BLOG ROUND-UP: Calinsanity! Bloggers on the State Water Board’s Bay Delta flow objectives, California Water Fix, salmon, fiscal orphans, and more …
Calinsanity! No matter how badly their plans fail, they win. Families Protecting the Valley writes, “Unelected bureaucrats have again proposed to take more water from farmers in their unsuccessful attempt to save endangered fish. This isn’t the first time farmers have lost water to fish and it probably won’t be the last and we’ll itemize the history in a below. … As we have documented many times, for over 25-years more and more water has been dedicated to the environment through various policy changes with little to show when it comes to results. The policies never include specific goals to achieve, never have consequences for those who make these decisions, and only hurt farmers. ... ” Read the article from Families Protecting the Valley here: Calinsanity! No matter how badly their plans fail, they win
State Water Board proposes increased Delta outflow: Doug Obegi writes, “The State Water Resources Control Board today recommended potentially significant increases in Delta outflow, and reduced diversions throughout the Bay-Delta watershed, to protect water quality and our native fish and wildlife in this magnificent watershed and estuary. However, the Board’s recommendation that winter-spring Delta outflow should be 55% of unimpaired flow (unimpaired flow is what would flow naturally in the absence of dams and diversions) is significantly less than what the best available science shows is needed. The Board also recommends incorporating existing federal restrictions on the operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project, to ensure that fish and wildlife – and the thousands of fishing jobs that depend on them – are protected. These recommendations come just as the Trump Administration seeks to weaken those federal protections in the Delta. … ” Read more from the NRDC here: State Water Board proposes increased Delta outflow
The solution to pollution is not, in fact, dilution: The California Farm Water Coalition writes, “Delta’s water quality problems is at best wasteful of this precious resource, and at worst destructive to the lives of millions of Californians. Unlike the State Water Board, California’s environmental and water experts are following the science and looking at the bigger picture question: How do we maintain the health of today’s Delta which has obviously changed since the days of the Gold Rush. Yes, the Delta has been fundamentally altered over the years with the introduction of new species, inevitable population growth and more. But experts note that the Delta as it exists today, may in fact be an ecosystem in balance. Introduced species like bass have adopted specific roles in the ecosystem, while other species have adapted and filled other ecosystem niches as changes to water quality, food webs, and habitat have evolved. … ” Read more from the California Farm Water Coalition here: The solution to pollution is not, in fact, dilution
Coalition protests Delta tunnels tax as Metropolitan revotes on $11 billion to finance Water Fix: Dan Bacher writes, “Before the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California is forced to retake its vote on financing $11 billion of Governor Jerry Brown’s $17 billion Delta Tunnels project on Tuesday, July 10, ratepayers, taxpayer advocates, faith leaders, union representatives and environmentalists will hold a press conference to protest the environmentally destructive project. The press conference will take place at 11:00 a.m. prior to the MWD Board Workshop on the tunnels in the courtyard of the Metropolitan Water District Headquarters, 700 North Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. The workshop will begin at 12 noon. ... ” Read more from the Daily Kos here: Coalition protests Delta tunnels tax as Metropolitan revotes on $11 billion to finance Water Fix
Three Days Before MWD’s Revote On Financing the Delta Tunnels, A New Regulatory Document Further Multiplies The Investment Risk: Jeff Michael writes, “The Metropolitan Water District re-votes on their plan to finance the majority of the $17+ Delta tunnels plan tomorrow. Over the weekend, I reviewed the information MWD staff prepared for their vote, along with the new Sacramento-Delta report released by the State Water Board on Friday that is likely to substantially reduce the water supply benefits of the tunnels. Last week, I blogged about how risky this financial plan was and outlined 4 essential pieces of information the MWD board must have before it can make a responsible decision to commit billions more to the project. The new board packet has a longer staff report, but includes none of these 4 key pieces of information ... ” Read more from the Valley Economy blog here: Three Days Before MWD’s Revote On Financing the Delta Tunnels, A New Regulatory Document Further Multiplies The Investment Risk
Restore the Delta PRA Request Shows Kern County Water Authority and MWD Worked Together on Valadao Rider: “Restore the Delta’s recent PRA request documents from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) reveal that Kern County Water Agency (KCWA) and MWD consulted Ken Calvert’s Legislative Aide, Ian Foley, on the language of the Valadao Rider—a supplemental provision to the House Appropriations spending bill that would exempt the Central Valley Project and State Water Project from judicial review. The Valadao rider was added to the Appropriations bill after the Calvert rider was approved by the Interior subcommittee. These findings supplement Restore the Delta’s findings from the same PRA request released last week. … ” Read more from Restore the Delta here: Restore the Delta PRA Request Shows Kern County Water Authority and MWD Worked Together on Valadao Rider
California’s broken water system: Westlands Water District writes, “Water quality in the Central Valley is a real problem and a recurring theme in the media. A recent story (Overpumping of Central Valley groundwater has side effect: Too much arsenic) focused on the problem. The trouble is, usually one cause of the problem is overemphasized, and the other cause of the problem is underreported. In this article, groundwater pumping is mentioned 11 times as the cause of the problem, while the lack of surface water deliveries to the Central Valley, due to federal and state laws and regulations, is mentioned only once and not much of an explanation is provided. … ” Continue reading from Westlands Water District here: California’s broken water system
