BLOG ROUND-UP: Valley water: The big lie; Tracking Prop 1: If agriculture doesn’t count, what’s the point?; Hatchery salmon are trained to be dysfunctional; Governor’s budget banks on voters passing water bond; and more …

Yeah, I bought one of those glass ball thingies advertised on Facebook …

blog-round-up-previous-editionsValley water: The big lie:  Eric Caine writes, “Of all the mythologies that dominate San Joaquin Valley politics, the mythology of water may be the most powerful and enduring. The basis of the myth consists of a simple fiction that states, unequivocally, that all valley water is, “our water.”  Grammarians, of whom there are fewer and fewer, might ask who is meant by “our,” but such a question would be grossly out of order in a region where the residents virtually uniformly believe “our” means “my.” If there were such things as careful consideration and critical thinking involved in the discussion (not to mention grammar), the errors in this confusion of pronouns wouldn’t just reveal trivial concerns, but instead a really big lie. … ”  Read more from the Valley Citizen here:  Valley water: The big lie

Tracking Prop 1: If agriculture doesn’t count, what’s the point?  Families Protecting the Valley write, “In our last newsletter (Ag Is Public Benefit!!) we explained how the California Water Commission doesn’t regard agriculture as a public benefit, so when advocates make their presentation to the Commission they have to make the case for what the water will be used for that is a public benefit. What does the Commission allow as public benefits?  The Oroville Mercury News reports that the Prop 1 language “limits the money’s use to achieve five public benefits: ecosystem benefits, water quality, flood control, emergency response and recreation.”  Nothing about agriculture. … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Tracking Prop 1: If agriculture doesn’t count, what’s the point?

Hatchery salmon are trained to be dysfunctional:  Tom Cannon writes, “Research has often shown that hatchery salmon perform less well than their wild counterparts.  The reason for this has often been attributed to genetic factors such as parent selection or to the lack of opportunity for Mother Nature to cull misfits.  Recent research indicates that poor performance of hatchery fish may stem more from the their environmental experiences than from their genetics.  Some older theories that suggested that hatchery fish were just raised dumb now have gained a new following.  New research from Canada suggests that atypical food and feeding combined with overcrowding in hatcheries weakens inherent genetic abilities to cope with the natural environment. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here:  Hatchery salmon are trained to be dysfunctional

Governor’s budget banks on voters passing water bond: Caitrinn Chapelle and Henry McCann write, “Governor Brown’s proposed budget―the last of his tenure―highlights his priorities for the state. For water, the proposal includes new funding to address some pressing public safety and environmental health issues, including improving drinking water quality in low-income communities, flood protection, groundwater management, and air and water quality at the Salton Sea.  Carrying out this proposal will depend not only on passing the budget, but also on getting additional approvals from California voters and the legislature for some of the needed funds. … ”  Read more from the PPIC blog here:  Governor’s budget banks on voters passing water bond

2017 wet year provides welcome bump to groundwater levels in Butte County:  The Northern California Water Association writes, “With a historically wet 2017 in the Sacramento River Hydrologic region, there was great anticipation of the results from the spring 2017 groundwater level monitoring conducted by the Department of Water Resources. In Butte County, spring groundwater levels (measured in March) showed an overall average 4.7 foot increase compared to their spring 2016 levels in 46 comparable wells (100-450 ft. depth). Although it may sound moderate, this is a significant increase over the changes we had observed during the past couple of severely dry years. As during the dry years, water levels remained relatively stable, mostly +/- 1 foot of change, in surface water irrigated areas in the county.  … ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here:  2017 wet year provides welcome bump to groundwater levels in Butte County

Did Trinitas leave OID holding the bag?  Eric Caine writes, “When the big-time investors from the Bay Area showed up in Oakdale saying they were ready to become farmers, the city swooned. Oakdale Irrigation District (OID) was entranced by their offer to build infrastructure for water deliveries and offered them bargain-basement water rates and a sweet annexation deal, even while it had previously denied many long-term farmers’ applications.  When a few local farmers suggested Trinitas Partners was yet another “turn and burn” operation that was interested only in short-term profits, spokesman Ryan Paton replied:  “These are long-term investments for us,” Paton said. “We’re not short-termers.  We’re not flippers. Nothing we have is for sale.” … ”  Read more from The Valley Citizen here:  Did Trinitas leave OID holding the bag?

Ninth circuit rules Clean Water Act permit required for indirect discharge to ocean waters:  Holly Doremus writes, “It was a great exam question (at least I thought so — you’ll have to ask my Environmental Law and Policy students if they agree): does the disposal of treated wastewater from a municipal wastewater treatment plant into the ground through injection wells located a short distance from the ocean require  an NPDES permit under the Clean Water Act?  Like most great exam questions, this one was drawn from real life. That means it has a real (albeit not necessarily conclusive) answer, which the Ninth Circuit provided last week in Hawai’i Wildlife Fund v. County of Maui. I’m giving the panel a high grade. ... ”  Read more from the Legal Planet blog here:  Ninth circuit rules Clean Water Act permit required for indirect discharge to ocean waters

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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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