DAILY DIGEST, 10/21: Level 5 atmospheric river to unleash flooding across CA; CA lawmakers call for delay to start of interim water plan; Open ET: New online water data platform launches; Berkeley Lab mobilizes to predict how Caldor Fire may lead to floods and land movement; and more …
FREE EVENT: California Financing Coordinating Committee Virtual Funding Fair from 9am to 2pm. The California Financing Coordination Committee (CFCC) conducts free funding fairs statewide each year to educate the public and offer potential customers the opportunity to meet with financial representatives from each agency to learn more about their available funding. Click here to register.
FREE WEBINAR: Tap into Federal Funding: WaterSMART EWRP Grants from 9:30 to 10:30am. Join WaterNow Alliance and Bureau of Reclamation staff for a deep dive into the newly created Environmental Water Resources Projects (EWRP) grants for fiscal year 2022. WaterSMART EWRP funding will support projects focused on environmental benefits that have been developed as part of a collaborative process to help carry out an established strategy to increase the reliability of water resources. Click here to register.
MEETING: California Advisory Committee on Salmon and Steelhead Trout from 10am to 4:30pm. Agenda items include Steelhead Report and Restoration Card Update and Reauthorization, Salmonid Monitoring Program Update, Trinity River Winter Flow Variability Proposal, and Review of State Emergency Drought Planning, Preparations, and Responses. Click here for the agenda and remote access instructions.
WEBINAR: Accessing Groundwater Data from 10am to 12pm. This webinar will demo new and updated groundwater data and tools, including DWR’s new California’s Groundwater Live and updated SGMA Data Viewer. Please register by 5PM on Tuesday, October 19 to receive the meeting information. Click here to register.
FREE WEBINAR: Exploring State and Local Water Innovations from 11am to 12pm. On the seventh annual national day of education about the value of water—The Value of Water Campaign and the US Water Alliance are encouraging participants to hear from two One Water leaders doing just that. Paul Hunt of Portland Water District will discuss Maine’s Sebago Clean Waters coalition which is leveraging funding for projects that promote water quality. Joone Lopez, General Manager of Moulton Niguel Water District, will share about the California Water Data Consortium, which advances data sharing and economic development. Click here to register.
EVENT: Southern California Water Coalition Annual Dinner in Long Beach from 5:30 pm to 8:30pm.Click here to register.
FREE WEBINAR: Carbon sequestration in the Delta from 6pm to 7:30pm. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists, Briana Schmidt and George Peridas have collectively spent decades studying the technologies involved and will be providing an overview of how they work, the science behind them, their risks and benefits, and how Delta residents and communities can evaluate proposed projects. Presented by Restore the Delta. Click here to register.
In California water news today …
Level 5 atmospheric river to unleash flooding across drought-stricken California
“After nearly a year without rain, a series of potent Pacific storms are directed at Northern California this week, potentially bringing as much as a foot of rainfall and up to three feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada. Supercharged by a classic atmospheric river pattern, the storms could lead to flash floods and dangerous debris flows in a wide swath of the region already devastated by recent wildfires. With each successive storm, the moisture potential increases, peaking with possibly a rare category 5 atmospheric river event on Sunday. … ” Read more from CNN here: Level 5 atmospheric river to unleash flooding across drought-stricken California
Cw3E AR update: Multiple atmospheric rivers to bring heavy precipitation to Northern California
“A series of landfalling atmospheric rivers (ARs) will impact the western US this week into early next week. AR 4/AR 5 conditions (based on the Ralph et al. 2019 AR Scale) are expected in coastal southern Oregon in association with the first and second ARs today through Friday. The strongest AR is forecasted to make landfall across Central and Northern California on Saturday, potentially bringing AR 4/AR 5 conditions to the San Francisco Bay Area. Inland penetration of this AR may bring AR 2/AR 3 conditions to portions of the interior western US. Yet another landfalling AR is forecasted to impact the US West Coast on 26–27 Oct. … ” Read more from the Center for Western Weather & Water Extremes here: Multiple atmospheric rivers to bring heavy precipitation to Northern California
Extreme atmospheric rivers to bombard California with beneficial precipitation
“California and parts of the West Coast have been dealing with extreme drought, but a waterlogged weather pattern is on the way. A series of atmospheric rivers, carrying a tremendous amount of moisture from the Pacific Ocean toward the coastline, will drench parts of the moisture-starved Golden State into early next week. Parts of the Sierra Nevada will see more than five feet of snow, with up to ten inches of rainfall likely in the lower elevations. Mudslides, debris flows and pockets of flash flooding are possible, the rains in some places arriving after more than half a year without a drop of water. High winds are also anticipated, with some coastal and high-elevation areas seeing gusts to 60 mph. ... ” Read more from the Washington Post here: Extreme atmospheric rivers to bombard California with beneficial precipitation
What is a ‘bomb cyclone’ or bombogenesis? One is headed to Northern California
