In California water news this weekend …
Key talks over water use break down, S.F. may face tighter regulation
“For nearly three years, some of California’s biggest water users, including San Francisco, have been quietly meeting with the state to figure out how much water they should be taking from the San Joaquin River and its tributaries. The talks were launched to prevent some of California’s mightiest rivers from drying up, and keep fish populations from disappearing, while still allowing cities and farms to draw the supplies they need. The vision was nothing short of a grand compromise on divvying up California’s water. But late last week, the state conceded the negotiations had failed. In a letter to San Francisco and the other mostly agricultural water agencies involved in the discussions, state regulators told the parties they had made insufficient concessions on water use. The breakdown in talks means the state will begin directly regulating river draws, a move that could significantly squeeze the water users, and one they’re bound to fight. ... ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Key talks over water use break down, S.F. may face tighter regulation
State ends voluntary agreements with local water districts
“A voluntary agreement between local irrigation districts (including Turlock Irrigation District) and the State of California came to an abrupt end, with the State deciding to move forward with a plan that will drastically restrict river water available for local farmers. On Oct. 20, Turlock Irrigation District and Modesto Irrigation District received a letter from the State informing them that they are walking away from the Tuolumne River Voluntary Agreement process and instead moving forward with implementation of the Phase 1 Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan which calls for 40 percent unimpaired flow in the Tuolumne River. “The Districts have negotiated in good faith for years and, by walking away, the State has rejected the collaborative process we’ve built,” said TID communications division manager Constance Anderson. … ” Read more from the Turlock Journal here: State ends voluntary agreements with local water districts
Dan Walters column: Farmers lose two skirmishes in California water war
“The most important battleground in California’s perpetual war over water is the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Dozens of Northern California rivers and streams coalesce in the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, which join to form the Delta estuary and whose waters then flow into San Francisco Bay. The state’s massive water infrastructure was constructed on an assumption that water left to flow to the sea was wasted. The web of reservoirs and canals diverts river and Delta water to farms in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys and domestic users as far south as San Diego. However, in recent decades environmental groups and their allies, such as Indian tribes and fishermen, have demanded reductions in diversions, arguing that they severely damage habitat for fish, such as spawning salmon, and other wildlife. ... ” Read more from Dan Walters at Cal Matters here: Dan Walters column: Farmers lose two skirmishes in California water war
Judge rejects water deal citing $400M is missing funds that would help Trinity River
“Fresno County Superior Court Judge D. Tyler Tharpe rejected a federal contract between the Westlands Water District and the Bureau of Reclamation on Wednesday noting that it lacked appropriate public notice and key financial terms to the tune of $400 million. The missing terms are costs owed for environmental restoration of Northern California waterways — including the Trinity River. Hoopa Valley Tribal Chairman Joe Davis said the Tribe’s Trinity River fishery has been one of the “Central Valley Project’s victims” for decades. … ” Read more from the Eureka Times-Standard here: Judge rejects water deal citing $400M is missing funds that would help Trinity River
Video: Inside California Politics: Sec. Wade Crowfoot on continued state drought
“FOX40’s Nikki Laurenzo talks with California Natural Resources Sec. Wade Crowfoot about California’s drought conditions. “There is a lot more rain and snow that would be needed to actually pull us out of this drought,” Crowfoot said. “We all have to modify our behavior and be more efficient about water.” Watch 7:30 video below.
A California town refused to help its neighbors with water. So the state stepped in.
“At one of the last houses on a gravel road that dead-ends at a locked canal, Monica Santillan used a plastic milk jug to water her canna lilies. She carefully dripped the water that was both scarce and too contaminated to drink. … She said Tooleville is beautiful in the spring, when the foothills are the color of limes. But she wished she could move to town, where they can use water from the tap. “Town” is Exeter, less than a mile away. It’s where many of Tooleville’s 340 residents shop and go to school. Yet, for more than 20 years, the vibrant citrus-belt community has refused to connect Tooleville to its water system. … ” Read more from the LA Times here: A California town refused to help its neighbors with water. So the state stepped in.
