DAILY DIGEST, 10/15: Democrats concerned over state’s lawsuit against biops; Unlined waste disposal pits endanger groundwater in San Joaquin Valley; Wildfire experts escalate fight over saving California forests; and more …


On the calendar today …

  • FRIDAY: The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board will meet beginning at 9am. Agenda items include consideration of approval of the strategic plan, consideration of an order to exempt managed wetlands; Delta Regional Montioring Program, Overview of Board’s forest activities program, and Irrigated lands groundwater protection values. Click here for the full agenda and remote access instructions.

In California water news today …

Costa, Garamendi, Harder send letter expressing concern over state’s lawsuit against 2019 biological opinions

Representatives Jim Costa (CA-16), John Garamendi (CA-03), and Josh Harder (CA-10) sent a letter to state and federal agencies expressing concerns about new filings in the State of California’s lawsuit challenging the management of the federal Central Valley Project and protections for endangered fish species.  In the letter the members wrote:   “We understand the new filings include an unprecedented operations plan for the coming water year, submitted by the State with the federal Bureau of Reclamation. Amid ongoing extreme drought conditions facing California and across the West, a court-ordered water management plan for a single water year, which has not been subject to adequate scientific or public review, is the worst possible outcome. … ”  Read more from Congressman Jim Costa’s office here: Costa, Garamendi, Harder lead letter to preserve the Valley’s water supply

Column: Democrats’ new strategy to winning Calif. water wars? Flush the science.

Columnist Wayne Western writes, “In October of 2019, the desire of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) desire to update the biological opinions governing the Sacramento-San Joaquin was met after more than a decade of detailed data on water management, fish species management, and flows in relation to both were compiled.  New biological opinions, issued in 2019, were the result of the very latest scientific information.  That was just two years ago.  The reinitiated consultation of long-term coordinated operations of the Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP), pursuant to the federal Endangered Species Act was complete. … ”  Read more from the San Joaquin Valley Sun here: Column: Democrats’ new strategy to winning Calif. water wars? Flush the science.

Developing rain storm in the Bay Area could calm wildfire activity next week

A potential mid-October storm could bring rain to Northern California next week, possibly quelling wildfire risk in the region, according to forecasters.  The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center said “above-normal precipitation” for the West Coast could arrive next Thursday, bringing “possible record-breaking precipitation for late October” over parts of the region. Forecasters said two inches of rain over three days could fall over the Pacific Northwest.  National Weather Service meteorologist Roger Gass said the Bay Area will see warmer temperatures through Saturday and as high pressure builds, a cold front will push through the region on Sunday, especially in the Santa Clara Valley and San Jose. Lower temperatures will persist through Monday and an “unsettled weather pattern” will move into the West Coast, increasing the chances of rain. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: Developing rain storm in the Bay Area could calm wildfire activity next week

Unlined waste disposal pits endanger groundwater in San Joaquin Valley

A new study by the energy science and policy research institute, Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers (PSE) for Healthy Energy shows that the disposal of over 16 billion barrels of oil and gas wastewater into unlined pits over a 50-year period has introduced salts, carcinogens, and other toxins into regional aquifers.   For decades, California law has allowed the use of unlined ponds to dispose of water extracted during oil and gas production. California is one of the last states in the nation to allow the industry to dispose of oil and gas wastewater—known as produced water—into unlined ponds. Over time, this produced water percolates underground, raising the salinity of groundwater and contaminating local and regional groundwater resources. ... ”  Read more from PSE Healthy Energy here: Unlined waste disposal pits endanger groundwater in San Joaquin Valley

California’s dirty little secret: Oil wells in the backyard

As a child, Ashley Hernandez remembers pretending that the oil pumpjacks that loomed over her neighborhood were dinosaurs. …  It wasn’t until she was in high school that Hernandez started to learn about the possible connections between the nosebleeds, the cancer, the asthma, the undrinkable water, and the oil.  Wilmington and the neighboring community of Carson are home to five oil refineries, as well as the Wilmington Oil Field — the third-most productive patch in the United States.  More than 3,400 onshore wells have been drilled in the field since oil was first discovered there in 1932; today, the site pumps out 46,000 barrels per day from 1,550 active wells. Wilmington is also home to more than 50,000 residents, more than 90 percent of whom are people of color. Due to the impact of the oil and gas drilling and refining, census tracts in Wilmington are exposed to more pollution than 80 to 90 percent of the state of California. … ”  Read more from The Grist here: California’s dirty little secret: Oil wells in the backyard

