DAILY DIGEST, 1/24: NASA measures underground water flowing from Sierra to Central Valley; Lake Oroville spillway work expected between May and October; Making the Friant-Kern Canal whole again; L.A. County flood-control dams at risk of overflowing after Jan. storms; and more …
WEBINAR: January 2023 Southwest Drought Briefing from 12pm to 12:35pm. Winter is the season that can make or break drought in the Southwest. With another La Niña in the Pacific, this winter was predicted to be warmer and drier than normal. This mid-winter webinar will look at how the snowpack is fairing and what the next few months will look like. This webinar will also provide an overview of a recent case study on drought adaptation practices. Click here to register.
In California water news today …
NASA measures underground water flowing from Sierra to Central Valley
“In a recent study, scientists found that a previously unmeasured source – water percolating through soil and fractured rock below California’s Sierra Nevada mountains – delivers an average of 4 million acre feet (5 cubic kilometers) of water to the state’s Central Valley each year. This underground source accounts for about 10% of all the water that enters this highly productive farmland each year from every source (including river inflows and precipitation). The Central Valley encompasses only 1% of U.S. farmland but produces 40% of the nation’s table fruits, vegetables, and nuts annually. That’s only possible because of intensive groundwater pumping for irrigation and river and stream flow captured in reservoirs. For at least 60 years, growers have been pumping more water from aquifers than can be replenished by natural sources, causing the ground level to sink and requiring wells to be drilled deeper and deeper. As water grows more scarce in the Central Valley due to climate change and human use, a more detailed understanding of the natural movement of groundwater offers a chance to better protect the remaining resources. … ” Read more from NASA here: NASA measures underground water flowing from Sierra to Central Valley
DWR expects to begin Lake Oroville spillway work between May and October
“The California Department of Water Resources is set to begin phase one of its plan to replace the hoists on the Oroville Dam spillway sometime between May and October. Project Manager Zerguy Maazouddi, who works under DWR’s Division of Operations and Maintenance, said the first phase of prerequisites such as site surveys and approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. “The (Flood Control Outlet) Hoist Refurbishment project is being completed in phases,” Maazouddi said. “Phase I activities included: site surveys, approval to proceed with the project from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and working with a contractor to temporarily remove hoist number eight and transport to their facility for fabrication of new hoist systems. Phase I is complete.” … ” Read more from the Chico Enterprise-Record here: DWR expects to begin spillway work between May and October
Making the Friant-Kern Canal whole again
“When a key section of a 72-year-old, 152-mile canal no longer functions optimally, solving the problem requires ingenuity, skill and know-how. It also means when a problem can’t be fixed by tackling it head-on, go around it. That is what’s happening at the Friant-Kern Canal, an integral part of the Central Valley Project that delivers water to 1 million acres of highly productive farmland and more than 250,000 people from Fresno to Bakersfield in Central California. Launched in the years following World War II, the Friant-Kern Canal has been a stable workhorse – moving water from Millerton Lake to irrigate the fertile farmland on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley. However, decades of subsidence have caused the ground to sink, taking with it the canal’s ability to move water through gravity. The problem has become increasingly worse through the years to the point where 60% of the canal’s conveyance capacity has been lost. The water level often laps the edge of bridge overcrossings. … ” Read more from the Bureau of Reclamation here: Making the Friant-Kern Canal whole again | Read via Story Map
The concept of FloodMAR, explained | Q&A
“The recent wet weather has prompted controversy due to the amount of water flowing straight to the ocean, rather than storing and using it here in California. One project, known as FloodMAR, is an integrated and voluntary resource management strategy using flood water resulting from, or in anticipation of, rainfall or snow melt for managed aquifer recharge (MAR) on agricultural lands and working landscapes, including but not limited to refuges, floodplains, and flood bypasses, according to the Department of Water Resources. ABC10 spoke with Wes Miller, supervising engineer for the Turlock Irrigation District, about the concept of FloodMAR. … ” Continue reading at ABC 10 here: The concept of FloodMAR, explained | Q&A
Can California’s floods help recharge depleted groundwater supplies?
