel at a time when clean water is in short supply.  The facility in Fresno County, announced Monday, will take recycled water from a new wastewater treatment plant and strip hydrogen from it, while the remainder goes to a nearby community. The plant will produce 30 metric tons of hydrogen each day, using electrolyzers to break water into hydrogen and oxygen, with power from a 300-megawatt solar farm, Plug Power said. … ”  Read more from Yahoo News here: Plug Power will make hydrogen from water in California drought

How Southern California scientists are working to stay ahead of dangerous toxic algae outbreaks

The use of genomics is critical to help build strategies of resilience in our global response to climate change. In honor of Climate Week, we’re highlighting the important work of algae biologists at Southern California Coastal Water Research Project who are using genomics to monitor toxic blooms. Getting more frequent sequencing data from algae can help officials warn the public of impending blooms and offer valuable information on how to prevent them in the first place.  This was a summer of unprecedented heat and runaway algae. At hundreds of beaches, lakes, and rivers across the US, the public was greeted by signs like this one at Hensley Lake in northern California: “Harmful algae may be present in this water.” … ”  Read more from Yahoo News here: How Southern California scientists are working to stay ahead of dangerous outbreaks

Water Markets: Broadening the water governance toolkit

There is increasing interest in introducing water markets as a way to manage water resources and water use. Marketisation of water follows a global trend of letting market forces determine how to best distribute goods or services. But water is both an essential element for all life and a scarce resource, which means water markets need to be very well governed and administered to meet competing needs. For this reason, Nadeem Samnakay believes, they need much more rigour in their governance arrangements than other market-based approaches to managing the environment. Here he identifies some reasons for a cautious approach to establishing water markets using the Murray-Darling Basin as an example.”  Read the article at the Global Water Forum here: Water Markets: Broadening the water governance toolkit

We can grow coffee in California. But should we?

San Diego farmer Chris Bailey has had to think long and hard about how to sustain his family’s 40-acre citrus and avocado farm into the future. … A drought in 2015 forced Bailey to cut his farm’s water usage by 25 percent. Since then, he’s tried to find ways to adapt to a future of scarce water with a sky-high price tag. One potential solution in his toolbox: the 10 acres of sprouting Geisha and Catuai Rojo coffee trees he planted two years ago. The trees, which he says require the same amount of water as his avocados, will mature over the next two to three years before producing coffee beans he hopes to sell at a premium to help offset some of his irrigation costs. … ” Continue reading at Civil Eats here: We can grow coffee in California. But should we?

Developing rural water leaders as drought and water scarcity intensify

An immigrant who left Mexico when he was young to make a new life in California. The owner of a small family farm who grew up in the Central Valley. A water utility operator who served in the Navy.  These are among the diverse participants who graduated at the end of July from our fourth cohort of the Water Leadership Institute, a program developed to help rural communities more effectively participate in water decision-making and policy.  EDF partnered with the Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) and Self Help Enterprises six years ago, after passage of California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), to develop the Water Leadership Institute. The West Turlock Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) joined forces with EDF and RCAC to bring the institute to Stanislaus County for this fourth installment, which was hosted online due to COVID-19. … ”  Read more from the Environmental Defense Fund here: Developing rural water leaders as drought and water scarcity intensify

Delta ISB votes Dr. Lisa Wainger as Chair-elect

At its September 16, 2021 meeting, the Delta Independent Science Board voted Dr. Lisa Wainger from its existing membership as chair-elect. This position has been vacant since May 2020. Dr. Wainger’s chair-elect duties begin immediately.  She will assume chair duties in September 2022. In addition to serving on the Delta ISB since September 2020, Dr. Wainger is also a research professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science where she focuses on the optimal design of environmental restoration investments using a suite of ecological and economic models to evaluate costs, benefits, and risks and to identify incentive changes that could motivate action. … ”  Continue reading this press release from the Delta Stewardship Council here: Delta ISB votes Dr. Lisa Wainger as Chair-elect

