Fishing on the Klamath River near Hornbrook. Photo by CDFW.
DAILY DIGEST, weekend edition: La Niña: What it means for California’s drought and the upcoming winter rainy season; Testing underway for pilot project to return endangered salmon to their historic habitat; How much does conserving water at home really matter?; 5 ways the Supreme Court could transform water policy; and more …
La Niña: What it means for California’s drought and the upcoming winter rainy season
“The day before the state’s “water year” ended, Silicon Valley leaders gathered on Google’s campus in Mountain View and urged residents to continue conserving water as California’s drought drags on. “It’s the third straight year of a bad and worsening drought,” said Wade Crowfoot, secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, on Thursday. “Our scientists and climatologists predict that as we move into the winter, we can expect another, fourth dry year.” Not exactly, say experts. “Those are the kinds of statements that make me grind my teeth,” said meteorologist Jan Null, a former lead forecaster with the National Weather Service. … ” Read more from the San Jose Mercury News here: La Niña: What it means for California’s drought and the upcoming winter rainy season
Here’s what Northern California can expect in the new water year
“California finds itself in desperate need of a wet winter as drought continues to grip the state with the new water year beginning October 1. The drought monitor paints a bleak picture for the state as the new water year begins. Exceptional drought conditions, the highest such level, engulfs most of the San Joaquin Valley and surrounding areas. The slightly below-average water year did enough to drop exceptional drought conditions to only about 16% of the state compared to a whopping 45% this time last year. Events like last October’s record-setting atmospheric river helped Northern California drop out of exceptional drought, for now at least. … ” Read more from Channel 10 here: Here’s what Northern California can expect in the new water year
How much snow does California need to escape drought?
“Winter is coming. Will this winter’s snow and rain save California from its severe drought? To get a sense of how possible that outcome is, we first have to figure out how much we need. “That is the magic question,” said Andrew Schwartz, lead scientist of UC Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Laboratory. The answer depends on which snowpack you’re looking at. “California’s snowpack varies from place to place. I can really only speak to what we would need at the snow lab. At this point last year, we needed approximately 140% of our precipitation to come out of the drought. That would mean 42 feet of snow for us here at the snow lab, rather than our average 36 feet,” Schwartz told KRON4 Friday. In all likelihood, Mother Nature will have to deliver abnormally wet weather over multiple winters before the drought will disappear. … ” Read more from Your Central Valley here: How much snow does California need to escape drought?
Testing underway for pilot project to return endangered salmon to their historic habitat
“State and federal biologists and engineers, in partnership with the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, have begun testing an experimental system in Shasta Reservoir that could help collect young salmon from the McCloud River in future years. The Juvenile Salmonid Collection System, a pilot project three years in the making, is part of a long-term effort to help fish better survive California’s hotter, drier future and more extreme droughts. The collection system will float in the McCloud River arm of the reservoir and guide cold water toward a collection point, with this cold water flowing down from the Shasta Trinity National Forest. The initial testing, which will run from September to mid-November, will not involve salmon but will use temperature and hydraulic measurements to assess the operation and performance of the collection system. If successful, the system will be tested in future years with salmon to determine its efficacy and if it can be a critical part of winter-run salmon reintroduction. … ” Read more from the Department of Fish and Wildlife here: Testing underway for pilot project to return endangered salmon to their historic habitat
How much does conserving water at home really matter?
“California is in a drought and we need to conserve water. It’s a familiar message. But how does conservation by individuals and homeowners really matter? Professor Ben Ruddle from Northern Arizona University joined 5 Live Thursday to discuss this issue. “Conservation is still important because every drop we save in the city is another cheeseburger or salad that we get to eat,” Ruddle said. “I think it’s important for everybody to have a sense of responsibility for this.” … ” Read more from KTLA here: How much does conserving water at home really matter?