White paper finds no evidence of elevated threat to human or crop safety from use of oil field produced water to irrigate crops

Last month, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley Region (“Central Valley Water Board”) published a Food Safety Project White Paper (“White Paper”) on the use of oil field produced water for food crop irrigation. The White Paper did not find any evidence that using produced water for irrigation creates an elevated threat to human or crop safety.  When oil is extracted from the ground by oil wells, a portion of the fluid extracted generally consists of water. This portion is called produced water. According to the Central Valley Water Board, approximately 150 million barrels of oil are produced in California each year. One barrel contains 42 gallons of oil, and 10 to 15 gallons of produced water are extracted with each gallon of oil in the Central Valley. … ”  Continue reading from Stoel Rives here: White paper finds no evidence of elevated threat to human or crop safety from use of oil field produced water to irrigate crops 

La Niña is back. Here’s what that means.

After a months-long period of relative atmospheric balance between El Niño and La Niña, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday that La Niña has returned. It’s expected to stick around in some capacity through the winter and relax toward spring.  The intensifying La Niña should peak in magnitude, or strength, by the end of 2021, having bearings on the drought in the West, the end of hurricane season and the upcoming winter. La Niña also plays a role in shaping how tornado season pans out in the spring. … ”  Read more from the Washington Post here:  La Niña is back. Here’s what that means.

SEE ALSOLa Niña has arrived and will stick around. Here is what that means for the dry Southwest and US hurricanes, from CNN

Megadrought forcing farmers to abandon fields

Farmers in California’s San Joaquin Valley are struggling with the megadrought. It is the most productive agricultural region globally, where farms grow 250 different crops on 17% of the nation’s irrigated land.  “It is severe in the San Joaquin Valley,” said Professor Daniel Sumner, an agricultural economist at UC Davis.  California regulators cut farmers’ water allotments by a third due to low reservoir levels. … ”  Read more from WTVR here: Megadrought forcing farmers to abandon fields

U.S. authorities disclose ransomware attacks against water facilities

U.S. authorities said on Thursday that four ransomware attacks had penetrated water and wastewater facilities in the past year, and they warned similar plants to check for signs of intrusions and take other precautions.  The alert from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency cited a series of apparently unrelated hacking incidents from September 2020 to August 2021 that used at least three different strains of ransomware, which encrypts computer files and demands payment for them to be restored.  Attacks at an unnamed Maine wastewater facility three months ago and one in California in August moved past desktop computers and paralyzed the specialized supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) devices that issue mechanical commands to the equipment. … ”  Read more from Reuters here: U.S. authorities disclose ransomware attacks against water facilities

SEE ALSO: Agencies warn of cyber threats to water, wastewater systems, from The Hill

DWR nationally recognized for innovative partnership to teach educators the effects of climate change

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) received its fifth Climate Leadership Award for its work teaching educators about the effects of climate change.  DWR’s partnership with the Water Education Foundation (The Foundation) began in 2014 with a common goal to inform educators about California’s water resources and the effects of climate change. To achieve this goal, DWR and The Foundation collaborated to develop a workshop for K – 12 educators known as “Understanding Climate Change in California” as part of The Foundation’s California Water Education Today program, also known as Project WET. … ”  Read more from DWR News here: DWR nationally recognized for innovative partnership to teach educators the effects of climate change

How a California state forest became a battleground for logging redwoods on public land

A century-old redwood — California’s most revered tree — lies dead on the forest floor.  Its trunk has been sawed into two large sections, a message scrawled on its stump in red marker: “STOP.” Beneath, the stump’s diameter is recorded: 55 inches, about the height of a 10-year-old child. Lower still, in smaller letters, another message: “This is not fire prevention.”  Surrounding this tree are other redwoods that have been felled or girdled, meaning large swaths of their bark have been carved away from their trunks. More redwoods are marked blue — they too are slated for a timber harvest. Dead foliage and piles of branches abound.  The wounded and dead trees look like casualties left behind on a battlefield. And in a way, that’s what they are. … ”  Read more from SF Gate here: How a California state forest became a battleground for logging redwoods on public land

