BLOG ROUND-UP: California’s wettest drought, Board ignores concerns, inequities of water pricing, water tower nostalgia, adaptive management in the Trump administration; and more …

California's wettest drought: 2017:  Jay Lund writes, “Wet.  After five years of drought, most of California finally has become wet.  The mountains are exceptionally wet and covered with snow.  The state’s reservoirs are fuller than their long term average (with a few exceptions).  Flood control structures are being employed, some for the first time since 2006.  We can now better understand the balance needed for California’s water system – which must operate for many sometimes-conflicting purposes in a climate with wild swings in water availability.  Every year, California must operate for drought, flood, public and ecosystem health, and economic prosperity (or at least financial solvency). … ” Read more from the California Water Blog here:  California’s wettest drought: 2017

blog-round-up-previous-editionsBoard ignores concerns:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “The article below explains the difficulty a water district has implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act when they don't have much to say about their surface water situation.  No one disputes there is a critical over-drafting of groundwater and it needs to be addressed, but groundwater can only be recharged when surface water is available.  The board goes on the tell water districts that if they don't get their groundwater situation under control, the board will take over the responsibility.  … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Board ignores concerns

Western drought: It ain't over 'til … well, it ain't over: Deke Arndt writes, “Just a few days ago, on January 26th, 2017, we saw something in the U.S. climate that we hadn’t seen since March 2011. Well, technically, we didn’t see something, I guess.  For the first time since March 2011, there was no D4, “exceptional drought,” anywhere in the United States, as analyzed by the U.S. Drought Monitor. The last vestige of D4—the most severe category in the monitoring system—disappeared from its southern California holdout, part of a larger pattern of substantial mid-January drought improvements in California. ... ”  Read more from Climate.gov here:  Western drought: It ain’t over ’til … well, it ain’t over

The inequities of water pricing:  Lori Pottinger writes, “California’s residential water pricing is highly variable, with some of the state’s poorest communities paying many times more for water than neighboring towns and cities. We talked to JR DeShazo—director of the Luskin Center for Innovation at UCLA and a member of the PPIC Water Policy Center research network—about his work to document the inequities of water pricing in Southern California.  PPIC: What prompted you to research water pricing, and what did you learn?  JR DeShazo: A reporter from the Los Angeles Times asked me if I knew how many retail water agencies there are in LA, and how they vary in cost for service and approaches to water conservation. I couldn’t answer his questions. When we started to research these topics, we found that there wasn’t a good source of information. … ”  Read more from the PPIC blog here:  The inequities of water pricing

Longfin smelt January 2017 larval survey:  Tom Cannon writes, “In a recent post on the status of the state-listed longfin smelt, I remarked on the dire straits of the population in the San Francisco Bay Estuary.  I noted that the first measure of a population collapse would be the lack of population response in wet year 2017 as determined by the larval longfin smelt catch in the January 2017 Smelt Larval Survey.  The January 2017 survey results are now in and indicate very low catch (15) relative to the first eight years of the survey. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries Blog here:  Longfin smelt January 2017 larval survey

PG&E withdraws license application on Butte Creek: Future of spring-run salmon uncertain: Chris Shutes and David Steindorf write, “In a surprise move, PG&E announced on February 2, 2017 that it was withdrawing its application to relicense the DeSabla – Centerville Hydroelectric Project on Butte Creek and the West Branch Feather River.  The reach of Butte Creek affected by the Project is home to the only remaining viable population of spring-run Chinook salmon in California’s Central Valley.  Spring-run salmon in Butte Creek have seen a resurgence over the last twenty years.  A substantial part of this was due to investments and improvements downstream of the Project. In addition, since 2003, PG&E and state and federal resource agencies have greatly improved the management of the Project for the fish. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries Blog here:  PG&E withdraws license application on Butte Creek: Future of spring-run salmon uncertain

New fish screen infographic:  The Northern California Water Association writes, “For more than two decades, water management entities in the Sacramento Valley have engaged in an aggressive effort to construct fish screens at all of the high priority diversions identified by state and federal fishery agencies. As a result, all but two of the high-priority diversions have been screened. The following infographic helps describe the program. There have also been siphons and other barriers built at key locations in the Sacramento Valley to help assure that salmon stay in the rivers and streams and are able to successfully migrate up and down the rivers.”  Click here or on the infographic to view.

Stockton: A full tank of water tower Nostalgia:  Alex Breitler writes, “It’s been fun monitoring reaction on social media to my news over the weekend that a half dozen of Stockton’s largest and oldest water towers will give up the ghost over the next few years.  A sampling from the Facebook groups Stockton History and Memories of Stockton:  –”I’m 58 and that tower has been there as long as I can remember. Feels like losing a long time friend/neighbor.” –Kenn Lujan Sonne … ”  Read more from the Alex Brietler here:  Stockton: A full tank of water tower Nostalgia

Are the arguments for Valley water full of holes?  Eric Caine writes, “Though there’s no truth to the rumor people have been painting it brown, the water drop on the “Worth your Fight” sign produced by the Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts could just as easily be an almond. And if it were so portrayed, it would certainly present a more accurate picture as leaders throughout the San Joaquin Valley protest state proposals to increase flows along valley rivers.  Water, of course, is worth anyone’s and everyone’s fight. And that’s their real problem, as Valley politicians tie themselves in logical knots trying to explain why they deserve, more than anyone else, the water everyone needs—especially since almonds aren’t exactly on everyone’s list of basic food requirements. … ” Read more from the Valley Citizen here:  Are the arguments for Valley water full of holes?

Some context on the Colorado River and the U.S. Mexico reset:  John Fleck writes, “Rhea Graham, a savvy veteran of western water governance, made an interesting observation about my book over on Goodreads:  “One of the few thoughtful discussions of the Lower Colorado River international boundary, it unwittingly becomes context for the reset of USA-Mexico relations begun in 2017.”  I spend a good deal of time in Water is For Fighting Over and Other Myths on the evolution of the relationship between the United States and Mexico in the two nations’ joint management (or, in many cases, mismanagement) of the Colorado River. … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here:  Some context on the Colorado River and the U.S. Mexico reset

Organization, presence: Adaptive management in the Trump Administration:  Dr. Ricky Rood writes, “Once again, I woke feeling great. Decided I need to think about how to manage my career or, well perhaps, what’s left of it. Think I am going back to my EOS editorial and see if any of what I said made sense. I am one of those people who feel that there is value of organization and management in our science enterprise. This has been an albatross around the neck of my career; I again and again find myself wandering around on deck imagining how to organize the vital fragments. I have this tedious mantra that organization emerges from complex systems, and that we can do things to seed, fertilize, and accelerate that emergence. It’s not hard to collect scientists together, but it is hard to organize scientists. ... ”  Read more from the Wunderground blog here:  Organization, presence: Adaptive management in the Trump AdministrationDaily 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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