DAILY DIGEST, 11/15: Coastal Commission to review Monterey desal project this week; PPIC REPORT: Priorities for California water; Election brings shakeup at Westlands; Bill would impose water tax on exported crops; and more …
PUBLIC WORKSHOP: Delta Island Adaptations from 9am to 1pm at the Jean Harvie Community Center, 14273 River Road; Walnut Grove. The Delta Island Adaptations Project Team invites the public to discuss proposed land use changes on Bouldin Island. Objectives to be discussed include subsidence reversal, habitat improvement, recreation and access, water quality, sustainable ag practices, community partnerships, and more. The project’s technical advisory committee will be present and participating in this workshop. All public input will be incorporated into the advancement of design scenarios as part of the project’s co-design process.
WEBINAR: State of OC San from 9am to 11am. Join our General Manager and Board Chairman for our annual State of OC San. The State of OC San will showcase exciting new advances, where we have been and where we see ourselves going. An optional virtual Plant tour guided by Rob Thompson, OC San Assistant General Manager will take place immediately following the State of OC San from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Click here to register.
MEETING: State Water Resources Control Board beginning at 9:30 am. Agenda items include a drought update and current hydrololgic conditions; an update on monthly water production and conservation data reported by urban retail water suppliers; and recommendations from the Department of Water Resources, for urban water use efficiency SB606/AB1668 Making conservation a California way of life. Click here for the full agenda and remote access instructions.
WEBINAR: November Southwest Drought Briefing from 11am to 11:35am.Drought continues in the Southwest and with another La Niña pattern looming in the Pacific, the winter ahead is expected to be drier than normal. This webinar will look at current and forecast drought conditions for Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah. This webinar will also provide a quick introduction to the Forest Drought Indicator (ForDRI), a monitoring tool developed by the National Drought Mitigation Center to identify forest drought stress. Click here to register.
WEBINAR: Sustainable Conservation’s Journey to Expedite Permitting Statewide from 11am to 12pm. Sustainable Conservation’s Accelerating Restoration program has grown exponentially in three decades, and we’re proud of our team for their close collaboration with agencies, restorationists, and environmental partners to build a statewide restoration effort. Please join us for Sustainable Conservation’s Journey to Expedite Permitting Statewide as we look back on our evolution and celebrate the perseverance and long-term vision that brought us to the success of today. Click here to register.
WEBINAR: Strengthening Tribal Partnerships in Our Nature-Based Solutions Work from 12:30pm to 1:30pm. This Speakers Series will discuss the importance of strengthen partnerships with California Native American tribes across the California Natural Resources Agency’s departments, policies, and programs and in our Nature-Based Solutions work. During this series, panelists will discuss recent tribal-state collaborations and projections for future initiatives. Click here to register.
Coastal Commission to review Cal Am desal project this week
NOTE: Cal Am’s Monterey desal proposal will be in front of the Coast Commission on Thursday at 11am. Click here for the agenda.
State commission to review Cal Am’s desal proposal
“Both sides of the debate over the need for a desalination plant of the size California American Water Co. is proposing are bracing for what could be the most important state decision affecting the Monterey Peninsula water supply in years. At 11 a.m. Thursday, Cal Am’s desal project will go before the California Coastal Commission seeking a development permit for the desal project. It will be a complex, and some claim, convoluted back-and-forth between Cal Am and its many detractors. Tom Luster, the Coastal Commission’s senior environmental scientist, in a 157-page staff report is recommending approval of the project with conditions. The project would entail a desal facility, a well field, water transmission pipelines and a pump station. … ” Read more from the Monterey Herald here: State commission to review Cal Am’s desal proposal
California Coastal Commission to weigh Monterey desal project this week
“Members of the California Coastal Commission this week will weigh a proposed desalination project in Monterey County – a region that has experienced water supply challenges in recent years. Commissioners are set to consider a proposal Thursday from California-American Water Company, known as Cal-Am, to construct and operate desalination components as part of its Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project. The proposed project, developed over the past decade, would produce 4.8 million gallons of water per day in phase one and could grow to 6.4 million gallons per day if needed. … ” Read more from Center Square here: California Coastal Commission to weigh Monterey desal project this week
