DAILY DIGEST, 10/8: Washington Examiner: Newsom, White House policies worsen drought effects; Rain, snow coming to parts of CA; Contract awarded to begin Friant-Kern repairs; Is CA’s wildfire season already winding down?; and more …


In California water news today …

Washington Examiner: California farms turn to dust as Newsom and White House policies worsen drought effects

After 20 years of growing asparagus in California’s Central Valley, Joe Del Bosque is now resigned to watching his once-fertile fields revert to dust and dirt, courtesy of Mother Nature and the government.  The drought that has gripped the Golden State for two years has parched farms dependent on the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, which is the heart of the state’s complex system of dams, rivers, and canals. But the state and federal governments, which are supposed to help by managing the allocation of water, seem to have chosen fish over farms, said Del Bosque. “We had to make a Sophie’s Choice which crop got water and which got the axe,” Del Bosque said. “One-third of my farm was unplanted this year.” ... ”  Read more from the Washington Examiner here: California farms turn to dust as Newsom and White House policies worsen drought effects

‘A change of seasons’ brings rain, chill and even snow to parts of California

After a seemingly interminable spate of record-breaking heat, worsening drought and frequent wildfires, portions of California will experience a noticeable shift in the form of wintery weather, the National Weather Service said.  A cooling system is expected to sweep across much of the state, delivering rain from San Diego to Los Angeles and snow in areas farther north. Already, the California Department of Transportation has announced the closure of multiple mountain passes in the Sierra ahead of a winter storm.  “It’s kind of like the change of seasons — it’s going to feel like that,” said Joe Sirard, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: ‘A change of seasons’ brings rain, chill and even snow to parts of California

‘Extreme year’: Past 12 months among the driest ever in California history

The current ongoing two-year dry period in California, punctuated by the third-driest water year on record for the Central Sierra, is part of California’s overall arid fate so far in the 21st century, according to the state Department of Water Resources.  The Golden State’s hydrology now increasingly resembles conditions in the Colorado River Basin this century, where multiple, consecutive, drier-than-average years are mixed with an occasional wet year. California’s last wet water year was 2016-2017, the second-wettest on record. The 2020-2021 water year that ended Thursday was an extreme 12 months in terms of warm temperatures and lack of precipitation, leading to the second-driest water year on record based on statewide runoff, the California Department of Water Resources said in a 12-page report titled “Water Year 2021: An Extreme Year.” … ”  Read more from the Union Democrat here: ‘Extreme year’: Past 12 months among the driest ever in California history

Are 2 more dry years ahead for California?

Water use in Manteca increased 3 percent overall or 13.6 million gallons last month compared to the depth of the last drought in September of 2017.  That’s good news given the city has added more than 8,000 residents since Jan. 1, 2017 for a 10 percent population gain.  The bad news it might not be enough.  Despite a light dusting of snow Thursday along the high Sierra crest at the upper reaches of the Stanislaus River watershed critical to urban and agricultural users in South San Joaquin County, hydrologists are indicating a number of weather models don’t look promising. … ”  Read more from the Manteca Bulletin here: Are 2 more dry years ahead for California?

Officials award $177mil contract to begin Friant-Kern Canal repair project

Construction to repair a critical stretch of the Friant-Kern Canal will soon be underway, water officials announced Thursday.  The Bureau of Reclamation and Friant Water Authority announced an agreement on Thursday with a Walnut Creek-based joint venture to begin work on the 33-mile stretch that has been damaged due to subsidence.  Construction companies Brosamer & Wall and Tutor Perini combined for the joint venture and were awarded a $177 million contract. ... ”  Read more from SJV Sun here: Officials award $177mil contract to begin Friant-Kern Canal repair project

SEE ALSO: Reclamation awards construction contract for first phase of Friant-Kern Canal repairs, press release from the Bureau of Reclamation and Friant Water Authority

