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DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: State Water Board approves new stream restoration measures for Mono Lake Basin; State gets federal ultimatum over oilfield injection problems; Protecting meadows as green infrastructure in the face of climate change; Impact of forest thinning on wildfires creates divisions; and more …

In California water news this weekend …

State Water Board approves new stream restoration measures for Mono Lake Basin

State water officials took a significant step on October 1 toward reversing damage to the Mono Lake Basin from excessive water diversions through major revisions to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) water rights licenses.  The changes approved by the State Water Resources Control Board provide significant updates to an existing stream restoration program and will restore instream flows to 20 miles of creek and fisheries habitats in the basin. LADWP is required to construct an outlet structure at Grant Lake Dam to facilitate higher peak flow releases during certain months and accelerate ecosystem recovery processes that will benefit the trout fishery and riparian habitats of Rush, Lee Vining, Walker and Parker Creeks, tributaries to Mono Lake.  The new measures build upon a historical 1994 State Water Board decision that established water export limitations and conditions to protect the environment in and around Mono Lake. ... ”  Read more from the State Water Board here: State Water Board approves new stream restoration measures for Mono Lake Basin

Editorial: How the deal to stop draining Mono Lake can help settle California’s future water wars

The Los Angeles Times editorial board writes of the agreement, ” … It’s an important achievement, demonstrating that it’s possible for a city that once plundered the pristine Eastern Sierra to be a champion of its restoration. Particular credit is due to the Mono Lake Committee, which was formed in 1978 to save the lake; and also its adversary, the L.A. Department of Water and Power, which historically has kept water flowing to the city and continues to press for a reliable water supply, but is now also a partner in protecting the environment. Managing the inherent tension between those two goals is one of the definitional tasks of 21st century California. ... ”  Read the full editorial at the LA Times here:  Editorial: How the deal to stop draining Mono Lake can help settle California’s future water wars

LADWP’s Mono Basin water rights and obligations codified after decades of litigation and negotiations

“A major milestone in the effort to protect the Mono Basin ecosystem was reached last week. On October 1, 2021, the California State Water Board approved a comprehensive program to restore four key tributaries to Mono Lake, located in the Eastern Sierra near Yosemite. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) will implement this program, as a condition of its water rights license to withdraw water for transport to its customers in the Los Angeles area.  The broad strokes of the restoration program, which includes improving conditions for native trout on Rush, Parker, Walker, and Lee Vining Creeks, were laid out in the 2013 Mono Basin Settlement Agreement between LADWP and California Trout (CalTrout), the Mono Lake Committee, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The Water Board’s recent approval of the settlement ends decades of litigation, negotiations and controversy related to LADWP’s duties to restore twenty miles of fisheries and wildlife habitat in and around Mono Lake. … ”

Click here to continue reading this press release from Cal Trout.

ICYMI … State Water Board launches new era of stream restoration at Mono Lake

[Last week] in Sacramento the California State Water Resources Control Board issued Order WR 2021-0086 EXEC amending the Mono Basin water rights of the City of Los Angeles to incorporate extensive new requirements that maximize the restoration of the 20 miles of streams, forests, and fisheries that lie downstream of the Los Angeles Aqueduct diversion dams.  The action draws on decades of detailed scientific study to prescribe specific measures that will significantly advance the recovery of the streams, trout populations, and the streamside forests and wildlife, all of which suffered extensive damage due to past excessive water diversions by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP). … ”  Read more from the Mono Lake Committee here: State Water Board launches new era of stream restoration at Mono Lake

State gets federal ultimatum over oilfield injection problems

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued an ultimatum to California oil and water agencies that have fallen years behind schedule in their efforts to bring the state’s oilfield injection program into compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.  A Sept. 16 letter from the director of the EPA’s water division, Tomás Torres, gave the California Natural Resources Agency and the State Water Resources Control Board 30 days to update their proposed plan for completing final paperwork for exempting certain underground aquifers from the SDWA by no later than Sept. 30, 2022. … ”  Read more from the Bakersfield Californian here: State gets federal ultimatum over oilfield injection problems

