DAILY DIGEST, 12/2: State kicks off water year with anticipated 5% allocation; Another storm this weekend; If you build it, do they come? Measuring results of the Water Forum’s habitat projects on the Lower American River; What’s next for Cal Am’s desalination plant?; and more …
USGS WEBINAR: Using the Stream Salmonid Simulator (S3) to assess the effect of flow management on mortality of juvenile Chinook Salmon caused by the myxosporean parasite Ceratonova shasta from 11am to 12pm. Flow regulation and the effects of impoundment on water temperatures of the Lower Klamath River, California, have created favorable conditions for the myxosporean parasite Ceratonova Shasta, thereby causing recurring disease outbreaks in juvenile anadromous salmonids. To reduce mortality in juvenile salmon that pass through the “infectious zone”, an 80-km reach downstream of the lower-most impassable dam, resource managers hypothesized that bed scour from annual 3-day flushing flow events would reduce polychaete worm populations, the parasite’s intermediate host. To test this hypothesis, we incorporated a disease sub-model into the Stream Salmonid Simulator (S3), a spatially-explicit population model that simulates daily growth, movement, and mortality of juvenile Chinook Salmon in the Klamath River. … Join webinar by clicking here.
WEBINAR: Storm water quality following urban burning: What was learned from the 2018 Camp Fire and other recent destructive fires? from 12pm to 1pm. Wildfire occurrence and intensity are increasing worldwide due to climate change. With increasing burning, destruction of wildland-urban interface communities during fire may cause contamination of surrounding waterways by ash and debris from burned structures, cars, and buildings. However, the effects of burned urban residues in surface water are not well understood. This webinar will discuss the results of a study of stormwater samples that were collected following the November 2018 Camp Fire, the most destructive fire in California history with near 18,000 structures and thousands of vehicles burnt. Click here to register.
State Water Project initial allocation set at 5% …
State kicks off water year with anticipated 5% allocation
“The state Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced Dec. 1 that it would provide 5% of contracted amounts across the board for agricultural and municipal customers in 2023. That may sound bad, but the initial allocation announced for 2022 was 0% for ag and only enough water for municipal contractors to protect health and safety. At this early stage of the water year, it’s hard to get too excited one way or another about the initial allocation, said Ted Page, Chair of the Kern County Water Agency Board of Directors. “We had a really good December last year, then it dried out and the state gave us 5%,” he said. “You don’t want them to throw out a big allocation number and then have to take it back. Then you have farmers borrowing money thinking they have water and if the state takes it back, that doesn’t work for anyone.” … ” Read more from SJV Water here: State kicks off water year with anticipated 5% allocation
Initial water allocation for SWP higher than last year
“The initial water allocation for 2023 has been released by the Department of Water Resources (DWR). As of December 1, DWR is allocating five percent of requested supplies for the State Water Project (SWP). Last year at this time, the initial allocation was zero percent. State officials are preparing for a fourth dry year and a continuation of drought conditions. “This early in California’s traditional wet season, water allocations are typically low due to uncertainty in hydrologic forecasting. But the degree to which hotter and drier conditions are reducing runoff into rivers, streams and reservoirs means we have to be prepared for all possible outcomes,” DWR Director Karla Nemeth said in a press release. “We are in the dawn of a new era of State Water Project management as a changing climate disrupts the timing of California’s hydrology, and hotter and drier conditions absorb more water into the atmosphere and ground. … ” Read more from Ag Net West here: Initial water allocation for SWP higher than last year
Metropolitan Water District General Manager Adel Hagekhalil
“After the three driest years in state history, we are certainly hoping for some reprieve this winter. But the tough reality is, we must be prepared for this historic drought to continue. This initial allocation is an important indicator of what Southern California should be ready for in the months ahead: very limited supplies from the State Water Project. For the fourth year in a row, this critical supply – on average the source of 30 percent of the region’s water – could remain at a trickle. In response, Metropolitan will continue our emergency drought restrictions in communities that rely on state project water, requiring them to either limit outdoor watering to one day a week or live within volumetric limits. But the nearly seven million people who live in those communities are not the only ones who will be affected by a low allocation of state supplies. The rest of Southern California must also immediately lower their use of Metropolitan’s imported supplies. …
Click here to continue reading this statement.
