DAILY DIGEST, 1/31: Vidovich fires back: Kings Co. water pipeline battle picks up steam; LA is building a future where water won’t run out; Dry January raises drought concerns, precipitation relief not immediate; and more …


On the calendar today …

In California water news today …

Vidovich fires back: Kings Co. water pipeline battle picks up steam

A battle between one of Kings County’s largest farming outfits and a water district over the trenching of a massive underground water pipeline grew hotter on Friday.  Two days after the Tulare Lake Canal Company sued Sandridge Partners, the farming and water giant owned by John Vidovich, to halt trenching work on a water pipeline set to cut across the company’s south of Stratford, Vidovich turned the tables and filed suit against Tulare Lake Canal.  Friday, Sandridge Partners along with Roller Land Company filed a cross-complaint against Tulare Lake Canal and Lemoore contractor Wood Bros, Inc.  The key allegation: Tulare Lake Canal and Wood Bros, Inc. placed heavy equipment on the canal embankment to block further construction of the Vidovich-led pipeline. … ”  Read more from the San Joaquin Valley Sun here: Vidovich fires back: Kings Co. water pipeline battle picks up steam

Los Angeles is building a future where water won’t run out

” … It’s another July scorcher, days after California Governor Gavin Newsom asked residents to conserve amid one of the worst droughts on record. The crisis spans across the southwestern U.S. Outside Las Vegas, the enormous Lake Mead reservoir that feeds the Golden State as well as Nevada and Arizona plunged in June to its lowest level since 1937. In August, federal officials ordered the first-ever water cuts on a Colorado River system that sustains about 40 million people. Even after pounding holiday storms, 64% of the land in Western states was still experiencing severe to exceptional drought in January, which is on track to be the driest on record in some parts.  Yet leaders of Los Angeles—a metropolis forged by water heists from distant lands—think they’re on a path to drought resiliency. Heavy investments in water storage, rainwater capture and reclamation are serving towards a goal of supplying 70% of the city’s water from local sources by 2035. … ”  Continue reading at Bloomberg City Lab here: Los Angeles is building a future where water won’t run out

Dry January raises drought concerns, precipitation relief not immediate

The nice weather in January is setting the wrong record.  From a wet December to a dry January, this month saw such little precipitation it marks the second driest January on record.  “We need 20 to 21 inches more of precipitation over the Sierra to close the season out to finish at normal,” said Craig Shoemaker, a meteorologist and climate program manager for the National Weather Service.  In downtown Sacramento, a normal water year is about 19 inches, he says.  Currently, it’s close to 14.5 inches. … ”  Read more from Channel 13 here:  Dry January raises drought concerns, precipitation relief not immediate

SEE ALSO: Northern California Might Not See a Drop of Rain or Single Snowflake Until Mid-February, from SFist

Fewer cold snaps a concern as climate summaries show more warming

The lack of winter cold snaps are now another issue piling on the the climate change situation. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), released it’s climate summary findings, and in California, the key messages involved a 3°F temperature increase over the 20th century.  The warming temperatures over time are causing big swings across the board. Warmer temperatures mean snow is prone to fall at higher altitudes. What would have fallen at lower altitudes is becoming rain. The lack of snow limits our use of snowpack, a natural reservoir in California. … ”  Read more from Channel 10 here: Fewer cold snaps a concern as climate summaries show more warming

Allocating surface water rights

Where does your water come from?  70 percent of fresh water consumed in the United States comes from surface water—water from sources such as rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.  In the United States, surface water regulatory structures vary according to region. Eastern states tend to follow the “riparian doctrine,” which grants rights of reasonable use to those who own land adjacent to a body of water. Western states primarily follow the doctrine of “prior appropriation.” The prior appropriation doctrine grants water rights to the first person to use the water source. The right to the water continues as long as the appropriator, or person with the water right, puts the water to beneficial uses, such as for drinking water, irrigation, or recreation. … ”  Continue reading at the Regulatory Review here: Allocating surface water rights

Should logging halt over endangered California animal? Here’s what appeals court says

California conservation groups won a partial victory this month in their quest to protect the federally endangered Southern Sierra Nevada population of Pacific fisher, an elusive tree-dwelling mammal in the weasel family. A federal judge in Fresno was “premature” in denying a request for a preliminary injunction last year that would have temporarily halted many logging projects in Sierra, Sequoia and Stanislaus national forests while a lawsuit is being decided against federal land management agencies, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit said in a decision issued Tuesday. … ”  Read more from the Fresno Bee here: Should logging halt over endangered California animal? Here’s what appeals court says

Return to top

Today’s featured article …

DELTA LEAD SCIENTIST: Effects of stressors on native fish communities

At the January meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council, Delta Lead Scientist Dr. Laurel Larsen began a series of reports that, over the next few months, will highlight the science that the Council funded through the Delta Science Fellows in 2018.

