BLOG ROUND-UP: Trusting the tunnels: For many, it just got harder; New report finds big mismatches in SoCal water plans; On the Public Record’s list of dangerous ideas in water management; Improving water management: Can Silicon Valley help?; and more …

Mono Lake, 2011

Trusting the tunnels: For many, it just got harder:  Alex Brietler writes, ““Beneficiary pays.” It is one of the bedrock promises of the Delta tunnels plan, one which I have seen repeated time and again at public meetings, in interviews and in boatloads of documents over the past 11 years.  “Those who would benefit from the tunnels would pay for them.” How many times has that sentence, more or less, shown up in my copy?  The Office of Inspector General’s audit on Friday appears to erode that basic, fundamental promise. It turns out that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation contributed nearly $85 million to the tunnels plan over a period of seven years. That’s nearly one-third of all of the planning costs as of mid-2016. ... ”  Read more from Alex Brietler's blog here:  Trusting the tunnels: For many, it just got harder

The Delta tunnels: It's crunch time:  Tony Butka writes, “In terms of how to guarantee a good water supply for Southern California during all these weather changes, I wrote an article for CityWatch recently, “Life Without Water, Or Why the Delta Tunnel Is So Critical to LA.”   On September 26 there is a key vote coming up at the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) as to whether the project will move forward with their approval. So, let’s see where we are in terms of the City of Los Angeles and its Department of Water and Power, as well as the larger MWD which currently supplies a large percentage of water to the desert we call Southern California.  … ” Read more from CityWatch here:  The Delta tunnels: It’s crunch time

New study: Water Fix is unnecessary for SoCal's water supply:  Doug Obegi writes, “Last week, my colleague published a report entitled Mismatched: A Comparison of Future Water Supply and Demand for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and Its Member Agencies. The report compares the 2015 Urban Water Management Plans prepared by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) and its member agencies. It documents that in average water years, MWD's plan assumes that demand for imported water is hundreds of thousands of acre feet higher than the local agencies’ plans. What’s more, the report demonstrates that if all of the local supply projects included in these plans were constructed, demand for imported water would drop precipitously. While the results are not as stark in dry years, even in dry years MWD estimates higher demand for water than the member agencies in Southern California. ... ”  Read more from the NRDC here:  New study: Water Fix is unnecessary for SoCal’s water supply

New report finds big mismatches in SoCal water plans:  Ben Chou writes, “A comparison of future water supply and demand projections for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) and its water agency customers reveals substantial differences over the next 25 years.  Despite recent trends toward greater conservation and efficiency and more local water supplies, MWD expects relatively less investment in local supply, greater reliance on imported water, and higher per capita demands than its member agencies. … ”  Read more from the NRDC here:  New report finds big mismatches in SoCal water plans

Water Fix would devastate more than just salmon:  Tom Cannon writes, “Dave Vogel and I are contributing a series of posts on the potential effects of the WaterFix Twin Tunnels Project on Delta fishes. Our focus to date has been on salmon. In this post, I focus on the “other” fishes of the Bay-Delta that will be harmed by WaterFix.  Striped bass will be devastated by WaterFix tunnel intakes located on the lower Sacramento River. The main spawning run of striped bass is in spring in the lower Sacramento River from near Colusa down to the tidal Delta. ... ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here:  Water Fix would devastate more than just salmon

blog-round-up-previous-editionsOn the Public Record's list of dangerous ideas in water management:  OtPR writes, “The California Water Blog recently created a list of “dangerous ideas in California water“.  Here are a few additional dangerous ideas in CA water management:  That conventional growth predictions are immutable and will pose new demand that we must meet.  There are a few predictions for the mid-century that I hear often.  The top two are: ‘California will have 60 million people’ and ‘the rising middle class in Asia will demand meat’.  Neither of those are immutable.  … ” Read more from On the Public Record here:  On the Public Record’s list of dangerous ideas in water management

Water challenges for California's small farm communities:  Faith Kearns writes, “Small farmers were hit hard by California's drought. Perhaps none as hard as the Hmong and other Southeast Asian farmers that lease small plots of land, often with declining groundwater levels, shallow wells, and outdated irrigation systems. Yet, many of these small farmers persist, growing an incredible variety of tropical and subtropical crops in California's temperate climate.  According to a 2007 survey, around 900 out of a total of 1400 Southeast Asian farms in Fresno County in California's Central Valley are Hmong. The Hmong largely arrived as refugees from Laos after government upheaval in the 1970's. For many, farming is part of who they are, despite the challenges. … ” Read more from the Confluence blog here:  Water challenges for California’s small farm communities

