Sweetheart deal for Westlands Water District expected today: Restore the Delta writes, “The Obama Administration is expected to sign a binding agreement on Tuesday (9/15/15) with the powerful Westlands Water District in the Western San Joaquin Valley that would guarantee the district vast amounts of California’s water to sustain the irrigation of toxic soils filled with selenium. The agreement would settle litigation over an unfulfilled federal requirement to provide drainage while forgiving Westlands’ debt to U.S. taxpayers with an unconscionable sweetheart deal. The agreement would increase the federal deficit by $340 million through forgiving Westland’s interest-free repayment obligations to the taxpayers for construction of the federal Central Valley Project. ... ” Read more from Restore the Delta here: Sweetheart deal for Westlands Water District expected today
Extinction risk for native fish if drought persists: Peter Moyle and Jeffrey Mount write, “If the California drought continues, many of California’s native freshwater fishes are at imminent risk of extinction. This is a key finding of our recent report What If California’s Drought Continues?, which projects the potential consequences of ongoing drought on key sectors, including the environment. Managing scarce water resources to improve the drought resiliency of the state’s rivers, wetlands and forest ecosystems, and the native biodiversity they support, has proven to be the most vexing challenge of this extended drought. … ” Continue reading from the PPIC blog here: Extinction risk for native fish if drought persists
Sustainable groundwater management: Measurable objectives can provide a road map for California: Juliet Christian-Smith writes, “Much of the power of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA (pronounced “sigma”), lies in its requirement for much greater specificity around management goals. Past groundwater management efforts have included vague goals that sounded good, but didn’t deliver. SGMA, on the other hand, requires specific measurable objectives to avoid a series of “undesirable results,” such as the negative impacts caused by chronic lowering of groundwater levels and land subsidence. Measurable objectives are essential as it is impossible to achieve sustainability without defining what it means and how it will be measured. ... ” Read more from The Equation blog here: Sustainable groundwater management: Measurable objectives can provide a road map for California
Delta tunnels would violate ESA, groups warn: Restore the Delta writes, “Conservation groups warned state and federal regulators today that the Delta Water Tunnels project (the so-called “California Water Fix”) to build massive tunnels to divert water from the Sacramento River to the Central Valley and State Water Projects cannot be permitted under the Endangered Species Act because it would adversely affect protected critical habitat for endangered salmon runs and other imperiled fish species in the Bay-Delta and Sacramento River. “The Water Tunnels project agencies are pandering to special-interest groups while ignoring their public trust responsibilities for endangered species, the health of the Bay-Delta Estuary, and to future generations,” said Robert Wright, senior counsel for Friends of the River. “We must never forget that while profit is for today, extinction is forever. Building the tunnels would mean the permanent loss of our salmon runs.” … ” Read more from Restore the Delta here: Delta tunnels would violate ESA, groups warn
Water Fix for a bygone era; hobbles state planning for climate change: “Climate in California is changing fast, but, sadly, the State’s water system is not. If the Governor and Southern California managers do not reconsider building the largest piece of infrastructure in state history – two enormous tunnels under the delta – they could end up with a very expensive stranded asset (an asset that has become non-productive typically because of climate change). And the State would continue to be hobbled in its planning for the future, as it has been since 2006 when the tunnels were first proposed. … ” Continue reading from the California Spigot blog here: Water Fix for a bygone era; hobbles state planning for climate change
For a change in Delta perspective, move a few feet: Sailor Jay Lund writes, “Each year my family takes a week’s vacation in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta on our old sailboat. We often follow some Delta veterans who show us new places. As an engineering professor working on California’s water problems, I research the Delta mainly as a water supply hub and a flood-prone landscape. Sailing the Delta affords me some wonderfully different perspectives. Here are some of them ... ” Continue reading at the California Water Blog here: For a change in Delta perspective, move a few feet
California may save enough to skip big water works: “Demonstrating the simple power of reducing daily water usage, Californians have impressed regulators and policymakers by taking a huge bite out of statewide consumption. “The numbers reflect broad conservation success at a crucial time,” the Sacramento Bee reported. “Last year, Californians used more water in July than any other month, mostly because of lawn watering in the summer heat. This year’s urban conservation efforts resulted in a savings of more than 74 billion gallons in July compared with 2013, more than double the amount of water that the entire city of Sacramento will use in a year.” The data lent some unexpected credence to what seemed like an outlandish prospect just a year ago. … ” Read more from the Cal Watchdog blog here: California may save enough to skip big water works
Does anyone actually want a spot market for water? Brain Devine writes, “This is going to be a short post simply to ask the above question. It’s obvious to me that policymakers, academics and commentators are in love with the idea of a spot market for water- in other words, an instantaneous market that connects buyers and sellers of water and puts the resource to its “highest and best use.” There are obvious spatial problems with this idea that I’ve addressed at some length here. Put briefly, unlike many other markets that we like to use as models, buyers and sellers of water have to be hydrologically connected by stream, pipeline, or canal. That the prices match is not sufficient. This article by the RAND Corporation is the first proposal that I’ve seen that gets that. It proposes the use of sophisticated modeling to match supply and demand across time and space … ” Read more from the Parting the Waters blog here: Does anyone actually want a spot market for water?