Small California farms hurting during drought and water shortages

Farming has always been dependent on varying weather patterns. With a water shortage and fear of wildfires, farming has become an even riskier occupation. These circumstances are beyond their control and small farmers are having an especially tough time because they don’t have the many resources available to them that larger farms do.  As the drought continues to worsen, many water-use limitations and regulations will be enforced upon all California residents and businesses—including mandatory water restrictions. Some restrictions have already been enacted, leaving farmers unable to pull water from streams and rivers. This crippling drought has endangered the livelihoods of almost 78,000 small farmers in California (American Farm Bureau statistics). … ”  Read more from San Francisco Bay Times here: Small California farms hurting during drought and water shortages 

UC to offer water measurement course

California water-rights holders who use water from streams can learn to measure and report the diversions themselves to comply with state regulations. UC Cooperative Extension will offer training via Zoom on Nov. 4, 2021.  Modoc County rancher Glenn Nader saved a significant amount of money by learning from the University of California Cooperative Extension how to correctly install and maintain a water volume measurement system on his ranch. … ”  Read more from the Western Farm Press here:  UC to offer water measurement course

Two years later, Biden admin. seeks to axe Trump’s Valley water boost

Just two years after President Donald Trump and his administration delivered sweeping changes to California’s water delivery system with major benefit to the San Joaquin Valley, the Biden administration is is seeking a reversal.  In 2018, Trump issued a memorandum to kickstart the issuance of new biological opinions governing the environmental rules that guide the management of California’s State Water Project and the Central Valley Project.  The last round of biological opinions governing the two projects were issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries and the Bureau of Reclamation in 2008 and 2009. ... ”  Read more from the San Joaquin Valley Sun here: Two years later, Biden admin. seeks to axe Trump’s Valley water boost

Lake Tahoe may never be the same because of climate change

” … Smoke and ash from the Caldor fire — and other major fires — have already clouded Lake Tahoe’s famously clear waters, scientists say. In the slopes below Echo Summit, charred trees sit precariously in dried-out soil that, if not restored in time, could erode and cause debris flows when the winter rains come or snow melts in the spring. Wildlife, like bears and spotted owls, are at risk of being displaced. Local advocates and wildland firefighters fear that popular trails and watershed areas may have been burned, leading to more nutrients that feed algae flowing into the lake. When the flames are snuffed out and the smoke finally clears, it may take months, or years, for the lake and the forests around it to recover. And with the threat of more catastrophic wildfires due to human-induced climate change, some wonder whether one of California’s most beloved places will ever be the same. ... ”  Read more from Buzz Feed News here:  One of California’s favorite escapes may never be the same because of climate change

How foreign investors in farmland are changing life in the West

On a wide river bend, just outside of Jensen, Utah, bright fields of green alfalfa break up the buff of the rolling Colorado Plateau.  The 3,297-acre Escalante Ranch sits just downstream of Dinosaur National Monument on the Green River — the biggest tributary of the Colorado River, which brings water to 40 million people. …  This all was once vast swaths of Ute territory. The Escalante Ranch, which has been in operation for more than a century, has prime water rights, and in 2011, Chinese investors bought it for about $10 million. Now the owner offers guided hunting trips, which ranch manager Frank Biggs says is a part of how he manages the wildlife and ecosystem. They also grow alfalfa, some of which is exported back to the growing Chinese dairy industry. … ”  Continue reading at Deseret News here: How foreign investors in farmland are changing life in the West

Interior Department announces $348 Million for conservation projects in Nevada and California

The Department of the Interior announced today it will commit more than $348 million for 62 projects throughout Nevada and the California side of the Lake Tahoe Basin dedicated to recreation improvement, wildlife habitat conservation, hazardous fuels reduction, wildfire prevention, and other purposes. Funding for the projects was generated through the sale of public lands under the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act (SNPLMA).  As Nevada and California battle historic wildfires, including around the Lake Tahoe Basin, this funding includes over $50 million in investments for 15 projects that will address hazardous fuels reduction and wildfire prevention. … ”  Read more from the Department of the Interior here: Interior Department announces $348 Million for conservation projects in Nevada and California

Is California’s wildfire season already winding down?

