DAILY DIGEST, 5/16: Salmon fishing banned on CA rivers for 2nd year; Water rights enforcement in CA; Groundwater study in Monterey County cause for alarm; Where Colorado River negotiations stand right now; and more …

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On the calendar today …

  • WEBINAR: Remote Sensing Capabilities to Support Engineering with Nature Projects from 9:30am to 11am. There is an increasing opportunity and number of EWN® projects seeking support to use remotely sensed data and geospatial methodologies to help quantify environmental benefits. Remote sensing approaches are expected to be instrumental in illustrating and quantifying critical EWN® concepts such as habitat developed as a result of strategically placed dredge material or integrated into engineered structures, NNBF supporting coastal resilience, ecosystem services supporting engineering function, and shoreline conditions from native plantings. This presentation will highlight the following: 1) geospatial metrics and methods that can be extracted from and applied to remote sensing data, 2) an example geospatial workflow developed for the Atchafalaya Big Island Mining Project, and 3) a range of value-added products developed for data-rich case studies across a range of EWN® project types and phases. Ultimately, a final report and StoryMap will help showcase remote sensing capabilities within the EWN® project portfolio to assist project practitioners align appropriate remote sensing data and methods with specific project needs.  Click here to register.
  • WEBINAR: Valuation of Ecosystem Goods and Services in the Upper American River Watershed from 12pm to 1pm.  El Dorado Water Agency (EDWA) invites you to participate in a technical webinar on the recently completed valuation of ecosystem goods and services in the upper American River watershed.  Moderator: Yung-Hsin Sun, Senior Principal Consultant, Sunzi Consulting Speakers: Rebecca Guo, General Manager, El Dorado Water Agency; David Batker, Principal Economist, Batker Consulting; Johnny Mojica, Recreation Economist, Radbridge Incorporated  Click here to register.
  • MEETING: Delta Protection Commission from 5pm to 7pm in Rio Vista. Agenda items include a report on Delta Stewardship Council Activities; a Delta as Place Presentation by Ken Baccetti, President, CA Striped Bass Association; Report on Delta Protection Advisory Committee (DPAC) Activities; the Abandoned and Derelict Vessel Removal Act; and Delta Leadership Program Graduation. Click here for the full agenda.

In California water news today …

As salmon populations struggle, California bans fishing on rivers for a second year

“California regulators have decided to ban fishing for chinook salmon on the state’s rivers for a second year in a row, in effort to help the species recover from major population declines.  The unanimous vote by the California Fish and Game Commission on Wednesday follows a similar decision last month to prohibit salmon fishing along the California coast this year.  The decision will shut down the recreational salmon fishing season along the Sacramento, American, Feather, Mokulumne, Klamath and Trinity rivers, among others.  State officials have said salmon are struggling because of factors such as reduced river flows during the severe drought from 2020-2022, the effects of climate change, harmful algae blooms, and shifts in the species’ ocean diet. … ”  Read more from the LA Times. | Read via AOL News.

Water rights enforcement: Looking back on where we’ve come from, charting what comes next

“In August 2022, amidst a severe drought, the State Water Board ordered ranchers and farmers in Siskiyou County to cease irrigation.  Initially facing fines starting at $500 per day, escalating to $10,000 after 20 days or a hearing, they chose to continue irrigating due to economic pressures.  This decision led to a significant reduction in the Shasta River’s flow, endangering local salmon populations.  The incident underscored the State Water Board’s limited enforcement capabilities and the minor penalties for water rights violations compared to water quality infringements.  As a result, there is now proposed legislation aimed at empowering the State Water Board to enforce water rights more effectively and impose deterrent fines for violations.  Navigating California’s complex water rights landscape has always been contentious.  At the recent California Water Law Symposium, a panel explored the controversy, delving into the State Water Board’s enforcement powers and the proposed legislative measures designed to strengthen regulation in this area. … ”  Read more from Maven’s Notebook.