Our other source of imported water – the Colorado River – is also facing accelerating constraints as a result of a 22-year drought and a changing climate. Despite our ongoing efforts to reduce reliance on the Colorado River, we are preparing for additional reductions there as well, as soon as next year.
“These decreases to both our imported water sources mean everyone across Southern California must take measures to stretch the limited water we have. Our initial call for increased conservation regionwide will be voluntary, but if we don’t see significant precipitation this winter, Metropolitan may implement a water supply allocation plan for its entire service area, requiring mandatory restrictions across the region.
“Metropolitan is doing everything we can to alleviate the immediate crisis and make investments to provide more tools than emergency conservation alone. We are expediting the development of one of the world’s largest recycled water projects, exploring new storage opportunities, and investing in the resilience of our distribution system. But now we need the public’s help. We can get through this by working together.”
State Water Contractors General Manager Jennifer Pierre
“While five percent is certainly preferable to zero, it is a far cry from the water supplies that California’s public water agencies need after three consecutive years of drought. This allocation underscores the need for continued conservation going into 2023 but also the need to make investments in the State Water Project, such as the Delta Conveyance Project, repair to existing canals, increased storage, and climate-responsive operational rules, to ensure that water can be moved and stored during the wet years and times when there are high flows to mitigate the effects of dry years like we’re in. For example, had the Delta Conveyance Project been operational at the end of last year, when we had record-breaking storms, California could have saved about 236,000 acre-feet of water, enough to support roughly 2.5 million Californians or nearly 850,000 households for an entire year. California cannot afford to let these valuable supplies go to waste – we must save water when it’s wet, for use when it’s not.”
In other California water news …
Tahoe was pummeled with snow. Will the winter storm impact the drought?
“The winter storm that dropped rain across the Bay Area dumped snow on the Sierras and ski resorts across Tahoe. Heavy snow and slick roads also made for dangerous driving conditions but the precipitation is a boon for California’s water supply. Building on gains during a storm in early November, this latest storm brought statewide snowpack up to 106% of normal for December 1, according to the California Department of Water Resources. The snow is beneficial but it’s still early in the season, said Andrew Schwartz, the lead scientist at UC Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Laboratory. The previous water year, for example, started out with plentiful rains during October and December 2021 but were followed by an extremely dry start to 2022. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Tahoe was pummeled with snow. Will the winter storm impact the drought?
Another winter storm will hit California this weekend. Here’s when to expect the biggest impacts
“After a busy weather day charged with rain and snow showers, most of the Golden State will be waking up to dry weather. But sure enough this lull in the weather pattern will begin to taper off tonight as another winter storm sets its sights on the California coast. Residents from Santa Barbara to San Francisco will once again wake up to rain showers this weekend, while Tahoe and much of the Sierra Nevada will see another round of whiteout conditions as heavy snow falls over Thursday’s fresh powder. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Another winter storm will hit California this weekend. Here’s when to expect the biggest impacts
An idea that could help replenish California’s groundwater supplies
“When drought strikes, California farmers often pump water from underground aquifers to water their crops. But increasingly dry conditions are straining that resource. “On average, over time, we have been extracting more water from the subsurface than has been recharged,” says David Freyberg of Stanford University. He says many people are looking at ways to replenish the state’s dwindling groundwater supplies. ... ” Read more from Yale Climate Connections here: An idea that could help replenish California’s groundwater supplies
Report details drought’s deep impacts on state’s ag industry
“A new report details the worsening economic pain that California’s drought is causing the state’s agricultural industry, in terms of fallowed farmland, jobs and revenue to farms and food processors. It said that during 2022, the third straight year of drought in California, 226,000 acres of irrigated land came out of production. That’s close to one-third of all the farmland fallowed statewide since 2019. Lost food production associated with that level of cutbacks resulted in an estimated $1.2 billion in lost profits, payroll and taxes this year alone, an increase of 42 percent from last year. That total did not include what the authors figured was $845 million in 2022 impacts to food processing industries, a 43 percent jump year over year. … ” Read more from the Bakersfield Californian here: Report details drought’s deep impacts on state’s ag industry
The water supply crisis is devastating California’s farms. It’s time for a crisis-level response.
