BLOG ROUND-UP: Big bucks against Dino Cortopassi; No ag water miracles; OtPR interprets ag revenue and water chart; Phase 3 fears; and more …

portland-japanese-garden-by-jay-huang-2
Portland Japanese Garden (Photo by Jay Huang)

blog-round-up-previous-editionsBig bucks against Dino Cortopassi:  Alex Breitler writes, “Opponents of Dino Cortopassi’s Proposition 53 have dumped more than $19 million into the race, including more than three-quarters of a million dollars on Wednesday alone, according to reports from the California Secretary of State.  Gov. Jerry Brown has been hitting 53 hard. And man, is there a diverse group rallying around him on this one.  Following is a list of some of the donations that caught my eye. … ”  Read more from Alex Brietler’s blog here:  Big bucks against Dino Cortopassi

Parting the waters: No ag miracles:  Eric Caine writes, “They’re still planting trees. Look anywhere around the northern San Joaquin Valley and you’ll see saplings—mostly almonds—being hurled into the ground like spears. This during the worst drought in memory.  Most of the new orchards will have few or no surface water rights. They will be strictly groundwater-dependent.  And that’s just one reason opposition to the state’s proposals for increased flows along Valley rivers rings so false.  “If you increase flows, we’ll have to pump more groundwater,” say Valley farmers. … ”  Read more from The Valley Citizen here:  Parting the waters: No ag miracles

How On the Public Record reads this revenue and water chart:  “This chart neatly illustrates my continuing gripe about one of the media clichés about California agriculture.  You can justify California ag’s water use, but you cannot justify it based on the ubiquitous quote: ‘California grows half the nation’s fruits and vegetables‘.  California does do that, but in this chart, that’s only 4% of agriculture’s water use.  (I can’t tell from this chart whether “Orchards” includes table fruit, in which case, it would claim some of the 34% in the bar above.) I’ve been especially disappointed to read the Brown administration’s representatives using that cliché to lump all of agriculture’s water use into the most sympathetic sliver of ag water use. … ”  Read more from On the Public Record here:  How On the Public Record reads this revenue and water chart

Phase 3: We always say, if you want to know what the environmental left is up to, just ask them:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “We have been watching the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) accelerate their dedication of more river water to fish.  Right in the middle of a fight in the North Valley over proposals to dedicate higher percentages of Merced, Stanislaus and Tuolumne flows to the Delta, the board announced another proposal to do the same thing on the Sacramento River (Sacramento River report adds to water concerns).  We knew the Sacramento River was in their sights, but were surprised in the brazen announcement while in a major fight over the other rivers.  They are, apparently, feeling their oats and have no fear. … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Phase 3: We always say, if you want to know what the environmental left is up to, just ask them

The North Delta Habitat Arc: an ecosystem strategy for saving fish:  “Delta native fishes are in desperate condition. Over 90% of fish sampled by diverse means belong to non-native species.  Native species such as delta smelt are on a trajectory to extinction.  If we are going to reverse this trend, we need to recreate a functioning estuary. This in turn requires more than a piecemeal collection of restoration projects, but an ecosystem-based plan of action, which we present here.  First, we remind you of some basic realities about the Delta: … ”  Continue reading at the California Water Blog here:  The North Delta Habitat Arc: an ecosystem strategy for saving fish

California’s Delta history: Imagine a verdant, marshy landscape filled with tule elk and pronghorn antelope cautiously grazing while keeping an eye out for the occasional grizzly bear wandering by. In the early-to-mid 1800s, this scenic natural landscape was how the California Delta appeared to the 300,000 Native Americans who inhabited the land. Unencumbered by levees, the Delta freely pulsed and surged in large natural tidal swings, and was filled with native fishes. Today, the Delta is an entirely different place, with the water constricted into channels and the land mostly converted to agriculture. However, the Delta remains an important habitat for juvenile fishes like salmon and sturgeon to grow, and is integral to some species like the Delta smelt. To understand the many challenges currently facing the Delta ecosystem, it’s helpful to have some historical context for how the environment has drastically changed in the last two centuries. … ”  Read more from the FishBio blog here:  California’s Delta history

Bringing back the Klamath salmon:  Tom Cannon writes, “A recent post on the KCET website by Alastair Bland spoke of efforts to save salmon on the Klamath River. I add my perspective in this post.  I have been involved in the Klamath salmon restoration on and off for nearly 30 years. In my experience, the runs of salmon and steelhead keep declining because not enough gets done and because there is lack of progressive management. The Klamath is a big watershed (Figure 1). I tried to sit in the middle of one element of the process a few years ago on the Scott and Shasta Rivers, the Klamath’s two main upstream salmon tributaries below Iron Gate Dam. I found there were not just two sides involved in conflict, but really five: tribes, government agencies, ranchers-landowners, a power company, and environmentalists. There were even sides within sides. ... ” Read more from the California Fisheries Blog here:  Bringing back the Klamath salmon

Acting locally to address sea level rise:October brought a preview of some of the climate risks that coastal regions face. Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc from Haiti to the eastern seaboard and the West Coast’s first “atmospheric river” storm brought flood warnings in some areas. The risk of coastal flooding is growing as a warming climate causes more intense precipitation and a gradual rise in sea level from Earth’s melting ice sheets. Both worsen the effect of high tides and large storms.  We have a few decades and perhaps up to a century to adjust to sea levels that are at least three feet higher than they are today. … ”  Read more from the PPIC blog here:  Acting locally to address sea level rise

On the brink of a major deal to reduce Colorado River use:  John Fleck writes, “A sweeping deal to reduce Lower Colorado River Basin water use will get its most detailed public airing to date at tomorrow’s (Nov. 7, 2016) meeting of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s Water Planning and Stewardship Committee.  If the deal goes through – and there are hurdles yet to clear – Arizona, California, and Nevada would all agree to further cuts in their use of Colorado River water. It would be the third major agreement among the states and the federal government in the last two decades, deals that have repeatedly sidestepped the risk of litigation over unsettled legal questions about who is entitled to how much of the river’s increasingly scarce water. … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here:  On the brink of a major deal to reduce Colorado River use  See also:  We’re already in a Colorado River “shortage”, we just don’t call it that

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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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