Parched CA eyes Pacific for drinking water
“Despite the decades of drought that could soon force California policymakers to make tough choices about water use, it’s unclear if the state will — or should — turn aggressively to the Pacific Ocean for new supplies. While the option to tap into the waters off the state’s 840-mile coastline might seem like an obvious choice given shrinking sources of fresh water inland, scientists, environmental advocates and local officials warn that turning seawater into drinking water is a complex decision. “California is experiencing a climate change-fueled water crisis that will only worsen with time,” said Kate Huckelbridge, deputy director of the California Coastal Commission, last month. “It is critical that we tackle this crisis in ways that protect our coastal and ocean resources and provide safe and equitable drinking water for all Californians.” … ” Read more from E&E News here: Parched CA eyes Pacific for drinking water
Commentary: Despite other projects, we still need desal
John M. Phillips. a Monterey County Supervisor (District 2) and a member of the Monterey 1 Water Board of Directors, writes, “I have served on the Monterey 1 Water Board of Directors and Board of Supervisors for the past eight years, while both Pure Water Monterey and Pure Water Monterey expansion were approved. I supported both Pure Water and reluctantly, Pure Water Monterey expansion as possible additional sources of water to supply the Monterey Peninsula; but not as a replacement for desal and the water supply project that the Monterey Peninsula so desperately needs. The reason Pure Water Monterey cannot be the sole water solution is simple; there is just not enough reliable source water, which is primarily reclaimed agricultural drain and industrial wastewater from the Salinas Valley, available. … ” Read more from the Monterey Herald here: Guest Commentary: Despite other projects, we still need desal
Commentary: We can’t afford desal plant
Melodie Chrislock, managing director of Public Water Now, writes, “Twenty years ago, the Peninsula used about 15,000 acre-feet of water a year. Now our five-year average is down to 9,725 acre-feet annually. Why? Is it because we’ve been asked to conserve? There is currently no limit on water use except cost. Many cannot afford to use a lot of water and those who do pay a steep price. Cal Am is authorized to collect a certain level of revenue, so if we use less water, they charge more to keep their revenues up. Remember the $64 million Cal Am added to our bills because we conserved during the last drought? Cal Am claims that people will use more water if more water is available. Here’s the problem. Customers will only use more water if the price goes down. But with desal, the cost will go up. ... ” Read more from the Monterey Herald here: Guest Commentary: We can’t afford desal plant
“In the last decade, California—along with the rest of the world—has entered a new phase of climate change. The changes that scientists predicted have started to arrive. California’s already variable climate is growing increasingly volatile and unpredictable: The dry periods are hotter and drier, and the wet periods—lately too few and far between—are warmer and often more intense. Across the state, water and land managers are being forced to respond in real time to changes that were once hard to imagine. This report considers the state of water in California: What changes are we seeing now, and what should we expect in the near future? Then it examines how these climate shifts will impact urban and rural communities, agriculture, and the environment. Finally, it explores wet-year strategies that will help Californians get through the dry years. ... ” Read more from the PPIC here: PPIC REPORT: Priorities for California water
Westlands shake-up: Reformers sweep election, oust water board’s president. Is its GM next?
“A slate of candidates aiming to reform the powerful Westlands Water District swept into victory on Monday night, cementing a new board majority and likely spelling the end of the line for the district’s general manager. The four candidates – Justin Diener, Ernie Costamagna, Jeremy Hughes, and Ross Franson – captured the four available seats in preliminary results. In the process, they are primed to boot the lone incumbent running for re-election from his seat – current Westlands board president Ryan Ferguson. … ” Read more from the San Joaquin Valley Sun here: Westlands shake-up: Reformers sweep election, oust water board’s president. Is its GM next?