“The drenching storms that hit California in recent weeks represented a long-sought opportunity for Helen Dahlke, a groundwater hydrologist at the University of California, Davis. Dahlke has been studying ways to recharge the state’s severely depleted groundwater by diverting swollen rivers into orchards and fields and letting the water seep deep into aquifers. But carrying out such plans requires heavy precipitation—which had been scarce. This week, however, water managers began to turn theory into practice. In the Tulare Irrigation District, which supplies water to more than 200 farms south of Fresno, officials started diverting water from the San Joaquin River into 70 fields as well as specially constructed ponds. Each day, some 1.5 million cubic meters of water—roughly equivalent to 600 Olympic-size swimming pools—has been pouring onto the landscape. “We are in full [groundwater] recharge mode,” Aaron Fukuda, the district’s general manager, wrote in an email. Similar flooding is underway in the Madera Irrigation District north of Fresno. … ” Read more from Science Magazine here: Can California’s floods help recharge depleted groundwater supplies?
The fight over California’s ancient water
“On an early-December morning in California’s Mojave Desert, the Geoscience Support Services geohydrologist Logan Wicks squats in the sand and fiddles with a broken white pipe. Here on a sandy road off Route 66, past miles of scrubby creosote and spiny mesquite, Wicks monitors the pumps and pipes of a promising desert extraction project. But he’s not looking for oil or gas. Crouching under the shade of a 10-foot lemon tree, at the edge of a citrus orchard that spans hundreds of acres, Wicks is here for water. A fine stream bursts from the plastic pipe, forming a rainbow-crested arc before hitting the hot sand. Wicks pushes his Oakley sunglasses on top of his head, rubs the short dark bristles on his upper lip, and smiles. “There’s a hell of a lot more where that came from,” he says, nodding at the spray. ... ” Read more from the Atlandtic via MSN News here: The fight over California’s ancient water
Will there be a lettuce shortage this year as parts of drought-plagued California are now flooding?
“After three consecutive years of drought, relentless rains have hammered California for the past three straight weeks. From flooding to mudslides, the unforgiving weather is wreaking havoc on agriculture and infrastructure in the state. The culprit? An atmospheric river. Even with the intense moisture, the rains hit ahead of the area’s main growing season, which is good news for crops like lettuce and strawberries. “One of the areas that’s been hardest hit has been the Salinas Valley, which is a northward draining river that starts in southern California, drains northward through some very fertile land in central California, and then exits the northwestern coast of California,” says Brad Rippey, a meteorologist with USDA. … ” Read more from The Packer here: Will there be a lettuce shortage this year as parts of drought-plagued California are now flooding?
Report: 95% of Calif. rainwater runs to ocean
“A bipartisan group of lawmakers from California’s Central Valley is urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to relax pumping restrictions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta as rivers and streams have been swollen by recent storms. In the delta — the heart of the state’s vast water system — nearly 95% of incoming water has flowed into the Pacific Ocean, according to U.S. Bureau of Reclamation data cited by the Los Angeles Times. The newspaper reports that nearly a dozen lawmakers have written strongly-worded letters complaining that too much of California’s stormwater is being washed out to sea instead of being pumped to reservoirs and aqueducts. … ” Read more from Farm Progress here: Report: 95% of Calif. rainwater runs to ocean
Car tire dust is killing salmon every time it rains
“The atmospheric river that fueled a string of heavy downpours in California this month brought much-needed water to the parched Golden State. But those billions of gallons of rain also swept a form of pollution off roads into streams, rivers and the Pacific Ocean that’s of rising concern to scientists, environmentalists and regulators: particle dust created by car tires. … ” Read more from Forbes (subscription required): Car tire dust is killing salmon every time it rains
California water levels projected to rise amid heavy snowpack
