BLOG ROUND-UP: Bloggers on the one Delta tunnel, the Delta Stewardship Council, Prop 1 water storage funds, Los Angeles and the future of urban water, and more …

Pier 64 Night Shift, San Jose, by Dave R.

blog-round-up-previous-editions
One Tunnel Confusion: Whether its downsizing or phasing, one tunnel won’t fix the WaterFix: Jeff Michael writes,In recent days, there have been multiple news reports that the WaterFix is shifting to a less costly one-tunnel, two-intake project as opposed to the current two-tunnel, three-intake proposal.  But the Brown administration issued a statement to clarify that WaterFix is still the same two-tunnel project, but construction could occur in phases because of funding issues.  Is this phasing language important, or is it a distinction without a difference? ... ”  Read more from the Valley Economy blog here:  One Tunnel Confusion: Whether its downsizing or phasing, one tunnel won’t fix the WaterFix

A fresh chance to achieve a sustainable water future for California:  Kate Poole writes, “The water world has been abuzz this past week with confirmation that the proponents of the massive, twin tunnel water diversion project in the Delta (aka “WaterFix”) are redefining the project.  This pivot was precipitated by the failure of proponents to attract funding anywhere near the $17 billion capital cost of the twin tunnels. But the existing proposal would also be catastrophic for the health of the estuary—and its salmon and other fisheries—by siphoning off more water than the freshwater-starved San Francisco Bay-Delta could sustain. The current effort to redefine the project presents an opportunity to correct these and other very serious problems with the twin tunnel plan. … ”  Read more from the NRDC here:  A fresh chance to achieve a sustainable water future for California

1 Tunnel Theory: We’ve always said the people of L.A. will get their water one way or another, or else:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “We don’t claim to know if any Delta tunnels will ever be built, but we do think if anythng ever happens it will only be 1 tunnel.  It’s kind of a waste of money when there’s a perfectly good delivery system in place right now that just needs a little environmental accountability added to the equation.  If something like that were to happen there would be adequate water for all.  But, since the likelihood of that happening is slim, the other possibility is a tunnel system of either one or two tunnels.  We’ve always said the people of L.A. will get their water one way or another, or else.  Too many voters to ignore.  As for farmers in the Central Valley, well, that’s another story.  … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  1 Tunnel Theory: We’ve always said the people of L.A. will get their water one way or another, or else

How would you spend $10 billion to improve water supply reliability in California?  Kate Poole and Doug Obegi write, “The California Department of Water Resources has proposed to spend at least $10 billion of water ratepayer funds on “WaterFix,” an environmentally destructive project that would drain water from the San Francisco Bay-Delta. However, there are proven, alternative water supply investments that will restore the health of the Bay-Delta, increase the reliability of California’s water supply, and provide additional local and regional benefits. California also faces urgent, multi-billion dollar needs to maintain and repair existing and aging water infrastructure. Paying for WaterFix would divert funds away from these projects. … ”  Read more from the NRDC here:  How would you spend $10 billion to improve water supply reliability in California?

Restore the Delta pens potent letter calling for abolition of the Delta Stewardship Council:  Restore the Delta writes, “Today, Restore the Delta called for the abolition of the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) in a powerful comment letter directed at the Council’s recently released Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (DPEIR) on the Delta Plan Amendments that would greenlight the Delta tunnels and other new storage projects around the state.  In the letter, Restore the Delta disclosed that 65 of 75 impacts listed in the report were significant and unavoidable according to the DSC, which justified such harmful impacts as reflective of the DSC’s inability to control what other state and federal water agencies do. … ”  Read more from Restore the Delta here:  Restore the Delta pens potent letter calling for abolition of the Delta Stewardship Council

What is storage?  The voters passed what is called a Water Bond, but the Commission says “we’re not paying for water”?: Families Protecting the Valley writes, “When California voters approved the 2014 Prop 1 Water Bond they though they had approved a chunk of money for storage.  Most of us think of storage as dams and reservoirs.  But, that isn’t what the California Water Commission thinks.  According to Chris Orrock, a spokesman for the Commission, ““We’re not paying for water. We’re paying for public benefits.  As defined in Prop 1, water is not one of those benefits that we are funding. We’ve been very clear at every step.”  What?  The voters passed what is called a Water Bond, but the Commission says “we’re not paying for water”?  “We’re paying for public benefits”?  Why didn’t they call it a ‘public benefits’ bond? … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  What is storage?  The voters passed what is called a Water Bond, but the Commission says “we’re not paying for water”?

The Sacramento Bee misses the mark: Karla Nemeth’s conflict of interest is her payroll history, not her marriage:  Restore the Delta writes, “This afternoon, the Sacramento Bee published a report on the newly appointed director of the Department of Water Resources (DWR), Karla Nemeth. The article misses the mark on why Nemeth is an irresponsible choice, mainly focusing on her marriage to Metropolitan Water District employee Tom Philp instead of her own professional work history at the California Natural Resources Agency that was reimbursed by Metropolitan Water District. ... ”  Read more from Restore the Delta here:  The Sacramento Bee misses the mark: Karla Nemeth’s conflict of interest is her payroll history, not her marriage

Overcoming 2018 challenges can build on past success:  Tim Quinn writes, “As with any new year, 2018 arrives with an exciting mix of unique challenges for ACWA members. But the key to overcoming them is collaborative problem solving that generates reasonable and effective solutions. A few examples of this process are already at work and delivering tangible results.  ACWA membership devoted time, collaborative work, talent and insight into developing ACWA’s own Statewide Water Action Plan (SWAP) in 2013, which in turn influenced the development of the Brown Administration’s California Water Action Plan (the Plan) in 2014. Much of the Plan shares the goal behind nearly everything we do here at ACWA – advancing a comprehensive set of solutions to California’s water challenges that will have statewide benefits.  ... ”  Read more from ACWA’s Voices on Water blog here:  Overcoming 2018 challenges can build on past success

Information gaps hinder progress on safe drinking water:  Jelena Jezdimirovic, Ciatrin Chapelle, and Ellen Hanak write, “The short answer to the question, “How many Californians lack access to safe drinking water?” is, “Too many.” Everyone deserves to have ready access to clean water. But understanding the extent of the problem is less straightforward. Some recent strides have been made in compiling data on communities with drinking water violations, but more work is needed to help scope solutions, prioritize actions, and track progress.  The biggest data gaps are for domestic wells or very small water systems that are not regulated by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Estimates of this population vary widely—from 1 to 2 million—and the state lacks good data on how many of these residents face water safety problems. Developing tracking systems for this population is an ongoing priority. ... ”  Read more from the PPIC blog here:  Information gaps hinder progress on safe drinking water

Los Angeles and the future of urban water:  Erik Porse writes, “Los Angeles is a grand American urban experiment. It brings emerging ideas into the mainstream, sometimes for better, and sometimes for worse. In the early 20th Century, it seemed fanciful to build a metropolis in a region receiving limited seasonal rainfall. But LA adopted the ideas of the time at grand scales. It built pipelines over hundreds of miles of rugged terrain to import water from the Owens Valley (1913), Colorado River (1939), and Northern California (1972). In a quest for growth, LA has always adopted new ideas to keep ahead. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Los Angeles and the future of urban water

The central challenge on the Colorado River:  John Fleck writes, “I’ve been thinking about the central communication challenge as we face down yet another dry year amid the continued drumbeat of Upper Basin talk about finding new ways to take more water out of the Colorado River.  It goes back to something I wrote in my book: … ”  Read more from the Inkstain Blog here:  The central challenge 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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