“Over the weekend and during the start of next week, Northern California can expect some storms — and a “bomb cyclone.” But what exactly does that mean? Also known as bombogenesis, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a bomb cyclone is when a midlatitude cyclone quickly intensifies over 24 hours. Within that time, it drops at least 24 millibars, which is a unit that measures atmospheric pressure. ... ” Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: What is a ‘bomb cyclone’ or bombogenesis? One is headed to Northern California
8 feet of snow? Storm train could deal deathblow to wildfire season
“A beast of a bomb cyclone will take shape just off the coast of the northwestern United States and western Canada later this week, and AccuWeather forecasters say it will rival, in some aspects, the intensity of strong hurricanes from the Atlantic this season. The powerful storm will bring dangerous and damaging impacts up and down the West Coast, but the precipitation it will deliver to parts of California, Oregon and Washington is greatly needed. The storm will have some tropical origins. … ” Read more from AccuWeather here: 8 feet of snow? Storm train could deal deathblow to wildfire season
Top expert on California’s atmospheric rivers: ‘It can break the drought’
“A moisture-rich atmospheric river is forecast to hit California on Sunday and Monday, delivering a much needed drenching of rain to a drought-plagued state at a time of year when big storms are unusual. It’s unclear at this point where the bull’s-eye of the storm will dump the most rain, but forecasters agree it will likely be anywhere from far Northern California to Central California, with the San Francisco Bay Area being impacted. The wettest spots could see up to a foot of rain. To answer questions about what an atmospheric river is and how this storm event might unfold, we checked in with Marty Ralph, the director of the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego who is recognized as the pioneer of research on atmospheric rivers impacting the Western United States. … ” Read more from SF Gate here: Top expert on California’s atmospheric rivers: ‘It can break the drought’
“The first of three wet-weather systems expected to roll through the Bay Area left its mark Tuesday, and it was much less notable than National Weather Service forecasters expected it to be. They anticipate the next two will be much more significant. “That was a bit of a letdown,” National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Lorber said of a storm that soaked Sonoma County but left the the rest of the Bay Area with little rain. Areas of Marin County measured four-hundredths of an inch, while downtown San Francisco had .03 inches — the most rain measured outside of Sonoma County. … ” Read more from the Vallejo Times-Herald here: First atmospheric storm a ‘letdown’
First S.F. Bay Area storm delivers late payload, but ‘the big event’ is still to come
“Scattered showers were reported in parts of the Bay Area late Wednesday, bringing modest precipitation ahead of a second storm this week that is expected to arrive on Thursday evening and promises significantly more rain, weather service officials said. In Downtown San Francisco, National Weather Service officials said they recorded 0.21 inches of rain between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Wednesday. In Downtown Oakland, weather service officials said 0.11 inches of rain fell. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: First S.F. Bay Area storm delivers late payload, but ‘the big event’ is still to come
LITIGATION OVER OPERATIONS PLAN (BIOPS) LITIGATION
California lawmakers call for delay to start of interim water plan
California Republican delegation expresses grave concern over proposed interim operations plan for the CVP and SWP
“Today, Congressman David G. Valadao led the entire California Republican Delegation in sending a letter to Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo expressing grave concerns with the proposed interim operations plan for the Central Valley Project (CVP) and the State Water Project (SWP) submitted on October 14, 2021, in the litigation challenging the 2019 biological opinions for long-term operations of the CVP and SWP and the 2020 Record of Decision on Reinitiation of Consultation on the Coordinated Long-Term Modified Operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project. “The proposed interim operations plan is a massive blow to Central Valley water users, making it extremely difficult for farmers and communities to secure access to reliable water supplies,” said Congressman Valadao. … ” Read the full statement at Congressman David Valadao’s office here: California Republican delegation expresses grave concern over proposed interim operations plan for the CVP and SWP
Feinstein, Costa, Garamendi, Harder: Revise interim operating plan for California water projects in consultation with key stakeholders
Consortium launches new online water data platform to transform water management in the Western United States as droughts intensify
“OpenET, a new online platform that uses satellites to estimate water consumed by crops and other plants, launched today, making critical data for water management widely available in 17 western states for the first time amid record drought. OpenET fills a major information gap in water management in the West. Although water is essential to the health of our communities, wildlife and food supply, access to accurate, timely data on the amount of water used to grow food has been fragmented and often expensive, keeping it out of the hands of many farmers and decision-makers. OpenET allows users to easily view and download this important water data for the current year and previous five years at no charge. … ” Read more from the Environmental Defense Fund here: Consortium launches new online water data platform to transform water management in the Western United States as droughts intensify