Dave Puglia, president & CEO of Western Growers, writes, “For decades, California has been paralyzed, prevented from securing an adequate water supply by endless debate, red tape and litigation over where, how, and even if the state should create more water supply infrastructure. In the last few years some major farming regions have received almost no water from state and federal projects built specifically to provide water for food production — yet calls to further choke off water to these and other farming regions have grown even louder. As farms are starved of water, California sacrifices critical food production, jobs in agriculture and the economic health of entire regions of California. It doesn’t have to be this way, and this shouldn’t be our destiny. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent call for a direction, California’s Water Supply Strategy: Adapting to a Hotter, Drier Future, projects — for the most part — an overdue end to the decades of futzing and fighting that have transformed the state from water secure to water crisis. With the strong warning that some aspects of Newsom’s strategy could be counterproductive — particularly upending the state’s water rights laws — it is now time for follow through. … ” Read more from the Bakersfield Californian here: The water supply crisis is devastating California’s farms. It’s time for a crisis-level response.
Its currently raining here in Sacramento along with much of the north State and north-central Sierra Nevada with snowfall beginning last night from the Oregon border and continuing throughout the morning as far south as Huntington Lake as of early afternoon today.
This first December storm is a harbinger for wetter conditions expected through the weekend and into next week. And this rainfall comes not a moment too soon as many reservoirs and lakes across the State continue to recede during what has become a particularly dry autumn.
Sierra snow closes Tahoe schools, snarls mountain traffic
“A windy, winter storm packing heavy snow started moving into the Sierra Thursday, closing schools at Lake Tahoe, prompting a backcountry avalanche warning and snarling traffic on Interstate 80 west of Reno. A winter storm warning remains in effect through 4 a.m. Friday from south of Yosemite National Park to about 200 miles north of Reno and Lake Tahoe. More than a foot of snow is expected around the lake by Friday, with up to 30 inches above 7,000 feet, where winds could gust in excess of 100 mph, the National Weather Service said. … ” Read more from KQED here: Sierra snow closes Tahoe schools, snarls mountain traffic
Snowstorms to unlock more terrain at Tahoe ski resorts
“The storms kicking off December will help unlock more terrain at Lake Tahoe ski resorts. Multiple feet of snow could fall by Monday morning from two separate storms and Heavenly Mountain Resort is eyeing opening several new trails and lifts this weekend. A combination of powerful snowmaking and Mother Nature will allow the resort to open Sky Express, Tamarack Express with Dipper Express to follow. “Depending on how much snow arrives, the team will be looking to add Comet Express as soon as possible,” said resort spokesman Cole Zimmerman. “Stagecoach Express and its base area is on track to open at the end of next week.” … ” Read more from the Tahoe Daily Tribune here: Snowstorms to unlock more terrain at Tahoe ski resorts
Commentary: Partnering to reduce wildfire risk in Lake Tahoe Basin
Jason Vasques, executive director for California Tahoe Conservancy, writes, “The Caldor Fire was a reminder to our community that wildfires have and will continue to threaten the Lake Tahoe Basin. Since then, the California Tahoe Conservancy has received over four times the usual number of calls and emails about our open space lots. Most people contacting us have questions about wildfire risk and dead or dying trees. The good news is that since the Caldor Fire, we have gained new resources to ramp up forestry work on our properties and to support our partners’ forest management projects. Together, we are taking steps that will make Tahoe forests more resilient to climate change while reducing wildfire risk to our communities. In November, the city of South Lake Tahoe and the Conservancy formalized our shared commitment to reduce wildfire risk. … ” Read more from the Tahoe Daily Tribune here: Commentary: Partnering to reduce wildfire risk in Lake Tahoe Basin
The Lower Long Bar Restoration Project construction is finished
