BLOG ROUND-UP: An alternative approach to managing the Delta; Is Ecosystem-Based Management Legal for the Delta?; A ‘winter run critical habitat conundrum’; Understanding California’s water culture; and more …

An alternative approach to managing the Delta:  Jeff Mount writes, “The State Water Board is updating the water quality plan for the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta. This plan sets flow and water quality standards for the Delta and its watershed, affecting water supply to more than 25 million Californians and millions of acres of Central Valley farmland. Parties that would be affected by this plan—water suppliers, fish and wildlife managers, environmental nonprofits—are negotiating voluntary agreements to present to the board for consideration. ... ”  Read more from the PPIC blog here:  An alternative approach to managing the Delta

blog-round-up-previous-editionsIs Ecosystem-Based Management Legal for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta?  Brian Gray, William Stelle, and Leon Szeptycki write, “In a recent three-part series posted on [the California Water Blog], a group of independent experts (including one of the authors here) proposed new ways to manage the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem. The purpose of the recommendations is to inform negotiations on the revised Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan, which will set new water quality and flow requirements for the Delta and its tributaries. … These recommendations are intriguing, especially in light of growing consensus that the current approach to water quality and species protection in the Delta is failing to meet legal and policy objectives. But would management based on the proposed policies be legal? … ”  Continue reading at the California Water Blog here: Is Ecosystem-Based Management Legal for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta?

On the Public Record explains her absence from the blogosphere here:  Why I have not been writing.

A ‘winter run critical habitat conundrum’:  “The consulting firm FishBio reported in a February 12, 2018 blog post: “Just when you think you’ve got a species figured out, sometimes they show up where they’re “not supposed to be” and make you reconsider. This recently happened in the fish world, when adult winter-run Chinook salmon, an endangered fish previously thought to only inhabit the mainstem Sacramento River downstream of Keswick Dam, were found to have actually reared in multiple Sacramento River tributaries as juveniles.” The study referenced by FishBio found that roughly half of the returning adult winter-run had reared as juveniles for a several weeks or more in habitats other than the mainstem Sacramento River. It has long been known that winter-run had used these habitats1, but the proportion of the population that had done so was not known. The recent study has helped answer that question. Such a life-history pattern is obviously important, as proven by this study. ... ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here: A ‘winter run critical habitat conundrum’

Understanding California’s water culture: Faith Kearns writes, “Rina Faletti received her Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin. As a fellow with the UC Merced Center for the Humanities and in line with their focus on water, she curated an art exhibit on industrial photography and the Central Valley Project. Q: You use the term “water culture” to describe California. What does it mean to be a water culture?  California’s water culture is grounded in the weather and our wet and dry cycles, along with the fact that you couldn’t have built our major cities without water. It’s a culture that is dependent on water.  I grew up in California and the water culture just becomes part of who you are. And for me personally, water is a fantastic topic because it’s about our past, present, and future all at the same time. As I look at history, I’m simultaneously wondering where the water discussion will be in 20, 50, 100 years. I think the issues will morph, but water use, perceptions of quantity, and the fear of not having enough are likely to remain in some form. ... ”  Read more from The Confluence blog here:  Understanding California’s water culture

Contentious California beach access case heads to US Supreme Court:  Richard Frank writes, “The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018-19 Term is already shaping up as a big one for environmental law in general and the longstanding tension between private property rights and environmental regulation in particular.  The Court has already agreed to hear and decide two cases next Term raising the latter set of issues: one involves the question of how extensively federal regulators can limit development of private property that’s deemed by government to be “critical habitat” for animals listed under the Endangered Species Act; the other concerns whether the Court should renounce some or all of the “ripeness rule” it created in 1985 limiting property owners’ ability to bring “regulatory takings” cases in federal courts.  (Those pending cases were profiled in earlier Legal Planet posts found here and here.) ... ”  Read more from the Legal Planet blog here:  Contentious California beach access case heads to US Supreme Court

Support and investment for Sites Reservoir grows with the Sacramento County Water Agency and City of Sacramento:  “Earlier today, the Sacramento County Water Agency (SCWA) and City of Sacramento announced their formal decision to participate as a member of the Sites Project Authority. This investment in Sites Reservoir is part of a larger regional effort to develop new water supply storage opportunities and improve water availability for the environment. These entities join Placer County Water Agency and the City of Roseville to show strong support from throughout the Sacramento Metropolitan area. … ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here: Support and investment for Sites Reservoir grows with the Sacramento County Water Agency and City of Sacramento

A Colorado River raft trip offers firsthand lesson in the power of nature:  “Most people see the Grand Canyon from the rim, thousands of feet above where the Colorado River winds through it for almost 300 miles.  But to travel it afloat a raft is to experience the wondrous majesty of the canyon and the river itself while gaining perspective about geology, natural beauty and the passage of time.  Beginning at Lees Ferry, some 30,000 people each year launch downriver on commercial or private trips. Before leaving, they are dutifully briefed by a National Park Service ranger who explains to them about the unique environment that awaits them, how to keep it protected and, most importantly, how to protect themselves. … ”  Read more from Western Water here:  A Colorado River raft trip offers firsthand lesson in the power of nature

We should probably stop calling it ‘drought’:  John Fleck writes, “Colorado River Basin Managers are working on what they call a “Drought Contingency Plan” to reduce water use, but that’s probably a bad name to describe what’s going on, as the members of the Colorado River Research Group explain in a new white paper (pdf): … ”  Continue reading at the Inkstain blog here:  We should probably stop calling it ‘drought’

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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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