BLOG ROUND-UP: Nudging progress on funding safe drinking water; Modernizing water systems in disadvantaged communities; California’s rural water systems need leaders. Who will step up next?; and more …

Photo by Angela Henderson

Nudging progress on funding safe drinking water:  Jay Lund writes, “This year’s Nobel Prize in Economics went to Richard Thaler, who pioneered “nudging” to help people volunteer to make more personally and socially beneficial decisions.  As an example, having employees automatically enrolled for retirement contributions and then allowing them to lower their contributions results in considerably more retirement savings than having them “opt-in” to retirement contributions with no default contributions.  Similarly, informing water users that their water use substantially exceeds their neighbors significantly reduces their water use.  Can such Nobel ideas help with some of California’s water policy problems, such as providing financial support for safe drinking water in rural communities? ... ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Nudging progress on funding safe drinking water

Modernizing water systems in disadvantaged communities:  Lori Pottinger writes, “The water supply problems of disadvantaged rural communities can reflect not only a lack of resources, but also weak connections to the broader professional water community. The Mojave Water Agency in California’s southern desert has an innovative program to help small systems under its jurisdiction make improvements. We talked to Lance Eckhart, the agency’s director of basin management and resource planning, about this program.  PPIC: Describe the program.  Lance Eckhart: It started a few years ago when we to updated the agency’s regional water management plan, which included getting public input.  … ”  Read more from the PPIC blog here:  Modernizing water systems in disadvantaged communities

California’s rural water systems need leaders. Who will step up next?:  Ana Lucia Garcia Briones writes, “There I was again, in the car on Highway 99, on my way from San Francisco to Visalia, in the heart of California’s San Joaquin Valley. I had made the trip a dozen times over the past year. But this trip was different. This time I was headed to a reunion.  Back in December 2016, I wrote about a cohort of 30 community water advocates who had just graduated from the Rural Water Boards Leadership Institute – a joint effort sponsored by the Rural Community Assistance Corporation, Self Help Enterprises and Environmental Defense Fund to train residents in the San Joaquin Valley on how to engage on state water policy. Participants spent six months attending workshops and learning about California’s landmark law to end groundwater over pumping and how the law – known as the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA – might affect their small community water systems. They discussed methods for engaging state policy makers and learned advocacy and communication skills. … ”  Read more from the Growing Returns blog here:  California’s rural water systems need leaders. Who will step up next?

NRDC sues California cities over lax landscape water requirements:  Ed Osann writes, “This week, NRDC filed suit in state courts against the cities of Pasadena and Murrieta for their failure to comply with the California’s Water Conservation in Landscaping Act. In the lawsuits, NRDC alleges that both cities: Failed to adopt new landscaping standards by December 1, 2015, as required by law; Issued permits for hundreds of housing units and associated landscaping since December 1, 2015, without applying the state-required standards intended to prevent the waste of water in new landscapes; and Failed to submit required reports to the state on the content and enforcement of their local landscape requirements. ... ”  Read more from the NRDC here:  NRDC sues California cities over lax landscape water requirements

Storage wars!  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “California Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond passed in 2014, over 4 years ago.  $2.7 billion is dedicated to water storage and 11 storage projects have filed their applications for approval, with a total value of $5.7 billion.  Nothing about this process has been as simple as we think it should be and “the method by which eligible projects will be awarded funding is a bit complex as a result of specific language legislators wrote into the proposition.”  Its designed to be a complex and lengthy process.  Although the $2.7 billion is dedicated to storage “it is important to note that increasing water supply is not considered a public benefit that is eligible for funding under Prop 1.”  You have to wonder what they’re thinking when they write this stuff, but we think they know exactly what they’re doing. … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Storage wars!

How do we increase salmon runs in 2018 and beyond?  Tom Cannon writes, “Over the past few months, I wrote posts on the status of specific runs of salmon in rivers throughout the Central Valley. In this post, I describe the overall status of salmon runs and the general actions to take to increase both escapement and fish available for commercial and sport harvest.  It was just over a decade ago that there were nearly one million adult salmon ascending the rivers of the Central Valley (Figure 1). At the same time, there were a millions more Central Valley salmon being harvested each year in sport and commercial fisheries along the coast and rivers of the Central Valley. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here:  How do we increase salmon runs in 2018 and beyond?

New salmon habitat project completed on the Sacramento River:  “A Sacramento River side channel in Tehama County has been restored to improve salmon rearing habitat on the Sacramento River. The project is the result of a collaborative partnership of state and federal agencies, local water districts, and conservation groups, and marks the 14th project completed over the last two years to benefit salmon in the Sacramento Valley. Construction at the project site, which is located just south of the gated Lake California community between river mile 269 and 270, has been completed but monitoring of the site will be ongoing. … ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here:  New salmon habitat project completed on the Sacramento 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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