Bloggers on groundwater management: One size fits all? Or a politically created emergency? Plus bloggers on Feinstein’s bill, ag use, fracking, and more …

Pipes in the pool #4 LA Swim Stadium

It's the Tuesday blog round-up, and as usual, everybody has plenty to say …

On the Public Record on groundwater management: One size fits all?  Or just different pairs of pants?  On the Public Record responds to those who talk of “one-size-fits-all” groundwater management as a would-be disaster:  “I heard this a lot when advocates were explaining to me why agricultural water management plans were pointless. The regions were too unique and every district was special and different and we couldn’t possibly know from a state level what could work. One-size-fits-all would doom us all.  I was too young and naive to understand then that I was being trampled by a metaphor, and that “one-size-fits-all” was a phrase used to cut off discussion. … ”  Read more from On the Public Record here:  Put some pants on, snowflake.

Families Protecting the Valley on groundwater management: Cut off one arm or they'll take both:  “We knew it was coming. Only the blind couldn't see. Your groundwater will be regulated. There will be a limit on how much you can pump, or there will be a premium.  It's no secret how we got to where we are. After politicians and bureaucrats took the surface water, what was a farmer to do? Groundwater was all that was left. So, farmers are using it. It's a politically created emergency, and you know the mantra. Don't let a serious crisis go to waste.  … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Your Choice: Cut Off One Arm, or They’ll Take Both!

Why is the GOP rebuffing Feinstein's bill?  The CalWatchdog blog writes: “U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is renewing her call to Republican senators to vote for her revised compromise drought bill, S. 2016, the California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014.  Feinstein claims her bill is five votes short of the 60 needed for  passage.  If passed, the Senate would forward her bill to the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives for possible reconciliation with a dissimilar drought bill pending there, H.R. 3964, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act of 2014, by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.  But why aren’t the Republican senatorial fish biting at the Democrat bait? ... ”  Read more from the Cal Watchdog blog here:  Why is the GOP rebuffing Feinstein’s bill?

Throwing away good water: Peter Gleick writes: “‘Man urinates in reservoir, “ruins” 38M gallons of water.' That was the headline in an article in the news today, except without the “quotes.”  On April 16, security cameras recorded some teenage delinquents trespassing around the Mount Tabor Reservoir No. 5 in Portland, Oregon. One of them was seen peeing through the fence. According to the police, the culprits were caught, cited, and released.  The city announced that because of this incident, they would throw away 38 million gallons of potable water and clean the reservoir, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars, not including the actual value of the water to consumers, which is far higher. … ”  Read more from Peter Gleick at the Pacific Institute Insights blog here:  Throwing Away Good Water

Two Little-Known Fun Facts About California’s Agricultural Water Use (or, We’re Using MORE Water?): The Trout Underground blog writes:  “California’s drought continues, and tracking all the stories about it would overflow even a blog dedicated to the stuff. Inexplicably, few of the stories focus on the plight of the poor small stream fly fisherman and the privations he’ll suffer during the drought, but the New York Times does cover two fairly appalling trends in the California water landscape.  First, investors — with little real connection to the land — are buying up Central Valley farmland. And second, growers are planting far more water-intensive crops than before … ”  Read more from the Trout Underground here: Two Little-Known Fun Facts About California’s Agricultural Water Use (or, We’re Using MORE Water?)

North State Water Association forum focuses on water problems:NSWA is seeking a three-part solution: operational certainty, infrastructure improvements, and unifying regulatory approaches. The primary purpose of the forum was to bring together leaders to forge an action plan for the region that will accomplish these objectives and was an important step forward in NSWA’s collective efforts.  An excellent group of presenters and panelists framed the current water situation in California and followed up with a call to action for the region. … ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here:  NSWA forum focuses on California Water Problems

Phil Isenberg serves on PPIC board:  Dan Bacher writes: “On September 11, 2013, Phil Isenberg, then Chair of the Delta Stewardship Council, joined the Board of Directors of the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).   “The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) welcomed three distinguished Californians into key leadership roles today,” according to a PPIC news release. “Donna Lucas, CEO and president of Lucas Public Affairs, was elected board chair. Patrick Murphy, professor of politics at the University of San Francisco, joined PPIC as director of research and senior fellow.”   Isenberg has served in leadership roles in both the privately funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative to create so-called “marine protected areas” in California and planning processes promoting the environmentally destructive peripheral tunnels.  … ”  Read more from Dan Bacher at here:  Phil Isenberg Serves on PPIC Board