The nation’s firefighters spent a record 69 days this year at their highest level of alert, the dreaded level 5, rushing from one drought-driven wildfire to the next. Now they’re finally getting at least somewhat of a break.  Last week, federal fire managers downgraded the National Preparedness Level to 3 after a handful of September storms smacked the Pacific Northwest and residual rain fell in California’s far north. This week, the season’s first significant snow began dropping on the Sierra Nevada, and a chance of showers was forecast for the Bay Area on Friday, all of which was helping fire crews coax long-burning infernos like the Dixie and Caldor fires to near full containment.  Fire season, however, is not over. … ”  Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Is California’s wildfire season already winding down?

Northern California’s fall fire forecast not looking good

Fall may bring cooler temperatures to the North Bay, but the threat of wildfires is still looming and may be worse than normal this year.  The National Interagency Fire Center’s monthly report shows that much of Northern California has “above-normal significant fire potential” for fires through November. The Boise-based fire center, which includes such agencies as the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, specifically references in its report the Coast Ranges from the Bay Area to Ukiah as an area at risk. … ”  Read more from the North Bay Business Journal here: Northern California’s fall fire forecast not looking good

Are California’s wildfires really “disasters”—or just something natural?

When a forest is torched by wildfire, what’s left behind is something resembling a dystopian hellscape. There are no green things, just a carpet of scorched earth and telltale piles of ash and debris: Here was a house, here a garden, here the shell of a car—and thousands of trees, stripped and blackened. It feels postapocalyptic, this flora-less wasteland. When the skies turn a burnt orange, Blade Runner 2049 doesn’t seem off base.  California’s runaway wildfires have been a harbinger of climate change that’s impossible to ignore—the heartbreak of each new season’s losses of homes and communities, the months of tainted air in portions of the state, the shattering of records for acreage burned. Fire has disrupted life for many residents and has raised questions about the longevity of the state’s iconic landscapes. … ”  Read more from Mother Jones here: Are California’s wildfires really “disasters”—or just something natural?

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In regional water news and commentary today …

NORTH COAST

‘Climate change is here’: Mike McGuire calls for urgent action

As the Western United States navigates yet another historic drought year fueled by the ongoing climate crisis, environmental scientists are calling for immediate action. State Sen. Mike McGuire invited the North Coast community to a virtual town hall Wednesday to explore bold solutions that will be needed in the months and years to come.  “The alarm could not be louder, climate change is here,” McGuire said. “Experts believe that climate change has made California and the American West warmer and drier over the last 20 to 30 years. Extreme heat is now the top weather-related killer in the United States. Western states are now more susceptible to extreme drought and larger, more destructive and frequent wildfires. Our coastal communities are already experiencing early challenges with sea-level rise. We know that California’s climate is always been variable, but the last couple of decades have been some of the hottest on record here in the Golden State.” ... ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here: ‘Climate change is here’: Mike McGuire calls for urgent action

SACRAMENTO VALLEY

Lake Shasta landslide knocks out water to hundreds in Jones Valley

A landslide along the shore of Lake Shasta, likely caused by the rapidly falling lake level, has knocked out water service to hundreds of Jones Valley area residents.  Meanwhile, Shasta County Public Works Department officials are trying to repair water lines and pumps broken by the landslide, but they have hit supply ordering delays and shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  “We have a massive landslide, 5 acres in size and taking out the pump station” the county uses to draw water out of Lake Shasta to serve residents in the Jones Valley area, said Pat Minturn, county public works director. … ”  Read more from the Redding Record Searchlight here: Lake Shasta landslide knocks out water to hundreds in Jones Valley