As drought worsens, California farmers are being paid not to grow crops

Green fields of alfalfa and cotton rolled past as Brad Robinson drove through the desert valley where his family has farmed with water from the Colorado River for three generations. Stopping the truck, he stepped onto a dry, brown field where shriveled remnants of alfalfa crunched under his boots.  The water has been temporarily shut off on a portion of Robinson’s land. In exchange, he’s receiving $909 this year for each acre of farmland left dry and unplanted. The water is instead staying in Lake Mead, near Las Vegas, to help slow the unrelenting decline of the largest reservoir in the country. … ”  Read more from the LA Times here: As drought worsens, California farmers are being paid not to grow crops

Protecting meadows as green infrastructure in the face of climate change

Meadows are hotspots for biological diversity and provide numerous ecosystem benefits, especially in relation to the land mass they cover, including flood attenuation, sediment filtration, water storage, water quality improvement, carbon sequestration, and livestock forage.  Approximately 50% of meadows in the Sierra Nevada are known to be degraded, in large part due to land-use practices including overgrazing. Since 2016, The Sierra Fund’s work has aimed to enhance the regenerative capacity of meadows to perform their stabilizing functions in the face of these legacy practices and mounting climate change impacts using process-based restoration (PBR). … ”  Continue reading from The Sierra Fund here: Protecting meadows as green infrastructure in the face of climate change

New limits on water use spur conservation measures among farmers in California’s Central Valley

A 2014 California law intended to protect the state’s depleted aquifers is going into effect, requiring farms not to pump groundwater faster than it can be replenished. The policy is pushing growers to find new ways to refill the state’s depleted aquifers, NPR reports.  Farms in California’s Central Valley, which grow 40 percent of the country’s fruits, nuts and vegetables, depend on water from rivers and reservoirs fed largely by rain and melting snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. During drought years, which are becoming more frequent and severe with climate change, farmers make up the shortfall by pumping water from underground aquifers. Overpumping has so diminished aquifers that in parts of the Central Valley the ground is sinking. … ”  Read more from Yale e360 here: New limits on water use spur conservation measures among farmers in California’s Central Valley

Delta Counties Commend Mayor Eric Garcetti for Conservation Efforts That Increase Water Supplies While Reducing Reliance on the Delta

“In response to Mayor Eric Garcetti’s leadership and his vision for water conservation that led to the efforts by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to return a portion of its conserved water to Metropolitan Water District (MWD) and to ensure that Southern California residents have continued water access during a historic drought, Oscar Villegas, vice-chair of the Delta Counties Coalition (DCC) representing the Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano and Yolo Counties made the following statement:  “In this era of long-term drought, increasingly warm temperatures and the need to serve more people with less water, the DCC commends Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and LADWP for understanding what needs to be done by reducing their dependency on imported water. … ”

Click here to read the full press release from the Delta Counties Coalition.

Hydropower decline adds strain to power grids in drought

After water levels at a California dam fell to historic lows this summer, the main hydropower plant it feeds was shut down. At the Hoover Dam in Nevada — one of the country’s biggest hydropower generators — production is down by 25%. If extreme drought persists, federal officials say a dam in Arizona could stop producing electricity in coming years.  Severe drought across the West drained reservoirs this year, slashing hydropower production and further stressing the region’s power grids. And as extreme weather becomes more common with climate change, grid operators are adapting to swings in hydropower generation. ... ”  Read more from ABC News here: Hydropower decline adds strain to power grids in drought

