Science and report notes: Habitat restoration presentations, recommendations on nitrates, fish on drugs, and more!

Habitat restoration presentations online:  The Delta Independent Science Board has been working on reviewing habitat restoration projects in the Delta and the Suisun Marsh, and are in the process of producing a report (here’s the third draft, but it’s not done yet).  Here are the power points from the USGS that were presented at the last DISB meeting:

Fish on drugs:  Pharmaceuticals are turning up in our waterways due to their ability to pass through wastewater treatement virtually unchanged.  So what’s that doing to the fish?  Researchers in Sweden put that question to the test and came up with some troubling answers.  Click here for an article from Time Magazine; click here for a blog post from FishBIO.  But wait … researchers in Sweden have also developed a new wastewater technique that removes pharmaceuticals: Click here for the report from Science Daily.

And speaking of fish … Here’s a study on predation on the Don Pedro project, courtesy of Michael Cannon:  click here.

State Water Resources Control Board issues report recommending actions to address nitrate contamination in drinking water:  As a follow up to the State Water Board’s report on communities that rely on contaminated groundwater sources for drinking water released earlier this month, the Board has now issued recommendations to the legislature to address the impacts of nitrate contamination.  But as always, it boils down to the “F” word:  “Many of the recommendations in today’s report rely upon a secure and stable source of funding to be effective. Without identifying a secure source of funding, nitrates and other contaminants will continue to affect drinking water sources resulting in residents and communities, particularly those that are small and disadvantaged, paying more for safe drinking water,” says the press release.  For links to the report and more, click here.

State Water Resources Control Board issues 2012 accomplishments report:  So just what does the State Water Resources Control Board do anyway?  Probably a lot more than you think, judging by this 26-page report highlighting the Board’s accomplishments during 2012.  The report gives a nice run-down of the many, many different programs the Board has underway with links to the program pages, which makes it easier to navigate than the Board’s website and therefore worth the bookmark.  Click here to read the report.

Some curious things about water management:  Jay Lund penned this editorial for the Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management.  “Water management is often very different from what we think intuitively or what we have been taught,” writes Mr. Lund, such as most water management is local, the reactions and long-term decisions of water users is just as important as water supply, and studies are oftentimes cheaper and more politically convenient than making actual decisions.  Click here to read this article.

Climate Science 101: Peter Gleick explains sea level rise:  Reminded of the difficulty some people have in understanding the nature of climate risks and in particular, sea level rise, Peter Gleick reviews the basics of climate science and sea level rise, like prediction versus scenario, linear versus exponential, and mitigation versus adaptation versus suffering.  Read more at the Significant Figures blog by clicking here.

For more on sea level rise and climate change adaptation, especially as it pertains to the Bay Area, do check out this month’s Estuary News, published by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership.  This month’s issue looks at the effects of climate change and efforts to adapt: Click here for the February 2013 issue of Estuary News.

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