Newsom expands Calif. drought emergency
“After two of nearly the driest months in California history, Gov. Gavin Newsom yesterday expanded his emergency drought declaration, directing regulators to take more aggressive steps to curtail water use. “As the western U.S. faces a potential third year of drought, it’s critical that Californians across the state redouble our efforts to save water in every way possible,” the Democratic governor said in a statement. Newsom’s proclamation comes as California has near record low water storage in its largest reservoirs and as residents largely failed to meet the governor’s previous call to conserve. In July, he asked Californians to cut their urban water use by 15 percent, but the state only reduced water consumption by 5 percent or less compared with 2020. Newsom added eight counties not previously included in his drought emergency orders, including many of the state’s most populous, like Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. ... ” Read more from E&E News here: Newsom expands Calif. drought emergency
‘A shared problem’: Stockton congressman warns Californians drought will affect all
“Many people may take living near the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta for granted, but it’s not just a source of recreation. Millions of people rely on the Delta as a water source and Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, said it is in jeopardy because of the ongoing drought. “We’re in year two of a very severe drought,” Rep. McNerney told FOX40. “I don’t know if we’ve ever seen it this dry.” ... ” Continue reading with Fox 40 here: ‘A shared problem’: Stockton congressman warns Californians drought will affect all
California drought: What happens next?
“This year is one of the driest and hottest in California in records dating back to 1895. The entire state is now in a drought emergency, farmers are being paid not to grow crops, reservoirs are going dry, salmon are dying and intense drought-fueled wildfires are destroying homes and land and lives in their path. So what happens if relief doesn’t materialize during the upcoming wet season? … ” Read more from The Weather Channel here: California drought: What happens next?
California just declared a drought emergency. What does that mean and how will it affect your life?
“As the state experiences its second-driest year on record and Gov. Gavin Newsom declares a statewide drought emergency, some Californians may be wondering: How will this shortage impact the Sacramento region and what does it mean for our everyday lives and water supply? The declaration comes after a summer of record-high temperatures alongside plummeting water levels in reservoirs. With his announcement, Newsom cited these factors as more reason to “redouble our efforts” toward water conservation. Experts agree. “It sounds a little bit odd at first to have a drought declaration declared at the beginning of the rainy season,” said Jay Lund, co-director of UC Davis’ Center for Watershed Sciences. “But given the state of the reservoirs and the likelihood of the drought continuing next year, I think it’s prudent to help people get prepared.” … ” Read more from Capital Public Radio here: California just declared a drought emergency. What does that mean and how will it affect your life?
Water Research Foundation publishes five research projects for potable reuse
“The Water Research Foundation (WRF) recently published research to inform California’s Direct Potable Reuse Regulations. It will be used by the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWB) Division of Drinking Water to develop direct potable reuse regulations in California by 2023 and ensure the protection of public health. The research was funded under a $1.4 million grant from SWB to advance protective practices for potable reuse. It focuses on understand and managing pathogen risks and chemical peaks in reuse applications. The findings are also critical for utilities, regulators, and stakeholders across North America and around the world as the implementation of these sophisticated projects expands. … ” Read more from Water World here: Water Research Foundation publishes five research projects for potable reuse
Climate change makes drought recovery tougher in U.S. West
“Californians rejoiced this week when big drops of water started falling from the sky for the first time in any measurable way since the spring, an annual soaking that heralds the start of the rainy season following some of the hottest and driest months on record. But as the rain was beginning to fall on Tuesday night, Gov. Gavin Newsom did a curious thing: He issued a statewide drought emergency and gave regulators permission to enact mandatory statewide water restrictions if they choose. Newsom’s order might seem jarring, especially as forecasters predict up to 7 inches (18 centimeters) of rain could fall on parts of the Northern California mountains and Central Valley this week. But experts say it makes sense if you think of drought as something caused not by the weather, but by climate change. … ” Continue reading from the AP via the Kansas City Star here: Climate change makes drought recovery tougher in U.S. West
Column: New water technology is making its way across the country
“If you’re having a salad for lunch today, chances are it comes from the “Salad Bowl of the World,” the lush farmland that stretches for some 90 miles across California’s Salinas Valley. Lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, strawberries, celery, cauliflower and more grow in abundance there, a source of pride and profits for farmers who work the land. But none of it would be possible without water, and that’s the problem. The Salinas Valley is at the epicenter of a multi-year drought that’s as bad as it has ever been. Vegetables are a commodity, and as water grows scarce, price shocks could follow. … What can be done? In the absence of more cooperation from mother nature — rain and more snow in the mountains — technology is helping. … ” Read more from MarketWatch here: Column: New water technology is making its way across the country
