Blog round-up: A statewide water action plan, Signgate, a new water bond, God speaks on the BDCP, steelhead are just rainbow trout … ?

Mother Earth

“Mother Earth”, from the Mosaïcultures Internationales Competition at Montreal's Botanical Garden

That spectacular picture is of  “Mother Earth”, an entry in the Mosaïcultures Internationales Competition held earlier this month at Montreal's Botanical Garden.  If you'd like to see more, check out this YouTube video.

This week's blog round-up has some interesting views and a few items sure to put a smile on your face, so off we go …

Working towards a statewide water action plan:  We all know a Delta solution is essential, however, there are other priorities that need to be addressed, says ACWA's Tim Quinn; priorities such as surface and groundwater storage, local resources development, water rights protection, and climate change.  Quinn says there is an effort underway to address that:  ” … ACWA and the Department of Water Resources have been convening a series of informal meetings to help define such a statewide framework. The goal is to produce a succinct plan that identifies statewide actions that can be broadly supported by the water community and can serve as a sustainable path forward for California.  The effort began this spring when a contingent of ACWA members asked the association to get engaged and help build a larger statewide framework to integrate the BDCP process and other initiatives now under way. Participation has expanded since then, and a broad cross-section of water interests – including upstream water users as well as those who rely on Delta exports – is now at the table helping to craft the statewide action framework.  … ”  Continue reading from ACWA's Voices on Water blog here:  It’s Time for the Water Community to Unite around a Statewide Water Action Plan

No legal basis for CalTrans to remove ‘Stop the Tunnels' signs:  An uproar erupted last week over CalTrans' decision to remove “Stop the Tunnels” signs placed on private property along highways in the Delta.  Dan Bacher gives us an update:  ” …  The legal opinion from the First Amendment Project to Restore the Delta refutes Caltrans’ assertion that the signs are illegal and cites a 1996 Attorney General opinion finding that the “expression of a political belief by a property owner whether displayed by signs or otherwise” is constitutionally protected. “The ‘Save the Delta!' signs are not covered by the Outdoor Advertising Act’s prohibitions against signs, both because they are not ‘temporary political signs' that cannot be displayed within 660 feet of a right-of-way of a highway and because the Act does not (and can not) cover political signs of this nature,” the opinion stated. “Accordingly, Caltrans did not have any legal basis to remove the signs.”  … ”  Read more here:  First Amendment Project: Caltrans broke law by confiscating anti-tunnel signs

Levees and peat soils:  Restore the Delta reports on brown bag conference on levees last week, and says that the test with the shaker to simulate an earthquake confirmed that the levees aren't prone to failure, something DWR apparently thought all along:  ” … Dr. Les Harder, former Chief Deputy Director of DWR suggested that the likelihood of failures of levees on peat foundations had always been thought to be small relative to the likelihood of failure of levees built on liquefiable sand foundations, and that UCLA had simply been attempting to confirm that. … ”  More from Restore the Delta here:  Peat levees and earthquakes

God tells Burt Wilson that he will continue the drought until the Legislature stops the tunnels, so says Burt Wilson.  So what did the Big Guy have to say about drought and the BDCP?  Read it all here:  God talks to me about drought

Principles for developing a new water bond:  The California Economic Summit blog says there's good news:   ” … Legislative leaders have gone back to the drawing board–and last week unveiled a set of principles that could serve as the foundation of a smaller, more politically viable water bond that may be put before voters in 2014. … ”  Read more here:  Coming water fight: Promising signs from capital in water bond early stages

Tunnels and fracking:  Ok, I admit it, I haven't really gotten into fracking in part because my own focus and the focus of this blog is more on the Delta and the planning processes underway.  But are the tunnels and fracking connected?  C-WIN has a collection of articles that seems to say yes.  More information here:  The Link Between California’s Water and Fracking

Maybe things aren't so bad on the Colorado River after all, says the Inkstain blog, who has been studying large-scale water developments in regions other than the Southwest, and has come to the conclusion maybe it's not all bad.  Why?  ” … Because all that messiness has in fact led to the creation of set of well-established and relatively effective institutions for managing conflicting demands for scarce resources. … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here:  Why fighting over water isn’t a bad thing

And lastly … Did you know steelhead are just rainbow trout and they are so abundant, in fact, that they are sometimes even considered a pest species?  Alert the lawyers!  Tech bazillionaire Sean Parker of Napster fame and fortune did a Google search that told him so, and if Google says so, then you know it's gotta be true! <smirk>…  Well it seems Mr. Parker threw himself a grand wedding up in the Redwoods that has raised the ire of the Coastal Commission for which he has a developed a rather unique defense.  The Trout Underground blog has all the details plus a couple other great stories in this funny post that's well worth the read:  It’s Monday Morning, So We’re Going To Eddy Out For A Minute

Photo credit:  “Mother Earth” from the Mosaïcultures Internationales Competition at the Montreal's Botanical Garden, by flickr photographer Andre Vandal.

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