Blog round-up: How engineers see the the water glass in California, the ESA and the Commerce Clause, Feinstein drought bill, San Joaquin River restoration, water storage, and more …

waterglassHow engineers see the the water glass in California:  Jay Lund writes: “Depending on your outlook, the proverbial glass of water is either half full or half empty. Not so for engineers in California. ... ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  How engineers see the the water glass in California  And be sure to check out this from the creator of the XKCD Comic:  What if? Glass Half Empty

Saving Water for the Future: The NCWA blog writes: “The State Water Board on May 27, 2014 issued curtailment notices to all post-1914 water right holders in the Sacramento-San Joaquin watersheds based on the lack of available water supplies. In the last several weeks, the State Water Board has begun a modern, real-time, process to administer these water rights and California’s priority system, which allows more water to be stored in existing reservoirs so it will be available for various uses next year. … ”  Continue reading at the NCWA blog here:  Saving water for the future

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The Endangered Species Act and the Commerce Clause:  Eric Biber writes:  “The federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) is widely known for being the primary law in the United States that focuses on protecting biodiversity, and also for being a “pit bull” of environmental laws that has few exceptions and broad sweep. (For instance, the ESA was a major component of the litigation strategy by environmental groups to end harvesting of old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest.)  But what is less widely known is that there have been a series of cases in which various regulated entities have argued that the ESA is unconstitutional – at least, as applied to species that are only present within one state, the ESA exceeds Congress’ powers under the Constitution. … ”  Read more from the Legal Planet here:  The ESA and the Commerce Clause

New data show residential per capita use across California: New monthly water use data for California water utilities shows that residential water use varies widely around the state, and that the response to the drought has been uneven. … Each water utility reports per-person water use in terms of gallons per-capita per day or “gpcd” and the portion used by residents in and around their homes. The result is a first of its-kind compilation of monthly water use data for urban water utilities in the state. And while officials cautioned that many factors affect water use, these data, displayed on the map below, reveal a number of interesting patterns and trends. Click on a utility’s service area to view a chart of residential water use, and how it compares to the same month last year, and to the average use for the state and its Hydrologic Region. ... ”  Read more and check out the interactive map from the Pacific Institute Insights blog here:  New data show residential per capita use across California

Restore the Delta on Senator Feinstein, the Stewardship Council’s Delta Levee Investment Strategy, the Water Commission and more …California Senator Dianne Feinstein announced Thursday November 20th that she was stopping further negotiations of a “drought relief” bill with select members from the House of Representatives.  None of the bill’s provisions were vetted in public before her announcement.  Sacramento Bee and Los Angeles Times editorials expressed strong concern regarding Senator Feinstein conducting talks with House Republicans to develop the legislation.  “Sen. Dianne Feinstein and House Republicans have been secretly negotiating drought relief legislation that could severely alter California water policy. She should know better,” commented the Bee. ... ”  Continue reading at Restore the Delta here: News from Restore the Delta: November 24, 2014

Federal drought bill dead in water until 2015: Wayne Lusvardi writes: “Better and wetter luck next year, California.  On Thursday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., put the kibosh on passing a federal water bill dealing with California’s drought during the lame-duck session. …That evaporated any chance in the U.S. Congress of a much-needed water bill for California for now. Any reforms will have to wait until the new session begins in January, when Republicans take over control of the Senate from Democrats, while keeping control of the House. … ”  Read more from the Cal Watchdog blog here: Federal drought bill dead in water until 2015

60 minutes glaring omission:  Families Protecting the Valley writes:  When we saw the headline “60 Minutes’ Glaring Ommission on Groundwater Scarcity” we had high hopes that we would read a story about how the Central Valley has been forced to resort to groundwater because they received 0% surface water.  We should have known better.  We hoped that someone in the media would see the obvious,  that you can’t have sustainable groundwater without surface water.  We had hoped to see it in the 60 Minutes report, but it wasn’t there either.  Their solution seemed to be found in drinking sewage water. ... ”  Continue reading from Families Protecting the Valley here:  60 Minutes’ Glaring Omission

Rejuvenation and Celebration: The Return of San Joaquin Fall-Run Chinook Salmon: In the early morning light, a hazy fog hangs above the San Joaquin River just above where it meets with the Merced River.  The river’s flow is low, and the calm surface of the water creates a striking reflection of the surrounding cottonwood and willow trees.  The peace and quiet of the moment is suddenly broken by a splash in the middle of the river. It’s the sound of fall run Chinook salmon returning to the San Joaquin, bringing with them the foundation for new life and a cause for celebration. … ”  Read more from the NRDC Switchboard blog here: Rejuvenation and Celebration: The Return of San Joaquin Fall-Run Chinook Salmon

Tales of the San Joaquin:  From Green Planet films:  “Tales of the San Joaquin presents a contemporary and historical overview of California’s San Joaquin River. For sixty years the river had been completely dried by water diversion for agriculture. After a twenty-year lawsuit, the river is now being restored as a habitat for spawning salmon. This is the story of that river.

Shaping water storage in California: “With the continuation of California’s historic drought and the recent passage of Proposition 1, the potential value of additional water storage in the state is an area of vigorous discussion.  In a new study released today, we look at the different roles of storage in California’s integrated water system and evaluate storage capacity expansion from what we call a “system analysis approach.” This approach emphasizes how new storage projects, both above and below ground, can work in combination with one another and in concert with the broader water management system. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here: Shaping water storage in California

Can Modesto Irrigation District justify water subsidies for farmers?  “The Modesto Irrigation District (MID) is contemplating rate increases for water and electricity customers. The proposal has raised ire about below market water rates for local farmers. City dwellers argue that they should not have to pay higher rates as long as farmers receive water at subsidized rates. ... ”  Read more from The Valley Citizen here:  Can Modesto Irrigation District justify water subsidies for farmers?

Oakdale Irrigation District water sales dominate WAC meeting:  “Tim O’Laughlin wanted to leave and Larry Byrd wouldn’t let him. O’Laughlin had come to last Wednesday’s Stanislaus Water Advisory Committee (WAC) meeting to review likely consequences of new state flow requirements for rivers on local agriculture and irrigation districts.  Most audience members were familiar with the new requirements, and knew they would have severe economic impacts on the local economy. … ”  Read more from The Valley Citizen here: OID Water Sales Dominate WAC Meeting

Slow start to the 2014-15 water year in the Colorado River basin: You can check out the chart at the Inkstain blog here:  In the Colorado River Basin, a slow start to the 2014-15 water year

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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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