BLOG ROUND-UP: Reconciling conservation and human use in the Delta; Extended man-made drought; The hidden truth about Valley water; and more …

Seeley Creek Falls on the San Bernardino NF, has a naturally-formed heart shaped pothole next to the waterfall. Photo by USFS Region 5.

Reconciling conservation and human use in the Delta: John Durand, Peter Moyle, and Amber Manfree write, ” ...The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has been extensively altered over the past 150 years. Major changes include manipulation of river flows, alien species invasions, conversion of wetlands to agriculture and, most recently, climate change. Changes have been incremental and slow enough that successive generations of Delta residents, fishermen, scientists, and managers have not seen the full extent of transformation. Each generation assumes the conditions they encounter are not much different from those of the recent past. This problem of slowly shifting baselines means that our understanding of historical conditions shifts with changing conditions, because the change is difficult to accept and because we cannot directly observe what conditions were like in the more distant past (Pauly 1995; Papworth et al. 2009). … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Reconciling conservation and human use in the Delta

Extended Man-Made Drought: Most of the people of California don't realize it's the government water officials who have caused the problem:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “Yes, this is a man-made drought and this is how it works.  Over the past 25 years the state and the feds through various environmental policies have taken more and more water from farmers in the San Joaquin Valley and given it to rivers and fish without any objective proof that any of it ever did any good.  They've never had to prove that any of the extra water benefited even one fish.  No accountability, ever! … ”  Continue reading at Families Protecting the Valley here:  Extended Man-Made Drought: Most of the people of California don’t realize it’s the government water officials who have caused the problem

The hidden truth about Valley water:  Eric Caine writes, “The recent deluge throughout Northern California has caused equal parts celebration and outrage. Celebration because it would appear to some the drought is over and outrage because those same celebrants are demonizing anyone who says we’re still in a water emergency.  As always, the favored targets for righteous indignation are the government and, “those in environmental groups.”  “Why would the state water board tell us we’re still in drought?’ asked the editorial board of the Modesto Bee last Sunday. Why indeed? … ”  Read more from the Valley Citizen blog here:  The hidden truth about Valley water

Wet winter upends California water politics:  “Drought-busting levels of rain and snow have put pressure to lift emergency restrictions on usage, but California regulators declined to ease up on the longstanding curbs.  “Amid the ongoing succession of storms, water managers up and down the state are urging regulators in Sacramento to permanently cancel historic, emergency drought rules that have been in place for 18 months,” U-T San Diego reported late last month. “It’s an escalation of their ongoing opposition to these restrictions, which already have been eased considerably since homeowners and businesses were first forced to cut consumption by a statewide average of 25 percent. California doesn’t have an official definition for statewide drought, leaving it up to the governor’s discretion on when to announce an end to that designation.” … ”  Read more from Cal Watchdog here:  Wet winter upends California water politics

blog-round-up-previous-editionsWhy one wet winter won't solve California's water problems:  Anna Lucia Briones writes, “It’s been a good winter for drought-stricken California. Record-breaking precipitation in January has raised reservoir levels and added to the essential Sierra Nevada snowpack.  According to the National Weather Service, some parts of the state received over 200 percent average precipitation for January, and current snowpack levels are at 173 percent of average. This is important, because snowpack stores vast amounts of water that is slowly released as temperatures rise in the spring and summer. … ”  Read more from the Growing Returns blog here:  Why one wet winter won’t solve California’s water problems

Brown Administration seeks federal loans to pay for Delta tunnels: Restore the Delta writes, “Governor Brown’s Office sent a letter to the National Governor’s Association detailing a list of infrastructure projects totaling $100 billion for the State of California. Included, in the list of targeted projects is a request for low interest loans from the Federal Government to help water contractors pay for CA WaterFix.  Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta responded to the letter:  “This request for low-interest loans from the Federal Government to help water contractors pay for the Delta tunnels tells us two things. … ” Read more from Restore the Delta here:  Brown Administration seeks federal loans to pay for Delta tunnels

San Joaquin salmon population status, end of 2016:  Tom Cannon writes, “Recently, I wrote about the fall Chinook salmon runs on the San Joaquin River and its three major tributaries over the past six years.  Salmon counts in San Joaquin tributaries showed an increase in returning adults in 2012-2015 compared to the devastating returns in 2007-2009.  This increase occurred despite the five-year (2012-2016) drought in the San Joaquin watershed.  The number of spawners in 2012-2015 was still well below the returns in the eighties and nineties that corresponded to wet water year sequences … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries Blog here:  San Joaquin salmon population status, end of 2016

Colorado River basin snowpack suggests a good runoff year:  John Fleck writes, “While we were all distracted by the chaos at Oroville Dam, the snowpack above Lake Powell on the Colorado River last week climbed above normal for the year. By this measure from the CBRFC, it’s at 57 percent above average for mid-February. It doesn’t usually peak until early April.  Based on the latest round of forecasts, expect it to keep rising. This is good news for levels in Lake Powell and Lake Mead, the two large reservoirs that provide storage for basin water users. … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here:  Colorado River basin snowpack suggests a good runoff yearDaily 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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