Blog round-up: MWD rolls the dice with our water supplies during drought; “Stress test” results are a good news story; On the Public Record and recommendations for the incoming president; How green is my water?; and more …

Venice Beach B Malarkey sliderbox

Venice Beach Pier, photo by B. Malarky

MWD rolls the dice with our water supplies during drought:  Tracy Quinn writes, “One would think an agency caught in the grips of one of the worst droughts California has ever seen would handle and account for its water supply with extreme prudence.  And yet, in attempting to avoid mandatory conservation measures, the Metropolitan Water District has grossly overestimated its projected water supplies when performing a state-required “stress test” to model water conditions in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Indeed, by my account, Metropolitan Water District could be overestimating future supplies by as much as 465,000 acre-feet over the next three years—interestingly, this is approximately the same volume Metropolitan projects will remain in storage at the end of 2019 (i.e. Metropolitan could completely run out of stored water in the next three years). In 2017 alone, Metropolitan could be over-projecting supply availability by nearly 310,000 acre-feet—that’s 18% of its projected 2017 demand! … ”  Read more from the NRDC Switchboard blog here:  MWD rolls the dice with our water supplies during drought

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“Stress test” results are a good news story:  Tim Quinn writes, “On Tuesday, the State Water Resources Control Board released the first month of conservation data under new state rules that emphasize drought preparedness and local discretion regarding conservation activities. Not surprisingly, the data demonstrates that Californians are making a habit of using water efficiently both indoors and outdoors.  ACWA supported the policy shift from last year’s top-down, state-mandated conservation targets to this year’s ‘stress test’ approach that emphasizes local discretion, subject to a strong standard of drought preparedness. This critical shift in policy has been positive for water agencies across the state that have for years invested in drought-resilient supplies and water-use efficiency measures.  But now that the policy has shifted, it’s time to reframe the conversation when it comes to measuring success, especially stress test results. … ”  Read more from ACWA’s Voices on Water here:  “Stress test” results are a good news story

The time is now for California Water Fix:  Gary Toebben writes, “Last week, the State Water Resources Control Board began a series of hearings on the California WaterFix, the plan to update the state’s aging water infrastructure. Our Southern California region is highly dependent on this infrastructure, with one-third of our fresh water flowing from the Sierra Nevada Mountains through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  In total, 25 million people throughout the State depend on the Delta for their water supply. The Delta system operates with a series of half-century old levees, which are at risk from earthquakes and floods that would cause saltwater contamination, thereby decimating our clean water supplies. … ”  Read more from Fox & Hounds here:  The time is now for California Water Fix

On the Public Record with recommendations for the incoming presidential administration:  “Friends, you will be appalled to know that influential people are reading blogs, including this one.  Worse, one of them wants my thoughts on what to recommend to the incoming presidential administration.  I’ll propose some things, and I would love to hear from you as well. ... ”  It’s been a few days, the comments are in.  Read the discussion here: Recommendations for the incoming presidential administration.

How green is my water? The PPIC blog talks with Jim Cloern about toxic algae:Harmful plumes of algae in waterways have been much in the news lately, in California and nationally. We talked to James Cloern, a senior scientist at the US Geological Survey and a member of the PPIC Water Policy Center’s research network, about this pressing water quality issue. PPIC: What are algal blooms, and how big a problem are they for California? James Cloern: Our waterways are home to many thousands of species of microscopic algae, but only a few dozen can develop into harmful blooms. They become harmful when they either produce toxic chemicals, which can make people and animals sick, or disrupt biological processes like animal feeding or bird flight—some species excrete goo that can gum up birds’ wings. ... ” Read more from the PPIC blog here: How green is my water?

Visualizing flows: A sandbox experience with modeling:  Jeanette Newmiller writes,  “In winter quarter 2016, Dr. Colleen Bronner of the UC Davis Department of Civil Engineering gathered a small group of graduate students and posed a challenge. To support new education standards involving teaching engineering methods throughout K-12 education, Dr. Bronner asked the graduate students design education outreach modules that reflected their research work in engineering. The modules should engage students in understanding the work of engineers while satisfying several Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Math Standards. Ultimately, the modules needed to be accessible for K-12 teachers to use.  Challenge accepted. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Visualizing flows: A sandbox experience with modeling

So let’s get this straight:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “So let’s get this straight, the Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has ruled that the farms, cities and landowners who put their land up as collateral to build the dams, who are still paying for the dams, that enable the storage of water that can be released during peak summer demand times have No Right to delivery of any water? … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  So let’s get this straight

Three lessons on water accounting for California:  Alvar Escriva-Bou and Henry McCann write, “Californians are known to take pride in the state’s many exceptional characteristics. But in at least one important area, we’d be wise to learn a thing or two from our neighbors. Not only are the Golden State’s water management challenges shared by other western states, but many of these places use more advanced practices to understand how much water is available, who has claims to it, and how much is being used.  A new report by the PPIC Water Policy Center reviewed how California compares to other dry regions—11 other western states and Australia and Spain—in integrating water information into critical management functions. We found ample room for improving the state’s systems—especially for managing groundwater overdraft, defining environmental water needs, and stimulating water trading. … ”  Read more from the PPIC Blog here:  Three lessons on water accounting for California

Oakdale Irrigation District: All About Politics? Eric Caine writes, “Oakdale Irrigation District (OID) General Manager Steve Knell likes to say that lawsuits against the district are “all about politics” and “have nothing to do with substance.” Knell is right about the politics and wrong about the substance.  And even when he’s right, Steve Knell is also wrong. When he says OID’s current lawsuits are political, his intention is to dismiss them by impugning the motives of those pursuing the lawsuits. But even a cursory look at correspondence between OID and state and federal agencies confirms the substantial merits of objections to OID’s On-farm Water Conservation Program. The real political motives in OID’s case are not about lawsuits based on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), they’re about shipping water to Westlands Water District. ... ”  Read more from the Valley Citizen here:  Oakdale Irrigation District: All About Politics? 

 

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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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