Blog round-up: Drought and the BDCP

Blue trees by Scott KeehnHow the Historic California Drought Will (and Won’t) Affect Your Daily Life: “It’s been raining over the last couple weeks here in southern California. Don’t worry, I’m not complaining. I grew up in Michigan, so the degree to which natives of SoCal whine about all things weather-related remains a thorn in my side. That said, I commute to work on my bike, so it did present something of an inconvenience. I didn’t mind, though, as we really, really needed the rain. More importantly, northern and central California got a lot more precipitation than us, which is good because they needed it a lot more than us. … ”  Read more from here:  How the Historic California Drought Will (and Won’t) Affect Your Daily Life

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Drought a ghost of Christmas past – and present:  Peter Moyle writes: “I love this cartoon because it says so much about water and droughts in California. Alan Marciochi drew this during the 1976-77 drought. He knew what he was drawing.  A farm boy from Los Banos with a degree in biology, Alan worked for me studying endangered Modoc suckers in remote northeastern corner of California. His main stipulation in working for me was that he had to have the melon harvest season free. He could make more money packing melons in a month or two than he could make working for me in a year. I could not give Christmas bonuses. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Drought a ghost of Christmas past – and present

Storms good news for storage:  Todd Manley writes: “With precipitation from the last two storms falling throughout Northern California, it has been a much needed boost to reservoir levels throughout the region, which will help with water supplies for next year.  In the past week, Shasta Reservoir on the Sacramento River has risen over 24 feet, the Feather River’s Oroville Reservoir more than 19 feet, New Bullards Bar Reservoir on the Yuba River almost 10 feet, Indian Valley Reservoir on Cache Creek almost 14 feet and the American River’s Folsom Reservoir almost eight feet.  During the first two weeks of December, the increases in storage are even more impressive.  Total increases in reservoir elevations since December 1 are as follows:  almost 32 feet at Shasta, 36 feet at Oroville, more than 25 feet at New Bullards Bar, almost 19 feet at Indian Valley and more than 15 feet at Folsom. ... ”  Read more and check out the graphs from the NCWA blog here:  Storms good news for storage

Drought mostly over, government water takeover isn’t, says the Cal Watchdog blog:  John Seiler writes:  “It looks like the drought is receding, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported on Thursday: …During the worst days of this year’s drought, oft cited was the maxim of Rahm Emanuel when he was White House Chief of Staff in 2009 during the worst time of the Great Recession, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” He meant the crisis was a great excuse to vastly increase government’s powers, which Obama and the Democratic Congress of those days did. … ”  Drought mostly over, government water takeover isn’t

Additional refinements to proposed facilities reduce impacts:  From the BDCP Newsletter:  “In consideration of feedback received during the 2014 public comment period and additional engineering developments, the proposed Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) water delivery facilities (Conservation Measure 1) have been refined to further reduce impacts to Delta communities, minimize disturbances or dislocation to Greater Sandhill Cranes, and improve the long-term reliability and operation of the tunnels.  Visual simulations of Intake 3 and Clifton Court Pumping Facility and Forebay illustrate how the current proposal would be modified. The proposed changes, subject to further refinement, will be included in the recirculated BDCP and environmental review documents expected for public review and comment in 2015. … ”  Read more and view video simulations here:  Additional refinements to proposed facilities reduce impacts

Twin tunnels redux:On Friday the state announced changes to the governor’s twin tunnels plan, most notably the elimination of previously proposed pumping plants at the intakes along the Sacramento River….The state says changes were made to “respond to the concerns of Delta landowners and others.” But the fundamental nature of the project — a diversion of up to 9,000 cubic feet per second of water away from the Delta — does not change.  ... ”  Read more and watch the video here:  Twin tunnels redux

Bay Delta Conservation Plan’s terminal flaws remain, says Dan Bacher: He writes: “The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) officials today unveiled changes to Governor Jerry Brown’s Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the giant twin tunnels, including the elimination of the northern pumping plants at the proposed water intakes on the Sacramento River. Delta advocates weren’t impressed, responding that the “fatal” flaws of the water diversion project remain. These include taking water from the Sacramento River above the Delta, violating the Clean Water Act and hastening the extinction of Central Valley salmon and other species. The cornerstone of the plan remains two massive tunnels, 40 feet in diameter, that would divert water from the Sacramento River and ship it over 30 miles away to the state and federal water project diversion canals near Tracy in the South Delta. The tunnel plan is opposed by a diverse coalition of fishing groups, Indian Tribes, family farmers, Delta residents, environmentalists and consumer advocates. … ”  Read more from here:  Bay Delta Conservation Plan’s terminal flaws remain

Restore the Delta serves up a meal of water news commentary on numerous issues, starting with this ‘appetizer’:Federal drought legislation failed to pass in the Senate this year and failed to move forward on the budget despite a Rule Committee waiver to legislate on an appropriations bill. We are grateful to our colleagues in numerous other environmental organizations and our participatory members for making your opposition to this legislation loud and clear to our elected representatives.  But, we are not out of the woods yet.  Proponents of this drought legislation want to weaken environmental protections and grab water. ... ”  Read more from Restore the Delta here: News from Restore the Delta: December 17, 2014

Merry Christmas to the BDCP, says Burt Wilson:  He writes:  “Twas the night before Christmas at BDCP, But their eggnogs were downed amidst much misery.  Their heads were hung low, their brows were all sweated,  ‘Cause it looked like their tunnels wouldn’t be vetted. Seven years or more they had worked through the night, To make us believe the twin tunnels were right. When pressed to explain things, they just hemmed and hawed, Cause they knew all along what they planned was a fraud. … ”  Continue reading at Burt Wilson’s blog here:  Merry Christmas to the BDCP

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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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