A more nuanced message on the Delta tunnels: “Delta tunnels proponents really want you to read the latest blog post by fish experts Peter Moyle and James Hobbs. The project’s official Twitter account, @CAWaterFix, has tweeted links to the post six times over the past day. “Dr. Moyle & Dr. Hobbs explain why they are optimistic about #CAWaterFix from a fish perspective,” one tweet reads. The scientists do share some reasons for optimism, explaining their “qualified support” for the project. But they use just as much digital ink, maybe more, describing the potential pitfalls of this “giant experiment that may or may not work as promised, no matter what the models and experts say.” … ” Read more from Alex Breitler's blog here: A more nuanced message on the Delta tunnels
1) Davis Biologists Reject Water Agencies Main Argument for the $16+ billion WaterFix/Tunnels, 2) Then they endorse the Tunnels, and 3) WaterFix sends positive news release touting their support: Dr. Jeff Michael writes, “Over the past decade, I have sometimes heard the PPIC/Davis water group described as “useful fools”, unwittingly supporting the further demise of the Delta. This week, a pair of prominent UC-Davis biologists gave the Delta tunnels (aka WaterFix) a qualified endorsement . Their timing, reasoning rationalization and subsequent reaction from the WaterFix public relations machine reminded me of this political phrase. For the past few weeks, the WaterFix discussion has been dominated by discussions of whether the Delta tunnels are worth $16+ billion to water agencies. In making their economic/financial case, water agency staff have consistently maintained that if we don't build the WaterFix, water exports from the delta will be slashed to 3.5 – 3.9 million acre feet annually, which is essentially cutting exports back to pre-1980 levels. … ” Read more from the Valley Economy blog here: 1) Davis Biologists Reject Water Agencies Main Argument for the $16+ billion WaterFix/Tunnels, 2) Then they endorse the Tunnels, and 3) WaterFix sends positive news release touting their support
Restore the Delta outlines risks of tunnels participation for Westlands in comment letter: Restore the Delta writes, “Yesterday, Restore the Delta submitted a formal letter regarding the risks of the CA WaterFix proposal to the Westlands Water District. The comment letter outlined various fiscal, environmental, and supply reliability risks of the project for Westlands farmers and reveals the steep cost of the project, even should Central Valley Project (CVP) contractors agree to a 20-30 percent participation share. In addition, Fitch Ratings Service said in a press release yesterday that, “The MWD (Metropolitan Water District) estimate is based on a cost split for the Fix of 55 percent SWP (State Water Project) and 45 percent CVP (Central Valley Project). However, this assumes that all other SWP and CVP contractors sign on to the Fix. The cost to MWD and its ratepayers could be higher if some contractors decline to participate.” … ” Read more from Restore the Delta here: Restore the Delta outlines risks of tunnels participation for Westlands in comment letter
Tunnel Confusion? Ratepayers, taxpayers and board members should be very uneasy about the way these issues are being deferred to the future: Families Protecting the Valley writes, “Once upon a time it was called the Peripheral Canal, then it morphed into the Twin Tunnels, and now bears the name The California Water Fix. The Water Fix is another name for the tunnels which will divert water under the Delta to consumers in SoCal and farmers in the Central Valley. It is one of Governor Jerry Brown's two pet projects, the other being high-speed rail. Like high-speed rail, paying for it has been a big bone of contention. And like high-speed rail there's a lot of confusion about how much it will cost. … ” Continue reading from Families Protecting the Valley here: Tunnel Confusion? Ratepayers, taxpayers and board members should be very uneasy about the way these issues are being deferred to the future
The twin tunnels: A disaster for salmon, Part 4: Tom Cannon writes, “Ring the Dinner Bell! Despite the extraordinary hazards facing salmon as described in the previous Parts 1, 2 and 3, the greatest source of mortality at the Twin Tunnels’ water intakes will very likely be caused by artificially-induced predation. This topic in the fourth part of this series is probably the most complex and, arguably, most controversial. Here is where all bets are off and we enter the realm of diverse scientific opinions among experienced fishery biologists. The high level of concern about predation at proposed massive water intakes on the lower Sacramento River is not new. ... ” Read more from the California Fisheries Blog here: The twin tunnels: A disaster for salmon, Part 4
New water official's views on Salton Sea, other priorities: “California’s State Water Board has a broad mandate to oversee our complex water system and balance all beneficial uses of water. Joaquin Esquivel―the newest member of the board and a member of the PPIC Water Policy Center’s advisory council―brings broad experience working on state and federal water issues, and personal and professional experience with the challenges of the Salton Sea. We talked with him about his priorities for California’s water issues. PPIC: You’ll be engaged with the board’s effort to reduce environmental and public health problems at the Salton Sea. Why is this issue important? JOAQUIN ESQUIVEL: The health and viability of the sea is important in many ways. It’s important to the health of our families and communities throughout the Imperial and Coachella Valleys. Many people who live there already struggle with poor environmental quality. ... ” Continue reading at the PPIC blog here: New water official’s views on Salton Sea, other priorities
Groundwater management under SGMA: A role for markets: Marta L. Weismann writes, “The June 30, 2017 deadline for medium and high-priority groundwater basins to create Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (“GSAs”) under California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“SGMA”) is behind us, and the newly-formed regulatory agencies must now figure out how they will meet their purpose of stopping overdraft and bringing groundwater to sustainable levels. SGMA implementation can easily build on the experiences of the west. While markets for water or water rights historically have been thin, negotiated transfers have helped ensure effective use of limited water supplies. … ” Read more from the Hydrowonk blog here: Groundwater management under SGMA: A role for markets
Trump's Executive Order will make America flood again (and again and again): Kristy Dahl writes, “On August 15, Trump signed an executive order, repealing an Obama-era executive order that updated the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard for the first time in 37 years to require consideration of future flood risk when building or rebuilding with federal funds. With ample evidence that climate change puts federal (and other) infrastructure at risk, it is ultimately American taxpayers who will pay the price for building without regard to sea level rise and the impacts of increasing extreme weather. … ” Read more from the Union of Concerned Scientists here: Trump’s Executive Order will make America flood again (and again and again)
On the Colorado River, the lowest water use in 25 years: John Fleck writes, “Yes, a good snowpack helped us this year in the Colorado River. But the numbers are clear – reductions in water use made a far larger contribution to the good news on the river this year. ... ” Read more from the Inkstain blog here: On the Colorado River, the lowest water use in 25 years
Four reasons why Arizona water is on the right track: Kevin Moran writes, “Drought is the new normal in Arizona and the Colorado River Basin. The Colorado River is over-allocated, and potential reductions in Arizona water deliveries have become more and more likely. Just last summer, we watched Lake Mead drop to one of its lowest levels ever. And even with a wet winter this year, Lake Mead’s elevation remains low. The river that provides 40 percent of Arizona’s water supplies needs our help. … ” Read more from the Growing Returns blog here: Four reasons why Arizona water is on the right track
And lastly … Habitat preferences of various Delta species: No, not the salmon or the smelt this time, how about the habitat preferences of lawyers, engineers, agency managers and more. From the California Water Blog: Habitat preferences of various Delta species
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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.