State Water Board to mark Human Right to Water 10th Anniversary at its Oct. 3 meeting
“During its board meeting on Monday, Oct. 3, the State Water Resources Control Board will celebrate the 10th anniversary of California’s leadership in adopting the first Human Right to Water policy in the nation, which recognizes that “every human being has the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes.” California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Yana Garcia, State Water Board members, and community representatives will mark the occasion by reflecting on the progress of the past 10 years and the ongoing work that lies ahead. Later in the meeting, the board also will consider adopting three plans that outline how it will prioritize financial assistance during the 2022-23 fiscal year– the Fund Expenditure Plan of the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund, and Intended Use Plans for the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds.” Click here for the agenda and remote access instructions.
Governor vetoes SB 222, Water Rate Assistance Program legislation
“SB 222, authored by Sen. Bill Dodd, was vetoed by California’s governor on Sept. 28. The bill would have established a statewide Water Rate Assistance Program to provide water affordability assistance to eligible residential water customers. The bill would have required the State Water Resources Control Board to create program guidelines and administer the program. Further, subject to funding by the Legislature, the bill would have required local water and wastewater systems to provide rate assistance to eligible residential water customers. In Gov. Newsom’s veto message, he pointed to the lack of any funding to support the program. Because SB 222 would have created ongoing requirements for community water systems and wastewater systems, it would strain the existing general fund by billions of dollars every year. … ” Read more from Best Best & Krieger here: Governor vetoes SB 222, Water Rate Assistance Program legislation
California governor takes back millions earmarked for raw sewage cleanup along border
“Earlier this month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have dramatically improved water quality in two problematic areas along the California-Mexico border. The bill included $50 million to clean up the New River, which runs from Baja California to the Salton Sea near Palm Springs and another $50 million for the Tijuana River Valley. The Tijuana River Valley has been plagued for decades with trash, debris, chemicals and raw sewage from Mexico that end up north of the border, with much of the pollution flowing into the Pacific Ocean. “That was supposed to stop sewage flows and trash coming across the border,” said Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina. “Unfortunately, Gov. Newsom vetoed that legislation and funding.” … ” Read more from Fox 5 here: California governor takes back millions earmarked for raw sewage cleanup along border
Conserving 30% of CA Land by 2030 using Outstanding Waters Designation
“California Trout is looking for unique ways to help California meet its commitment to preserve 30% of the state’s lands and waters by 2030, and now there is a promising yet underutilized tool that our organization is leading the way on developing─ the Outstanding Natural Resource Waters designation. What does an Outstanding Natural Resource Waters designation mean? Pure and simple, the Outstanding Waters designation permanently protects rivers, lakes, estuaries, and aquifers from degradation. Outstanding Waters are afforded the greatest protection under the Federal Clean Water Act through the implementation of the federal Antidegradation policy. This policy prohibits the lowering of water quality in an ONRW except for under specific situations that lead to temporary and short-term water quality changes (such as restoration work). … ” Read more from Cal Trout here: Conserving 30% of CA Land by 2030 using Outstanding Waters Designation
On the “long tail” of flood disaster losses in California
“Hurricane Ian has shown the vulnerability of the rapidly growing cities in the Southeast to storm-driven flooding. As reported in the New York Times, in the counties whose residents were told to evacuate, just 18.5 percent of homes have insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) (Flavelle 2022). Outside of those counties, it’s even worse. E&E News reported that inland Orange County, with 1.5 million residents, has fewer than 12,000 households with federal flood insurance (Frank and Cusik 2022). As hurricane losses along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts increase, should California explore alternatives to the National Flood Insurance Program? … ” Continue reading at the California Water Research blog here: On the “long tail” of flood disaster losses in California
