One-third of California’s irrigated acreage grows table vegetables and fruits. On the Public Record writes, “I got these numbers from the USDA 2014 Agricultural Overview. I aggregated them willy-nilly and even rounded to make the addition easier. This is rough; it won’t even add up to 10 million acres. But the next time someone says ‘California grows HALF! the countries fresh vegetables and fruit’, you can say, ‘yes, and they grow that on about one-third of their irrigated acreage. So we could stop irrigating the other parts with no loss to American salads.’ ... ” Read more from On the Public Record here: One-third of California’s irrigated acreage grows table vegetables and fruits
Lies my government told me about the drought: Katie Grimes writes, “While California’s drought conditions are actually historically normal, California’s current drought is being billed by government and media as the driest period in the state’s recorded rainfall history. Scientists who study the Western United States’ long-term climate patterns say California has been dry for significantly longer periods — more than 200 years. However, it only takes reading the weekly California drought water-wise tips in statewide newspapers and local government websites to know the information the environmentalists are foisting on us is hogwash. While California is in the middle of an historic drought, radical environmentalists are not letting a good crisis go to waste. ... ” Read more from the Flash Report here: Lies my government told me about the drought
Creating effective groundwater sustainability plans: Jay Lund, et al, writes: “California is entering a new era in how it manages its largest source of water storage — groundwater. Initial efforts implementing the state’s new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act must focus on getting local and state agencies organized and able to communicate with each other. Having common expectations for the contents of the law’s required “Groundwater Sustainability Plans” will save the agencies and stakeholders considerable grief and confusion. Here is how the contents of the local plans might be organized to support both local and statewide objectives for groundwater sustainability. … ” Read more from the California Water Blog here: Creating effective groundwater sustainability plans
Treating stormwater as a resource: Ellen Hanak writes, “This weekend, the Southland got some much needed rain. This storm helped fill local reservoirs and moisten parched soils—bolstering the region for a fourth year of drought. Unfortunately, too much of this stormwater simply ran straight into local rivers and the ocean, picking up numerous pollutants along the way. Local and state officials want to change this by developing programs that capture and store more stormwater—simultaneously reducing pollution and improving water supplies. In California, it’s hard to pay for such programs, given our complicated laws on local water finance. To gather ideas about how the state might help, two Senate committees held a joint informational hearing last week. I provided some context on funding issues and opportunities, drawing on PPIC’s recent work on water system finance. ... ” Read more from the PPIC blog here: Treating stormwater as a resource
Some (sort of) good news and some bad news: The SWP and CVP allocations and the California drought: Rodney Smith writes, “This winter continues to be the tale of extreme weather patterns. In Boston, the City experienced its snowiest February ever, (Boston has weather records dating back to around the Civil War) and the grand total of snow this winter is less than 2 inches off of the all-time cumulative record set in the winter of 1995-1996. The subways and commuter trains in the City have run on modified schedules for weeks. Some above-ground tracks may not get fully cleared until the end of March. Economists estimate that the series of winter storms caused $2 billion in economic damages to the City of Boston alone. Here in California, we have the exact opposite problem. ... ” Read mroe from the Hydrowonk blog here: Some (sort of) good news and some bad news: The SWP and CVP allocations and the California drought
Conference presentations and panels On the Public Record would like to see: On the Public Record writes, “Today I got an invitation to “the most provocative water conference” of the spring. I nearly died of boredom just reading the speaker list. We keep hearing the same fifteen voices and they keep saying measured things that have a chance of making incremental progress. I bet the range of debate at the “most provocative water conference” of the spring is whether the State should spend lots of money building storage and give out only a little money for integrated water management, or spend a little money building storage and give out a lot of money for integrated water management. I used to mind that I am a low level bureaucrat that doesn’t get sent to conferences, but I haven’t heard an interesting thing at a conference in years. Even the crazies from the public are predictable, since I can read them in newspaper comments (not you, my treasured readers! Never you.). … ” Continue reading at On the Public Record here: I’ll show you provocative.
Rethinking a pipeline to Missouri: John Fleck writes, “I’ve long dismissed the “pipeline to the Missouri River” (PTM? “canal from the Missouri”? CFM?) and other similar large-scale water importation schemes as vastly impractical distractions from serious water policy (see for example here and here). The argument, which I get regularly from well-meaning readers, points to the big network of oil and gas pipelines spidering across the United States and asks, Why can’t we do the same thing with water? We’ve had all this flooding in Region X, and we’re so dry here in Region Y. Why can’t we just move it from there to here? Whenever these suggestions come up, my water nerd friends roll their eyes and make jokes about NAWAPA. But what if that’s just all self-referential groupthink? … ” Read more from the Inkstain Blog here: Rethinking a pipeline to Missouri
Oakdale Irrigation District water scheme hits CEQA hurdle: Eric Caine writes, “The Oakdale Irrigation District (OID) Board of Directors got a dose of cold water Tuesday and didn’t like it. Before a standing room only crowd that spilled into a packed hallway, board members learned that their much-heralded fallowing program had virtually no chance of succeeding this year without a thorough Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The On Farm Conservation Program devised by OID management was to begin within weeks and had over a hundred participants. The plan involved fallowing farmland and selling “conserved” water outside the region. … ” Read more from the Valley Citizen here: Oakdale Irrigation District water scheme hits CEQA hurdle
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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.