DAILY DIGEST, holiday weekend edition: Snow is in the forecast; Harder pushes to measure land subsidence nationwide; Dean ‘Dino’ Cortopassi, protector of the Delta, dies at 84; State water rules fail to make a splash in Santa Clara County; and more …
A change in the weather pattern starts Sunday, bringing strong winds, then precipitation to Northern California
“A low-pressure system moves in from the north Monday, as an “inside slider.” It is expected to move in from the Pacific Northwest into areas of the Sierra through Wednesday. Winds will be the first weather conditions we face coming into Sunday afternoon. These winds for the valley will be around 10-20 mph with gusts for the Coastal Range and Sierra around 30-40 mph. Winds are expected to remain strong through Wednesday. This will bring renewed concerns for fire conditions. … ” Read more from Channel 10 here: A change in the weather pattern starts Sunday, bringing strong winds, then precipitation to Northern California
DWR launches new website to improve tracking of local and statewide water conditions amid extreme dry conditions
“The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has launched a new website, California Water Watch, that helps Californians easily access information on current local and statewide water conditions – down to their own region and even neighborhood. “The variability of California’s climate and current water conditions we are experiencing now make this data more important than ever. Climate whiplash is our new reality living in this State, and we are innovating and developing new tools like California Water Watch to provide water managers, researchers, and policymakers with the data necessary to make better informed decisions about our limited water supply,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. … ” Read more from DWR here: DWR launches new website to improve tracking of local and statewide water conditions amid extreme dry conditions
“California had its driest January since 1984, with the lack of rain and snow pushing drought conditions across the most populous U.S. state to nearly 100%. January was the second driest start of the year on records going back to 1895, said Ahira Sanchez-Lugo, a climatologist with the National Centers for Environmental Information. Last month’s dryness was only surpassed by January 1984. With California’s rainy season starting to wind down, forecasters don’t see any relief to the dryness through the next three months. Drought now grips 99.57% of California, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. … ” Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: California records driest January in 38 years
Fins and feathers together
“In the 1980s waterfowl numbers were at all time lows. Today, you can witness huge flocks once again scattered throughout the skies of the Central Valley. The Central Valley Joint Venture – a broad coalition of conservation organizations, and government agencies focused on making the better bird habitat – has long been at the center of this amazing conservation success story. The Central Valley Habitat Joint Venture was formally organized in 1988 and strives to conserve migratory birds and their habitats in the Central Valley of California. The Management Board now consists of twenty public and private members and is administered by a Management Board in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. … ” Continue reading at Cal Trout here: Fins and feathers together
Harder pushes for 21st century satellite technology to measure land subsidence nationwide
“[Friday], Rep. Josh Harder sent a bipartisan letter to House and Senate leaders urging them to invest in 21st century satellite technology to measure land subsidence nationwide. In the last 100 years the San Joaquin Valley has sunk, or subsided, by at least 33 feet, causing significant regional infrastructure challenges. “Our state is sinking and that puts everything from our roads and bridges to our farms and jobs at risk,” said Rep. Harder. “That’s why today I’m pushing for a bipartisan investment in the 21st century satellite technology that will tell us exactly what we need to know about our lands. If we make this investment now, we’ll save up to $30 billion nationwide and stimulate our local economies at the same time. We know what to do, we know how to do it, so let’s get to work.” … ” Read more from Congressman Harder’s website here: Harder pushes for 21st century satellite technology to measure land subsidence nationwide
California Fish and Game Commission meets remotely
“At its February meeting, the California Fish and Game Commission acted on several issues affecting California’s natural resources. The following are just a few items of interest from this week’s meeting. … The Commission continued the decision to determine whether or not listing southern California steelhead as endangered under CESA may be warranted. The Commission continued the decision to ratify findings for the decision to list northern California summer steelhead as endangered under [CESA]. ... ” Read the full post at the Department of Fish & Wildlife here: California Fish and Game Commission meets remotely
A war to halt logging in Northern California reignites. Will it end differently this time?
