Bloggers on the water bond, water and rice, making hay out of dams, wicked problems or wicked actors, BDCP, fish survival, sexy groundwater and more …

Colorful splash

Colorful splash by Theophilos Papadopoulos

Blog Round Up

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Governor Reveals True Intent of Prop. 1 – the Brown Water Plan, says Dan Bacher: He writes: “After months of misrepresenting the true purpose of Proposition 1, Governor Jerry Brown “inadvertently undermined his own message” at a recent Stanford water conference, according to a statement from Prop. 1 opponents. Brown, one of the worst governors for fish, water and the environment in recent California history, claimed the measure would provide components missing from the State Water Project “enacted by my father.” These components, Brown ominously intoned, would “deal with the Delta.” Jerry Brown had attempted to “deal with the Delta” once before.  … ”  Read more from Dan Bacher at IndyBay.org here:  Governor Reveals True Intent of Prop. 1 – the Brown Water Plan

Aguanomics shares thoughts on water bond:  “Here are my few thoughts on this $7+ billion bond.*  NB: I am ignoring the (possible and probably likely) existence of federal, state and local laws and financing relating to these topics; the possible conflict among these topics; the probability that some/all of these spending priorities will be blocked by lawsuits; and the typical complexities of implementation. All of these issues are likely to reduce the effectiveness/impact of this bond’s promises. … ”  Read more from Aguanomics here: A few thoughts on California’s Proposition 1

What’s in Proposition 1?  Caitrin Chappelle and Ellen Hanak write:  “California voters are deciding the fate of Proposition 1—a $7.5 billion water bond. If Prop 1 passes, the water sector will get a big boost in funding. Prop 1 contains $7.12 billion in new debt (the remaining $400 million dollars is money that would be re-authorized from previously passed bonds).  So what kind of water projects will be funded if Prop. 1 passes? The bond focuses mainly on water supply ($3.6 billion) with the majority ($2.7 billion) designated as matching funds for storage projects. These matching funds are intended to support up to half the costs of projects that store water either in surface reservoirs or underground aquifers, and they can only be used to fund “public benefits.” ... ”  Read more from the PPIC blog here:  What’s in Proposition 1?

Are the benefits of Prop 1 being oversold?  Chris Reed writes:  “Proposition 1 — a $7.1 billion state bond to pay for a variety of water projects — was billed as a huge improvement over bloated past proposed water bonds when it emerged from the Legislature this summer. Now Gov. Jerry Brown’s political warchest and Sean Parker of Facebook and Napster fame are funding an ad campaign that aggressively pitches the measure and the Prop 2 rainy-day fund as crucial for California’s future.  This week, however, one of the relatively few think tanks that specializes in water issues came out with a 26-page analysis that in low-key fashion suggests Prop 1’s merits are being exaggerated. … ”  Continue reading at the Cal Watchdog blog here: Are the benefits of Prop 1 being oversold? 

Tribal Chiefs, River and Groundwater Protectors Oppose Prop. 1:Tribal leaders and river and groundwater protection advocates on Monday, October 27, announced their opposition to Proposition 1, Governor Jerry Brown’s State Water Bond, at a Redding news conference. Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, told reporters that the water bond, peripheral tunnels, Shasta Dam raise and other water projects now being planned by the state and federal governments are in in reality “one Big Project” that will destroy salmon, rivers and groundwater supplies. “It does not make sense that people are separating the water puzzle into individual pieces, such as: the raising of Shasta Dam, Proposition 1, the Delta tunnels, BDCP, Sites Reservoir, Temperance Flat, CALFED, Delta Vision, BDCP, OCAP, the Bay Delta, Trinity/Klamath Rivers, the Sacramento River, the San Joaquin River, and water rights,” said Chief Sisk. “It is all one BIG Project.” ... ”  Read more from Dan Bacher here: Tribal Chiefs, River and Groundwater Protectors Oppose Prop. 1 

Water bond: Working for waterfowl and you:  Mark Biddlecomb writes:  “Proposition 1 is a step in the right direction for waterfowl conservation. This bond includes funding to help support habitat restoration and enhancement for migratory birds, while specifically remaining tunnel neutral in regards to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. … ”  Read more from NCWA blog here:  The water bond: Working for waterfowl and you

Water and Rice – baseless attacks and twisting “facts”: Tim Johnson writes: “A slew of negative stories on farm water use – it must be that the water bond has a chance of passing! Certainly, recent polling shows that the majority of California supports a water bond. What’s more, water and drought are among the most important issues for California according to a recent PPIC poll.  I didn’t, however, need any polling to pick up on these trends – I just started seeing time–worn and inaccurate hit pieces on rice and water use appearing in blogs of the political fringe.  While the claims against rice are not new, they do deserve a thoughtful response, which is far more than they provide. Here goes. … ”  Read more from the California Rice blog here:  Water and Rice – baseless attacks and twisting “facts”

Making Hay Out of Dams:California may be dubbed the “Golden State” but when you look at the drought monitor map, it’s more like the dark brown state. Indeed, nearly 60 percent of the state is in “exceptional” drought – the most severe category – and more than 80 percent is in “extreme” drought, the next level down. To put that into perspective, one year ago none of the state was in the exceptional category, and only a little over 10 percent was experiencing extreme drought (though truth be told, 85 percent was already in “severe” drought). … ”  Read more from the Weekly Wastebasket here:  Making Hay Out of Dams

Wicked problems or wicked bad actors?  John Bass writes: “Boxall’s piece clarifies the point I want to make about the dilemma California has created on how to manage its groundwater. I’d been thinking about a comment offered by the always thoughtful John Fleck, in response to my last post. Here’s John’s comment:  Wicked problems are always more difficult than tame ones, even when the tame ones (putting a man on the moon) are really really hard. In a tame problem, we can all agree on the objective, and a measure of success or failure. … ”  Read more from the Delta National Park blog here:  Wicked problems or wicked bad actors?

