DAILY DIGEST, 9/29: Already unrecognizable at only 24% full, Lake Shasta still falling; CA’s rainy season is starting later; Lawsuit seeks to block Poseidon desalination plant in Huntington Beach; What water lessons the US and Iran can learn from each other; and more …
WEBCAST: Coast to Coast – Direct Potable Reuse Regulatory Development from 10am to 12pm. In this webcast, a panel of experts will discuss the state regulatory development process for direct potable reuse in California and Florida, as well as others currently being formulated. The panel will explore the nuanced differences in the development process, the regulations, and the future outlook of direct potable reuse across the country. Click here to register.
FREE WEBINAR: Groundwater Cleanup Efforts in the North Orange County Basin from 10am to 11:30am. This webinar will focus on OCWD’s groundwater cleanup efforts, particularly in the North Basin where industrial chemicals have impacted an area of the Orange County Groundwater Basin. Click here to register.
FREE WEBINAR: Emerging Tools for Flash Drought Monitoring and Prediction from 11am to 12:30pm. Presentations will focus on emerging tools for flash drought monitoring and prediction from NOAA and other institutions. Click here to register.
In California water news today …
Already unrecognizable at only 24% full, Lake Shasta still falling in 2nd-worst year on record
“Recent rainfall hasn’t been nearly enough to make a dent in Lake Shasta’s precariously low water levels. The lakebed where the water has receded still shows cracks where mud has hardened and over the summer, dust devils have swept the fine, dried silt into the air. The drought has dropped Lake Shasta to its second worst level since the last bucket of concrete was poured for Shasta Dam in December 1945. “We got a couple hundredths of an inch (of rain) and it made no impact at all,” said Donald Bader, the Bureau of Reclamation’s area manager for the Northern California Area Office at Shasta Dam. … ” Read more from the Redding Record Searchlight here: Already unrecognizable at only 24% full, Lake Shasta still falling in 2nd-worst year on record
California’s rainy season is changing. Here’s what that means for already worsening fire danger.
“After two dry years, the California is in desperate need of rain and snow. October marks the beginning of California’s new water year, which will run through Sept. 30 next year. This also signals the transition from the long, dry summer months to the wetter time of year. But new research is showing a delay to California’s rainy season. Jelena Lukovic, an associate professor at the University of Belgrade, Serbia and lead author of a new study on California’s rainy season, said the onset of the rainy season has been progressively delayed since the 1960s. … ” Read more from Channel 10 here: California’s rainy season is changing. Here’s what that means for already worsening fire danger.
Lawsuit seeks to block Poseidon desalination plant in Huntington Beach
“Two environmental groups have sued the Regional Water Quality Control Board over its decision to grant a permit for Poseidon Water’s desalination plant proposed for Huntington Beach, saying the board’s environmental review of the project was inadequate. Poseidon has been working on the controversial, $1.4 billion project for 22 years. The regional board’s approval on April 29 leaves the company needing one more permit, from the state Coastal Commission, before it can negotiate a final contract with the Orange County Water District and begin construction. That’s if the regional board’s permit is allowed to stand after the suit filed Monday, Sept. 27, by Orange County Coastkeeper and the California Coastkeeper Alliance. … ” Read more from the OC Register here: Lawsuit seeks to block Poseidon desalination plant in Huntington Beach
Desalination can make saltwater drinkable — but it won’t solve the U.S. water crisis
“Anybody with a 5-year-old’s knowledge of geography might come up against this conundrum: There’s a water shortage in the Western United States. Right next door, there’s the Pacific Ocean. Why can’t we take some of that big, blue body of water and move it into the increasingly parched territory that borders it? The short answer, of course, is that there’s salt in the ocean, which isn’t good for people, plants and many other living creatures. But as shortages mount, there’s increasing interest in the complicated process of desalination, or pulling out salt on a massive scale so that water can be put to use by the thirsty populations who live nearby. … ” Read more from the Washington Post here: Desalination can make saltwater drinkable — but it won’t solve the U.S. water crisis
DWR contributes $16 million to support desalination research, improved energy efficiency
“California is facing the real-time impacts of a changing climate evident by our state’s historic drought. With limited water supplies, California must look to innovative technologies to meet the demands of the state’s growing population. One potential solution is desalination, the method of treating seawater and other salty waters to be suitable for consumption or irrigation. In an effort to move the research forward and secure a more resilient water supply in the future, DWR has contributed $16 million to the National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) in support of advancing desalination research. … ” Read more from DWR News here: DWR contributes $16 million to support desalination research, improved energy efficiency
Video: Improving California’s water market
“Water trading and banking are important tools that can help California bring its groundwater basins into balance by the early 2040s, as mandated by the 2014 Sustainable Water Management Act (SGMA). But the expansion of the state’s water market still faces some bottlenecks, including aging infrastructure and complex regulations. The stakes for preserving California’s groundwater are rising, however, as is interest in improving the state’s water market. … Water trading and banking can help. Ellen Hanak and PPIC research fellow Andrew Ayres convened a panel to discuss a new report about how to improve the state’s water market in order to aid SGMA implementation and increase drought resilience across the state.” Watch the video and read brief recap from the PPIC here: Video: Improving California’s water market
