Blog round-up: Cranes, Folsom Lake, Governor’s water plan, water bonds, LA Aqueduct, Poseidon desal plant, and more !

Today’s blog round-up is wide-ranging with something for everyone.

PicassoTunnel re-route threatens cranes:  Dan Bacher covers the news conference held prior to the Lodi Sandhill Cranes Festival: ” … The Brown Administration has rerouted the tunnels project directly under the Staten Island Sandhill Cranes’ refuge, lands purchased with public money for the conservation of Sandhill Crane habitat.   “The Sandhill Cranes are already threatened; that’s why Staten Island was preserved with public funds ten years ago. The proposed tunnels gamble with their survival,” said Sally Shanks, who once worked the land on Staten Island that was later sold to the State so that crane habitat would be preserved in perpetuity.  … ”  Read more here:  Water Export Tunnels Gamble with Threatened Cranes’ Survival

More on the cranes:  Alex Breitler links to an 2010 article on crane behavior on his blog here:  All cranes, all the time

BDCP will not dry up Folsom Lake, say State Water Contractors:  They take issue with the For the Sake of the Lake campaign, say it’s a ‘Delta Doozy’:  ” … The results show that BDCP actions do NOT have any material effect on future upstream reservoir levels. However, the analysis does show that potential changes in climate would have an effect on upstream reservoir levels. That is a concern for us all, but to suggest that BDCP is putting Folsom Lake in jeopardy is simply not true.  … ”  Read more from the State Water Contractors here:  Delta Doozy: BDCP Will Put Folsom Lake In Jeopardy

Restore the Delta says Governor’s water plan is just greenwashing the water grab:  Barbara Barrigan-Parilla responds:  “The Brown Administration is deliberately tying together the policies that Restore the Delta and the broader environmental community support for regional water self-sufficiency to the construction of the peripheral tunnels in order to greenwash the water grab.  As economist Dr. Jeffrey Michael from the University of the Pacific has noted, if we move toward a sustainable water policy through the creation of regional projects, the economic benefit for constructing the tunnels disappears.  The Resources Agency gave the Kern County Water Agency and the Westlands Water District cover this morning by overstating the economic importance of agriculture to the State (Westlands and Kern contribute less than .3% to the State’s GDP). Governor Brown is more than willing to craft the State’s water plan in such a way as to accommodate the unreasonable desires of these water takers who want to transform their agencies into water brokers.”  Read more from Restore the Delta here: Peripheral Tunnels Opponents Respond to State’s Draft Action Plan for Water: “Greenwashing the Water Grab”

Water bond campaigner says water bond would lose ‘pretty dramatically’:  Dan Bacher responds to Joe Caves remark, quoting from the SCWC dinner coverage: “”The polling that we did after that bond passed was such that it started out with so much baggage, it was so large, and the opposition was so significant that all of our polling showed it going down in 2010. It showed the same thing in 2012, and it’s showing today that the bond that’s on the 2014 ballot would go down pretty dramatically,” he explained.” [Maven note: Mr. Caves was referring to the $11 billion bond in his remarks.]  Dan Bacher writes: ” … Responding to Cave’s comments, Restore the Delta (RTD), opponents of Governor Jerry Brown’s peripheral tunnels that would drain the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and doom Central Valley salmon and other Pacific fisheries, called on the governor to abandon his proposed tunnels. “Voters are not going to stick ourselves with a $7 billion bill to mitigate damage from the proposed water export tunnels,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta. “The tunnels can’t go forward without a certain source of funding to mitigate its disastrous effects.”  … ”  Read more from Dan Bacher here:  Water bond campaigner reveals measure would lose ‘pretty dramatically’