“With the California snowpack well over the usual seasonal total and it’s only January, many are looking ahead to not just more water for farming but more water in our area’s rivers. In the short term, the sheriff’s office says they want people to be aware, there’s water now in places we aren’t used to seeing water- such as canals and rivers. But looking ahead to the summer, more rain and snow could mean big business for those who make a living on the water. “We’ve been doing rain dances for years and now it’s finally paying off,” long-time Kings River Expedition tour guide Johnny Stead says. He says the impressive rainfall on the valley floor and snow in the Sierra Nevada is great for their water rafting company. … ” Read more from Your Central Valley here: California water levels projected to rise amid heavy snowpack
Despite recent parade of storms, California unveils drought resiliency task force
“Though the recent barrage of winter storms has certainly improved California’s drought conditions, state water leaders are making moves to prepare for the inevitable dry season soon to come. On Friday, the California Department of Water Resources kickstarted a partnership between state agencies, local governments, scientists and community members in a new task force, called the Drought Resilience Interagency and Partners Collaborative. The DRIP group was created in part by the 2021 Senate Bill 552, which requires state agencies to take a proactive stance on drought preparedness, especially for smaller rural communities most vulnerable to droughts. … ” Read more from CBS News here: Despite recent parade of storms, California unveils drought resiliency task force
Heavy rains hammered California, causing billions of dollars in damage. But less than 2% of homeowners in the state have flood insurance.
“Heavy rains hammered California over the Christmas and New Year, causing billions of dollars in damage. But the bad weather also revealed how vulnerable homeowners are becoming to the unpredictable effects of climate change. Heavy rain and mudslides flooded homes and trapped cars in the state earlier this month. Parts of Highway 101, south of Gilroy, Calif., were closed off for several hours due to floods. Yet few homeowners in the state were adequately prepared for flooding. According to federal data, 192,404 homes in California have an insurance policy in force specifically for flooding, out of 14.5 million homes. That’s less than 2%. … ” Read more from Market Watch here: Heavy rains hammered California, causing billions of dollars in damage. But less than 2% of homeowners in the state have flood insurance.
DELTA WATERMASTER: Michael George retires, recounts the progress made in his two terms
Delta Watermaster Michael George was appointed in 2015, the second to serve in the position created in 2009 by the Delta Reform Act. After serving two terms, Mr. George announced his retirement at the end of his term in early January 2023; his successor has not yet been named. At the December meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council, Mr. George recounted his impressive accomplishments during his eight-year tenure, as well as his outlook and advice for managing the Delta going forward.
Introducing CalTrout’s Lost Coast Project Manager & update on Eel River Dams
“CalTrout is pleased to introduce Charlie Schneider in the newly established role of Lost Coast Project Manager. With Charlie’s conservation non-profit background and expertise on fish and natural resource issues in California, he is well suited for this position which entails building CalTrout’s work capacity between the Russian and Eel river watersheds, continuing CalTrout’s efforts to free the Eel River and decommission the Potter Valley Project, and involvement in the California Salmon & Steelhead Coalition seeking protections for fish and rivers, of which CalTrout is a partner. CalTrout’s Communications team recently sat down to chat with Charlie about his new role, what led him to this field, and what he’s looking forward to working at CalTrout. After the interview, read on for an update on Potter Valley Project and how CalTrout is involved. … ” Read more from the Lost Coast Outpost here: Introducing CalTrout’s Lost Coast Project Manager & update on Eel River Dams
Healdsburg council to consider proposal for new Alexander Valley Water District
“Healdsburg City Council, Monday evening, is scheduled to review a proposal that could create a new water district. Called the Alexander Valley Water District, the plan is being put forth by members of the Russian River Property Owners Association who would like to form the new district to “cover agricultural properties” in the Alexander Valley, according to council’s agenda. This proposed district would not include customers serviced by Healdsburg, neither would the city be formally involved with the creation of the new water district. The city would, though, be involved with issues related to Healdsburg’s water supply, according a city staff report. … ” Read more from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat here: Healdsburg council to consider proposal for new Alexander Valley Water District