The Delta Science Fellows Program, a partnership with California Sea Grant, provides two years of research funding and mentorship to master’s students, Ph.D. students, and postdoctoral scholars working on questions of management relevance in the Delta.  The research topics must be directly related to the Science Action Agenda.

I hope that the next few lead scientist reports will drive home just how impactful this funding program can be, both for the science and for building the next generation of science leaders in the Delta,” said Dr. Larsen.

Click here to read this article.

Return to top

In regional water news and commentary today …

BAY AREA

Marin water agencies explore new sources of supply

After facing critical water shortages last year, Marin County’s two largest water agencies are exploring new supply options.  Connecting to other water agencies, desalination, capturing more rainwater and raising existing dams are among the options being explored by Marin Municipal Water District, which serves 191,000 residents in central and southern Marin, and the North Marin Water District, which serves about 62,000 residents in Novato and West Marin.  The two agencies met this month to discuss what new sources of supply could be added. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: Marin water agencies explore new sources of supply

Marin Voice: Water district must expand supply by reconsidering desalination plan

Richard Rubin, founder and board chair of the Marin Coalition for Water Solutions, writes, “What exactly is being done to solve Marin County’s drought crisis, which is now entering its fourth year? The simple answer is: Not Enough.  Don’t be fooled by the spate of blessed and brief rains. More severe droughts are practically guaranteed and this one is not yet finished despite rising reservoir levels.  Let’s focus on the bottom-line questions: What can be done to make Marin drought-proof and how much will that cost?  The problem is the stewards of our water future at Marin Municipal Water District have evidenced scant interest in completing the basic cost-comparison analyses of various options which might lead to permanent solutions. … ”  Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: Marin Voice: Water district must expand supply by reconsidering desalination plan

SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY

Modesto Irrigation District and Turlock Irrigation District take a step toward capturing a lot more water from Tuolumne in wet years

The Modesto and Turlock irrigation districts hope to greatly increase their diversions in years when the Tuolumne River runs high. Their boards voted Tuesday, Jan. 25, to submit a new water rights application to the state. The multi-year process could result in the districts building new storage above or below ground. District leaders said the move was prompted in part by climate change, which has brought wilder swings between wet and dry cycles. They seek more storage from abundant years to help them through droughts in the decades ahead. … ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here: Modesto Irrigation District and Turlock Irrigation District take a step toward capturing a lot more water from Tuolumne in wet years

How the Friant-Kern canal repair project could help your water, grocery bills

Tuesday, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at the Friant-Kern canal in Tulare county, for much needed repairs on the canal.  “The fact that we haven’t repaired these canals that need much needed repair like the Friant-Kern, we’re really setting ourselves up for having to pay more money when it comes to the food that purchase at the grocery stores,” Senator Melissa Hurtado, for the 14th District (D), said. … ”  Read more from Bakersfield Now here: How the Friant-Kern canal repair project could help your water, grocery bills

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Pasadena Water and Power launches public outreach campaign to save water

The Pasadena Water and Power has developed a series of signs to help build public awareness of  the severe drought conditions affecting Pasadena and the need to conserve water.  Three different signs were created including a free sign that residents can request for mounting on their properties, according to the Pasadena City Manager’s weekly newsletter.  The first sign in the series is the “Be A Water Saver!” sign. … ”  Read more from Pasadena Now here: Pasadena Water and Power launches public outreach campaign to save water

Return to top

Along the Colorado River …

Tucson digs in against Rosemont copper mine in a dispute over a water storage project

Tucson officials are trying to block operators of the Rosemont copper mine, a project the city has long opposed, from storing water in a recharge facility the city helped pay for and co-owns.  Different companies have tried for years to extract copper from the Santa Rita Mountains southeast of Tucson. And its current owner, Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals Inc, has pledged to return some of the 1.7 billion gallons of groundwater it plans to pump each year back into the aquifer.  But the company wants to use a recharge facility co-owned by Tucson, whose mayor and city council oppose the mine for environmental reasons. And now the city is considering options that include diverting water from its other recharge facilities to block Rosemont or even taking legal action. … ”  Continue reading from Arizona Central here: Tucson digs in against Rosemont copper mine in a dispute over a water storage project