Know what you want and accept the consequences of your decisions: Steven Baker writes, “Farms, ranches, vineyards, orchards, even rural domestic properties realize that limited groundwater hurts businesses and can develop into a dysfunctional lifestyle. You don’t have to look far to see this. Pahrump, Nevada is a perfect example. Groundwater in this area receives around 20,000 acre-feet annually and uses approximately 13,000 acre-feet per year today. But the water needs of an increasing population and the need to grow more food quickly is overtaking the ability for the groundwater aquifer to refill. Pahrump has set itself up for failing to meet the water needs of tomorrow unless something changes today. California is the same. Look at the farming communities of the Central Valley of California. ... ” Read more from Sierra Booster here: Know what you want and accept the consequences of your decisions
Sacramento River Low Flows and High Water Temperatures Violate State Standards for lower Sac River and Delta – Lethal for Salmon and Smelt: Tom Cannon writes, “The high water temperatures are a violation of the 68oF (average daily) water quality standard and are stressful to migrating salmon. The Sacramento River at Wilkins Slough at river mile 118, 63 miles upstream of the Sacramento Delta, has low flows and high water temperatures. Low flows in the lower Sacramento River above the Feather River and warm flows from the Feather River are compromising the summer habitat of smelt and salmon in the lower Sacramento River and the Delta, violating state and federal water quality standards. … ” Continue reading at the California Fisheries blog here: Sacramento River Low Flows and High Water Temperatures Violate State Standards for lower Sac River and Delta – Lethal for Salmon and Smelt
Embracing summer in Northern California: The importance of surface and groundwater storage and progressive water resource management: The Northern California Water Association writes, “As the days get warmer in California and we see fires spreading throughout the state, it is a good time to think about water and to appreciate the work that water resources managers do throughout California to make sure we have reliable water supplies available for cities and rural communities, farms, fish, birds, recreation, and public safety. Earlier this year in Northern California and the Sacramento Valley, we were reminded about the inherent variability in California’s precipitation. Fortunately, water resources managers in Northern California understand the region, they have learned from the past and they have prepared well for this water year by saving water when it was available so it can be used later when the water is needed. … ” Read more from the NCWA blog here: Embracing summer in Northern California: The importance of surface and groundwater storage and progressive water resource management
Truth in water: Communicating with webcomics: Blake Hihara writes, “Comics – a category that includes ancient graffiti, woodblocks, political cartoons, and zines – have a long history as communication and education tools. As a lifelong comics and manga nerd, I was excited to learn that health science and medical researchers, practitioners, and patients have pioneered the use of comics as teaching tools. For example, researchers have found that comics instructing medical students about ethics or patients about the signs and symptoms of a stroke are more effective at engagement, comprehension, and information retention than traditional education materials. Seeing the successful use of comics in medicine left me wondering if the same could hold for my other long-term interest: water in California. … ” Read more from The Confluence blog here: Truth in water: Communicating with webcomics
Paying for water’s fiscal orphans: Lori Pottinger writes, “California’s water system is generally well funded and adequately maintained, but there are a few areas that lack a steady funding source. The most prominent of these “fiscal orphans” are safe drinking water for disadvantaged rural communities, flood management, stormwater management, and water for the environment. We talked to Dean Misczynski, an expert in infrastructure financing and an adjunct fellow with the PPIC Water Policy Center, about how to create a more reliable funding stream to address these problems. PPIC: Are there better ways to pay for California’s underfunded “fiscal orphans”? Dean Misczynski: Water is one of the easier things in government to pay for, because you can sell it. Local water fees and local taxes pay for most spending on water in California. State voter-approved general obligation bonds also play a pretty big role. But our thinking about how to use state bond acts developed sometime around the Civil War, and we could do a better job using bonds to fund 21st-century realities. … ” Read more from the PPIC Blog here: Paying for water’s fiscal orphans
Water reservoirs: Storing water for our communities: “Have you ever wondered what that giant tank on the hill was? You are looking at a water tank reservoir storing water for your community. Water reservoirs are a means to store both drinking (potable) and non-drinking water (non-potable). Reservoirs can be in the form of a lake or tank. Beneath the ground you can also find natural underground reservoirs where water is stored until it can be pumped, treated (cleaned) and delivered to homes. Potable water tank reservoirs store water that has already been treated and is waiting to be delivered to homes and businesses. In California, due to the mountainous terrain, reservoirs are usually placed in higher elevations. … ” Read more from the SoCal Tap Water Blog here: Water reservoirs: Storing water for our communities
The time has come for stronger investment in water infrastructure – especially for underserved communities: Sara Schwartz writes, “When news of the Flint water crisis broke headlines, 21 million people across the country relied on water systems that violated health standards. Low-income communities, minority populations, and rural towns disproportionately deal with barriers to safe water. Drinking water challenges are complex: failing infrastructure, polluted water sources, and low capacity utility management are all part of the issue. Declining investment in water infrastructure over the last several decades has exacerbated the problem. Access to safe water is essential for human health and well being. Without serious investment in our water infrastructure we will continue to put communities at risk. As a country we must support existing funding sources for water infrastructure, develop new and innovative funding mechanism for long-term solutions, and more effectively prioritize the water needs of underserved communities. Furthermore we must support the science that helps us understand the nature and extent of these water challenges. ... ” Read more from the Union of Concerned Scientists here: The time has come for stronger investment in water infrastructure – especially for underserved communities
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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.