California-Nevada and Pacific Northwest Special Edition Drought Status Update
“NIDIS and its partners have released this special edition drought status update because of recent atmospheric rivers impacting parts of the Western U.S. and will issue future regional drought status updates as conditions evolve. An exceptional (AR 5) atmospheric river (AR) recently brought rain, snow, and wind to the western U.S. While October ARs occur routinely, this early storm was unusually strong. This AR and recent storms improved drought conditions but did not come close to ending the drought for the region. The current drought developed over many months to years, leaving soils parched. Greater than normal winter precipitation will be needed to replenish this soil moisture deficit and deliver normal spring streamflows. … ” To view the update from NIDIS, go here: California-Nevada and Pacific Northwest Special Edition Drought Status Update
Fact Sheet: Better forecasting of atmospheric rivers mitigates impact of 2021 drought
“Pioneering work by the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes (CW3E) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography has made it possible to forecast atmospheric rivers (ARs) with more precision and longer lead times. These forecast improvements have already begun to pay off by giving California more time to prepare for and mitigate impacts of droughts, floods, and other hazards. … ” View/download fact sheet from the Center for Western Weather & Water Extremes here: Fact Sheet: Better forecasting of atmospheric rivers mitigates impact of 2021 drought
Climate change is here, it’s bad. Here’s what you can do
“It’s getting hotter. It’s getting smokier. It’s getting scarier. California’s extreme droughts, heat waves and wildfires will likely worsen in the coming decades and longer if we don’t get our act together. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is greater than any time in at least the past three million years, and the world has already warmed 2 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) since the 1800s. People of color are and will be disproportionately affected by the health and environmental impacts of climate change, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Taking all this in is overwhelming. But here’s something that makes it easier: there is still time to act. … ” Continue reading from KQED here: Climate change is here, it’s bad. Here’s what you can do
Vilsack says Biden plan is a way to reduce catastrophic wildfires, address climate change
“Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Friday that the U.S. Forest Service will be able to double or triple the scope of its wildfire prevention efforts if Congress passes President Joe Biden’s spending plan. The $1.75 trillion package would steer a combined $27 billion toward forest restoration and wildfire prevention over 10 years, according to the Senate Agriculture Committee. Vilsack said those funds would have a significant impact on combating wildfires. ... ” Read more from the Sacramento Bee here: Vilsack says Biden plan is a way to reduce catastrophic wildfires, address climate change
The Native American way of fighting wildfires
“The wildfires that have engulfed millions of acres of forest in the American West in the last few years have brought environmental politics in the region to an unfamiliar place. In Oregon and California, forests are no longer just wondrous cathedrals of nature. They inspire fear as well as awe. “They’ve gotten denser, they’ve gotten more hazardous and, when they burn, they can burn with ferocious high intensity,” said Scott Stephens, a wildfire researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. That has led to “a pivot” in the public’s thinking about wildfires, he said. “People are asking the question: ‘What can we do?’” Curiously, as partisan and ideological divisions deepen in America, something that looks an awful lot like consensus has been forming around wildfire policy in the West. … ” Continue reading from Bloomberg Opinion here: The Native American way of fighting wildfires
In commentary this weekend …
Conservation is critical during drought, but not the only solution
Steve LaMar, President of the Association of California Water Agencies, and Sean Bigley, chair of the Regional Water Authority and Assistant Environmental Utilities Director for the City of Roseville, write, “Gov. Gavin Newsom has extended the drought emergency statewide and called on all Californians to redouble their efforts to conserve water. His call to action is critical even with the storms that recently soaked California, because we know that a lot more rain and snow will be needed to lift the state out of the drought. The Governor’s approach to statewide conservation is laudable, as well, because it continues to empower water managers with matching local water supply conditions with conservation, rather than relying on statewide mandates. While conservation is a critical tool for saving water during a drought, it is only one of many actions that must be taken to address drought. Investing in water infrastructure and the ability of local water managers to diversify supplies are also essential to building climate resilience throughout the state. ... ” Read more from ACWA’s Voices on Water here: Conservation is critical during drought, but not the only solution
Gov. Newsom’s Department of Water Resources minions to poor folks of Kettleman City: Drop dead
Dennis Wyatt, managing editor of the Manteca Bulletin, writes, “If you want to see the future of California fill up your tank with $4.80 per gallon gasoline and take the Golden State autobahn better known as Interstate 5 and head 160 miles south to Kettleman City. It’s slightly bigger than the proverbial wide spot on the road. It is home to around 1,200 souls of which most are in households where often both parents toil in fields sometimes along with their teen-age children who join them during summers, weekends, and even after school. This is also a place where one of the world’s two largest Tesla supercharging stations is located with 96 chargers. The other is in Baker. … ” Continue reading at the Manteca Bulletin here: Gov. Newsom’s Department of Water Resources minions to poor folks of Kettleman City: Drop dead
