BLOG ROUND-UP: Dam advocates pound the table; Collaboration essential to breaking deadlock in the Bay-Delta; Thoughts on Arax’s Kingdom from Dust; Winter-run chinook salmon – what really caused their decline; and more …

Dam advocates pound the table at the California Water Commission:  Doug Obegi writes, “In recent weeks, there have been howls of protest aimed at the California Water Commission from the proponents of big new dams like Temperance Flat and Sites Reservoir, because the Commission rigorously reviewed the applications for Prop 1 funding to ensure that they really are eligible for public funds and that public funds are only spent on public benefits. Staff from the Water Commission, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the State Water Resources Control Board reviewed all of the applications and determined that these two storage projects provided no, or very low, public benefits that would be eligible for funding. That triggered a political backlash from the backers of big dams looking for a taxpayer handout. Some commentators even went so far to claim there was a “deal” that Proposition 1 would fund Temperance Flat and Sites Reservoir. … ”  Read more from the NRDC Switchboard blog here: Dam advocates pound the table at the California Water Commission

Dam Difficult!! Ever wonder why California has such difficulty in building the vitally needed surface storage?  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “Ever wonder why California has such difficulty in building the vitally needed surface storage?  Note the letter below from the Governor’s appointed head of the California Natural Resources Agency opposing any help from the Federal Government in enlarging Shasta Dam.  With the sitting Governor (who has been ‘sitting’ on water storage for 16 years while in office) appointing agency heads philosophically opposed to storage, and also appointing environmental ideologues to decision making State Boards (e.g., the State Water Resources Control Boards), and the State Water Commission which decides on how bond money is spent regardless of the Bond language, water storage will NOT happen in this State until we have a fundamental change in State leadership. … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Dam Difficult!! Ever wonder why California has such difficulty in building the vitally needed surface storage?

blog-round-up-previous-editionsCollaboration essential to breaking deadlock in the Bay-Delta:  Tim Quinn writes, “California water policy can seem like a classic example of “paralysis by analysis,” especially concerning the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. But looking at the Gordian-knot complexity of the Bay-Delta’s many problems, approaching any proposed solution, understandably, requires an abundance of caution.  Within ACWA itself, our diverse membership has differing perspectives on the Bay-Delta, among a number of other issues. What we do have in common at ACWA is a process, one that depends on identifying mutual goals and then progressively building on points of agreement to arrive at a comprehensive solution. … ”  Read more from ACWA’s Water News here:  Collaboration essential to breaking deadlock in the Bay-Delta

Thoughts on Arax’s Kingdom from Dust:  On the Public Record writes, “As everyone said at the time, Mark Arax’s reporting on the Resnicks‘ involvement in Kern is wonderful. I listened to interviews with Arax afterward. For this post, I am going to assume that you have the story open in a tab nearby; quoting as much as I’d otherwise need to would get long.  Thoughts:  Arax really gives Lynda Resnick her due. In the story and consistently through his radio interviews, he mentions her business and marketing skill. When interviewers bring up Stewart and not Lynda, he corrects them. Lynda Resnick is as much a piece of the story as Stewart and it is nice to see that explicitly laid out. … ”  Read more from On the Public Record here:  Thoughts on Arax’s Kingdom from Dust

Modesto vs. Fresno: In Modesto they’re fighting back, and the Modesto Bee is a big part of the fight. Families Protecting the Valley writes, “When the State Water Resources Control Board comes for your water, you need to fight back or you’re going to lose it.  Probably going to lose it anyway.  In Modesto they’re fighting back, and the Modesto Bee is a big part of the fight.  The Fresno Bee not only threw in the towel, but jumped on the bandwagon to throw more water at the solution.  Modesto Bee columnist Mike Dunbar writes, “In three, maybe six weeks the water board will issue its demand that 40 to 50 percent of the water flowing down the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers be allowed to flow past our farms and cities and into the Delta – where much of it will be siphoned south.”  … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Modesto vs. Fresno: In Modesto they’re fighting back, and the Modesto Bee is a big part of the fight.

Winter-run chinook salmon – what really caused their decline:  Tom Cannon writes, “The winter-run Chinook salmon population crashed around 1980 and has not recovered (Figure 1). The population started coming back from 2001-2006 but fell to 827 in 2011. It remained in the 1500 to 6000 range from 2012-20161 with the help of the Livingston Stone federal hatchery near Redding. Hatchery fish make up an increasing proportion of the population each year. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here:  Winter-run chinook salmon – what really caused their decline

California makes progress on water accounting:  “California’s water accounting system—the balance sheet of where and when water is available and how it is being used—lacks common standards, suffers from major data gaps, and is in need of modernization. A 2016 law, the Open and Transparent Water Data Act (AB 1755), directed several state agencies to improve this system. The Department of Water Resources (DWR)―in concert with other state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and universities―is taking the charge seriously and has set ambitious objectives to be completed within a tight timeframe. … ” Read more from the PPIC here:  California makes progress on water accounting

Palo Verde Irrigation District withdraws lawsuit against Metropolitan Water District of Southern California: “In a bit of Colorado River detente, the Palo Verde Irrigation District has filed a motion in Riverside County Superior Court to withdraw a lawsuit it had filed against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California over the use of water on Met-owned land in the Palo Verde District. … ”  Continue reading from the Inkstain Blog here:  Palo Verde Irrigation District withdraws lawsuit against Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

A success story from SWEEP: CDFA writes, “Desert Fresh, Inc, a farm  located in the Coachella Valley,  in Riverside County, received a $53,000 grant from CDFA’s State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) to install climate-smart technology. Desert Fresh grows grapes, lemons, and row crops in some of California’s most arid lands and is doing this while using less water and reducing carbon emissions from the farm. With SWEEP funding, Desert Fresh installed climate smart technology that reduces irrigation water use by approximately 15 percent while producing the same yield. “How?” you ask. By using precision agriculture technology such as in-field weather stations to monitor wind speed, humidity, temperature, precipitation and evapotranspiration (the transfer of moisture from the Earth’s surface to the atmosphere). … ”  Read more from the Planting Seeds blog here:  A success story from SWEEPDaily emails

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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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