Section of Liberty Island Road goes to DWR

“The Solano County supervisors on Tuesday vacated a section of Liberty Island Road as part of the multi-benefit Lookout Slough Tidal Habitat Restoration Project. The primary benefits are as tidal wetlands and flood protection. Some public access will be available for kayakers and canoers. “These large flood (protection) projects are very rare,” Matt Tuggle, the county’s engineering manager, told the board. “It’s usually too expensive.” The board also determined that vacating the section of road does not violate the Solano County General Plan. The county is surrendering the stretch of road along Shag Slough and the bridge parcel crossing Shag Slough, which includes demolition of the Shag Slough Bridge and breaching the Shag Slough levee. A new turnaround will be added, as well as a new levee. … ”  Read more from the Daily Republic.

Supporting farms and domestic food production for America

Mike Wade, Executive Director of the California Farm Water Coalition, writes, “In today’s globalized world, ensuring that Americans can depend on local food production is more critical than ever. The California Farm Water Coalition, dedicated to raising awareness about the connection between farm water and our food supply, has released three educational fact sheets shedding light on the water needed to produce the food Californians consume daily, and the risk we face from unsustainable foreign food production. … ”  Read more at the Northern California Water Association.

In California, a native people fight to recover their stolen waters

“When Noah Williams was about a year old, his parents took him on a fateful drive through the endless desert sagebrush of the Owens Valley — which the Nüümü call Payahuunadü — in California’s Eastern Sierra. Noah was strapped into his car seat behind his mother, Teri Red Owl, and his father, Harry Williams, a Nüümü tribal elder with a sharp sense of humor who loved a teachable moment.  “Hey, look — that’s our water!” he liked to tell Noah whenever they drove past the riffling cascades of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. …  Years later, Harry told Noah about that harrowing drive. “How do people live here?” he remembered asking himself. Then he answered his own question: Oh, right. We live here.  “We are a people who have experienced a tremendous amount of grief,” said Noah, who now works as a water program coordinator for one of the Nüümü tribes. “You’ve got to learn the history — and if you really want to get down into the details, it’ll really make your bones sort of chill.” … ”  Read the full story at KQED.

A California tribe was twice robbed of its land. A 77-acre purchase brings hope

“When the Wilton Rancheria tribe restored its control over a 77-acre parcel outside Sacramento recently, tribal Chairman Jesus Tarango Jr. couldn’t stop smiling.  “Days like this don’t come around very often,” Tarango said he thought to himself. “It’s a historic day for my people.”  For years, Tarango’s elders had fought to remain on their ancestral territory in the Sacramento Valley, only to have the U.S. government repeatedly renege on promises: Officials sold their land to private buyers and even canceled their status as a federally recognized tribe.  Now a portion of his people’s stolen land in the unincorporated community of Wilton — about a half-hour south of the state Capitol — feels like home again. … ”  Read more from the LA Times.

Understanding how wildfires change soil could aid recovery

“Severe wildfires can drive chemical changes in soil that affect ecosystem recovery and risks to human health. A new study finds broader surveillance and modeling of these changes could inform strategies for protecting lives, property, and natural resources, and managing wildlife.  The huge, long-lasting wildfires that have become increasingly common in recent years can cause changes in soil chemistry that affect water contamination, air quality, and plant growth. But these changes are poorly monitored and rarely factor into post-fire recovery efforts or risk assessments, according to a review study published May 14 in Nature Reviews Earth & Environment.  The study, led by Stanford University and Colorado State University scientists, found that better techniques are needed to monitor changes in soil and surrounding ecosystems. This enhanced monitoring could inform decisions on how to treat drinking water sourced from burned areas, support reforestation, and protect workers against toxins during cleanup, rebuilding, or revegetation. … ” Read more from Stanford News.