In people news this weekend …
Water rights, climate change among top priorities for new Tuolumne Utilities District boss
“Fulfilling a more than century-old quest to secure water rights for Tuolumne County and preparing for the inevitable impacts of climate change are among the top priorities for Don Perkins as the new permanent general manager of Tuolumne Utilities District. Perkins was formally appointed to the district’s top administrative position Tuesday by the TUD Board of Directors after serving as the interim general manager since June. He’s worked at the water and sewer agency for 21 years, including the past six as its operations director. “I am humbled and grateful to be selected as general manager for the district,” Perkins said. “The district and the county are facing some real challenges and exciting opportunities that will fundamentally change the way we operate and serve our community.” ... ” Read more from The Union here: Water rights, climate change among top priorities for new Tuolumne Utilities District boss
Peter Gleick: Fighting water scarcity across the globe
“When Peter Gleick graduated from Yale in the late 1970s with an engineering degree, he knew one thing: he didn’t want to be an engineer. He was fascinated by big systems and big questions, and drawn to the nascent field of environmental science. It wasn’t long before he started thinking about water—its importance to every aspect of life, its unequal distribution, and how rising temperatures, industrial projects, and increasing population were shrinking its availability. He got a doctorate in energy at the University of California at Berkeley and set out to apply it to water in an academic setting. The problem was that neither the field nor such an appointment existed. In the ‘80s, Gleick, in effect, created an applied academic discipline—fresh water management—and built a place to study it and offer solutions, the Pacific Institute. … ” Read more from Bloomberg here: Meet six people fighting water scarcity across the globe
From the Office of the Governor:
Margaret Mohr, 60, of Cameron Park, has been appointed Deputy Director of Communications at the California Department of Water Resources.
Mohr has been Communications Director at VELOZ since 2020. She was Deputy General Manager of Business Development at the California Exposition and State Fair from 2017 to 2020, Chief Marketing Officer at e.Republic from 2010 to 2016 and Vice President of Marketing and Promotion at ABC10, Gannett Broadcasting from 2000 to 2010. Mohr was Director of Marketing and Promotions at KVUE24, Gannett Broadcasting from 1995 to 2000. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $136,560. Mohr is a Democrat.
Nancy Wright, 71, of Whitewater, has been reappointed to the Colorado River Basin Regional Water Quality Control Board …
where she has served since 2012 and served from 2000 to 2007. Wright has been Co-Owner at Peter Wright General Contractor since 1977. Wright is a member and president of the Mission Springs Water District Board of Directors, where she has served since 1988. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $250 per diem. Wright is a Republican.
Gloria Alvarado, 53, of Santa Ana, has been appointed to the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Alvarado has been Executive Director at the Orange County Labor Federation since 2018, where she has held several positions since 2011, including Organizing Director and Community Organizer. She was National Immigration Coordinator at the AFL-CIO from 2015 to 2017 and Recreation Director for the City of Santa Ana from 1986 to 2010. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $250 per diem. Alvarado is a Democrat.
John Scandura, 64, of Huntington Beach, has been appointed to the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Scandura held several positions at the Department of Toxic Substances Control from 1985 to 2018, including Branch Chief for the Site Mitigation and Restoration Program, Remediation Project Manager and Remediation Program Supervisor. He was Staff Scientist at Tetra Tech from 1983 and 1985. Scandura earned a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science and Engineering from the University of North Carolina. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $250 per diem. Scandura is a Republican.
Betty Olson, 74, of Trabuco Canyon, has been reappointed to the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board …
where she has served since 2014. Olson has been a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Irvine School of Engineering since 2018, where she was a Professor from 2006 to 2018. She was a Professor in the Department of Environment, Health and Policy at the University of California, Irvine School of Social Ecology from 1974 to 2006. Olson earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree and a Master of Science degree in Environmental Health Science from the University of California, Berkeley. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $250 per diem. Olson is registered without party preference.
Stefanie Warren, 43, of San Diego, has been reappointed to the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board …
where she has served since 2013. Warren has been a Partner at Trails Law Group since 2018. She was an Attorney at Dentons from 2006 to 2018 and a Law Clerk for the Honorable Irma E. Gonzalez at the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California from 2005 to 2006. Warren earned a Juris Doctor degree from Emory University School of Law. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $250 per diem. Warren is a Democrat.
