DAILY DIGEST, 10/5: October Outlook: Finally, some less-than-scary news for the West; Q/A with Paul Gosselin, Deputy Director of Sustainable Groundwater Management; What’s behind CA’s surge of large fires?; Feds sue Oregon over Klamath Project; and more …

On the calendar today …

  • MEETING:The State Water Resources Control Board will meet beginning at 9am. Agenda items include a drought update, current hydrologic conditions, consideration of rescinding toxicity provisions, an update on the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program, and the Delta Watermaster’s periodic report. Click here for the full agenda and remote access instructions.
  • FREE EVENT: Bay Planning Commission Energy & Water Nexus Summit from 9am to 11am.  This event will focus on how California’s increasingly severe droughts require urgent action and how we can expedite project delivery to adapt to a changing climate, ensure future water security, and mitigate wildfire risks.  Click here to register.
  • FREE WEBINAR: Drought and Climate Change Impacts on Water Users from 10am to 11:15am. This webinar will focus on the impacts of drought and climate change on water users. California is experiencing another unprecedented year of drought. This webinar will discuss how it affects drinking water supplies and quality, spanning urban and rural users.  Click here to register.
  • MEETING: State Board of Food and Agriculture from 10am to 2pm. Agenda items include Federal/State Disaster Assistance (Drought & Wildfire), Farmer & Farmworker Month; And a panel discussion on eduation, leadership and training. Click here for the full agenda and remote access instructions.
  • FREE WEBINAR: Our Changing Precipitation: What’s on the Horizon for Science and Application of Climate Change Information for Water Infrastructure Managers? from 10:30am to 12:00pm.  Hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and The Water Research FoundationClick here to register.

 

In California water news today …

October 2021 U.S. Climate Outlook: Finally, some less-than-scary news for the West

In honor of the start of Spooky Season… BOO! Let’s take a haunted look at the October 2021 outlook from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. More than half the country, including parts of the West, are favored to have a warmer-than-average October, but for the first time in months, there’s no brown on the map out West, and even a little green. That means the odds of much wetter than average month are as good as or better than the odds of a much drier than average month.  Meanwhile, precipitation is favored to be well above average across the Great Plains, but well below average in the Northeast. … ”  Continue reading at Climate.gov here: October 2021 U.S. Climate Outlook: Finally, some less-than-scary news for the West

What is La Nina?

The term La Niña may be one that casual weather observers as well as aficionados hear meteorologists using from time to time, especially when breaking down long-term weather trends or providing a sneak peek at conditions expected during an upcoming winter or hurricane season. But, what exactly is La Niña? Let’s take an in-depth look.  The key to how winter in the United States may unfold often lies thousands of miles away in the open waters of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. It’s there where the roots of a climatological phenomenon known as La Niña originate and eventually help shape weather patterns worldwide. … ”  Read more from AccuWeather here: What is La Nina?

Q/A – Paul Gosselin, Deputy Director of Sustainable Groundwater Management

California Water Professionals Week, which highlights the role of water industry professionals in ensuring safe and reliable water, is October 2-10. During the week, we are highlighting some of the hard-working professionals at DWR that are working every day to sustainably manage the water resources of California. Below is an interview with DWR’s newly appointed Deputy Director of Sustainable Groundwater Management Paul Gosselin. Paul is a long-time water industry professional in California who will now lead the Department’s SGMO Office in implementing the State’s historic Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). … ”  Read more from DWR News here: Q/A – Paul Gosselin, Deputy Director of Sustainable Groundwater Management

Voluntary groundwater pumping program/U.S. Bureau of Reclamation: Federal court addresses National Environmental Policy Act challenge