California’s climate crisis examined on UCI special report website
“For the past half century, the University of California, Irvine has been home to some of the world’s leading experts on the environment, energy, oceans and atmosphere in the Golden State. To share their stories, UCI today is launching a web special report, “California’s Climate Crisis.” Through its three main sections – The Problem, Human Impacts and Solutions – the site offers dozens of feature articles, videos, podcast recordings and photographs, with plans for ongoing updates and new stories. The materials outline the UCI researchers’ understanding of the climate issues facing California and the extent to which they are working to counteract the dilemma. “UCI’s approach to addressing the impacts of global warming and climate change on our home state has always been highly multi-disciplinary with a broad scope,” said UCI Vice Chancellor for Research Pramod Khargonekar. “This newly published collection of materials demonstrates how nearly every UCI school has people engaged with California’s ongoing climate change-driven problems.” … ” Continue reading at the UC Irvine here: California’s climate crisis examined on UCI special report website
DELTA LEAD SCIENTIST REPORT: Salmon predation in the Delta; Fact sheets on steelhead trout and chinook salmon; and the activities of the Delta Science Program
At the September meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council, Delta Lead Scientist Dr. Laurel Larsen spotlighted an article on salmon predation, highlighted two new fact sheets on salmonids now available, and gave an update on the activities of the Delta Science Program.
California, Hoopa Valley Tribe try to save salmon and a way of life
“California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials are completing an unprecedented effort to save more than 1 million Chinook salmon, a campaign that also may help preserve a way of life for a Native American tribe. In June, salmon hatched at the Klamath River’s Iron Gate hatchery were temporarily trucked to a Trinity River hatchery in Northern California. The finger-length fish were held back from a scheduled release to the Pacific Ocean out of concern the river was too warm and too full of parasites for them to survive. Over the past two weeks, they have been released as six-inch (150 mm) yearlings, when their natural mortality is lower and when the water is a little colder and to their liking. … ” Read more from Reuters News here: California, Hoopa Valley Tribe try to save salmon and a way of life
Trinity River adult chinook salmon quota met
“Based upon California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) projections of the recreational fall-run Chinook salmon catch on the Trinity River, anglers will soon meet the quotas for both the Upper Trinity River and Lower Trinity River. The Upper Trinity River quota will be met as of 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, October 24. This triggers the closure of the adult fall-run Chinook salmon fishery on the Trinity River from the Old Lewiston Bridge to the Highway 299 West Bridge at Cedar Flat. The Lower Trinity River quota will be met as of 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, October 31. This triggers the closure of the adult fall-run Chinook salmon fishery on the Trinity River from the Denny Road Bridge at Hawkins Bar to the confluence with the Klamath River. … ” Read more from the Department of Fish & Wildlife here: Trinity River adult chinook salmon quota met
Photo story: Berkeley Lab mobilizes to predict how Caldor Fire may lead to floods and land movement
“The Cosumnes River watershed is representative of many in California in that it extends from the Sierra Nevada mountain range to the Central Valley, providing water and recharging aquifers for municipal and agricultural regions, but unique in that it’s one of the last major rivers without a large-scale dam, enabling the study of natural rivers flows. In 2017 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientist Erica Siirila-Woodburn, a hydrologist by training, decided it would be an excellent place to study how climate extremes affect mountain water cycles. Working with colleagues, she built an advanced hydrologic model to investigate how events such as drought and wildfire would affect things like groundwater levels and streamflow.Fast forward four years, and the Caldor Fire erupted in the headwater forests of the Cosumnes River basin, growing to become the 16th largest fire in California state history. Berkeley Lab scientists mobilized quickly to collect data from the burned area. … ” Read more from Berkeley Labs here: Berkeley Lab mobilizes to predict how Caldor Fire may lead to floods and land movement
Wildfire scars near Tahoe could see landslides as storms approach
“A spell of significant rainfall — spurred by the first atmospheric river of the season — appears on its way to the Bay Area, with downpours expected to coat most of the region through the end of the week and into the weekend. … Recent wildfires, particularly in areas around the Caldor and Dixie fires, have seen large stretches of burned vegetation, plant matter that holds the soil together, Lorber said. “As the water falls, it carries down the dirt, and all of that comes down,” he said. “With this third system, there’s a greater potential for debris flow, so we’re going to be looking at that closely, especially the areas that have those burn scars.” … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Wildfire scars near Tahoe could see landslides as storms approach
