Reports and research notes: State Water Board Bay Delta workshop report now available, plus McCormack-Williamson Tract restoration, the Pulse of the Delta, Non-Integrated Resources Management, proof that water problems are "ancient history" and more

Here are some items I’ve come across as I’ve been plowing through the internet:

  • Summary of State Water Board workshops for Bay Delta Water Quality Control Plan now available:  A draft Bay-Delta Plan Workshops Summary Report summarizing the workshops held September through November 2012 as part of the Phase 2 update to the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan is now available at the State Water Resources Control Board website.  Phase 2 of the update focuses on fish and wildlife beneficial uses.  The purpose of the workshops was to gather information regarding the scientific and technical basis for considering potential changes to the Bay Delta Water Quality Control Plan.  The topics presented included the effects of the low salinity zone on estuarine species, the interaction of salinity with non-flow related factors, and factors needed to reasonably protect steelhead, salmon, and pelagic species, such as flow, cold water pool, habitat, and water project operational constraints.  One workshop was dedicated to examining different models and how they could be applied to various scenarios.  The document also summarizes the key points of agreement, disagreement, uncertainties and questions.  Click here to read the draft Bay-Delta Workshops Summary Report.  Click here to visit the State Water Board’s program page for the update to the Bay Delta Water Quality Control Plan.
  • Landscape Patterns and Processes of the McCormack-Williamson Tract: A framework for restoring at a landscape scale:  If you missed last month’s brown bag seminar on landscape scale restoration and the McCormack-Williamson Tract, you can now view the power point presentation at the Delta Stewardship Council website – click here.
  • 2012 Pulse of the Delta: The second edition of the Delta Regional Monitoring Program’s Pulse of the Delta is now available.  The publication is intended as a “voice” for the fledgling Delta RMP, and is aimed at supporting the program’s goals of better defining water quality issues of regional concern and making water quality monitoring information more useful and accessible.  Topics covered include protecting the estuary from nutrient enrichment, ecosystem health trends, latest monitoring results and more.  Click here for the 2012 Pulse of the Delta.
  • Desalination facilities and brine disposal:  On January 30, the State Water Resources Control Board held a stakeholder meeting to discuss the proposed desalination amendments to the Water Quality Control Plan for Ocean Waters of California and the Water Quality Control Plan for Enclosed Bays and Estuaries of California.  On the agenda was a discussion of desalination intake, entrainment and mitigation issues.  Click here for the power point presentation, and click here to visit the State Water Board’s program page for desalination facilities and brine disposal.
  • Moving Pollution Trading from Air to Water: Potential, Problems, and Prognosis: The winter edition of the Journal of Economic Perspectives is now available.  This edition focuses on tradeable pollution permits, and includes a paper on the applicability of applying a similar strategy to water pollution.  Click here to read the Journal.  (Hat tip to the Legal Planet blog!)
  • 2012 Annual Review of the Construction and Operation of the State Water Project is now available from the California Water Commission website.  The California Water Commission is charged with conducting an annual review of the State Water Project and submitting its findings and recommendations to the Governor.  The report highlights many issues, including recruitment and retention problems at State Water Project facilities.  Click here to read the report.
  • PPIC releases a report on planning for climate change:  The Public Policy Institute of California has released a report that focuses on how California can prepare for the effects of climate change that are already coming.  The report highlights the state’s long-term policy challenges in the areas of water, the economy, the state budget, and more. Click here to read the report from the PPIC.
  • Non-Integrated Resources Management:  Say what … ?  Once again proving that one size doesn’t always fit all, Mark Giordano from the International Water Management Institute gives a few examples of when it doesn’t work.  Click here for the presentation.
  • Managing the Invisible: Understanding and Improving Groundwater Governance: From the World Bank, this report aims “to help to put groundwater and its governance at the top of the agenda for decision makers and practitioners.”  The report covers the challenges facing groundwater, governance and political economy, constraints and options for setting good groundwtaer policy, and the role of participation and local collective management in good groundwater governance.  Click here to read the report, courtesy of the Water Wired blog.
  • New interactive tool maps water problems:  The World Resources Institute has just unveiled the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, which maps the state of freshwater globally, allowing you to visualize and compare water conditions, from the continental scale all the way down to the local one.  More from the New York Times Green blog by clicking here.
  • Water problems are indeed “ancient history”: More water reported delivered than received?  Water-men fraud? “Irrigated fields, shops, garrets, even; lastly, disorderly houses have we found fitted up with constantly flowing fixtures,” writes Sextus Julius Frontinus in a report about 2000 years ago: The Water Supply of the City of Rome. The report really details the aqueduct system, including how the water is delivered, measured and managed, as well as the water laws of the time.  .  Click here to read the report, courtesy of Jay Lund.

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