BLOG ROUND-UP: Are pumps killing fish or ammonia from water treatment plants?, Evading dam nation, headwaters, Trump and the EPA, and more …

Mystic Blue, by Alejandro C

blog-round-up-previous-editionsAre pumps killing fish or ammonia from water treatment plants?  Todd Fitchette writes, “Earlier this month a major California newspaper reported that the City of Modesto discharged an estimated 29 million gallons of “partially treated wastewater” per day into the San Joaquin River after city workers feared treatment pond levees would soon fail.  A group called “Families Protecting the Valley,” recently used this and a 2008 story from another newspaper to once-again emphasize that the fish problems inherent in the Delta are not because of the large pumps that move water from the Delta near Tracy to San Luis Reservoir, but are likely caused by ammonia brought on by municipal wastewater plants flushing the collective toilets of large cities into the Delta. … ”  Continue reading from the Western Farm Press blog here:  Are pumps killing fish or ammonia from water treatment plants? 

Sewage Is the Real Problem!  Recent storms “exposed problems with Sacramento-area wastewater systems that failed to contain sewage.”: Families Protecting the Valley writes, “We have been saying for a long time that too much emphasis is being put on how much water farmers use and too little time spent on how much sewage is flowing into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  The Sacramento Bee reports that the recent storms “exposed problems with Sacramento-area wastewater systems that failed to contain sewage.”  The storms “created more pressure than some sewer lines and plants could handle. From Jan. 1 to March 2, more than 1 million gallons of wastewater spilled in the capital region.” ... ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Sewage Is the Real Problem!  Recent storms “exposed problems with Sacramento-area wastewater systems that failed to contain sewage.”

Fish First, Then People!: The dam operators wanted to fix the spillway to protect people, but the fish people asked them to compromise the safety of people for the protection of fish.  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “The letter below to the Editor of the Modesto Bee explains how government bureaucrats have elevated the needs of fish before that of people.  When operators needed to reduce water releases from Oroville Dam so they could fix the spillway, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) asked them to slow it down to protect the Chinook Salmon and other fish.  The dam operators wanted to fix the spillway to protect people, but the fish people asked them to compromise the safety of people for the protection of fish. … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Fish First, Then People!

Evading Dam-Nation to build a working floodplain on the Cosumnes River: Michaelaina Johnson writes, “This winter’s barrage of rain storms has driven most Central Valley rivers to the point of near record-breaking flooding, and the Cosumnes River is no exception. On February 10th, the Cosumnes hit the second highest peak flow in its recorded flow history: 45,400 cubic feet per second at Michigan Bar.  The Cosumnes is the only river draining the western Sierra Nevada Mountains that has no major dam. As a result, the river’s natural floods have limited – but not eliminated – development and agriculture in the Cosumnes’ lower watershed while also sustaining some of the best native habitat remaining in the Central Valley. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Evading Dam-Nation to build a working floodplain on the Cosumnes River

Why the headwaters matter for natural infrastructure:  “When most people think about water infrastructure, they picture reservoirs, canals, and levees. However, the forests, meadows, and snowy mountain peaks above are critical components of water infrastructure, as well. These lands form the headwater source areas that supply the water to our rivers and reservoirs.  Historically, this natural infrastructure has gone unrecognized, to the detriment of rivers and water users downstream. Luckily, managers and decision makers have begun to recognize the importance of maintaining and improving this natural infrastructure, but there is still a long way to go to catch up on overdue maintenance and to utilize natural infrastructure for maximum benefit. … ”  Read more from the American Rivers blog here:  Why the headwaters matter for natural infrastructure

The Changing Conversation in the Sacramento Valley: The Northern California Water Association blog writes, “The Northern California Water Association (NCWA) last week celebrated its 25th Annual Meeting at the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico with a focus on The Changing Conversation in the Sacramento Valley. A short film was unveiled to showcase the exceptional qualities in the Sacramento Valley and how they are all tied to our precious water resources, which can be seen at: The Sacramento Valley. ”  Read more from the Northern California Water Association blog here:  The Changing Conversation in the Sacramento Valley

Don Pedro: Breathing room – but not enough:  “After coming within a few inches of capacity on Feb. 22, Don Pedro Reservoir has dropped about 11 feet.  You can thank this extended dry spell for that.  Officials have managed to dump about 138,000 acre-feet of water during that time. But is it enough? … ”  Read more from Alex Breitler's blog here:  Don Pedro: Breathing room – but not enough

US-Mexico water sharing deal is sparing Colorado River water users from shortage:  “In my book, I focused a great deal on the environmental and cultural benefits of the “pulse flow” through the Colorado River Delta, enabled by a 2012 agreement between the United States and Mexico. It was a shiny bauble, but there’s a lot more to the agreement than that. Most important from the perspective of U.S. water users is Mexico’s ability to conserve water and store it in Lake Mead. … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here:  US-Mexico water sharing deal is sparing Colorado River water users from shortage

CA GOP cheers federal support for new water bills:  “Central California residents, long hoping for federal water reform, have begun to see some movement from Washington.   Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., has rolled out language designed to “build on last year’s legislation that was loved by farmers and loathed by environmentalists,” as McClatchy reported. “The bill scales back an ambitious San Joaquin River restoration program, speeds completion of California dam feasibility studies and locks in certain water deliveries to Sacramento Valley irrigation districts, among other things. Parts of the bill would not have been accepted by the Obama administration, but the Trump team is different.” … ”  Read more from the Cal Watchdog blog here:  CA GOP cheers federal support for new water bills

The Trump Administration’s False Stories About the Environmental Protection Agency Are Meant to Take the Agency Down: “The Trump Administration has made clear its plans to systematically dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency.  Destroying the EPA will be a key element of the administration’s fight, in the words of White House policy advisor Steve Bannon, to achieve the “deconstruction of the administrative state.”  Republicans in Congress appear to support this effort.  EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the perfect person to lead this work, quickly began the task after taking office a few weeks ago.  In support of this effort, the administration is promoting a specific, negative story about why EPA exists, what its mission is, what the agency has accomplished to protect human health and the environment, and what economic impact the agency’s work has had.  The administration’s attacks on EPA are absolutely false.  Its intent is to implement Bannon’s agenda, which is broadly consistent with that of many other right-wing politicians in the U.S. today.  If they succeed, the country—”red” and “blue” America alike—will suffer enormously. … ”  Read more from the Legal Planet here: The Trump Administration’s False Stories About the Environmental Protection Agency Are Meant to Take the Agency Down

National Water Infrastructure Efforts Must Expand Access to Public Drinking Fountains:  Peter Gleick and Rapichan Phurisamban write, “There is strong bipartisan support for expanding investment in the nation’s water infrastructure as part of a broader infrastructure effort. But there is, as yet, little agreement about what specific investments should be made. Here is one idea: expand access to high-quality and safe municipal water by improving access to drinking fountains in schools, parks, public buildings, and around public transit areas.  Drinking fountains are an important public resource, serving as an alternative to bottled water or sugary drinks and accommodating a wide array of users, including children, commuters, runners, the homeless, and tourists. ... ”  Read more from the Pacific Institute Insights blog here:  National Water Infrastructure Efforts Must Expand Access to Public Drinking Fountains

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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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