Bill would impose water tax on exported crops
“Alfalfa is often the target of critics of irrigated agriculture who frequently rely upon simplistic explanations to heap scorn upon growing a forage crop in the West during times of drought. Two Democratic congressmen from Arizona — Ruben Gallego and Raúl Grijalva — last month introduced the “Domestic Water Protection Act of 2022” (H.R. 9194), which would impose an excise tax on the sale of a “water-intensive” crop. The tax is 300% of the price for which the crop is sold and is paid by the manufacturer, producer, or importer of the crop. The bill defines water-intensive crop as a crop grown in an area experiencing prolonged drought at the time such crop is grown, and by a manufacturer, producer, or importer that is a foreign corporation or foreign government. … ” Read more from the Western Farm Press here: Bill would impose water tax on exported crops
Praise and criticism for river flow deal reached by Modesto, Turlock irrigation districts
“The Modesto and Turlock irrigation districts and San Francisco finally have reached a deal with the state on protecting fish in the Tuolumne River. The eight-year pact, announced Thursday, boosts releases from Don Pedro Reservoir but at a volume lower than the diverters had feared. They also will pay for about $64 million worth of nonflow habitat projects, such as rebuilding gravel spawning beds for salmon. The Tuolumne River Trust, an environmental group, said the agreement falls short of what is needed for the waterway. It supports a previous state plan to roughly double releases from Don Pedro. … ” Read more from the Modesto Bee here: Praise and criticism for river flow deal reached by Modesto, Turlock irrigation districts
California tries to harness megastorm floods to ease crippling droughts
“The land along the Arroyo Pasajero Creek, halfway between Sacramento and Los Angeles, is too dry to farm some years and dangerously flooded in others. Amid the cycles of wet and dry — both phenomena exacerbated by climate change — a coalition of local farmers and the nearby city of Huron are trying to turn former hemp and tomato fields into massive receptacles that can hold water as it percolates into the ground during wet years. This project and others like it across California’s Central Valley breadbasket aim to capture floodwaters that would otherwise rush out to the sea, or damage towns, cities and crops. … ” Read more from Reuters News here: California tries to harness megastorm floods to ease crippling droughts
ICYMI: Superior Court Of California reaffirms the Delta Stewardship Council’s broad authority as Delta stewards
“For the second time since the Delta Stewardship Council’s establishment in 2010, its regulatory authority has been upheld by California’s judicial branch, clearing the way for the Council to continue to apply its expertise and exercise its broad authority in determining how to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Delta Reform Act. On November 4, the Superior Court of California ruled in favor of the Council regarding lawsuits filed by 17 parties challenging two amendments to the Delta Plan and the Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) prepared pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). … ” Read more from the Delta Stewardship Council via Maven’s Notebook here: Superior Court Of California reaffirms the Delta Stewardship Council’s broad authority as Delta stewards
California PFAS lawsuit could be biggest state PFAS lawsuit to date
“On November 10, 2022, California’s Attorney general filed a lawsuit against over a dozen companies seeking damages for PFAS pollution to the environment throughout the state. While the Complaint seeks damages from pollution related to only seven of the thousands of PFAS – in this case, PFOA, PFOS, PFBS, PFHxS, PFHxA, PFHpA, and PFNA – the damages alleged are nevertheless likely to be in the hundreds of millions for remediation. The California PFAS lawsuit will be closely watched by states who are contemplating suing for PFAS remediation and companies who either manufactured PFAS or utilized PFAS as part of their manufacturing process. While the lawsuit targets a narrowly tailored set of companies, lawsuits in other states have already demonstrated that downstream commerce corporations are at risk of being involved in lawsuits seeking hundreds of millions of dollars. … ” Read more from the National Law Review here: California PFAS lawsuit could be biggest state PFAS lawsuit to date
Sustainable techniques bring concrete results: Making DWR infrastructure carbon-friendly
“With Governor Newsom’s recent pledge to invest $8 billion in water infrastructure, carbon-friendly concrete is increasingly in the mix in Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) infrastructure projects. This includes efforts to modernize California’s largest water delivery system, the State Water Project (SWP). “Cement is a key component of concrete and a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, so minimizing the impact cement can have on our environment is important,” said Joe Royer, Branch Manager for Geotechnical Services for DWR’s Division of Engineering. “Most emissions from traditional cement production result from chemical reactions in the manufacturing process.” … ” Read more from DWR News here: Sustainable techniques bring concrete results: Making DWR infrastructure carbon-friendly
State designation protects and enhances California’s wild trout fisheries and provides special angling opportunities for the public
“The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is observing the 50th anniversary of the first designated “Wild Trout Waters” in the state, an innovative wild trout conservation and management routine at the vanguard of the nation’s modern environmental movement of the 1960s and 1970s— a designation still benefitting California anglers today. In 1971, the California Fish and Game Commission adopted a Wild Trout Policy to provide the designation of “aesthetically pleasing and environmentally productive” streams and lakes to be managed exclusively for wild trout, where the trout populations are managed with appropriate regulations to be “largely unaffected by the angling process,” according to the CDFW. … ” Read more from The Log here: State designation protects and enhances California’s wild trout fisheries and provides special angling opportunities for the public
Calif. gearing up for sustainable cannabis study
“The California Department of Food and Agriculture is now accepting grant applications for the Sustainable California Grown Cannabis pilot study. This grant solicitation is being conducted to fund projects throughout California to help determine best management practices for outdoor cannabis cultivation. Senate Bill (SB) 170 (Skinner, The Budget Act of 2021, Chapter 240, Statute of 2021) appropriates $9 million for CDFA to establish the pilot program. Eligible entities may request up to $2,500,000 to fund in-field studies over a maximum 3-year period that investigate and analyze best management practices, or BMPs, for sustainable outdoor cannabis cultivation. … ” Read more from the Western Farm Press here: Calif. gearing up for sustainable cannabis study
Why was the fire season in northern Nevada, California so mild compared to years past?
