BLOG ROUND-UP: Groundwater overdraft is a fixable problem; The myth of water wasted to sea; Better information can help the environment; Relationships and incentives the secret ingredients for better resource management; and more …

“Tower, Reflected.” American River, Rancho Cordova. Photo by A. F. Litt

blog-round-up-previous-editionsGroundwater overdraft is a fixable problem:  The California Farm Water Coalition writes, “Overdraft. It’s the condition in which something is being removed faster than it’s being replaced. At a bank it’s when you’re spending more money than what you have in your account. In the water world it’s much the same thing. You’re taking more water, usually out of the ground, than what is being replenished. The newest tool being used today by water managers to reverse groundwater overdraft is the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA, and most agree that it’s going to cause a lot of pain in the coming years. … ”  Read more from the California Farm Water Coalition here:  Groundwater overdraft is a fixable problem

The myth of water wasted to sea:  Lori Pottinger writes, “A common lament is that water is wasted when it flows out to the sea rather than put to use irrigating crops or supplying water to cities. But when rivers flow to the sea the water brings benefits to people and ecosystems that are rarely acknowledged. We asked Jim Cloern―a scientist with the US Geological Survey and a member of the PPIC Water Policy Center research network—to explain.  PPIC: What are some benefits that river’s provide when they make it to the sea?  Jim Cloern: Runoff from rivers brings many benefits to coastal communities, the Delta, and wetlands. For example, if you live in or around the Delta, river flows repel saltwater moving upstream. If the flow is too low, water in the Delta becomes too salty for growing crops or drinking.  … ”  Read more from the PPIC blog here:  The myth of water wasted to sea

Better information can help the environment:  Henry McCann and Alvar Escriva-Bou write, “We know that California’s aquatic species are at risk from a host of stressors and that drought pushes them closer to the brink. Yet there are significant gaps in our understanding of key factors affecting ecosystem health that make it difficult to effectively manage water for the natural environment. Good practices from other dry places offer lessons for protecting our struggling species and improving conditions in troubled ecosystems.  Water accounting―tracking how much is there, who has claims to it, and what is actually being “spent”―can provide a clearer picture of how and when to allocate water for the environment. Other states have improved their water information systems and reduced environmental problems. ... ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Better information can help the environment

Relationships and incentives: My secret ingredients for better resource management:  Ann Hayden writes, “Stewardship of our land and water resources has always played a central role in my life.  I grew up “out in the country,” as we call it, on a-five acre “farm” in Yolo County, California – large enough for raising pigs and sheep, which my older brothers and I would show at the annual 4-H Fair in nearby Woodland.  Living in the Central Valley, we could always count on very hot, dry summers and occasional consecutive dry years, which inevitably were followed by years of heavy rains and even flooding. From a very young age, I understood how important it was to be smart about how we managed our water supply and the surrounding landscape for people, wildlife and the environment. ... ”  Read more from the Growing Returns blog here:  Relationships and incentives: My secret ingredients for better resource management

The future of California’s unique salmon and trout: Robert Lusardi, Peter Moyle, Patrick Samuel, and Jacob Katz write, “California is a hot spot for endemic species, those found nowhere else in the world.  Among these species are 20 kinds of salmon and trout. That is an astonishing number considering California is also literally a hot-spot in terms of summer temperatures and that these salmonids are cold-water adapted. These 20 endemic are joined by 12 other species with broader distributions, north along the Pacific Coast.  In California, native salmon and trout are at the southern end of the range.  They survive here because mountains intercept rain and snow in the cooler months of the year and the powerful California Current keeps the ocean and coast cool year-round.  The big question is: can California’s diverse salmon and trout continue to persist in the face of a warming climate and declining coldwater resources? … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  The future of California’s unique salmon and trout

Feather River chinook salmon status:  Tom Cannon writes, “The Feather River has populations of fall-run and spring-run Chinook salmon. Both populations are heavily supplemented (up to 90%) by the Feather River Fish Hatchery near Oroville. There is some natural production in the tailwater below Oroville Dam (Figure 1). The Feather River contributes about 20-25% of the total salmon production in the Central Valley; most are fall-run Chinook.  In a recent post I discussed the Sacramento River salmon populations. In this post I discuss the Feather River populations of fall-run and spring-run Chinook. … ”  Continue reading at the California Fisheries blog here:  Feather River chinook salmon status

Finding mutual solutions in the Sacramento Valley:  The Northern California Water Association blog writes, ““The Sacramento Valley is primed for reconciliation ecology. Consider how both waterbirds and salmon were pushed out of their habitat in favor of farming—and how both are now being brought back in.”  This was the central theme of a recent article in Comstock Magazine, “More Bang for your Duck”, which describes in detail the various efforts underway in the Sacramento Valley to improve fish, birds and other wildlife in concert with farming and our flood protection system. … ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here:  Finding mutual solutions in the Sacramento Valley

What does it mean that the Lower Colorado River has been called the ‘most endangered river’?  Marta Weismann writes, “On April 11th, the conservation group American Rivers released America’s Most Endangered Rivers 2017, this year’s installment of its trademark report that focuses and prioritizes the group’s advocacy work for the next year. Topping this year’s list is the Lower Basin of the Colorado River.  American Rivers selects the rivers for its Most Endangered Rivers report based a major decision that effects the well-being of the river coming in the next year, the river’s significance to communities and the environment, and “the magnitude of the threat to the river…” … ”  Read more from the Hydrowonk blog here:  What does it mean that the Lower Colorado River has been called the ‘most endangered river’?

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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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