NASA drought research shows value of both climate mitigation and adaptation
“Seasonal summer rains have done little to offset drought conditions gripping the western United States, with California and Nevada seeing record July heat and moderate-to-exceptional drought according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Now, new NASA research is showing how drought in the region is expected to change in the future, providing stakeholders with crucial information for decision making. The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal, Earth’s Future, was led by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and funded by NOAA’s Climate Program Office and NASA’s Modeling, Analysis and Prediction (MAP) Program. It found that the western United States is headed for prolonged drought conditions whether greenhouse gas emissions continue to climb or are aggressively reined in. … ” Continue reading from NASA here: NASA drought research shows value of both climate mitigation and adaptation
California vineyards can still make great wine even with limited water supply and droughts
“While climate change and drought loom as existential threats to California agriculture, there’s one farming sector that may come out ahead: wine grapes. Many California winegrowers have had to cut back on irrigation this year, but using less water for a limited period doesn’t necessarily hurt quality. In fact, some of the best recent vintages were from 2012 to 2014, during the last drought, and many vintners are saying grape quality is looking excellent so far during the current harvest, despite the record-breaking drought this year and last. ... ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: California vineyards can still make great wine even with limited water supply and droughts
Why can’t California engineer a pipeline for water to come from other states?
“Today’s Why Guy question comes via email from Sandy, who asks, “Why can’t we engineer a pipeline for water to come from the flooded areas in other states to California? I don’t understand why this hasn’t happened.” Sandy, the Colorado River aqueduct is pretty much a pipeline that was built in the 1930s, a time when environmental issues or worker safety weren’t a priority. That source is drying up and no longer reliable. So, a pipeline from rainy Oregon to California? How and where that pipeline might go is one thing, but the cost? … Why Guy reached out to the California Department of Water Resources about the idea ... ” Read more from Channel 10 here: Why can’t California engineer a pipeline for water to come from other states?
New report recommends financing and policy pathways for full scale adoption of localized water infrastructure
“It is no secret that in order to tackle its ongoing and future water challenges spanning drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems, the nation needs to significantly increase its investments in water infrastructure and management solutions. Facing ever-increasing stressors on water systems—aging infrastructure, drought, flooding, contaminated runoff—communities are looking for ways to build sustainability, create resilience to climate change, protect water quality, and equitably secure local water supplies for everyone. Localized water infrastructure (LWI)—distributed systems that extend beyond centralized water infrastructure and are located at or near the point of use—offers these sustainable, resilient, and equitable solutions. LWI includes improvements, devices, and technologies installed onsite that enhance a utility system by deferring or delaying the need to expand centralized systems or reducing the scale of expansion needed. LWI’s full potential remains untapped. ... ” Continue reading from the Water Now Alliance here: New report recommends financing and policy pathways for full scale adoption of localized water infrastructure
California drought may pressure water utilities’ margins
“The current drought in California could cut into water utility revenues and pressure financial margins, Fitch Ratings says. Statewide water conservation mandates could be announced this fall, and some water agencies have already initiated cutbacks. After two years of dry conditions, California is experiencing a moderate-to-exceptional drought, and an exceptional drought has been declared for over 88% of the state. The federal Central Valley Project (CVP) and California State Water Project (SWP) provide much of the state’s water from the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins. … ” Continue reading at FItch Ratings here: California drought may pressure water utilities’ margins
California’s chief utility regulator to step down at the end of the year
“California’s chief utilities regulator, Marybel Batjer, announced Tuesday she would resign by the end of the year, leaving her position as the state remains mired in a wildfire crisis partially tied to its largest investor-owned utility. Batjer, whose term as president of the California Public Utilities Commission was set to end in 2027, provided no explanation for her early departure and said it was a “difficult decision” in a statement to agency staff. Batjer said she is “ready for a new challenge and adventure” after serving in various government posts under four governors. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: California’s chief utility regulator to step down at the end of the year
Map: 1 of every 8 acres in California has burned in the last 10 years. Here’s where the biggest fires spread — and are burning now
“If it seems like wildfires in California are getting larger, they are. Nine of the state’s 10 largest wildfires since 1932, when modern records began, have occurred in the past decade. And amazingly, the eight largest have all burned since 2017. Why? “It’s a combination of everything — climate change, decades of fire suppression and drought,” said Craig Clements, director of San Jose State University’s Fire Weather Lab. Some fire experts call them “megafires,” blazes larger than 100,000 acres that once were rare but are becoming increasingly common. … ” Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: Map: 1 of every 8 acres in California has burned in the last 10 years. Here’s where the biggest fires spread — and are burning now
How much are California’s wildfire efforts costing taxpayers?
