Bloggers on the oil waste in drinking water, State Water Board decisions, BDCP affordability report, rain barrels, Bay Bridge and climate change, water games, and more …

fountainWho is to blame for oil waste in California’s drinking water?  Briana Mordick writes: “New information from the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) reveals that decades of poor record-keeping, lax oversight, and – in some cases – outright defiance of the law has allowed oil and gas operators to inject potentially toxic oil and gas wastewater into federally protected drinking water aquifers.  The extent of any contamination remains unknown, but the information exposes the cozy relationship that has existed between regulators and the oil and gas industry and the abject failure of both the State of California and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to safeguard California’s already scarce and drought-threatened drinking water resources. … ”  Read more from the NRDC Switchboard blog here:  Who is to blame for oil waste in California’s drinking water?

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State Water Board should heed fish experts:  The Coalition for a Sustaianble Delta writes: “The State Water Resources Control Board has rejected an opportunity to safely increase the amount of water available to Californians in the coming months.  Federal fishery regulators, the US Department of Fish and Wildlife and the National Marine Fisheries Service, along with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, supported temporary relaxation of outflow requirements, concluding that doing so would not harm native fish species in the Delta.  This change would have allowed increased pumping during specific periods of February and March 2015 to help cope with the devastating impacts of the drought. ... ”  Read more from the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta here:  State Water Board should heed fish experts

Will the State Water Board tear up the paper water?Restore the Delta (RTD), opponents of Gov. Brown’s rush to build Twin Tunnels that would drain the Delta and doom salmon and other Pacific fisheries, today responded to the State Water Resources Control Board’s (SWRCB) draft order issued Wednesday night demanding water diversion data from every riparian and pre-1914 water right holder in the Delta’s Central Valley watershed, starting March 1st until, well, whenever.  “This is an unprecedented move by the Board’s Division of Water Rights,” said Restore the Delta Executive Director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla. “The Board has never issued such a large-scale demand for water rights information before.” RTD has urged the Board to adjudicate all water rights, as the State has granted 5.5 times more water rights than actual water exists in a normal year. Rather than adjudicate the entire system, and face their own fatally flawed math, the Board has chosen to focus on senior water rights holders. ... ”  Read more from Restore the Delta here:  Will the State Water Board tear up the paper water

One state employee stops water to farms: Families Protecting the Valley writes: “Five state and federal agencies recently recommended that more water be allowed to be pumped out of the Delta for farms in the Central Valley and people in Central and Southern California. But, one single state employee has reversed those recommendations and stopped the water from coming south. That employee is State Water Resources Control Board Executive Director Tom Howard. ... ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  One state employee stops water to farms

The Valley Economy blog on the Treasurer’s Report on Delta Tunnels’ “Affordability and Financing Considerations”: Dr. Jeff Michael writes:  “This report was released in November, but I only managed to take a second look yesterday.  I still don’t find it convincing, and it doesn’t appear to have done much to quell growing financial doubts about the $25 billion BDCP twin tunnels plan.  The report attempts to estimate whether the twin tunnels’ are financially feasible.  In other words, do the water agencies that would pay for the tunnels have the financial capacity to successfully issue and repay its construction bonds?  ... ”  Read more from the Valley Economy blog here:  The Valley Economy blog on the Treasurer’s Report on Delta Tunnels’ “Affordability and Financing Considerations”

The romance of rain barrels: Jay Lund writes: “Imagine capturing some of the heavy rain that has been draining off Northern California roofs lately to water yards this summer, for what will likely be a fourth year of drought.  The drought has generated interest in household cisterns commonly known as “rain barrels” that collect and store rooftop runoff for when it is most needed – during the dry season – to irrigate landscapes and replenish community groundwater supplies. Advocates of these rainwater collectors point to their prevalence in Australia following its decade-long Millennium Drought.  But how cost-effective are rain barrels for individual home and business owners, compared with the more communal approach of adding storage capacity behind a dam upstream? … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  The romance of rain barrels

The forgotten victims of species protections:  Ethan Blevins writes: “Well-doers often forget the costs that the Endangered Species Act imposes on others. The listing of an animal as threatened or endangered saddles people within its range with some heavy burdens. Property owners may lose control over portions of their own property, which they must leave untouched as conservation easements. Farmers risk severe penalties because normal agricultural activities may accidentally harm a protected animal. Ranchers who rely on trapping to protect their livestock face heavy penalties if a trap harms a protected species. For lovers of the outdoors, off-road vehicle access to some areas may be reduced or closed in a protected species’ range. Unfortunately, federal agencies don’t often consider these costs when deciding whether to list an animal as threatened or endangered. … ”  Continue reading from the Pacific Legal Foundation’s Liberty Blog here:  The forgotten victims of species protections

If you tell a lie often enough:  Families Protecting the Valley writes:  “It’s difficult to counter the misinformation put out by so-called environmentalists who have their hands in all kinds of organizations, elected offices and appointed bureaucrats.  They’ve done a good job convincing the people of California that agriculture and farming use 80% of the water when the real number is 40% (It’s 40%, Stupid). They would also have us believe that the current water situation is caused soley by the drought when there are numerous policy decisions that have been made making the situation drastically worse. … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  If you tell a lie often enough

Restore the Delta responds to Secretary Jewell’s visit: Restore the Delta writes, ” … “Secretary Jewell’s announcement mentions that $5.37 million will be available for Delta needs for drought monitoring of endangered species, and to increase flexibility in water operations,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta.  “What we fear is that this spending plan will translate into funding to manage the system so that the greatest amount of water is exported to big agribusiness growers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. … ”  Read more from Restore the Delta here:  Our response to Secretary Jewell’s visit

How the Bay Bridge was built without planning for climate change: Report says new construction projects needed to protect bridge:  Juliet Christian-Smith writes, ” … The Bay Bridge is a regional workhorse that carries 270,000 vehicles each day between San Francisco and the East Bay, including Oakland and Berkeley. The new eastern span of the bridge cost $6.4 billion and took nearly six years to build. And yet, less than two years after the completion of this massive public works project, the report by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission finds that sea level rise is expected to permanently inundate several areas of the new span of the Bay Bridge and recommends a series of construction projects to protect the Bay Bridge, costing taxpayers an additional $17 million. Say what? … ”  Continue reading at the UCS Equation blog here:  How the Bay Bridge was built without planning for climate change

How to lose the water game: Eric Caine writes: “Here in the northern San Joaquin Valley, there’s no better way to curry political favor than by assailing the state’s proposals to increase unimpaired flows on the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced Rivers. And even though it’s a losing position, everyone’s doing it.  “Water grab,” they say, almost in unison. Invariably, talk of “our water” is followed by a lengthy recitation of the economic harm to the region when water from local rivers is allotted for fish, delta farmers, the delta ecosystem, and other long-suffering entities. … ”  Read more from the Valley Citizen here:  How to lose the water game

Colorado River cooperation:  Maintaining Lake Mead: Jeff Kightlinger writes, “Metropolitan was formed back in 1928 to bring a reliable supply of Colorado River water to the fast-growing Southland. Today the river represents about 25 percent of Southern California’s overall water supply. It is and will continue to be an essential baseline supply for the region, as it is for water agencies in seven western states and the Republic of Mexico. A recently signed agreement is an encouraging sign that the states and interests in the lower Colorado basin that depend on this supply can work together, cooperatively, toward long-term solutions. ... ”  Read more from H2Outlook blog here:  Colorado River cooperation: Maintaining Lake Mead

Photo credit: The blue falls of Lemeire, by Phil Hocksenar.

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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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