Impact of forest thinning on wildfires creates divisions

Firefighters and numerous studies credit intensive forest thinning projects with helping save communities like those recently threatened near Lake Tahoe in California and Nevada, but dissent from some environmental advocacy groups is roiling the scientific community.  States in the U.S. West and the federal government each year thin thousands of acres of dense timber and carve broad swaths through the forest near remote communities, all designed to slow the spread of massive wildfires.  The projects aim to return overgrown forests to the way they were more than a century ago, before land managers began reflexively extinguishing every wildfire as soon as possible. … ”  Read more from Yahoo News here: Impact of forest thinning on wildfires creates divisions

With a warming climate, coastal fog around the world is declining

Fog is a defining element of summer in Santa Cruz, obscuring the view of day trippers descending the hills to the coast and prompting kids to bundle up to hop on their bikes for summer adventures. Its fingerprints are visible in the vast coastal forests, even when it isn’t hanging in the air. The redwood trees towering in a clear blue sky soak up moisture from the fog on gray days. It is often their only source of water for months at a time.  Fog is essential for plants and animals, agriculture and human health, not only in California but in coastal zones around the world. But many scientists believe that fog is declining, another casualty of global warming. ... ”  Continue reading from Inside Climate News here: With a warming climate, coastal fog around the world is declining

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In commentary this weekend …

A joint effort to protect the Central Valley’s water, ecology

Curtis Knight (Cal Trout), Jeff McCreary (Ducks Unlimited Western Region); Tim Johnson (California Rice Commission), and David Guy (Northern California Water Association) write, “Like a human fingerprint, California’s Sacramento Valley is truly unique. On the leading edge of ecological and economical sustainability, it’s also an exceptional place to live, work, and raise a family.  The Sacramento Valley joins together a world-renowned mosaic of natural and human abundance: productive farmlands, teeming wildlife refuges and managed wetlands, the largest salmon runs south of the Columbia River, dynamic rural and urban communities, and life-giving rivers and creeks that support it all.  Yet we are missing the full suite of benefits once provided by the interaction of the Sacramento River with the Valley’s formerly vast floodplain wetlands. … ”  Read more from Capitol Weekly here: A joint effort to protect the Central Valley’s water, ecology

Column: New ballot measures target the right problems

Steven Greenhut, Western region director for the R Street Institute and a member of the Southern California News Group editorial board, writes, ” … We also learned last week of two new ballot measures for the 2020 ballot that embody the spirit of Gov. Johnson. They’re certainly longshots – but one of the most compelling aspects of the initiative process is that it enables governmental outsiders to force out-of-the-box ideas onto the agenda. …  The first proposal would ban collective bargaining for government workers. The second measure would require 2 percent of the state’s general-fund revenue each year to fund water projects until the state amasses an additional 5 million acre-feet of available water supplies. ... ”  Read the full column at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune here:  New ballot measures target the right problems

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Podcasts …

INGRAINED PODCAST:  Water planning in the Sacramento Valley

Water has long been a contentious subject in California.  As the nation’s most populous state, leading the nation in farm production and a state dedicated to environmental protection, it’s easy to understand why.  The severe, ongoing drought only puts a greater focus on water.  While there’s hope for a wet fall and winter, Sacramento Valley water managers and other stakeholders are doing what they can to prepare for all outcomes.  Teamwork and coordination are invaluable, especially during difficult times.”


WHAT ABOUT WATER PODCAST: Dam nation

Join our guest host, Professor Graham Strickert, as he hosts a panel of experts to discuss the pitfalls and problems of hydropower dams. Inspired by our screening of the award-winning Patagonia film “DamNation.”


RIPPLE EFFECT: Environmental rights

Fascinating discussion with James R. May, Distinguished Professor of Law at Widener University of Delaware, unpacking the components of what it means to recognize environmental rights. Great look at rethinking the function of our democracy to recognize and promote an innate right to a clean and healthy environment and a stable climate, and whether nature itself can possess rights. A good brain scrubber of a talk.” 