Crews race to shore up Tahoe trails damaged by Caldor Fire before winter sets in
“Under gray skies on Tuesday afternoon, a heavy yellow skidder hoisted charred logs off the ashen ground and stacked them into neat piles along Mormon Emigrant Trail, a back road that cuts through the mountains outside South Lake Tahoe in an area the Caldor Fire tore through. Down the road, another crew chainsawed low branches off trees spared by the blaze, which burned 221,000 acres of the Sierra landscape in August and September. The wildfire that began Aug. 14 is 100% contained, but all roads, trails and facilities in Eldorado National Forest are closed to visitors while the U.S. Forest Service works to clean up the mess. The burn scar, which extends into the Lake Tahoe basin, is off limits to the public through at least the end of the year. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Crews race to shore up Tahoe trails damaged by Caldor Fire before winter sets in
Celebrating Sacramento Valley stewardship
Fritz Durst and Bryce Lundberg write, “Every year we gather in the Dunnigan Hills with our friends and colleagues to celebrate the success we have enjoyed in the Sacramento Valley with regards to fish, fowl, farms and communities. This year has been a very difficult struggle for most of us, but we feel we have avoided a train wreck – given the low precipitation the past several years. At this time last year, collaborative efforts began to evaluate our water resources and to work together to use water as wisely as possible for people and the environment. Recent information from state and federal fisheries agencies about salmon success this past year is an example of how these efforts seem to be paying off. ... ” Read more from the Northern California Water Association here: Celebrating Sacramento Valley stewardship
Temporary boat ramp at Lake Oroville reopens to the public
“Lake Oroville’s temporary boat ramp at the spillway reopened to the general public Wednesday. Some people FOX40 spoke with were surprised by the decision as lake levels remain low, but they were also thankful at least one boat ramp has reopened. “I just seen it online. They said it was open,” said regular visitor and fisherman Robert. “I figured I come down here and see what it looks like.” … ” Read more from Fox 40 here: Temporary boat ramp at Lake Oroville reopens to the public
Sacramento completes $564 million wastewater treatment project
“The Sacramento, Calif., Regional County Sanitation District, also known as Regional San, completed a $564 million wastewater treatment project this summer that uses bacteria to remove more than 99 percent of ammonia from sewer water. The operation, which is called the Biological Nutrient Removal project, is a part of a larger undertaking called the EchoWater project. The EchoWater project was established by Regional San to comply with regulations and to ensure clean water quality. The effort also allows for the potential reuse of water for landscape and agricultural irrigation. … ” Read more from Governing here: Sacramento completes $564 million wastewater treatment project
Heavy rains could wash hazardous Hopkins Fire debris into Russian River
“The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved an emergency plan to protect the Russian River from hazardous Hopkins Fire debris after a staff member expressed grave concerns about the “public health and safety threat” to the watershed posed by an expected dousing of rain this week. “Of particular concern are 10 residential properties on Eastside Calpella Road, near where the fire began,” said Travis Killmer, the county’s Disaster Recovery Field Operations Coordinator, who had to call in during the time allotted to Public Expression in order to alert the board because the item was not on the agenda for the Oct. 19 meeting. … ” Read more from the Ukiah Daily Journal here: Heavy rains could wash hazardous Hopkins Fire debris into Russian River
Santa Rosa at 176% of normal rainfall for this time of year
“A band of moisture passed over the San Francisco Bay Area on Wednesday night, bringing showery weather across the region. A prior system and the lingering showers added up to some rainfall totals that are impressive for mid-October, often a dry month in Northern California. … The weather service also noted that in the North Bay, Santa Rosa was running 176% of normal rainfall for the water year that started Oct. 1. … ” Read more from SF Gate here: Santa Rosa at 176% of normal rainfall for this time of year
Rain unlikely to reach drought-starved reservoirs that supply Sonoma County
“A series of cold fronts expected to hit the North Bay beginning late Tuesday night could drop 6-to-8 inches of precipitation in the wettest mountain areas through early next week — enough to bring an end to the fire season, forecasters said. But as rich in water as the rain makes us feel, it doesn’t mean the drought is over. Though welcomed and beneficial, much more precipitation is needed to make even a dent in what’s needed to restore supplies, forecasters and water managers say. The ground is so parched after two years of critically low rainfall, most of the rain will just be absorbed, leaving little, if any, to accumulate as runoff and feed into streams, rivers and reservoirs, Sonoma Water engineer Don Seymour said. … ” Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here: Rain unlikely to reach drought-starved reservoirs that supply Sonoma County
Sonoma Land Trust builds ‘living shoreline’ to thwart erosion at Sears Point