“As large wildfires continue to blaze and threaten Northern California, the price to put them out continues to skyrocket. New data shows California is spending more and more each year from an emergency fund set aside for large fires. According to H.D. Palmer, the state Department of Finance’s deputy director, Cal Fire estimates the current emergency fund expenditures are nearly $200 million over its budgeted amount for this fiscal year ( July 2021 to July 2022). The emergency fund budget, which was approved in July of this fiscal year, includes $604.2 million to support Cal Fire’s emergency fire suppression activities. But Palmer said as of Sept. 17, Cal Fire estimated it had already spent $849.1 million. … ” Read more from Governing here: How much are California’s wildfire efforts costing taxpayers?
State must cancel San Joaquin’s application to claim water from the Lower American River
Jessica Law, executive director 0f the Sacramento Water Forum, writes, “When the Water Forum Agreement was signed over 20 years ago, the occasion marked an unprecedented show of regional cooperation and an end to the water wars that had plagued the Sacramento region for decades. For years, business interests, environmentalists, water suppliers and others had sparred over the water needs of people vs. the environment. At the center of this conflict was the lower American River. Now, a decades-old application by San Joaquin County is threatening to ignite a new era of water conflict by petitioning California to take 147,000-acre feet of water from the American River — an amount of water equal to 15% of Folsom Lake when full. ... ” Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: Commentary: State must cancel San Joaquin’s application to claim water from the Lower American River
Science is clear: Catastrophic wildfire requires forest management
” … We are the National Association of Forest Service Retirees (NAFSR), an organization of dedicated natural resource professionals—field practitioners, firefighters, and scientists—with thousands of years of on the ground experience. … We are, however, dismayed at the proliferation of misinformation about what can be done about wildfires. More work is needed to address many issues within the wildland-urban interface (in which people live in proximity to forestlands) and, of course, the national and global priority of climate change. Alongside this work, reducing fuels by thinning forests followed by prescribed burning—especially in our western mixed conifer and ponderosa pine forests—is essential. Such work must be increased quickly on a landscape scale if we are to even begin to save our forests and communities. … ” Read the full commentary at the Herald & News here: Science is clear: Catastrophic wildfire requires forest management
In regional water news and commentary today …
Far Northern California gets welcome rain amid drought
“Lingering showers were ending Tuesday behind a weather front that brought welcome rain in large and small amounts to parts of drought-stricken Northern California. The North Coast benefited most from Monday’s precipitation, with one location in Del Norte County reporting 2.7 inches (6.8 centimeters), the National Weather Service reported. “With two rain events this month, much of the North Coast has gotten well above average precipitation for September. Hopefully our luck will continue and put a dent in ongoing drought conditions!” the Eureka weather office tweeted. … ” Read more from NBC Bay Area here: Far Northern California gets welcome rain amid drought
Recent rainfall returns flows to South Fork Eel River
“Weekend rainfall restored flows to the South Fork Eel River at Dyerville in Southern Humboldt County. The South Fork Eel River made headlines last week when it detached from the mainstem Eel River for the first time in modern history. In years past, Eel River Recovery Project executive director Patrick Higgins said the river will often dwindle down to a thin thread of water but it will remain connected to the mainstem Eel River. He checked U.S. Geological Survey flow gauges on Sept. 18 and found the river bed was mostly dry below U.S. Highway 101 at Dyerville. “It’s a relief. It doesn’t look like the river is going to disconnect at Dyerville again,” Higgins said after visiting the South Fork on Saturday. … ” Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here: Recent rainfall returns flows to South Fork Eel River
Humboldt Bay Symposium focuses on sea-level rise, adaptation
“Researchers and environmental scientists from across the nation kicked off the 2021 Humboldt Bay Symposium on Tuesday. This year’s virtual three-day event, themed “Sustainable Blue Economy,” analyzes present and future effects of climate change to the Humboldt Bay region, as well as solutions to mitigate potential impacts. Tom Suchanek, marine ecologist at the University of California, Davis, offered a closer look at how sea-level rise will impact the estuarine ecology of Humboldt Bay. “Humboldt Bay is California’s second-largest bay and marsh ecosystem. It’s also California’s largest eelgrass system,” he said. “It’s very shallow, it flushes completely twice a day, it’s highly productive and also a very complex ecosystem with over 100 plant species, 300 invertebrate species, 100 fish species, 200 bird species and hundreds of thousands of migrating waterfowl.” … ” Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here: Humboldt Bay Symposium focuses on sea-level rise, adaptation