WATERLOOP PODCAST: A prize fight against lead

An estimated 2.2 million people in America lack clean water and proper sanitation. These individuals are found all across the country – in indigenous communities, California’s Central Valley, the U.S.-Mexico border, Appalachia, the Deep South, and in urban neighborhoods. In this episode George McGraw, Founder and CEO of DigDeep, says it’s time for an international-style WASH sector to form in the U.S. and that’s why a new database lists organizations that work on the issues. George also talks about the community focused approach that DigDeep takes, how a lack of running water worsened the COVID pandemic for Navajo Nation, and rebuilding infrastructure in West Virginia.


WATER IS A MANY SPLENDOR’ED THING PODCAST: Adjusting to the Times- Ohio Family Farming

Steve Baker writes, “Farmers put it all on the line every single year because nobody really knows how much water will be available to feed the crops each year. Decisions are made many months before the seeds are planted.  John Lane is an Ohio farmer that has been growing crops since the mid-1950s. A lot of things have changed in the last 70 years; manmade and natural. John has learned to adjust. He has found a way to remain productive and considerate of his community.  Water is a Many Splendor’ed Thing brings you another water relationship that has a personally significant impact to your life. ” Produced by Steven Baker, Operation Unite® Bringing People Together to Solve Water Problems, Online at www.operationunite.co

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In regional water news this weekend …

NORTH COAST

The North Coast asks questions at Senator McGuire’s climate crisis town hall

On Wednesday, California’s Second District Senator Mike McGuire moderated a discussion on California’s climate change problems where Humboldt County and the North Coast region were given specific attention. Questions were read aloud by McGuire in the live town hall forum on Zoom while it streamed in real time on YouTube. The panel specifically addressed local concerns about dwindling fog, fire management, and also dug into related California-centered climate concerns.  McGuire set the stage by welcoming viewers and framing the discussion, saying, “I want to be candid here tonight – the alarm could not be louder. Climate change is here, the evidence is clear and the impacts are dangerous. Experts believe that climate change has made California and the American west warmer and drier over the last twenty to thirty years.” … ”  Read more from the Redheaded Blackbelt here: The North Coast asks questions at Senator McGuire’s climate crisis town hall

Humboldt County supervisors weigh well permitting amid drought conditions

Despite recent rains, severe to extreme drought conditions persist throughout Humboldt County. During the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, the county drought task force shared an update on local conditions and initiatives aimed at mitigating drought impacts.  One of the main concerns brought up in previous drought-related discussions was permitting standards for water wells. The county recently entered into a contract with Eureka-based engineering firm LACO Associates to provide hydro-geologic consulting services to provide the following: “Guidelines for approving low-impact wells and site-specific testing requirements for wells anticipated to have a higher impact, Database of existing well permits for use in countywide studies and development of permanent standards, and a decision matrix to determine whether wells are likely to fall into a high impact category or a low impact category with an appropriate set of protocols for each,” according to the staff report. ... ”  Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here: Humboldt County supervisors weigh well permitting amid drought conditions

SACRAMENTO VALLEY

Happy Valley water fines increase as drought continues

If you live in Happy Valley and went over your allotted water last month, you may be seeing fines up to $1,000 on your water bill.  Close to 98% of Happy Valley is extremely dry, but that is not the case for Scot McVay, who thanks his well for helping him keep his landscape green during the drought.  “It is a blessing but I feel guilty,” says McVay, as most of the neighboring yards are dry. … ”  Read more from KRCR here: Happy Valley water fines increase as drought continues

Sacramento: Regional Water Authority receives National WaterSense® Partner of the Year Award for water-efficiency outreach

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today honored the Regional Water Authority (RWA) with the national 2021 WaterSense® Partner of the Year Award for its dedication to helping consumers and businesses save water, even with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.  This is the second WaterSense Award for RWA, which in 2016 earned a WaterSense® Excellence in Education and Outreach Award for its outstanding efforts to educate Sacramento-area residents about water efficiency and the WaterSense brand.  “We are honored to receive such a prestigious award and proud of what the region’s water providers have achieved by working together,” said RWA Water Efficiency Program Manager Amy Talbot. “WaterSense-labeled fixtures deliver savings each time they are used, making them a critical building block for sustaining long-term water efficiency in the Sacramento region and beyond.” ... ”  Continue reading from the Regional Water Authority here: Sacramento: Regional Water Authority receives National WaterSense® Partner of the Year Award for water-efficiency outreach

