Blog round-up: State needs to be SGMA bad cop; El Nino, “Market Thickness”, What a wise water ruler would do; Blinded by science, Paying more for less, and more …

Sundial sunset by sathish
“Sundial sunset”, photo by Sathish J
Blog Round Up
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Local groundwater sustainability agencies need the State to be Bad Cop: “Fresno Bee reporter Ryan Sabelow did a nice job discussing the difficulties the new Groundwater Sustainability Agencies are going to have as they begin to manage groundwater.  But his interview on Take Two adds something he didn’t write in his newspaper piece.  Local grower reactions to the prospect of managing groundwater are so hostile that locally elected people will not do anything voluntary, nor sooner than they legally must. ... ”  Continue reading at On the Public Record here: Local groundwater sustainability agencies need the State to be Bad Cop

Rising to El Nino’s challenges – and opportunities:  Nicholas Pinter writes, “The much-anticipated El Niño has now arrived, with increased potential for heavy rain and snowfall, including the possibility of localized flooding, mudslides and other hazards.  While extreme storms, flooding and other natural disasters challenge society to protect life and property from damage, they also present opportunities. Floods in particular often catalyze positive changes that otherwise would not occur. These events give us a chance to fix past oversights, correct imbalances between human use of the landscape and natural processes, and improve long-term resilience for people and society. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Rising to El Nino’s challenges and opportunities

Why hasn’t On the Public Record heard about ‘market thickness’ before?  On the Public Record writes, “My friends.  I am wroth with you.  You are brilliant and tell me the things I should know, but none of you have mentioned “market thickness” or “matching mechanisms” to me before.  I had to stumble on the concept by accident, while reading about market design.  Lack of market thickness is a type of market failure, but not on the usual list of market failures (negative externalities, failure to provide public goods, etc).  This is new to me, but I will rush right in.  Market thickness seems to mean lots of buyers and lots of sellers who can make lots of matches.  Market thinness means not many buyers and not many sellers, who can’t find each other to make the transactions both want.  Lack of market thickness creates three kinds of market failure, the first of which is “the inability of the market to pool a sufficient number of buyers and sellers for carrying out transactions.” … ”  Continue reading at On the Public Record here:  Why haven’t I heard about ‘market thickness’ before?

What a wise water ruler would do:  Craig Wilson writes, “Imagine what might happen if a wise ruler was put in charge of dealing with California’s statewide water issues. One who was unfettered by today’s political gridlock.  First he or she would take stock of the strengths and weaknesses of the present system. The ruler would wisely realize that much is right. California has developed a massive, creative water storage and distribution system that has served the State well. But the wise ruler would see how the changing landscape-population growth, climate change, the use of water for environmental purposes-has created a situation where there is simply not enough water for all of the competing uses.  How would the wise ruler respond? … ”  Read more here:  What a Wise Water Ruler Would Do

Blinded by science in the Delta:  Restore the Delta writes: “With the death and transfiguration of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan into a fake-hipster-formulation known as “California WaterFix” this past April, the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) finds it has a gigantic hole in its Delta Plan where BDCP was supposed to go. Upon BDCP’s demise, its resurrection omitted habitat restoration and other protective conservation actions.  Beginning in July (Item 10), the DSC and staff developed, a lengthy list of “principles” by which new Delta Plan policies concerning “conveyance and storage”—more commonly known as “canals” and “reservoirs”—would be developed. ... ”  Read more from Restore the Delta here:  Blinded by science in the Delta

Understanding the new basin boundary regulations: The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) established a process for local agencies to request that the Department of Water Resources (DWR) revise the boundaries of existing groundwater basins or subbasins.  The resulting  Basin Boundary Emergency Regulations became effective on November 16, 2015.  SGMA uses the existing basins and subbasins in Bulletin 118 unless they are modified through the newly established Basin Boundary Modification Process. ... ”  Read more from the Groundwater Act Blog here:  Understanding the new basin boundary regulations

Officials: Get used to paying more for less water:  “Californians may need to get used to paying more for water, despite and because of their successful efforts at conservation, according to state water officials at a recent Assembly committee hearing.  Californians exceeded the state’s 25 percent water conservation mandate in October for the fourth month in a row. That might be good news for a parched state, but it’s also drying up the coffers of many water districts, some of which have raised rates to help make up the loss.  Ratepayers are in essence being punished for obeying the state order to conserve water – something they thought would save them money. That has officials like John Laird, secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, scrambling to explain. … ”  Read more from the Cal Watchdog blog here:  Officials: Get used to paying more for less water

Water woes bring uneven fines and regulation:  James Poulos writes, “California’s ongoing water crisis promised to extend the controversy over fines and regulations well into the next year — if not beyond. While some areas suffer, others flourish, and fines — in some instances aggressively applied — have been meted out unevenly.  Despite limiting water use, residents in lower-income areas have complained that they have faced substantial fines, while some of the Golden State’s most conspicuous consumers have escaped penalty. In Apple Valley, “where the median household income is below $50,000 a year,” some have struggled to keep their consumption below the limit, while one “home under construction in Bel Air has been issued permits for five pools,” the New York Times reported ”  Read more from Cal Watchdog here:  Water woes bring uneven fines and regulation

Myths of rising water demand:  John Fleck writes, “I’m not sure what Nebraska attorney David Cookson was up to in this recent talk in Kearney. He seems to be trying to scare the crap out of Nebraskans about water wars risk, of Californians and rich Wall Street money hounds coming after his state’s water. Whatever, this statement, at the heart of his argument, is flat wrong: ‘The demand for water never goes down. Ever,’ he said.” … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here:  Myths of rising water demand

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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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