“Julian Meisler stood on a human-made levee at low tide along the shore of San Pablo Bay, surveying 1,000 acres of a dark brown, mostly barren mud flat. “That’s exactly what we want to see,” said Meisler. He is the project manager of Sonoma Land Trust’s 15-year campaign to restore wetlands intended to protect the Highway 37 corridor — with both a roadway and rail line — from flooding exacerbated by sea level rise. And now the levee, a victim of erosion from wind waves, is being fortified by an unprecedented restoration project using hundreds of trees — some salvaged from wildfire burn areas — to blunt the waves and promote wildlife habitat. ... ” Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here: Sonoma Land Trust builds ‘living shoreline’ to thwart erosion at Sears Point
California vineyards use owls instead of pesticides
“Winemakers must pay close attention to their soil, the rain, the heat, and the sunlight. But rodents like gophers and mice can wreak havoc on a vineyard. Rather than turning to rodenticides to deter pests, graduate students at Humboldt State University in California are testing a more natural approach by using owls. The experiment is part of a long-term research study under the direction of professor Matt Johnson of the university’s Department of Wildlife. The current cohort, including students Laura Echávez, Samantha Chavez, and Jaime Carlino, has placed around 300 owl nest boxes sporadically through vineyards in Napa Valley. They are documenting the impact of relying on owls to deter and remove pests rather than rodenticides. … ” Read more from EcoWatch here: California vineyards use owls instead of pesticides
Marin Municipal Water District allots $23.2M for pipeline
“The Marin Municipal Water District has allocated up to $23.2 million to buy equipment for a proposed emergency supply pipeline across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. The investment, approved by the district board on Tuesday, is the largest the agency has made since proposing the idea earlier this year. The 8-mile pipeline, estimated to cost up to $90 million, is the district’s main backup plan should it deplete its main reservoir supplies next summer in the event of another dry winter. “We are doing this project because this drought has shown us we are vulnerable — our district, our customers,” board member Monty Schmitt said on Tuesday. “We are vulnerable to years of extreme dry conditions, the kinds of conditions that we know are going to become more of the norm.” … ” Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: Marin Municipal Water District allots $23.2M for pipeline
Upcoming rainstorms provide hope for drought relief, dry Marin County reservoirs
“For all of the places in California where water is complicated, it really is quite simple in Marin County. The rain that falls is stored in the hills. No rain, no water. So now that some rain is falling again, how much does Marin need to escape the drought? “Today, we thought, was a good day to hike” said Jan Herr, walking around Phoenix Lake just west of Kentfield. “So that we could see the mud on the ground.” What everyone has been waiting for is finally on display along the hillsides surrounding the lake: the first steps in what will hopefully be a much longer, soggier trip that ends with full reservoirs. … ” Read more from CBS San Francisco here: Upcoming rainstorms provide hope for drought relief, dry Marin County reservoirs
Coastal commission rejects appeal of North Marin well
“In what could be the final word on a prolonged effort to stop construction of a new well outside Point Reyes Station, the California Coastal Commission rejected an appeal by Inverness Park resident Gordon Bennett. The commission declined to take jurisdiction over the permit issued by Marin County to North Marin Water District to build a new well on the Gallagher ranch that would help make up for salinity intrusion at existing wells on the former Coast Guard property. “We believe that Marin County did its due diligence here to approve a critically needed infrastructure project in a way that appropriately respected creek habitats and water resources as required by the [Local Coastal Program],” coastal planner Sara Pfeifer said. … ” Read more from the Point Reyes Light here: Coastal commission rejects appeal of North Marin well
Will October rain end fire season and the drought? What wet weather means for the Bay Area
“A series of heavy storms has hit the Bay Area and Northern California and is expected to continue through the weekend, bringing potentially record-breaking amounts of rain of up to 7 inches in parched parts of the state. The rains coming later this week could be the biggest storms the state’s Central Valley region has seen in nine months. Local residents got a taste of what’s coming over the weekend when smaller storms sprinkled some areas in the valley while dumping 10 inches of snow in higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada. “This is definitely going to be one of those ground-soaking events,” said Emily Heller, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento. … ” Read more from KQED here: Will October rain end fire season and the drought? What wet weather means for the Bay Area
How strong will the big storm taking aim at the SF Bay Area be?
“Confidence was high Thursday morning among meteorologists that a moisture-rich storm system known as an atmospheric river will sweep Northern and Central California Sunday to Monday and bring heavy rain to the San Francisco Bay Area. The National Weather Service’s Bay Area office issued a forecast Thursday morning predicting the megastorm could bring 3 to 5 inches of rain to coastal mountain ranges and 1 to 3 inches elsewhere, including urban areas such as San Francisco and Oakland. But uncertainties remained in the forecast, including how fast the system will sweep through the region, the exact timing of heaviest rainfall, strength of winds, overall potential impacts and exactly where the bull’s-eye of the storm will land and dump the the most potent soaking. … ” Read more from SF Gate here: How strong will the big storm taking aim at the SF Bay Area be?