Wildfire experts escalate fight over saving California forests

As the Caldor Fire roared into the Lake Tahoe basin more than a month ago, Brian Newman took some comfort in the surroundings. An operations section chief with Cal Fire, Newman knew that thousands of acres of trees and brush had been deliberately removed from around the basin in recent years. He and other firefighters said the work helped level the playing field, turning imminent disaster into one of the most dramatic success stories of the 2021 wildfire season. … “Obviously, the fuel reduction and the thinning played a part — a large part,” said Newman, who patrolled that night in a Cal Fire pickup. But Chad Hanson, an influential environmentalist with a Ph.D. from UC Davis, looked at the Caldor Fire and drew a different conclusion: Forest thinning didn’t work. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Bee here:  Wildfire experts escalate fight over saving California forests

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In commentary today …

Delta Conveyance Project needs these changes

David Gloski of Bethel Island writes, “In my first article regarding the state’s Delta Conveyance Project, I provided some background on the initiative and introduced that there are some important design changes we should be fighting for as advocates of the Delta. The first change I introduced is the need for any design to incorporate the project’s ability to deliver fresh water to the South Delta as necessary to support wildlife and better water quality conditions.  State Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the Design and Construction Authority (DCA) leaders have been open and helpful by giving me access to experts within their organizations. The experts have indicated that if multiple islands flooded in the South Delta and salt water was rushing in, as might be the case in an earthquake or terrorism situation, having a source of fresh water in the South Delta could help reduce salinity intrusion initially, but more importantly, could be valuable in flushing salinity out of the South Delta after a problem. … ”  Read more from The Press here: Delta Conveyance Project needs these changes

3 critical actions for water equity in California’s Latino communities – ¡apúrense!

Ana Lucia Garcia Briones writes, “It is a painful paradox for California, the world’s fifth-largest economy: Some of the very same farmworkers who pick our food can’t drink a glass of clean water — or any water in some cases — from their kitchen sink.  While working on environmental justice issues at EDF for the past six years, I have had the opportunity to talk with some of these essential workers, many of whom come from Spanish-speaking countries like me.  As Hispanic Heritage Month comes to a close while the drought in California stubbornly marches on, it’s important to recognize how instrumental these farmworkers are to providing food throughout our state and beyond. … ”  Read more from the Environmental Defense Fund here: 3 critical actions for water equity in California’s Latino communities – ¡apúrense!

Letters to the Editor: Golf courses in the desert during a drought — really, California?

To the editor: In February 2009, we replaced the grass front lawn of our small San Fernando Valley home with California native plants. No rebate was ever received. Many plants are now large; some have died. We get compliments, and our yard was part of a study of native-plant gardens. (“Up to 1 million gallons of water … a night? That’s par for some desert golf courses,” column, Oct. 9)  Our water usage has shrunk by 62%, saving more than 919,000 gallons of water and about $6,000 in Los Angeles Department of Water and Power charges since 2009. I like that.  I don’t like knowing that one of the roughly 120 golf courses in the Coachella Valley blows through our entire 12-plus years of water savings in about nine hours, every single night. … ”  Continue reading at the LA Times here: Letters to the Editor: Golf courses in the desert during a drought — really, California?

