BLOG ROUND-UP: Water wasted to sea?; Goldman-Sachs Water Fix estimate; A progressive Central Valley water platform; and more …

“Flying Dragon”, Photo by Jay Huang

Water wasted to sea? If we farmed the Central Valley or managed water supplies for San Francisco, San Jose or Los Angeles, we might think that fresh water flowing from the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers through the Delta to San Francisco Bay is “wasted” because it ends up in the Pacific Ocean as an unused resource. However, different perspectives emerge as we follow the downstream movement of river water through the Delta and into San Francisco Bay.  If we were Delta farmers or administered Contra Costa County’s water supply, we would value river water flowing through the Delta because it repels salt intrusion (Jassby et al. 1995) and protects water quality for drinking, growing crops and meeting other customer needs. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Water wasted to sea? 

blog-round-up-previous-editionsGoldman Sachs underestimates Water Fix costs for Westlands:  Doug Obegi writes, “The Sacramento Bee reported this week that the Board of Directors of the Westlands Water District were skeptical of paying for the Delta tunnels project (WaterFix). This shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that prior analyses have shown that the project is not cost-effective, particularly for agricultural water users. But after digging into the presentation by Goldman Sachs to the Board of Directors of Westlands, it appears that the cost numbers for WaterFix are likely to be significantly higher than what Goldman Sachs presented. … ” Read more from the NRDC Switchboard blog here:  Goldman Sachs underestimates Water Fix costs for Westlands

Long forseeable:  On the Public Record writes, “[quoting Sacramento Bee] “Three weeks after the tunnels received a crucial green light from federal environmental regulators, the $17.1 billion project got a cool reception from nearly 100 growers who farm in the powerful Westlands Water District. Provided with detailed financial projections at a Westlands board meeting for the first time, the farmers suggested they aren’t ready to sign onto the plan.” … I am sorry these farmers are only hearing about these estimates now.  The cost range for this water has been available knowledge for half a decade now.  We’ve known for years that tunnel water wouldn’t be agricultural water. ... ”  Continue reading at On the Public Record here:  Long forseeable

Watching a progressive water platform for the Central Valley take shape:  On the Public Record writes, “I am seeing more local newspaper  op-eds opposing the San Joaquin Valley water dogma than I ever have before.  Part of it is about replacing Nunes, but it also opens the door for new ways of thinking about water If this is the work of the local resistance, you guys are doing a great job. They are feeling the pressure.  The longstanding water dogma of the San Joaquin Valley has been narrow.  The premise is that farmers need more (extracted from the environment), and the only other lens for water policy is farmworker jobs. I don’t pay as much attention to the water quality news stories, but I don’t remember many of them from the Valley before 2011-2016 drought, even during the 2006-2009 drought.  Post drought, I’m seeing a few topics emerge … ”  Read more from On the Public Record here:  Watching a progressive water platform for the Central Valley take shape

2015 California recycled water survey shows we have much more work to do:  Doug Obegi writes, “California is failing to achieve its goals for recycled water, according to survey results released by the State Water Resources Control Board (“State Board”) last month. The data showed that the production of recycled water only increased by a meager 6% (approximately 40,000 acre feet) between 2009 and 2015. While there are a couple important caveats to the report, the results are nonetheless deeply disappointing and show California has a lot more work to do.  Yet despite the disappointing 2015 results, I’m optimistic that California will significantly increase the production of recycled water and can meet our State’s goals, if we work together and prioritize investments in water recycling. … ”  Read more from the NRDC here:  2015 California recycled water survey shows we have much more work to do

Gotta lotta nerve: There is not any money for dam projects to provide water storage: Families Protecting the Valley writes, “It’s been almost 3 years since California voters approved Prop 1, the Water Bond that included funds to build new water storage.  The bureaucrats are still studying whether we need new storage, and what it would be if we did it.  There’s no end in sight for any conclusion and with last year’s rains the pressure’s off to do anything fast. While all that’s not going on, the former Deputy Secretary of the state Natural Resources Agency is going to ask voters for ” approval for a veritable wish list of water and other environmental projects costing billions.”  Gerald Meral is proposing an $8.4-billion bond for the 2018 ballot.  … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Gotta lotta nerve: There is not any money for dam projects to provide water storage

Irrigation elite and Klamath tribes are still working to secure KBRA benefits:  Felice Pace writes, “The Klamath River Basin’s Irrigation Elite, which includes rich and politically well-connected federal irrigators in the Lower Klamath and Tule Lake Areas and a handful of rich cattlemen whose operations are above Upper Klamath Lake as well as in California’s Central Valley, have not given up trying to obtain the water certainty and subsidies which their lawyer wrote into the KBRA Water Deal. Instead those rich and dominant irrigators are now looking to a Republican-controlled Congress and the Trump Administration to obtain advantages, subsidies and what they most desire, to keep the Upper Klamath River Basin a place where the federal Endangered Species Act is not enforced with respect to agricultural operations. … ”  Read more from the Klam Blog here:  Irrigation elite and Klamath tribes are still working to secure KBRA benefits

Improving habitat for fins and feathers:  The Northern California Water Association blog writes, “Two of the leading scientists in California recently collaborated on an article focused on Conserving Habitat for Fins and Feathers.  Mark Petrie and Jacob Katz describe the amazing and innovative efforts that their respective conservation organizations–Ducks Unlimited and CalTrout–have taken to improve habitat for both fish and birds. Much of their efforts have focused on California’s Sacramento Valley and its unique mosaic of beautiful, picturesque farmland, world-class wildlife reserves and thriving communities, which are interwoven with dynamic rivers and streams. Nowhere are natural and human resources more closely integrated and cared for than the Sacramento Valley. ... ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here:  Improving habitat for fins and feathers

Arizona misters and the value of water:  “Lissa and I slipped away for a long weekend in Arizona before I dive into a new semester and a busy autumn. It’s hot as hell here, which means hotels are cheap, and we’re ensconced for a few days in a luxury we otherwise could not afford. Three floors down from our room, by the pool, is an outdoor bar. With misters.  The place has four pools, a waterfall, and a mountainside of saguaro. It is ripe for thinking about our complex cultural relationship with water.  One of my trip books is the architectural historian Reyner Banham’s 1971 classic Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies. (Thanks to the amazing librarians at UNM’s Fine Arts Library, who were able to track it down for me because I really wanted to read it and they are librarians.) Banham, a Brit, brought a bemused enthusiasm to the task of making sense of the architecture and urban form of Los Angeles. Water, while only briefly  discussed, is foundational: ... ”  Continue reading at the Inkstain blog here:  Arizona misters and the value of water

Dear Congress, Protect the integrity of the ESA:  Eric Holst writes, “The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is one of our nation’s bedrock environmental laws, preventing the extinction and helping the recovery of many American icons, including our national symbol – the bald eagle.  The act had the unanimous support of the Senate and a near-unanimous vote in the House when it was signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1973. Today, 90 percent of American voters still support the law and want to see it maintained. … ” Read more from the Growing Returns blog here:  Dear Congress, Protect the integrity of the ESA

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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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