A United States District Court (“E.D. California”) (“Court”) addressed in a September 14th Order a National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) challenge to a groundwater extraction project in the Sacramento River Valley. See AquAlliance, et al. v. The United States Bureau of Reclamation, et al., 2021 WL 4168534.  AquAlliance and other environmental organizations (collectively, “AquAlliance”) sought a preliminary injunction barring the United States Bureau of Reclamation (“Bureau”) from continuing with the voluntary groundwater pumping program.  The Bureau had approved a voluntary groundwater pumping program (“Program”) seeking to incentivize groundwater pumping. The groundwater pumping would be undertaken in lieu of obtaining water from the Sacramento River. The Bureau provides funding to offset costs to those obtaining water by groundwater pumping rather than extracting from surface water. … ”  Read more from Mitchell Williams here: Voluntary groundwater pumping program/U.S. Bureau of Reclamation: Federal court addresses National Environmental Policy Act challenge

California’s groundwater live: Land subsidence

This story map contains information about land subsidence in California, including two datasets showing land elevation change: a collection of continuous global positioning system (CGPS) stations and DWR’s Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR). Click on the links in the banner above to explore the interactive and user-friendly dashboards, that detail current land subsidence in California.”  Check out the story map here: California’s groundwater live: Land subsidence

What’s behind California’s surge of large fires?

If it seems like enormous wildfires have been constantly raging in California in recent summers, it’s because they have. Eight of the state’s ten largest fires on record—and twelve of the top twenty—have happened within the past five years, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). Together, those twelve fires have burned about 4 percent of California’s total area—a Connecticut-sized amount of land.  Two recent incidents—the Dixie fire and the August fire complex (2020)—stand out for their size. Each of these burned nearly 1 million acres—an area larger than Rhode Island—as they raged for months in forests in Northern California. Several other large fires, as well as many smaller ones in densely populated areas, have proven catastrophic in terms of structures destroyed and lives lost. Thirteen of California’s twenty most destructive wildfires have occurred in the past five years; they collectively destroyed 40,000 homes, businesses, and pieces of infrastructure. ... ”  Read more from Earth Observatory here: What’s behind California’s surge of large fires?

Return to top

In commentary today …

How California can solve its growing water crisis

Steve Westly, former California State Controller, and Gary Kremen, Santa Clara Valley Water District board member, write, “With snowpack and storage at historic lows, California and 95% of the West are suffering the worst drought in modern history. Marin and Santa Clara counties have imposed mandatory cutbacks, and other counties are considering the same. However painful, it is time for California to move quickly. Here are the steps — starting with the least intrusive and least expensive — that state and local government need to take now to avoid the dystopia that Cape Town, South Africa, endured in 2018 when the faucets ran dry.  First, we should make conservation a way of life. ... ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: How California can solve its growing water crisis

Big Tech needs to tackle its water addiction

David Lynch, CEO of Klir, writes, “Skeptics (including me) assembled when Facebook, Google and Microsoft made respective pledges to replenish more water than they use within the next fifteen years. The main reason: private companies are beholden to shareholders, boards, bottom lines, and customers–not pledges.  Big Tech needs a big amount of water to keep big servers in big data centers cool. It’s a fundamental element of the internet’s backend and core to each company’s business model. For some tech titans like Elon Musk, this is simply the cost of innovation. Regardless of where executives fall on the water conservation spectrum, global tech companies—as well as other organizations with water-positive ambitions like 3M and Pepsi—will need to get creative to convert corporate pledges from shallow PR plays into meaningful progress. … ”  Read more from Fortune here: Big Tech needs to tackle its water addiction

Water shortages are coming. Why aren’t we prepared?

Riggs Eckleberry, founding CEO of Origin Clear, writes, “The water shortage crisis is set to be one of the greatest challenges presented by climate change. And while the shortage is getting worse in developing countries, those who live in rich nations must not be complacent. We are not immune, and our water supplies are far from guaranteed.  We need to act now, and fundamentally change the way we value this scarce resource. That means locally recycling it properly, efficiently and crucially. We need to value water as highly as oil or gold, and create effective marketplaces for it. … ”  Read more from Newsweek here: Water shortages are coming. Why aren’t we prepared?

