Blog round-up: All politics is local. Is water?, the new American dustbowl, the future of farming, suction dredge mining, the water bond, groundwater and more …

Blog Round Up

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All politics is local.  Is water? Not really, says the Water Wired blog:  Michael Campana responds to a tweet by Maggie Catley-Carlson that said “Water is three things — local, local and local” :  ” … I have met Maggie on three occasions and was impressed on every occasion. A smart, articulate WaterWonk. Yes, a hero, for sure.  I have heard for years that water is a local issue. I have heard it from experts, non-experts, WaterWonk wannabes, and their ilk. I think it’s folly to assume that water is entirely or always a local issue. Governance and management issues? Yes, in most cases.  I do want to make it clear that in this post I am talking about community water supply because it is often in that context that I’ve heard the word ‘local’ used. It’s possible that this post might seem trivial to some of you. I hope so.  … ”  Read more from the Water Wired blog here:  All politics is local.  Is water? Not really.

On the Public Record on the New American Dustbowl: Mr. Heathcock, Part 1:  On the Public Record writes: “I am very impressed with Mr. Heathcock’s longform piece on how growers are responding to this year’s drought in the San Joaquin Valley.  I commend him for:  Focusing on the growers and their attitudes. The two major drivers in California’s water system are climate and people. A detailed article about the people for whom we move water shows us the forces (primarily their emotions and influence) behind how we got here.  Going the distance. Mr. Heathcock visited some obscure places and put in the driving hours. … ”  Read more from On the Public Record here: New American Dustbowl, Mr. Heathcock (1 of 3)  Then either navigate to the next part, or click here:  Part 2, Part 3

David Guy contemplates the future of farming: He writes: “Watching the “Farm to Fork” festivities in Sacramento this weekend gives me renewed encouragement that our urban population is seeking and finding new ways to think about the special attributes of agriculture and its important role in our society. Much like the evolution that occurs with food and wine as people develop more sophisticated palettes, the food movement appears to be poised for a growth spurt, where people are searching for a more sophisticated understanding about the agriculture that feeds and clothes people, as well as enriches the landscapes we all live.  In thinking about these issues, I call upon two different articulations that help project some of the new energy underway in the discourse around the future role of farming.  … ”  Read more from the Water Food Environment blog here:  Thinking about the Future of Farming……

Habitat restoration: Planning for climate change:  Richard Stapler at the BDCP blog writes: “Each week, we learn more about how climate change is likely to affect California. The U.S. Department of the Interior just released the “Sacramento and San Joaquin Basins Climate Impact Assessment,” detailing the impacts of climate change on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Read the report here.   The effects of climate change on the Delta described in the Interior report includes more frequent saltwater inundation from the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean into the freshwater estuary. This advancing inundation only underscores the importance of Delta habitat restoration. … ”  Read more from the BDCP blog here:  Habitat restoration: Planning for climate change

Court of Appeal deals a blow to the state’s ban on suction dredge mining: Jonathan Wood writes: “The California Court of Appeal has issued a decision that seriously undermines California’s ban on suction dredge mining. Adopting the argument of our amicus brief, the Court held that a state ban forbidding all commercially beneficial use of a federal mining claim is preempted by federal mining law.  Brandon Rinehart has a federal mining claim in a streambed in the Plumas National Forest. He claims that the only way he can work this claim is by using suction dredge mining equipment. However, California has banned the use of such equipment, citing environmental concerns. When Rinehart worked his claim anyway, he was criminally prosecuted. ... ”  Read more from the Liberty Blog here:  Court of Appeal deals a blow to the state’s ban on suction dredge mining

The Water Bond (Proposition 1): Questions and Answers:  The Northern California Water Association writes: “The Northern California Water Association (NCWA) Board of Directors has formally supported Propositions 1 (The Water Bond) and 2 (The Rainy Day Fund). By voting “Yes” for these measures, we can help guide California in a positive direction for the next several decades. The following provides questions and answers to Proposition 1, the water bond.  What is Proposition 1?   Proposition 1, the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014, is on the November 4 statewide ballot. The Legislature overwhelmingly passed the water bond and the Governor signed the bill into law.  ... ”  Read more from the NCWA Blog here: The Water Bond (Proposition 1): Questions and Answers

