BLOG ROUND-UP: Delta smelt: And then there were none; ACWA responds to media coverage of water tax; Cumbersome bureaucratic scorekeeping; Three water challenges for almonds, and more …

Joshua Tree at night; photo by Henrique Pinto

blog-round-up-previous-editionsAnd then there were none … Tom Cannon writes, “Are Delta smelt finally extinct?  Has the canary sung its last song?  In late April and early May 2018, 20-mm Surveys collected no Delta smelt (Figure 1) in the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary. , It’s a new low for Delta smelt since the survey began in 1995, worse even than the 2017 survey catch (Figure 2). … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries Blog here:  And then there were none … 

Proposed drinking water tax issue heating up with statewide media coverage; ACWA responds:  Tim Quinn writes, “The vast majority of Californians have safe drinking water. But some communities do not. This is unacceptable, and it is an urgent social issue for the state. Beginning last Friday online and published during this past weekend, The Sacramento Bee and four other affiliated newspapers throughout the state published stories that focused on the plight of 360,000 Californians without access to safe drinking water. The stories presented this issue with the depth and seriousness it deserves as an urgent priority for our state.  Unfortunately, the stories misrepresented the diversity of ACWA’s membership and our position on funding solutions. … ”  Read more from ACWA's Voices on Water here:  Proposed drinking water tax issue heating up with statewide media coverage

Bureaucratic Scorekeeping: Is the process meant to be so cumbersome that most people will just tune it out?  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “Could the California Water Commission make things any more confusing than the scoring system they have for Prop 1 storage projects?  The first scores seemed simple enough giving projects a ratio of how much public benefit  there would be for each dollar invested.  Simple, but still confusing.  The scores were based on five specified public benefits: ecosystem benefits, water quality, flood control, emergency response and recreation.  You might remember Temperance Flat scored zero public benefit for every dollar invested.  And then there were appeals and scores got a little better, Temp Flat getting 38-cents of public benefit for every dollar invested.  Then more appeals and better scores and public hearings and more confusion.  … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Bureaucratic Scorekeeping: Is the process meant to be so cumbersome that most people will just tune it out?

Three water challenges for almonds:  Ellen Hanak writes, “California is a force of nature when it comes to almonds. The state’s farmers produce virtually the entire US almond crop and dominate the international market. As the market has grown, almonds have become California’s largest single crop—now accounting for about 12% of irrigated acreage, with more than 1.2 million acres harvested in 2016. Availability of water is clearly a major issue for the industry, since the trees must be irrigated throughout the long spring and summer dry season. At a May event on water issues organized by the Almond Board of California, I was asked for some thoughts on the water realities almond growers must grapple with in coming years. Here are three key takeaways. … ”  Read more from the PPIC Blog here:  Three water challenges for almonds

Celebrating Fremont Weir modifications:  The Northern California Water Association blog writes, “As many of California’s leaders gather today at the Fremont Weir, the Northern California Water Association (NCWA) and Sacramento Valley water suppliers congratulate the state and federal administrations and various partners in advancing the Fremont Weir Adult Fish Passage Modification Project and the related investments surrounding the Yolo Bypass, such as Wallace Weir, to re-connect the Yolo Bypass with the Sacramento River. … ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here:  Celebrating Fremont Weir modifications

How to crash Lake Mead: Step 1 – crash Lake Powell:  John Fleck writes, “A new analysis suggests Lake Powell could crash in less than three years if there were to be a repeat of drought (aridification?) conditions seen in the recent past.  While the basin community’s attention has been focused on the risk of Lake Mead plummeting at some point in the future, Lake Powell at the bottom of the Upper Colorado River Basin is likely to drop 32 feet this year. This is happening in the Upper Basin now, and a couple more drought years could make it scarily worse.  32 feet in Powell is 3.2 million acre feet of water – equivalent to more than an entire years’ use in the Imperial Irrigation District, the largest water user in the Colorado River Basin.  Some work done as part of a new analysis being done by The Nature Conservancy (shared here with permission) shows just how quickly Lake Powell can crash. ... ”  Read more from the Inkstain Blog here:  How to crash Lake Mead: Step 1 – crash Lake Powell

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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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