BLOG ROUND-UP: Water Fix chaos, colonized Delta, and California democracy; Gray’s bill; Storing water for dry days; What is Sustainable Groundwater Management in Yolo County; and more …

blog-round-up-previous-editionsWater Fix chaos, colonized Delta, and California democracy:  Restore the Delta writes, “In water agencies all over California right now, fevered phone calls between general managers and directors and attorneys and engineers are likely happening because of Westlands Water District’s vote to reject California WaterFix on September 19th:  Will the project have to get smaller or stay the same?   Will the state water contractors be able to afford the project without federal Central Valley Project (CVP) water contractors ponying up? If so, how?  Can the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) force State Water Project (SWP) contractors to support WaterFix even if it’s against their wishes?  Will project customers getting Delta imports have to pay higher property taxes for the project?  It would seem there is more chaos within the California WaterFix fortress than usual. … ”  Read more from Restore the Delta here:  Water Fix chaos, colonized Delta, and California democracy

Gray's bill:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “State Assemblyman Adam Gray is attempting to inject some fairness into the State Water Resource Board's almost dictatorial ability to change water rights policy regarding California's rivers.  According to Water Deeply, “the water board has the legal authority to take back water rights when public trust resources, like Chinook salmon populations, are threatened…The board is proclaiming that streamflows aren’t sufficient to keep water temperatures cold enough for salmon survival.”  Further, “to reach the 40 percent goal on the San Joaquin River, hundreds of companies and individuals will have to give up a portion of their right to divert water from the river and three of its tributaries: the Tuolumne, Stanislaus and Merced rivers.”   ... ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Gray’s bill

Storing water for dry days: Lori Pottinger writes, “Where would California be without the ability to store water? We talked to Jay Lund―an adjunct fellow at the PPIC Water Policy Center and director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis—about the often contentious and always complex topic of water storage.  PPIC: What should every Californian know about storing water?  Jay Lund: Thanks to our Mediterranean climate, California has a very long dry season, which is when we use most of our water, and a fairly short wet season, when we try to gather and store water. To put water storage in perspective, California every year has a worse drought–in the form of a long dry season—than most of the country has ever seen. … ”  Read more from the PPIC blog here:  Storing water for dry days

Evolutionary genomics informs salmon conservation:  “Spring Chinook and summer steelhead (premature migrators) have been extirpated or are in decline across most of their range while fall Chinook and winter steelhead populations (mature migrators) remain relatively healthy. Because premature migrating fish are closely related to mature migrating fish within the same river, conservation policy typically lumps them into the same conservation unit. Thus, spring Chinook and summer steelhead, in most situations, don’t receive special conservation protections despite sharp declines. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Evolutionary genomics informs salmon conservation

What is Sustainable Groundwater Management in Yolo County:  The Northern California Water Association blog writes, “During the recent drought, there were many stories about declining groundwater levels throughout California, which is expected when less surface water is available. What has not been covered as much is that in most areas groundwater returns to levels that existed before the extended dry years. This is the case in Yolo County, where due to the very wet winter we just experienced, most groundwater in the Yolo Sub-basin is in “good shape.” To put numbers to what “good shape” means, the following table of groundwater levels at 11 selected sites throughout Western Yolo County show real-time groundwater level sensors. All 11 sensors are reporting (not unexpectedly) that groundwater levels have essentially recovered to pre-drought levels as of September 14, 2017. ... ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here:  What is Sustainable Groundwater Management in Yolo County

Legal blog: Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians v. Coachella Valley Water District:  “The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians (“Tribe”) inhabited the Coachella Valley prior to California’s Admission to the Union in 1850. Two Presidential Executive Orders issued in 1876 and 1877 established the majority of the Agua Caliente Reservation. Today, the United States holds a series of lands that that are “interspersed in a checkerboard pattern” in trust for the Tribe.  The Coachella Valley contains an arid southwestern dessert. Rainfall averages three to six inches per year and the Whitewater River System, the only source of surface water, produces a fluctuating annual supply between 4,000 and 9,000 acre-feet that primarily occurs in winter months. … ”  Read more from the University of Denver Water Law review here:  Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians v. Coachella Valley Water District

Creeping forward on the Colorado River:  John Fleck writes, ““The network”, as I call the Colorado River governance structure in my book, is gathering this week in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to among other things celebrate the signing of a new agreement extending the agreement between the United States and Mexico over water sharing and allocation on the Colorado River.  Two years ago at this time, I was nervous as hell, putting the final touches on a book that argued for the fragile durability (if such an oxymoronic thing makes sense) of the framework of agreements that have held the Colorado River Basin governance process together, prevented it from spinning apart in conflict and litigation: … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here:  Creeping forward on the Colorado 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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