Return to top

In national water news today …

Drought exposes ‘canary in this coal mine’ of PFAS in well water

Drought is exposing new layers of risk posed by PFAS contamination in drinking water nationwide, a public health hazard expected to cost billions of dollars and take years to solve, state and federal officials say.  As the historic drought hitting much of the country decreases the flow of rivers and streams, more municipalities are drawing water from underground aquifers and wells. And emerging data shows PFAS contamination could be prevalent in some of those groundwater sources.  “This is not an insurmountable problem,” Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) told Bloomberg Law. “But when we use a groundwater supply, we’ve got to make sure it’s safe.” … ”  Read more from Bloomberg Law here: Drought exposes ‘canary in this coal mine’ of PFAS in well water

The next green must-have: Showers that use recycled water

Imagine taking a long, hot shower without wasting water and energy.  That’s the guilt-free promise of a recirculating shower, which continuously filters, sterilizes and reuses water that would otherwise go down the bathroom drain. The technology reduces water consumption up to 90% and energy use by 80% compared to a conventional shower, according to manufacturers of the devices.  “We are addressing two of the problems the world is facing, climate change and water shortages, without sacrificing the shower experience,” said Troels Grene, chief executive officer of Flow Loop, a Danish company that has developed a recirculating shower called the Eco Loop. … ”  Read more from Time Magazine here: The next green must-have: Showers that use recycled water

US facing dire water scarcity on its biggest freshwater reserves, says new study

Water scarcity is occurring in some of the US’ biggest freshwater reserves, as per a new study. Not only the crisis is evident in the US but also to other parts of the world.  Amid a growing human population, US and other government policymakers, water specialists, and water conservators are left with the task to help alleviate the water scarcity.  The crisis surrounding water scarcity in the US’ freshwater reserves is also evident in other parts of the planet, according to a research study published in the journal Nature on May 16, 2018. … ”  Read more from Nature here: US facing dire water scarcity on its biggest freshwater reserves, says new study

How one major disaster can lead to another: a lack of clean drinking water

Over the past week, ships from Australia and New Zealand have delivered hundreds of thousands of gallons of water to the Pacific archipelago of Tonga, which quickly ran out of drinking water in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption two weeks ago. According to Tonga’s speaker of the house Fatafehi Fakafānua, many of the country’s 100,000-plus residents still have no access to water after ash contaminated its drinking supplies.  According to a report from the United Nations, relief organizations have set up 16 water stations around the island to meet that need. But the process of digging out wells and rooftop tanks has been slow-going, in part because to avoid introducing COVID to the largely disease-free islands, relief teams have remained in quarantine. … ”  Read more from Popular Science here: How one major disaster can lead to another: a lack of clean drinking water

Return to top

More news and commentary in the weekend edition …

In California water news this weekend …

  • State gives thumbs down to most San Joaquin Valley groundwater plans
  • East Tule GSA receives incomplete rating from state
  • Long-term forecast shows no rain in Northern California for at least 14 days
  • Column: Stop asking when California’s drought will be over. Dry winters are the new normal
  • Environmental and Tribal coalition files comments on Sites Reservoir after deadly year for salmon
  • ‘Save Our Water’ initiative encourages younger generation to spread the word
  • Water-sipping showers are the next luxury buy in a parched world
  • ‘The baton has been passed’: Newsom, local leaders could make or break infrastructure bill
  • LAO Report: The 2022-23 Budget: Wildfire Response Proposals
  • Commissioners say Klamath Basin communities still need water for dry wells, canal upkeep
  • How did a 184-foot shipwreck wind up grounded in the Carquinez Strait?
  • Turlock Irrigation District, Modesto Irrigation District apply for more water rights during wet years
  • New plan lays out ways to protect Lake Powell from drought
  • And more …

Click here to read the weekend Daily Digest.

Return to top

Also on Maven’s Notebook today …

NOTICE: Certificate of Consistency filed for Yolo Bypass East Levee Project

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: CDFW Now Accepting Applications for the 2022 Proposition 1 Solicitation

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Public Comment Period Opens for Riverine Stewardship Grant Program

REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS: Delta Science Fellows Program

Return to top

 

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.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email