NIDIS-funded study finds that drought assessment has been outpaced by climate change
“Despite the acceleration of climate change, assumptions of a stationary climate are still incorporated into the management of water resources in the U.S., with a preference towards 60-year (or longer) observation record lengths for drought characterization. Bias emerges by assuming that conditions from the early and mid-20th century are as likely to occur in today’s climate. In a new study funded in part by NIDIS, researchers from the Montana Climate Office evaluated the degree to which assumptions of a climate stationarity may bias drought assessment. ... ” Read more from the Climate Program Office here: NIDIS-funded study finds that drought assessment has been outpaced by climate change
Newsom and Biden talk like environmental advocates, but their actions tell a different story
Felice Pace, North Group Water Chair of the Sierra Club, writes, “My mother was fond of aphorisms. One of her favorites was “Actions speak louder than words.” Governor Newsom is a case in point. He says all the right things on environmental issues but his subsequent actions often don’t match his words. On water issues, for example, Newsom has an ambitious Water Resilience Portfolio, but he simultaneously allows Corporate Ag to dewater drinking water wells in the San Joaquin Valley and streams state-wide. Recently Max Gomberg, who had been water conservation and climate change manager at the State Water Resources Control Board, resigned from the Board because he had seen “the agency’s ability to tackle big challenges nearly eviscerated by this Administration.” When it comes to forest and wildfire policy, Governor Newsom has also been a disappointment. His administration has not strengthened private land logging rules or taken steps to end the timber industry’s short-rotation clearcut and plantation forestry which puts nearby communities at great wildfire risk. … ” Read more from the Northcoast Environmental Center here: Newsom and Biden talk like environmental advocates, but their actions tell a different story
In people news this weekend …
Special book by the late Kevin E. Kelley, former IID general manager, unveiled
“The Imperial Irrigation District and the family of Kevin E. Kelley announced the publishing of “Where WATER is King,” Mr. Kelley’s first book in a press release. With love for the Imperial Valley and its unique history, Mr. Kelley’s book is a story of creating California’s great Imperial Valley. It provides a unique perspective on the people and events, detailing the epic struggles of ordinary and extraordinary people bringing life-giving water to a desert and turning it into a “new Egypt.” Written before Mr. Kelley’s untimely passing in January 2021, a team of friends and associates worked collaboratively to bring his words into book form and design the book. … ” Read more from the Imperial Irrigation District here: Special book by the late Kevin E. Kelley, former IID general manager, unveiled
Harry Seely and Brett Bovee of West Water Research join us to discuss how West Water approaches water rights valuations. We also dip into the topic of market for Ag optimization water.
CAL AG ROOTS PODCAST: THE WELL Landback Conversation with Brittani Orona
This in-depth conversation with Dr. Brittani Orona (Hupa, Hoopa Valley Tribe), Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies at San Diego State University digs into the concept and practice of the Landback movement in California, including the deep history of native resistance in the state.
WATER IS A MANY SPLENDOR’ED THING PODCAST: Responsibility is a Necessity
Where does water best illustrate its importance in an American city? Let me give you a hint, an oasis in the desert. 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, Bringing People Together to Solve Water Problems, firstname.lastname@example.org 530-205-6388
WATER LOOP PODCAST: A new approach to agriculture
Algae blooms that pollute waterways, produce toxins, and cause dead zones are one of the most widespread and challenging environmental problems in the U.S. Nitrogen and phosphorus from agricultural land is the leading fuel for the algae blooms, but efforts to reduce the nutrient pollution from farms have largely been unsuccessful. In this episode, Dr. Donald Boesch, President Emeritus of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, says it’s time to change the approach and create a national strategy for regulating agriculture pollution. Don talks about approaches for reducing the use of fertilizers, paying farmers for performance, stopping production of corn-based ethanol, and improving water quality as part of fighting climate change.