NAPA-SONOMA

Dormant Sonoma Water well now back online

With water supplies diminishing across California, the Sonoma County Water Agency pulled off a major coup by bringing a fresh water source into play that will make another 1.6 million gallons a day or so available to its contractors.  While not exactly new, the rehabilitated groundwater well off Todd Road in southwest Santa Rosa has been out of commission since the last drought and barely used for several years before that.  But an infusion of cash — about $800,000 split by Sonoma Water and the county — plus months of labor and new equipment means the 808-foot deep well now meets state standards.  … ”  Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here: Dormant Sonoma Water well now back online

BAY AREA

West Marin well contamination forces water station setup

Saltwater contamination at two West Marin wells serving nearly 2,000 people has become so severe that the local utility will take the unprecedented step of opening an emergency refilling station.  The North Marin Water District is recommending that ratepayers with low-salt diets obtain their drinking and cooking water from a 3,500-gallon water tank in Point Reyes Station until salt levels decrease in the wells.  “This is big for us in town,” said Ken Levin, president of the Point Reyes Station Village Association. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: West Marin well contamination forces water station setup

Bay Area: Explore the Bay Water Trail

The sun finally broke through the morning clouds at Crane Cove beach. My shoulders were sore and my thighs fatigued. I dipped the blade of the paddle and swept it back over the water to turn the nose of my board to face out toward the Bay Bridge span and Port of Oakland. … How I got to this moment of hard-earned wonder was through the San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail — a growing network of trailheads to launch and land nonmotorized small boats. It is the public resource that will get you out on the Bay, because let’s face it: you’ve driven over it, maybe ferried across it, or shared a meal next to it. But have you dipped your toe in all the San Francisco Bay has to offer? Roughly 53 trailhead sites sprinkle the shoreline of the nine counties surrounding the Bay to encourage people to explore and enjoy over 500 miles of navigable scenic and environmental splendor on kayaks, kiteboards, dragon boats, and stand-up paddleboards. … ”  Read more from Bay Nature here: Explore the Bay Water Trail

Dublin San Ramon Services District raises rates amid stage 2 water shortage

The Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) Board of Directors has approved stage 2 water shortage rates in response to worsening drought conditions in California.  As with other local water agencies, the DSRSD already declared a state 2 water shortage emergency, mandating a 15 percent conservation in water use from customers compared to 2020.  At its meeting Tuesday, the board adopted state 2 emergency rates, effective Nov. 5. … ”  Read more from CBS Sacramento here: Dublin San Ramon Services District raises rates amid stage 2 water shortage

CENTRAL COAST

Monterey: After 26 years, the hammer is finally coming down on the Peninsula’s water use. Will we have enough to avoid water rationing?

At the end of this year, the Monterey Peninsula will be thrust into a new water reality. It will be the first year in at least 140 that residents and businesses will receive most of their water from a source other than the Carmel River. This is not a choice but a reprimand 26 years in the making that will force the Peninsula into an immediate period of water instability unseen since the 1970s.  On Dec. 31, 2021, private utility California American Water, by mandate of the state, has to cut the amount of water it takes from the Carmel River by more than 50 percent of what is allowed today. … ”  Read more from Monterey Weekly here: Monterey: After 26 years, the hammer is finally coming down on the Peninsula’s water use. Will we have enough to avoid water rationing?