JARED BLUMENFELD’s PODSHIP EARTH PODCAST: Weather
Talking about the rain, wind, sun, humidity, snow, hail, storms, heat, flooding and everything in between is one of our favorite topics of conversation. That’s now being amped up to a whole new level because of climate change. Today’s extreme weather is causing droughts, wildfires, mega hurricanes, atmospheric rivers and temperatures both so cold and hot that people are dying. Extreme weather cost U.S. taxpayers $99 billion last year, and it is getting worse. Weather is getting a lot more attention. That puts the spotlight on meteorologists who deliver daily weather forecasts. Monica Woods has been ABC10 Sacramento’s Chief Meteorologist since 2011. Monica’s broadcasts go into the field with farmers, scientists, water managers and everyday Californians to find the stories that inspire action and even hope. Her message is that ultimately we protect the things we love.
WATER IS A MANY SPLENDOR’ED THING PODCAST: The Golden Triangle
“We just seem to get it both ways. Receiving too much water on not receiving enough each bring their benefits and difficulties. This year’s 153% snow pack and the accompanied big gulp that has filled up reservoirs across California is a good thing. But seeing that the atmospheric storms are likely to continue into March brings pause. I wonder how much of a good thing this really is? Today, we visit with Dr. Laurie Johnson. Her message includes the low probability, atmospheric river 1000 storm scenario that poses some very introspective questions on scenario planning that affect the entire state. What is the golden triangle and how does this describe flood recovery? Are we ready?” Listen up. 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
WATER LOOP PODCAST: Estimation of evapotranspiration
While precipitation like rain and snow get all the attention, the amount of evapotranspiration – water transferred from land and planets to the atmosphere – is also critical to water management. But there hasn’t been an effective tool for farmers, communities, and other water stakeholders to track evapotranspiration. Enter OpenET, a powerful platform that provides easily accessible satellite-based estimates and allows users to explore data down to a quarter-acre resolution or at a broader scale for millions of fields. The development and uses of OpenET is discussed in this episode with Robyn Grimm, Director of Climate Resilient Water Information Systems at the Environmental Defense Fund, and Forrest Melton, Research Scientist at California State University Monterey Bay. Robyn and Forrest talk about building OpenET through a massive partnership, which involves NASA, Google, EDF, the Desert Research Institute, and a variety of federal agencies and universities. They also discuss pilot projects across Western states and how the tool can support irrigation efficiency, groundwater management, and trading programs.
WEST COAST WATER JUSTICE PODCAST: Connecting indigenous knowledge, policy, and infrastructure
Brook Thompson (She/Her) is a Yurok and Karuk Native from Northern California. Growing up she lived and fished on the same land that her ancestors have been on for over 12,000 years. Brook fights for water and Native American rights through speaking to groups and frontline activism. She has been an intern for the City of Portland’s BES and the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in D.C. and the CA Water Resource Control Board. In 2017 Brook was awarded the American Indian Graduate Center’s Undergraduate student of the year and in 2020 she was won Unity’s 25 Under 25 award. Brook has a B.S. in Civil Engineering and a minor in Political Science. Currently, she is in her master’s program in environmental engineering at Stanford University. Miss Thompson’s goal is to bring together water rights and Native American knowledge through engineering, public policy, and social action.
In regional water news this weekend …
Can beavers save the Klamath Marsh?
“The Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge looks very different today than it did 35 years ago. About 45 miles north of Klamath Falls along the Williamson River, it’s natural waterways are limited. And over the last few decades it has spent more and more of the year in drought conditions with parts nearly or fully drying up. Alex Gonyaw, senior fisheries biologist for the Klamath Tribes, said these are the impacts of man-made calamities on the marsh that span more than 200 years. … ” Read more from the Herald & News here: Can beavers save the Klamath Marsh?