Healdsburg floating solar—a good idea then and now
Merrilyn Joyce writes, “I was asked at a recent Climate Action Healdsburg meeting to retell a personal story about a not-so-wild idea I’d shared at a city council meeting. When my husband and I moved from Graton to Healdsburg in 2001 I regularly attended city council meetings; public participation was sparse in those days. One particular night the wastewater treatment facility manager reported a perplexing problem they had with duckweed overgrowth on their treatment ponds. As an activist back in Graton I’d helped form a locally controlled sewer district. The Graton sewer treatment plant had grappled with duckweed a few years earlier. Duckweed is not all bad but when it proliferates in a still recycled water storage pond it can lower dissolved oxygen, cause anaerobic conditions and spikes in fecal chloroform. … ” Read more from the Sonoma County Gazette here: Healdsburg floating solar—a good idea then and now
‘A lot of heartache’: San Carlos residents, officials still assessing storm damage
“Vince Tringali spent years and nearly $150,000 fixing up his 1965 Pontiac GTO. In one night, it was destroyed, along with his family’s four other cars, two motorcycles, family heirlooms and more after flooding from Laurel Street in San Carlos submerged their belongings in 5 feet of water. “We never thought it would get this bad,” said Tringali, a contractor living in San Carlos. … Public Works Director Steven Machida said compounding issues led to the flooding seen on New Year’s Eve. While inches of rain was pouring down, the region was also experiencing King Tides, a colloquial term used to describe extremely high tides. The tides at some points reached 8 feet high, Machida said, and with levels so high, it left storm water traveling through the city’s 54 miles of drains, culverts and creeks with nowhere to empty out. As a result, areas like the one Trinigali resides in saw major flooding. ... ” Read more from the Daily Journal here: ‘A lot of heartache’: San Carlos residents, officials still assessing storm damage
Santa Cruz farmers trying to assess damage after massive winter storms
“Farmers in California, who had been hoping for an end to the drought, are now trying to deal with flooded fields and damaged crops after this winter’s massive rains. At Lakeside Organic Gardens in Watsonville, a month of solid rain proved to be both a blessing and a curse. “We kinda have mixed feelings because we’ve been praying for water, but we weren’t praying for it all to come at one time,” says Dick Peixoto, owner of Lakeside Organic Gardens. Now Peixoto’s fields are flooded. Some crops; lettuces, broccoli, cilantro, have been ruined. … ” Read more from KTVU here: California farmers trying to assess damage after massive winter storms
Storm repairs in Boulder Creek are off to slow start
“Big Basin Water Company, a small, private water utility business, is struggling to keep up with repairs after multiple storms left people in Boulder Creek without water for multiple days — and weeks for some. “The owner of Big Basin Water Company, Jim Moore, is a wonderful man. But there’s a lot of problems with his water company,” customer Bob Wolfe said. A day after KSBW reported that 10 homes on China Grade Road were without water for over two weeks due to storm damage, the San Lorenzo Valley Water District stepped in to help Big Basin Water Company. … ” Read more from KSBY here: Storm repairs in Boulder Creek are off to slow start
Montecito: Emergency work rapidly clears debris basins from local storm impacts
“Doing a month’s worth of work in eleven days, the U.S. Army National Guard and the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department are not as nervous today as they were following a series of storms three weeks ago. In the Jan. 9 massive weather event, the Randall Road debris basin in Montecito and several others took in large quantities of material. Some were filled and some were close to the top, putting the downstream homes and businesses at risk if another big storm system came through. The series of storms to hit the state was a drastic turnaround from the prolonged drought and it hit harder than many people expected. … ” Read more from KEYT here: Emergency work rapidly clears debris basins from local storm impacts
‘Absolutely unbelievable:’ Flooding, sink holes close popular Ventura preserves