Bay Area water agencies form joint powers authority
“Taking a “critical step” toward becoming a regional water source, Bay Area jurisdictions overseeing the future expansion of the Los Vaqueros Reservoir filed the necessary agreements to form a joint powers authority (JPA) earlier this month. Project leaders said in a statement that “transforming a local reservoir into a regional facility requires partnerships,” and creating a JPA is “a critical step in forming this partnership.” ... ” Read more from Pleasanton Weekly here: Bay Area water agencies form joint powers authority
Half Moon Bay: Local water district braces for cutbacks
“Local officials are eyeing an upcoming San Francisco Public Utilities Commission meeting that could determine drastic water rationing for many of Half Moon Bay’s customers. The Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency told its member agencies two weeks ago that the SFPUC board is examining whether to declare a Water Supply Emergency at its Nov. 9 meeting. While the staff is recommending the SFPUC board keep the reductions voluntary, it will still trigger water shortage measures up to 20 percent for the Coastside County Water District. … ” Read more from the Half Moon Bay Review here: Half Moon Bay: Local water district braces for cutbacks
Boil water notice issued for all Big Basin Water Co. customers
“Just weeks after a water outage and boil water order affected 80 Big Basin Water Co. ratepayers in the Boulder Creek area, a new boil water notice has been issued for all Big Basin water system users. The outage began Tuesday, and triggered the notice, which was implemented Wednesday afternoon. According to the notice, issued by the State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water, Santa Cruz County Healthy Department and the Big Basin Water System, only boiled tap water or bottled water should be used for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth and food preparation. … ” Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here: Boil water notice issued for all Big Basin Water Co. customers
San Luis Obispo: Supervisors allow Arroyo Grande oilfield to continue the plan to add 31 wells
“The San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 19 at 9 a.m. … Item 30 was a hearing to consider an appeal by the Center for Biological Diversity of the Planning Commission’s approval of a request by Sentinel Peak Resources California LLC to install the final 31 oil wells of the 95 approved wells. Both sides discussed their views and discussed the procedure of implementing the wells, how they run, and the functions that they provide, as well as the potential health hazards and public noise nuisance created. One large topic focused on was the water usage and the water being returned back into streams. … ” Read more from the Paso Robles Daily Press here: Supervisors allow Arroyo Grande oilfield to continue the plan to add 31 wells
California’s drought sparks innovation in Santa Barbara County
“Dry times call for innovative measures, and with California facing its driest year in nearly a century, the privately held water company that supplies Santa Barbara’s Hope Ranch community is floating a unique idea. La Cumbre Mutual Water Company, the affluent community’s supplier, is considering purchasing water produced by an offshore desalination plant contained within a buoy being designed by Ecomerit Technologies. … ” Continue reading at the Santa Barbara Independent here: California’s drought sparks innovation in Santa Barbara County
SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY
Turlock Irrigation District: Past 2 years the fourth driest in century
“The 2020-21 water year came to an end on Sept. 30 as the sixth driest year for the Tuolumne River Watershed and the fourth driest two-year period dating back to 1897. Full natural flow for the water year was 619,099 acre-feet – only 32.4 percent of the more than 1.9 million acre-feet average for the watershed. This is a stark contrast from just two years ago when the state declared California drought-free for the first time in nearly a decade, thanks to a surging snowpack that was 152 percent of its historical average at the time. The new water year began on Oct. 1 and will run through Sept. 30, 2022. Turlock Irrigation District is hoping the winter is wetter than in recent years. … ” Read more from the Ceres Courier here: Turlock Irrigation District: Past 2 years the fourth driest in century
‘Strongest storm system’ in 2 years headed to Fresno area. What to expect
“A Pacific weather front heading for the central San Joaquin Valley is likely to be the biggest rainfall producer in at least two years —prompting Fresno County officials to brace for problems, including mud slides where the Creek Fire burned in 2020. The front is likely to bring one to two inches of rainfall to the Valley floor, and three to five feet of snow above 10,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada. “The bottom line,” the National Weather Service forecast Wednesday, “is that this storm system could potentially be the strongest storm system to impact Central California in the past two years.” … ” Read more from the Fresno Bee here: ‘Strongest storm system’ in 2 years headed to Fresno area. What to expect
Initial treatment fails; noxious smell in Carson now expected to linger into the weekend
“The noxious smell plaguing Carson residents would dissipate by the middle of this week, Los Angeles County officials said. But Wednesday — right about when the smell was supposed to go away — the officials revised their timeline. Efforts to combat the odor have been hampered by low supplies of a biodegradable neutralizer. And workers initially sprayed at high tide, causing much of the neutralizer to wash away. The odor is now expected to linger until the weekend, as residents remain under public health advisement to avoid prolonged outdoor exercise at night and in the early morning. … ” Read more from the LA Times here: Initial treatment fails; noxious smell in Carson now expected to linger into the weekend