The myths and facts–Sacramento Valley salmon

Much of the reporting and hyperbole (see below) surrounding Sacramento Valley salmon population health this year has not told the complete story, as there has been premature reporting and the stories have not used accurate numbers based on what biologists are seeing in the rivers.  The following describes in more detail what state and federal agencies and biologists are seeing in the different parts of the Sacramento Valley in 2021. To be sure, the dry and hot conditions in 2021 are not ideal for salmon nor any other part of the ecosystem that depends upon water and they are having challenging years. Yet, despite these dry and hot conditions, salmon are amazingly resilient and they: 1) have returned to the Sacramento Valley in record numbers; 2) will continue to spawn, and 3) are now beginning their journey down the river in large numbers. Importantly, there continues to be a concerted effort throughout the region to improve conditions for every freshwater life-cycle stage of all four runs of Chinook salmon. ... ”  Read more from the Northern California Water Association here: The myths and facts–Sacramento Valley salmon

Butte County approves $364K for well project

The Butte County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a budget appropriation for the Palermo Clean Water Consolidation Project to the tune of $364,862 during its Sept. 28 meeting.  Interim Water and Resource Conservation District Director Christina Buck led a presentation on the state of the project during the meeting that went over funding options, possible grants and a schedule for the project. … ”  Read more from the Oroville Mercury-Register here: Butte County approves $364K for well project

Sacramento: New drought campaign aims to avoid repeat of deadly lesson

A new campaign online, on billboards and over the airwaves is aimed at urging California residents to avoid a deadly mistake involving trees that has been learned from previous droughts.  The new campaign from the Regional Water Authority and the Sacramento Tree Foundation is titled “Stress your lawn, save your trees.”  “We know that reducing lawn watering is the fastest way to cutting overall water use during a drought and to achieving the 15% reduction requested by Gov. Newsom,” said Amy Talbot, water efficiency program manager for RWA, which represents 20 water providers serving 2 million people in the Sacramento region. “But, reductions shouldn’t come at the expense of trees — that’s a major lesson we learned during the last drought.” … ”  Read more from KCRA Channel 3 here: New drought campaign aims to avoid repeat of deadly lesson

MOUNTAIN COUNTIES

South Yuba River Citizens League opposes Idaho-Maryland Mine

In November 2019, Rise Gold submitted a project description to reopen the Idaho-Maryland Mine with the hope of extracting gold on the 119-acre New Brunswick site.  SYRCL has been researching the project since 2019. Earlier this year, SYRCL’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to oppose the reopening of the Idaho-Maryland Mine.  Shortly after, on July 28, 2021, SYRCL joined ten other local and regional environmental organizations in signing a letter to Mr. Patrick Pulupa, the Executive Officer of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, to express deep concern over the impacts reopening the mine could have on water quality and flows.  SYRCL officially opposes the mine due to the significant potential environmental impacts that would occur as a result of the proposed mining operations. … ”  Read more from the South Yuba River Citizens League here: South Yuba River Citizens League opposes Idaho-Maryland Mine

Revitalization of Mine-Impacted Lands: Due Diligence in the Sierra Nevada Gold Country

Increasing the pace and scale of mine remediation is vital to transform the toxic legacy of California’s 19th century Gold Rush from destruction into innovation and protection of Sierra Nevada headwaters. The Sierra Fund’s newest report, “Due Diligence in the Sierra Nevada Gold Country: New Tools to Remediate California’s Abandoned Mine Lands,” outlines a strategy to finally remediate California’s dangerous legacy mines so that headwater and downstream communities’ water, soil and air support healthy places to live, work, and thrive.  National and state leaders have recently called for increasing the pace and scale of mine remediation, but precisely how to do this has been unclear – until now. In this report The Sierra Fund describes how to transform the legacy of the Gold Rush from widespread pollution into economic innovation and restoration of the landscapes and communities of the Sierra Nevada – and indeed the entire state. … ”  Continue reading at the Sierra Fund here: Revitalization of Mine-Impacted Lands: Due Diligence in the Sierra Nevada Gold Country