“The lower Yuba River once supported a thriving ecosystem with a braided channel system that fostered an abundant fish population and habitat for wildlife. During the Gold Rush era, hydraulic mining sediments flooded the ecosystem, covering habitat under tons of sediment. Later, dredger mining reworked that material and created a channelized river system with “training walls” designed to control where the river flowed. In 1941, Englebright Dam was constructed, permanently restricting fish passage to the upper watershed and altering flows in the lower watershed. Today, The Goldfields, an area of over 5,500 acres of reworked hydraulic mining sediment from the upper watershed, and impaired flows from the upriver dams slows the recovery of riverine habitat, threatening Chinook and steelhead populations. For over a decade, SYRCL has been working with a number of partners on major restoration projects in the lower Yuba to help mitigate the damage to fish populations. Our latest efforts have been focused on the Lower Long Bar area. … ” Read more from the South Yuba River Citizens League here: The Lower Long Bar Restoration Project construction is finished
Slow start to the salmon season in the Lower Yuba River
“Through SYRCL’s participation in the River Management Team (RMT), we get monthly updates on the number of Chinook and steelhead utilizing the fish ladders at Daguerre Point Dam. This year’s numbers, unfortunately, are significantly down from the recent past. The RMT is a group of agency and non-profit representatives that work together to better understand and promote research on the Lower Yuba River. Members of the RMT include Yuba Water Agency, US Fish and Wildlife Service, State Water Resources Control Board, Dept of Water Resources, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, CA Dept Fish and Wildlife, National Marine Fisheries Service, HDR (an engineering firm), and the US Army Corps of Engineers. The RMT helps fund restoration, research, and make science-informed decisions for the Lower Yuba River. ... ” Read more from the South Yuba River Citizens League here: Slow start to the salmon season in the Lower Yuba River
Amador Water Agency paints grim picture for future water connections
“The Amador Water Agency (AWA) currently does not have the capacity to support any further residential development in much of the area it serves, according to a presentation by its General Manager before the Sutter Creek City Council on Monday night, November 21. In the wake of a public discussion about the “No Place Like Home” affordable housing project at Sutter Hill being denied the promise of a water connection from AWA at a recent Board of Supervisors meeting, AWA General Manager Larry McKenney gave a presentation on water availability to the Sutter Creek City Council. The news he delivered was grim … ” Read more from the Amador Ledger-Dispatch here: Amador Water Agency paints grim picture for future water connections
How wet weather can impact our levee system
“With these winter storms and more rain on the way, Reclamation District 1000 is hard at work patrolling our local levees to make sure we don’t experience any flooding. Thursday’s rain already highlighted a number of concerns. The unhoused are even living in the levees, and that’s not all. ABC10 got a tour of the pump facility and even joined workers on a patrol route. We started our tour with Reclamation District 1000 General Manager Kevin King at the largest pumping plant just off Garden Hwy. The first line of defense is to push water over the levee and into the Sacramento River. … ” Read more from Channel 10 here: How wet weather can impact our levee system
If you build it, do they come? Measuring results of the Water Forum’s habitat projects on the Lower American River
“The Water Forum and its federal and state partners have invested millions of dollars over the past 15 years to enhance salmon spawning and rearing habitat in the Lower American River. In this blog post, we want to highlight one way that the Water Forum, with its consultant, Cramer Fish Sciences, monitors the projects and helps to answer a critical question: If You Build It, Do They Come? Since 2008, the Water Forum has implemented numerous projects to replenish coarse gravel in the Lower American riverbed to create spawning habitat for fall run Chinook salmon and Central Valley steelhead. These native species require coarse riverbed gravels to create the redds, or nests, for their eggs. … ” Read more from the Water Forum here: If you build it, do they come? Measuring results of the Water Forum’s habitat projects on the Lower American River
Sacramento Discovery Park Steele Creek littered with trash from residents, encampments
Rain heralds return of salmon to North Bay waterways
“Winter rains signal salmon runs. We may not have gotten a lot of it so far, but fisheries experts weighed in about what the rain does mean for local salmon populations. Including Eric Ettlinger. “We’ve been anxiously awaiting this rain because it’s been a pretty dry November and we’ve seen very few Coho salmon so far,” Ettlinger said. “The salmon we have seen are Chinook salmon. They’re otherwise called king salmon. They often come up even before the rain starts, so we’ve seen a lot of them so far. It’s been a really good year.” … ” Continue reading at NorCal Public Media here: Rain heralds return of salmon to North Bay waterways