“Michael Hunter slammed a mallet onto a hand-held drum, the beats ringing out in rapid succession. … Hunter was kicking off a series of demonstrations here along the Mendocino Coast to protest the redwoods’ destruction from state-sponsored logging and research. The Jan. 23 gathering was the latest rallying cry in a decades-long war over Jackson’s trees, a battle that haspitted environmental activists against state and timber industry leaders. At the heart of the dispute are differing opinions about the best use of public land and who should steward the precious resource. Those who oppose logging call it a greed-fueled operation that runs contrary to climate goals. Supporters see it as pragmatic management of a renewable resource. Now, Native American tribes indigenous to the area have joined the fray ... ” Read more from the LA Times here: A war to halt logging in Northern California reignites. Will it end differently this time?
Listen: Wildfires, climate change and drought: a conversation about the biggest threats to giant sequoias
“In the last two years, wildfires have destroyed up to one fifth of giant sequoias larger than four feet in diameter. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks officials held a virtual meeting Thursday to talk about how the trees continue to face major threats. In this interview, Valley Edition host Kathleen Schock speaks with KVPR reporter Soreath Hok about the impact of the recent KNP Complex fire, what firefighters are doing to protect the trees and how we can all do our part to ensure their survival.” Listen at KVPR here: Wildfires, climate change and drought: a conversation about the biggest threats to giant sequoias
Dean ‘Dino’ Cortopassi, farmer, champion of education and protector of the Delta, dies at 84
“Dean “Dino” Cortopassi, the son of an immigrant farmer who spent his life growing crops and growing companies, has died at 84 after complications from a stroke, his family said. “He was a giant of a man. He did so much for this community in so many areas — education, agriculture, protecting the water of the Delta area,” Doug Wilhoit, the former CEO of the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce, said. Cortopassi was a leader in the agricultural community, and was a partner in running multiple farms over the 7,000 acres he acquired throughout his farming career. He invested in significant agribusiness ventures including Stanislaus Food Products, Gilroy Canning, Sierra Quality Canners, Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes, and Corto Olive, and was a pioneer in vineyard-style olive farming. ... ” Read more from the Stockton Record here: Dean ‘Dino’ Cortopassi, farmer, champion of education and protector of the Delta, dies at 84
Dr. Michael Dettinger elected to National Academy of Engineering
“Dr. Michael Dettinger, visiting researcher at CW3E/Scripps Institution of Oceanography, research professor at the Desert Research Institute, and founder of Climate Science, LLC, was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Dr. Dettinger, elected for his hydroclimate research that significantly enhances the understanding and management of water resources in the western United States, is among the NAE’s 111 new members and 22 international members announced by NAE President John L. Anderson on February 09, 2022. … ” Continue reading at the Center for Western Weather & Water Extremes here: Dr. Michael Dettinger elected to National Academy of Engineering
INGRAINED PODCAST: How California can secure a more stable Water Future
For all of the high-tech advancements California is famous for, one part of the state’s infrastructure – providing enough water for its environment, cities and farms – is lacking. It has been more than four decades since the last major water storage facility was built in the Golden State, and our total population has nearly doubled since that time. Proposed for the west side of the Sacramento Valley, Sites Reservoir provides an opportunity to dramatically boost water storage capability, which would help safeguard the state during drought, like what we are currently enduring.
WHAT MATTERS PODCAST: Senator Henry Stern and Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia
Hear from two California legislators who are fighting climate change impacts by pushing for laws and policies about water and energy that will affect Californians for years to come. We will discuss how they hope to empower everyday people like us to make significant changes in how we use natural resources while protecting the environment. There’s a lot of work to be done, and Senator Henry Stern and Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia are working to make sure we don’t squander our efforts to make a real and lasting difference for California water.
VOICES OF THE VALLEY PODCAST: A. G. Kawamura: Dissecting the 21st century ag renaissance
With 44 seasons of farming under his belt, A.G. Kawamura shares his unique perspective about the future of agriculture and provides an analysis of the lessons learned from agriculture’s past. Some of the topics he covers? Stepping away from “think tanks” and moving toward an era of “do tanks.” The importance of disruption in sustaining a state of abundance vs a state of survival. How to accelerate change by streamlining the path for environmentally-friendly technology. The transformation of urban agriculture. And more! Listen to part 1 of 2 of Orange County Produce Owner and Former Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture A.G. Kawamura’s Voices of the Valley Podcast episode.