Return to top

In regional water news and commentary today …

NORTH COAST

United States sues for declaratory relief from Oregon order in Klamath Project water dispute

In a lawsuit filed last Friday, the United States has sued the Oregon Water Resources Department in Oregon federal court, alleging that an order proffered by the state agency blocking the release water stored at the Klamath water management project is invalid as it does not allow the federal government to fulfill its obligations under the Endangered Species Act.  The Klamath Project is a water management system in Oregon which provides irrigation to hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland. The declaratory judgment action explained that the order at issue bars the “‘distribution, use or release of stored water from the UKL, in excess of amounts that may be put to beneficial use under KA 1000 downstream of Link River Dam.’” … ”  Read more from Law Street here: United States sues for declaratory relief from Oregon order in Klamath Project water dispute

‘This is historic’: For at least a week, California’s Eel River stopped flowing

Fisheries biologist Pat Higgins said he was shocked when he discovered on Sept. 17 a section of the largest tributary in California’s third-largest watershed was dry.  Higgins explained there was no water flowing above ground in the section of the South Fork Eel River where it meets the main stem in Dyerville below Highway 101 in Humboldt County. The river bed was exposed and the water just stopped, ending in a still pool. The south fork and the main stem were no longer connected. He believes this is unprecedented based on his observations going back to 1995 and historic data from the U.S. Geological Survey’s gauges measuring river flow. … ”  Read more from SF Gate here: ‘This is historic’: For at least a week, California’s Eel River stopped flowing

SACRAMENTO VALLEY

Feather River Fish Hatchery seeks to increase production, offset drought impacts to Feather River chinook salmon populations

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) have announced a joint effort at the Feather River Fish Hatchery in Butte County to aid in offsetting impacts to spring-run and fall-run Chinook salmon resulting from this year’s extreme drought conditions.  Under this joint initiative, CDFW and DWR are taking a two-part approach supporting Feather River salmon populations to guard against impacts observed during the state’s last multi-year drought, as well as protect against impacts observed in recent years due to a nutrient deficiency.  “During California’s last extended drought, we observed significant declines in Sacramento Valley fall-run Chinook salmon stock contributions to the state’s sport and commercial fishery,” said Colin Purdy, environmental program manager for fisheries in CDFW’s North Central Region. “We’re trying to get ahead of any drought-related impacts this time by taking these actions and trying to keep these populations as stable and healthy as we can.” … ”  Read more from the Department of Fish & Wildlife here: Feather River Fish Hatchery seeks to increase production, offset drought impacts to Feather River chinook salmon populations

MOUNTAIN COUNTIES

Wildfire Smoke, ash may leave lasting impact on Lake Tahoe

The Caldor Fire slipped by the southern end of the Tahoe Basin, largely missing the neighborhoods there, but it also filled the Basin with smoke for weeks, then the ash from more distant fires took its place. The skies will clear eventually. The ash will remain much of it in the water.  Just what that will mean for Tahoe and other alpine lakes in the west isn’t known, but scientists, including a team from UNR are working to find out. They have an idea what they will be looking for. Dr. Facundo Scorco studied the effects of wildfire smoke at another lake in northern California in 2018. … ”  Read more from KOLO here: Wildfire Smoke, ash may leave lasting impact on Lake Tahoe

Nevada County column:  Water management — Who deserves a voice at the table?

Columnist Bruce Herring writes, “Let’s flesh out what integrated regional water management means a bit more, fine tune what a stakeholder is, and offer an example.  Integrated regional water management is a subset of integrated water management, which has been around for decades, often on a national basis. Australia, New Zealand, France, the Netherlands, South Africa, and Canada have been successful with it to varying degrees. Integrated regional water management is best achieved on a basin or watershed scale.  The United States has no national policy, leaving it to the states. This lends itself to institutional shortcomings and overlapping jurisdictions. Nevada Irrigation District is a special district authorized by the state. It follows that since we are specifically addressing the NID service area, the term “regional” is appropriate. NID is uniquely positioned to be the primary basin steward as district boundaries run from the headwaters of the Middle Yuba all the way to the valley. … ”  Read more from The Union here: Nevada County column:  Water management — Who deserves a voice at the table?

