Blog round-up: BDCP and storage, endangered species, salmon doubling, water bond, Delta Plan, climate change, and a lot more …


Happy Monday to you!  There is something for everyone in this week’s wide-ranging blog round-up …

The BDCP is about making today’s storage system work:  A lot of storage has been developed south of the Delta over the last generation, writes the BDCP blog, however:  “… San Luis Reservoir is the largest storage facility south of the Delta that is connected to the State Water Project and Central Valley Project. A full San Luis is essential to making the rest of the south-of-Delta storage system work.  Replenishing groundwater banks is a slow and steady process, so “parking” supplies temporarily behind San Luis is the key first step in the south-of-Delta storage process.  But in the last few years, the ability of water project operators to fill San Luis has degraded from roughly 80 percent to 20 percent. … ”  So what happened?  The BDCP blog explains here:  Making Storage Work

Serve up the making’s of a Delta meal and celebrate Endangered Species Day in style, says Kate Poole at the NRDC:  ” … So, this year, why not celebrate by firing up the barbecue and grilling up some wild salmon for your family and friends, bought fresh off the boat at Half Moon Bay’s Pillar Point Harbor?  Throw in some asparagus and strawberries from California’s Delta, and you have the makings of a feast.    And, while it might not be obvious, your feast will be a tribute to the thousands of men and women whose livelihoods are supported and enhanced by endangered species protections in the San Francisco Bay-Delta. … ”  Sounds pretty yummy to me.  Read more here:  A Healthy Fishing Industry Is Just One of the Benefits of Strong Endangered Species Protections

Delta farmers do support endangered species protections: Sylvia Fallon at the NRDC Switchboard tells us of a new website called Voices for America’s Wildlife, which features stories about people from all walks of life who support endangered species protections ” … Many of the stories focus on people whose entire livelihoods are impacted directly by endangered species protections. In California’s Bay Delta, for example, farmers and fishermen depend on the same water supply as endangered salmon and other species – and yet many of them understand and appreciate the importance of protecting not just the water they need for their livelihoods, but for all the species that depend on it. … ”  Read more here:  Voices for America’s Wildlife – Farmers in the Bay Delta Support Endangered Species Protections 

Doug Obegi spotlights another video here Voices for America’s Wildlife – Fishermen Know that Protecting Endangered Salmon Protects Fishing Jobs

Salmon doubling goal falls far short:  Dan Bacher says the ambitious goal to double salmon and other anadromous fish populations envisioned in the 1992 CVPIA has fallen far short – only 20% increase, says Dan Bacher:  ”  … Unfortunately, the state and federal governments have failed to enforce the CVPIA and other laws mandating the restoration of Central Valley salmon and other anadromous species – fish that migrate from the ocean to spawn in the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers and their tributaries.   “More than a decade past the law’s deadline, the salmon fishery continues to struggle due, in large part, to excessive pumping of fresh water from the Bay-Delta that deprives salmon of the cold, flowing rivers and healthy habitat they need to thrive,” according to a joint release from GGSA and NRDC. … ”  Continue reading from Dan Bacher here:  Bay-Delta salmon population just one fifth of mandated goal

What’s next for the water bond?  Ellen Hanak at the PPIC takes a look at the $11.14 billion bond, now slated for November of 2014:  ” … Although this bond is large by historical standards, the 2009 legislature had reason to think voters might support it: from 2000 to 2006, voters had approved six GO bonds for water-related purposes, totaling more than $23 billion (in today’s dollars). And voters had also approved tens of billions in bonds for other purposes in the 2000s, including education, transportation and stem cell research.  But a statewide survey released in March by the Public Policy Institute of California suggests that despite a strengthening economy, today’s voters are subject to sticker shock when presented with a new water bond. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  What lies in store for the state water bond?

Delta Plan adopted despite massive opposition, says Dan Bacher, who reports from a rally held outside prior to the Delta Stewardship Council meeting:  ” … Bill Jennings, executive director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, began his presentation at both the rally and in the public comment period at the meeting by stating, “Good morning, welcome to the resumption of California’s water wars.”   “The Delta Plan fails to comply with the law, and perpetuates an unsustainable status quo that enriches a few powerful water brokers at the expense of reliable water supplies and healthy fisheries,” said Jennings. “It is a classic shell game to benefit special interests and, if implemented, would represent a death sentence for one of the world’s great estuaries.”  ... ”  Read more from the Fish Sniffer here:  Delta Stewardship Council Adopts Plan Amidst Massive Opposition

Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry:  The California Watchdog blog takes the 1971 classic American Pie and applies is to the Natomas levees:  ” … The California Dream of home ownership and speculative riches in land development died in 2008 in Natomas, the last undeveloped area of Sacramento.  It died not due to the concurrent bursting of the Mortgage Bubble. It died because the Federal government banned new construction in 2008 until the region’s flood control levees could be further improved.  The levee was dry in Natomas not due to drought, or the economic depression, but to a shortage of pork barrel funding. The levees were dry because the tax levies were dry. … ”  Read more from the California Watchdog here:  Boxer’s Delta levee bill is real estate pork barrel

Water temperatures for salmon and rice:  They are quite different, discovers Bruce Ross at the Record Searchlight.  Read all about it here:  Too hot! Too cold!

Southern California water districts reduce reliance on imported water:  Kelly Coplin at the NRDC Switchboard blogs about a new report highlighting the efforts of five Southern California water agencies that are working to be self-sufficient:  ” … If fully implemented, by 2035 these agencies could save 40 billion gallons of water per year from these over-appropriated water supplies. This substantial planned water savings demonstrates how the employment of alternative water supplies could reduce pressure on water-strapped aquatic ecosystems. … ”  Read more here:  Five California Water Districts Lead the Way in Reducing Demands on Imperiled Ecosystems

Climate change and California water management:  Ben Chou at the NRDC runs down all the effects of climate change on the state, and says there are innovative strategies to prepare for the impacts.  Read more here:  How Are California’s Existing Water Management Issues Impacted by Climate Change?

Renewable energy – we have the technology:    The Cool Green Science blog says we can do it now:  ” … The future of clean energy technology is already here, according to Dan Kammen, Jigar Shah and Joe Fargione — panelists at The Nature Conservancy’s “Future of Nature” forum on energy held Monday, May 13 in Boston. These experts — representing academia, business and conservation — agreed: The world has all the technology we need for a clean energy future. The challenge is implementing it at scales that can make a difference for controlling the global greenhouse gas emissions caused by energy production. … ”  So what’s holding us back?  Read more from the Cool Green Science blog here:  The Future of Energy in a World of 400ppm and Rising

And lastly …the  blog round-up is moving:  Starting next week, the blog round-up will move to Tuesdays, and science news and reports will move to Thursdays.  Water conditions still posted on Sunday (or Monday).

Photo by flickr photographer Cocoabiscuit.

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