BLOG ROUND-UP: Bloggers on Oroville Dam, Delta fish salvage, Water law and drought, Stockton and sea level rise, and more …

California would be an unrecognizable ‘parallel universe’ without Oroville Dam:  Todd Fitchette writes, “A Sacramento Bee article questions the “lethal arrogance” of late Gov. Pat Brown when pushing to build Oroville Dam in the 1960s.  The lens of hindsight might be clearer, but it’s only such because we see things through the history that predecessors did not have, nor could they imagine.  The article paints former Gov. Brown – his son is the current governor for those not familiar with California politics – as a pushy politician looking for a legacy. Sound familiar? … ”  Continue reading at the Western Farm Press blog here:  California would be an unrecognizable ‘parallel universe’ without Oroville Dam

Deconstructing Oroville Dam: Instead of owning up to the reality that maintenance of infrastructure has been neglected, the new spin is that it just shouldn’t have been built in the first place:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “Oroville Dam is one of the key elements of California’s State Water Project.  It is the tallest dam in the U.S. serving us with water supply, flood control and hydroelecticity.  It has done its job for 60 years.  But, was it all just a big mistake?  The Sacramento Bee in the article below says then California Governor Pat Brown “misled voters about the State Water Project’s costs, ignored recommendations to delay Oroville’s construction and brushed aside allegations that substandard building materials were being used at the dam.”  They go on to say he brought an “almost evangelical zeal”, was “hell-bent on building”, had “engineering hubris”, and it led to a  “lethal arrogance”.  Maybe he just wanted to build a dam. … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Deconstructing Oroville Dam

State trust in Brown’s legacy falters – what does this mean for CA water?  Restore the Delta writes, ” … Reporters Ryan Sabalow and Dale Kasler examined CA’s deep history of irresponsible infrastructure planning—a statewide problem passed down from father (former-governor Pat Brown) to son (current Governor Jerry Brown)—in an article published Sunday. On Monday, the Bee reported on decades of broken promises regarding recreational investments to Butte County which have resurfaced since Oroville’s emergency spillway failed this February.  Executive Director of Restore the Delta, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla adds:  “Oroville Dam, from its inception, was overpriced and under-engineered. Governor Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels proposal suffers from the same dangerous flaws. … ”  Read more from Restore the Delta here:  State trust in Brown’s legacy falters – what does this mean for CA water?

Spring 2017 Delta fish salvage:  Tom Cannon writes, “Though it is counter-intuitive in a flood year, fish salvage has become a real problem this spring.  Total Delta exports reached 8,000 cfs in the first week in May, and salvage of salmon and splittail increased sharply (Figures 1 and 2). Normally, Delta standards limit export limits to1500 cfs in April-May in order to protect fish. However, higher exports are allowed when San Joaquin River inflows to the Delta are high. Even higher exports than the present 8,000 cfs are allowed, but the infrastructure cannot accommodate further exports in this wet year (demands are low and reservoirs south of the Delta are nearly full). ... ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here:  Spring 2017 Delta fish salvage

blog-round-up-previous-editionsWater law aided ecosystems in drought:  Leon Szeptycki and Brian Gray write, “California’s latest drought may be over, but its effects live on. The 2012–16 drought included the driest four-year period since record-keeping began in 1895 and the two warmest years in state history. This combination triggered numerous unhappy milestones in California, especially for the state’s natural environment.  Although urban and agricultural water users incurred significant surface water shortages, in many respects they responded to the drought with great resiliency. The urban economy remained robust, even as residents and businesses responded to calls to save water. Farmers adapted by improving water efficiency, shifting to higher value crops and increasing their use of groundwater. … ”  Read more from the PPIC Blog here:  Water law aided ecosystems in drought

Abolish private property in water? California needs markets (Stroshane reconsidered):  Wayne Lusvardi writes, “It took some 6,000 years for persons to overcome slavery, serfdom, and oppressive rent and taxation to acquire secure property rights to farmland and to adjacent river water (riparian rights – see Joshua Getzler, A History of Water Rights and Common Law, [2004]).  Enter Tim Stroshane, a former Berkeley central planner, activist and environmentalist, who proposes to abolish such property rights because farming monopolists in California allegedly fail to “share” water with the hordes of urbanites that want it. This post revisits Stroshane’s case in his 2016 book, Drought, Water Law and the Origins of California’s Central Valley Project (Reno: University of Nevada Press). ... ”  Continue reading at the Master Resource blog here:  Abolish private property in water? California needs markets (Stroshane reconsidered)

Governor Brown cuts $100 million for drought response in revised budget:  Restore the Delta writes, “Governor Brown’s May revision of the California Budget released Thursday slashed over $100 million in funds designated for drought response. With the drought officially declared “over” in April, the remaining $63 million intended for the state’s drought package will go to CalFire. … In response to Brown’s proposed budget cuts, Executive Director of Restore the Delta Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla said, “While we understand Governor Brown’s plan to hold onto public dollars in case major cuts are made to Federal health insurance programs and services, we maintain that cutting funding for drought planning and programs is short sighted. … ”  Continue reading at Restore the Delta here:  Governor Brown cuts $100 million for drought response in revised budget

Where your water goes after it goes down the drain:  Bad Mom, Good Mom writes, “Last November, I had the opportunity to chaperone my daughter’s class when they visited the West Basin Water District’s Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility in El Segundo, California.  Here’s a Google Earth view of the area.  Most of the waste water from western LA county goes to the Hyperion Sewage Treatment Plant for removal of solids and biological treatment with bacteria that eat the smaller particles before settling to the bottom of the holding tanks.  The water is then pumped to the water recycling plant marked by the red asterisk (*). … ”  Continue reading at the Bad Mom, Good Mom blog here:  Where your water goes after it goes down the drain

Stockton of the future?  Alex Breitler writes, “Let’s tour Stockton in the year 2100, should an unlikely but “plausible” 10 to 12 feet of sea level rise occur.  Buckle up. … ”  Continue reading at the Stockton Record here:  Stockton of the future?

Using less water on the Lower Colorado River: John Fleck writes, “At the end of April, Lake Mead sat at 1,085 feet above sea level, more than eight feet higher than it was a year ago. That is in part thanks to a big winter upstream, which has ensured continued above-average releases from Lake Powell upstream.  But equally important is the fact that folks in the Lower Colorado River Basin are using less water.  According to the current Bureau of Reclamation Forecast, water agencies are expected to take 6.849 million acre feet of water out of Mead this year to supply farms and cities in Arizona, California, and Nevada. … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here:  Using less water on the Lower Colorado River

And lastly …

Daily emailsOn the Public Record is looking for water policy work and Life Plus 2 meters says we will be seeing more of this silly er, stuff ….

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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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