573 acres of vernal pool and wetland habitat to be protected in Placer County

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced nearly $79.2 million in grants to help conserve and permanently protect nearly 56,000 acres of habitat for 55 listed and at-risk species across 13 states through the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund. The grants will be matched by over $49.3 million in partner funds. … California will receive $5.2 million from the HCP Land Acquisition Grant Program for the acquisition and permanent protection of approximately 573 acres of vernal pool and wetland habitat in Placer County. … ”  Read more from Roseville Today here: 573 acres of vernal pool and wetland habitat to be protected in Placer County

Drought, low water cancels Tahoe Kokanee salmon festival

A popular, annual fall fish festival at Lake Tahoe scheduled later this month has been canceled because low water levels are expected to keep Kokanee salmon from spawning in Taylor Creek due to lingering drought.  The U.S. Forest Service said the landlocked cousins of the sea-going Sockeye salmon have been known to find other creeks to swim up and spawn and return to Taylor Creek the following year when conditions allow. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Drought, low water cancels Tahoe Kokanee salmon festival

BAY AREA

Bay Area impact: Are we prepared for an extreme drought?

Reservoir levels are down, and temperatures are up all across California. Right now, 88% of California is experiencing extreme drought conditions, up from just 3% one year ago. What is the region’s risk of suffering a catastrophic water shortage? How prepared are the Bay Area’s water systems for the potential for even more dry years ahead? How is the region planning to expand drought-proof water resources like desalination and wastewater recycling?  The Bay Area Council and Venable delved into these topics and more in a webinar discussion with representatives from the Bay Area’s four largest water utilities, who together serve over 6.5 million residents. … ”  Continue reading at Venable LLP here: Bay Area impact: Are we prepared for an extreme drought?

North Bay, California farm advocates weigh in on $15 billion state climate package

Most California stakeholders committed to saving the planet from severe drought conditions, massive infernos and extreme storms agree it will take a lot of money.  So when Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed spending $15 billion to take on climate change, agricultural commissioners, farm bureaus, farmers and regenerative farming advocates across the North Bay applauded.  But they asked, what about tomorrow? … ”  Continue reading from the North Bay Business Journal here: North Bay, California farm advocates weigh in on $15 billion state climate package

Drought: Marin requests reservoir water for rural residents

As the deepening drought threatens to dry up some West Marin wells in the coming months, the county government wants to tap into dwindling reservoirs to avoid a potential public health emergency.  The county proposes to truck reservoir water for the next four months to an estimated 10 to 20 residences in areas such as Nicasio, San Geronimo Valley and Lucas Valley. The actual number of residents is not certain, county officials said, as qualification criteria are still being drafted.  The water would only be used for basic indoor health and safety needs such as cooking, sanitation and hygiene, county officials said. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: Drought: Marin requests reservoir water for rural residents

Freeport Regional Water Project, Sacramento River, Sacramento. Photo by Chris Austin. All rights reserved.East Bay Municipal Water District to draw 11 billion gallons from Sacramento River to supplement supplies

Amid the ongoing drought, officials with the East Bay Municipal Utility District announced it would draw supplemental water from the Sacramento River for the next several months.  The district, which serves more than 1.4 million customers in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, said it would pump 35,250 acre-feet of water to boost its supplies on the Mokelumne River through February. EBMUD said the amount of water is about 11 billion gallons, which represents almost 20% of customer water needs for one year. … ”  Read more from CBS San Francisco here: East Bay Municipal Water District to draw 11 billion gallons from Sacramento River to supplement supplies

Pleasanton: Full water service restored to Castlewood after weekend pump failure

Full water service has returned to Castlewood with repairs completed in the well pump that failed and caused a serious water supply shortage Sunday in the neighborhood in southwestern Pleasanton, a San Francisco Public Utilities Commission spokesman said Monday morning.  Castlewood residents have been advised to boil all of their tap water before potable use for safety reasons until the city of Pleasanton can finish flushing the system on Monday. … ”  Read more from Pleasanton Weekly here:  Full water service restored to Castlewood after weekend pump failure