“This year has been a dramatically different fire season in the northern Nevada and California than in years past. There’s four main reasons why. To set the scene: Wildfires are the way of life in the west even in the winter. Snow may be on the ground in one area, but it’s still dry in another. Our area is still in a drought as well. Almost every year, wildfires have surrounded and suffocated northern Nevada. Residents have been choking on thick smoke that’s blown into the area. It’s a common sight in the summer. This year, the Mosquito Fire was the only large fire in our immediate area. ... ” Read more from Channel 4 here: Why was the fire season in northern Nevada, California so mild compared to years past?
“The Biden-Harris Administration is announcing today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service has launched a new interactive map showing the progress the agency and its partners have made in addressing the wildfire crisis in eight western states as part of the Forest Service’s 10-year wildfire crisis strategy. This easy-to-use “story map” gives users the opportunity to see the impact of the historic investments from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law across 10 initial landscapes (PDF, 9 MB) in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. This announcement comes as USDA celebrates the accomplishments made since the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was signed one year ago. … ” Read more from the USDA here: Biden-Harris administration launches interactive map showcasing wildfire reduction projects
Collaborative solutions could benefit Mono Lake and LA—again
Martha Davis, Mono Lake Committee’s former Executive Director and a current Board member, writes, “The Mono Lake Committee has long supported Los Angeles’ vision for obtaining the city’s water supplies from local sources, including increased stormwater capture, restoration of LA’s substantial groundwater basins, water efficiency, and increased recycling of its highly treated wastewater. In fact, 30 years ago we raised more than $120 million in state and federal funds for Los Angeles to invest in the development of water efficiency measures to permanently replace a portion of the stream diversions from the Mono Basin. Those funds were strongly supported by LA community groups, such as our friends at Mothers of East Los Angeles, because they helped make water bills more affordable for low-income residents and simultaneously helped protect Mono Lake. Now the problem of having sufficient water is once again a shared challenge. … ” Continue reading at the Mono Lake Committee here: Collaborative solutions could benefit Mono Lake and LA—again
State agency claims climate change is rapidly accelerating in Golden State
Katy Grimes, Editor of the California Globe, writes, “Gov. Gavin Newsom continues to tout the need for drastic climate change regulations and policies. “Every Californian has suffered from the effects of record high temperatures, dry winters, prolonged drought, and proliferating wildfires in recent years,” a new climate change report says. But where is the actual science backing these statements and subsequent policies? … ” Continue reading at the California Globe here: State agency claims climate change is rapidly accelerating in Golden State
METROPOLITAN’S IMPORTED WATER COMMITTEE: Southern California’s worsening water supply situation
“As we look at the supply outlook for the next year, we again stress the importance of our member agencies in preparing their governing bodies and communities for mandatory restrictions this next year,” said Noosha Razavian, Associate Resource Specialist.
At the November meeting of Metropolitan’s Imported Water Committee, staff briefed committee members on the Colorado River’s worsening conditions and what Metropolitan’s water supplies look like as staff prepares for a dry 2023.
Tahoe’s largest wetland restoration wraps up construction after 3 years
“Major construction is complete for the multi-year Upper Truckee Marsh Restoration project, Lake Tahoe’s largest ever wetland restoration, the California Tahoe Conservancy announced Monday. The Conservancy has completed steps to repair damage caused by 20th century development, restoring and enhancing hundreds of acres of wetland habitat. A new trail offers improved access for all to experience and enjoy the lake’s shoreline. “As the largest wetland restoration project in the Lake Tahoe Basin, this is a remarkable accomplishment,” said California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot. “Restoring this wetland will help keep Tahoe waters clean, provide great habitat for fish and wildlife, and be one more beautiful place we can all visit.” … ” Read more from the Tahoe Daily Tribune here: Tahoe’s largest wetland restoration wraps up construction after 3 years
Federal drought relief might be on the way for A.C.I.D.