Commentary: S.F. Bay can become a truly healthy body of water. But it’s going to take work
Andrew Gunther and Alexis Strauss Hacker , members of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, and Jay Davis, senior scientist at the San Francisco Estuary Institute, write, “It was major news in August when a hazardous algae bloom turned San Francisco Bay water a murky brown color and killed a reported 10,000 yellowfin goby, hundreds of striped bass and white sturgeon, and a small number of endangered green sturgeon. That kind of attention may seem understandable today, but just a couple of generations ago, it’s likely barely anyone would have noticed. Why? Because fish die-offs used to be far more common. During the 1960s and early 1970s, huge fish die-offs were reported in San Francisco Bay almost every year, with over 100,000 fish dying in 1965 alone. … ” Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here: Commentary: S.F. Bay can become a truly healthy body of water. But it’s going to take work
Floods can follow drought
Tony Estremera, Valley Water Board of Directors, writes, “The recent rains have brought much-needed water to drought-stricken Santa Clara County. Although not enough to make a dent in our current drought emergency, the puddles that quickly form on streets and highways remind us that flooding can happen anytime it rains. After nearly three years of drought, arid conditions have hardened the ground and increased the chance of flooding due to runoff to streams and creeks during storms. It’s hard to understand unless you’ve lived through a flood, but according to the National Flood Institute, just one inch of flood water can cause $25,000 worth of damage to your home. About 52,000 homes and businesses in Santa Clara County are within areas at high risk of flooding, or Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA), designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). High-risk means that these homes have a 1 in 4 risk of experiencing a flood over 30 years. … ” Read more from Valley Water News here: Floods can follow drought
With coastal commission approval, what’s next for Cal Am’s desalination plant?
“California American Water (Cal Am) scored a major win earlier this month after the California Coastal Commission approved a development permit for the company’s proposed desalination plant. The commission voted 8-2 in favor of the project at its Nov. 17 meeting, reversing a decision in 2020 that had denied the company’s permit. The company first proposed the plant nearly a decade ago. “We’re really excited that we’re finally at the point where we got past the coastal commission,” said Josh Stratton, a spokesperson for Cal Am. … ” Read more from KAZU here: With coastal commission approval, what’s next for Cal Am’s desalination plant?
SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY
Start of the water year reveals below-average precipitation for Kern River watershed
“The first of seven monthly Kern River Snow and Water reports put out by water watcher Scott Williams arrived in email boxes Dec. 1 and the news was, fairly, well – “eh.” The watershed is below average in terms of precipitation but not that below average, according to Williams’ report, which uses a compilation of data from multiple public websites. He typically publishes the monthly updates based on water data from Nov. 1 through May 31. The North Fork of the Kern has 3.71 inches of precip, or 86% of average, and the South Fork has 1.82 inches, or 73 percent of average, according to the report. … ” Read more from SJV Water here: Start of the water year reveals below-average precipitation for Kern River watershed
Lawsuit challenges City of Bakersfield’s diversions of Kern River
“Conservation groups have sued the city of Bakersfield for diverting water from the Kern River and ignoring the harms such diversions do to the community and wildlife. The lawsuit, filed in Kern County Superior Court on Wednesday, seeks greater protections for the river, which is completely dry near Bakersfield because of diversions for agricultural use. “I believe that the Kern River and the people in Bakersfield and beyond deserve more than a dry riverbed. A Kern River with year-round flowing water will help create jobs and beautify the city of Bakersfield,” said Tim McNeely, a spokesperson for Bring Back the Kern. “While this current drought looks dire, people have to understand that droughts are part of life in California. It is impressive that other California waterways have found commonsense solutions to ensure their rivers are protected in both wet and dry years. The same can and should be done for the Kern River.” … ” Read more from the Center for Biological Diversity here: Lawsuit challenges City of Bakersfield’s diversions of Kern River