‘A glimmer of hope’: Eel River Recovery Project reports coho salmon in Tenmile Creek watershed
“Coho salmon have only been seen once in the Tenmile Creek watershed in the four years since the Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) began monitoring there; but in mid-September, juvenile coho were observed in upper Cahto Creek, Mill Creek, and lower Little Case Creek, according to a news release Friday. “Coho are basically the fishery species that helps indicate what the health of your watershed is,” Anna Halligan, North Coast project manager for Trout Unlimited, told The Voice in 2021. The salmon are protected under the Endangered Species Act and have faced significant challenges in our area due to changing climate conditions and habitat loss; the fish must have water colder than 62.4 F and prefer shaded streams with lots of big wood. … ” Read more from the Mendocino Voice here: ‘A glimmer of hope’: Eel River Recovery Project reports coho salmon in Tenmile Creek watershed
Humboldt Bay has the fastest sea level rise on the West Coast. Here’s what’s at stake
“Anchored by the cities of Eureka and Arcata and known for its redwood forests, cannabis tourism and cool, misty beaches, Humboldt Bay also has an unwelcome distinction: It has the fastest rate of sea level rise on the West Coast. Tectonic activity is causing the area around the bay roughly 300 miles north of San Francisco to sink, which gives it a rate of sea level rise that is about twice the state average. Compared to 2000, the sea in the area is expected to rise 1 foot by 2030, 2.3 feet by 2050 and 3.1 feet by 2060, according to California Ocean Protection Council. Residential areas, wastewater treatment plants and a segment of Highway 101 that connects Eureka and Arcata are all at risk — especially when the frequent and intense storms associated with climate change trigger more flooding. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: This part of California has the fastest sea level rise on the West Coast. Here’s what’s at stake
Irrigated agriculture in Lake County discussed at Clearlake forum
“Farm Bureau Executive Director Rebecca Harper was this week’s speaker at the Judge’s Breakfast in Clearlake on Thursday. Harper gave a Power Point presentation on regulating irrigated agriculture and how they assist local farms in the efficient use of resources. Harper grew up in Upper Lake, leaving to attend college at the Oklahoma State University majoring in livestock merchandising and animal sciences earning her bachelors in May 2022, the same month she accepted her current position as Executive Director. According to Harper, “The Lake County Farm Bureau is a non-profit advocacy organization that represents around 500 farmers, ranchers, and Ag based corporations in Lake County. What we do is advocate on behalf of our farmers and ranchers at the local, state and federal government levels. We’re also involved quite a bit with the community in supporting youth in agriculture as well.” Some of the youth support they are involved in include local FFHA chapters and scholarship programs. … ” Read more from the Lake County Record-Bee here: Irrigated agriculture in Lake County discussed at Clearlake forum
Smoke and ash from California fires could affect Tahoe’s water
“A robotic underwater glider is making waves and collecting new information on Tahoe waters. Last summer, researchers at the UC Davis Tahoe environmental research center sent an underwater glider around Tahoe to collect data on smoke from the Caldor fire was impacting the water. This year, they wanted to capture the full transition between the pre-fire conditions during the fire. The Ph.D. student behind the project, Kenny Larrieu, says he was motivated by the increased severity of wildfires in the west and the lack of information on the effect they leave on freshwater bodies. … ” Read more from Fox Reno here: Smoke and ash from California fires could affect Tahoe’s water
Prescribed fire operations could return next week
“The Tahoe Fire & Fuels Team (TFFT) fall prescribed fire program may begin as early as Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022. Conditions and weather permitting, California State Parks is scheduled to conduct understory burning on approximately 21 acres in Sugar Pine Point State Park on Lake Tahoe’s West Shore. Smoke will be present. A map with project details is available for viewing on the Tahoe Living With Fire website. Prescribed fires are an important tool used by land managers to remove excess vegetation (fuels) that can feed wildland fires and help protect communities from extreme wildfires. Burning excess vegetation also makes room for new growth, which provides forage for wildlife, recycles nutrients back into the soil, and helps reduce the spread of insects and diseases in forests. … ” Read more from South Tahoe Now here: Prescribed fire operations could return next week
Rancher-led nonprofit land trust touts Valley Springs project
