BLOG ROUND-UP: Cal Water Fix, salmon stories good and bad, recycled water, conservation on the Colorado …

Waves and Rocks at Big Sur; Photo by Henrique Pinto

Brown’s Water Fix has new momentum – but daunting obstacles remain:  Chris Reed writes, “Just six weeks ago, Gov. Jerry Brown’s hopes for a huge, difficult legacy project to solidify California’s statewide water distribution system – one funded by water districts, not directly by taxpayers – appeared in bad shape.  Years of lobbying for what the Brown administration dubbed the WaterFix project had produced more indifference and outright opposition than support. The $16.7 billion plan would build two 35-mile-long, 40-foot-high tunnels to take water south from the Sacramento River to the State Water Project pumps in the town of Tracy. The governor argued that this would sharply reduce the intermittent heavy pumping that played havoc with endangered species in the fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and would firm up supplies both for Central Valley farmers and the 20 million-plus residents of Southern California. … ”  Read more from the Cal Watchdog blog here: Brown’s Water Fix has new momentum – but daunting obstacles remain

blog-round-up-previous-editionsWaterFix hearing: chief tunnels engineer on sea level rise:  Dierdre des Jardins writes, “Metropolitan Water District’s Chief Engineer, John Bednarski, testified in the WaterFix hearing on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 about the WaterFix facilities design and construction. Mr. Bednarski addressed numerous issues raised in testimony by California Water Research’s principal scientist, Deirdre Des Jardins on the inadequacy of the sea level rise analysis for the WaterFix tunnel design. … ”  Read more from California Water Research blog here:  WaterFix hearing: chief tunnels engineer on sea level rise

WaterFix: Reasoning behind Santa Clara vote:  Diedre des Jardins writes, “The Santa Clara Valley Water District Board voted 4-3 today to participate in the California WaterFix project. The reasoning of the Board of Directors reflected the complexity, cost and risk of the hugely controversial project.  The megaproject faces stiff opposition from Northern California water agencies and local governments, including the Delta counties of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, Sacramento, Yolo, and Solano, and the Delta cities of Stockton, Antioch, and Brentwood.  San Joaquin County attorney Tom Keeling, one of several Delta attorneys who spoke in opposition to the project at the SCVWD Board hearing, called the project a “litigation risk on steroids.” ... ”  Read more from the California Water Research blog here:  WaterFix: Reasoning behind Santa Clara vote

Spring hatchery salmon releases on the Feather River:  Tom Cannon writes, “The California Department of Fish and Wildlife released spring-run and fall-run salmon smolts raised at the Feather River Hatchery into the lower Feather River from late March to early May 2018. The initial spring-run releases were accompanied by a flow pulse up to 14,000 cfs into the lower Feather River.1 The early May release2 of fall-run was made without the benefit of a flow pulse. ... ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here:  Spring hatchery salmon releases on the Feather River

Celebrating 10 years of success:  The Lower Yuba River Accord:  The Northern California Water Association blog writes, “A diverse group of parties joined together this week to celebrate ten years of the Lower Yuba River Accord (Accord)—a landmark settlement agreement that improves conditions for salmon and steelhead in the Yuba River, reduces the risk of flooding for the people of Yuba County, protects water rights for local farmers and ranchers, and provides critical water supplies for communities throughout California. … ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here:  Celebrating 10 years of success:  The Lower Yuba River Accord

2007-2009 Salmon Crash Revisited:  Tom Cannon writes, “The 2007-2009 Sacramento River salmon crash (Figure 1) is well documented (Lindley 2009). The poor returns of brood years 2004-2005 in 2007-2008 from high 2004-2005 adult runs are particularly troubling. Lindley et al. looked closely at both the wild and hatchery components of brood years 2004 and 2005 to determine the potential causes of the crash. They focused on identifying “where and when in the life cycle abundance became anomalously low, and where and when poor environmental conditions occurred due to natural or human-induced causes.” Their review led to a conclusion that ocean conditions for brood years 2004-2005 was the primary cause of the crash: “all of the evidence that we could find points to ocean conditions as being the proximate cause of the poor performance of the 2004 and 2005 broods of SRFC.” They also came to the following conclusions … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here:  2007-2009 Salmon Crash Revisited

Habitat Restoration for Chinook Salmon in Putah Creek: A Success Story: “2017 was another good year for Chinook salmon in Putah Creek.  Putah Creek is just a small stream flowing through Yolo and Solano counties, fed by releases of water from Lake Berryessa. For decades, Chinook salmon were rare in the creek.  Yet, now, with salmon populations struggling throughout the Central Valley, Putah Creek numbers are on the rise. Over the past five years the estimated number of adult spawners has increased from eight in 2013 to over 500 in each of the past three years (200-500 in 2014, 500-700 in 2015, 1500-1700 in 2016, and 700 in 2017). … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Habitat Restoration for Chinook Salmon in Putah Creek: A Success Story

Recycling water for groundwater use and drinking water:  “Water is a finite resource. We cannot make more of it. The same water on earth today is the same water that was here during the times that dinosaurs roamed.  Southern California’s dry climate with little rainfall requires the need for a sustainable and secure supply for water. With record breaking dry periods, such as the most-recent drought that took place over the course of five years from 2012 to 2017, water agencies throughout California are looking for solutions for maintaining a sustainable drinking water supply. It is more important than ever to become less dependent on  imported water and reduce costly sources of water to support the region’s demand. Dry years forced water agencies to look for innovative and progressive avenues that create local viable supplies of water. … ”  Read more from Your SoCal Tap Water blog here:  Recycling water for groundwater use and drinking water

Federal pressure to do a Colorado River water conservation deal:  John Fleck writes, “Catching up after a busy final week of the semester at the University of New Mexico’s Water Resources Program, I had time today to sit down and and think through the implications of this remarkable Bureau of Reclamation press release.  It did a great job of achieving one of the primary goals of a news release, capturing a news cycle with the message of increasing risk of a “shortage” declaration by 2020, which would impose water delivery cutbacks on Nevada, Arizona, and Mexico. (“Mexico, 2 U.S. states could see Colorado River cutback in 2020” was a common takeaway.)  But that news peg – a slight increase in the latest Bureau analysis of a risk we already knew was there – wasn’t really news. ... ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here:  Federal pressure to do a Colorado River water conservation dealDaily 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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