Commentary: Critical juncture reached in fight with aquatic invasive weeds
“We are at a critical juncture in the ongoing fight against the aquatic invasive species that are threatening Lake Tahoe’s shorelines. The Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association has been fighting invasive weeds for four decades, and despite our efforts, the invasive weeds now cover over 85% of the lagoons. Complicating matters, a new species, curly leaf pondweed that was found in 2003, is establishing a foothold. This is significant, as curly leaf represents a greater threat to the lake, growing in colder, deeper water and reproducing aggressively. Now is the time to arrest the spread, and we must use all effective methods available. … ” Continue reading at the Tahoe Daily Tribune here: Commentary: Critical juncture reached in fight with aquatic invasive weeds
Caldor Fire burn area assessment report released
“After spending weeks assessing the Caldor Fire burn scar, the U.S. Forest Service last week released the Burned Area Emergency Response summary and the team is working on stabilizing the area. BAER assessments focus on “imminent post-fire threats to life and safety, property, critical natural resources and cultural resources on national forest system lands,” the summary states. “Threats include determining where post-fire rain events could increase runoff and flooding, erosion and sediment delivery, debris flows and high-risk areas for the spread of invasive weeds.” … ” Read more from the Mountain Democrat here: Caldor Fire burn area assessment report released
Flume rebuild takes priority
“The El Dorado Irrigation District is prioritizing replacement of flumes burned in the Caldor Fire as the region’s rainiest season nears. Three of the four flumes destroyed by the blaze, which were mostly constructed of wood, will be rebuilt using concrete. Flumes 5, 6 and 30 will be concrete U-channels on mechanically stabilized engineered walls. Flume 4 was only partially burned and will be rebuilt by hydro division staff from treated timbers and marine wood in stock. … ” Continue reading at the Mountain Democrat here: Flume rebuild takes priority
Heavy rainfall puts Napa Valley’s vineyards, river restoration projects to the test
“When nine inches of rain pummeled Napa’s Gamble Family Vineyards last week, proprietor Tom Gamble saw it as a test. With a vineyard near the Napa River, Gamble has been involved with restoration efforts for over two decades, most recently working with partners to plant trees, grasses and other native vegetation on a mile-long stretch in Oakville. These bank stabilization efforts were thus put to their first flood-worthy test, and Gamble was anything but disappointed with the results. … ” Read more from the Napa Register here: Heavy rainfall puts Napa Valley’s vineyards, river restoration projects to the test
Marin to see more rain after historic deluge
“One week after historic storms doused Northern California, Marin County and much of the region are expected to have another wet start to the week. Forecasts show two storms are set to arrive on Monday and Thursday that could bring more rain measured in inches to the drought-stricken region. Meteorologists say these storms will be far less intense than those that last week, which doused Mount Tamalpais with a staggering 26 inches of rain and provided vital supplies to Marin’s shrinking reservoirs. “We’re not expecting anything like that this go around, but what I can say is that we actually have a pretty active pattern going on,” National Weather Service meteorologist David King said on Friday. … ” Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: Marin to see more rain after historic deluge
Here’s when the Bay Area could see more rain this week
“Aside from just enough cloudiness to “hide the spooky moon,” Bay Area Halloween revelers this Sunday can expect mild, dry conditions through midnight — perfect for “heading to the pumpkin patch” during the day and for evening celebrations, according to the National Weather Service. Light rain will sweep in early Monday morning, a bit later than expected earlier this week, meaning even trick-or-treaters are likely to get home dry, but bringing a drizzly day for Día de los Muertos. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Here’s when the Bay Area could see more rain this week
The S.F. Bay Area is about to enter a La Niña winter. Here’s what to expect
“With last week’s atmospheric river and more rain expected this weekend, Bay Area residents may have hopes of a wet winter. But with this winter’s La Niña pattern, that’s up in the air, meteorologists said Friday. La Niñas usually bring storms in the Pacific Northwest, but drier conditions in Southern California. That puts the Bay Area “on the periphery of the wetter region,” David King, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service explained — meaning it’s hard to predict how much rain the region might see. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: The S.F. Bay Area is about to enter a La Niña winter. Here’s what to expect
Berkeley Marina’s last full-time salmon fisherman plans to abandon the sea
“Bags of fish fillet are piled into four giant cooler boxes on the back of a truck in the Berkeley Marina, where Yvette Hudson and her assistant sort them into 10 ice baskets. These baskets of fish will go into Hudson’s stall at the El Cerrito Farmers Market. Before she finishes setting up the stand, consumers have already lined up outside, hoping for fresh salmon. It’s a Saturday in September and Hudson can expect to sell all her fish, as she does three times a week. It’s good money, but it isn’t enough, and by the end of the year she and her husband, Mike, will be quitting the commercial fishing business after 25 years. … ” Read more from Berkeleyside here: Berkeley Marina’s last full-time salmon fisherman plans to abandon the sea
Commentary: Does the Bay Area have the water it needs to grow?