WHAT ABOUT WATER WITH JAY FAMIGLIETTI: Tasha Beeds: Walking With Water
On this episode of What About Water? we’re learning from traditional knowledge. Jay sits down with Tasha Beeds, a grassroots Indigenous academic and Water Walker. She takes us through the origins of Water Walking – an Indigenous ceremony recognizing and connecting with water. Beeds enters into ceremony for the water – discussing what it means to raise consciousness about water as a living entity. On the Last Word, we hear from Josée Street, a young Indigenous woman who shows how scientists can bridge the gap between traditional ways of knowing and western thinking.
WATER IS A MANY SPLENDOR’ED THING POCAST: Antarctica
Air temperature is changing in the Antarctica and this is causing disruption of the food chain of land and ocean-based ecosystems. Melting from the top of the glaciers and melting from the bottom add significant fresh water to the surrounding ocean. Everything readjusts because water’s presence in the Antarctica has changed in form and distribution. How is this going to play out for those of us living at lower latitudes? 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, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mendocino County Resource Conservation District has multiple projects in North County
“With the mission to conserve, protect, and restore wild and working landscapes, the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District has several projects underway in the North County. Interim Executive Director and Fisheries Biologist Joe Scriven described projects currently in the works to enhance the health of water, soil and forests. In an ongoing project, MCRCD is responsible for managing the Willits bypass mitigation land, which is approximately 2,000 acres that were acquired by the state in mitigation for land taken during the building of the Highway 101 bypass. MCRCD has a team of professionals who manage and monitor the landscape. … ” Read more from the Ukiah Daily Journal here: Mendocino County Resource Conservation District has multiple projects in North County
Legislative Committee to review TRPA and Marlette Lake Water System meets for first time this legislative session
“The Legislative Committee for Review and Oversight of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the Marlette Lake Water System met for the first time this interim on Tuesday, Feb. 15 to discuss the general purpose of the committee and give general overviews to the public about the agencies that would be reviewed through the committee. The meeting began with the appointment of Assemblywoman Sarah Peters as the Chair with Nevada State Senator Melanie Scheible as Vice Chair of the committee. “I just want to thank you all,” said Chairperson Peters. “It’s an honor to be serving as Chair this interim… I’m sure we will be talking about increased needs or address certain issues, such as traffic, climate change, wildfire impact in the basin. … ” Read more from the Tahoe Daily Tribune here: Legislative Committee to review TRPA and Marlette Lake Water System meets for first time this legislative session
El Dorado Irrigation District seeks grant to rebuild longest flume in concrete
“With the El Dorado Irrigation District struggling to rebuild three burned-out flumes at once, the water agency is seeking a potential $10 million grant to help replace its longest wooden flume with concrete. Flume 46 is 3,340 feet. Were it to be burned in a forest fire EID “would have a severe and prolonged water outage due to the length of the flume and the long timeframe required to reconstruct a flume of this magnitude in this remote location, further impacting water supply during drought conditions,” according to an EID staff report. “Based on grant program guidelines, the Flume 46 replacement project is a strong candidate for funding,” the report states. … ” Read more from the Mountain Democrat here: El Dorado Irrigation District seeks grant to rebuild longest flume in concrete
S.F. Bay Area could finally see some rain — and freezing temps — next week. Here’s what to expect
“After more than 40 days without a measurable amount of rain in the Bay Area, weather models showed a slight chance of some precipitation in the region Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. As of Friday morning, there was around a 16% chance on average that the Bay Area could see rain by Tuesday night, according to the weather service. ... ” Continue reading from the San Francisco Chronicle here: S.F. Bay Area could finally see some rain — and freezing temps — next week. Here’s what to expect
Marin environmentalists win ruling on creek project
“A Marin County Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of an environmental nonprofit in a battle over a creek restoration project at the former San Geronimo Golf Course. A group of residents and golfers known as the San Geronimo Heritage Alliance filed a lawsuit in 2020 alleging the creek restoration work by the Salmon Protection and Watershed Network, or SPAWN, was illegal. The lawsuit also sought a court order to have the golf course property owner, the Trust for Public Land, restore the 157-acre property to a golf course. In a ruling issued Wednesday, Judge Andrew Sweet wrote that the argument was “insufficient” and “demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding” of local code. … ” Read more from the Marin Independent Journal here: Marin environmentalists win ruling on creek project