Making big data bigger: Sleeker science to inspire water pollution solutions: “We live in an era of big data, where anyone with access to a computer has loads of scientific treasures at their fingertips. Yet all too often, these amazing resources find themselves with oh-so-small audiences. I know, I know… not everyone gets as excited about data as I do. But, with the keys to many of our biggest challenges out there to discover, we need more hands on deck. Getting more people more excited about data probably means making it look a little less like… err… data. But, unfortunately, taking big data and translating it to digestible stories that can inspire solutions isn’t many people’s cup of tea. Surely there are folks up for this task, but where can they be found? … ” Read more from The Equation blog here: Making big data bigger: Sleeker science to inspire water pollution solutions
California legislature sends Brown microbead ban: “After a roller coaster ride through the Senate, a bill enacting the nation’s toughest ban on so-called “microbeads” headed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk for signature. After sailing through the Assembly in May, AB888, introduced by Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, languished in Sacramento’s upper chamber. As the Sacramento Bee reported, “it was blocked by a vote of 19-16 in the Senate, where a similar bill died last year.” Although granted reconsideration, the bill was dogged by the abstention of some Democrats leery of going too far and too fast toward the elimination of the popular cosmetic and hygienic additives. … ” Read more from the Cal Watchdog blog here: California legislature sends Brown microbead ban
The GGG Strikes Again! ‘How a Drought-Resilient Water Delivery System Rose Out of the Desert: The Case of Tucson Water’: Michael Campana writes, “Sharon B. Megdal of the University of Arizona, the GGG or ‘Groundwater Governance Guru’ (or ‘Goddess’), herself, and Alan Forrest, formerly of Tucson Water and now with CH2M, just published this nifty little paper in the Journal of the AWWA: ‘How a Drought-Resilient Water Delivery System Rose Out of the Desert – the Case of Tucson Water’. Here is the Introduction: The City of Tucson (Arizona) operates Tucson Water as a city department. Tucson is the largest city in southern Arizona, with a population of 524,000 people as of 2012. … ” Continue reading at the Water Wired blog here: The GGG Strikes Again! ‘How a Drought-Resilient Water Delivery System Rose Out of the Desert: The Case of Tucson Water’
Is Los Angeles ready for El Nino? Erica Abdelatif writes, “El Niño is likely to be heading our way this winter, bringing upwards of 30 inches of rain to Los Angeles. So, the drought is essentially over—right? Wrong. Well, that is, unless we prepare properly. Unfortunately, as the climate shifts, we can expect to see drought and floods as two sides of the same coin. As we adapt to this new norm, we can expect both drier conditions and more severe storms. Unless we adopt new habits, like learning to responsibly capture those drops, we can expect drought conditions to continue. ... ” Read more from the Tree People blog here: Is Los Angeles ready for El Nino?
Las Vegas to help Southern California with 150,000 acre-feet of Colorado River water: “The Southern Nevada Water Authority’s board will take up a proposal this Thursday to ship 150,000 acre feet of Las Vegas’s unused Colorado River water to Southern California to help out during California’s epic drought. The water will help the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California make up for shortfalls in its supplies from Northern California, where drought has dramatically reduced the amount of water available for shipment through California’s State Water Project. Met is basically desperate, and Las Vegas has been so successful at water conservation that it is only using 75 percent of its Colorado River allocation these days. ... ” Read more from the Inkstain blog here: Las Vegas to help Southern California out with 150,000 acre-feet of Colorado River water
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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.