BLOG ROUND-UP: From drought to deluge; Indicators of a drought ending in Northern California; Why fish need water: Now we have sewage science; Winter-run chinook salmon status, end of 2016; and more …

Sunset at the Port of Long Beach, by Edwin Sutanto

blog-round-up-previous-editionsFrom drought to deluge:  Jeffrey Mount writes, “The recent change in the weather is prompting many Californians to shift their worry over drought to fretting about floods. That’s an understandable response to California’s volatile climate, which is the most variable in North America. Most notable this year is the return of atmospheric rivers—river-like bands of moisture that periodically stream into California, often from the tropics. These storms are responsible for most of our large, devastating floods. They are also critical for our water supply, providing roughly half of our precipitation in normal and wet years. When atmospheric rivers don’t occur, we usually have a drought.  Here are a few key takeaways from this welcome stretch of wet weather: … ”  Read more from the PPIC Blog here:  From drought to deluge

Indicators of a drought ending in Northern California:  Jay Lund writes, “Droughts are common in California, a large, generally dry, and hydrologically complex place.  So it is hard to rely on a single index of the end or beginning of a drought.  A single storm is rarely enough to end a drought in California, especially a long drought like the one that seems to be mostly ending now.  Regular hydrologic statistics can be used as indicators of drought, but these do not do justice to how droughts actually end (or begin).  Here are some less formal indicators that the current drought is ending, although in some ways this drought and its impacts will endure for decades to come. ... ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Indicators of a drought ending in Northern California

Storms put dent in drought but not the need to restore California’s water balance: John Guenther writes, “California’s stormy deluge of rain is altering the drought outlook, at least for the now-full reservoirs in the northern part of the state. But the need to provide a sustainable and reliable water supply will never be low in priority in the years ahead.  Even before the drought, Californians used almost 10 million acre-feet a year more from reservoirs and aquifers than was replenished by nature. Something has to give–and the state needs to make moves this year to more sustainably manage its water.  That’s the call-to-action from Jay Ziegler, director of external affairs for The Nature Conservancy in California, who was featured in the Sacramento Bee this week with his op-ed “California’s water policy at potential tipping point.” … ”  Read more from the California Economic Summit here:  Storms put dent in drought but not the need to restore California’s water balance

Why fish need water: Now we have science, sewage science:  “We’ve been trying to tell California’s water bureaucrats that there’s a lot more to fish health than pouring our river water on them, particularly in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.  The Sacramento region discharges millions of gallons of partially treated sewage into the Delta.  That’s just Sacramento.  Another dozen cities also discharge millions of gallons into the heart of the Delta and the discharges have grown as the cities have grown.  The wastewater contains significant amounts of ammonia and numerous trace elements of pharmaceuticals that pass through our bodies.  Sacramento has been ordered to clean up their act, but have been given until 2023 to do so.  Until then farmers will continue to be blamed for the health of the Delta Smelt. ... ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Why fish need water: Now we have science, sewage science

Winter-run chinook salmon status, end of 2016:  “The prognosis for winter-run Chinook salmon is not good following very poor survival of the 2014 and 2015 spawns in the Sacramento River below Shasta Dam.   The run had been recovering after the 2007-2009 drought (Figure 1).  However, year class production suffered in the 2012-2015 drought, culminating with the year class (spawn) failures in 2014 and 2015 (Figure 2) caused by egg stranding and high water temperatures.  Run size and juvenile production/survival estimates for 2016 are as yet incomplete, but production of juveniles as estimated from Red Bluff rotary screw trap data indicates some improvement over 2014-2015.1 The somewhat higher number of recruits produced in 2013 likely boosted the spawning run in 2016. ... ”  Continue reading from the California Fisheries Blog here:  Winter-run chinook salmon status, end of 2016  See also:   Striped bass status, end of 2016  and: Splittail Status – End of 2016

Oakdale Irrigation District lawsuit about more than water:  “Over most of its forty-six year history, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has been most often associated with developers and urban sprawl. With few exceptions, agriculture was virtually exempt from CEQA review.  The almond boom and a six-year drought changed everything. Today, farming is no longer surrounded by a holy aura. The farmer as corporate businessman is as much a part of the ag image as the family farmer on his tractor. … ”  Read more from The Valley Citizen here:  Oakdale Irrigation District lawsuit about more than water

10 big questions about the LA rain and the California drought:  “As a surfer, I hate the rain. As a Californian, I love it.  The recent series of downpours has kept me out of the ocean for weeks. I’ve gotten violently ill from surfing in water polluted with runoff and have learned my lesson. Maybe the deluge up north has been a boon for our parched state. But we are not out of the desert yet…  Below, we’ve answered our top 10 most frequently asked questions about what the LA rain really means: … ”  Read more from Heal the Bay here:  10 big questions about the LA rain and the California droughtDaily emails

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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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