“On a preserve along the Ventura River, Dan Hulst stood on the edge of a 3- to 4-foot drop off that didn’t exist before powerful January storms. At the bottom of the drop, a wide swath of mud and rocks stretched for 100 feet or so — a new path the swollen river carved before floodwaters receded at Big Rock, a preserve managed by the nonprofit Ventura Land Trust. “This is absolutely unbelievable — the amount of sediment that was carried away,” said Hulst, the land trust’s stewardship director. “This is thousands of cubic yards of earth.” When the biggest of the storms hit Jan. 9, torrents rushed downstream, upending trees, scouring roads and flooding neighborhoods. At Big Rock, a swath of land once thick with brush sat mostly bare last week. … ” Read more from the Ventura County Star here: ‘Absolutely unbelievable:’ Flooding, sink holes close popular Ventura preserves
Camarillo’s desalter plant begins supplying drinking water
“Camarillo’s North Pleasant Valley Groundwater Desalter began producing drinking water earlier this month, diminishing the city’s reliance on imported water. The reverse-osmosis desalter, located at 2727 Somis Road, converts unusable brackish groundwater into 1 million gallons of high-quality potable water per day, city staff said in a news release. The plant will be producing about 4 million gallons per day when it is operating at full capacity in two months. By comparison, residents and businesses used about 6 million gallons of water per day on average last year, city spokesperson Michelle Glueckert D’Anna said in an email. … ” Read more from the Ventura County Star here: Camarillo’s desalter plant begins supplying drinking water
State Water Board acts on emergency request: Mono Lake Workshop scheduled for February 15
“Following the Mono Lake Committee’s December 16, 2022 letter requesting emergency action to suspend the export of water diverted from Rush and Lee Vining creeks and require delivery of that water into Mono Lake until Mono Lake has risen to 6384 feet above sea level, the State Water Board has scheduled a Mono Lake workshop for February 15, 2023. This timely action shows that the State Water Board continues to take the pressing issue of Mono Lake’s low level seriously. Even with the recent storms, the surface elevation of Mono Lake is so low that intervention is necessary. The Board’s consideration of the Committee’s appeal begins with the virtual public information-gathering workshop on February 15. … ” Read more from the Mono Lake Committee here: State Water Board acts on emergency request: Mono Lake Workshop scheduled for February 15
January storms leave L.A. County flood-control dams at risk of overflowing
“Now that the shock of a series of January storms has worn off, Los Angeles County officials face a herculean chore: Five reservoirs along south-facing San Gabriel Mountain slopes are filled with so much debris and soupy mud that they pose a flood risk to the communities below. Another intense storm, they say, could unleash new surges of dirt, toppled trees and boulders down canyons stripped of their binding vegetation by the 2020 Bobcat fire, sending chocolate-colored floodwaters over the dams and into the cities of Arcadia, Sierra Madre, Pacoima, Sun Valley and Sunland. An urgent concern is emptying the reservoir behind 96-year-old Santa Anita Dam of about 600,000 cubic yards of muck more than 80 feet deep. Two of the three valves that control releases of stormwater from the 20-story-tall dam are blocked with silt. … ” Read more from the LA Times here: January storms leave L.A. County flood-control dams at risk of overflowing
Malibu: A big step to recover a tiny California fish
“Found exclusively in California, the endangered tidewater goby (Eucyclogobius newberryi) is a tiny grey-brown fish rarely exceeding two inches in length and whose brief lifespan provides no shortage of challenges and threats to its survival. The fish has been listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act since 1994, prompting scientists to work to save and recover the species. After years of studies and planning, in late September 2022, biologists from federal and state wildlife agencies and universities worked together to catch and move 500 tidewater gobies from Topanga Lagoon (home to a thriving population) to Malibu Lagoon, where the population of tidewater gobies saw a great decline approximately two decades ago and has remained low ever since. Gobies from Topanga were put into coolers to be driven up the Pacific Coast Highway for release into Malibu Lagoon. This process is known as a translocation.The biologists are hopeful this translocation will result in an increase in the population of the tidewater gobies in Malibu Lagoon. … ” Read more from the US Fish and Wildlife Service here: A big step to recover a tiny California fish
7 billion gallons of water fill up San Diego reservoirs, but what does this mean for the county’s drought levels?
