BLOG ROUND-UP: Complying with SGMA without changing water rights, Make CA’s water grid climate-friendly, Notions of surplus water a costly mirage, Prop 1 water storage successes and failures, and more …

Sunrise Burn – Hawk Hill, by David Yu

blog-round-up-previous-editionsThe groundwater manager’s dilemma: How to comply with new California law without changing water rights:  Christina Babbitt writes, “Over the next two years, more than 100 groundwater sustainability agencies in California will have to hammer out a plan to make their groundwater basins sustainable.  But as mangers in many areas work to combat decades of over-pumping, they face a major dilemma: In dividing the groundwater pie to avoid overuse, they can’t change Byzantine groundwater rights that date as far back as 1903. … ”  Read more from the EDF’s Growing Returns here: The groundwater manager’s dilemma: How to comply with new California law without changing water rights

Make California’s water grid climate-ready:  Jeffrey Mount and Ellen Hanak write, “Next week people from around the globe will gather at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco to explore solutions to climate change. California has long played a leadership role in reducing climate emissions. But the state has a crucial weakness in its climate readiness: its vast water system. Modernizing California’s “water grid”―the linked network of above- and below-ground storage and conveyance systems that connects most water use in the state―can help reduce the costs and impacts of a changing climate.  The PPIC Water Policy Center put together a team of experts in climate science, hydrology, ecology, engineering, economics, and law to review the weak points in California’s water system and recommend actions to build the system’s climate resilience. The focus of the work was on managing water scarcity, using lessons learned from California’s most recent drought. ... ”  Read more from the PPIC Blog here:  Make California’s water grid climate-ready

Notions of surplus water a costly mirage:  Eric Caine writes, “According to UC Davis, 99,000 residents of the San Joaquin Valley have unsafe drinking water. Even more alarming, a recent study by the University of Michigan “predicts that ‘the percentage of U.S. households who will find water bills unaffordable could triple from 11.9% to 35.6%” over the next five years.’”  Many people who lack safe drinking water aren’t far from water utilities, but simply lack the infrastructure that would bring treated water to their homes. But problems with infrastructure don’t apply only to people who lack it. Much of our water infrastructure throughout the nation is old, failing, and insufficient to serve the needs of a growing population. … ”  Read more from the Valley Citizen here:  Notions of surplus water a costly mirage

Water storage successes, failures, and challenges from Prop 1:  Jay Lund writes, “The California Water Commission recently allocated $2.7 billion from Proposition 1 bonds for eight water storage projects.  Proposition 1 was passed in 2014 to fund a range of projects, including “public purposes” of water storage projects, such as for ecosystem support, flood risk reduction, water quality, recreation, and emergency response.  Among its many funding provisions, both surface and underground water storage projects were eligible, non-storage projects were not eligible, and Proposition 1 could fund no more than 50% of storage project costs.  Proposition 1’s storage provisions were driven by the still-common notion that expanding surface storage is the major way to end water problems. This idea has long myth-directed policy and public discussions.  The competition for Proposition 1 funds indicates that few large surface water storage expansions are cost-effective in California. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here: Water storage successes, failures, and challenges from Prop 1:

Proposition 3 is good for birds and makes important investments for the Pacific Flyway:  The Northern California Water Association blog writes, “In November, California voters will have the opportunity to pass Proposition 3, the largest environmental habitat and water bond in California’s history. Proposition 3 will make significant investments to help serve water for multiple benefits in the Sacramento Valley and throughout California. One of the beneficiaries of this investment would be the birds and other species that utilize the Pacific Flyway. Proposition 3 includes an unprecedented level of funding for projects and programs that will directly benefit the Pacific Flyway, including … ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here:  Proposition 3 is good for birds and makes important investments for the Pacific Flyway

As much as Trump would like, economics do not trump science. These laws say so: Holly Pearen writes, “The Trump administration has made several attempts to remove science-based decision-making at multiple federal agencies, including those responsible for keeping the American public and our nation’s vital ecosystems healthy.  The latest proposal to insert economic considerations into Endangered Species Act (ESA) decisions is not only illegal – prohibited by the act itself – it’s also a misplaced attempt at incorporating economics where they simply do not belong. … ”  Read more from the Growing Returns blog here:  As much as Trump would like, economics do not trump science. These laws say so


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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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