Light rain coming to Southern California after storm brings snow to Sierra Nevada
“A storm hit the Sierra Nevada overnight and will continue pounding the region throughout Thursday, bringing heavy mountain snow, rainfall, strong winds and dangerous driving conditions as it moves toward Southern California. The National Weather Service in Sacramento issued a winter storm warning through midnight Friday for western Plumas County and Lassen National Park and the western slope of the northern Sierra Nevada counties. Snow reports are not expected until Friday morning, said Cory Mueller, a meteorologist with the bureau. … ” Read more from the LA Times here: Light rain coming to Southern California after storm brings snow to Sierra Nevada
“A key part of the city’s water infrastructure is about to be back online after a lengthy, and costly, repair job. This month crews are putting the finishing touches on Meadows reservoir, which has been out of commission since November 2021, when a city employee doing a routine inspection discovered a leak in the 3.3-million-gallon structure. “The city has successfully completed all of the structural improvements needed to stabilize and repair the Meadows reservoir and eliminate the leaking,” Deputy Public Works Director Nader Heydari said in an email. “We are now in the final stages of construction, including coating the inside of the reservoir and addressing other minor issues. … ” Read more from The Acorn here: Thousand Oaks: Reservoir repairs run $2.7 million
State oil regulators sued for approving new oil well drilling projects in Southern California
“California oil regulators face litigation for approving new oil and gas wells in Los Angeles and Kern counties, allegedly without conducting analyses to protect public health and the environment. The Center for Biological Diversity sued the California Geologic Energy Management Division, or CalGEM, Thursday for approving more than a dozen new oil and gas wells — some to be located near homes and schools. The litigation filed in Alameda County Superior Court comes months after Governor Gavin Newsom signed a landmark climate package into law to place a 3,200-foot buffer between oil and gas sites and homes and schools. In a 29-page complaint, plaintiffs say that new oil and gas wells will be drilled in Santa Clarita near residences, Golden Valley High School and Placerita Canyon State Park. In Kern County, which has some of the worst air quality in the nation, eight wells will be drilled in the Elk Hills oilfield. … ” Read more from the Courthouse News here: State oil regulators sued for approving new oil well drilling projects in Southern California
Blue Ribbon Commission on lithium extraction in California submits final report to state legislature
“In a crucial milestone toward making California a global leader in the production of lithium, the Blue Ribbon Commission on Lithium Extraction in California (Lithium Valley Commission) submitted its report of findings and recommendations to the state Legislature today. The report recommends accelerating transmission planning, improving permitting, and securing funding for infrastructure investments and economic development incentives to support industry growth and job training. Established by Assembly Bill 1657 in September 2020, the Commission was created to explore opportunities and challenges surrounding lithium recovery from geothermal brines in Imperial County as world demand soars. “I am proud of all the work the Commission has done to meet our obligations and deliver this report to the state legislature,” said Blue Ribbon Commission Chair Silvia Paz. ... ” Read more from the California Energy Commission here: Blue Ribbon Commission on lithium extraction in California submits final report to state legislature
Thankful for Lithium Valley-related good news
Luis Olmedo, executive director of Comite Civico del Valle, Inc., and a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Lithium Extraction, writes, “Comite Civico del Valle has a lot to be thankful for. It’s been a phenomenal year for those of us who work in environmental and social justice, and when we gather with those close to us, we consider what’s important. Recently, two of the biggest milestones of the year in local environmental justice came to pass — seeing Imperial County release its request for proposals for the Salton Sea Renewable Resource Health Impact Assessment tied to lithium extraction around the Salton Sea and the Blue Ribbon Commission on Lithium Extraction moving forward its report toward the Legislature before by Dec. 1. Both are huge accomplishments for the environmental justice community and for Comite Civico del Valle, which has advocated for the health of disadvantaged communities in Imperial County since we were a neighborhood organization fighting for farmworkers nearly 35 years ago. … ” Read more from the Desert Sun here: Thankful for Lithium Valley-related good news