Water cuts likely in Pleasanton amid drought

The Pleasanton City Council on Tuesday will likely declare a local drought emergency, declare a stage 2 water shortage, and mandate that Pleasanton water customers reduce their water use by 15 percent.  The move follows Tri-Valley water wholesaler, Zone 7 Water Agency, declaring a state of drought emergency within its service area and its own stage 2 water shortage on Sept. 1, also mandating its retailers to cut back 15 percent on water use. ... ”  Continue reading from The Patch here: Water cuts likely in Pleasanton amid drought

SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY

Water year one of Kings River’s driest

The 2020-21 water year has concluded with one of the driest years on record, according to the Kings River Water Association (KRWA).  On Friday, Kings River Watermaster Steve Haugen announced that the water year concluded with 395,000 acre-feet of natural runoff having flowed from the Sierra Nevada Mountains into the Valley region served by the Kings River in portions of Fresno, Tulare and Kings counties.  At 23.49% of the annual average, the runoff ranks as the third-lowest Kings River flow that has occurred since the 1895-96 year, when records started being kept. … ”  Read more from the Hanford Sentinel here: Water year one of Kings River’s driest

CENTRAL COAST

Monterey: A plan to connect two reservoirs moves along but questions arise around funding

As dry times become a greater concern, taking full advantage of wet times becomes a greater priority. This is the idea behind a long – conceived $150 million tunnel project that would connect two of the county’s most important reservoirs, allowing the more common superfluous flows in one to fill the other. However, as the design moves toward a public unveiling, support for the massive project is uncertain.  Lake Nacimiento and Lake San Antonio, the two South County reservoirs that feed the Salinas River and are crucial to the sustained health of the county’s agriculture industry, sit at 14 percent and 7 percent filled, respectively – the lowest levels since 2017. Gov. Gavin Newsom in July lumped Monterey County into his extreme drought designation now impacting 56 of 58 California counties. The diminished lake levels forced the county’s water resources agency to end reservoir releases for agricultural irrigation in July. … ”  Read more from Monterey Weekly here: Monterey: A plan to connect two reservoirs moves along but questions arise around funding

Santa Barbara column: Water and cash flows

Columnist Karen Telleen-Lawton writes, “Creek Week, followed by World Rivers Day on Sept. 26, had Santa Barbara flowing with articles and events celebrating our local creeks and watersheds. Creek walks, panel discussions, and storm drains decorated with chalk art commemorated the importance of life-giving water to all living things.  Explore Ecology reported more than three tons of trash were collected in the coastal clean-ups. Despite all the fun and fanfare, it was evident that water news generally is grim.  In July, California Gov. Gavin Newson requested a voluntary 15% reduction in water use, but compliance across the state in the first two months was strikingly uneven. … ”  Continue reading at Noozhawk here: Santa Barbara column: Water and cash flows

Ventura: $5.1M grant for dredging will help Port of Hueneme repair coastline, bring jobs

A $5.1 million federal grant to finish the dredging project of Port of Hueneme will enable vessels delivering goods like cars and bananas to stow heavier loads.  The port first secured funding to deepen its south terminal in 2015, but a $12.3 million grant from Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, and another $3.3 million contribution from the port were only enough to scoop out sand for two-thirds of the terminal, said Christina Birdsey, the port’s chief operating officer. … ”  Read more from the Ventura County Star here: Ventura: $5.1M grant for dredging will help Port of Hueneme repair coastline, bring jobs

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Despite political posturing, questions remain over Santa Clarita water safety

For Santa Clarita residents, the prospect of rolling droughts are not the only concern when it comes to water management. The Signal reported in July that local water safety authorities had released a further report detailing the safety of the city’s water supplies; one leader stated they had drunk the local water for 50 years and they were ‘still here’. While the latest report does show that Santa Clarita water is safe, it hasn’t always been that way and it could be liable to change. A look at how SC gets its water is instructional in understanding the risks. … ”  Read more from KHTS here:  Despite political posturing, questions remain over Santa Clarita water safety