New Stanford research looks to lower the high cost of desalination

Removing salt and other impurities from sea-, ground- and wastewater could solve the world’s looming freshwater crisis.  And yet, while industrial-scale seawater desalination plants do exist in coastal areas where the freshwater challenge is most acute, the process of making undrinkable water drinkable is largely out of reach for inland water sources due to the high cost of concentrate disposal.  “When we desalinate water, we are left with a pure water stream and a concentrated waste stream. Inland brackish water and wastewater desalination plants are costly to build and to operate because we don’t have easy disposal options for the concentrate stream,” said Meagan Mauter, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford. … It is not for lack of trying, however, added Mauter, who in her newest paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences introduces a suite of new analytic methods that could help desalination engineers weigh the many technical and financial factors that go into building a desalination plant. ... ”  Read more from Stanford News here: New research looks to lower the high cost of desalination

New climate change problems predicted for coastal cities

California Coastal Commission staff presented two important items regarding sea level rise in coastal cities like Malibu at the commission’s September meeting last week.  The commission is urging local communities to get proactive in planning how they are going to deal with sea level rise and adapt to its effects on infrastructure like roads, wastewater systems and stormwater drainage. Some of these changes and the funding for them need to be planned out years in advance.  To that end, the commission has released a draft version of what is basically a handbook for local governments to use in developing their own guidelines and policies. The 224-page document— “Critical Infrastructure at Risk—Sea Level Rise Planning Guidance for California’s Coastal Zone”—was made public on Aug. 16. Comments are still being collected through Sept. 24. … ”  Read more from the Malibu Times here: New climate change problems predicted for coastal cities

A hotter climate means falling trees — and more power outages

Power outages are a growing problem in a hotter climate, and it’s not just from bigger storms. Rising temperatures are also damaging trees, making them more likely to fall on power lines.  Storms this year have caused massive blackouts, showing just how challenging and dangerous life can get when people lose electricity. It’s not just big storms driving outages. Hotter temperatures are also damaging trees, making them more likely to fall on power lines. Julia Simon reports. … ”  Continue reading or listen at Capital Radio here: A hotter climate means falling trees — and more power outages

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In commentary today …

Agencies planning a disaster for CA salmon if 2022 is dry

Doug Obegi, Director of California River Restoration for the NRDC, writes, “If next year is dry in California, modeling from the Bureau of Reclamation (linked here, dated July 6, 2021) shows that Shasta Reservoir would store nearly 750,000 acre feet less water in April 2022 than it did in April 2014 – a year that was an unmitigated disaster for fish and wildlife.  The operations presented in Reclamation’s modeling could lead to extinction for winter-run Chinook salmon and other threatened and endangered fish populations if next year is dry. But that outcome is not inevitable, as the modeled results are the combination of dry hydrology with unsustainable water allocations by the CVP and SWP, particularly water allocations for the projects’ settlement and exchange contractors.  Now is the time for the State Water Board to take action to ensure that if 2022 is dry, we do not repeat the disaster for fish and wildlife that was 2014 (or the disaster that is 2021). ... ”  Read more from the NRDC here: Agencies planning a disaster for CA salmon if 2022 is dry

Cattle are not destroying the environment

Colorado rancher Jen Johnson Livsey writes, “Over the past several months, drought and wildfires have dominated the news cycle in the west. The Colorado River was recently declared to be at its lowest since the 1930s and another record-breaking fire season has blanketed dozens of states in devastation and smoke. And yet again, beef is being portrayed as the culprit driving climate change and these extreme weather events. It would be convenient if the solution to climate change were as simple as eliminating beef. But it’s not.  Though methane may drive headlines, beef cattle only account for 2% of greenhouse gases in the U.S., according to the EPA. In fact, the U.S. has had the lowest GHG emissions from beef since the 90s. So, if cattle aren’t ruining the environment, can they actually benefit it? … ”  Continue reading at the Denver Post here: Cattle are not destroying the environment

Why California’s congressional delegation must lead on infrastructure bill

San Joaquin Valley farmers Dan Errotabere and John Monroe write, “With the House of Representatives back in session, we are pleased that one of the first items on its agenda will be consideration of the bipartisan infrastructure bill approved by the Senate last month.  We hope our congressional representatives used their summer break to experience firsthand the desperate situation all Californians face. Wildfires threaten communities, homes and lives; devastating drought is hurting businesses, the environment and the farms Californians count on to grow healthy food. … ”  Read more from Cal Matters here: Why California’s congressional delegation must lead on infrastructure bill

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In regional water news and commentary today …

Crescent City Harbor’s dredge dilemma: Disposal of nearly a decades’ worth of material stands in way of permit

