BLOG ROUND-UP: The Colorado River – Sacramento Delta connection, How Oroville is changing dam safety; Re-managing water supplies for the benefit of salmon in the Feather River; and more …

Photo by Sharon Morellus

The Colorado River – Sacramento Delta connection:  John Fleck writes, “With an 85 percent allocation of northern California water from California’s State Water Project last year, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California was able to cut back on its use of Colorado River water, leaving more than 300,000 acre feet in Lake Mead. That water has provided a sufficient buffer than Mead will end this year at an elevation of 1,077 feet above sea level, barely above the threshold (1,075) at which a Lower Colorado River Basin shortage is declared, with enforced water use cutbacks in the Lower Basin. ... ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here:  The Colorado River – Sacramento Delta connection

blog-round-up-previous-editionsHow Oroville is changing dam safety:  Lori Pottinger writes, “California’s 1,500 dams are regularly inspected and most have been safe for generations. Before last year’s Oroville Dam spillway crisis, the last dam disaster was the deadly 1928 Saint Francis Dam failure in Southern California. But the scale and drama of the Oroville crisis jolted the state into action, resulting in a stream of safety reviews, forensic analyses, and policy changes.  Within weeks of Oroville’s spillway incident, Governor Brown announced a 4-point plan to bolster dam safety and flood protection. And with the enactment of Senate Bill 92, a new dam safety regime has strengthened the state’s existing system.  We asked two experts about the lessons of Oroville for dam safety in California: Jeff Mount, a senior fellow at the PPIC Water Policy Center and an expert in hydrology and geology; and Jay Lund, director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and an adjunct fellow at PPIC. … ” Read more from the PPIC blog here:  How Oroville is changing dam safety

Re-managing water supplies for the benefit of salmon in the Feather River:  The Northern California Water Association writes, “A pulse flow was coordinated this week on the Feather River by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). On Monday, DWR increased total releases from the Oroville complex into the Feather River to 4,050 cubic feet per second (cfs) and on Wednesday ramped down releases to 3,150 cfs, which will now be maintained for the near future to manage storage. The intent of this pulse is to assist in the outmigration of hatchery spring-run Chinook Salmon. The salmon are being released at Boyd’s Landing, but the pulse will also provide a benefit to fish between the Thermalito River Outlet and Honcut Creek, where flows are lower. ... ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here:  Re-managing water supplies for the benefit of salmon in the Feather River

Drought resilience and conjunctive use in West Placer County:  Brett Storey writes, “During the recent drought in California, groundwater aquifers in West Placer County fared much better than other areas of the state. From Spring 2012* to Spring 2016, water levels dropped only about four to five feet in the southwest corner of the County where the lowest groundwater levels occur. Starting in the 1950’s, this area experienced over 55 feet of groundwater level declines as shown in Figure 1. This major downslide came to a halt around 1980, when the City Roseville and many water providers to the south (in Sacramento County) gained access to surface water from Folsom Lake and allowed conjunctive use programs to be successfully implemented, primarily by Sacramento Groundwater Authority (SGA) and its member agencies. … ”  Read more from the Northern California Water Association blog here:  Drought resilience and conjunctive use in West Placer County

How watersheds relate to groundwater:  Verna Jigour writes, ” … Might Jastro have imagined how the “sagebrush rebellion” against federal management of grazing lands would lead to armed insurrection in the 21st Century?  Perhaps, since he acknowledged some controversy over federal land management persisted during his time.  Yet his statement makes clear that his conclusions were informed by prominent discussion among leaders at annual meetings of the American National Live Stock Association.  The memory of recent “range wars” was then too fresh to be forgotten by members of that group.  But how many current rangeland managers, moreover *water agencies* make the connection between watershed land cover and summer baseflows, fed by groundwater? … ”  Read more from the Rainfall to Groundwater blog here:  How watersheds relate to groundwater

MAD about an ethical approach to unsustainable aquifer depletion?  Then read this article:  Michael Campana writes, “Here is a brief article I wrote for the current issue (March 2018) of Water Resources IMPACT – Managing Water Ethically. It’s sure to raise the hackles of some, as I promote the concept of Managed Aquifer Depletion (MAD) to assess when a groundwater supply is going to run out and then manage it to prolong it for as long as possible.  … ”  Continue reading at the Water Wired blog here:  MAD about an ethical approach to unsustainable aquifer depletion?  Then read this articleDaily 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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