Bloggers on Westlands, the BDCP, Prop 1, groundwater, climate change and Mono Lake, “peak” water use, ‘waters of the U.S.’ and more …

Cool Clear Water Jeff ScismAgreeing to disagree:  John Bass writes:  “Don Peracchi, President of Westlands Water District, published this advertisement in the LAT over the weekend. Titled “A Little Straight Talk About Agriculture, Saving Water and Drainage,” it is certainly very straight talk – straight from the point of view of a very influential and impressively well-organized interest group.  Peracchi begins with a few statements about why Westlands is no less improbable or unsustainable than “growing crops in a saline estuary” or “vast farms on the desert lands of Coachella and Imperial Valleys” or “building a great city on the arid plain where Los Angeles now stands.”  Not that this establishes a particularly high bar for why Westlands – as opposed to other territories – should survive, but in principle, despite the hubris, I agree! … ”  Read more from the Delta National Park blog here:  Agreeing to disagree

The analyst versus the artist: I am your classic, analytical left-brainer,” writes Alex Brielter, posting a picture of a large stack of documents.  “This is my definition of what a complex environmental plan looks like … Put a highlighter in my right hand, a beverage in my left, prop my feet up on the desk and I’ll devour that bad boy with pleasure (well, maybe that’s going too far).  The artists with the Beehive Design Collective, which visited Stockton last week, see things in a more right-brained way. This is what the state’s Bay Delta Conservation Plan (twin tunnels) looks like in the eyes of beehive activist Ryan Camero, a Stockton native and environmental artist … ”  Continue reading from Alex Breitler’s blog here:  The analyst versus the artist

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The California Water Action Plan and the BDCP: ” …. All of the actions in the California Water Plan center on sustaining supplies of water for people, the environment, industry, and agriculture. And the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) will continue to be an important part of addressing California’s water supply and ecosystem challenges. The BDCP is identified in the California Water Action Plan as one action to achieve the co-equal goals for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta). As one part of California’s overall water plan, the BDCP would modernize California’s water delivery system, address water supply challenges and climate change, while protecting the Delta ecosystem. This short video explains the current challenges facing the Delta and the solutions offered by the proposed BDCP.”  Click here to watch the video.

The Passage of California Proposition 1 and the Groundwater Management Acts: What is next for the State of California?: Jeff Simonetti writes: “The fourth year of a statewide drought in California has brought some drastic changes to how citizens view and use water in the Golden State. First, both citizens and businesses are becoming more aware of their water use. State and local efforts to quantify how much water individual communities use have garnered recent media attention. Earlier this week, the California State Water Resources Control Board released data showing per capita water use by city across the state. The data showed that the tony cities of Rancho Santa Fe and Beverly Hills had some of the highest per capita water use despite the historic drought the state is facing. Second, the general public’s awareness of the importance of water issues to the state helped to get ballot measures like Proposition 1 across the finish line and into law despite two prior attempts to get a larger-sized measure on the ballot. ... ”  Read more from the Hydrowonk blog here: The Passage of California Proposition 1 and the Groundwater Management Acts: What is next for the State of California?

Prop 1 Passes: The power of big money overcomes the power of the people:  “Proposition 1, Governor Jerry Brown’s $7.5 billion water bond, sailed to easy victory on November 4, as forecasted in a number of polls.  The election results show how the power of millions of dollars of corporate money in the corrupt oligarchy of California were able to defeat a how a grassroots movement of fishermen, environmentalists, Indian Tribes and family farmers opposed to Prop. 1.  The Hoopa Valley, Yurok, Winnemem Wintu and Concow Maidu Tribes, the defenders of California’s rivers and oceans for thousands of years, strongly opposed Prop. 1. because of the threat the bond poses to water, salmon and their culture. ... ”  Read more from the Daily Kos here:  Prop 1 passes:  The power of big money overcomes the power of the people