New plan for CABY region approved by the Department of Water Resources

The Sierra Fund is pleased to report that on August 26 the Department of Water Resources (DWR) finished their final review of the Cosumnes, American, Bear, Yuba (CABY) Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Plan update of 2021 and determined that it is consistent with the IRWM Planning Act and the related IRWM Plan Standards contained in the 2016 IRWM Program Guidelines. The CABY IRWM Plan addresses long-term water supply needs, protection of water quality, and enhancement of environmental and habitat resources in the region.  It’s official, CABY has a new Plan and is ready to move forward ... ”  Continue reading at the Sierra Fund here: New plan for CABY region approved by the Department of Water Resources

NAPA-SONOMA

Sonoma County dairy farmers allowed to tap into aquifer as new water source

Dairy cow farmers in Petaluma caught a huge break Thursday. Because of the drought many cows have been drinking water trucked in from miles away.  “Every day our farmers are hauling roughly 60-70,000 gallons a day, sometimes 10 truckloads to their cows,” says Tawny Tesconi, executive director of the Sonoma County Farm Bureau. But with a turn of a valve, they’ll be able to replenish their water supplies without going through all that.  “So without this program, those dairies would have had to go out of business,” Tesconi said. ... ”  Read more from KTVU here: Sonoma County dairy farmers allowed to tap into aquifer as new water source

BAY AREA

Proposed Marin Water pipeline capacity scrutinized: report

If what is already a historic drought goes on much longer, a proposed water pipeline could help Marin avert disaster, but it likely won’t be enough, The Marin Independent Journal reports.  The proposed $90 million, 8-mile pipeline that would stretch across the San Francisco Bay across the length of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge could potentially provide as much as 13.5 million gallons of water each day, according to the report. … ”  Read more from Marin Independent Journal here: Proposed Marin Water pipeline capacity scrutinized: report

Los Vaqueros Reservoir Joint Powers Authority formed

The Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project (Project) passed a significant milestone today in officially filing agreements needed to form a Joint Powers Authority. This important milestone puts a group of Local Agency Partners one step closer to Project implementation.  Los Vaqueros Reservoir is an off-stream reservoir that was originally built by Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) in 1998. The original reservoir capacity was 100,000 acre-feet and in 2012, CCWD completed the first phase of expansion to hold 160,000 acre-feet.  Expanding Los Vaqueros to a new capacity of 275,000 acre-feet and adding new conveyance facilities will provide environmental, water supply reliability, operational flexibility, water quality and recreational benefits. Those benefits earned the expansion $470 million of the $2.7 billion in water storage investments approved by voters when Proposition 1 passed. The remainder of the project costs will be covered by federal and local partners. … ”  Read more from the San Luis Delta-Mendota Water Authority here: Los Vaqueros Reservoir Joint Powers Authority formed

Zone 7 Water Agency votes to speed up underground water pumping

The Zone 7 directors voted unanimously Sept. 15 to spend an extra $2.7 million to hasten a well-pumping project by one year.  The project will act as a guard against more drought inroads and prevent damage caused by rolling brownouts, which occur frequently during fire season. Zone 7 Project Manager Brandon Woods explained that when the electricity goes out, the pumped well water being lifted up a hill to a treatment plant in the east suddenly becomes immensely heavy. That water then threatens to flow backward in the pipeline and destroy equipment in its wake. … ”  Read more from the Livermore Independent here: Zone 7 Water Agency votes to speed up underground water pumping