Crescent City Harbor officials are exploring different options, including obtaining emergency permits, to solve a long-standing problem — how to dispose of nearly 10 years of accumulated fine silt and soil in its dredge ponds.  The topic has been a regular item on Harbor District meeting agendas since July 20, but the district has had an open application for a dredge permit with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under consideration for about six years, Harbormaster Tim Petrick told the Wild Rivers Outpost.  The only holdup has been finding a viable disposal site for the material the Harbor District’s dredge ponds have housed since 2013, he said. … ”  Read more from the Lost Coast Outpost here: Crescent City Harbor’s dredge dilemma: Disposal of nearly a decades’ worth of material stands in way of permit

‘Bone dry’: South Fork disconnected from Eel River for first time in modern history

For the first time in modern history, worsening drought conditions and poor forest management have caused the South Fork Eel River to run dry and disconnect from the mainstem Eel River, according to a local organization that monitors the river.  Eel River Recovery Project executive director Patrick Higgins checked U.S. Geological Survey flow gauges ahead of Saturday’s rains and found the river bed was mostly dry below U.S. Highway 101 at Dyerville in Southern Humboldt County.  “Since we’re at the end of the two-year drought cycle and many of the flow gauges in the Eel River are presently setting record lows, I thought I should get out and take a look around,” Higgins told the Times-Standard. … ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here: ‘Bone dry’: South Fork disconnected from Eel River for first time in modern history

What’s the most sustainable way to manage the Ukiah Valley Basin’s groundwater? Get more data

A recently formed local agency tasked by the state with figuring out how to sustainably manage Ukiah Valley Basin’s groundwater for the next 20 years has come up with a draft sustainability plan.  To see a copy of the plan, click here. Anyone interested in finding out more about the plan and review process should attend an informational meeting from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Todd Grove Park at 600 Live Oak Ave. in Ukiah.  The draft Ukiah Valley Groundwater Sustainability Plan (Ukiah GSP), which is open for public comment until this Friday, Sept. 24, essentially states that currently available data is incomplete, and the agency will need to continue refining the document as more data are collected. ... ”  Read more from the Mendocino Voice here: What’s the most sustainable way to manage the Ukiah Valley Basin’s groundwater? Get more data

El Dorado Irrigation District: Future planning shows lower water demand

In 2013 the El Dorado Irrigation District Board of Directors adopted an Integrated Water Resources Master Plan, since updated in 2015 and 2020. Meanwhile water demand has declined since 2013.  Three factors affected that: 1. New conservation trends; 2. The 2014-16 drought; 3. Slower development growth.  In 2013 the master plan predicted water demand of 50,000-59,000 acre-feet of water. However, the most current estimate for 2025 is 34,740 acre-feet of demand.  “The new demand projections would significantly defer the need for large new capital projects needed for growth, such as the White Rock facilities and new treatment plant,” states the review document provided the board. … ”  Read more from the Mountain Democrat here: El Dorado Irrigation District: Future planning shows lower water demand

Dry and failing wells in Tuolumne County are a sign of drought’s severity

Terry Carney, 71, showed the head of his well Thursday and said it dried up about two weeks after the July 9 magnitude 6.0 earthquake that struck near Walker, Nevada and was felt by people up and down the Sierra Nevada and as far west as the Bay Area.  Carney’s well is one of more than a dozen that have dried up so far this year in Tuolumne County, in addition to at least 19 other wells that are failing but have not yet dried up, according to county staff.  The county had a combined total of 75 confirmed well failures during recent previous drought years in 2014 and 2015. … ”  Read more from the Union Democrat here: Dry and failing wells in Tuolumne County are a sign of drought’s severity

Sacramento: Drought report offers sobering assessment and call to action

The Water Forum has been working closely with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to coordinate a response to drought conditions and reduce impacts to regional water supplies and the health of the Lower American River.  We recently welcomed Kristin White, Operations Manager for Reclamation’s Central Valley Project, to provide an update on drought conditions in California and across the Western United States at the Water Forum Drought Plenary. What she shared was both stark and sobering. It was a glimpse into the problems facing federal and state water managers during this extraordinarily challenging water year.  And she also offered a call to action—a role for all of us to play in reducing water use—as federal and state agencies continue their work to prepare for potentially devastating water supply conditions that could result from continued drought in 2022.  Here are some of the key points Kristin shared during her presentation. … ”  Read more from the Water Forum here: Sacramento: Drought report offers sobering assessment and call to action