Cloud brightening study in California is halted by local officials

“Officials in Alameda, Calif., have told scientists to stop testing a device that might one day be used to artificially cool the planet by making clouds brighter, reflecting planet-warming sunlight back into space.  The experiment, conducted by researchers from the University of Washington, involved spraying tiny sea-salt particles across the flight deck of a decommissioned aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Hornet, docked in Alameda in San Francisco Bay. Versions of that device could eventually be used to spray the material skyward, making clouds brighter and fighting global warming by bouncing away more sunlight.  The experiment, which began on April 2, marked the first time in the United States that researchers had tested such a device outdoors. But on May 4, the City of Alameda wrote on its Facebook page that it had instructed the researchers to stop, citing possible health concerns. … ”  Read more from the New York Times.

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In commentary today …

Cowabunga: Irrigated farms, ranches good for critters

Dan Keppen, executive director of the Family Farm Alliance, writes, “Taking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) at its word to employ a “robust public engagement process”, a coalition of over a dozen national and state farm and water organizations have engaged the agency on its proposal to list the northwestern and southwestern pond turtles under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The litigious Center for Biological Diversity has been pushing for stronger protection for the pond turtles for over a decade.  The proposed listing of the turtle could potentially impact producers and water managers in California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. … ”  Continue reading at the Western Farm Press.

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In regional water news and commentary today …


J.C. Boyle Dam removal has begun in Klamath County

“The last of four Klamath River dams undergoing deconstruction began earlier this week. Located in Klamath County, J.C. Boyle Dam is the northernmost of the four planned for removal by the Klamath River Renewal Corporation.  KRRC CEO Mark Bransom said the corporation received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to begin removal starting Monday, May 13. “As of Monday morning, the contractor was working on the earthen embankment section of the dam,” Bransom said. … ”  Read more from the Herald & News.

California fish commission votes on salmon fishing in Klamath River basin

“The California Fish and Game Commission met Wednesday morning on Zoom to decide on a potential recreational salmon fishing ban in the Klamath River basin.  The CFGC recommends the complete closure of recreational KRFC fishery in the Klamath river basin.  The demand for emergency regulation change comes from severe drought conditions, habitat compression and changes in ocean forage.  They say projections and early return date suggests low adult KRFC returning to the Klamath and Trinity rivers this year. … ”  Read more from KRCR.

Reclamation announces schedule for Clear Creek pulse flows

“The Bureau of Reclamation, in partnership with NOAA Fisheries and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, today announced the plan for two spring pulse flow releases from Whiskeytown Dam into Clear Creek. Pulse flows are rapid increases and decreases in dam released flows, occurring over a short time frame.  The first spring pulse flow will begin on May 16. This pulse will reach a peak flow of 800 cubic feet per second on May 17 through May 18. On May 19, flows will begin to drop steadily until they return to 200 cfs on May 27.  The second spring pulse flow will begin on June 13. This pulse will reach a peak flow of 500 cfs on June 14 through June 18. On June 19, flows will begin to drop steadily until they reach 150 cfs on June 24. … ”  Read more from the Bureau of Reclamation.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to present Clear Lake hitch conservation strategy to county supervisors May 21

“Federal officials will present a proposed conservation strategy for the Clear Lake hitch to the Board of Supervisors next week.  The hitch was listed as threatened under the California Endangered Species Act, or ESA, in 2014, and has been proposed for Federal Endangered Species Act listing multiple times since.  In February 2023, the Board of Supervisors declared an emergency regarding the fish in response to reports of critically low numbers in recent years.  The fish, a minnow native to Clear Lake, has been added to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service 2024 at-risk species list and is up for a federal ESA listing decision in early 2025. … ”  Read more from the Lake County News.