“During a special meeting held Thursday October 19, the Anderson-Cottonwood Irrigation District board (A.C.I.D.) voted to accept a resolution authorizing the powerful water group it belongs to, the Sacramento River Settlement Contractors, to negotiate for, accept, and distribute federal drought relief funds on the district’s behalf. During the meeting, A.C.I.D. general manager Jered Shipley presented the A.C.I.D. board with a letter from the Bureau of Reclamation stating that drought relief funds of up to $60 million have been identified as a potential payout for districts within the Sacramento River Settlement Contractors group, including A.C.I.D. … ” Read more from Shasta Scout here: Federal drought relief might be on the way for A.C.I.D.
“As Northern California prepares for the possibility of a fourth dry year in a row, the potential for flood damage may seem distant, but the city of Sacramento Department of Utilities spokesperson Carlos Eliason says that doesn’t mean the threat is non-existent. “We can flood any single year, even if it is a drought year,” Eliason said. Weather and climate forecasters agree: climate change is projected to increase the duration and intensity of future droughts in the Western U.S. but it is also expected to accelerate Earth’s natural water cycle. That means when rain does come, it may be heavier and more extreme than what we’ve experienced in the past. … ” Read more from KCRA here: Despite drought, rising costs, Sacramento officials emphasize the importance flood insurance
The Bennett Valley water story
“Everyone in Bennett Valley depends on a well for water — and we all face the possibility that one day we will turn the tap and nothing will come out. It happens! The issues around groundwater sustainability are top of mind for us. With new development and the seemingly ever-present and increasing drought situation, we have a right to be worried. To help address some of our concerns, and to better understand what’s under our feet water-wise, the Bennett Valley Grange, in partnership with the Bennett Valley Community Association (BVCA), presented a very well-attended Water Symposium on Oct. 25 at the Grange Hall. … ” Read more from the Kenwood Press here: The Bennett Valley water story
Podcast: Landfill haunts Napa Watershed and San Francisco Bay
“This episode of Terra Verde features an interview with Upper Napa Valley resident Geoff Ellsworth, who offers a detailed look at the ins and outs of decades of operation of a problematic waste disposal site in the headwaters of the Napa River.” Listen at Earth Island Journal here: Podcast: Landfill haunts Napa Watershed and San Francisco Bay
Naturalist-led creek tours being offered to the public to view spawning coho salmon in the Bay Area
“The gentle rains of the last week have brought endangered coho salmon back to Lagunitas Creek in west Marin County. Wild coho salmon return to their natal streams with the first fall rains and can be observed spawning from November through January when conditions are right. SPAWN, the Salmon Protection And Watershed Network, leads naturalist-led creek tours for the public to promote fish-friendly viewing that does not disturb these endangered species. The bright red two-foot long fish are returning from the ocean to where they were born to complete their ancient ritual of laying their eggs to perpetuate their species before dying and becoming fertilizer for the redwood trees that line the creek. … ” Read more from the Turtle Island Restoration Network here: Naturalist-led creek tours being offered to the public to view spawning coho salmon in the Bay Area
Microplastics rife in these Monterey Bay fish and seabirds, study finds
“Microplastic particles are widespread in Monterey Bay anchovies and the diving seabirds that eat them as a main food source – which could possibly impact the birds’ reproductive systems, according to a new study. Scientists at UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis and the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance studied microplastic pollution in Monterey Bay by testing microplastic particles in the water and in anchovies and common murres, a bird species found in abundance in the region. They found that 58% of anchovies and 100% of murres had microplastic particles in their digestive tracts, according to the study published Nov. 4 in the Environmental Pollution journal. ... ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Microplastics rife in these Monterey Bay fish and seabirds, study finds