SAN JOAQUIN

Kettleman in Crisis: Poor Kings Co. town becomes intersection of I-5, 41, and Zero Water

While California’s severe drought has hit nearly every corner of the Golden State, it has delivered a crushing toll to communities that received little bounce back following the last drought that peaked seven years ago.  Case-in-point? Kettleman City. … Beyond a smattering of gas stations, restaurants, and a Tesla-branded charging station-turned-rest stop, the unincorporated town in southern Kings County is home to a hefty population of farmworkers, where nearly 30 percent of residents live under the Federal poverty line.  As if to make matters worse, if the state’s drought posture stays the same, they’ll be out of water by year’s end, their water provider says. … ”  Read more from the San Joaquin Valley Sun here: Kettleman in Crisis: Poor Kings Co. town becomes intersection of I-5, 41, and Zero Water

City of Tehachapi moving forward on project to recycle treated wastewater

When it comes to water, the city of Tehachapi doesn’t want all of its proverbial eggs in one basket and is working on several fronts to ensure an adequate supply.  That was the message from Development Services Director Jay Schlosser in a report to the Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council on Oct. 6. Schlosser said the Groundwater Sustainability Project initiated by the city of Tehachapi in 2019 is moving forward. The plan is to upgrade treatment of the city’s wastewater to tertiary level, then return it to the ground to eventually become part of the potable water supply. … ”  Read more from the Tehachapi News here: City moving forward on project to recycle treated wastewater

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Long Beach: Explainer: What’s happening with the Orange County oil spill? And how will it affect Long Beach?

Oil has been washing up on Orange County beaches since a leak in an underwater pipeline from an offshore platform sent tens of thousands of gallons of heavy crude into the ocean waters. The spill fouled the famed sands of Huntington Beach, and could keep the ocean and shoreline closed there and in some other communities to the south for weeks.  Here’s a look at what happened, who’s involved and the aftermath … ”  Read more from the Long Beach Post here: Explainer: What’s happening with the Orange County oil spill? And how will it affect Long Beach?

Illegal marijuana farms in Orange County show how toxic danger is spread through national forests

Don Hoang stood on a hillside thick with brush in the Cleveland National Forest where in September, officers had uprooted some 1,300 illegal marijuana plants that could have netted the growers a $4 million profit.  Hoang was more concerned with what he saw scattered around him in a canyon near Ortega Highway in Orange County: pesticides so toxic that they are banned in the United States, plus fertilizer, beer cans, irrigation tubing, clothing and trash.  “For us, it’s not about the marijuana. It’s about protecting the environment, protecting the wildlife and protecting the water supply to the communities,” said Hoang, special agent in charge for U.S. Forest Service law enforcement investigations. “This is what they are doing to public lands. They are coming in and destroying it for an illicit purpose.” … ”  Read more from the OC Register here: Illegal marijuana farms in Orange County show how toxic danger is spread through national forests

COACHELLA/IMPERIAL VALLEY

Coachella Valley: Column: Up to 1 million gallons of water … a night? That’s par for some desert golf courses

Columnist Steve Lopez writes, “Doug Thompson couldn’t believe what he’d just been told. His wife, a botanist, was advising a Coachella Valley country club on drought-resistant landscaping, and Thompson, who got to talking with the groundskeeper, asked how much water it takes to irrigate a golf course.  “He proudly said they had just computerized their system and they were down to 1.2 million gallons a night,” recalls Thompson, an ecologist who leads natural history expeditions. “I thought I didn’t hear him correctly, so about 30 minutes later I asked again, and he said the same thing.”  That conversation took place a few years ago. But in the midst of a prolonged drought that has prompted a first-ever federal declaration of a water shortage in the Colorado River Basin and brought calls for greater conservation throughout California, Thompson and his wife, Robin Kobaly, became more keenly aware of all the lush green golf courses set against the parched landscape of the Coachella Valley.  How many golf courses? ... ”  Read more from the LA Times here: Up to 1 million gallons of water … a night? That’s par for some desert golf courses