Water conservation improving, but still below goal, in Santa Clara County

Four months after Silicon Valley’s largest water provider, the Santa Clara Valley Water District, declared a drought emergency and asked residents in Santa Clara County to cut water use 15% compared to 2019 levels, they are still falling short.  Tougher rules — including mandatory limits on lawn watering to no more than two days a week in San Jose, and a ban on lawns in new housing developments in San Jose — are likely coming soon.  Overall, Santa Clara County residents reduced their water use by 9% in August compared to August 2019, according to new numbers made public Thursday by the water district.  That’s up from a 6% reduction in July and 0% in June. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: Water conservation improving, but still below goal, in Santa Clara County

SEE ALSO: Which cities in Santa Clara County are saving the most and the least water, from the San Jose Mercury News

SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY

Stanislaus County: Court rulings require some well permits to trigger an environmental review

State courts decided that Stanislaus County has to cease their practice of giving administrative approval for well permits, and the county is now working on policies to decide which well permits will require an environmental review.  During 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 approval of well applications.  More than 500 new water well permits were issued by the county 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 using too much groundwater supplies. … ”  Continue reading at Westside Connect here: Stanislaus County: Court rulings require some well permits to trigger an environmental review

On The Map: Big Creek

This waterway is a tributary of the San Joaquin River.  John Eastwood had the idea in the late 1800s that this would be a perfect place to set up a dam and a hydroelectric power plant. Despite some delays, including a workers strike and a suspected case of arson, the first stage of the project was completed in 1913.  Today, the vast majority of Southern California Edison’s hydroelectric power is generated right here. It’s powerhouse number one. It represents about a fifth of their total electricity generated capacity. And that’s why they call this “the hardest working water in the world”.  Here’s how it works … ”  Read more from Your Central Valley here: On The Map: Big Creek

Water in the Kern River an inspiration for local artists

Painters, poets and musicians converged on the state Water Resources Control Board Tuesday as part of an unrelenting campaign to get water in the Kern River through Bakersfield.  Bring Back the Kern, a local grassroots group, has facilitated public comments from a wide variety of individuals and groups, including brewers and, now, artists, at the Water Board to remind board members of what the Kern River means to residents. … ”  Read more from SJV Water here: Water in the Kern River an inspiration for local artists

COACHELLA VALLEY

Commentary: Conserving water can cut our bills — and help future generations

Arden Wallum, general manager at Mission Springs Water District, writes, “Extended droughts broken up by rainy years are part of a natural cycle here in California. Our state is once again in another dry period, with areas of Northern California already experiencing a significant impact. It is not a question of if, but when the Coachella Valley faces a similar fate.  Thanks to decades of targeted projects and careful planning, Mission Springs Water District will have enough water to serve our 40,000 customers in and around Desert Hot Springs. … ”  Continue reading at the Desert Sun here: Commentary: Conserving water can cut our bills — and help future generations

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Orange County: A look at the ecological damage of the oil spill of California’s coast

The clean up and investigation continues after a major oil spill off California’s coast. In a place where most marshes have been lost, it damaged a restored wetland that’s a refuge for shorebirds.  In Southern California, investigators are looking at whether a German cargo ship was involved in the oil spill that’s now polluting beaches, waters and fragile wetlands. Today, officials gave a new lower estimate of how much crude oil may have been spilled from a pipeline that was damaged on the ocean floor last weekend. … ”  Continue reading at NPR here: A look at the ecological damage of the oil spill of California’s coast

Carlsbad: Desal plant operations continue as state starts to install barriers at lagoon

Poseidon Water and the San Diego County Water Authority issued the following joint statement in response to emergency response efforts following the recent oil spill off the coast of Orange County. No oil has been detected by the plant’s monitoring system.  “The San Diego County Water Authority and Poseidon Water appreciate precautionary efforts by state emergency response crews to install a protective boom at the mouth of Agua Hedionda Lagoon, which provides intake water for the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant. State agencies are also installing a second barrier near the plant intake. … ”  Read more from the Water News Network here: Carlsbad: Desal plant operations continue as state starts to install barriers at lagoon

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Along the Colorado River …

New water year begins with most of the basin in drought

October marks the beginning of a new calendar for those who measure and manage the west’s water.  The good news?  Across the Colorado River basin, there’s a lot less “exceptional drought.”  The amount of land under the absolute driest designation is down about 60% in less than a year.  The bad news is that more than 90% of the basin remains in some level of drought. … ”  Read more from Arizona Public Media here: New water year begins with most of the basin in drought

Commentary: Can agriculture use less water?

