Bloggers on the twin tunnels, the water bond, groundwater legislation, water conservation, salmon, mudsnails and more …

Funny water sign by  Gwydion M Williams
Do you need to be warned of this … ?

Twin Tunnels Could Produce Friant Dry Year Water Woes: The Friant Waterline writes: “While “progress” on the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan’s ambitious and controversial twin tunnels planning continues to mostly be marked by delay, Friant Division contractors and the Friant Water Authority are looking long and hard at findings in troubling computer modeling.  Friant Water Authority directors were told at their August 28 meeting in Visalia that the twin tunnels proposal to bypass the fragile Delta not only lacks benefits for Friant users, it could actually make Friant’s future dry year water supply problems worse. “Computer modeling shows it is a losing proposition with less water supply reliability to Friant, particularly in dry years,” said Ronald D. Jacobsma, FWA General Manager. … ”  Read more from the Friant Waterline here: Twin Tunnels Could Produce Friant Dry Year Water Woes

Groundwater package is latest example of confronting tough issues:  ACWA’s Tim Quinn writes: “ACWA and its member agencies have a long history of leadership when it comes to confronting big changes in the way we manage water resources in California. Comprehensive groundwater legislation currently awaiting the governor’s signature is the latest example.  Few issues are as complex and controversial as groundwater, and the three-bill package that won final approval in the Legislature Aug. 29 is without question one of the most complicated and difficult set of policy reforms this generation of water managers has attempted to pursue. … ”  Read more from ACWA’s Voices on Water blog here:  Groundwater package is latest example of confronting tough issues

For regulating California groundwater, this is only the beginning: The Inkstain blog writes:  “California’s newly passed groundwater management legislation has rightly been called “the most significant set of water reforms to pass the Legislature since at least the Burns-Porter Act in 1960 that authorized the State Water Project”. In a state where overpumping is epidemic, regulation is incredibly important, as Jay Lund and Thomas Harter recently explained: ‘Sustaining a prosperous civilization in California’s dry climate requires firm accounting of all major water resources, including groundwater. When management of a resource as valuable as groundwater is lacking, overdraft and litigation fill the void. … ‘”  Continue reading at the Inkstain blog here:  For regulating California groundwater, this is only the beginning

Blog Round Up
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The era of big dams is still over, even with the water bond:  Doug Obegi of the NRDC writes:  “The potential for new water storage in California is in the news because of Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond on California’s November ballot, which includes $2.7 billion for new groundwater and surface storage  (and an additional $800M for groundwater remediation projects).  For instance, Sunday’s San Jose Mercury News article outlined four major reasons why the era of big dams ended in California: the best sites are already taken, environmental laws prevent the worst projects, easy federal money dried up, and cities and farms found new ways to create water.  Likewise, columnist Robert Green in the LA Times asks all the right questions about new storage, from taxpayer subsidies to cost effectiveness, and highlights the fact that building a new dam doesn’t mean it will fill with water.  … ”  Read more from the NRDC Switchboard blog here:  The era of big dams is still over, even with the water bond

Most voters don’t support Prop. 1’s $15 billion debt for dams, agribusiness subsidies: Dan Bacher writes: “Opponents of Proposition 1, the State Water Bond, today released results of a statewide poll finding that the $15 billion spending package for dams, bike trails in conservancies, and subsidies for huge agribusiness water-takers “has a tenuous path to passage.”  The poll of 600 likely November voters was conducted by the respected national firm of Lake Research Partners at the end of August. The survey found that Prop. 1 fails to attract majority support, with just 42% of voters saying they’d vote yes, 24% no, and 34% undecided. No on Prop. 1 consultant Steve Hopcraft said, “Our findings show voters strongly doubt Prop. 1’s misplaced spending, and taking on billions more in debt. Voters understand that spending Prop. 1’s $15 billion on building dams that don’t pencil out, and funding bike trails and hiking trails, takes that money away from education, public safety and health care. Prop. 1 has already squeezed education by pushing a school construction bond off the ballot. Prop. 1 is the wrong investment.”  … ”  Read more from Dan Bacher here:  Most voters don’t support Prop. 1’s $15 billion debt for dams, agribusiness subsidies

No on Proposition One: Bruce Frohman at the Valley Citizen blog writes: “On November 4, California voters will have the opportunity to vote on whether to build more dams. The proposition is touted as the solution to California’s water woes. In reality, little will be accomplished.  When the State Water Project was constructed some 60 years ago, the builders knew that it was only a stop gap project to provide water needs. They predicted that the project would be obsolete in 50 years and that the state would not have enough water if something else did not get built. … ”  Read more from The Valley Citizen here:  No on Proposition One