State water rules fail to make a splash in Santa Clara County
“In an effort to combat one of the worst droughts in California’s history, state regulators adopted new emergency conservation laws this year, but they won’t make a big splash in the South Bay. … The conservation rules include things such as the mandatory use of a shut-off nozzle when washing a car and the prohibition of decorative fountains and washing driveways. But many of Santa Clara County’s local water retailers are ahead of the game, implementing harsher restrictions last year. … ” Read more from the San Jose Spotlight here: State water rules fail to make a splash in Santa Clara County
San Benito rancher uses new remote water-monitoring technology
“Part of John Eade’s daily routine is driving 50 miles to his ranch to check on his cattle. As important, or maybe more so, he monitors the water levels of 62 troughs and seven tanks in his 50-square-mile ranch operation. The 77-year-old rancher has done this for most of his life, which includes spending time inspecting his water tanks and troughs for leaks or cracks. Defying the stereotype that older people resist new technology, Eade welcomes any new techniques that make his job easier. So when he was offered to try Ranchbot to remotely monitor his water supply, he jumped at the opportunity. … ” Read more from Benito Link here: Rancher uses new remote water-monitoring technology
Living shoreline project launches at Rio del Mar Beach
“After decades of flooding and erosion issues at Rio del Mar Beach, scientists and engineers are working to protect the popular shoreline’s restroom and parking lot, amidst increasingly strong winter storm events projected to hit the California Coast. But rather than piling rocks or building a wall, California State Parks staff and local scientists are trying something different. Soon a living shoreline will be erected where standing water often collects at the beach after rains and strong swells. … ” Read more from the Santa Cruz Sentinel here: Living shoreline project launches at Rio del Mar Beach
H20 and the Central Coast: The critical connections between water, jobs and housing
“A fairly decent start to this year’s rainy season quickly dried up. The Central Coast of California is a story of ebbs and flows, wet years and drought. From man-made reservoirs to underground aquifers, we need to store rain that falls in wet years to help supply the never-ending demand for water during the dry years. But it’s a constant battle to make sure there’s enough set aside to go around. Farmers and residents alike look to the wet season wondering if it will bring a surplus or, once again, drought. “I worry about next year,” said Brent Burchett, San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau Executive Director. … ” Read more from KSBY here: H20 and the Central Coast: The critical connections between water, jobs and housing
SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY
Harder announces $35 million from bipartisan infrastructure law will go toward levee projects to reduce flood risk in San Joaquin County
“Today, Representative Josh Harder announced that $35 million from the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act, which he helped negotiate and pass into law, will go toward improving levees in San Joaquin County this year. The project is part of the 10-year Lower San Joaquin flood control plan which will protect the residents of Manteca, Lathrop, and the Greater Stockton area from flooding. When complete, this 23 mile project will benefit more than 160,000 residents of San Joaquin County and protect more than $28.7 billion in property. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the project is estimated to generate over $300 million in benefits each year, including a potential reduction in National Flood Insurance Program costs for homeowners. … ” Continue reading at Congressman Harder’s website here: Harder announces $35 million from bipartisan infrastructure law will go toward levee projects to reduce flood risk in San Joaquin County
Company offers Kern residents tech to convert water moisture into drinking water
” … A new company is proposing a new method of obtaining drinking water it says can be a solution to the water woes of not only California, but the world. The Arizona-based SOURCE Global has developed a device that extracts the moisture from the air and converts it into clean drinking water using solar power. Just like solar and wind energy have offered society access to renewable energy, SOURCE says the technology it has developed offers access to renewable water. The company calls its new device a hydropanel, a flat black panel that looks surprisingly like a solar panel. SOURCE says two of its hydropanels can produce 10 liters of water a day — more than 2½ gallons — which it says is enough to satiate between four to six people each day. … ” Read more from the Bakersfield Californian here: Company offers Kern residents tech to convert water moisture into drinking water
Commentary: In a drought, even Kern County must save water
