Bloggers on drought, water bond ‘czars’, the Reber plan for SF Bay, designing dams for climate change, a water bond prediction, and more …

Water art by babowlzCalifornia water bond on election eve: Did political leadership push Prop 1 over the finish line? Rod Smith writes: “Sitting before my computer at sundown November 3rd, thinking about whether California voters will pass the 2014 water bond?  Hydrowonk believes the outcome depends on the balance among three factors: will the drought and political leadership exerted by Governor Brown overcome the drag of increasing debt burdens on voter support for water bonds? According to the wisdom of the Stratecon Water Policy Marketplace, the answer is yes. This market now predicts that the chance of the water bond passing is 57%.  Given the trend in voter support of water bonds and California debt loads, the passage of the water bond would be a remarkable achievement. … ”  Continue reading at the Hydrowonk blog here: CA Water Bond on Election Eve: Did Political Leadership Push Prop 1 Over the Finish Line?

What is 2015 is dry?  Jeff Mount, Ellen Hanak and Jay Lund write:  “Three consecutive years of drought have depleted California’s water storage, brought hardship to the agricultural sector, and led to stringent emergency conservation measures in cities throughout the state. In October, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its outlook for next winter, and the preliminary modeling suggests more of the same. So what, if anything, should the state do differently next year?  The State Water Resources Control Board, which administers water rights in California, is asking this very question. … ”  Read more from the PPIC blog here:  What if 2015 is dry?

Blog Round Up

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Staring down the California drought: Looking at solutions to our water crisis:  “In September, the governor signed legislation to make the state more resilient to drought and strengthen local management and monitoring of the state’s water needs. The problem isn’t just a lack of rain; it’s a lack of resilience in the forests and fields that collect what little rain does come and funnel it into rivers. “We have to learn to manage wisely water, energy, land and our investments,” said Brown. “That’s why this is important.”  Our planet’s water crisis is something we can no longer ignore, and extends beyond California. … ”  Read more from the Huffington Post here:  Staring down the California drought:  Looking at solutions to our water crisis

Farming accounts for 40.8% of the state’s water supply:  The California Farm Water Coalition writes:  “Farms account for 40.8 percent of California’s water demand according to the California Water Plan (Bulletin 160-13), which was released to the public today. Farmers are often mischaracterized as using 80 percent of the state’s water supply, but that’s simply not true, based off of numbers published by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR).  The largest water user in California is the environment, using 50% of developed supply. The amount of water dedicated to environmental purposes is on the rise and continues to be the largest water user in the state. At the same time, water going to farms and to meet domestic needs has declined over the past decade. … ” Read more here:  Farming accounts for 40.8% of the state’s water supply

Eight of nine ‘water bond czars’ hail from Northern California: Wayne Lusvardi writes: “Call them Water Bond Czars. They’re the nine members of the California Water Commission and will decide how to implement Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond on the Nov. 4 ballot, should voters pass it.  While most media have focused on what’s in the bond, little attention has been given to who will oversee the first water storage projects built in California in 50 years. The bond stipulates that the Nine Water Bond Czars will decide where the money goes. … ”  Read more from the Cal Watchdog blog here: 8 of 9 Water Bond Czars hail from NorCal

The Reber Plan: A once big idea for the San Francisco Bay:The Reber Plan? Reber? Weren’t they the cannibalistic humans in Firefly and Serenity? No, this Reber is someone else – a fellow who proposed a plan for San Francisco Bay in the 1940s that would construct two dams across San Francisco Bay to create two freshwater lakes, among other things. Although a number of individuals and organizations supported his idea, it never got off the ground. Why? Read on… Before continuing, I have to admit that I had not heard of this scheme until I read the chapter on “Zombie Water Projects” by Peter H. Gleick, Matthew Hebeger, and Kristina Donnelly in The World’s Water, Volume 8, by Peter H. Gleick et al. ... ”  Hey, California! Resurrect The Reber Plan to Solve Those Pesky Water Shortages! 

A Halloween treat: Lake Mead’s not as empty as we expected:  “I was wrong when I wrote in April that Lake Mead would continue to set “lowest ever for this point in the year” records for all of 2014. As I write this, with a few hours left in October, Mead’s surface elevation is 1,082.79 feet above seal level. That is more than five whole inches above the last really dry year, 2010!  But don’t get too excited. … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here: A Halloween treat: Lake Mead’s not quite as empty as we expected

Oklahoma and California: Similar Droughts, Similar Challenges: Jeff Simonetti writes: “Looking at a map of the current drought conditions in the United States, it is clear to see which areas of the country are facing critical drought conditions. The western drought, particularly in California has received the most media attention. Parts of Oregon and Nevada are also facing extreme and exceptional drought conditions. Getting less attention though is the drought conditions happening in parts of Texas and Oklahoma. Oklahoma, in particular the areas along the border with Texas have faced drought conditions for the last 2-3 years. Storms in this region over the last few months began to loosen the grip of drought in the area, but the lingering effects of long-term drought will take more than a few major rainstorms to reverse the crippling drought that this region has faced for the last few years. … ”  Read more from the Hydrowonk blog here: Oklahoma and California: Similar Droughts, Similar Challenges

Learning lessons from the Millennium Drought 2014 California Delegation to Australia: Melbourne and Adelaide: Jessica Jewell writes:  “Australia is the world’s driest inhabited continent, and between 1997 and 2010 it faced an unprecedented challenge. During what is now called the “Millennium Drought,” lakes and reservoirs turned to dust. Thankfully, the country emerged from the epic dry spell stronger and more water-resilient than ever thanks to policies and actions taken by its people and governments.  In light of California’s current water crisis, select TreePeople staff, including founder and president Andy Lipkis, embarked on a Drought Solutions Delegation to Australia, cohosted by TreePeople and The Energy Coalition. Joined by an assemblage of top officials from California and the Los Angeles region, they traveled to Australia to learn relevant models, ideas, and solutions to bring back home to better prepare L.A. to get through our short-term drought emergency and to prepare for the long-term drier climate to come. … ”  Read more from the Tree People blog here:   Learning lessons from the Millennium Drought 2014 California Delegation to Australia: Melbourne and Adelaide

Sustainable Futures: Designing Dams in the Face of Climate Uncertainty: Earlier this month, the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) hosted a policy exchange on new decision-making tools for designing sustainable water infrastructure projects. The multi-institutional meeting was motivated by the SESYNC Pursuit “Climate Change & Water Resources Adaptation: Decision Scaling & Integrated Eco-engineering Resilience,” led by John Matthews of the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) and LeRoy Poff of Colorado State University. Representatives from World Bank, University of Massachusetts Amherst, U.S. Geological Survey, Deltares, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) presented on two decision frameworks that integrate stakeholder participation, risk identification, and adaptation into water resource management. … ”  Continue reading at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center blog here:  Sustainable Futures: Designing Dams in the Face of Climate Uncertainty

Photo credit: Water art by flickr photographer babowlz.

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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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