BLOG ROUND-UP: Ecological incentives for Delta water exports; Delta & river advocates stand up for salmon and Delta smelt; Seven lessons from a California water leader on managing for the future; Farming wetlands to grow birds; and more …

Photo by Miwok.

blog-round-up-previous-editionsEcological incentives for Delta water exports:  Jay Lund and Peter Moyle write, “All parties in the Delta have an interest in a healthy ecosystem and in healthy water exports.  Without a healthy ecosystem, endangered species requirements increasingly intrude on water exports and Delta landowners.  Without healthy water exports, the south and central Delta becomes dominated by brackish agricultural drainage and state interest in funding local levees diminishes.  The Delta, in essence, is the hostage of all interests.  The hostage is not doing well, but it is easier for stakeholders to battle over management than to find common cause.  A better framework for compromise and cooperation is needed. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Ecological incentives for Delta water exports

Delta & river advocates stand up for salmon and Delta smelt with Capitol rally and comments to Bureau of Reclamation:  “Today, Delta and river advocates—including Klamath River Tribal Members, the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, commercial & recreational fishing groups, and Restore the Delta—rallied at the State Capitol to voice their opposition against the Trump Administration’s proposal to maximize water deliveries to the Central Valley Project.  The new federal proposal to increase Delta exports could impact flows on the Sacramento, Feather, American-San Joaquin, Trinity, and Klamath Rivers, and comes at a time when salmon returns and Delta Smelt numbers have reached record lows. ... ”  Read more from Restore the Delta here:  Delta & river advocates stand up for salmon and Delta smelt with Capitol rally and comments to Bureau of Reclamation

Seven lessons from a California water leader on managing for the future:  “David Guy is president of the Northern California Water Association (NCWA), an organization committed to ensuring that water supplies are available for the Sacramento Valley — both for today’s users and for future generations.  “The Sacramento Valley is a rich mosaic of farmlands, cities, rural communities, refuges, managed wetlands and meandering rivers,” David said. “Every drought we experience reveals numerous pressures on the water supplies that support this vibrant region. We have to be motivated and forward-thinking to advance the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the Sacramento Valley by enhancing and preserving its water rights, supplies and water quality.” ... ”  Read more from the Growing Returns blog here:  Seven lessons from a California water leader on managing for the future

Married to MWD: We believe it’s the perfect marriage:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “Some eyebrows are being raised because Gov. Jerry Brown appointed his new Director of the Dept. of Water Resources (DWR), who happens to be married to Tom Philp, a strategist for the Metropolitan Water District (MWD).  People in Northern California thinks that tilts the water balance in the state a little too far to the South.  We disagree.  We believe it’s the perfect marriage.  … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Married to MWD

Water Fix Hearing: Ex parte correspondence with Governor’s office requested:  Diedre des Jardins writes, “California Water Research has filed a Public Records Act request to the State Water Resources Control Board, requesting that the Board disclose Ex Parte communications with the Governor’s office and the Natural Resources Agency to the WaterFix Hearing parties.   Communications regarding the WaterFix hearing, or permit terms for the State Water Project and Central Valley Project, are requested.  California Water Research’s principal, Deirdre Des Jardins, stated, “the issue of providing increased flows to restore the Sacramento Delta estuary has become extremely politicized.  The Board’s WaterFix Water Right Change Petition hearing is a quasi-judicial process and there needs to be better transparency.” ... ”  Read more from California Water Research here:  Water Fix Hearing: Ex parte correspondence with Governor’s office requested

Farming wetlands to grow birds:  Lori Pottinger writes, “California has lost 95% of its natural wetlands. Managing what’s left is complicated by inadequate water and infrastructure. We talked to Ric Ortega, general manager for the Grassland Water District in the San Joaquin Valley, on what is needed to maintain wetlands in this difficult environment.  PPIC: What are California’s biggest challenges for managing wetlands?  Ric Ortega: About 25 years ago Congress directed the US Department of the Interior and the state to provide adequate, reliable water to the last remaining wetlands in California. But on average, only half of the spring and summer water required to meet the needs of wildlife is delivered. Drought years are far worse with most habitat remaining dry. … ”  Read more from the PPIC blog here:  Farming wetlands to grow birds

California’s idea of ‘natural’ beauty may have shifted during the drought:  “From beaches to canyons, southern California is well-known for its iconic landscapes. Palm-lined streets are so ingrained in the popular imagination that it’s easy to forget the trees haven’t been there all that long. In fact, much of what is commonly thought of as the area’s natural beauty has been created to match a specific human idea of what nature should look like. However, a new study indicates that what many residents and visitors see as the ideal coastal landscape may have evolved during California’s prolonged drought.  Andrew McCumber, a doctoral student in cultural and environmental sociology at UC Santa Barbara, published a study in the journal Nature + Culture on the interplay between drought and concepts of nature in the coastal city of Santa Barbara. … ”  Read more from The Confluence here:  California’s idea of ‘natural’ beauty may have shifted during the drought

Water storage and water available for replenishment: A promising marriage:  Verna Jigour writes, “Abundant 2016-17 season rainfall following punishing years of drought, had Californians yearning for and proposing investments in water storage – savings banks for less rainy days.  Decisions on funding the anticipated typical (if “new and improved”) surface water storage projects lie on the near horizon, but many were recently shocked to learn that several proposed surface water storage projects.failed to meeting the public benefit criteria for funding under Proposition 1 (Rogers 2018 and Mercury News Editorial Board 2018).  Meanwhile, in January 2017, California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR), pursuant to its Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) responsibilities, published its Draft Water Available for Replenishment (DWAFR) report. ... ”  Read more from Rainfall to Groundwater blog here:  Water storage and water available for replenishment: A promising marriage

Governor Brown foregoes details on the status of Delta tunnels project in the final State of the State address:  This morning, Governor Jerry Brown briefly discussed the Delta tunnels project (CA WaterFix) during his final State of the State address, defending his persistence on the project, but dodging the burning question on the minds of the press, environmental groups, Northern California tribes, commercial and recreational fishermen, and environmental justice communities: will the tunnels scale down to a smaller one tunnel project, or stay the course of two tunnels that are built in phases?   Tunnels opponents are convinced that neither solution will save CA WaterFix from failure, and will deal a devastating blow to the health of the ailing San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary.  In his State of the State address, Governor Jerry Brown focused on fighting climate change and preparing for natural disasters noting, “We can’t fight nature; we have to learn to get along with it.” … ”  Read more from Restore the Delta here:  Governor Brown foregoes details on the status of Delta tunnels project in the final State of the State address

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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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