Mechanical forest thinning project to begin near South Lake Tahoe

“The USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit is scheduled to begin mechanical forest thinning this week on approximately 75 acres located in two locations, one near High Meadows Trail and one near Cascade Properties in South Lake Tahoe. The Lake Valley Mechanical Contract is part of the South Shore Hazardous Fuels Reduction and Healthy Forest Restoration Project intended to reduce the risk of severe wildfire near neighborhoods and create healthier forests in the Lake Tahoe Basin.  Nearby residents and visitors can expect to see vegetation crews, heavy equipment, tree removal and trucks hauling out materials via Pioneer Trail and Hwy 89. Work is expected to be completed by mid-July, 2024.  Mechanical thinning sometimes requires the closure of an area during operations due to hazards posed by heavy equipment and falling trees. No closures are planned currently, but recreationists are advised to use caution when accessing trails in this area. … ”  Read more from the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

Is the death rate of Tahoe trees getting better or worse?

“Earlier this year, the USDA/USFS Aerial Detection Monitoring sector released the R5 ADS Final Report (aka the 2023 Aerial Detection Survey Results for Region 5) highlighting the tree mortality rate in California.  Since insects and disease play a critical role in shaping forest ecosystems, the USFS annually performs aerial surveys over tree-dense lands to create maps that track areas having recent defoliation, conifer/hardwood mortality, and other damage.  In its 2023 Report, they found an overall increase in mortality in Eldorado and Tahoe National Forests and in the area managed by Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. … ”  Read more from the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

Second Annual Lake Tahoe Litter summit offers possible solutions for cleaning up Lake Tahoe

“Lake Tahoe brings in millions of people per year, and nonprofits say all those people also bring a lot of trash and pollution to the lake.  On Wednesday nonprofits, government agencies and the community got together to see what solutions they can find to combat the issue.  Clean Up the Lake hosted the second annual Lake Tahoe Litter Summit.  During the summit they came away with three possible solutions.  The first is developing a preventative action committee, where they can take ideas and put them into action.  The second is finding ways to build better infrastructure. … ”  Read more from KTVN.


New law proposed to remove homeless encampments from creeks in San Jose, Santa Clara County

“Saying it desperately needs more tools to clean up homeless encampments that are fouling the environment and putting its employees at risk, Silicon Valley’s largest water agency is proposing a new ordinance that would ban camping along 295 miles of creeks in San Jose and other parts of Santa Clara County.  The Santa Clara Valley Water District, a government agency based in San Jose, has spent $2.9 million since July removing 12,330 cubic yards of debris — enough to fill 1,230 dump trucks — from Coyote Creek, Guadalupe River, Los Gatos Creek and other South Bay waterways.  The problem has worsened since the pandemic as a growing number of homeless people have polluted creeks with hazardous materials, piles of trash and human waste, water district officials said. They have trapped endangered steelhead trout with shopping carts, cut down trees, started wildfires, discarded needles and built makeshift structures in areas prone to winter flooding. Water district workers also faced more threats of violence when they venture into creeks to do their jobs. … ”  Read more from the San Jose Mercury News.

SEE ALSO: Proposed ordinance would make living alongside waterways illegal in Santa Clara Co., from KABC


A comprehensive study of unsustainable groundwater pumping in Monterey County is cause for alarm.

“On May 9, staff from the Salinas Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency presented its board a long-awaited study about the so-called Deep Aquifers, which have been increasingly mined in recent years as seawater intrusion marches inland toward the city of Salinas.  The problem is, those aquifers – which in the report are defined as being below a layer of clay separating them from the 400-foot deep aquifer – aren’t recharging.  The report states: “Isotopic analysis indicates the areas sampled have received no recharge [from surface] water since at least 1953.”  Taken as a whole, the nearly 150-page report is a bombshell. … ”  Read more from Monterey County Now.

After the deluge, images of impacts and resilience in Pájaro

“Fourteen months ago, a catastrophic flood upended thousands of lives in Pájaro, a small Central California farmworker town filled with immigrants who speak mostly Spanish or Indigenous languages. A relentless series of atmospheric rivers transformed the inviting Pájaro River into a malevolent foe that charged through a crumbling levee and engulfed the coastal community in floodwaters.  Regional and state officials knew a levee break was inevitable—it had failed at least four times before—but didn’t prioritize desperately needed repairs for a town populated by low-income farmworkers. The flood destroyed hundreds of structures, leaving families homeless, unemployed and traumatized.  Construction crews will finally start reinforcing the levee this summer, but the project will take years to complete. … ”  Read more from Inside Climate News.