San Diego releases water from crumbling Lake Hodges into San Dieguito River
“Following recent rains, the city of San Diego started releasing water from Lake Hodges this week. The move, mandated by state safety officials, is part of ongoing maintenance at the reservoir’s deteriorating century-old dam. About 250 million gallons of water will flow into the San Dieguito River using valves in the dam, according to city officials. Residents living along the banks of the river should be aware of the situation, although officials said they don’t expect flooding. “Visitors to this area of the San Dieguito River Park and generally along the San Dieguito River should take precautions as the water level in the creek will rise,” said Juan Guerreiro, director of the city’s Public Utilities Department. … ” Continue reading at the Poway News Chieftain here: San Diego releases water from crumbling Lake Hodges into San Dieguito River
Officials fear ‘complete doomsday scenario’ for drought-stricken Colorado River
“The first sign of serious trouble for the drought-strickenAmerican Southwest could be a whirlpool. It could happen if the surface of Lake Powell, a man-made reservoir along the Colorado River that’s already a quarter of its former size, drops another 38 feet down the concrete face of the 710-footGlen Canyon Dam here. At that point, the surface would be approaching the tops of eightunderwater openings that allow river water to pass through the hydroelectric dam. The normally placid Lake Powell, the nation’s second-largest reservoir, could suddenly transform into something resembling a funnel, with water circling the openings,the dam’s operators say. … ” Read more from the Washington Post here: Officials fear ‘complete doomsday scenario’ for drought-stricken Colorado River
Grand Canyon National Park fixing failing water supply. It may cost some wetlands
“The millions of people who live, work and visit the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park every year all get their water from the same source, and it’s a leaky one. Originally built in 1960, the Transcanyon Waterline (TCWL) is a 12.5-mile pipeline that conveys water from Roaring Springs on the canyon’s North Rim to a pump station at Havasupai Gardens (formerly Indian Garden) and eventually to the popular South Rim. The TCWL provides “the potable water and fire suppression for all facilities on the South Rim,” said Lily Daniels, communication specialist for the park. She added that the waterline also supplies some inner-canyon facilities in the Cross Canyon Corridor, which includes more than 800 historic buildings. ... ” Read more from the Arizona Daily Sun here: Grand Canyon National Park fixing failing water supply. It may cost some wetlands
Tucson to conserve ‘significant volumes’ of Colorado River water in exchange for federal compensation
“A letter from Arizona to Nevada may reveal what Tucson’s water future will look like in the coming years. The city sent the letter to a Bureau of Reclamation office signaling its willingness to leave a large portion of its Colorado River water allocation ion, in exchange for federal compensation for the water given up. Although the letter does not list a specific amount of water the city is willing to give up, it does mention that the city wants to be compensated through the bureau’s Funding Opportunity for Voluntary Participation in the Lower Colorado Conservation and Efficiency Program, specifically “Component 1.a” of the program. … ” Read more from Channel 12 here: Tucson to conserve ‘significant volumes’ of Colorado River water in exchange for federal compensation
Protecting 30% of Earth’s surface for nature means thinking about connections near and far
“A biodiversity crisis is reducing the variety of life on Earth. Under pressure from land and water pollution, development, overhunting, poaching, climate change and species invasions, approximately 1 million plant and animal species are at risk of extinction. One ambitious proposal for stemming these losses is the international initiative known as 30×30: conserving and protecting at least 30% of Earth’s surface, on land and at sea, by 2030. Currently, 112 countries support this initiative, including the United States. More nations may announce their support at the international biodiversity conference that opens Dec. 7, 2022, in Montreal. … ” Read more from The Conversation here: Protecting 30% of Earth’s surface for nature means thinking about connections near and far
The Natural Resources Conservation Service produces this weekly report using data and products from the National Water and Climate Center and other agencies. The report focuses on seasonal snowpack, precipitation, temperature, and drought conditions in the U.S.
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.