Drought brings centralized groundwater control: Wayne Lusvardi writes: “Was it necessary to pass three new bills that increase the California government’s control over groundwater? The numbers tell the story.  By now most Californians have heard the shockingly huge number: The state has lost 63 trillion gallons of water due to the drought that has hit since 2013. That is 193.3 million acre-feet of water, or almost one year’s average rainfall in California of 194 million acre-feet of water. … ”  Continue reading from the Cal Watchdog blog here: Drought brings centralized groundwater control

Stanislaus County May Declare Moratorium on East Side Wells: Eric Caine writes: “Just as it appeared Wednesday’s meeting of the Stanislaus Water Advisory Committee (WAC) was going to conclude another session of deferred action, Stanislaus County Supervisor Terry Withrow lit up the room.  “I was talking to Jim and he was pretty adamant about putting a moratorium on the east side,” said Withrow. “And right now he’s got the votes to do it.” ... ”  Read more from the Valley Citizen blog here:  Stanislaus County May Declare Moratorium on East Side Wells

Two Mono Lake anniversaries: 20 years ago and 30 years ago: Elin writes: “September 28 is a day that figures large in the Mono Lake story. On this day in 1994 the California State Water Resources Control Board issued Decision 1631, often known as the decision to save Mono Lake. And on this day in 1984 the Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area was created, at the time the only designation of its kind in the country. … ”  Read more from the Mono Logue here:  Two Mono Lake anniversaries today, 20 and 30 years ago

Southern California reserves could dry up in 2016:The nearby photo shows the recent demolition of a 160-foot water tank tower at Edwards Air Force Base northeast of Lancaster. Could it be a prophetic image for Southern California’s future?  The Associated Press reported the area’s regional water supplier, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, could be without reserves by early 2016.  The MWD supplies water to 19 million people in cities in six counties in Southern California: Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego. … ”  Read more from the Cal Watchdog blog here:  Southern California reserves could dry up in 2016

Contingency planning in the upper Colorado River Basin:  “Water managers in the Upper Colorado River Basin are beginning to roll out details of their contingency planning aimed at preventing Lake Powell from dropping to troublingly low levels.  Among the key steps being discussed, according to a presentation Monday by New Mexico’s Kevin Flanagan to his state’s Interstate Stream Commission: cloud seeding, reservoir reoperation to move water from upstream reservoirs, especially Flaming Gorge in Wyoming, to Powell to keep Powell’s levels up, and“demand management” – willing buyer/seller agreements to fallow farm land, for example … ”  Continue reading from the Inkstain blog here:  Contingency planning in the upper Colorado River Basin

Is the end of the Texas drought near?  “Do you believe an Aggie or a Red Raider?  The Los Angeles Times recently ran a story on the September torrential rainfall in Texas: Rain pounds Texas: A sign the drought is ending?  “This could be the start of the end of the drought,” said state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University.  We’ve been behind on rainfall for several years in West Texas. We have thirsty watersheds.” “We need multiple, wetter years,” said Ken Rainwater, former director of the Water Resources Center at Texas Tech University.   Well, this is one Aggie-Red Raider dispute that can’t be settled on the gridiron. … ”  Continue reading from the Hydrowonk blog here: Is the End of the Texas Drought Near?

Peter Gleick on the death of the Aral Sea:  “In the 20th century, society was either ignorant of, or ignored, the consequences of bad water management. The goal was economic development at all costs. Over the past few decades, we’ve learned about the ecological and social implications of the misuse of water, and some efforts have been made to protect natural ecosystems, restore a modicum of flows, bring local communities into the discussion about water policy and infrastructure. These are steps in the right direction.  But sometimes our failures have been monumental — and uncorrected. ... ”  Read more from the Pacific Institute here: National Geographic ScienceBlogs: The Death of the Aral Sea

And lastly … Fantasy Bottled Water Brands of Tomorrow: Ogallala Water:We are peering into the not-so-distant future to imagine what the brand geniuses of the future will be serving up for discerning water consumers!  The Brand: Ogallala  Source: Great Plains Why? Deep down, you know you love it. … ”  Continue reading from Thirsty in Suburbia here: Fantasy Bottled Water Brands of Tomorrow: Ogallala Water

Photo credit: The ocean is a strange place, by flickr photographer Chlmpr

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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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