Blog round-up: Land subsidence, Cal Water Fix, Prop 1 water storage funding, salmon, fish farming, and more …

Abandoned Train Car by Rennett StoweThe earth is falling!  Land subsidence and water management in California: Jay Lund, Thomas Harter, Rob Gaily, Rick Frank, and Graham Fogg write, “Groundwater problems are mostly invisible.  However, as California has come to rely more on groundwater during the drought, land subsidence from groundwater drawdown and accumulating overdraft has become a visible concern in some areas.  Some of this subsidence has been dramatic. Almost 4 feet of subsidence occurred in some San Joaquin Valley areas over the past decade with current subsidence at a rate of one inch per month in the most severe cases.   While most recent subsidence effects have occurred over a relatively short period, the rate of subsidence appears to be comparable to more widespread and dramatic land subsidence of about 30 feet that occurred in parts of the San Joaquin from 1925-1980 before large water projects imported surface water to reduced groundwater dependence. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  The earth is falling! Land subsidence and water management in California

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The uncivil water over the California Water Fix: John Mirisch writes, “It must be something in the water.  Propagandistic special interest groups such as Restore the Delta are on a single-minded mission to stop the twin-tunnel plan that would ensure a steady supply of water to Southern California. Notwithstanding the guise of false environmentalism, it is self-interest, opportunism and something else entirely that are at play here.  What is being portrayed as an environmental battle is really something very different, indeed. … ” Read more from the Huffington Post here: The uncivil water over the California Water Fix

SacBee strongly endorses Sites Reservoir, but Prop 1 funding won’t be available until late 2017, at the earliest:  John Frith writes, “Increasing California’s water storage was the focus of articles in the Sacramento Bee, L.A. Times and Wall Street Journal over the long holiday weekend. You may recall that voters approved Proposition 1 a year ago, which among other things provided $2.7 billion in funding for water storage projects, so the pieces were timely. Unfortunately, that money won’t be allocated until the end of 2017 at the earliest — which means new storage wouldn’t be completed until at least 2025. Perhaps the most important of the three pieces was the editorial in the Bee on Sunday that strongly endorsed building the Sites Reservoir in the foothills of the Coast Range near Maxwell. ... ”  Read more from the California Alliance for Jobs here:  SacBee strongly endorses Sites Reservoir, but Prop 1 funding won’t be available until late 2017, at the earliest

Salmon: A time for action:  The Northern California Water Association Blog writes, “Dr. Peter Moyle earlier this fall provided a very thoughtful approach to help recover salmon in California. He laid out six steps that can be taken to increase the resiliency and viability of salmon in the face of California’s changing climate at the California Salmon and Climate Variability Symposium. The speech, which we recommend as reading for those interested in salmon, was captured as part of Maven’s Notebook: Saving salmon in changing California.  We laud Dr. Moyle’s efforts over the years and we join him in his call for action. … Nestled within this thoughtful analysis, however, is a statement and paragraph that we differ and simply does not track with the dry year experiences we have seen in California the past four years. … ”  Continue reading at the NCWA blog here:  Salmon: A time for action

‘Dead Harvest’ calls attention to decades of bad water policy: Todd Fitchette writes, “California’s biggest story of 2015 was the drought. While other things happened that rightfully made the news, drought stories ran cover-to-cover, Jan. 1 through Dec. 31.  When my congressman personally invited me to the screening of a short movie on California’s water woes titled “Dead Harvest,” I saw it as an opportunity.  Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, has been out front on California water politics since he was elected to Congress in 2002. Nunes is featured several times in the 38-minute movie written and directed by Ray McNally. … ”  Read more from the Western Farm Press blog here:  ‘Dead Harvest’ calls attention to decades of bad water policy

California stares down tough water storage task: James Poulos writes, “California officials have found their drought difficulties are compounded by an ironic new challenge: too much rainwater to store.  Despite decades spent puzzling over the tall order of improving the state’s massive network of waterways, “those who need water the most, farmers, are in a poor position to take advantage of any deluge,” the New York Times reported. “If El Niño floods pour into the Central Valley, the farmers will inevitably watch millions of gallons of water flow to the sea.” State leaders, the paper noted, have wound up under the gun to determine “how best to save the water that arrives between the drought years, weighing the value of billion-dollar construction projects against smaller and less expensive measures.” ... ”  Read more from the CalWatchdog blog here:  California stares down tough water storage task

Good recommendations from the PPIC/UCD group:  On the Public Record writes, “I find it dismayingly easy to write critiques of people that I substantially agree with, but have some minor point of disagreement.  Often that’s easier than taking on a fundamentally different viewpoint.  But I’m finding even less to say when I don’t even have a minor point of disagreement.  The UCD/PPIC group made fantastic recommendations to the State Board on Measuring and Reporting Water Diversions.  We would be substantially better off if those were thoroughly implemented.  … ” Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Good recommendations from the PPIC/UCD group

California fish farming: Concept praised but project opposed:  Chris Reed writes, “Eating fish is very healthy. Risks of overfishing are growing. For both these reasons, government officials around the world have frequently offered broad, general praise for aquaculture — fish farming — and its potential to provide a large new supply of healthy food. According to official estimates, fish farming has tripled since the turn of the century. A United Nations forecast that fish farming would supply half the world’s catch by 2030 used to seem unlikely — but not anymore. ... ”  Read more from the Cal Watchdog blog here:  California fish farming: Concept praised but project opposed

Quelling Irrational Exuberance: GRACE Comes Down to Earth, MAD & Other Musings: Michael Campana writes, “Hydrogeologists extraordinaire William (Bill) M. Alley and Leonard (Lenny) F. Konikow recently wrote a commentary in the journal Groundwater, ‘Bringing Grace Down to Earth’, in which they detail the limitations of GRACE satellite data. They are concerned that insufficient attention has been paid to the limitations of GRACE data and analyses. I agree.  Here is part of the the NGWA news release that summarizes their brief but compelling article: 1) GRACE provides a one-dimensional indicator of the status of a large three-dimensional groundwater body; 2) Many key issues associated with groundwater pumping, such as streamflow depletion and land subsidence, are not addressed by GRACE data; ... ”  Continue reading at the Water Wired blog here: Quelling Irrational Exuberance: GRACE Comes Down to Earth, MAD & Other Musings

More on GRACE from Water Wired:  No Free Lunch! Paper: ‘Hydrologic Implications of GRACE Satellite Data in the Colorado River Basin’: ” No irrational exuberance? What’s with the title – no free lunch? Perhaps I should have said, ‘No soup for you!’ Read on…  Hot off the electronic press in Water Resources Research: Hydrologic Implications of GRACE Satellite Data in the Colorado River Basin, by Bridget R. Scanlon, Zizhan Zhang, Robert C. Reedy, Donald R. Pool, Himanshu Save, Di Long, Jianli Chen, David M. Wolock, Brian D. Conway, and Daniel Winester.  More GRACE in the Colorado Basin! Anything new to report? You bet! … ”  Continue reading at the Water Wired blog here: No Free Lunch! Paper: ‘Hydrologic Implications of GRACE Satellite Data in the Colorado River Basin’

Daily emailsPhoto credit: Photo of abandoned railcar by Rennett Stowe.

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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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