BLOG ROUND-UP: Cal Water Fix’s time is now; Cal Water Fix cost-benefit analysis: Another incomplete, inaccurate chapter; For California water managers, establishing new traditions takes time; Drought forever!; and more …

Photo by Lee Varis.

blog-round-up-previous-editionsCal Water Fix’s time is now: Jennifer Pierre writes, “Last week was huge for California WaterFix. The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced an option to build WaterFix in two stages, aligning with the funding available to build the first of two tunnels designed to modernize and upgrade our water delivery system, and ensuring we can continue to move this vital project forward. It’s a smart approach because it answers the needs of public water agencies – agencies that believe in the project and simply needed to find a path forward after nearly a decade of review and analysis. … ”  Read more from the State Water Contractors here:  Cal Water Fix’s time is now

Cal Water Fix cost-benefit analysis: Another incomplete, inaccurate chapter:  Restore the Delta writes, “Today, California WaterFix staff released a cost-benefit analysis of the new phased-in tunnels project. However, the analysis is incomplete, as it only examines the initial phased-in tunnel and states that analysis for the second tunnel would need to be completed in the future.  Restore the Delta will release additional responses to the document in the days ahead.  However, two areas of concern can be found from a simple perusal.  Numerous questions about the validity of the CalSimsII modeling used to determine needed flows through the Delta, storage of water behind dams, and water exports through the tunnels have been raised by protestants at the State Water Resources Control Board, yet it is the modeling system used for this cost-benefit analysis. … ”  Read more from Restore the Delta here:  Cal Water Fix cost-benefit analysis: Another incomplete, inaccurate chapter  SEE ALSO: Incomplete Cost-Benefit Analysis on Phased Delta Tunnels Focuses on Project Beneficiaries Instead of Statewide Impacts, from Restore the Delta

For California water managers, establishing new traditions takes time: Maurice Hall writes, “The California Water Commission sent ripples through the water world last week when it gave tepid “public benefit” scores to 11 water storage projects vying for taxpayer funding.  Project proponents were understandably frustrated, and many were openly critical of the Water Commission’s process for determining public benefits. After all, they’re vying for a big pot of public money – $2.7 billion that was set aside in 2014 with the passage of Proposition 1 – and their public benefit scores are a key factor in determining whether or not they get funded. … ”  Read more from the Growing Returns blog here:  For California water managers, establishing new traditions takes time

Drought Forever! There was a time when we could withstand a few years of dry weather without the panic of drought:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “According to the Sacramento Bee The drought is back. Here’s how California needs to start saving water now” or this from the Orange County Register “California’s drought restrictions on wasteful water habits could be coming back — this time they’ll be permanent.”   These headlines are coming less than a year after one of California’s wettest years on record.  There was a time when we could withstand a few years of dry weather without the panic of drought after a big rain year, but now just one dry year and we’re in a drought.  What’s changed? … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here: Drought Forever! There was a time when we could withstand a few years of dry weather without the panic of drought

Advice on Voluntary Settlements for California’s Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan Part 1: Addressing a Manageable Suite of Ecosystem Problems: Jeff Mount writes, “The State Water Resources Control Board is revising its Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan. The plan is critical for water management because it prescribes water quality and flow requirements in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River and Delta. The Board is considering incorporating Voluntary Settlement Agreements between affected parties to guide development of its water quality plan.  Members of the Brown administration asked a small group of us to offer views on elements that should be considered in such settlements. Each of us met the following criteria: 1) are not part of the settlement negotiations, 2) do not represent any interested stakeholder, and 3) have expertise in water and ecosystem management in the Delta watershed and the San Francisco Estuary. We have prepared three blog posts that reflect our discussions and conclusions. This is the first in the series. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Advice on Voluntary Settlements for California’s Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan Part 1: Addressing a Manageable Suite of Ecosystem Problems

Drought water right curtailment – Analysis, transparency, and limits: Jay Lund et al. writes, “Drought often means not having enough water to satisfy all water-right holders.  Assessing which water-right holders should curtail their use and by how much is not simple. California’s complex water rights system includes two water law doctrines: seniority-based appropriative water rights (“first in time, first in right”) and older and generally higher-priority English common-law-based riparian rights (where shortages are shared proportionally across all riparian right-holders). Assessing curtailments is further complicated by the complex hydrology of large river basins with many sub-basins and local inflows, as well as hundreds or thousands of water right holders scattered throughout these basins with different water use quantities, priorities, and return flows. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here: Drought Water Right Curtailment – Analysis, Transparency, and Limits

Sites Reservoir provides significant public benefits and has strong statewide support:  The Northern California Water Association writes, “In the Governor’s state-of-the-state address, he made some direct and important statements on saving water for our future.  The Legislature “passed — and more than two-thirds of voters approved — a water bond that invests in safe drinking water, conservation and storage. As a result, we will soon begin expending funds on some of the storage we’ve needed for decades…As the climate changes and more water arrives as rain instead of snow, it is crucial that we are able to capture the overflow in a timely and responsible way. That, together with recycling and rainwater recapture will put us in the best position to use water wisely and in the most efficient way possible. … ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here:  Sites Reservoir provides significant public benefits and has strong statewide support

What the Trump infrastructure plan means for clean water:  Becky Hammer writes, “After months of build-up, the Trump administration has finally released its much-hyped infrastructure plan. It wasn’t worth the wait. Our nation’s infrastructure needs investment—badly. While much of the political rhetoric on infrastructure centers around bridges and roads, our water and wastewater systems need attention too. These are the facilities that bring clean water to our homes and carry away runoff and waste. They’re essential to the functioning of our communities, and they affect our public health. But a long-term lack of funding has left them in a state of disrepair. … ”  Read more from the NRDC here: What the Trump infrastructure plan means for clean water

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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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