The Bakersfield Californian editorial board writes, “Really? California is in its third consecutive year of drought. Climate scientists at UCLA are reporting that the past two decades in the American West have been the driest period in at least 1,200 years. There seems to be no end to the shortage of water. And Kern County officials excuse their alleged excessive use of water at Hart Park as the city of Bakersfield didn’t tell them they had to conserve water. Hello, where have you been? You really have to be told to conserve water? … ” Continue reading at the Bakersfield Californian here: Commentary: In a drought, even Kern County must save water
Water woes: Grimmway expects to plant less than half of Tehachapi acreage
“Facing continued drought and no assurance of imported water, the largest farming company operating in the greater Tehachapi area expects to cut production by more than half this year. That was the word from Matt Vickery, director of land and water resources for Grimmway Farms, in comments to the board of directors of the Tehachapi-Cummings County Water District on Feb. 16. Grimmway grows vegetables in the Cummings and Tehachapi valleys. Vickery said about 1,500 acres less will be planted this year. ... ” Read more from the Tehachapi News here: Water woes: Grimmway expects to plant less than half of Tehachapi acreage
Simi Valley: Water quality control board delays decision on renewal of field lab’s discharge permit
“The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board has postponed until further notice the continuance of a public hearing on the renewal of a stormwater discharge permit by the Boeing Co. In accordance with federal laws, the water board must review waste discharge requirements for the 2,850-acre former rocket engine testing and nuclear research facility in the hills south of Simi every five years. A partial nuclear meltdown occurred there in 1959, and residents worry that chemical and radioactive contamination at the site could be contributing to a spike in cancer cases in the area. … ” Continue reading at The Acorn here: Water quality control board delays decision on renewal of field lab’s discharge permit
Big Bear Lake water levels very low, despite storms
“This week’s fast moving storm only had a small impact on California’s snowpack, and that is bad news for Big Bear Lake, which hasn’t been at full capacity since 2012. At Snowdrift Snow Tubing Park, the hills are filled with screaming children; all of them enjoying the aftermath of the recent storm. … But despite the fresh layer of new snow on local mountains, the outlook for Big Bear Lake’s water level is not good. … ” Read more from NBC 4 here: Big Bear Lake water levels very low, despite storms
The Salton Sea geothermal field in California — Quantifying California’s Lithium Valley: Can it power our EV revolution?
“The Salton Sea geothermal field in California potentially holds enough lithium to meet all of America’s domestic battery needs, with even enough left over to export some of it. But how much of that lithium can be extracted in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way? And how long will the resource last? These are just a few of the questions that researchers hope to answer in a new project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). ... ” Continue reading from Clean Technica here: The Salton Sea geothermal field in California — Quantifying California’s Lithium Valley: Can it power our EV revolution?
Beach erosion, bluff collapse, flooding: What a foot of sea-level rise could mean for San Diego
“Climate change is warming oceans and melting glaciers, accelerating the rise of tides and coastal flooding at a frightening pace. A recent scientific report confirmed the United States will see another foot of sea-level rise by 2050 — as much increase as the country experienced over the entire last century. The San Diego region has started bracing for the inevitable impacts, some of which are already here: crumbling seaside cliffs, eroding beaches and periodic flooding along stretches of its 70-mile shoreline. While local leaders have reassured the public the issue is in hand, some fear it’s not being taken seriously enough. … ” Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here: Beach erosion, bluff collapse, flooding: What a foot of sea-level rise could mean for San Diego
Arizona State University may have a key role in Arizona’s $1B water investment
“Arizona’s water future is unclear, but ASU is working to change that. Existing programs and schools at the University focusing on research and development could be key in finding the best set of solutions to the state’s water crisis. … Last month, Gov. Doug Ducey proposed a historic $1 billion investment in Arizona’s water future, which could lead to seawater desalination plants in Mexico in the next decade. “It’s really critical for places like ASU, that have this great history of innovation and a great workforce — student body and faculty and researchers — who can be applied to this,” said Sarah Porter, director for the Kyl Center for Water Policy. “That really is what Gov. Ducey, I think, is calling for.” … ” Read more from The State Press here: Arizona State University may have a key role in Arizona’s $1B water investment
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.