BLOG ROUND-UP: Begging the board, reservoir risk, groundwater exchange pools, almond glut, winter run salmon, and more …

Rocky Creek Bridge, Big Sur. Photo by Keith Cuddeback.

Begging the Board! The board listened, but never heard. They will not listen when you say it again:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “Legislators in the Modesto/Merced area have asked the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to extend the comment period for their plan to increase fish flows on the Stanislaus, Toulumne and Merced rivers.  In the article below from the Turlock Journal, they say the board’s plan ignores stakeholders concerns and dismisses expert scientific testimony.  They’re right, of course, and we don’t want to dissuade anyone from writing to or going to the board to express their displeasure with the decision, but….it won’t do any good. ... ”  Continue reading at Families Protecting the Valley here:  Begging the Board! The board listened, but never heard. They will not listen when you say it again

Restore the Delta Submits Comments on Bay-Delta Plan Updates; SWRCB Prohibits Discussion of Plan Updates at WaterFix Hearing:  “Today, Restore the Delta submitted their comments regarding the proposed updates to the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan in a letter to the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB).  As outlined in their recent policy statement on the Water Quality Control Plan, Restore the Delta maintains that the Plan does not examine water quality impacts on the Delta’s environmental justice community, nor does it protect salinity standards for south Delta agriculture. In addition, the Plan fails to establish the 50-60 percent flow criteria needed for salmon population and habitat restoration in the San Joaquin River and its tributaries. Finally, the Plan does not guarantee that new inflows to the Delta will not be exported to south of Delta customers; nor does it guarantee that these through-Delta flows will be used for San Francisco Bay outflow. … ”  Read more from Restore the Delta here:  Restore the Delta Submits Comments on Bay-Delta Plan Updates; SWRCB Prohibits Discussion of Plan Updates at WaterFix Hearing

Is the state’s biggest new reservoir project already in trouble?  Chris Reed writes, “The California Water Commission’s recent approval of nearly $2.7 billion in funding for new water conservation projects was the most dramatic move to promote storage of rainfall and melting snow in the state in decades. … But skeptics have already made the case that by far the single biggest project – the Sites Reservoir in rural Colusa County north of Sacramento – actually suffered a setback in the water commission’s deliberations. … ”  Read more from Cal Watchdog here:  Is the state’s biggest new reservoir project already in trouble?

Groundwater exchange pools in Los Angeles: An innovative example of adaptive management:  “GSAs are actively searching for ways to stretch limited supplies and sustainably use the underground storage space created by decades of overdraft, drawing on lessons of previous regional agreements.  In one part of Los Angeles County (a region whose groundwater basins are mostly adjudicated, in contrast with most other parts of the state), an innovative approach has established a community exchange pool where parties can store and purchase water. The arrangement, which allows pumpers such as water districts and municipal utilities to newly store water in the emptied aquifers, was incorporated into a 2013 re-adjudication of the groundwater management agreement, now managed by the Water Replenishment District of Southern California. The new arrangement presents intriguing questions. ... ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Groundwater exchange pools in Los Angeles: An innovative example of adaptive management

Almond glut coming?  Steve Ringhoff writes, “A glut is typically defined as the point at which supply exceeds demand. It’s not that simple, of course, since demand may be cyclical even when supply is consistent. And, a glut can result when supply ramps up past consistent or throttled back demand.  Storage can smooth out a cycle but that means the producer isn’t paid until well after the time of production.  Raise a hand, boys and girls, if you have figured out that we are talking about almonds! Could a glut happen? You betcha! Will it happen? Hmmm. We can look at anecdotal information or numbers. They may point to the same thing. … ”  Read more from the Valley Citizen here:  Almond glut coming? See also:  Wall Street Journal confirms fears of almond glut

Winter run salmon status 2018: Tom Cannon writes, “In a March 14 post, I discussed the primary factor in the initial decline of Sacramento River winter-run salmon in the early 1980s (Figure 1) – higher south Delta exports in drier years after the State Water Project came on line in the 1970s.   In a January 15, 2017 post, I discussed the causes of the recruitment failures from poor egg survival in spawning grounds in summers of 2014 and 2015.  In this post, I suggest that recruitment into the population and long-term population declines stems from fewer spawners (eggs produced) over time and low Sacramento River flows (Shasta Reservoir releases) in fall and winter. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here:  Winter run salmon status 2018

New approaches to implement the Endangered Species Act in California:  The Northern California Water Association blog writes,”With all the discourse surrounding the Endangered Species Act, some observations from the Sacramento Valley may be instructive to these discussions. From our perspective, various parties in California have been fighting for several decades over the Biological Opinions (BiOps) involving the Bay-Delta and the related river systems. While the seemingly intractable regulatory and legal fights continue, Delta fish are generally declining and water supplies are less reliable for cities, farms and wildlife refuges. In other words, both people and the environment are suffering as a result of this regulatory process. This quagmire suggests that the section 7 (BiOp) process under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), despite many good intentions, may be leading to further declines in the endangered fish it is trying to protect. On the other hand, there are several other collaborative, forward-looking, recovery processes that show promise for both fish and water supplies in California. These processes carry out the “policy of Congress that federal agencies shall cooperate with state and local agencies to resolve water resource issues in concert with conservation of endangered species.” … ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here:  New approaches to implement the Endangered Species Act in California

Trump’s ESA overhaul won’t give Americans what they want.  Here’s what will:  David Festa writes, “We are observing the most coordinated set of attacks on the Endangered Species Act since it was signed into law nearly a half century ago.  The latest series of assaults – from legislation introduced in Congress to proposed changes by the Trump administration – fall into the increasingly perilous partisan trap that pits industrial and economic interests against the environment and public health.  This two-sided narrative consistently drowns out moderate voices in national media coverage and has created an illusion of broad disagreement around the ESA that simply does not exist. ... ”  Read more from the Growing Returns blog here:  Trump’s ESA overhaul won’t give Americans what they want.  Here’s what willDaily 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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