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In regional water news and commentary today …

NORTH COAST

Yurok Tribe urges support for plan to manage Trinity River in a ‘more holistic manner’

The Yurok Tribe, the largest Indian Tribe in California, is urging Yurok Citizens and Allies to voice their support for a plan to manage the Trinity River, the largest tributary of the Klamath River, in a “more holistic manner.”  In a statement issued yesterday, the Tribe said it “fully supports the Trinity River Winter Flow Variability Action.”  “If approved, the Action will allow water managers to shift some of the water normally released from Lewiston Dam in late spring to the winter and early spring,” the Tribe stated. “Releasing more water in winter and early spring, when juvenile salmon are rearing in the upper Trinity, better mimics the river’s natural flow regime.” … ”  Read more from the Daily Kos here:  Yurok Tribe urges support for plan to manage Trinity River in a ‘more holistic manner’

Humboldt County: Thousands of cannabis plants destroyed, water diversions removed at illegal grow in SoHum

Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:  The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET) located 11 environmental violations and removed one active water diversion from the Eel River this week during the service of search warrants in Southern Humboldt County. On Oct. 13, 2021, MET deputies served four search warrants to investigate illegal cannabis cultivation in the Alderpoint area. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Humboldt County Code Enforcement assisted in the service of the warrants. ... ”  Read more from the Lost Coast Outpost here: Humboldt County: Thousands of cannabis plants destroyed, water diversions removed at illegal grow in SoHum

SACRAMENTO VALLEY

Corning looks to expand water services

In an effort to expand Corning’s water services, the city is applying for a Small Community Drought Relief of $22,322,250 through the Department of Water Resources.  Corning is applying for this grant to fund three wells and extend water mains and laterals within the municipality’s sphere of influence, which is to Viola Road west across Interstate 5, north to Finnell Avenue and east across Interstate 5.  City Manager Kristina Miller said the state is strongly encouraging communities impacted by the drought to apply for these funds. … ”  Read more from the Tehama Daily News here: Corning looks to expand water services

Glenn County: Drought assistance helps with short, long term water solutions

Well users around Glenn County are approaching a water crisis due to ongoing drought conditions.  Groundwater supplies are running lower and lower as many residential wells are drying up while others are reporting serious water supply issues.  In response, a meeting was held Thursday evening to not only address the issue but bring forth options for residents in Orland to connect to a municipal water line.  The primary focus of the meeting was to share proposed programs and possible solutions for dry well and water supply issues faced by well users both in and out of the Orland limits. … ”  Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here: Glenn County: Drought assistance helps with short, long term water solutions

Reclamation implements Folsom Reservoir power bypass to help protect salmon on the Lower American River

This week, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation initiated a Folsom Power Bypass to reduce river water temperatures and protect salmonids as spawning season begins on the Lower American River.  A power bypass allows Reclamation to access and release cold water below the power unit penstocks at Folsom Reservoir, thereby reducing river water temperatures to benefit rearing steelhead and spawning fall-run Chinook salmon. This is especially critical given that the LAR this summer was operated to a temperature of 71° F due to the extremely dry hydrology and low Folsom Reservoir storage. Technical analysis showed that the power bypass will not deplete the Folsom cold-water pool prior to the end of November, when ambient air temperatures are expected to lower water temperatures to a point where a power bypass is no longer needed. … ”  Read more from the Sacramento Water Forum here: Reclamation implements Folsom Reservoir power bypass to help protect salmon on the Lower American River

Roseville’s surface water treatment plant turns 50

In August 1971, the Barton Road Water Treatment Plant was officially dedicated to the Roseville community. It started treating, filtering and pumping clean drinking water to a community that historically relied on groundwater wells and ditched water for drinking water.  “You can’t do anything within your daily life without clean water,” said Mayor Krista Bernasconi. “Our leaders in the mid-1900s had the foresight to understand that to thrive as a community, we needed a reliable drinking water source, like Folsom Lake.” … ”  Read more from Roseville Today here: Roseville’s surface water treatment plant turns 50

BAY AREA

Record rainfall for Marin, Bay Area could be on the horizon

Marin could get two chances for rain showers within the next week, alongside the rest of the Bay Area, as severe drought conditions and wildfires persist.  A storm system over the northeastern Pacific Ocean could bring as much as 2 inches of rain from the Bay Area to Redding between Wednesday and Oct. 24. This would be ”possible near-record-breaking precipitation for late October,” according to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center.  “It’s going to be possible” to see rain Sunday or later in the work week, but it’s too soon to say, Meteorologist Anna Schneider said. ... ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: Record rainfall for Marin, Bay Area could be on the horizon

‘It’s really shocking’: Study on coral bleaching highlights importance of Bay Area research