BDCP Progress in Achieving the Co-Equal Goals: “Complex projects like the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) take time. Each methodical step forward over the past seven years has resulted in a better project, rooted in the best available science. The changes to the BDCP have strived to minimize impacts wherever possible while meeting the project’s purpose. Since 2012 the BDCP has made significant strides and, as a result of an unprecedented level of public review and comment, has resulted in a better and more refined project. ... ”  Continue reading and view a new two-pager info sheet here:  BDCP Progress in Achieving the Co-Equal Goals

Flagging problem dams for fish survival:  Ted Grantham and Peter Moyle write:  “This drought year, as in those past, California water regulators have given away to cities and farms some river flows critical to fish and wildlife. It’s a dicey tradeoff considering most of our native fishes are in trouble even without the drought.  There are, however, legal backstops to prevent harmful reductions in fish flows, even during a drought as severe as this one. They include the “beneficial use of water” section of the California constitution, state and federal endangered species acts, the public trust doctrine – and one rarely applied state regulation specifically aimed at preventing loss of fish through the operation of dams. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Flagging problem dams for fish survival

Sexy groundwater:  Selling groundwater sustainability to the masses: Maria Gibson, aka the Groundwater Geek, did her PhD advisor (yours truly) one (or two) better and proud as well. Instead of bemoaning the fact that groundwater is the Rodney Dangerfield of the hydrologic cycle or castigating organizations like The Nature Conservancy, UN Water, GOOD, and Circle of Blue for dissing groundwater, she decided to be proactive and propose that we do a better job ‘selling’ groundwater to the masses.  So her is talk at the recent GSA meeting in Vancouver, BC: Groundwater Is Sexy, If You Live Under a Rock: How to Sell Groundwater Sustainability to the Masses ... ”  More from the Water Wired blog here: Presentation: ‘Groundwater Is Sexy, If You Live Under a Rock.’ How to Sell It? ‘Bernays-it’!

Climate Change: A New Energy-Water Nexus for Emission Trading:California Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon added a new twist (climate change) to the increasingly popular topic of the “energy-water nexus.” Speaking at the 30th Annual Meeting and Dinner of the Southern California Water Committee, “as we live through the current severe and extreme drought, which is now approaching a 4th straight year of drought conditions, the realities of limited water supplies are hitting home.”  Introducing climate change into the policy discussion, Senator de Leon will move water agencies into a new era of carbon emission control.  Will participation in California’s cap-and-trade emission market become a new tool for water managers? … ” Continue reading from the Hydrowonk blog here: Climate Change: A New Energy-Water Nexus for Emission Trading

Dr. Kennedy’s Groundwater Remedy:A passionate defender of prime farmland as well as a firm believer in sustainable use of resources, Dr. Kennedy has grown increasing alarmed at the wanton destruction of one of the last viable aquifers in the San Joaquin Valley. Here is the text of his remarks to Stanislaus County Supervisors last Tuesday:  In a recent public meeting, Walter Ward was criticized for not doing his job. He does not deserve it. You do.  It is obvious we need a lot more information on water resources than we have now, especially on groundwater. There is a lot of data out there that needs to be accumulated and interpreted. It is not a one-man only job. You have tried to do it on the cheap by appointing a well-intentioned group, each of which has his own private interests, but no skills in pulling together the available information for you. … ”  Continue reading from the Valley Citizen blog here: Dr. Kennedy’s Groundwater Remedy

Stormwater tax drowns voters: Wayne Lusvardi writes: “California is embarking on a program of capturing storm water from flood control channels for urban landscaping at high costs.  And stormwater capture projects won’t require voter approval under Proposition 218, the Right to Vote on Taxes Act, because courts have ruled stormwater recapture is not a tax on top of basic water service.  Prior to 2014, there was no taxing authority and no legal way for county flood control agencies in California to capture urban stormwater and reuse it for irrigating landscaping along highways, public parks, public golf courses, greenbelts, wetlands and cemeteries.Recent legislation changed that. … ”  Read more from Cal Watchdog here:  Stormwater tax drowns voters

Drought emergency strikes Southland water district:  “Will next year bring restrictions to water use in Southern California that cause people’s yards to go brown and die?  Could be, if the Southland suffers a worst-case scenario of low rainfall and no imported water, Tony Zampiello told CalWatchdog.com; he’s watermaster for the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District – called the Upper District.  On Oct. 22, the Upper District declared a water supply emergency, citing the lack of deliveries of imported water and sparse rainfall. Zampiello said there may be enough water for essential human needs, but only if the public takes this “unprecedented drought” seriously and entirely curtails residential landscape watering. … ”  Read more from Cal Watchdog here:  Drought emergency strikes Southland water district

And lastly … Bay Area salt ponds and environs:  My favorite photoblogger (and no, it’s not me) visits Oakland and the salt ponds.  Check it out here:  Banished from San Francisco

Photo credit:  Colorful splash by Theophilos Papadopoulos.

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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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