San Diego County’s top water officials call for cutting water use 10%
“Top officials with the San Diego County Water Authority on Wednesday called for the region to voluntarily cut its water use by as much as 10 percent. The announcement by the region’s wholesaler comes after Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday declared a statewide drought emergency. The state has been calling on urban water users for the last two months to voluntarily slash consumption by 15 percent — 5 percent more than the Water Authority’s new target. … ” Read more from San Diego Union-Tribune here: San Diego County’s top water officials call for cutting water use 10%
Reclamation releases updated projections of Colorado River system conditions
“The Bureau of Reclamation has released its October 24-Month Study and 2-year projections of major reservoir levels within the Colorado River system. These projections detail hydrologic conditions and projected operations for Colorado River system reservoirs and are used by Reclamation and water users in the basin for future water management planning. The October projections are the first to include inflow forecasts developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Colorado Basin River Forecast Center (CBRFC) that incorporate updated climate conditions and data sets known as the “U.S. Climate Normals.” … As a result of this update, the median water year 2022 inflow forecast into Lake Powell decreased by 800,000 acre-feet and Reclamation’s October projections show lower Lake Powell elevations compared to the September projections. … ” Read more from the Bureau of Reclamation here: Reclamation releases updated projections of Colorado River system conditions
Imperial Irrigation District general manager testifies before Congress concerning Colorado River and Salton Sea
“On behalf of the Imperial Irrigation District, General Manager Henry Martinez today provided witness testimony during the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resource’s two-part virtual hearing on the Colorado River drought. With the severe drought on the shrinking Colorado – a key water source for 40 million people and the Imperial Valley’s only water source – the House Natural Resource Committee is working to find long-term, sustainable solutions and provide relief. Martinez testified how vital the Colorado River is to the Imperial Valley in sustaining its agrarian economy and rural existence, while also expressing that protection of the Salton Sea is critical. … ” Read more from the Desert Review here: Imperial Irrigation District general manager testifies before Congress concerning Colorado River and Salton Sea
Imperial Irrigation District raises concerns during federal hearing on Colorado River drought
“The Imperial Irrigation District (IID) announces its participation in the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resource’s two-part virtual hearing on the Colorado River drought. General Manager Henry Martinez provided witness testimony Wednesday. “The linkage between the Colorado River and the Salton Sea is irrefutable and the challenges facing it are ones both the upper and lower basins must recognize as a community of aligned interests,” Martinez shared. “The Salton Sea is, as you also know, the linchpin and proving grounds of the nation’s largest agricultural-to-urban conserved water transfer program, the QSA.” … ” Read more from KYMA here: Imperial Irrigation District raises concerns during federal hearing on Colorado River drought
Drought-stricken Southwest could experience another dry La Nina winter
“Cool conditions that have developed in the Pacific Ocean are pointing to increased potential for another dry winter in the drought-stricken Southwest. Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said a La Nina system has developed and is expected to last into the spring, marking a second winter of such conditions. The weather patterns typically created by La Nina are of no help to the parched Southwest, which needs multiple wet years to bounce back from a historically dry period that has been driven by warmer temperatures and decreased precipitation. “And when you see a precipitation forecast like this that isn’t favorable for above-average precipitation, it highlights a low likelihood of drought recovery widespread across the Southwest,” said Andrew Hoell, a meteorologist for the climate agency. … ” Read more from the Las Vegas Review Journal here: Drought-stricken Southwest could experience another dry La Nina winter
S&P: Falling water levels could lead to higher utility bills in western states
“A rating agency is warning water shortages in western states reliant on the Colorado River could lead to rate hikes that would be unaffordable for some. S&P Global Ratings released a report examining the effect of climate change and population growth on utilities in California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Colorado. The report, which was released Monday, stressed water shortages across the region will persist and continued conservation will be crucial in staving off reductions and cost increases for consumers. “S&P Global Ratings expects water scarcity and hydrological volatility to eventually affect nearly all the issuers in the western region served by the Colorado River,” the report said. … ” Read more from KPVI here: S&P: Falling water levels could lead to higher utility bills in western states
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.