Imperial to start turning off tap for residents 60 days due

Come Wednesday, Oct. 13, utility services for Imperial residents more than 60 days past due will start to be cut off, but the city will continue to offer public assistance services to help those who are behind in their bills, it was announced at the City Council meeting this week.  Some 164 utility customers (water, sewer, and trash) are past due 60 days or more and will be affected this upcoming date, and more than 800 customers are 30 days past due, Imperial Administrative Services Director Laura Gutierrez informed the City Council during its meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 6, in her departmental report. ... ”  Read more from the Holtville Tribune here: Imperial to start turning off tap for residents 60 days due 

SAN DIEGO

San Diego: Helix Water District does about-face with shutoff plan for non-paying customers

Helix Water District customers who have had trouble paying their bills during the COVID-19 pandemic will be spared having their water turned off by the La Mesa-based water providers.  The five-member Helix Water District Board of Directors unanimously voted on Wednesday to delay the resumption of shutoffs for nonpayment until Jan. 1, to be consistent with Senate Bill 155, which was signed by Governor Newsom on Sept. 23. Among other things, the new law extends the moratorium on termination of water service for nonpayment until the end of the year. … ”  Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here: San Diego: Helix Water District does about-face with shutoff plan for non-paying customers

San Diego: Precautions in place to protect county’s drinking water from oil spill

San Diego County’s largest source of locally produced drinking water is closely monitoring the impact the oil spill off the coast of Orange County could have in the area.  The Carlsbad Desalination Plant provides 10% of San Diego County’s drinking water and produces 50 million gallons of desalinated seawater a day.  The facility was developed and is managed by Poseidon Water in partnership with the San Diego County Water Authority. … ”  Read more from Channel 10 here: Precautions in place to protect county’s drinking water from oil spill

Massive sewage flow fouls South Bay beaches

The rainstorm that deluged San Diego County earlier this week also pushed a massive amount of sewage tainted water through the Tijuana River Valley.  Federal officials estimate more than 563 million gallons of polluted water flowed across the U.S.-Mexico border and into the Tijuana River Valley.  Surfrider Foundation’s Laura Walsh called the situation shocking.  South Bay residents have endured increasingly larger cross border flows for the past few years. ... ”  Continue reading from KPBS here: Massive sewage flow fouls South Bay beaches

Legal brief: Tijuana River sewage

The U.S. government sued California water regulators Friday, claiming it improperly regulates pollutants that flow from Mexico into the U.S. through Tijuana River tributaries.”  Read the brief here, via Courthouse News.

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Along the Colorado River …

Southwest conditions historically dry since 2020, report finds

People who live in the Southwest know it’s been especially hot and dry the last couple of years, but a new government report shows those conditions are actually historic.  Precipitation across multiple basins in six states from January 2020 through August 2021 was the lowest recorded since researchers started tracking with gauges in the late 1800s. Meanwhile, the 20-month stretch had the third-highest average daily temperatures since researchers started measuring with instruments.  The findings come from a September report issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration drought task force and underscore how human activity has worsened the drought. ... ”  Read more from the Las Vegas Review-Journal here: Southwest conditions historically dry since 2020, report finds

Tapping the tools of water security

A few weeks ago, Arizona State University’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory received a pleasant surprise — a $5 million surprise.  The generous gift was one of four “surprise grants” totalling $7.1 million courtesy of the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, which has bestowed on the university more than $60 million since 1994.  The bulk of the latest grant money went to enable ASU to develop solutions for the state to thrive and grow through water security and climate resilience. Researchers will use the investment to develop new tools, analytics and data visualizations to measure, monitor and manage water in the region by giving decision-makers more accurate information. … ”  Read more from Arizona State University here: Tapping the tools of water security

Also on Maven’s Notebook this weekend …

NOTICE: Notice of Water Right Permit Application A033151 and Request for Release of Priority from A018334 – Santa Cruz County

WORKSHOP: California Water Commission to hold public workshops to explore well-managed groundwater trading programs

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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