Grover Beach and Arroyo Grande vote to leave recycle water agency

“Both Grover Beach and Arroyo Grande city councils voted this week to quit the joint powers association tied to the Central Coast Blue reclaimed water project.  Last month, the Arroyo Grande City Council voted to quit the project. However, while the council voted to stop investing in the project, at the time the council voted to remain in the Central Coast Blue Joint Powers Authority, at a cost to the city of about $80,000 a year. … ”  Read more from Cal Coast News.

The value of a locally managed purified water supply in Carpinteria

, writes, “After two wet years, it may not be obvious to some why there is still a pressing need to develop a new water supply here in Carpinteria. The advanced water purification facility (AWPF) that is currently under design, which has already been awarded $15.8 million in grants, is a part of the Carpinteria Advanced Purification Project (CAPP).  CAPP, an indirect potable reuse project, will take water that has already been cleaned at the Carpinteria Sanitary District (CSD) facility, purify it in a newly constructed AWPF and then store the purified water in the Carpinteria Groundwater Basin for later potable use. CAPP adds more than 300 million gallons of clean drinking water to the community per year. … ”  Read more from the Coastal View.


New Modesto trash capture device to help keep waterways clean

Caltrans is constructing a device to capture trash and debris from stormwater runoff before the water makes its way to the Tuolumne River.  All the stormwater from the 23-acre area along Highway 99 from 7th Street to Zeff Road, including the Crows Landing interchange, gets pumped into a ditch leading to the culvert at Zeff Road. Then, it goes to the Tuolumne River. Anton Kismetian is a design manager with Caltrans. He says the area produces a significant amount of trash. Maintenance estimates collecting 200 cubic yards of trash per year.  “It’s a two-part. One is drainage inlet that captures smaller debris and sediment, then another one is the so-called ‘socks’ or trash nets — netting that is elongated, about 10 feet long, and they capture the larger debris,” said Kismetian. … ”  Read more from Channel 10.

Merced and San Joaquin rivers remain closed in Merced County

“As more signs go up informing people about the closure of the Merced and San Joaquin rivers in Merced County, Sheriff Vern Warnke says he just wants to keep people safe.  “Stay out of the water. It’s that simple, stay out of the water,” said Warnke.  “I’m not trying to be a meanie. I’m just trying to protect people and prevent families from going through these tragic events which can be prevented.  The closures come after a 17-year-old boy drowned in the Merced River Saturday evening. … ”  Read more from KFSN.

Fresno to issue over 1,000 smart irrigation controllers to residents

“The City of Fresno will begin accepting applications from eligible water customers to receive a free smart irrigation controller.  The smart irrigation controllers use local weather and landscape conditions to tailor watering schedules to help reduce water waste.  More than 1,500 controllers are available for Fresno residents who live in a single-family home. … ”  Read more from KFSN.

Greg Collins takes a dive into Valley’s water history

“Greg Collins recently released a book on the history of water use in the San Joaquin Valley, starting with a time before Europeans arrived to the area and writing up to the most recent developments with Groundwater Sustainability Agencies.  Collins has extensive experience in the field after spending more than 30 years in planning for the County of Tulare and serving on the Visalia City Council as well as the Visalia Redevelopment Agency from 1975 to 1991, some of the most formative years for the growing community. … ”  Read more from the Foothills Sun-Gazette.

Listen: How one California town is transitioning from oil to carbon capture

“Kern County, California, is undergoing one of the fastest energy transitions in the nation. The area’s famous oil industry is in decline due to falling revenues and the state’s aggressive climate action. Now, they are betting big on a new and untested technology — carbon capture.  Jake Bittle, senior staff writer at Grist, joins us to discuss how the town of Taft is trying to transition away from big oil.”  Listen at KASU.