For Marine biologist Alejandra Hernandez, Ph.D., exploring the world’s coral reefs with the California Academy of Sciences has been both exhilarating, and at times disheartening. Especially, when she’s come across evidence of the damage being blamed on climate change and rising ocean temperatures. An effect known as coral bleaching.  “And seeing the corals bleaching is just, it’s really shocking and sad,” says Hernandez. … ”  Read more from KGO here: ‘It’s really shocking’: Study on coral bleaching highlights importance of Bay Area research

Pittsburg: State sues to stop companies dumping, releasing toxic chemicals

The California attorney general has filed a civil suit against major chemical companies to stop them dumping and releasing toxic materials from a chemical manufacturing plant near Pittsburg. … The suit alleges that the companies are illegally treating wastewater with hazardous levels of toxic chemicals, operating numerous tanks that release uncontrolled toxic emissions into the air, and are failing to provide documents and make required determinations to monitor their wastewater treatment systems. … ”  Read more from SF Gate here: Pittsburg: State sues to stop companies dumping, releasing toxic chemicals

Water budgets and drought fees coming to 1 million residents in San Jose and neighboring communities

In the latest fallout from the worsening drought, residents of San Jose — which received the lowest rainfall in its recorded history last year — and surrounding communities are about to be given tougher water conservation rules than any major city in California.  The San Jose Water Company, a private firm that provides drinking water to 1 million people in San Jose, Cupertino, Campbell, Los Gatos, Saratoga and Monte Sereno, has begun sending notices to residents informing them it is moving forward with mandatory rules to set monthly residential water budgets with financial penalties for homeowners who exceed them.  The system, which the company last put in place in 2015 and 2016 during California’s previous drought, will require residential customers to cut water use 15% from 2019 levels or pay $7.13 in surcharges for each unit of water they use above that amount. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here:  Water budgets and drought fees coming to 1 million residents in San Jose and neighboring communities

CENTRAL COAST

Pajaro Valley Water board approves Recharge Net Metering Program

On September 22, 2021, the PV Water Board of Directors enthusiastically endorsed promoting the Recharge Net Metering (ReNeM) Pilot Program to a formal, ongoing program in its quiver of management strategies to achieve sustainable groundwater resources. The ReNeM Program incentivizes groundwater recharge projects within the Pajaro Valley Groundwater Basin through a publicprivate partnership by providing landowners (and/or their tenants) with rebates based on net stormwater infiltration benefitThe intent of the Program is to augment and support the Basin Management Plan (Plan) by helping to collect, infiltrate and recharge stormwater runoff in locations within the Pajaro Valley that are deemed highly suitable for managed aquifer recharge. … ”  Continue reading this press release from PV Water here:  Pajaro Valley Water board approves Recharge Net Metering Program 

Public input sought on Salinas Valley Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plans

Salinas Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency (SVBGSA) Board of Directors on Aug. 12 approved Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) drafts to be released for public comment for the following subbasins: Eastside, Forebay, Langley and Upper Valley.  This comes after the 180/400 Foot Aquifer GSP was among the first to be approved in the state by the California Department of Water Resources in June.  Communities and individuals who rely on the water supply from any of these subbasins are encouraged to learn more about the GSPs and provide input on the plans. The draft GSPs are located on the SVBGSA website svbgsa.org/subbasins.  … ”  Read more from the King City Rustler here: Public input sought on Salinas Valley Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plans

Facing another drought and a teetering basin, Los Osos will investigate new water sources

Los Osos’ only source of drinking water is still threatened by seawater intrusion after six years of work trying to reverse the trend.  Chloride (salt) levels in the coastal basin were 27 percent higher in 2020 compared to 2019, and 41 percent higher than in 2018. If the metric jumps another 25 percent, it would be above the threshold that’s acceptable for public drinking water.  Given that lack of progress, and now the new drought, Los Osos Community Services District (CSD) General Manager Ron Munds believes Los Osos needs to start looking at new sources of water for the first time. … ”  Read more from New Times SLO here: Facing another drought and a teetering basin, Los Osos will investigate new water sources

SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY

The long-stallled San Joaquin River bypass may move foward

Efforts to complete the widening of Paradise Cut that would significantly improve flood protection for urbanized areas of Manteca, Lathrop, and Stockton may finally move forward.  The San Joaquin Area Flood Control Area (SJAFCA) is positioning itself to be the lead agency to shepherd the project involving widening the seven-mile long Paradise Cut where it branches off the San Joaquin River and passes beneath Interstate 5 just north of the Interstate 205 interchange to where it connects with the Old River. … ”  Read more from the Manteca Bulletin here: The long-stallled San Joaquin River bypass may move foward

Arvin, Federal officials announce city has reached federal water quality standards

Federal, state, and local officials announced Tuesday that the water service in Arvin completed a 13-year project to improve water quality and bring its supply to meet the minimum arsenic levels to comply with Federal water quality standards.  Work to mitigate the amount of arsenic in water served by the Arvin Community Services District began in 2008 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered the district to reach a maximum of 10 parts of arsenic per billion.  Working with the EPA and California State Water Resources Control Board, Arvin’s water utility tapped funds from both Federal and state agencies to improve water wells. … ”  Read more from the San Joaquin Valley Sun here: Arvin, Federal officials announce city has reached federal water quality standards

EASTERN SIERRA

Ridgecrest: Indian Wells Valley Water District General Manager: Searching for solutions

IWVWD General Manager Don Zbeda writes, “Accomplishing the objectives of the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) presents significant and sometimes unique challenges. According to the State Department of Water Resources (DWR) Bulletin 118, the Indian Well Valley Basin is one of twenty-one basins characterized as being a “high priority basin in critical overdraft.” Indian Wells Valley presents one substantial challenge due to the fact basin groundwater is the sole source of supply.  Stetson Engineers, working as the Water Resources Manager on behalf of the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority (IWVGA) and with local stakeholder input, drafted the Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) submitted to DWR January 30, 2020. The GSP remains under review by DWR with expected completion of the review process by January 2022. … ”  Read more from the Ridgecrest Independent here: Ridgecrest: Indian Wells Valley Water District General Manager: Searching for solutions

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Last month was the driest ever September in Los Angeles County. Now come the Santa Ana winds

After the hottest and driest summer in California history, and a September that was Los Angeles County’s driest ever, concerns are high that Santa Ana wind season could significantly worsen what has already been a disastrous fire year.  For the second time this week, Pacific Gas & Electric has had to execute planned power outages due to strong winds. PG&E issued the power shut-off warning for nearly a dozen counties in an effort to help prevent wildfires from sparking.  New fires are not the only concern. There are fears that high winds will fan existing fires such as the Alisal Fire, which has closed part of Highway 101 and Amtrak railways in Santa Barbara County. The strong winds could not only trigger further power outages but also hinder firefighting progress. … ”  Read more from CNN here: Last month was the driest ever September in Los Angeles County. Now come the Santa Ana winds

Radioactive waste fell on some LA-area neighborhoods during 2018 Woolsey fire, new study shows

High levels of radioactive particles landed on some homes, in parks, and in backyards where children play — during the massive 2018 Woolsey fire which started at the contaminated Santa Susana Field Lab — according to a peer-reviewed study just published by a team of scientists known for studying environmental disasters.  What’s stunning about the findings is that they run contrary to what California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) said to calm public fears in the hours after the Woolsey Fire, “We do not believe the fire has caused any releases of hazardous materials… associated with contamination at the [SSFL] site.”  “The DTSC lied. They said that contamination from hadn’t migrated away from Santa Susana and the study proves that it has,” said Jeni Knack, part of a group of volunteers who helped collect samples analyzed in the study. … ”  Read more from NBC LA here: Radioactive waste fell on some LA-area neighborhoods during 2018 Woolsey fire, new study shows

New climate models show much of Southern California underwater

A climate centered nonprofit has shown in models how some 50 cities around the world could potentially change or even disappear as a result of climate change.  “Their ability to exist into the future depends on the actions we take,” said Benjamin Strauss, CEO of Climate Central.  Strauss’s nonprofit Climate Central did the research and created startling images of landmarks around the world, including a few parts of Southern California like Long Beach and Huntington Beach, being impacted by rising sea levels. … ”  Read more from CBS LA here: New climate models show much of Southern California underwater