Lynda Person with the Sustainable Water Network writes, “It is true that growing food is an important and often underappreciated business. Our human survival is dependent upon the successful growth of food. In Arizona the agricultural industry plays an even bigger role in our politics and policy due to our recent history. Cowboys and ranchers brought commerce and people to the state, paving the way for growth and development. We carry a romantic view of the yeoman farmer who helped build the state.  Despite the storied history and outsize impact of agriculture, this industry must be scrutinized. … ”  Continue reading at Arizona Capitol Times here: Can agriculture use less water?

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In national water news today …

How GIS advances aid storm water management

Advances in GIS technology provide numerous benefits to municipalities, especially those faced with limited staff and budgets. With access to comprehensive information in a GIS, public works providers can more effectively track maintenance needs, identify options for delivering the highest level of service and utilize resources at the optimal level. In addition, a GIS facilitates future planning by helping visualize the existing infrastructure and assessing how changes will impact the community. ... ”  Continue reading at Stormwater Solutions here: How GIS advances aid storm water management 

Interior Department releases climate adaptation and resilience plan

Today, as part of President Biden’s whole-of-government approach to confronting the climate crisis, the Department of the Interior released its climate adaptation and resilience plan, which outlines how the Department will use science as the foundation for planning and decision-making related to climate change risks, impacts and vulnerabilities.  “The Interior Department is committed to meeting the Biden-Harris administration’s ambitious climate and infrastructure goals,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “As the climate crisis disproportionately affects underserved communities, Interior will center environmental justice, build resilient communities and invest in a clean energy future that can create millions of good-paying union jobs, while protecting the communities, natural and cultural resources on which Americans rely.” ... ”  Read more from the Department of the Interior here: Interior Department releases climate adaptation and resilience plan

Water, water, everywhere: U.N. report warns of global water crisis amid climate change

The world is woefully underprepared for water-related disasters as floods, hurricanes and droughts intensify with climate change, the United Nations’ weather agency said in a new report released this week.  Global water management is “fragmented and inadequate,” the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization, development agencies and other groups found.  Almost 60% of 101 countries surveyed need better forecasting systems to help prevent devastation from severe weather.  Take floods. Since 2000, flood-related disasters have more than doubled globally compared to the previous two decades. Droughts have also become more widespread, up 29%, the report found. … “We need to wake up to the looming water crisis,” said Petteri Taalas, secretary general of the World Meteorological Organization. … ”  Continue reading at CBS News here: Water, water, everywhere: U.N. report warns of global water crisis amid climate change

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In commentary today …

There’s nothing green about dams. The federal infrastructure bill should tear them down

Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia Inc, writes, “Half our country is suffering from one of the worst droughts and most intense forest fire seasons on record. Climate change has Western states parched and burning, yet a key contributor to this crisis is not getting the attention it deserves: dams and reservoirs. To make matters worse, a coalition of hydropower and dam interests is pushing Congress and the Biden administration to funnel billions of dollars into propping up dams and selling the lie that dams provide a clean solution to America’s energy needs. But the truth is that including this proposal would make a mockery of the growing science on destructive dams and infrastructure plans meant to fight climate change. Investing in dams, instead of cleaner and less harmful energy and water solutions, perpetuates the crisis. … ”  Continue reading at the Colorado Sun here: There’s nothing green about dams. The federal infrastructure bill should tear them down

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Water and climate update …

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

dmrpt-20211007

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Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

DELTA eNEWS: ~~ Drought Resilience~ Delta Article~ Floodplain Symposium~ Government Reform~~

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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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