Piecemeal land retirement will not be the steady final state:  OtPR writes, “JFleck tells me that Palo Verde Irrigation district is suing Metropolitan Water District; to thank him for that helpful post, I’ve stolen his picture of PVID’s complaint about one externality … I’ve written that piecemeal, widely dispersed land retirement will add expensive costs to the land that remains in production. I continue to wonder how that will be handled. … ”  Read more from On the Public Record here:  Piecemeal land retirement will not be the steady final state

Improving water management: Can Silicon Valley help?  “I recently attended the Forbes AgTech Summit in Salinas, CA, where roughly 50 start-up companies originating from Silicon Valley and other high-tech regions of the country demonstrated their latest wares for the agriculture industry.  Many of these companies are developing products to address water management. I saw innovative drones that can be programmed to collect thermal images of fields to assess if crops are water-stressed.  Several companies displayed dataloggers that use wireless communication technology to automatically retrieve data from sensors deployed in fields. Some of these wireless communication networks can remotely monitor irrigation system performance and activate valves and pumps. Several companies are developing decision support software to help improve irrigation scheduling. … ”  Read more from Growing Produce here:  Improving water management: Can Silicon Valley help?

Floodplains in California's future: “The flooding in Houston is a reminder of the great damages that floods can cause when the defenses of an urban area are overwhelmed. It is hard to imagine a flood system that could have effectively contained the historic amount of rain that fell on the region—several feet in just a few days. However, these floods are a stark reminder of the increasing vulnerability of urban areas across the world and the need for comprehensive strategies to reduce risk. The evidence is clear that green infrastructure, as defined below, can increase the resiliency of flood management systems and, when managed for multiple services, can reduce flood risk for many people while also promoting a range of other benefits. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Floodplains in California’s future

Celebrating 80 Years of Farming and Fish and Wildlife Conservation in the Sacramento Valley: The NorCal Water Association blog writes, “Two stellar organizations were honored by the California Legislature on Friday—both for their 80 years of contributions to California and particularly the Sacramento Valley. Ducks Unlimited and Lundberg Family Farms were honored for 80 years and their immense contributions to California. The resolutions (shown below) were presented in the Senate by Senators Nielsen and Berryhill and the Assembly by members Gallagher and Aguiar-Curry. The following statements were made in the Capitol to honor these organizations: … ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here:  Celebrating 80 Years of Farming and Fish and Wildlife Conservation in the Sacramento Valley

Trump's Cadiz relies on complicit Democrats:  Emily Green writes, “As US Senator Dianne Feinstein, California Governor Jerry Brown and his Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom lined up behind California State Assembly Bill 1000 last Friday, it looked as though the blue state synonymous with Trump resistance had finally driven a stake through the heart of a Mojave groundwater mining project only viable because of 45th administration sleaze.  And yet, it hadn’t.  Rather, the fifteenth project on Trump’s infrastructure list, an eye-poppingly absurd private scheme to pump billions of gallons of groundwater from the Mojave Desert for export to Orange County, appears to have been saved by two up and coming Democrats, State Senate President pro tem Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) and State Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens).  … ”  Read more from the Chance of Rain blog here:  Trump’s Cadiz relies on complicit Democrats

Citizen's perceptions of sea level rise:  “Our new policy brief reports some initial results from a household survey of SF Bay residents regarding their perceptions of sea-level rise and floodrisks, as it relates to various types of political behavior such as voting for Measure AA. Sea-level rise is one of the most important climate change issues facing the San Francisco Bay Area (Griggs et al. 2017) and other coastal communities across the world (Hauer et al. 2016; Meehl et al. 2005). Civic engagement and citizen awareness of sea-level rise is a key challenge to effective adaptation (Lubell 2017). Many citizens view sea-level rise as a psychologically distant, “slow moving natural disaster”, which is not a salient public issue. … ”  Read more from Mark Lubell's blog here:  Citizen’s perceptions of sea level rise

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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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