Returning Diablo Canyon lands to indigenous hands
“The Diablo Canyon power plant stands at the edge of the continent, above cliffs that plunge into the Pacific Ocean near Avila Beach, California. A turbulent saltwater discharge flows from the nuclear plant and is lost in the foam of waves pushed in by the wind and tides. The pumping and heating of the ocean water kills fish and other marine life, and yet much of the area remains ecologically robust: sea otters still clasp hands among kelp beds, oystercatchers nest on the rocky shore, and sea lions chase down herring and rockfish. Badgers and coyotes den in the hills of coastal chaparral while gray whales pass close to shore on their annual migrations. The only piece that’s missing is the coast’s first people, the Yak Titʸu Titʸu Yak Tiłhini—and they are determined to return. … ” Read more from Hakai Magazine here: Returning Diablo Canyon lands to indigenous hands
SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY
Low-flying helicopter to survey the Coalinga and Pyramid Hills area for groundwater research
“Starting around November 17, 2022 and lasting up to a month, a helicopter towing a large hoop from a cable will make low-level flights over areas of the western San Joaquin Valley in Fresno, Kings, and Kern Counties near Coalinga and the Pyramid Hills, with limited surveying near Lost Hills. Residents of these areas may see a low-flying helicopter towing a large hoop hanging from a cable. USGS scientists will use the data to improve understanding of groundwater salinity and below-ground geology to better understand groundwater conditions near California’s oil fields. The helicopter will tow a sensor that resembles a large hula-hoop about 100-200 feet above the ground to measure small electromagnetic signals. These signals can be used to map geologic features, like aquifers, below Earth’s surface. The scientific instruments carried by the aircraft do not pose a health risk to people or animals. … ” Read more from the USGS here: Low-flying helicopter to survey the Coalinga and Pyramid Hills area for groundwater research
Getting Mono Lake to rise
“From the shore of Mono Lake to the streets of Los Angeles, the Committee had a busy summer answering questions about the current low lake level, its causes, and what the future holds. In 1994, nearly 30 years ago now, the California State Water Resources Control Board issued its landmark water rights decision after extensively reviewing the devastating impacts of excessive stream diversions by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP), which began in 1941 and continued for decades. … Today Mono Lake is only 25% of the way to the 6392-foot Public Trust lake level; therefore, the State Water Board will hold a hearing to look at changes to DWP’s annual stream diversion amounts.After years of waiting and watching to see if Mono Lake would reach the Public Trust lake level under the current State Water Board rules, it is time to take a new course. We have heard from many members and friends that you have questions about this new path, so we have set out to answer the most common ones here. ... ” Read more from the Mono Lake Committee here: Getting Mono Lake to rise
New film highlights water struggle between rural high desert and L.A.
“A new film about the transfer of water from the high desert to Los Angeles – called “Without Water” – has just been released on the internet. The film highlights the struggle between the community around Long Valley, which is between Mammoth and Bishop California – and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The D-W-P has court permission to terminate longstanding water leases and limit irrigation water in Long and Little Round valleys. Matt McClain, campaign manager for the Keep Long Valley Green Coalition, said that would endanger wildlife, fish, cattle grazing, tourism, and Native American cultural sites. So advocates are asking for at least 2.8 acre feet of water per year going forward. “We’re trying to have dialogues with them to say, hey, look, this is the number that we think would be at a minimum equitable for you to supply ratepayers in Southern California while maintaining our wetlands up here, McClain said. ... ” Read more from the Public News Service here: New film highlights water struggle between rural high desert and L.A.