Southern California storm brings lightning, welcome rain

Showers were tapering off Tuesday from a storm system that brought thunder, lightning, hail and welcome rain to parts of drought-stricken Southern California.  More than a quarter inch of rain fell in some areas, the National Weather Service said. Corona Del Mar in Orange County saw .47 inches (119 centimeters) and eastern Los Angeles County’s Big Dalton Dam recorded .41 inches (1.04 centimeters).  Lightning lit up the skies Monday evening and caused a 35-minute delay of the Los Angeles Chargers game against the Las Vegas Raiders at LA’s SoFi Stadium.  Hail was reported in inland areas. … ”  Read more from the Associated Press here: Southern California storm brings lightning, welcome rain

Pasadena City Council votes unanimously to adopt 25-year water main upgrade plan

The Pasadena City Council on Monday unanimously voted to adopt the 2020 Water System and Resources Plan (WSRP) which creates a 25-year framework for future water related programs and projects in the city.  The WSRP, which will be reviewed and updated every five years, recommends implementing a number of projects worth approximately $430 million over the 25 year period, with $130 million anticipated over the first five years. … ”  Read more from Pasadena Now here:  Pasadena City Council votes unanimously to adopt 25-year water main upgrade plan

Calif. lawmakers demand offshore drilling ban in spill’s wake

An oil spill that released more than 144,000 gallons of crude along the south California coastline prompted key lawmakers to renew calls to block the state’s shores from any federal oil and gas production.  The momentum comes as Democrats look to protect provisions in their budget reconciliation package to enact a federal oil and gas leasing moratorium off the West Coast and eastern Gulf of Mexico.  “Where you drill you spill, and once again the inevitable has happened,” Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), a senior member of the House Natural Resources Committee, said in a tweet. “We cannot keep allowing Big Oil to cause these ecological disasters. It’s time my legislation to ban offshore drilling becomes law.”  Huffman, along with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), introduced legislation — H.R. 653 and S. 58 — earlier this year that would permanently establish a moratorium on oil and gas activities in federal waters off the California, Oregon and Washington state coastlines. ... ”  Continue reading at E&E News here: Calif. lawmakers demand offshore drilling ban in spill’s wake

Orange County: No more oil leaking, efforts continue to contain spill and find cause

Officials said no more oil is leaking into the waters off Huntington Beach, but weather and ocean flows will be key as they try to contain the spill that has already spread down as far as Dana Point.  Officials with Amplify Energy, which operates the offshore oil rig believed to be the source of the leak, and with the U.S. Coast Guard said in response to a question they’re looking into a ship’s anchor striking and rupturing a pipeline as a possible cause of the spill of at least 126,000 gallons of oil.  “That is one of the distinct possibilities,” Amplify CEO Martyn Willsher said Monday, Oct. 4. … ”  Read more from the OC Register here: Orange County: No more oil leaking, efforts continue to contain spill and find cause

SEE ALSO:

Return to top

Along the Colorado River …

Amid a drought crisis, the Colorado River Delta sprang to life this summer

After prolonged neglect, Mexico’s Colorado River Delta is teeming with life. This summer, Ridgway’s Rails and Least Bitterns prowled in lush marshes. People jumped into the river’s water to escape record-breaking heat, or enjoyed picnics on the shore. Fish long absent shimmered in sunlit water.   This life aquatic was unthinkable until recently. Beginning in 1922, water-sharing agreements among the seven U.S. states in the Colorado River basin and Mexico claimed nearly every drop of the once-mighty waterway, which begins high in the Rocky Mountains and wends 1,450 miles to northwest Mexico, where it empties into the Sea of Cortez. … ”  Read more from Audubon Magazine here:  Amid a drought crisis, the Colorado River Delta sprang to life this summer

Column: What if farmers really could use 50% less water? Arizona would be a different place