“A rancher-led nonprofit land trust announced Tuesday that it intends to improve and conserve 42 acres of rangeland on a privately owned cattle ranch near Valley Springs, in a partnership with Calaveras County and Caltrans. The conservation work will be on property called the Rana Ranch, which totals 700 acres, owned by the Schbram family. California Rangeland Trust, a Sacramento-based nonprofit organization, holds a conservation easement on 42 acres of the ranch. “We are thrilled for this collaboration,” Franziska Schbram, owner of Rana Ranch, stated in a news release from the trust. “Being able to restore and create such a critical habitat will only improve the environment in this area.” … ” Read more from the Union Democrat here: Rancher-led nonprofit land trust touts Valley Springs project
‘Respect Russian River’ branding initiative aims to encourage stewardship
“A new line of products designed to show love for the Russian River was unveiled Thursday. Sonoma County officials, Russian River business owners and representatives from the conservation group Russian River Confluence introduced “Respect Russian River,” a new branding initiative that aims to raise awareness of and drive conservation actions for the county’s most prominent waterway. The initiative will stamp the three-word brand and artwork depicting the river, salmon and redwood trees on an eco-friendly line of reusable items like water bottles, T-shirts and tote bags. Items range from a $1 sticker to a $24 water bottle. T-shirts, which will sell for $20, will be printed at Thurston Screen Printing in Santa Rosa while the water bottles are made by CamelBak out of Petaluma. … ” Read more from the Press Democrat here: ‘Respect Russian River’ branding initiative aims to encourage stewardship
San Francisco Bay’s huge algae bloom is over. But experts are worried about more mass fish kills in the future
“Two months after the worst algae bloom in decades began spreading through the San Francisco Bay, eventually killing an untold number of fish, ecologists and water officials are still trying to determine exactly what caused it and how such a devastating event can be prevented in the future. “I don’t think we’ll ever really know what actually triggered it,” said Eileen White, executive officer of San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, which has called for extra monitoring since the bloom, which is officially over. However, this week’s warm weather makes her nervous that another one could happen before cooler weather and shorter days with less of the sunlight that triggers blooms. … ” Read more from the SF Chronicle here: San Francisco Bay’s huge algae bloom is over. But experts are worried about more mass fish kills in the future
SF Supervisors challenge Mayor Breed and the Navy to bolster protections at Bayview-Hunters Point
“Several members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, including its president, Shamann Walton, are challenging Mayor London Breed in an effort to bolster protections against climate change-fueled flooding for residents of Bayview-Hunters Point. Walton, who is pursuing an independent commission to make sure that happens, also urged U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials Thursday, during an oversight committee hearing at City Hall, to compel the Navy to update the climate science it uses to inform the toxic cleanup at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, an 866-acre federal Superfund site the EPA has designated as highly contaminated with hazardous waste. Radioactive contamination remains buried in the soil along the edge of Bayview-Hunters Point, on the city’s southeast shoreline, among the most polluted areas of the entire San Francisco Bay. … ” Read more from KQED here: SF Supervisors challenge Mayor Breed and the Navy to bolster protections at Bayview-Hunters Point
San Francisco’s drought is improving. Here’s how much
“Over the course of the past water year, San Francisco saw nearly 84% of its normal annual rainfall. With California likely entering its fourth year of drought, that closer-to-average level is a glimmer of good news. Friday marked the end of the current water year, the 12-month period that began last Oct. 1. The grand total for the water year will be roughly 19 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Despite the ongoing drought, this isn’t one of the city’s driest water years on record. In fact, it doesn’t crack the top 70. By comparison, in 2021, downtown San Francisco saw only about 40% of the precipitation of a normal water year. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: San Francisco’s drought is improving. Here’s how much
Water release from Cachuma Lake now makes it to Lompoc
“A water release from Cachuma Lake in the Santa Ynez Valley is helping drought dry agricultural needs below Bradbury Dam. The release is part of a long-standing agreement struck in the 1950’s. It is measured carefully and the flow will extend out to a specific site in Lompoc during a two-to three month water release. It will replenish underground wells and give farmers more water reliability. … ” Read more from KEYT here: Water release from Cachuma Lake now makes it to Lompoc
SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY
Madera County GSA & Public Hearing on penalties, September 27, 2022
