Blog round-up: A water rights book club, Phil Isenberg on drought in the Delta, Private poll shows strong support for tunnels, Governor blows off farmers, and more …

Colors in the Wind by SerenaOn the Public Record notes the increased interest in water rights:  OtPR writes, “This talk, at UCLA.  This talk, in Sacramento.  An article about water rights being politically toxic, which prompted a few thoughts … Opposition to water rights reform is going to stay constant until a new system is proposed, and then winners under the new system can start advocating for it.  For example, I have proposed a system in which five million acres of agriculture get better water rights than they have now, and cities’ water rights change with their populations, so they don’t need to fear future population increases.  ... ”  Read more from On the Public Record here:  I am seeing a lot of interest in water rights.

So much interest in water rights, OtPR asks, Water rights book club, anyone?  If so, better get reading … Unbundling Water Rights, Introduction, pgs 7-10

Stressful times for drought-stricken Delta:  “The Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta is one of the West’s most important estuaries, and a critically important water source for millions of Californians. But decades of water exports and human alterations have transformed this aquatic ecosystem, and a few dozen of its native species have dwindled to the point of extinction. We interviewed Phil Isenberg, vice chair of the Delta Stewardship Council and a member of PPIC’s board of directors, about the state of the Delta. ... ” Read more from the PPIC blog here:  Stressful times for drought-stricken Delta

Private poll shows strong support for Delta tunnels:  Tim Herdt writes, “A survey of 1,500 registered voters conducted this month for the advocacy group Californians for Water Security,  shows fairly strong support statewide for the Bay-Delta project — including the construction of two large tunnels to divert Sacramento River water beneath the Delta so that it can pumped to other regions.  In a memo shared with me today, the polling firm EMC Research reports that “a solid majority” of voters support the plan after being read a brief description, and that support increases after they have been read a fuller explanation and a summary of pro and con arguments.  “55 percent of voters support the California Water Fix,” it says. “Support for the Fix is high across political and ideological subgroups of voters and across most regions of the state.” ... ”  Read more from the 95% Accurate blog here:  Private poll shows strong support for Delta tunnels

Tackling the tunnels again:  Robin Meadows writes, “Here we go again. Just last year, we were invited to have our say on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), the state’s failed proposal to pipe water under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Now the twin tunnels are back with a new name — California WaterFix — and the key difference of no longer being linked to extensive habitat restoration. Permits are up to federal and state wildlife agencies, and funding is up to the water users, who are mostly Central Valley farmers and Southern California water agencies. We have until October 30 to get our comments in.  About half of California’s freshwater flows through the Delta, which has been heading for trouble since people diked its many islands for agriculture about 150 years ago. … ”  Read more from the Bay Area Monitor here:  Tackling the tunnels again

Governor blows off farmers:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “Central Valley farmers gathered in Mendota friday to put pressure on California Governor Jerry Brown to call a special legislative session to deal with the farm water crisis.  There is clearly a lot more that can be done especially in the area of new storage like raising Shasta Dam and building new reservoirs like Temperance Flat and Sites.  But, it didn’t take long for the Governor to take the wind out of the farmer’s sails.  A spokesman for Brown said there is already a sound process in place to “ensure that drought assistance and bond funds are being distributed appropriately.”  ... ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here: Governor blows off farmers

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Metropolitan’s biggest customer rips it in online campaign:  “The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California — the giant water wholesaler which supplies 19 million people — finds itself the target of an unusual campaign by the San Diego County Water Authority, which has been both MWD’s biggest customer and its archenemy for much of the past quarter-century.  Visitors to Rough & Tumble, the insider-beloved news aggregator devoted to California politics and government, generally see two or three flashing ads under its masthead. This month, two are always on view. One touts the Cabinet Report education website. The other asks, “Is the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Over-Charging You?” Those who click on the latter ad are taken to a website run by the San Diego water agency, mwdfacts.com, packed with unflattering reports about MWD, its leaders and its history. ... ”  Read more from the Cal Watchdog blog here:  Metropolitan’s biggest customer rips it in online campaign

Drought shows value of investments, need for statewide solutions:  Tim Quinn writes, “The latest conservation figures from the State Water Resources Control Board show Californians are continuing to heed the call to cut back on outdoor watering this summer.  In addition to letting their lawns go “California golden” and taking shorter showers, Californians are signaling their interest in making permanent changes to the way they use water indoors and outdoors. ACWA member agencies report a surge in interest in turf rebates, water-wise house calls and incentives to install water-efficient appliances and fixtures in place of thirstier models.  … ”  Read more from ACWA’s Voices on Water here:  Drought shows value of investments, need for statewide solutions

What can we learn from Laudato Si’?: “With the papal visit to the United States last week, it is timely to think about Pope Francis’s offering in his encyclical letter: Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home.  I recently visited the Vatican and spent some time reading about the church and its past and current policies. As part of this effort to understand the role of the Pope and his efforts to influence world policy and encourage actions, I read the 99-page encyclical letter. I am not catholic and do not pretend to understand the church orthodoxy or culture. I nonetheless read the letter with interest and found that, regardless of your religious beliefs, you will find Laudato Si’ powerful—as both an inspiring and very thoughtful and intellectual collection of ideas and themes that probe the special relationship between people and our planet. ... ”  Read more from the Water Food Environment blog: What can we learn from Laudato Si’?

Time-lapse river videos expose nature in the raw: Thanks to its Mediterranean climate, California swings from one extreme to another — severe drought, raging wildfires, big floods. These forces often interact and amplify, as we saw all too well this past summer in the scorching of hundreds of thousands of extremely dry forested acres, with the loss of homes and lives. Big floods could be just around the corner, if predictions of a “Godzilla El Niño” hold true. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Time-lapse river videos expose nature in the raw

In case you didn’t know why the lawn was brown … Alex Breitler writes, “They say that during a drought, a brown lawn is a “badge of honor.”  And yet, across Stockton, I’m seeing people and organizations erecting signs to explain why their lawns are brown.  Apparently those badges of honor are not self-explanatory. … ”  Read more from Alex Brietler’s blog here:  In case you didn’t know why the lawn was brown

Winnemem Wintu Chief Leads ‘Water. Every Drop Is Sacred’ Rally and March:Small cascades of cold, pristine water rush out of the hillside at Big Springs, the headwaters of the Sacramento River, as they converge in a clear and shallow pool located in the Mount Shasta City Park.  Adults and children fill their jugs and bottles with the pristine water that takes 50 years to make it from snow and rain on Mount Shasta down through the volcanic aquifer to where the torrents converge in the park. … As people hiked to and relaxed besides Big Springs, Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, and hundreds of environmentalists and activists from all over California and Oregon held a rally, the “Water Every Drop Sacred” event, in this scenic park at the Sacramento River headwaters. After the rally ended, Sisk and tribal members led a march and protest of 160 people to the plant.  … ”  Read more from IndyBay.org here:  Winnemem Wintu Chief Leads ‘Water. Every Drop Is Sacred’ Rally and March

Salton Sea import/export plans:  Michael Cohen writes:  “California’s Salton Sea fast approaches a tipping point, driven by declining inflows and the continued absence of mitigation or restoration projects. Salton Sea import/export plans, often known as “Sea-to-Sea” plans, have been proposed and promoted for more than 30 years to address this challenge. They come in a variety of different designs and routes but the general concept is this: raise and stabilize the surface of the Salton Sea and lower and then maintain its salinity.  Sea-to-Sea plans would augment the declining volume of water flowing into the Salton Sea by importing water from either the Gulf of California or the Pacific Ocean. ... ”  Read more from the Pacific Institute here:  Salton Sea import/export plans

California and Florida: Coasts apart but facing similar challenges related to drought and sea water intrusion: California and Florida may be on opposite coasts, but they have more similarities than you may expect in relation to water supply challenges. While California and much of the Western Unites States remains in the grip of a long-term drought, the Southeastern United States has quietly and unfortunately also entered into drought. Southern states including Florida, South Carolina, Alabama and Louisiana are experiencing drought conditions, in some cases severe. The most recent US Drought Monitor shows that while drought conditions in the Sunshine State have abated somewhat, approximately 27.1% of Florida is experiencing some level of drought. The drought conditions are at their worst near the population centers of Tallahassee in the north and Miami in the south. Just a month ago, close to 40% of the state was in some form of drought and extreme drought covered parts of Southeastern Florida west of Miami. … ”  Read more from the Hydrowonk blog here:  California and Florida: Coasts apart but facing similar challenges related to drought and sea water intrusion

Photographing the State Water Project:  I have a post on my photoblog about where you can get some good shots of SWP facilities here:  Photographing California water infrastructure: The State Water Project

And lastly … What does probability mean in your profession? Find out here from Math with Bad Drawings

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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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