Keep Long Valley Green releases “Without Water” movie for public viewing
“The Keep Long Valley Coalition announced today that it has released its documentary “Without Water” for public viewing. The film will be available to stream on the group’s YouTube and Vimeo channels. Without Water explores the ongoing efforts by Eastern Sierra residents to prevent the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power from dewatering Long and Little Round Valleys. For the past seven months, Keep Long Valley Green has been screening “Without Water” at various film festivals. To date, the film has appeared at twenty-two film festivals and won four awards, including: Honorable Mention at the Independent Shorts Awards, Best Long-form Short at the Environmental Film Festival, Best Short Documentary at the Wild West Film Festival, and Best Environmental Documentary at the Topanga Film Festival. … ” Read more from the Sierra Wave here: Keep Long Valley Green releases “Without Water” movie for public viewing
Southern California braces for strongest Santa Ana winds of the year
“Southern California is bracing this week for what could be the strongest Santa Ana winds of the year, raising concerns around both fire dangers and cold temperatures, according to experts. “Today is the calm before the gusty winds are expected,” David Sweet, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard, said Monday. “This is going to be the biggest event this season,” Sweet added. Moderate Santa Ana winds are expected to develop Tuesday morning and continue throughout the day, with gusts ranging from 35 mph to 45 mph, according to the National Weather Service. … ” Read more from the LA Times here: Southern California braces for strongest Santa Ana winds of the year
Los Angeles approves funding for rehabilitation at Ballona Wetlands
“The Los Angeles City Council voted last week to fund rehabilitation for the ecological area surrounding the Freshwater Marsh and the Ballona Wetlands in Playa del Rey. The motion was coordinated by the Friends of the Ballona Wetlands and councilmember Mike Bonin. The funds include a transfer of $133,200 of the Council District 11 portion of the Street Furniture Revenue to the Board of Public Works Funds. The Ballona Wetlands once encompassed more than 2,000 acres, stretching from Playa del Rey to Venice and inland to the Baldwin Hills. Now, only about 600 acres of open space remain, and much of that area is highly degraded after centuries of development and abuse, according to The Bay Foundation. … ” Read more from the Santa Monica Daily Press here: Los Angeles approves funding for rehabilitation at Ballona Wetlands
Santa Monica: Next generation water project comes online Thursday
“Santa Monica has found itself on the cutting edge of modern water infrastructure in California, and the latest example of that innovation is SWIP, the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Project (SWIP), four years in the making, that is set to open with a community celebration on Thursday morning, Nov. 17. The project features some key innovations: a massive, 1.5-million gallon stormwater harvesting tank that stores water prior to treatment (meaning the city is far less limited in the amount of water it can process during storm events); can simultaneously treat stormwater runoff and wastewater generated in Santa Monica; is enabled to provide water for irrigation, dual-piped buildings and groundwater replenishment; and is poised to convert to potable water supply if and when state regulations permit. … ” Read more from the Santa Monica Daily Press here: Santa Monica: Next generation water project comes online Thursday
Audio: What California’s next desalination plant means for the future of water in the Southwest
“The California Coastal Commission last month unanimously signed off on the Doheny Ocean Desalination Plant in Orange County. The approval of the $140 million project comes after the panel rejected a proposed bigger, $1.4 billion desalination plant up the coast in Huntington Beach earlier this year. In addition, commission staff have recommended the approval of another plant in Monterey County. As communities throughout the West struggle with their water supplies, desal has been seen as more and more of an option. That includes in Arizona, where Gov. Doug Ducey has proposed building a plant on the Sea of Cortez; that would allow Mexico to send Arizona more of its share of Colorado River water. To learn about the recently-approved plant in California, The Show spoke with Greg Pierce, co-director of the UCLA Water Resources Group.” Listen at KJZZ here (8:22): Audio: What California’s next desalination plant means for the future of water in the Southwest
Colorado Basin Tribes address a historic drought—and their water rights—head-on
“A warm breeze slips down from Sleeping Ute Mountain, stirring fields of alfalfa and corn across the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Farm & Ranch Enterprise in the arid flats of southwestern Colorado. The state-of-the-art farm, with its ultra-efficient drip irrigation, satellite-guided tractors, and sought-after Bow & Arrow brand of non-GMO cornmeal, is an intense source of pride for the 2,000-member Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. It’s also an important income source for its 553,000-acre reservation in the Four Corners Region, where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet. In normal times, the enterprise employs several dozen tribal members and distributes more than $1 million in paychecks annually. But these are not normal times. The epic Southwest drought, whose severity has been fueled by climate change, has hit the farm hard. Today, it scrapes by on just 10 percent of the water normally flowing along a clay canal from the McPhee Reservoir. … ” Read more from the NRDC here: Colorado Basin Tribes address a historic drought—and their water rights—head-on
‘To Protect and Conserve:’ Las Vegas has strict outdoor watering restrictions. Should Utah do the same?
“The side of Salvador Polanco Gamez’s SUV reads “to protect and conserve.” Bright yellow lights atop his vehicle are flashing as he drives through neighborhoods in this Las Vegas suburb, looking for water wasters. It doesn’t take long, just a couple of turns down some streets and he stops in front of a home. Gamez is a “water waste investigator” for the Las Vegas Valley Water District. It’s a government job where they are tasked with finding and enforcing violations of water waste under Nevada’s strict conservation laws.Those strict laws regulating water waste are working — southern Nevada recorded a 26% drop in water use since 2002 — and could become one possible path forward for Utah’s own efforts to save water and preserve the Great Salt Lake. … ” Read more from the Salt Lake Tribune here: ‘To Protect and Conserve:’ Las Vegas has strict outdoor watering restrictions. Should Utah do the same?
