Blog round-up: Bloggers on Trump’s comments, federal legislation, water conservation, and more …

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King Range National Conservation Area on California’s Lost Coast (BLM)

Blog Round Up

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On the Public Record opines on Donald Trumps’ comments:  “Perhaps you have heard that Mr. Trump discussed our water issues at a rally in Fresno.  His policy statements change by the moment, but I do like them as his barometer for what the crowd wants to hear.  He has a genius for reducing any issue down to the purest synthesis of what his crowd wants to hear. … Mr. Trump’s assessment of what will please his crowd in Fresno is an assertion that the policies that are guiding State drought management are beyond reason, beyond understanding, unknown even to the practitioners of these policies.  These words reassure his crowd that it is OK that they don’t understand, because State water management is objectively not understandable.  So what is it that they don’t understand? … ”  Continue reading at On the Public Record here:  Trump’s drought comments

Here’s the problem: Donald Trump was right, says Families Protecting the Valley:  They write, “Donald Trump’s statement about the drought has caused quite a stir, to say the least.  The Fresno Bee writes “Note to Donald Trump:  Why the California Drought is Real“; the Visalia Times-Delta joins in with “Trumps Water Bomb Hits Snag with Ag.”  Here’s the problem:  Donald Trump was right.  He didn’t say there wasn’t a drought.  He said there ‘isn’t’ a drought.  There’s a difference.  California did suffer through a drought, but this past year brought us sufficient rain. ... ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Trump’s drought:  Here’s the problem: Donald Trump was right

‘Drought’ not so easily defined:  Alex Breitler writes, “The fact-checkers had a field day with Donald Trump’s pronouncement last week that, in effect, there is no drought in California.  “Lies Trump reality,” blared the headline in Slate.  I realize that because he’s running for president, and because of his track record, everything Trump says will be — and should be — closely scrutinized.  But everyone who has expressed outrage over Trump’s comment should understand that it’s absolutely nothing new. The “there is no drought” sentiment has been expressed many times over the years, and it is not exclusive to south San Joaquin Valley water exporters. … ”  Read more from Alex Breitler’s blog here:  ‘Drought’ not so easily defined

Reducing reliance on the Delta means reducing diversions:  Kate Poole writes, “California’s drought — or lack thereof, according to some — has made national headlines again this past week, prompting suggestions from many quarters on whether we need to divert more or less water from the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary in response. Some of these suggestions reflect a basic understanding of California’s complex water system. Many don’t. But almost all of the recent debates seem to overlook one crucial and fundamental fact about California’s water future and the Bay-Delta ecosystem that serves as the switching yard for the State’s massive water projects: the State has already answered the question. … ”  Read more from Medium here:  Reducing reliance on the Delta means reducing diversions

Will Senator Feinstein protect the Delta?  Barbara Barrigan-Parilla writes, “It may be time to admit a sad truth – the anticipated 2015-16 El Niño did not end California’s drought. Most of the rain and snow fell in the north. Southern California received only about half its normal rainfall. In fact, the State Water Resources Control Board began sending out yesterday water curtailment notices, orders that tell junior water rights holders that they cannot use water.  Senator Dianne Feinstein recently toured California newspaper editorial boards to tout her California Drought Bill, S.2533, which she claims will expedite water deliveries to agricultural interests in the southwestern San Joaquin Valley while still protecting endangered fish in the SF Bay-Delta Estuary.  As Senator Feinstein and her colleagues in the House ramp up for one more try at a Grand Water Bargain, let’s keep a few things in mind. ... ”  Read more from Restore the Delta here:  Will Senator Feinstein protect the Delta?

Delta tunnels plan still makes zero sense, says Dan Bacher:  He writes, “The state and federal governments pleaded their case for Governor Jerry Brown’s controversial Delta Tunnels plan in testimony submitted to the State Water Resources Control Board on May 31 and in a media teleconference held on June 1, claiming that the planned new water diversion points won’t endanger other water users. … In response, Restore the Delta, a coalition opposed to the project, described the testimony as “largely a rehash of unsubstantiated claims about the Delta Tunnels project that have not been proven, despite more than 40,000 pages of environmental review that the US Environmental Protection Agency has declared is still  inadequate (a failing grade.)” … ”  Continue reading from Red, Green, & Blue here:  Delta tunnels plan still makes zero sense

A changing state of conservation:  Lori Pottinger writes, “The California State Water Board is charged with balancing all water needs across the state—an especially difficult task when there’s less water to go around. We talked to Fran Spivy-Weber, the board’s vice chair (and chair of the PPIC Water Policy Center’s advisory council), about water conservation and lessons from the drought.  PPIC: What expectations do you have for statewide water use in light of recent changes to the state’s approach to urban water conservation, which replaced the 25% mandate with locally set standards?  Fran Spivy-Weber: I think there will be a bit of an uptick in water use in the short term, but I’m not expecting water use to go up to where it was. … ”  Read more from the PPIC blog here:  A changing state of conservation

Cue the frogs! Water signatures, environmental cues, and climate change: An organism’s success relies on responding to environmental cues that trigger activities such as breeding, migration, feeding, predator evasion, etc. Responses can be finely tuned to specific cues, or may require multiple triggers. For example, changes in day length and air temperature cue many bird migrations over thousands of miles between breeding and wintering grounds. Some catfish species spawn immediately after heavy rains, sensing the increase in water levels and decreases in water temperature. Mosquitoes can smell increased carbon dioxide levels from mammals as far as 50m away and use these “invisible plumes” to guide them towards food. In dynamic environments like rivers, environmental cues may help organisms forecast stable conditions suitable for activities such as laying eggs or rearing larvae, especially if these cues reliably indicate good conditions. ... ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Cue the frogs! Water signatures, environmental cues, and climate change

Nestle, Phoenix water, and the bicycle shed problem:  “tl;dr The Phoenix kerfuffle over a Nestlé bottled water plant is an example of people distracted by a facile but meaningless caricature of the problem they think they care about.  longer: When University of New Mexico Water Resources Program graduate student Sara Gerlitz* was looking at Arizona water management over the last year, she zeroed in pretty quickly on the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District’s “2015 Plan of Operation“. If you’re interested in the long term sustainability of the greater Phoenix area’s water supplies, the plan and the processes it describes are super important.  … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here:  Nestle, Phoenix water, and the bicycle shed problem

Supreme Court deals Obama Administration a blow in Clean Water Act case:  Julia Forgie writes, “The Supreme Court today dealt another blow to the Obama administration in a Clean Water Act case. The Court’s unanimous opinion in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., No. 15-290, addressed the finality of an Army Corps “approved jurisdictional determination” (JD) on whether a particular parcel of property contains “waters of the United States” and is therefore subject to Clean Water Act section 404 permitting requirements. Respondents, three peat mining companies in Minnesota, argued that the Army Corps JD is a final agency action judicially reviewable under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The Court agreed. Chief Justice Roberts penned the opinion. Justice Kennedy joined in full and wrote a concurring opinion (joined by Justices Thomas and Alito). Justice Kagan joined in full and wrote a concurring opinion in response to Justice Ginsburg, who concurred in part and concurred in the judgment. ... ”  Read more from Legal Planet here:  Supreme Court deals Obama Administration a blow in Clean Water Act case

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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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