“Given the recent Pacific and atmospheric river storms battering the entire state, San Diego reservoirs are filling up exponentially, especially within the city of San Diego. However, while the recent downpours have helped, it won’t entirely solve the region’s drought situation. According to the city, local reservoirs have collected seven billion gallons of water from rain and runoff in just the past week alone. That’s enough water to supply all 1.4 million city residents for six weeks. “It’s good for the region as a whole because it means that the City of San Diego will be able to use the local runoff rather than imported water from the Colorado River or northern California,” Chris Robbins with the Vallecitos Water District shared with FOX 5. … ” Read more from Fox 5 here: 7 billion gallons of water fill up San Diego reservoirs, but what does this mean for the county’s drought levels?
Millions and millions of gallons: City provides update on massive San Diego sewage spill
“County officials originally said last week’s sewage spill, which impacted at least 18 sites around the city of San Diego, involved a staggering 500,000 gallons of effluent. Then, officials with the city of San Diego estimated the spill was 6% of what would have been processed that day at the primary municipal treatment plant in Point Loma, which, according to the city’s website, sees 175 million gallons of sewage come and go in 24 hours. On Monday, though, Tom Rosales, an assistant director with the water recovery branch of the city’s public utilities department, said the spill was, in fact, estimated to be in the neighborhood of 11.2 million gallons of sewage. … ” Read more from NBC 7 here: Millions and millions of gallons: City provides update on massive San Diego sewage spill
San Diego’s orphaned storm water drains need adoption
“Stormy Drainels lives on 21st and Worth Street in San Francisco. That’s what a volunteer San Franciscan calls the drain they adopted, agreeing to keep it clear of debris to help prevent street flooding and ocean pollution under the city Public Utilities Commission’s Adopt-a-Drain program. The program sends periodic email notifications before large storms reminding drain parents to clear their storm grates before it rains. Since San Francisco’s program began in 2016, city residents adopted a quarter of the city’s 25,000 storm drains, creating a kind of free army of stormwater maintenance. Right now, San Diego’s storm drains are nameless orphans, waiting their turn for routine maintenance from the city of San Diego’s Stormwater Department. … ” Read more from the Voice of San Diego here: San Diego’s orphaned storm water drains need adoption
“Moab, Utah, gets just eight inches of rain per year, yet rainwater flooded John Weisheit’s basement last summer. Extremes are common in a desert: Rain and snow are rare, and a deluge can cause flooding. Weisheit, 68, co-director of Living Rivers and a former Colorado River guide, has long warned the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation that its two biggest dams on the Colorado River could become useless because of prolonged drought. Although recently, at a BuRec conference, he also warned that “atmospheric rivers” could overtop both dams, demolishing them and causing widespread flooding. Weisheit points to BuRec research by Robert Swain in 2004, showing an 1884 spring runoff that delivered two years’ worth of Colorado River flows in just four months. ... ” Read more from Sierra Nevada Ally here: Atmospheric rivers endanger the West
Arizona ranks No. 3 for water efficiency as Colorado River dwindles
“Arizona is ranked No. 3 among the states for water efficiency and sustainability, but still has a lot of room for improvement, according to a new analysis released this week. The Alliance for Water Efficiency ranks conservation, sustainability and affordability, and assigns each U.S. state a national and regional ranking. … While Arizona scored well for being located in the Southwest, the Alliance for Water Efficiency said the state could improve water efficiency by requiring plumbing fixtures meet WaterSense efficiency specifications, enacting water rate structures that encourage conservation and requiring coordination between land use and water planning. ... ” Read more from the White Mountain Independent here: Arizona ranks No. 3 for water efficiency as Colorado River dwindles
CA’s depleting groundwater in key agricultural region could be a warning sign for AZ
“A recent report showed that there is not enough groundwater in a sub-basin surrounding Buckeye to provide the area with a 100-year supply. That could be a trend seen across the West as a study from ASU found that California’s megadrought has excellent groundwater depletion. California’s Central Valley covers 20,000 square miles and is a vast agricultural region with a value of approximately $17 billion per year in crops. Agricultural drain, combined with drought and poor water management has led to an accelerating rate of groundwater depletion. … ” Read more from KJZZ here: CA’s depleting groundwater in key agricultural region could be a warning sign for AZ