“The Madera County board of supervisors meeting as the Madera GSA board held a public hearing and then approved a penalty schedule for water users exceeding their water allocation. The meeting was held in the county office building on 4th Street in Madera on September 27, 2022. All five supervisors attending heard from some 25 growers and ag industry people who offered public comment, virtually all in opposition to the proposed penalties. Well over 100 people were on hand with some online and they made themselves heard with applause from time to time. Fresno TV stations channels 30 and 47 were there as well. … ” Read more from Water Wrights here: Madera County GSA & Public Hearing, September 27, 2022
Greater Kaweah Groundwater Sustainability Agency board adopts a groundwater allocation
“This week, the Board of the Greater Kaweah Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) adopted a groundwater allocation for landowners, which will take effect on October 1. With this action, seven GSAs governing a substantial amount of the land where there is dairy production in the Southern San Joaquin Valley have imposed groundwater allocations. These seven GSAs will restrict groundwater pumping along with charging fees for accessing that water. All seven of these areas are using satellite evapotranspiration as the measuring system to track water consumption. While there are some similarities in approach, there are some significant differences as well. Below, I outline fees associated with each GSA … ” Read more from the Milk Producers Council here: Greater Kaweah Groundwater Sustainability Agency board adopts a groundwater allocation
Lindsay dives into water fund woes
“The good, the bad and the ugly of Lindsay’s previous fiscal year was highlighted at their city council meeting, revealing terrible water fund woes and positive revenue growth. On Sept. 27, Lindsay’s finance director Juana Espinoza informed council members of the city’s revenue and expenditures growth over the 2021-2022 fiscal year that ended on July 1. Lindsay received significantly more in the general fund, the primary operating fund of the city, than years prior. However, the city’s water fund continues to lack revenue, with the expenditures overwhelming the revenue. Despite living in a year full of unexpected financial burdens, such as inflation and drought related expenditures, Espinoza said the city’s finances have been predicted and accounted for. “We knew from the beginning, in May 2021, that our expenditures were going to grow out of pace,” Espinoza said at the meeting. “That doesn’t mean, however, that we were caught off guard and we failed to plan for these new changes.” … ” Continue reading at the Foothills Sun-Gazette here: Lindsay dives into water fund woes
Sacramento Court issues order against Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in pollution dispute
“On September 27, the Sacramento County Superior Court issued its order against the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), rejecting LADWP’s attempt to avoid responsibility for controlling air pollution on the dried Owens Lake Bed in an area containing cultural resources. The LADWP’s historic diversion of the Owens River causes the dried lake bed to become emissive, releasing tons of dangerous particulate air pollution. The pollution can lodge deep in the lungs and creates health risks and respiratory diseases, especially to children and the elderly. In 2014, LADWP lost its lawsuit against the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (Great Basin) and the California Air Resources Board, resulting in a stipulated judgment against it. LADWP was compelled to implement air pollution controls. But in July 2021, LADWP refused a tribal-led project developed in cooperation with the Great Basin to place low-impact measures on a portion of the lakebed that contained cultural resources. … ” Read more from the Sierra Wave here: Sacramento Court issues order against Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in pollution dispute
LADWP will continue to protect sensitive tribal areas and work with local tribal representatives at Owens Lake
“On September 27, 2022, the Sacramento Superior Court issued a ruling that rejected Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District’s (Great Basin) argument that it had unlimited regulatory control over LADWP. The Court also refused to uphold more than $1 million in fines assessed by Great Basin that would have been paid by LADWP customers. The court ruling is a result of a legal action brought by LADWP after Great Basin issued an order requiring LADWP to construct non-EPA-approved dust control projects within an Eligible Cultural Resource site, which is an area containing significant cultural resources or artifacts. Consistent with the 2014 Stipulated Judgment, which was developed in concurrence with Great Basin, LADWP has avoided disturbing these sites. The Order issued by Great Basin remains draft, by its own terms, until consensus by the five sovereign Tribal nations of the Owens Valley. … ” Read more from the Sierra Wave here: LADWP will continue to protect sensitive tribal areas and work with local tribal representatives at Owens Lake
Death Valley is sizzling weeks after record rainiest day