Friant GM says polling shows support for water bond:  Friant Water Authority Assistant General Manager Mario Santoyo spoke recently at the annual League of California Cities Conference and Expo in Sacramento:  ” … Santoyo predicted there would be further changes proposed when the Legislature reconvenes in January.  A recent statewide survey of 1,000 voters conducted in August for Clean Water & Jobs for California by Probolsky Research detected positive public reception for an $8 billion water bond package if it were to improve water supplies as well as native fisheries and habitats. “The intensity of informed support is more than double that of the opposition,” the firm said. … ”  Read more from the Friant Waterline here:  Polling Shows Support As Discussions Continue On Three Different 2014 Courses Proposals

On the 100th anniversary of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, there’s good news to note at Mono Lake, says the Mono Lake Committee:  ” … Mono Lake is rising to the State Water Board-ordered management level of 6392 feet above sea level, and we’ve recently made extraordinary strides in restoring Mono Lake’s tributary streams. Nowhere else along its length is the LA Aqueduct changing to accommodate 21st Century values as much as it is in the Mono Basin. … ”  Read more from the Mono Lake Committee here:  LA Aqueduct centennial: Good news at Mono Lake

A historical recounting of the Los Angeles AqueductIn the beginning, there was a ditch. It ran from a bend in a short nearby river through a village with the cumbersome name of El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de Los Angeles sobre el Rio Porciuncula.  The Zanja Madre (“Mother Ditch”) was the backbone of the city from its start. Los Angeles had been planned from the start: a Spanish nobleman, Felipe de Neve, had read classical literature and was moved by the Romans’ ideas about central plazas, grid-shaped city street networks, and inflow and outflow of water. So when he became the fourth Royal Governor of California, de Neve became Los Angeles’ first civic promoter, laying down plans for a future city and working hard to attract wealthy investors and hopeful workers to come to the pueblos he founded in the name of Carlos III. … ”  Read more from the Ordinary Times blog here:  There It Is, Take It

Surfrider’s distortions could derail Huntington Beach desal plant, says the Cal Watchdog blog: Poseidon execs say the Huntington Beach desal plant will be the largest,  most technologically advanced and most energy efficient, and be financed by private bonds, not taxpayers:  ” …It is because of the promise of increasing the supply of water to residents of the nation’s sixth-largest county, and because much of the cost will be borne by Poseidon, that the county’s 11 representatives in the state Legislature, Democrats and Republicans, recently sent a letter to the Coastal Commission backing the proposed desal plant.  But none of that matters to Surfrider, which thinks it knows better than Orange County’s 11 elected representatives in Sacramento how the commission should vote on the Huntington Beach desal project.  Indeed, Surfrider claims that Poseidon’s plant design for Huntington Beach “would set the lowest possible standards for protecting our coast and ocean.” The group frets that the proposed plant might “unnecessarily kill marine life.” … ”  Read more from the Cal Watchdog blog here:  Will Surfrider’s distortions block Orange County desalination plant?

Political economics of moving water:  The Inkstain blog looks at the idea of bringing Missouri River water in to replenish the Ogallala Aquifer, a project somewhat on the scale of the Central Arizona Project, which was built mostly with federal funds:  ” … And there’s the rub. Because it seems clear that the days of federal funding for big projects like this are long over. There are examples of non-federal projects of this scale. Los Angeles has done it. But that’s for municipal water supplies, for which one can charge a lot more. … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here:  The new political economics of moving water

Is New York doomed to repeat California flood history?  The Legal Planet takes a look at Google’s own flood barrier for its Wall Street building and comments: ” … The first problem is something that’s familiar from the history of flood control.  In California, flood control started out as a private activity.  The trouble is that the flood waters end up going someplace else, so there’s a kind of “flood thy neighbor” competition.  That’s one of the main reasons that government ultimately stepped in.  The same thing is true here.  By the way, the main opponents of government action were the Democrats, who at least in California took a pretty “tea party” view of government in the 19th Century.  Anyway, the same problem comes up with the Verizon barrier — who else is going to get flooded because the flood has been diverted? … ”  Flood wars, urban New York style!  Read more from the Legal Planet blog here:  Private Flood Protection

Photo credit:  Water art by flickr photographer Peggy Reimchen

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