Rio Verde Foothills residents voice urgent water needs to state leaders
“For the better part of a month now, thousands of Rio Verde Foothills residents have been without a guaranteed water source. On Monday, dozens of residents gathered before state leaders to voice the urgency in getting the water back home immediately and long-term. “Once we get to a certain point where that temperature hits that magical number, and I don’t know what it is yet and we’re very close, we’re screwed,” said one water supplier to the room. “It’s abysmal,” said resident Wendy Walker. Walker told a room of her neighbors and state leaders, her Christmas decorations are still up because she’s using those storage bins to collect rainwater. … ” Read more from Channel 15 here: Rio Verde Foothills residents voice urgent water needs to state leaders
As Phoenix faces water shortage, city leaders look for new potential sources
“The Phoenix area has been one of the fastest growing metros in the country for years, with people and businesses moving here and developments sprouting up Valley wide. But, at the same time, the region is facing a water shortage, as Colorado River supplies decline, and leaders look for new potential sources. Those two issues would not seem to go together well. So how do leaders allow for growth, while making sure there’s enough water to meet increased demand? Sarah Porter is the director of the Kyl Center for Water Policy at Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy. “For years and years, I think there hasn’t been a lot of thinking, in terms of what is the return per million gallons of water or per gallon of water,” Porter said. That return she’s talking about is jobs — specifically well-paying jobs — and how many of them a project will deliver for the amount of water it’ll use. … ” Continue reading at KJZZ here: As Valley faces water shortage, city leaders look for new potential sources
Water panel talked key issues in Colorado River basin states
“We’re getting a peek at the future of our economy. The Las Vegas Chamber hosted Preview Las Vegas Monday. Key Colorado River state leaders address Southern Nevada’s water issues. One of the main focuses of Preview Las Vegas this year was the water supply for Southern Nevada. The biggest take away? Colorado river states are working together as one to combat the water crisis. “Conservation is the word of the day,” said Pat Mulroy, former general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority. It’s more than just a word, but an unrelenting mission for states using Colorado River water. And it was top of mind as preview Las Vegas got underway with a panel discussion addressing key concerns for those western drought states in the lower basin. ... ” Read more from Channel 13 here: Water panel talked key issues in Colorado River basin states
A southern Utah mayor’s water warning: ‘We are running out’
“Utah’s Washington County is one of the fastest growing areas in the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, made possible by the Virgin River which supplies the region and its multiplying suburbs with water. But drought and population growth have long plagued the river, and the mayor of Ivins, a small, bedroom community of nearby St. George, did not mince words when addressing constituents this month. “There’s good cause to be concerned about water,” said Mayor Chris Hart during an annual neighborhood meeting in January. “We are running out.” … ” Read more from Deseret News here: A southern Utah mayor’s water warning: ‘We are running out’
“We are not going to be afraid to litigate” to protect Colorado’s water rights, AG says
“Colorado’s attorney general is seeking to reinforce his office’s water-focused legal team so it could be prepared for upcoming fights over the Colorado River. Attorney General Phil Weiser, who was just re-elected to a second term, said his office needs to be prepared for litigation or negotiation with other stakeholders to defend Colorado’s water rights. He’s not asking for an overhaul of the office — his ask to the Joint Budget Committee is for two new positions, and water and natural resources make up an overall small percentage of his office’s total budget — but he noted that “the challenges with water are heating up.” … ” Read more from Summit Daily here: “We are not going to be afraid to litigate” to protect Colorado’s water rights, AG says
Court case could affect thousands of Western Slope water users