Laura Feinstein, sustainability and resilience policy director at SPUR, and Anne Thebo, senior researcher for Pacific Institute, write, “It seems as though the two things the Bay Area has the least of are housing and water. … Our colleagues at SPUR, a public policy think tank, have found that the region needs to build an astonishing 2.2 million homes by 2070 to meet future demand and make up for the present shortfall. Meanwhile, the region is experiencing a record-setting drought, just four years after the last historic drought ended. Gov. Gavin Newsom has urged Californians to reduce water use by 15%. Salmon are on the brink of extinction, and communities upstream from us live beside rivers choked with toxic algae because too much water is diverted for farms and cities. Against this backdrop, you may wonder — does the Bay Area have enough water to continue to grow? … ” Continue reading at the San Francisco Examiner here: Commentary: Does the Bay Area have the water it needs to grow?
232-acre East Bay tidal marsh restoration complete
“The East Bay is getting a new environmental playground as a project, decades in the making, by completing the last major task to turn it from a pile of bay and creek dredgings into a real tidal marsh. As giant backhoes tore into an earthen levee in Martinez, it was a very good Friday to restore a tiny part of the more than 90% of the Bay’s historic tidal wetlands, which were lost to human activity. “It took 20 years to get to this moment; the acquisition of the property, the curation of that and then all the diligence it took to figure out, ‘OK, What is the right way forward?’ Then the design and then the landscaping that you see all around us,” said Linus Eukel. head of the John Muir Trust. ... ” Read more from KTVU here: 232-acre East Bay tidal marsh restoration complete
SEE ALSO: East Bay levee breached after 100-year closure in effort to restore rare wildlife to marshland, from KGO
SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY
These small Fresno County farmers are struggling to get water from their wells amid the drought
“June Moua started growing cherries, tomatoes and grapes in east Fresno County 10 years ago. Now she grows a few different types of crops. But her most profitable are the water-intensive Asian greens like mustard greens and bok choy. “Every other day you have to water to keep going, otherwise it won’t work,” she says. “They’re just going to die.” She says she learned how to farm from her father when she was younger. Since then, she’s learned even more through trial and error. She enjoys bringing these Southeast Asian crops to farmers markets in Los Angeles, but the drought has put her in a tough position. “It’s a challenge like, ‘what are we going to do?’” she says. “Are we going to plant or are we not going to plant?” … ” Read more from Valley Public Radio here: These small Fresno County farmers are struggling to get water from their wells amid the drought
Recent storm brings little to no change in Kern County drought
“The recent storm that drenched the West Coast did not make a substantial dent in California’s water woes, with all counties still in a moderate drought or worse, according to a report by the National Drought Mitigation Center. Most of Kern County is still in an “exceptional drought” after receiving the most rain in the better part of a year with .75 of an inch in Bakersfield on Monday, according to the National Weather Service. Other areas of Kern saw rainfall totals from .08 of an inch in the area of Indian Wells Canyon and up to 1.77 inches in Hart Flat. … ” Read more from KGET here: Recent storm brings little to no change in Kern County drought
Eyewitnesses to climate change: The Californian tribe battling drought, wildfires and dust storms
“The Paiute tribes of eastern California have a deeply alarming insight into the future. We must listen to their story, for soon it may be our story too. The indigenous people here are being encircled by three inter-connected threats: drought, dust storms and wildfires. The history of the Paiute is already one of heartbreak and betrayal. In the 19th century, their land was stolen. In the 20th century, their water was stolen. Now in the 21st century, their environment is being stolen – by the relentless forces of climate change and by political indifference to their plight. … ” Read more from ITV here: Eyewitnesses to climate change: The Californian tribe battling drought, wildfires and dust storms
Santa Barbara pipeline will expand desal access
“In early October, the City of Santa Barbara began work on a two-mile-long pipeline connecting its desalination plant to its main water distribution hub, the Cater Water Treatment Plant in the San Roque foothills. The work so far may only be visible in the form of chalk markings in the street, as it starts with mapping the existing underground infrastructure before trenches are dug and the pipes are laid out. The pipeline is part of a project designed to expand the reach of the Charles E. Meyer Desalination Plant, which supplies about 25 percent of the city’s drinking water and currently serves residents and businesses between the waterfront and Micheltorena Street. ... ” Read more from the Santa Barbara Independent here: Santa Barbara pipeline will expand desal access
‘The stench of death’: California city plagued by extraordinary odor for weeks