Arizona’s megadrought: The latest and what can we do to help
“The federal government is expected to restrict Arizona’s water supply even more in the coming months due to the megadrought, heading into the new year. However, no one knows exactly what that will mean, but we do know the three-decade drought is shrinking the Colorado River with no end in sight. We’re taking a look at problems that may be coming down the pike and what various Arizona water districts, from Buckeye to Scottsdale, are doing about it, and what you can do too. … ” Read more from Channel 10 here: Arizona’s megadrought: The latest and what can we do to help
Utah landowners, tribes fight plan to pump rural water to Cedar City
“From one side of the city limits sign, a groundwater pipeline proposal in a sparsely populated Utah county looks like a crucial investment in economic expansion for a growing metropolis. From the other, less crowded side of the road, the project appears to be a water grab that will turn rural areas into sacrifice zones for the sake of urban growth. The proposal, called the Pine Valley Water Supply Project, would pump billions of gallons of water from rural Beaver County in western Utah and send it 70 miles southeast to Cedar City. The city’s need for water comes after years of overuse of the aquifers in Cedar Valley. Water from the aquifers is being overdrawn by an estimated 7,000 acre-feet of water per year, according to a hydrologic survey conducted by the local water district. Acre-feet of water refers to the number of acres of land that would be covered with one foot of water in a year. To remedy this problem, Cedar City is looking to rural Utah for solutions. ... ” Read more from the Public News Service here: Utah landowners, tribes fight plan to pump rural water to Cedar City
Lots of options on the table for saving Great Salt Lake; but especially the simplest — use less water.
“The drought-fueled decline in the southwest’s water supply has set off a cascade of environmental distress signals and for Utahns, Great Salt Lake is ground zero. At its lowest level in recorded history, it is teetering at the edge of no return to a healthy ecosystem. Utahns are becoming familiar with the long list of repercussions of a dying lake: toxic dust storms, imperiled bird populations, more than $1 billion in economic losses, a shrinking snowpack due to less “lake effect” snow, and the list goes on. Proposed solutions getting serious yet skeptical attention include a costly pipeline from the Pacific Ocean to the lake, and cloud seeding — a fickle technique. But experts say that the most viable answer may also be the simplest: use less water. “Conservation has to be our first choice. Across the board. Period,” said Joel Ferry, a former state lawmaker and now the executive director of Utah’s Department of Natural Resources. … ” Read more from the Salt Lake Tribune here: Lots of options on the table for saving Great Salt Lake; but especially the simplest — use less water.
EPA celebrates year one accomplishments under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
“Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) marked one year of progress in implementing President Biden’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law with the release of a new report detailing the Agency’s investments in the Nation’s infrastructure and communities. The Bipartisan Infrastructure law provides EPA with more than $60 billion over five years for a wide range of environmental programs that will bring much-needed funding to America’s water infrastructure, environmental cleanups, and clean air protections, while also advancing environmental justice and combatting climate change. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Year One Anniversary Report highlights how EPA is working with state, local, and Tribal partners to transform communities through the largest appropriation the Agency has ever received. EPA has already awarded $5.5 billion of the $14.1 billion available in FY 2022 through grants, contracts, and interagency agreements, and program implementation efforts and will continue to build on this progress in the coming year. … ” Read more from the EPA here: EPA celebrates year one accomplishments under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
Eastern Pacific warming to change surface temperatures in years, not decades
“For some time, scientists believed 2070 was the earliest they would be able to detect a change in the Pacific Ocean’s surface temperature. A study published Tuesday in Nature Communications moves that projection up by four decades, to 2030. Dr. Tao Geng of the CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere and Dr. Wenju Cai of the Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology focused their study on the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), what they called “the strongest and most consequential year-to-year climate fluctuation on the planet.” Every year with some variability in either the equatorial eastern Pacific (EP) or central Pacific (CP), ENSO creates worldwide natural events during its warm El Niño phase or cold La Niña phase. Previous measurements of EP-ENSO and CP-ENSO had biases when it came to that variability, according to the study. … ” Read more from the Courthouse News Service here: Eastern Pacific warming to change surface temperatures in years, not decades
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.