Groundwater security, for the long term:  Lauren Adams writes: “Under recently enacted legislation, local agencies in California are required for the first time to manage groundwater pumping and recharge sustainably.  The law empowers local groundwater agencies to manage and use groundwater “without causing undesirable results,” leaving it up to them to determine how to best achieve this goal. Within the next six to eight years, agencies in groundwater basins subject to critical overdraft must adopt plans that put these areas on a path to sustainability by 2040. ... ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Groundwater security, for the long term

Taking stock of the Bay Area’s water supply:  Robin Meadows writes: “Water. It flows out of the tap every time we want, cool, clear, and clean. We take it for granted even now, three years into one of California’s driest stretches on record. But we can’t go on like this for much longer — the Bay Area’s water could start to run short in just two decades.  “Population growth will increase demand, and climate change will reduce the supply and increase demand,” said Heather Cooley, director of the Water Program at the Pacific Institute, an Oakland-based nonprofit dedicated to sustainable resource research.  The Bay Area’s population is projected to rise about 25 percent in the next two decades, from 7 million people today to 9 million in 2035. And without preparation there won’t always be enough water for us all. ... ”  Read more from the Bay Area Monitor here:  Taking stock of the Bay Area’s water supply

The IPCC Synthesis Report, record California temperatures and drought, and Mono Lake: Bartsche writes: “This last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest Synthesis Report (fifth report since 1990). It is a stark, sobering, and interesting read in context of the previous reports since scientific data and analysis support increasing certainty regarding climate warming, anthropogenic causes, strong and comprehensive impacts on natural systems, and “high risk of severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts globally” without urgent and significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. … ”  Read more from the Mono-Logue here: The IPCC Synthesis Report, record California temperatures and drought, and Mono Lake

Steve Knell wants to sell water:  “Steve Knell is the general manager of the Oakdale Irrigation District. He’s an advocate of water sales outside the district, and has presided over the sale of 382,408 acre feet of water over the last decade.  Knell’s latest claims about groundwater suggest the problem of overdrafting has been exaggerated. … ”  Continue reading at the Valley Citizen blog here:  Steve Knell wants to sell water

Peak Water: United States Water Use Drops to Lowest Level in 40 Years: Peter Gleick writes: “The most important trend in the use of water is the slowly unfolding story of peak water in the United States and elsewhere. Data on US water use are compiled every five years by the US Geological Survey, covering every state and every sector of the economy. The latest data – for 2010 – have just been released, and they show the continuation and acceleration of a stunning trend: US water withdrawals, for all purposes, are declining, not growing.  Traditional water planning and management assume inevitable, continuing, lockstep growth in demand for water as populations and economies expand. This has led to calls for continued expansion in traditional water infrastructure: dams, aqueducts, groundwater extraction, and long-distance water transfers. … ”  Read more from Peter Gleick at the Significant Figures blog here: Peak Water: United States Water Use Drops to Lowest Level in 40 Years

Waters of the U.S.” – the ultimate power grab: Reed Hopper writes: “The Clean Water Act prohibits certain discharges to “navigable waters” without a federal permit.  The Act defines “navigable waters” as “waters of the United States” which the Corps and EPA originally took to mean traditional navigable waters that could be used in interstate commerce.  This is important because the Clean Water Act is based on the commerce power.  By definition, regulation of waters under the Act must be necessary to and in furtherance of interstate commerce.  But it didn’t take long before the agencies started pushing the envelope on federal jurisdiction claiming regulatory authority over wetlands and other nonnavigable waters that had nothing to do with commerce, let alone interstate commerce. ... ”  Continue reading at the Pacific Legal Foundation’s Liberty Blog here:  “Waters of the U.S.” – the ultimate power grab

And lastly … NASA Astronauts grow water bubble in space:During Expedition 40 in the summer of 2014, NASA astronauts Steve Swanson and Reid Wiseman — along with European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst — explored the phenomenon of water surface tension in microgravity on the International Space Station. The crew “submerged” a sealed GoPro camera into a floating ball of water the size of a softball and recorded the activity with a 3-D camera.” The 2D version is embedded below. Have 3D glasses? Go here, then.

Photo credit: Cool Clear Blue Water by Jeff Scism

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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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