Central Valley Business Times interviews blogger Burt Wilson:  ” … Mr. Wilson, who is now 81, and Mr. Brown, who is now 76, squared off in the 1980s when Mr. Brown pushed for digging the Peripheral Canal, a massive ditch that would have diverted water from the Sacramento River into the water projects. That issue made it the ballot box and Californians rejected the canal by a wide margin. The governor’s tunnels plan is not on the ballot.  Now Mr. Brown is back in office for his third and possibly fourth term and Mr. Wilson is back in the trenches, fighting against the governor’s latest plan for the two massive water tunnels around the Delta.   “The consultants they [BDCP supporters] hire and spend millions of dollars on have a new code word now amongst the water agencies. The code word is ‘uncertainty,’” said Mr. Wilson. “Like, well, ‘that’s uncertain,’ or ‘that’s an uncertainty.’ Just yesterday the head of the State Water Resources Control Board said, ‘We’ll always have uncertainties.’” … ”  Read more from the Central Valley Business Times here:  BDCP equals deliberate confusion says critic

Whose river is the Colorado?  The Inkstain blog ponders the book, A River No More, and how people value the river (and in this example, the Lower Colorado River) differently: ” … Fradkin calls the Parker Strip “a charnel river” – a death house. But his description of the pulsing humanity is anything but. It’s alive, just with people doing things of which Fradkin disapproves. 125,000 people with their RV’s and motorboats and beer were embracing the river, just with a different set of values than Fradkin’s. This is a hard problem, because there is no a priori value for the Colorado or any river, but we get tangled up in groups who hold each set of values assuming theirs is the right one. We want it as a water supply for our farms and cities, and as a haven for motorboats, and as a place for a quiet kayak, and as a living river that is its own intrinsic value separate from the way humans might choose to use it. There’s conflict among those values, because we can’t have them all simultaneously, and Fradkin is pissy because his values have long been on the losing side. … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here:  Whose river is the Colorado?

A tale of two water supplies: The State Water Project vs. the Colorado River: Jeff Simonetti at the Hydrowonk blog writes: “In Rod Smith’s post on April 2nd, he predicts that the final 2014 allocation from the State Water Project will be 23%, with “a reasonable chance that the final SWP allocation will be zero.” Although the rains in February were kind to California’s most-parched areas, the major storm did not help much towards reversing the severe drought conditions that the Central Valley farming areas face. However, in the Southeastern portion of the state along the Colorado River, the water crisis seems much less dire. For now, the Colorado River has given Arizona and the portions of California that have access to it water supplies without interruption – a marked contrast to the areas of California that rely on the State Water Project. But why is this the case, and for how long can the Colorado supply water reliably? In this piece, I will address both of these issues. … ”  Continue reading at the Hydrowonk blog here: A Tale of Two California Water Supplies: The State Water Project vs. the Colorado River

Fracking and the Environment: Dan Farber at the Legal Planet reviews the latest report on fracking:  “There are a lot of unanswered questions about natural gas and fracking.  A recent report by Resources for the Future sheds light on some of the answers.  RFF is unusual among Washington think tanks — an honest broker that uses expertise to try to answer hard questions.  The report reaches three important conclusions.  The first conclusion relates to impacts on water. … ”  Continue reading at the Legal Planet here: Fracking and the Environment

Discovering the Crowd’s Wisdom About California’s Water Bond:  ” … The Legislature is currently considering seven bills that would remove the 2009 Act’s water bond from the November 2014 ballot and offer voters a new water bond.   For this to happen, the Legislature must pass and the Governor sign legislation by June 26, 2014.  The water industry is abuzz about the water bond and related legislative activity.  Hydrowonk asks the “water crowd” to share their wisdom on the issue.  Predictions markets have a track record of accurately prediction future events and thousands have been used in the private and public sector. … ”  Read more from the Hydrowonk blog here:  Discovering the Crowd’s Wisdom About California’s Water Bond

Photo credit:  Picture of pipes at the LA Swim Stadium by Maven.

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