“Death Valley National Park is living up to its reputation as having one of the world’s most extreme climates: The Southern California park is in the midst of one of its most intense September heat waves, weeks after it established a record for its most extreme deluge, park officials announced Thursday. Park rangers manually recorded 1.70 inches of rainfall on Aug. 5, making it officially the rainiest day on the books at the infamously arid landscape. Renowned for its hot and dry conditions, Death Valley averages just 0.11 inches of rain in August and 2.2 inches in an entire year. Though park rangers in Death Valley are not yet done cleaning up from the flooding, Mother Nature has moved on. … ” Read more from the Washington Post here: Death Valley is sizzling weeks after record rainiest day
Tujunga Spreading Grounds delivers a twofer: Doubling stormwater capture and supporting community recreation
“It’s no secret that California is in the midst of a historic drought. It’s also no secret that boosting the local water supply is a key priority within the Department’s Water Resources division. What you may not know is that a 150-acre project called the Tujunga Spreading Grounds expansion helps ensure a sustainable water future for Los Angeles by doubling stormwater capture capacity while creating a community recreation area in the eastern San Fernando Valley. For thousands of years, rainwater has percolated through the soils in the San Fernando Valley and into the aquifer that serves as an enormous reservoir where water is stored for future use. To keep our local water supply sustainable, spreading grounds are used to refill the groundwater basin. LADWP collaborated with the Los Angeles County Flood Control District (LACFCD) on the 150-acre project to double the annual groundwater recharge capacity of the San Fernando Groundwater Basin to 16,000 acre-feet on average, with the potential to provide enough water to 64,000 households annually. The team achieved the increased stormwater capture by reconfiguring the 20 original smaller water basins into nine wider and deeper basins. … ” Read more from LADWP here: Tujunga Spreading Grounds delivers a twofer: Doubling stormwater capture and supporting community recreation
Mayor announces new program for Angelenos to monitor water consumption
“Angelenos can track their at-home water usage through a new pilot program established by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, one of the latest initiatives aimed at stepping up local conservation efforts, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced. The program provides a discount for homeowners who purchase Flume, a Wi-Fi-enabled device that attaches to a customer’s water meter and uses sensors to track water consumption and other data in real time through an app available on smartphones and other devices, according to the mayor’s office. Flume can help customers create a water budget. … ” Read more from the LA Times here: Mayor announces new program for Angelenos to monitor water consumption
2 Playa del Rey residents settle case over Ballona Creek trash barge
“Two Playa del Rey residents have settled legal action they took against Los Angeles County, the Board of Supervisors and Flood Control District regarding the approval of a project to collect trash by placing a floating barge dumpster in waters where the Ballona Creek meets the Pacific Ocean. Lawyers for petitioners David and Tracy Blumenthal and the county informed Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kevin C. Brazile of the accord during a hearing Thursday. No terms were divulged, and the judge scheduled a Nov. 18 hearing regarding the status of the settlement. The board’s April 5 approval of the Ballona Creek Trash Interceptor Pilot Program followed months of discussions with residents, who expressed their “utmost concern and dismay at the adverse impacts that installation and operation of a massive floating trash barge in such a sensitive location would cause,” including its potential effects on public health, noise, recreation and air quality, according to the petition brought May 16 by the Blumenthals. … ” Read more from the Daily Breeze here: 2 Playa del Rey residents settle case over Ballona Creek trash barge
Prado Dam bicentennial mural greenlit for restoration
“It’s been a cultural landmark to residents, commuters and visitors in Corona for nearly 50 years, and now, after successful coordination between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District and its partners, the aging Prado Dam bicentennial mural is getting safely removed to make way for a new one. It was for this reason the Los Angeles District joined officials from Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange counties Sept. 8 for the Prado Dam mural groundbreaking ceremony in Corona, California. In 1976, the Corps of Engineers authorized a group of students from Corona High School to paint a bicentennial mural on the face of the Prado Dam spillway. The original mural was designed to honor the 200th anniversary of our nation – from 1776 to 1976. The mural has since become a source of civic pride for local residents and a landmark for traffic on one of the area’s most heavily traveled thoroughfares – the 91 Highway. … ” Read more from the Army Corps of Engineers here: Prado Dam bicentennial mural greenlit for restoration
San Bernardino: High-tech modeling to quadruple groundwater recharge