Rethinking urban water conservation:  The PPIC blog writes: “The California Water Resources Control Board adopted a statewide policy last month requiring local agencies to implement drought plans, including restrictions on outdoor water use. Local agencies have responded in a variety of ways. Some have imposed mandatory cutbacks while others are still only asking their customers to make voluntary cutbacks. Mandatory water use restrictions can be more effective and, according to the July PPIC Statewide Survey, 75 percent of Californians say they strongly favor them. So why aren’t more water agencies enacting mandatory cutbacks during this crisis? ... ”  Read more from the PPIC blog here:  Rethinking urban water conservation

Salmon vs. salmon:  Families Protecting the Valley writes:  “Enviro heads must be spinning as they face the conflicting task of sacrificing Kokanee salmon in the Trinity Reservoir to save Chinook salmon in the lower Klamath.  The Kokanee salmon in the reservoir are dying because of the low lake level, and the Chinook salmon in the river are dying because of the low flows on the river.  So they will let the Kokanee die to save the Chinook by releasing more water from the reservoir into the river. … ” Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Salmon vs. salmon

Why the Eel River Disappeared and What It Means for Fish: The Lost Coast Outpost writes: “Just northwest of Fortuna, the Lower Eel River seems to disappear.  A YouTube video posted yesterday to claimed that the Eel has stopped flowing altogether, which is not strictly accurate. The video above, which was shot this morning, shows that the Eel simply goes underground for a stretch, running beneath the surface of the gravel riverbed before reemerging about 100-200 yards north.  Regardless, this is an alarming and worrisome development for the third-largest watershed in California. … ”  Read more from the Lost Coast Outpost here: Why the Eel River Disappeared and What It Means for Fish

Simple environmental solutions versus human behavior: New Zealand mudsnails:  Mark Lubell writes:  “In order to reinforce the importance of integrating social and biophysical sciences to solve environmental problems, it is sometimes useful to tilt at straw men. Take the case of the New Zealand mudsnail, and this paper that purports a solution: Simple Control Method to Limit the Spread of the New Zealand Mudsnail Potamopyrgus antipodarum. Awesome, let’s go home. But wait…some facts about the NZ mudsnail.  ... ”  Read more from Mark Lubell’s blog at the Center for Environmental Policy and Behavior here:  Simple environmental solutions versus human behavior: New Zealand mudsnails

What happens in LA if the drought continues? We know the drought in California is bad. It seems like it hasn’t rained in forever — until a sprinkling hit Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley today and a rainstorm hammered parts of the Inland Empire. That storm and possible thunder will die out fast, however. Gardens are withering. And on the Internet, Californians have criticized the viral ALS ice bucket challenge in light of the parched conditions. Yet here in Los Angeles, the water keeps on running from our faucets as if there’s no problem. Utility rates also haven’t jumped that much since the drought began in 2012.  … ”  Read more from LA Weekly here:  What happens in LA if the drought continues?

The aftermath of drought in Texas:  Jeff Simonetti at the Hydrowonk blog writes: “While we here in California still face one of the worst droughts in our state’s history, some areas of the Western United States are enjoying the beginning of a reprieve from exceptional drought conditions. In particular, parts of Texas faced severe drought conditions over the last few years. Increased storms and precipitation in these areas of late has reduced the drought in these states. But is everything fixed with the rains these areas have received? The answer to that question unfortunately is no. While these areas have received rain to help alleviate drought conditions, Texas must also deal with the longer-term challenge of groundwater depletion that the drought caused. Hopefully California can use the case of Texas for how it will have to handle the challenges of water management after a drought. … ”  Read more from the Hydrowonk blog here:  The aftermath of drought in Texas

In fighting drought, San Antonio leaves L.A. in the dust: Wayne Lusvardi writes: “Could cities such as drought-vulnerable Los Angeles come to regret that a “privatization” provision in the old $11.1 billion state water bond was removed?  Back in 2009, there was an outcry against language in the original version of a proposed state water bond that would have allowed private companies to own, operate and profit from water projects partly funded by taxpayers dollars. Critics said it opened a door to dangerous privatization. … ”  Read more from the Cal Watchdog blog here:  In fighting drought, San Antonio leaves L.A. in the dust


Photo credit: Warning sign by flickr photographer Gwydion M Williams.


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About the Blog Round-up: The Blog Round-up is a weekly journey through the wild and varied tapestry of blog commentary, incorporating the good, the bad, the ugly, and sometimes just plain bizarre viewpoints existing on the internet.  Viewpoints expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily my own; inclusion of items here does not imply my endorsement of their positions. Items are chosen to express a wide range of viewpoints, and are added at the editor’s discretion. While posts with obvious factual errors are excluded, please note that no attempt is made on my part to verify or fact check the information bloggers present, so caveat emptor – let the buyer beware.

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