New LADWP head to be paid $750K salary, steep increase from predecessor

“The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday confirmed the hiring of a longtime PG&E executive to head the Department of Water and Power at an annual salary of $750,000 – a sharp increase from her predecessor.  Janisse Quiñones replaces current general manager Martin Adams, who is retiring. He was paid a salary of $435,000.  “This council will be considering many important appointments that the mayor will be making, but very few will be as consequential as this one,” Council President Paul Krekorian said. “Leadership of the DWP is absolutely vital to this city.” … ”  Read more from KABC.

Riverside County supports effort to bolster groundwater resources

“San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency, San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District (SBVMWD) and South Mesa Water Company (SMWC) are building strong regional partnerships through the County Line Recharge Basin and Turnout Project, a joint endeavor to increase water supply in the Yucaipa Subbasin and deliver reliable water access to 18,000 people.  Due to prolonged drought conditions over the past decade, the Yucaipa Subbasin has depleted groundwater levels and lacks supplemental water supplies. In response, the county of Riverside approved $3.1 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to stabilize the over-drafted Yucaipa Subbasin through the County Line Recharge Basin and Turnout Project.  “Through true teamwork, multiple agencies have come together to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Calimesa groundwater basin and Yucaipa area,” SGPWA Board President Mickey Valdivia said. “Our partners at SBVMWD and SMWC are committed to protecting the vitality of our region-wide water systems, and we are proud to join them in that goal.” … ”  Read more from the Record-Gazette.


Salton Sea Authority announces FY24 funding for Salton Sea Feasibility Study

“Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) released its FY24 Work Plan which included an additional $3,878,000 in funding for the Salton Sea Feasibility Study (USACE study).  Salton Sea Authority (Authority) Executive Director G. Patrick O’Dowd commended Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Connor, Chief of Engineers Spellmon, the Biden administration, and our Congressional delegation: “I sincerely and deeply thank Assistant Secretary Connor and U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) for so highly prioritizing the Salton Sea.”  Authority Board Secretary and Imperial Irrigation District Director Gina Dockstader added that: “These funds are critically needed to ensure that the USACE study and the action it ultimately recommends fully addresses the needs of our region, including those of the many disadvantaged Salton Sea communities that bear a disproportionate share of public health burdens.” … ”  Read more from ACWA’s Water News.


San Diego City Council votes to restore 143 acres of habitat, wetlands in Mission Bay

“The San Diego City Council on Tuesday voted to adopt a land use plan that would restore 143 acres of tidal wetlands in De Anza Cove in the northeast corner of Mission Bay Park.  The plan, called De Anza Natural, aims to improve water quality, protect the park from sea level rise, expand the habitat of an endangered bird and make use of the wetlands’ ability to suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and mitigate the burning of fossil fuels. … ”  Read more from KPBS.

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Along the Colorado River …

Where Colorado River negotiations stand right now

“Lees Ferry, 15 miles downstream of the Glen Canyon Dam on Lake Powell, divides the Upper Colorado River Basin from the Lower Basin. But they are divided by more than just geography.  In March, the Upper Basin states (Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming) and the Lower Basin states (Arizona, California and Nevada) submitted competing proposals to the federal Bureau of Reclamation for managing the Colorado River after current guidelines expire in 2026. The states had to consider the overwhelming demand for the river’s water, contend with future effects of climate change and confront decades of overuse. … “When the initial proposals were submitted, the desire to work together probably waned a bit,” said Gene Shawcroft, Utah’s Colorado River commissioner.But the states have found common ground, and Shawcroft said that they are “committed” to developing a unified seven-state proposal. “In the last few meetings, we’ve made much progress in recognizing that we have to come up with a solution,” he continued. … ”  Read more from the Salt Lake Tribune.