City of Ukiah receives $264,600 from the state for drought relief
“The city of Ukiah and the county of Mendocino together received more than $2 million from the state Department of Water Resources as part of its Small Community Drought Relief program. According to a press release from state officials, the Small Community Drought Relief program is designed to provide technical and financial assistance to small communities affected by the current drought. “As the drought continues to gain momentum, and we prepare for another potentially dry winter, coordination between agencies and the funding to support community response will be critical,” Joaquin Esquivel, Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, was quoted as saying in a release. ... ” Read more from the Ukiah Daily Journal here: City of Ukiah receives $264,600 from the state for drought relief
Construction continues at East Sand Slough salmon project in Red Bluff
“A linear row of uprooted trees lined the center of the East Sand Slough Tuesday in Red Bluff from the Antelope Boulevard Bridge to the water down Sale Lane as construction crews continued work on the salmon habitat project. Many trees had to be removed to make way for the new channel along the Sacramento River that will allow the salmon population to graze and grow freely. Jane Dolan with the Sacramento River Forum said the plan for replanting trees will begin as the weather changes. … ” Continue reading from the Red Bluff Daily News here: Construction continues at East Sand Slough salmon project in Red Bluff
Tuolumne Utilities District receives grant to protect valuable infrastructure from wildfire
“The Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD) was notified by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) that it will receive $297,869 in grant funding to protect nine water and wastewater facilities situated in high hazardous areas within Tuolumne County from the threat of wildfire. In May 2021, the District applied for the Cal Fire Climate Investments (CCI) Fire Prevention Grant for the TUD Critical District Facilities Fuels Reduction Project. The TUD Critical District Facilities Fuels Reduction Project provides protection and resiliency to vulnerable infrastructure facilities throughout the TUD service area. … ” Continue reading from ACWA Water News here: Tuolumne Utilities District receives grant to protect valuable infrastructure from wildfire
Illegal cannabis operation eradicated in Southern Sacramento County
“On September 9, wildlife officers with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) shut down an illegal cannabis operation on state property in southern Sacramento County. … The illegal grow was discovered on the eastern end of the Cosumnes River Preserve(opens in new tab) near Highway 99 on land owned by CDFW. This is the fifth time an illegal grow has been found in this area. In 2020, an illegal grow was removed with hundreds of plants near Interstate 5 and in 2019 wildlife officers shut down an operation with 15,000 plants(opens in new tab). “There’s no question that enforcement operations of this nature prevent illegal cannabis from hitting the unregulated market,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of the Law Enforcement Division. “This property is designed to protect wildlife resources and should not be used to grow illegal cannabis or as a dump site for trash. Our native aquatic species and wildlife deserve much better.” … ” Read more from the Department of Fish and Wildlife here: Illegal cannabis operation eradicated in Southern Sacramento County
Manteca: Flood protection flap
“Mayor Ben Cantu is adamant and consistent when it comes to flood protection. Cantu thinks it is absolutely nuts to continue allowing building in the 200-year floodplain that includes a large swath of southwest Manteca where a developer was granted permission last week by the City Council — including the mayor himself — to start ground work for 319 homes. The mayor steadfastly refuses to vote to certify adequate progress is being made on efforts to proceed to construction and actually put in place levee upgrades as well as a controversial dry levee south of Manteca to provide 200-year flood protection for the residents of Reclamation District 17. … ” Read more from the Manteca Bulletin here: Manteca: Flood protection flap
Here’s how much water Bay Area districts saved in the past year
“Bay Area water agencies have saved nearly 10 times more water than the state average in the past year. Collectively, 58 Bay Area water districts saved an average of more than 10% in July 2021 compared with the same time last year, according to new statistics from the State Water Resources Control Board. That still falls short of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s call for 15% savings as the state battles another crippling drought. Though Bay Area agencies generally outperformed South Coast-area districts in water use reduction, some saved much more than others. … ” Continue reading at the San Francisco Chronicle here: Here’s how much water Bay Area districts saved in the past year
Monterey Peninsula recycled water project moves forward