How safe is OC’s coast after oil spill? Fisheries still closed, cities do their own water testing

Disaster response officials and Orange County public health leaders are saying beaches are safe to go swimming at after two weeks of oil spill cleanup, but not all the experts are convinced.  It comes as cities along the coast had been doing their own testing to determine local water safety, lacking a centralized testing system.  “What I’m disappointed about is there would be this leadership vacuum,” said Travis E. Huxman, a professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine. “It points to how the system thinks about these catastrophes after-the-fact. They’re afterthoughts. ... ”  Read more from the Voice of the OC here: How safe is OC’s coast after oil spill? Fisheries still closed, cities do their own water testing

Olivenhain water district continues push for voluntary conservation

The Olivenhain Municipal Water District will continue to call for voluntary conservation efforts during the region’s drought conditions, the district’s Board of Directors was told during its Oct. 13 meeting.  The effort is known as Level 1 of the district’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan, according to an update sent to constituents on Wednesday. The district has not been at the more restrictive Level 2 — Water Supply Shortage — since 2016, the result of a State Water Resources Control Board order that allowed local agencies to set water standards based on their own ratios of supply and usage. … ”  Read more from the North Coast Current here: Olivenhain water district continues push for voluntary conservation

COACHELLA VALLEY

‘Overnight catastrophe:’ New climate change model shows Coachella Valley underwater as sea levels rise

There’s a new warning on the growing climate change crisis: that the Coachella Valley could one day be underwater due to rising sea levels as temperatures heat up globally.  New remarkable scientific predictions from nonprofit research group Climate Central show major coastal cities largely immersed in the ocean. The base of the Statue of Liberty and the Santa Monica pier would be submerged.  “What we do over the next 10, 20, 30 years is going to set in motion what happens over the next hundred and thousand years,” said Benjamin Strauss, CEO and Chief Scientist at Climate Central. … ”  Read more from Channel 3 here: ‘Overnight catastrophe:’ New climate change model shows Coachella Valley underwater as sea levels rise

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Along the Colorado River …

Judge approves agreement to protect endangered species from livestock on Verde River

A federal judge has approved an agreement between the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Forest Service and Fish and Wildlife Service and the Maricopa Audubon Society to protect the Verde River from cattle grazing. … ”  Read more from KNAU here: Judge approves agreement to protect endangered species from livestock on Verde River

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In national water news today …

US population continues to move westward – will water from the Great Lakes follow?

Carved out of ancient riverbeds by glaciers approximately 12 thousand years ago1, the Great Lakes are the world’s largest freshwater source.  This will likely be the driving force for the resurgence of the City of Buffalo and other Rust Belt cities as climate change forces the migration of populations from flooded coastal areas or areas lacking water resources.   As we see the southwestern US suffer through wildfires, partially caused by the continuing drought conditions, there are again pressures to move waters from east to west. … ”  Read more from Buffalo Rising here: US population continues to move westward – will water from the Great Lakes follow?

The five biggest threats to our natural world … and how we can stop them

The world’s wildlife populations have plummeted by more than two-thirds since 1970 – and there are no signs that this downward trend is slowing. The first phase of Cop15 talks in Kunming this week will lay the groundwork for governments to draw up a global agreement next year to halt the loss of nature. If they are to succeed, they will need to tackle what the IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) has identified as the five key drivers of biodiversity loss: changes in land and sea use; direct exploitation of natural resources; climate change; pollution; and invasion of alien species. … ”  Read more from The Guardian here: The five biggest threats to our natural world … and how we can stop them

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National water and climate report …

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-20211014

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Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

WORKSHOP NOTICE: Identification of disadvantaged communities

NOTICE: CalEPA – OEHHA CalEnviroScreen 4.0 Update Release

ANNOUNCEMENT: After The Fire.org Is Go To Resource For Post Western Fire Recovery

DELTA eNEWS: ~~ Boring Technology~ Levee Risk~ Delta Leadership~ DPIIC meeting~ ISB meeting~~

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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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