“The San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District has kicked off a new hydrological study to quadruple the amount of water that can be returned to the underground aquifer near Mill Creek, an 18-mile-long stream where the District currently manages 57 percolation basins to capture storm flows to recharge local groundwater supplies. The Hydrologic Engineering Center’s River Analysis System, called HEC-RAS, is an advanced computer software that models water flow and ponding through natural rivers and channels, the transport of sediment carried with that flow, and more. Developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it allows for predictive analysis to help District engineers and operators build and maintain better recharge facilities to optimize groundwater storage. “This is one of the most intricate models we have ever had created for us,” said General Manager Betsy Miller Vixie. “The data is so comprehensive it requires six days to run, but we’ve had it broken into sections to we can run parts in just a few hours.” … ” Read more from the San Bernardino Water Conservation District here: San Bernardino: High-tech modeling to quadruple groundwater recharge
A year later, the Huntington Beach oil spill still is being felt
“A year after it happened, more or less, the exact anniversary of the 2021 oil spill near Huntington Beach – Oct. 1 or Oct. 2 – remains a subject of controversy. Likewise, the actual damage from the spill – at least as measured by the amount of harmful, smelly crude still left in local estuaries, and in terms of the money lost by locals who depend on fishing or tourism to pay their rent – is still being hashed out in a cluster of civil lawsuits. Also, while state investigators have figured out the cause of the spill (a ruptured underwater oil pipe), the ship that dropped the anchor that caused the rupture has yet to be identified. But one thing about the incident known to state investigators simply as “Pipeline P00457” is not a mystery: At 25,000 gallons – well under the “potential maximum release” of 144,000 gallons that a year ago prompted CNN and others to send news crews to the sand – last year’s oil spill represents a bullet dodged. … ” Read more from the OC Register here: A year later, the Huntington Beach oil spill still is being felt
Federal officials set their sights on Lower Colorado River evaporation to speed up conservation
“Federal officials say they are ready to have a “candid conversation” about accounting for water lost to evaporation in the Colorado River’s Lower Basin. They are giving states until the end of 2024 to prepare for what would amount to a significant cut in annual water allocations to users in Nevada, California and Arizona. During a September Colorado River symposium held in Santa Fe, both Interior Department Secretary Deb Haaland and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton told attendees that the issue of evaporation and transit loss in the Lower Colorado River Basin were short-term priorities for their respective agencies. More than 10% of the river’s water is lost to evaporation from reservoirs, seepage and other losses, according to Haaland’s prepared remarks. “In these serious times, we need to take the overdue step of assessing how to account for those losses throughout the Basin,” the statement reads. “This is another tough reality that we must work together to address.” … ” Read more from KUNC here: Federal officials set their sights on Lower Colorado River evaporation to speed up conservation
Is snowmaking an answer to Colorado’s water woes?
“Colorado’s lawmakers want to consider the viability of turning water into snow at high altitudes as a way to store the precious resource. They also want to focus on water year-round. The Interim Water Resources and Agricultural Review Committee, which wrapped up its summer work on Sept. 22, voted to send the two measures to the General Assembly, which is set to begin meeting on Monday, Jan. 9. The earlier date is to allow the General Assembly to certify the results of the 2022 election before the governor is sworn in, likely to take place the following day, Jan. 10. “This is intended to be a conversation,” Minority Leader Hugh McKean, R-Loveland, said on the snowmaking bill, “Is there a financial or logistical way to increase high-altitude storage?” … ” Read more from the Gazette here: Is snowmaking an answer to Colorado’s water woes?
5 ways the Supreme Court could transform water policy
“The Supreme Court will take up a landmark dispute Monday that could shape the scope of the Clean Water Act for decades to come, affecting the fate of wetlands that have an outsize effect on emissions and climate change. The nation’s highest court will kick off its new term with oral arguments in Sackett v. EPA, in which Idaho landowners have asked the court to exempt their land from costly federal permitting requirements by instructing a lower court to apply a more restrictive definition of waters of the United States, or WOTUS. Some expect the Supreme Court — now dominated by six conservative justices — will side with the landowners, Michael and Chantell Sackett. … ” Read more from E&E News here: 5 ways the Supreme Court could transform water policy
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.