“After months of handwringing over language in a contract allowing California American Water Co. to purchase thousands of acre-feet of water from a Monterey recycling project, some of the heavy lifting now begins. With the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District approving a contract last week and the board of Monterey One Water approving the water purchase agreement Monday night, the stage is now set for Cal Am to go before the California Public Utilities Commission to finalize the deal. Finalizing the agreement is critical to the Peninsula since, with the new water supply, Cal Am can reduce pumping from the Carmel River, while at the same time the agreement would allow the building moratorium on new water meters to be lifted, and allow the Peninsula to meet its growth needs, said Dave Stoldt, the general manager of the Peninsula water district. … ” Read more from the Monterey Herald here: Monterey Peninsula recycled water project moves forward
Long Valley: Fish one step closer to Endangered Species Act protection
“In response to a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined today that the Long Valley speckled dace may be extinct in the wild and warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act. The small fish formerly inhabited warm springs and creeks in the Upper Owens River watershed in Mono County. “Long Valley speckled dace need emergency action and a coordinated reintroduction to survive, and Endangered Species Act protection would make that happen,” said Jeff Miller, a senior conservation advocate at the Center. “We’ve already lost seven native California fish species to extinction, and habitat loss and climate change have driven more than 80% of our state’s freshwater fish species into decline.” … ” Read more from the Center for Biological Diversity here: Long Valley: Fish one step closer to Endangered Species Act protection
Pasadena: Planning guide for future water-related projects green lighted by city committee
“Pasadena’s Municipal Services Committee unanimously approved a 25-year planning guide for future water-related programs and projects in the city during its Tuesday meeting. The plan’s objective is to ensure the provision by the city of high quality and affordable water services to the public. The 2020 Water System and Resources Plan (WRSP), developed by the Pasadena Water and Power Department, (PWP) provides the City with a framework to evaluate future water supply programs and infrastructure investment. … ” Read more from Pasadena Now here: Pasadena: Planning guide for future water-related projects green lighted by city committee
Supervisors OK shared funding for flood control channel in Palm Springs
“The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday authorized the Riverside County Flood Control & Water Conservation District to finalize a cooperative funding agreement with the city of Palm Springs for completion of a storm channel project near Palm Springs High School. In a 5-0 vote without comment, the board cleared the way for the district to obligate up to $7.52 million for the Master Drainage Plan 20 line, due for construction along Farrell Drive, between Barristo and Ramon roads, with an additional interconnecting segment on Ramon, between Farrell and El Cielo Road. … ” Read more from the Desert Sun here: Supervisors OK shared funding for flood control channel in Palm Springs
San Diego raises fees on industrial polluters for first time since 1984
“Businesses that San Diego classifies as industrial polluters are going to start paying their fair share for local efforts to keep toxic sewer water out of the Pacific Ocean. After getting major discounts for nearly 40 years, industrial polluters should expect to see sharp increases next summer in the fees they pay for treatment of industrial wastewater. The increases are part of a package of sewer and water rate changes the City Council unanimously approved Sept. 21. … ” Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here: San Diego raises fees on industrial polluters for first time since 1984
Marine helicopter gets water to Borrego’s sheep
“For California Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Janene Colby, the day of the bighorn sheep emergency water drop started at 1 am. In the wee hours of Saturday, August 28, Colby and two Anza Borrego Desert State Park employees set out in a pickup truck from base camp at Fish Creek Wash. After an hour’s drive to the end of a rugged dirt road, they could go no further by truck. They got out and started hiking up to their destination: Whale Peak artificial wildlife water system — aka “guzzler”—one of hundreds of tanks in the Southern California wilderness that collect rainwater for desert-dwelling fauna. … ” Read more from the San Diego Reader here: Marine helicopter gets water to Borrego’s sheep
Avoiding water bankruptcy in the drought-troubled Southwest: What the US and Iran can learn from each other
” … in August, the U.S. government issued its first ever water shortage declaration for the Colorado River, triggering water use restrictions. In response, farmers and cities across the Southwest are now finding new, often unsustainable ways to meet their future water needs. … These strategies conceal a more fundamental problem: the unchecked growth of water consumption. The Southwest is in an “anthropogenic drought” created by the combination of natural water variability, climate change and human activities that continuously widen the water supply-demand gap. In the long run, this can lead to “water bankruptcy,” meaning water demand invariably exceeds the supply. Trying to manage this by cranking up water supply is destined to fail. More than 7,000 miles away, Iran is grappling with water problems that are similar to the U.S. Southwest’s but more severe. … ” Read more from the Conversation here: Avoiding water bankruptcy in the drought-troubled Southwest: What the US and Iran can learn from each other
