Blog round-up: Preparing for climate change, On the Public Record on CA Water 2.0; SGMA one year in, El Nino, Colorado River basin shortage, and more …

Windmill by pbkwee

Windmill, by pkkwee

Blog Round Up

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Governor urges water managers to prepare for climate change: Yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown spoke at the release of the updated State Water Action Plan, emphasizing the impact of climate change on water resources and the importance of applying climate science to water planning. At the release, one of his senior staff, Wade Crowfoot, put a finer point on it:  “Water planning and infrastructure need to deal with the climate reality…longer and more severe droughts and flooding”  This is interesting in light of decisions made by the Brown Administration’s own California Water Commission just a few weeks ago. Tasked with allocating $2.7 billion to new water infrastructure projects, the Commission approved regulations in the last days of 2015 that do include planning for climate change, but stop short of dealing with the “climate reality.” ... ”  Read more from The Equation blog here: Governor Brown Urges Water Managers to Plan for Climate Change

On the Public Record reacts to CA Water 2.0, National Review online:  “I watched most of ACWA/DWR’s CAWater2.0 conference yesterday.  They were presenting the updated Governor’s Water Action Plan and pimping new Delta conveyance.  I found the event… old.  It just looked old.  The speakers were invariably my seniors.  They were relentlessly white, nearly all men.  Even the name, CAWater2.0, feels old.  Windows2.0 came out in 1987.  It is no longer a hip reference to tag a numbered reference to a name, but the Olds might think it is. ... ” Read more from On the Public Record here:  Reactions to CA Water 2.0, National Review online

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act one year in: Questions from the public: The State Water Resources Control Board and the Department of Water Resources recently hosted a series of “one year in” stakeholder meetings to review what has happened and what’s to come since passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act in 2014. More than 600 people attended the workshops, in person or online. Some were interested members of the public, and others represented public agencies. Following is a selection of questions and answers asked by the general public during the informational meetings. A previous Groundwater Act Post listed the questions asked during the technical sessions. ... ”  Read more from the Groundwater Act blog here:  SGMA One Year In: Questions from the public

El Nino and drought relief in the Pacific Northwest:  Jeff Simonetti writes, “As 2016 begins, climate researchers remain optimistic that the El Niño pattern that began to build last fall will hold and will generally deliver wet weather across areas of the US facing some of the worst drought conditions such as California. At the January 8th Operation Sierra Storm Conference in Lake Tahoe, Sasha Gershunov, climate and meteorology researcher at Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego said that, “So far we’ve got out of this event exactly what we expected.” From the initial snow survey on December 30th, California’s mountain snowpack is currently at 136% of average, and many parts of the state received precipitation during the first two weeks of the year. Unfortunately, while the initial snow survey results represent a good start, (especially in comparison to last year’s record low snowpack) the precipitation has not made an appreciable dent in the drought conditions across much of the Western United States. … ”  Read more from the Hydrowonk blog here:  El Nino and drought relief in the Pacific Northwest

Odds now favor a Lower Colorado River basin shortage declaration in 2018:  “The latest U.S. Bureau of Reclamation two-year Colorado River operational forecast, released last week, projects that Lake Mead will end December 2017 at elevation 1,074.2 feet above sea level, about 10 inches below the level that would trigger a first ever shortage declaration on the Lower Colorado River. Here’s the legal mumbo-jumbo … ”  Continue reading at the Inkstain blog here:  Odds now favor a Lower Colorado River basin shortage declaration in 2018

Note to self: invest my next $31.8 million in Palo Verde real estate: John Fleck writes: “All the cool kids seem to be buying up real estate in the Palo Verde Irrigation District. First it was the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which has upped its stake in the Colorado River farming valley to 22,000 acres. Now comes news that Almarai, a dairy company, bought 1,790 acres to grow food for its cows. I have no idea whether $18,000 an acre is a good price for California farmland with senior water rights. I do know that, based on the Law of the River, is there’s any water at all leaking through Hoover Dam, Palo Verde is among the first in line to get it, so Almarai’s lucky cows will be first in line to be fed while all those loser cows with junior water rights will be off to the hamburger grinder. … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here: Note to self: invest my next $31.8 million in Palo Verde real estate

Water loss performance standards: Where should the states be headed?  Ed Osann writes, “Every water system leaks, and billions of gallons of drinking water are lost each day in the US alone. Fortunately, water losses are receiving welcome new attention, by individual utilities, the water industry generally, and state regulators, as shown on NRDC’s water loss landing page. The question of what form a state water loss standard might take was a topic of conversation at a December meeting of the Water Loss Committee of the American Water Works Association (AWWA). There is no committee recommendation (AWWA doesn’t actually advocate regulation), but with more states considering a water loss audit reporting requirement, this topic is likely to receive more attention in 2016. … ”  Read more from the NRDC Switchboard blog here:  Water loss performance standards: Where should the states be headed?

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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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