Twin tunnels, Southern California style! (ha ha) Picture by Maven

Blog round-up: Bloggers on the BDCP, drought and salmon, new environmentalism, watershed models, brain eating amoeba and more!

Twin tunnels, Southern California style!  (ha ha) Picture by Maven
Twin tunnels, Southern California style! (ha ha)
Picture by Maven

No quick or single fix to California’s water problems, says the BDCP blog:  It’s going to take multitudes of diverse projects and cooperation across boundaries and disciplines, they say:  ” … This integrated approach requires first, that we reduce water waste wherever possible.  We must also capture and store water when streams run high; recycle wastewater; strip salts and chemicals from water; bank more water in aquifers; and transfer water between willing buyers and sellers.  It will take the widespread use of efficient faucets, showers, toilets, and washing machines; the lining of canals and installation of farm micro-irrigation systems; the replacement of front lawns with drought-tolerant plants; and vigilant action by property owners, who fix leaks and adjust sprinklers based on the weather. … ”  Continue reading here:  The Bay Delta Conservation Plan and Integrated Water Management: Part I

Rozengurt and the peripheral canal connection:  The Chronicles of the Hydraulic Brotherhood has a post about Michael Rozengurt, the Russian fisheries biologist who, in Marc Reisner’s Cadillac Desert, compared California’s situation to what the Russians had done to the Sea of Azov, a spectacular fishery turned into a biological desert by Stalin’s directive to irrigate a limitless acreage of cotton:  ” …   Zeke Grader, former Executive Director at the Institute for Fisheries Resources and past president of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, had been using reports and scientific articles by Rozengurt to foster the argument by fishing groups that the Peripheral Canal would devastate the Delta’s salmon fishery, as had been done to sturgeon, beluga, and anadromous fish by hydraulic projects on the Volga River/Estuary of the Northern Caspian Sea ecosystem. … ”  Read more here from the Chronicles of the Hydraulic Brotherhood:  A voice in the desert wilderness

California needs the BDCP for a myriad of reasons, says the California Farm Water Coalition: ” … The water supply for almost 4,000 farms and 25 million Californians has become increasingly unreliable in the wake of environmental pressures unforeseen at the time our existing water supply system was conceived. Experts say that climate change and earthquakes pose additional risks to our water supply.   Why is the BDCP so important for California? Because it helps restore critical habitat for native fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and it will help restore water deliveries to areas of the state where water supply cuts have left communities devastated and thousands of people looking for jobs. … ”  Read more from the California Farm Water Coalition here:  Why California needs BDCP

Drought conditions threaten salmon, reports Dan Bacher:  Federal and state fish managers say less than half of the Sacramento River will have suitable conditions for spawning:  ” … “Salmon are expected to suffer because the water in Lake Shasta needed to chill the upper river for the fish is being drained for other uses,” according to a news release from the Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA). “By late summer it is anticipated only about 20 miles of the Sacramento above Redding will be cold enough (56 degrees or less) for the fish to successfully spawn. Over twenty miles downstream of Redding, normally cold enough for spawning, is likely to exceed 56 degrees.” … ”  Read more here:  Drought Conditions Pose Grave Threat to Central Valley Salmon  (Note: for more on this issue, see this coverage of the June 27th Delta Stewardship Council meeting.)

A gate at Chipps Island?  The Public Water News Service blog responds to the Delta Watermaster’s presentation at the recent Delta Stewardship Council meeting:  ” … The very last image in his presentation gave me a jolt! It was of the water barriers designed by Dutch Engineers and used in the Netherlands. The PPIC had included a copy of the picture in its first White Paper on the Delta four years ago. I did a search on it back then and found out it has been on the books at the Dept. of Water Resources for some years. … ”  Blogger Burt Wilson responds to the idea, as well as the plan to raise Shasta Dam and reverse flows here:  Water Barrier across Sacramento River at Chipps island??

Delta waterways clean-up, the history of Big Break, and three watershed models for water quality and water supply are just some of the articles in the summer newsletter for the Delta Conservancy, which you will find here:  Delta Conservancy Summer 2013 Newsletter

Sharing Butte Creek’s salmon success never gets old for the Northern California Water Association:  ” … I’ve been taking pictures and video to post on Western Canal Water District’s Twitter and YouTube channel as they made their presence known in bold numbers earlier this year. Estimates are predicting the return of 12,000 – 15,000 adult spawners. Due to a continuing trend of promising return numbers, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) has determined that Butte Creek is “the best of three creeks supporting naturally returning spring-run salmon.` … ”  Read more from the Northern California Water Association blog here:  Sharing the Salmon Success Story

We need to move from “just say no” to “how better”, says the California Water Blog:  For years, we’ve just said no to human encroachments into the natural world, and rightly so, acknowledges Jay Lund; our air and water are cleaner, and industry has become mostly responsible for its waste.  However, despite these gains, classic environmentalism (just say no) will fail:   ” … Classical environmentalism is mostly about stopping new harmful human influences, not reversing the harmful effects of past changes or shaping a more environmentally friendly future. Environmentalism has not substantially reversed the widespread urban and agricultural destruction of wetlands or freed rivers from the concrete and rock that straightened their course.  A new environmentalism is needed that can redirect and reconcile human activities to better support and even expand habitat for native species. Rather than insist on blocking human use to protect nature – a largely quixotic quest now – environmental reconciliation works in and with unavoidably human habitats. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  New environmentalism needed for California water

Supreme Court rules in Texas-Oklahoma compact case:  Oklahoma prevails over Texas in the Supreme Court case, Tarrant Regional Water District v. Hermann, well known to water bloggers everywhere because we water bloggers were urged to write about it (see here):  The Water Strategist blog has more:  ” … Writing for the united court, Justice Sotomayer took notice of conflicts between Oklahoma and Texas in the early 20th century, when state militias mobilized and martial law declared by Oklahoma Governor “Alfalfa” Bill Murray.  To avoid replay of litigation running rampant out west (Arizona v. California), Congress authorized Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas in 1955 to negotiate a compact to apportion the waters from the Red River that originates at the New-Mexico-Texas border, runs through the Texas panhandle, then marks the Oklahoma-Texas border, continues east to Arkansas and flows into Louisiana.  A couple of decades later, the states entered into the Red River Compact in 1978 that equitably apportioned the waters. … ”  The Water Strategist blog has more here:  Oklahoma Beats Texas in (Legal) Red River Rivalry

So you want to be a water economist?  Here’s some advice from the Aguanomics blog in this flashback post:  How to become a water economist

And lastly …  Just in time for your holiday trip to the beach, brain-eating amoeba are thriving as climate change warms waterways, Thirsty in Suburbia looks back at Saginaw’s 1949 civic burial for its water pumps,  and Beverly 90H20 bills itself as the ‘champagne’ of water.  Also, this gallery of underwater wave photos is interesting.

May you have a enjoyable and safe holiday!

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