Sonoma County farmers feel widespread economic pain of drought and prolonged pandemic

The past few years have been rough for Sonoma County’s farmers and agricultural workforce. Wildfires, the COVID pandemic and crushing drought have made the process of shepherding a crop to maturity daunting – but so far, not impossible.  “We’re close to wrapping up,” said Cameron Mauritson, a partner at Mauritson Farms. Mauritson cultivates about 500 acres of premium wine grapes in the Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley and the Rockpile viticultural region near Lake Sonoma. Yields for 2021 are down 15 to 30%, Mauritson said, but the quality is superb.  Unlike last year, there’s less fear of “smoke tainted” fruit due to wildfires.  That said, water – or the lack of it – weighed heavily on growers’ minds this year, particularly for grape growers along the Russian River, where severe irrigation strictures have been enforced, curtailing stream water rights that stretch back decades. … ”  Read more from the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat here: Sonoma County farmers feel widespread economic pain of drought and prolonged pandemic

Drought takes a toll on Napa County wildlife

A deep two-year drought is posing challenges in Napa County not only for humans but also for wildlife.  Wildlife from birds to bears needs water to drink. Aquatic life such as the Chinook salmon and steelhead trout live in water — and this summer there’s a lot less than usual. Forget about mere “drought” or even “severe drought” or “extreme drought” — any of these would be an improvement. The current U.S. Drought Monitor has the county in the direst of situations, “exceptional drought.” … ”  Read more from the Napa Register here: Drought takes a toll on Napa County wildlife

Marin, Saudi crown prince eyeing same desalination plants

Marin County water officials are thinking of buying three desalination plants to bolster local supplies, but they’re facing an unlikely competitor — Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.  The Marin Municipal Water District, which might deplete its reservoirs by next summer if the drought continues, had considered renting two portable desalination plants for nearly $30 million from Osmoflo, an Australian company. Last week, the district staff said a third plant has become available and that purchasing them might be less expensive than renting.  However, bin Salman wants the same plants for his controversial, futuristic megacity of Neom on the Red Sea, according to Paul Sellier, the water district’s operations director. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: Marin, Saudi crown prince eyeing same desalination plants

Marin stream conservation ordinance enters public review period

Members of the public are encouraged to give their feedback on the proposed law that would create a buffer zone between San Geronimo Valley waterways and human development in Marin County.  The proposed Stream Conservation Area ordinance aims to protect the San Geronimo Creek Watershed, which is home to endangered coho salmon, steelhead trout, and chinook salmon.  There will be a community workshop with the county Planning Commission on October 5 about the ordinance. … ”  Read more from The Patch here: Marin stream conservation ordinance enters public review period

Court rules against city of Marina in groundwater authority squabble

A recent court ruling has turned away the city of Marina’s insistence that it is the sole authority over a groundwater basin underneath the old CEMEX plant where California American Water Co. wants to construct wells to feed its proposed desalination plant.  Like any water issue along the Monterey Peninsula, or countywide for that matter, the issues can be convoluted and involved numerous parties. This court case was no different. … ”  Read more from the Monterey Herald here: Court rules against city of Marina in groundwater authority squabble

Sea lions in Monterey Bay battle return of deadly disease

More than 220 California sea lions, 73 from Monterey County, have been hit by a kidney infection that can be fatal in the second most severe outbreak in recorded history.  The Marine Mammal Center, whose response range spans from Mendocino to San Luis Obispo County, is scrambling to keep up with the influx of patients. Over those 600 miles of coastline, they’ve seen the most cases of infection in Monterey County. In second is Santa Cruz County, where 38 sea lions have been diagnosed with leptospirosis, a disease spread through urine. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: Sea lions in Monterey Bay battle return of deadly disease

As drought gets worse, some wells will trigger environmental review in Stanislaus County

The courts ruled that Stanislaus County can’t simply give administrative approval for well permits, and the county is now working on policies to decide which well permits will require an environmental review. Amid a rush on well permits during the previous drought in 2014, the county was hit with a lawsuit from Protecting Our Water and Environmental Resources, challenging the county’s rubber-stamping of well applications. The county issued more than 500 new water well permits that year, many of them for farmers raising orchards in the eastern part of the county. It raised concerns that large industrial-sized wells for irrigation were sapping groundwater supplies. ... ”  Continue reading at the Modesto Bee here: As drought gets worse, some wells will trigger environmental review in Stanislaus County