Columnist Joanna Allhands writes, “What if farmers could use half the water than they are now without sacrificing crop yield?  Arizona would be a different place.  There are roughly 946,000 acres of farmland in the state, according to the most recent federal farm census in 2018, using an estimated 4.4 million acre-feet of water.  If farmers used 50% less water, that could theoretically free up 2.2 million acre-feet to reinvest in the industry or support other uses.  That’s huge.  But let’s be real. … ”  Read more from the Arizona Republic here: Column: What if farmers really could use 50% less water? Arizona would be a different place

Out of thin air: can hydropanels bring water to parched communities?

On the dusty, often unpaved roads that cross the Navajo Nation, pickup trucks hauling water are a common sight. Navajo Nation residents are 67 times more likely than other Americans to lack running water in their homesBut outside more than 500 homes on the Navajo reservation in Arizona and New Mexico are devices that aim to help tackle this plumbing poverty. These “hydropanels” absorb water from the air and deliver it straight to a dispenser inside the house. Each one produces around five liters (1 gallon) daily, and two panels are enough to supply a family’s drinking water, according to Source, the Arizona-based company that produces them. … ”  Read more from The Guardian here: Out of thin air: can hydropanels bring water to parched communities?

Return to top

In national water news today …

Southern water wars open a new Supreme Court vein

The Supreme Court began its 2021 term on Monday, and its first in-person arguments in over a year and a half, looking at what hydrologists call a “cone of depression” caused by a city utility’s use of an interstate aquifer.  But it is another first that makes the case so interesting, according to Robin Craig, the Robert C. Packard trustee chair in law at the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law.  “This is really the first time that two states are before the U.S. Supreme Court saying, you know, how do we treat groundwater? Is it like a river, where we know we either do an interstate compact or, if we go to the court, we’re asking for equitable apportionment? Or is it something else,” Craig told Courthouse News. “And Mississippi has pretty much against all advice from everyone in just insisting that, no, it’s something else.” … ”  Read more from the Courthouse News Service here: Southern water wars open a new Supreme Court vein

SEE ALSO: Supreme Court grills Miss. on unusual groundwater claim, from E&E News

Did You Know … U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a major provider of clean energy?

You walk into your home and flip a switch. Presto, the room fills with light. But think about what actually powers your home, creating the ability to turn on lights, use your ovens, have air conditioning, and that precious cup of morning coffee …  Electricity obviously has to be produced and brought through powerlines to countless millions of homes across the U.S., but did you know the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hydropower Program is the largest generator of hydropower in the United States?  USACE manages 75 power-producing dams, housing 356 individual generating units. With that energy-producing arsenal, our hydropower assets generate more than 75 billion kilowatt hours per year of clean renewable energy. That’s enough clean energy to power 10 cities the size of Seattle! … ”  Read more from the Army Corps of Engineers here: Did You Know … U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a major provider of clean energy?

Corps of Engineers considers nature-based flood control

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is known for damming rivers and building levees to keep waterways at bay. But a new initiative seeks natural flood control solutions as climate change brings increasingly frequent and severe weather events that test the limits of concrete and steel.  It only makes sense to use Mother Nature’s flood defenses as one of the tools to combat destruction from intense rains in the middle of the country and storms and sea level rise on the coasts, says Todd Bridges, who heads the Corps Engineering with Nature initiative. … ”  Read more from US News & World Report here: Corps of Engineers considers nature-based flood control

Return to top

Today’s featured articles …

FEATURE: First Field-Based Assessment of Levee Risk in the Delta

Written by Robin Meadows

Like other islands in the central Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Bacon Island has subsided below sea level and is encircled by a levee to keep the water out. “All it takes is one bad spot in a levee to flood an island,” explains UCLA engineer Scott Brandenberg, lead on an ongoing study assessing risk in Delta levees. “This is a really hard problem to solve for sudden shocks like floods and earthquakes.”

Click here to continue reading this article.

Return to top

 

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.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
%d bloggers like this: