Trying to apply techniques from Australia’s water market is a mess: On the Public Record writes, “I gotta tell you, I feel as if I’ve stumbled into quicksand. I’ve accidentally gone up a level of complexity, and can’t draw conclusions that I am sure of (I try to only write here when I trust my thought). I keep reading more complex discussions of California water transfers and markets, which send me to other materials and when I come back to write, my draft posts all trail off into more reading. I have started to draw some conclusions. … ” Continue reading at On the Public Record here: Trying to apply techniques from Australia’s water market is a mess
Why Inefficient Markets, Perverse Incentives and Regulatory Hurdles are Causing Deeper Strains on California’s Water System: Jeff Simonetti writes, “In the midst of California’s fourth year of drought, cities and water districts are starting to get tougher on both individual water wasters and cities that are not reaching state-mandated water reduction targets. In late October, the East Bay Municipal Utilities District outside of San Francisco released the names and data of the top-100 water wasters in the District. The list includes venture capitalists, business executives and even former and current baseball and basketball stars. The top water waster identified was Chevron executive George Kirkland, who used an average of 12,579 gallons per day. Extrapolating that water usage to a monthly basis (assuming 30 days in a month), Kirkland was on pace to use more than one acre-foot per month, more than an average California household uses in an entire year! … ” Continue reading at the Hydrowonk blog: Why Inefficient Markets, Perverse Incentives and Regulatory Hurdles are Causing Deeper Strains on California’s Water System
The great nutrient pollution challenge: Caitrin Chapelle writes, “The word nutrients sounds like a good thing—they make our food healthy, for example. But in our rivers, lakes, and bays, nutrients can pose water quality challenges. In the right amounts, nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus support plant and animal growth in key waterways such as the San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Excess amounts can cause toxic algae blooms and reduced oxygen in the water. Consequences can include die-offs of fish, mammals and birds, and human illness. The main sources of nutrients in the Bay-Delta are sewage plant discharge and agricultural runoff. Jim Cloern, a USGS scientist and member of PPIC’s water policy research network, has been studying water quality in the Bay-Delta since the late 1970s. ... ” Read more from the PPIC Blog here: The great nutrient pollution challenge
Finally, a one-stop shop for locating California’s native fishes: ““Where?” The question is foundational to conservation biology and policy. To take a conservation action, you need to know where to act. And, yet, for decades stewards and researchers of aquatic fauna have been sorely lacking in tools to systematically collect, store and map data on where California’s freshwater fishes are located. A reliable and comprehensive compilation of standardized species data is especially important for tracking California’s 133 native fishes because 100 of them are officially designated as being in trouble – “endangered” or “threatened” with extinction or otherwise of “special concern.” This need led the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences to develop “PISCES,” an open-source suite of data and software providing the most comprehensive and accurate information on current and historic ranges of California’s fishes. ... ” Read more from the California Water Blog here: Finally a one-stop shop for locating California’s native fishes
Coming together over groundwater: Lori Pottinger writes, “California’s groundwater management took a forward-looking turn with last year’s passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which requires local planning efforts to protect the long-term viability of this critical resource. Sarge Green—a water management specialist at California State University, Fresno, and a member of the PPIC Water Policy Center’s research network—is working to put the groundwater law into practice at the local level. We talked to him about creative approaches being tried in the San Joaquin Valley. PPIC: Talk about the regional groundwater management effort you’re involved in. Sarge Green answers: “I’ve been participating in a joint effort of eight counties in the San Joaquin Valley, which is looking at key issues—education, air quality, water, transportation. Water is now the top priority for this planning effort, not surprisingly. … ” Read more from the PPIC blog here: Coming together over groundwater
A year after the water bond: Families Protecting the Valley writes, “We aren’t really expecting to get any storage out of the passage of the California Water Bond a year ago. There are so many bureaucratic hurdles and conditions and a timeline that is endless that any real progress is only a dream. The process itself is a nightmare. First of all, any project funded by bond money must provide at least 50% ecosystem benefits. It would also have to provide measurable improvements to the Delta ecosystem or tributaries to the Delta. The California Water Commission is still developing the regulations for the process and they won’t be totally adopted until December 15, 2016. … ” Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here: A year after the water bond
The unique role the California Economic Summit can play in getting California back to water sustainability: Justin Ewers writes, “Even before the drought, Californians were using far more water each year than the state’s water systems reliably supply. Over the last decade, state water agencies put this figure at about 10 million acre-feet each year—or roughly 20 percent of the total amount of water used by cities and farms. These numbers have climbed even higher in the last few years in some agricultural regions, where groundwater pumping has vastly increased in the absence of reliable surface water supplies. Californians have built a water system over the last century that—in good times—meets nearly every need in a state of almost 40 million people. But to make it last—especially in an era of climate change—businesses and residents alike must find ways to achieve a more sustainable water balance. ... ” Read more from the California Economic Summit blog here: The unique role the Summit can play in getting California back to water sustainability
California drought brings fines, shaming: “After a wave of new rules, regulations and crackdowns, many water-conserving Californians have evaded formal and informal punishment. With no end in sight, however, others have begun to face both forms of penalties. The mood of the public and officials alike has tilted hard against outsized consumers. Although “water providers such as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power have refused to divulge the names of California’s top residential water users,” the Los Angeles Times reported, “the DWP is now considering changes to its water conservation ordinance that would impose ‘substantial’ fines for excessive use and make the names public.” … ” Read more from the Cal Watchdog blog here: California drought brings fines, shaming
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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.