Large, frequent wildfires have alarming consequences for the Central Valley

It doesn’t seem like wildfires are going away anytime soon. More than 4.1 million acres of Californian land burned as a result of wildfires in 2020, doubling the previous record. Over 2.2 million acres have already been burned in California this year, but the fire season is far from over.  In the past two years, California has had six of its seven single largest wildfires on record. The largest single wildfire in California history, the Dixie fire, is currently roaring across five counties, two national forests and a national park just east of Chico.  As fires get larger, so does the amount of tax dollars Californians pay to fight them. … ”  Read more from the CSU Signal here: Large, frequent wildfires have alarming consequences for the Central Valley

Salton Sea restoration sparks debate

The Salton Sea has needed restoration for decades. Both Imperial County and Imperial Irrigation District (IID) agree something needs to be done, but the debate over precisely what action to take, is preventing much from happening at all.  In 2003, it was agreed water would be transferred from the Salton Sea to San Diego and Coachella. Imperial County Superviso Ryan Kelley tells me, after the transfer the seabed turned to dust. … ”  Read more from Channel 11 here: Salton Sea restoration sparks debate

Commentary: Sea level rise will be disastrous for San Diego if we don’t address it now

Steve Padilla, chair of the California Coastal Commission, and Donne Brownsey, Vice Chair of the Coastal Commission, write, “The coast is meaningful to all Californians, for those who are privileged to live by the coast, and for everyone who enjoys the coast as a refuge from hot weather or as a place to celebrate a special day or weekend. California’s coastline is unique in this country because of the protection that voters enacted 50 years ago to ensure that our coastal resources remain accessible to all.  But there is a pervasive and existential threat to our coastal future: sea level rise. … ”  Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here: Commentary: Sea level rise will be disastrous for San Diego if we don’t address it now

San Diego: New digital water education workbook makes a splash

The San Diego County Water Authority today released an interactive, digital workbook to help upper elementary students learn about the region’s most precious natural resource: water.  The online digital water education workbook is the latest addition to the Water Authority’s long-running education program that has helped instill water knowledge in hundreds of thousands of students in over more than two decades. It was funded by a grant from the Hans and Margaret Doe Charitable Trust and State of California, Proposition 84 Round 4 funds. … ”  Read more from the Water News Network here: New digital water education workbook makes a splash 

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Along the Colorado River …

California water agencies resolve Colorado River dispute

Two major California water agencies have settled a lawsuit that once threatened to derail a multi-state agreement to protect a river that serves millions of people in the U.S. West amid gripping drought.  The Imperial Irrigation District, the largest single recipient of Colorado River water, sued the Metropolitan Water District twice in the past two years. The agencies announced Monday they have reached a settlement that resolves both lawsuits.  Under the agreement, Imperial can store water in Lake Mead on the Arizona-Nevada border under Metropolitan’s account. Imperial will contribute water under a regional drought contingency plan if California is called on to help stave off further water cuts. … ”  Continue reading from the AP here: California water agencies resolve Colorado River dispute

SEE ALSO:

Water Wars: Arizona counties, towns battle over Colorado River water rights

As Arizona’s population continues to swell by record numbers, cities and towns housing the transplants are looking for ways to increase their water supply.  That search has pitted the growing Town of Queen Creek against counties along the Colorado River.  Cibola, Arizona in La Paz County sits near the border with California directly on the river. The population ranges from 250 to 350 people depending on the time of year according to La Paz County Supervisor Holly Irwin. … ”  Read more from Channel 15 here: Water Wars: Arizona counties, towns battle over Colorado River water rights

Nevada town doesn’t have much, but it has lots of water

There isn’t much in Cal-Nev-Ari besides a cluster of homes, some businesses and an unpaved airstrip.  But the town’s new dominant property owner believes the desert outpost might have something else: an underground river of sorts that doesn’t run dry.  Jerry Tyler, president of mining firm Heart of Nature, told the Review-Journal last month that there appears to be something like a river flowing beneath the remote community south of Las Vegas and that it replenishes when water is pumped out. … ”  Read more from the Las Vegas Journal here:  Nevada town doesn’t have much, but it has lots of water

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In national water news today …