Negotiator says 7 states are close to a Colorado River water sharing deal

“Policymakers say they’re getting closer to an agreement between seven Western states on how to manage the Colorado River in the future. But details from those closed-door negotiations have been limited.  Utah’s top water negotiator said states have met “three or four times” since they split into two factions and put out competing proposals back in March. Gene Shawcroft didn’t give specifics but said they’re making progress on a strategy to share water after 2026, when the current river management plan expires.  “I think the commitment level to stay together on a seven state proposal is significantly higher now than it was a few weeks ago,” he said. … ”  Read more from KJZZ.

Utah ‘encouraged’ by new Colorado River cuts; ‘progress’ made on long-term plan

“Federal officials last week finalized a near-term plan that the seven Colorado River Basin states, including Utah, agreed to last year, which is expected to save at least 3 million acre-feet of water over the next three years.  The Bureau of Reclamation signed a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, the final step after the agency announced in March that it had accepted the states’ plan. The plan calls on cuts in the Lower Basins states of Arizona, California and Nevada, while three California water districts also agreed to an additional 400,000 acre-feet of cuts by the end of 2026.  “I think it’s definitely a step in the right direction,” said Amy Haas, executive director of the Colorado River Authority of Utah, in an update about the river Wednesday. “I think it shows a commitment on the part of lower division states to reduce use. Our concern in the Upper Basin has always been whether we’ll actually see those reductions … but I am encouraged.” … ”  Read more from KSL.

Navajo Nation agreement to settle all water rights claims in Arizona

The Navajo Nation has reached a historic water rights settlement for all of its water rights claims in the State of Arizona, including to the Colorado River upper and lower basins, and the Little Colorado River Basin.  Through the settlement, the Nation will affirm and quantify its enforceable rights to water in Arizona and secure funding to build much needed water delivery infrastructure that will provide long overdue access to water to tens of thousands of homes in Arizona Navajo communities.  Legislation to approve the Northeastern Arizona Indian Water Rights Settlement Agreement was introduced to the Navajo Nation Council late Monday, May 12 by Speaker Crystalyne Curley and co-sponsored by Delegate Germaine Simonson who represents Navajo communities impacted by coal mining. … ”  Read more from Native News Online.

‘Big summer’ expected at Lake Powell as water levels keep rising

“One of the area’s biggest tourist destinations is looking up. Lake Powell is on the rebound after another strong snowpack.  While it’s still well below full capacity, the lake is rising a little bit each day, with roughly another 28 feet of water expected by the end of July.  “To see this is amazing,” Barbara Luther said, who is visiting the Lake Powell area with her husband, Tom. “It’s just incredible.” … ”  Read more from KSL.

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In national water news today …

EPA announces final rule to improve public awareness of drinking water quality

“Today, May 15, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a final rule to make annual drinking water quality reports more understandable and accessible to the public. These reports are an important tool that drinking water systems use to inform residents about water quality and any contaminants that have been found in the water. Starting in 2027, this final rule will ensure that these reports are easier to read and support access to translations in appropriate languages while enhancing information about lead in drinking water. EPA is also taking steps to streamline the delivery of reports by encouraging electronic methods.  “EPA is taking action today to help ensure that the American public has improved access to information about the drinking water in their communities by strengthening requirements for annual drinking water quality reports,” said acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water Bruno Pigott. “Today’s announcement will ensure these reports are easier to understand, and easier to access in additional languages to provide all people with the information they want and need about their water.” … ”  Continue reading this press release from the EPA.

Here come Biden’s environment rules. Now courts will have their say.

“For weeks, the Biden administration has been churning out environmental rules in an effort to escape congressional veto if Republicans take the Senate and White House in November.  But even if President Joe Biden wins a second term and Congress remains in Democratic control, his rules are still at risk of being overturned by a judiciary that is increasingly skeptical of the power of federal agencies.  “Only time will tell if they’ve done enough to protect the new environmental rules, but I do believe the Biden administration is heeding the Supreme Court’s warning from West Virginia v. EPA,” said Jonathan Brightbill, a partner at Winston & Strawn. … ”  Read more from E&E News.

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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.


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