“An ongoing water case in Colorado’s Division Five water court in Glenwood Springs could impact a vital source of water for users across the Western Slope. The case developed from a dispute between the Snake River Water District in Summit County and the state’s Division 5 Engineers regarding administration of Green Mountain Reservoir’s Historic User Pool. The case could affect thousands of water users in Colorado’s portion of the Colorado River Basin, including many in the Roaring Fork Valley, who rely on releases from Green Mountain Reservoir. Snake River and the Division 5 Engineers of the Colorado Division of Water Resources disagree on whether Snake River can benefit from water in Green Mountain’s Historic User Pool. Snake River relies on water from the HUP to replace the water it removes from the Snake River system with several wells. … ” Read more from Aspen Journalism here: Court case could affect thousands of Western Slope water users
Global study of hypoxia in rivers shows it is more prevalent than previously thought
“New research led by University of Nevada, Reno Assistant Professor Joanna Blaszczak shows hypoxia in rivers and streams is generally much more prevalent across the globe than previously thought. Hypoxia is low or depleted oxygen levels in surface waters that can be harmful to aquatic species and can in some cases increase production of harmful greenhouse gases from rivers. The research, published recently in the journal Limnology and Oceanography Letters, compiles over 118 million readings of dissolved oxygen and temperature taken from over 125,000 locations in rivers across six continents and 93 countries and spanning over 100 years, from 1900 to 2018. Hypoxia, defined in this study as dissolved oxygen concentrations below 2 milligrams per liter, was detected in rivers and streams in 53 countries, with 12.6% of all locations exhibiting at least one hypoxic measurement. … ” Read more from Nevada Today here: Global study of hypoxia in rivers shows it is more prevalent than previously thought
PFAS foam replacement challenges nation’s fire departments
“Fire departments face liability risks and potentially huge costs and uncertainties as they switch from PFAS-enabled firefighting foam, according to lawyers and groups working with them. The Pentagon’s recent release of its requirements for firefighting suppressants that could substitute for PFAS-based aqueous film-forming foam increases the pressure on fire departments to stop using AFFF, said Bradley M. Pinsky, an attorney with the Pinsky Law Group, PLLC, which counsels fire departments and districts. AFFF, used primarily by the military but also by civilian firefighters, has polluted drinking water across the country and raised concerns about potential harm to health, including an elevated risk of cancer. Twenty-four states have banned training with AFFF or otherwise restrict its use. ... ” Read more from Bloomberg here: PFAS foam replacement challenges nation’s fire departments
Global models underestimated groundwater recharge and discharge
“Groundwater is an important supply for drinking water and irrigation. Recharge from rainfall and snowmelt sets the upper limit for sustainable groundwater use and dictates the amount of discharge to streams as well as transpiration of deep-rooted plants. However, groundwater recharge rate at the regional to global scale is difficult to quantify due to its strong spatial heterogeneity and the sparse field measurements. Berghuijs et al.  investigate the primary controls on global patterns of recharge based on a global synthesis of field measurements and derive a robust relationship linking recharge fraction to aridity (the ratio of potential evapotranspiration to precipitation). Then, they use the field-based relationship to estimate the groundwater recharge fraction based on aridity (excluding the permafrost and extremely humid regions). … ” Read more from EOS here: Global models underestimated groundwater recharge and discharge
EPA considers tougher regulation of livestock farm pollution
“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it will study whether to toughen regulation of large livestock farms that release manure and other pollutants into waterways. EPA has not revised its rules dealing with the nation’s largest animal operations — which hold thousands of hogs, chickens and cattle — since 2008. The agency said in 2021 it planned no changes but announced Friday it had reconsidered in response to an environmental group’s lawsuit. While not committing to stronger requirements, EPA acknowledged needing more recent data about the extent of the problem — and affordable methods to limit it. “EPA has decided to gather additional information and conduct a detailed study on these issues in order to be able to make an informed decision as to whether to undertake rulemaking,” the agency said. … ” Read more from the Associated Press here: EPA considers tougher regulation of livestock farm pollution
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.