WOTUS rewrite coming by November

As the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers under the Biden administration tackle the re-writing of definition of what constitutes a waters of the U.S., EPA Administrator Michael Regan says the goal remains for “clarity, for certainty and for a durable rule” as the agencies will not be reinstating either the Trump-era Navigable Waters Protection Rule or the Clean Water Rule introduced in 2015 by the Obama administration.  While speaking virtually in an address to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture annual meeting, Regan says the agency plans to work as expeditiously as possible on the rulemaking process. He anticipates by November proposing a foundational proposed rule reflecting the pre-2015 regulations updated with the Supreme Court decisions, and a second rule building on that foundation by next winter. … ”  Read more from the Western Farm Press here: WOTUS rewrite coming by November

SEE ALSO: Clean Water Act: Recent rulings, uncertainty and litigation continues, from the Western Farm Press

What to expect from Interior and EPA this fall

Nearly 10 months into his term, President Biden’s administration is still slowly unwinding the actions of its predecessors on the nation’s public lands and waters, while moving forward with a climate-focused environmental agenda to curb greenhouse gases.  Observers suggest numerous items languishing on the administration’s to-do list could see action this fall and winter, putting the Interior Department and EPA front and center. … Here’s a look at what agenda items from Interior and EPA are likely to move this fall … ”  Read more from E&E News here: What to expect from Interior and EPA this fall

Measures in infrastructure bill would help fish and wildlife

From California to West Virginia, efforts are underway to conserve and restore fish and wildlife migration corridors and habitat. Many of these projects stand to benefit significantly from funding provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure bill pending in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would provide the nation’s first dedicated resources—$350 million over five years—for state, local, and tribal governments to construct wildlife crossings over and under roads. Such crossings are proven to reduce human and animal fatalities and injuries caused by the more than 1 million wildlife-vehicle collisions that occur each year.  In addition, $1 billion would go toward repairing or removing culverts and $400 million toward removal of barriers such as dams in order to improve fish survival.  Here are seven projects that could benefit significantly from the bill ... ”  Read more from the Pew Charitable Trust here: Measures in infrastructure bill would help fish and wildlife

Key house Republicans balk at saving $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill from progressive boycott

As House progressives threaten to withhold dozens of votes to pass a bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill if it comes up for a vote in the coming weeks, several Republican members of a bipartisan group that backed the bill say they have no plans to rescue it.  Two members of the Problem Solvers Caucus – Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.) and Mike Bost (R-Ill.) – told Forbes they won’t vote for the bill, while another, Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), said he has a “tremendous amount of discomfort” with it. … ”  Read more from Forbes here: Key house Republicans balk at saving $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill from progressive boycott

Scooping plastic out of the ocean is a losing game

A garbage truck turns off the road, engine rumbling, brakes wheezing, and the smell of rot trailing in its wake. The truck stops short and starts to reverse—beep, beep, beeping down a boat launch. With salt water lapping at its rear tires it stops, opens its tailgate, and dumps its load of cups, straws, bottles, shopping bags, fishing buoys, and nets.  A minute later, this plastic waste is floating away on a journey to pollute the ocean and poison the food chain. As the garbage truck drives away it passes another truck preparing to back down the ramp. And another pulling into the marina—one of an endless stream of garbage trucks, each lining up to dump its own load of plastics.  It doesn’t happen like this, of course, but eight million tonnes of plastic does end up in the ocean every year—the equivalent of a garbage truck’s–worth every minute. … ”  Read more from Hakai Magazine here: Scooping plastic out of the ocean is a losing game

The complex and surprising history of humanity and water

NPR’s Ari Shapiro speaks with author Giulio Boccaletti about his new book Water: A Biography, which takes readers through the complex and surprising history of humanity and water. What is the one thing that has shaped the course of human civilization more than any other? Well, according to the author Giulio Boccaletti, the answer is water. The title of his new book is “Water: A Biography.” It travels over centuries, across continents to show how humans have built their lives around this fickle, precious resource. … ”  Read more from NPR here: The complex and surprising history of humanity and water

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Today’s featured article …

BLOG ROUND-UP: Agencies planning a disaster for CA salmon if 2022 is dry; Why is it so hard to be a California farmer?; The window dressing of environmental justice in Delta tunnel planning; and more …

Click here to read the blog round-up.

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Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

NEPA DOCS AVAILABLE: Trinity River Winter Flow Variability Project

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Stream Flow Enhancement Program – 2021 Proposal Solicitation Notice

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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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