Hydrogeologist reports the proposed Resolution Mine severely threatens future groundwater supplies as Arizona faces unprecedented water cutbacks
“The proposed construction of the Resolution Copper Mine would consume hundreds of billions of gallons of groundwater at the same time Arizona faces unprecedented surface water supply reductions worsened by climate change, hydrogeologist James Wells, Ph.D., PG concludes in a report released today. “If the Resolution Copper Mine is approved, it will commandeer a vast amount of the state’s water, leaving less for everyone else,” said Wells in his comprehensive analysis The Proposed Resolution Copper Mine and Arizona’s Water Future. The massive mine, proposed for construction in the Pinal Mountains 60 miles east of Phoenix would consume at the very least enough water to supply a city of 140,000 people every year for 40 years, Wells said. … ” Continue reading from the Gila Herald here: Hydrogeologist reports the proposed Resolution Mine severely threatens future groundwater supplies as Arizona faces unprecedented water cutbacks
Lake Mead, Mohave concessionaires warily eye lake and river levels
“As Chad Taylor looked toward the Callville Bay Marina Lounge from a houseboat on Lake Mead, he reflected on a much different time. In the mid-1990s, the building was right at the water’s edge. Today, it’s nearly a quarter-mile from the shoreline. Taylor, whose father was then general manager of the marina, works as marketing director for Lake Mead Mohave Adventures, a boat rental and recreation company that sets customers up for getaways on Lake Mead and Lake Mohave. … At Callville Bay, the receding water recently revealed a small boat that once sank below the surface of the lake and has now reemerged. “Who knows what history is in this boat,” Taylor said. “With the water levels going down, there’s new things and places to explore.” … ” Continue reading from the KD Miner here: Lake Mead, Mohave concessionaires warily eye lake and river levels
Fire, drought and the Colorado River Headwaters — a photo essay
Tim Romano writes, “For decades, I have been exploring and photographing the Upper Colorado River and its tributaries. Not for any reason other than I love the watersheds associated with it, have grown up on them, and truly feel connected to these trickles of water. I literally can’t help it. As a photographer and river rat it’s always been something I’ve done. For fun… Yet something this spring changed for me in that regard. After the COVID daze of the last year and surreal summer of fires the Upper Colorado endured last year, I felt compelled to actually go out and document what was happening, essentially in my home space. It’s hard to put into words, but after a spring of running river miles by floating the San Juan, main stem of the Salmon, Gunnison, Arkansas, Roaring Fork, multiple small tributaries on the Front Range, and the Colorado I realized I was actually chasing something. Something deeper than simply the next great shot, or the next slick run through roiling whitewater, I literally was chasing the future of my home, and the home of my little girl. … ” Read more and view photos from American Rivers here: Fire, drought and the Colorado River Headwaters — a photo essay
Interior Department to nix Trump rollback of bird protections
“The Biden administration is officially revoking a Trump administration rule that would have made companies less likely to face penalties for killing migratory birds. The administration on Wednesday withdrew the Trump administration’s changes to the implementation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) — a more than 100-year-old law that makes it illegal to kill migratory birds. The Trump administration’s rule removed penalties for “accidental” or “incidental” bird deaths — arguing that it’s not fair to levy penalties for these kinds of deaths. ... ” Read more from The Hill here: Interior Department to nix Trump rollback of bird protections
Tools for improved drought and flood response
“Droughts and floods are causing increasing damage worldwide, often with devastating short- and long-term impacts on human society. Forecasting when they will occur, monitoring them as they develop, and learning from the past to improve disaster management is vital. Droughts and floods can be measured, monitored, and modeled in a variety of ways, whether historic patterns, current events, or predicting future trends. A new book in the Geophysical Monograph Series, Global Drought and Flood: Observation, Modeling, and Prediction, presents recent advances in the modeling and remote sensing of droughts and floods. We asked the authors about how droughts and floods are observed and recorded, and how this information is used. … ” Read more from EOS here: Tools for improved drought and flood response
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.