Blog round-up: When it comes to drought readiness, 2016 is a far cry from 1991; Tipping points: How 2016 will shape the future; Flint: A water quality reminder for California; Palo Verde alfalfa; and more …


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When it comes to drought readiness, 2016 is a far cry from 1991:  Tim Quinn writes, “In January 1991, local water managers were bracing for a fifth year of drought. Key reservoirs were at just 50% of historic average and steep cutbacks were announced for both the State Water Project (SWP) and the Central Valley Project (CVP).  Faced with severe shortages, more than 80 ACWA member agencies made the decision to implement mandatory rationing or mandatory conservation to preserve limited water supplies. Many agencies that relied heavily on SWP supplies were unprepared for draconian cuts, having placed their faith in a project that was never fully completed. Rationing was the only option. ... ”  Read more from ACWA’s Voices on Water here:  When it comes to drought readiness, 2016 is a far cry from 1991

Tipping points: How 2016 will shape the future:  Juliet Christian Smith writes, “Today, draft regulations were posted for public comment that will determine how billions of dollars from the water bond (Proposition 1) will be given out to fund new water infrastructure projects.  The requirements for vetting these projects should include using the best available climate science, but right now, they don’t.  In fact, the regulations state that climate change impacts will not even be considered after 2050, which models indicate is about the time that those impacts could become much more severe. … ”  Read more from the Union of Concerned Scientists here:  Tipping points: How 2016 will shape the future

ENSO it’s raining: The 2016 drought so far – February 1:  “January 2016 has been much wetter than the previous Januaries during this drought. Precipitation is modestly above average, as is snowpack, and climatic conditions remain promising. The largest reservoirs are mostly fuller than a year ago, although not nearly to average conditions for this time of year. Groundwater is likely to be recharging, as it should this time of year in most places, but we still sit atop a large hole. ... ”  Continue reading at the California Water Blog here:  ENSO it’s raining: The 2016 drought so far – February 1

Flint: A water quality reminder for California:  “The ongoing public health crisis in Flint, Michigan is a reminder that exposure to dangerous contaminants in drinking water is still a challenge in the US, more than 40 years after the enactment of the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act. Flint began drawing water from a new source, the Flint River, in early 2014. It corroded pipes and carried harmful lead to residents’ taps. Although California does not face this specific problem, we are still failing to provide safe drinking water to some of the state’s most vulnerable residents. … ”  Read more from the PPIC blog here:  Flint: A water quality reminder for California

Water Main Breaks in California and Tainted Water Supplies in Michigan – A Sign of Bigger Infrastructure Problems in the US?  Jeff Simonetti writes, “In 2014, a bit of a media frenzy surrounded a particular water main break in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Westwood. A 93-yar old water main broke and flooded neighborhoods in the area with an estimated 8-10 million gallons of water and caused particular damage to the UCLA Campus.  UCLA had recently completed a $133 million renovation of the Pauley Pavilion, the main on-campus sports arena where the school plays its home basketball games. The broken water main caused significant damage to the Pavilion as well as parking structures and other facilities on the campus. … ”  Read more from the Hydrowonk blog here:  Water Main Breaks in California and Tainted Water Supplies in Michigan – A Sign of Bigger Infrastructure Problems in the US?

Pushback on the export of Palo Verde alfalfa:  “In freshman college physics, a common conceit to simplify the study of velocity and momentum is the air table (think air hockey), which allows you to reduce the friction on a moving object to negligible levels. “Imagine,” the professor explains, “a frictionless plane.” And then sketches out on the chalkboard the equations for velocity and momentum and such.  This is great for abstracting away that troubling friction part to understand the core phenomena. Once you actually have to do stuff in the real world, though, you best bring friction back into the discussion. It matters.  I was reminded of this as I read UC Riverside economist Christopher Thornberg’s thoughts  … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here:  Pushback on the export of Palo Verde alfalfa

Enviros want more water:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “As we sit and watch tens of thousands of acre feet of water flow through the Delta and out to sea, environmentalists are trying to take even more water from people and farmers by keeping it in rivers that flow to the Delta where it will again go out to sea.  We remind you that environmental water use is 50% now.  Farmers do not use 80% as enviros would have you believe.  Farmers use 40%.  The latest battles concern the Tuolumne, Stanislaus and Merced and Rivers in the North Valley.  … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Enviros want more water

Valley Water: 2015:  Eric Caine writes, “The biggest local water story in 2015 was the ongoing attempt by the Oakdale Irrigation District (OID) to sell water outside the region. The saga began almost exactly a year ago when Oakdale farmer Louis Brichetto quashed an OID water sale by pointing out the district had failed to follow proper protocols for the California Environmental Quality Act prior to the sale.  … ”  Read more from the Valley Citizen here:  Valley Water: 2015

A tale of two water districts:  Carolee Krieger writes, “This is a tale of water districts, Goleta and Montecito. In general, there is more that unites them than divides them. They’re in the same county, and residents of both areas enjoy the same superb Mediterranean climate. Montecito is smaller in population and is more affluent, but Goleta is hardly a sprawling metropolis. And as home to the University of California at Santa Barbara, Goleta is neither economically nor culturally impoverished.  Further, the two districts face similar water crises: They are under the same strictures for State Water Project (SWP) deliveries. In simple terms, neither gets enough water from the Coastal Branch, the SWP aqueduct that was built in the 1990s and was supposed to solve South Coast water shortages. … ”  Read more from C-WIN here: A tale of two water districts

LADWP 2015 Report Card on UWMP Projections:  David Coffin writes, “With the close of the 2015 water year last September, it’s time to step back and take a look at how well the LADWP met its first five year projections that came from the 2010 Urban Water Management Plan. EIR’s winding their way through the planning department use this data to presumably assure us that there will be sufficient water supply in 5, 10, 15, and 20 years into the future.  So how did the 2010 UWMP fare in its first five years? Did the department meet their total supply projections? Did they meet the groundwater, recycle, transfers and stormwater projections? What does this mean for the new 2015 UWMP that is being drafted today and soon be released for public comment?  Let’s take a look and compare this years water deliveries to the last two UWMP’s. … ”  Read more from the Drought Math blog here:  LADWP 2015 Report Card on UWMP Projections

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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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