BLOG ROUND-UP: The Delta tunnels EIR; Winnemem Wintu partners with Go Fund Me for salmon project; PPIC weighs in on conservation policy debate; CA’s shameful lack of conservation innovation; Lost to the sea; and more blog commentary …

Mount Shasta, March 21, 2017, Photo by Phoca2005

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More confusion than clarity in tunnels EIR:  Alex Brietler writes, “The final version of Gov. Jerry Brown’s twin tunnels plan is better than earlier drafts but still contains “key flaws,” independent scientists say, including an environmental impact report that is so chock full of facts that it doesn’t tell a clear story.  The latest draft critique marks the Independent Science Board’s fifth review of various iterations of the tunnels plan. Their criticism isn’t really about the tunnels themselves, but rather the documents that are being used to justify their construction.  The final EIR is like the drafts before it, “failing to communicate clearly the principal findings and uncertainties of an enormous report,” the panel concludes. … ”  Read more from Alex Breitler’s blog here:  More confusion than clarity in tunnels EIR

Winnemem Wintu partners with Go Fund Me to finance first salmon relocation & restoration project:  Dan Bacher writes, “After a seven-year campaign to get the attention of federal agencies, the Winnemem Wintu Tribe is poised to take a major step in bringing home the descendants of the McCloud River Chinook salmon from the rivers of New Zealand.  With California salmon runs at risk of extinction, the Tribe is partnering with GoFundMe this month to raise $85,000 to fund the first phase of our project before it’s too late.  At a time when climate change, dams and industrial water extraction for Big Ag threaten the future of California’s salmon, federal biologists agree with the Winnemem Wintu that salmon must return to the glacial waters of the McCloud River above Shasta Dam in order to survive. ... ”  Read more from the Daily Kos here:  Winnemem Wintu partners with Go Fund Me to finance first salmon relocation & restoration project

PPIC weighs in at a critical time in conservation policy debate: Timothy Quinn writes, “As lawmakers debate competing proposals for long-term water conservation, the Public Policy Institute of California is weighing in with some important insights into state and local response to the historic drought.  In a new report, “Building Drought Resilience in California’s Cities and Suburbs,” PPIC offers an in-depth look at events leading up to the recently ended drought and the unprecedented step by the State Water Resources Control Board to impose mandatory, across-the-board rationing on urban water suppliers in April 2015. Their conclusions validate many of the points made by ACWA and its members throughout 2015 and 2016 as well as in the current discussion in the legislative arena. … ”  Read more from ACWA’s Voices on Water here:  PPIC weighs in at a critical time in conservation policy debate

California’s shameful lack of conservation innovation:  “A few weeks ago, Dr. Rocket (my pseudonym) emailed: … According to the AWWA (American Water Works Association) 2011 water audit of 21 utilities, the range of losses is 645.42 – 3,496.21 gallons/mile of main/day, with an average of 1,821.15 gallons/mile of main/day. NRW losses are 6.8% – 45.5% by volume, with an average of 22.6%.  As I see it, water is taken for granted, and its leakage does not pose direct health or environmental damage. It’s also relatively cheap. So traditionally measurement and leakage have been pretty much ignored. This is not going to improve until measurement is improved in the large water mains in the municipal distribution systems. And measurement is not going to improve until there is some way to accurately calibrate large municipal water meters, e.g. in sizes up to 24″…. ”  Continue reading at the Aguanomics blog here:   California’s shameful lack of conservation innovation

Lost to the Sea:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “You can see almost 49,000,000 acre feet of water have flowed into the Delta and 45,000,000 have gone through and out to sea.  There’s still a lot of snow that will melt and come down our rivers and through our reservoirs. There is so much we have no place to put it (It’s June. California Is Still Covered in Snow). This has been the basic argument in favor of new storage. If we cold save some of this snow melt for the dry years, the droughts would be less severe.  The chart below shows how much water has flowed into and out of the Delta from October 1st of last year through last Sunday. ... ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Lost to the Sea

Irrigation management in the Western states, as seen from overseas:  “The transformation of the western United States by irrigation offers hope for developing countries looking for models to improve their irrigation system for food security or agricultural prosperity.  The transformation of the American West from barren desert and low value grazing into one of the largest agriculture areas in the United States would be impossible without irrigation. Water supply infrastructure currently delivers waters for about 40 million acres of irrigated land (74% nationwide) across arid regions in the Western. … ” Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Irrigation management in the Western states, as seen from overseas

Why drought makes water rates rise:  Lori Pottinger writes, “For those in the business of selling water, drought often brings financial strains. New research by the PPIC Water Policy Center found that more than 70% of California’s urban water suppliers experienced reduced revenues during the latest drought. We talked to David Mitchell—an economist specializing in water and a co-author of a new PPIC report on urban drought resilience—about the cost of water and drought.  PPIC: Why do customers’ water rates sometimes rise during drought—even after big jumps in water conservation? … ”  Read more from the PPIC blog here:  Why drought makes water rates rise

Celebrating the recovery of spring-run salmon on Butte Creek:  “Today, partners in a two decade-old effort to benefit spring-run Chinook salmon gathered on the banks of Butte Creek to celebrate the program’s enduring success.  Headlining the event this morning was Bruce Babbitt, who was Department of Interior Secretary in the late 1990s and participated in a similar ceremony twenty years ago to initiate the program with the removal of the McPherrin diversion dam. … ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here:  Celebrating the recovery of spring-run salmon on Butte Creek

Another year, another egg rescue:  River Garden Farms writes, “River Garden Farms is proud to once again be participating in California Waterfowl Association’s Egg Rescue and Duck Return Program. In less than a week we’ve collected 50 eggs, with 7 of them hatching today before they could even be collected. Regina Stafford from CWA came to collect the newborns and the rest of the eggs to be transported to the hatchery where the eggs are incubated and hatched, and ducklings are reared and released into the wild. Check out http://www.calwaterfowl.org/egg-salvage to learn more about this great program!”  Check out the slideshow here:  Another year, another egg rescue

Loss aversion and the latest Lake Mead forecast:  John Fleck writes, “The Bureau of Reclamation’s June Colorado River forecast projects Lake Mead ending 2018 at elevation 1,076.5 feet above sea level, three feet higher than the Bureau’s January projection of 1,073.5. If the forecast holds, that’s enough of an increase in Mead storage, thanks to a larger-than average snowpack in the Rockies, to avoid a shortage that will kick in if (when?) the big reservoir serving California, Nevada, and Arizona ends the year below 1,075.  Wait, what?  The latest Bureau of Reclamation Lake Mead forecast triggered a round of headlines in Arizona best exemplified by this: “Lake Mead Predicted to Drop 20 Feet Lower Than Anticipated”. … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here:  Loss aversion and the latest Lake Mead forecast

How Trump’s budget drains drinking water protections:  Mae Wu writes, “Trump’s recently proposed budget for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets lofty goals to “ensure that all Americans are protected from exposure to hazardous environmental risks where they live, learn, work, and enjoy their lives.”  But just saying it doesn’t make it so.  Compare the facts around drinking water to the response from the Administration. … ”  Read more from the NRDC blog here:   How Trump’s budget drains drinking water protectionsDaily 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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