“Lakesia Livingstone was driving back to her home in Carson, California, in early October after watching her son play football when she was hit with an overpowering stench. “It was like a rotten egg smell, horrible, very strong,” Livingstone says. “I thought, oh my God, something is going on.” That smell has now lasted four weeks, creating chaos for residents of Carson, a city in Los Angeles county. The extraordinary stink – which has been described as “the stench of death” – is coming from a nearby canal where authorities say decomposing vegetation is sending off plumes of hydrogen sulfide gas. … ” Read more from the Guardian here: ‘The stench of death’: California city plagued by extraordinary odor for weeks
Oceanside wastewater treatment plant preparing to open
“San Diego County has been planning ways to increase its sustainable water supply and one of the planned methods is through turning wastewater into potable water. There are three sites planned in the county and the first one, Pure Water Oceanside, is set to open before the end of 2021. Pure Water Oceanside should begin operations mid-December and initially will help produce 30% of Oceanside’s water supply. The city has a goal of creating 50% of the water supply locally by 2030, and this facility will help make that happen. … ” Read more from Channel 10 here: Oceanside wastewater treatment plant preparing to open
Imperial Irrigation District completes initial construction phase of new dust control project at Red Hill Bay
“Imperial Irrigation District completed construction of the first phase of its BACM (Best Available Control Measure) air quality project at the Salton Sea’s Red Hill Bay to implement dust control measures, according to a press release. Using a bull plow pulled behind a tractor, IID’s contractor constructed furrows — long narrow ditches typically used in farming for planting or seed irrigation — to modify airflow across the dry lakebed to help decrease the wind velocity at the ground surface. The furrows will trap soil and dust particles, removing these from the air on the project site during wind events. Dirt clods from the furrowing act as armor on the surface adjacent to each furrow. Each set of furrows is approximately 30 feet wide. In phases 2 and 3 of the project, the spaces between furrows will be filled with vegetation and irrigation infrastructure. … ” Read more from the Desert Review here: Imperial Irrigation District completes initial construction phase of new dust control project at Red Hill Bay
Along the Colorado River …
Here is how Southern Nevada is dealing with growth and the water issue
“13 Action News is launching a newsroom-wide initiative called Meadows to Metropolis examining all the impacts of our explosive growth. It all starts with water. Nothing is more critical. When 2022 rings in, the federal water shortage declaration will cut our supply by about 7 billion gallons. 13 Investigates examines how we got here and finds out how officials are planning for our future. … ” Read more from Channel 13 here: Here is how Southern Nevada is dealing with growth and the water issue
The West needs a lot of snow to escape drought. This year, that’s unlikely
“When you’ve been coming to the same place for decades, it’s easy to notice changes. On this ranch near Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the tell-tale signs of drought are everywhere. Todd Hagenbuch stands beside a silent, dusty creek bed, where golden grasses and scrub are beginning to reclaim the thin channel. “Typically you’d see a little water in this throughout the summer,” he said. “It’s been dry all summer long.” Hagenbuch’s family has been ranching this land for 75 years. This creek runs into the Yampa River, which snakes through the property. “It’s quite a shocker,” he said. “I’m in my mid 40s, I remember coming up here as a little kid, moving some rocks around and playing in the water. My kids this year did not get that opportunity, and that’s kind of a sad state of affairs.” ... ” Read more from KSUT here: The West needs a lot of snow to escape drought. This year, that’s unlikely
In national/international water news this weekend …
Pacific Institute launches Water Resilience Issue Brief, calls on decisionmakers to rapidly scale water resilience solutions in build-up to COP26
“Never before have the global water and climate agendas been so closely linked. More than 30 years ago, the Pacific Institute made some of the earliest projections about how climate change would wreak havoc on the water cycle. Today, we see many of these impacts before our very eyes. Amid climate change, intensifying floods and droughts have affected people, nature, and economies. Further illustrating the water crisis, SDG 6 for water is “alarmingly off track,” an estimated 2.2 billion people (about a quarter of the world’s population) lack access to safe drinking water, businesses face material water risks to their direct operations and supply chains, and ecosystems are suffering. As we approach COP26 in Glasgow, we recognize how pivotal this United Nations Climate Change Conference will be in advancing water on the global climate agenda. After decades of work by water leaders to integrate water and climate solutions, COP26 presents a unique moment in time. ... ” Read more from the Pacific Institute here: Pacific Institute launches Water Resilience Issue Brief, calls on decisionmakers to rapidly scale water resilience solutions in build-up to COP26