BLOG ROUND-UP: Bay Delta Plan Phase II, Delta smelt, salmon, Making water conservation a way of life, Prop 3, public trust doctrine, and more …

Photo by David Yu.

blog-round-up-previous-editionsPhase II: The loss of these unimpaired flows “could reduce the volume of water delivered to south-of-the-delta users by two million acre-feet a year.”  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “The current battle for water on the Toulumne, Stanislaus and Merced rivers is called Phase I.  The coming battle for water on the Sacramento River is called Phase II.  Central Valley farmers have already lost their river battle for water on the San Joaquin River with the Restoration Settlement in 2006.  When Central Valley farmers went to Sacramento to support their Northern Valley friends they might have thought it was only to show that support, but what they might not realize is how the North Valley fight will impact them directly. … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Phase II

Delta smelt summer 2018:  Tom Cannon writes, “After catching over 800 Delta smelt in 2011 (Figure 1) and near 30 in 2017 (Figure 2), the Summer Townet Survey captured only 3 in 2018 (Figure 3). The pattern is consistent with the spring 20-mm Survey collections  The only option now other than extinction is stocking hatchery smelt in large numbers in their primary summer-fall habitat, the Low Salinity Zone of the Bay-Delta. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries Blog here:  Delta smelt summer 2018

Why Jeff Denham wants the twin tunnels:  Eric Caine writes, “Jeff Denham’s California Congressional District 10 is purple—it’s almost equally divided between red (for Republican) and blue (for Democrat) voters. But despite the almost equal balance between Republicans and Democrats in his district, Jeff Denham votes with his Republican Party 97.8% of the time.  Just for comparison’s sake, consider Representative Tom McClintock, Denham’s Republican colleague in nearby District 4. Even though his district leans far more heavily Republican than Denham’s “purple” 10th, McClintock votes with the party only 80.9% of the time. That’s still a significant margin, but it leaves McClintock enough room to favor his constituents when party policy might be against their best interests. … ”  Read more from the Valley Citizen here:  Why Jeff Denham wants the twin tunnels

The future potential of San Joaquin salmon:  Tom Cannon writes, “In an August 21 blog post, Dr. Peter Moyle described recent Delta fish science and the future of San Joaquin River salmon.  Dr. Moyle summarized five papers with relevance to the Central Valley.  Below, I comment on the discussion on the San Joaquin smolt salmon tagging study.  The first bullet point in Dr. Moyle’s blog post reads:  “Flows do not improve San Joaquin salmon survival but salvage does.”  He then makes observations, shown below in italics. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here:  The future potential of San Joaquin salmon

Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life:  Claire O’Connor writes, “Back in 2013, NRDC partnered with the Pacific Institute to examine the first round of Agricultural Water Management Plans (AWMPs).  These plans were supposed to include basic information, such as where water supplies come from, the type and acreage/area of crops grown, and whether districts had implemented certain efficiency practices (some which are mandatory, and some which are exemptible).  We were interested in what narratives the AWMP data would show.  Would the data identify leaders in adoption of efficient water use practices?  Would we be able to identify trends based on district size or geography?  Would there be opportunities to share best practices among districts? … ”  Read more from the NRDC here:  Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life

Proposition 3 Makes Important Investments in Sustainable Groundwater Management in California:  The Northern California Water Association blog writes, “In November, California voters will have the opportunity to pass Proposition 3, which includes 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 sustainable groundwater management and the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).  Proposition 3 contains $675,000,000 for projects and programs that support sustainable groundwater management. … ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here:  Proposition 3 Makes Important Investments in Sustainable Groundwater Management in California

California and its water:  Richard Rubin writes, “As Hurricane Florence bore down on the East Coast inundating vast areas of southern states with record storm tides and flooding we are once again reminded of the enormous power of water to create devastation.  These natural disasters are likely to continue with tragic consequences as the planet goes through climate changes of rising seas and catastrophic droughts that is a central focus of scientists around the world.  Mayors from across the U.S. and delegates from six continents have just convened in San Francisco in a first-ever Global Climate Action Summit held on American soil. … ” Read more from Fox and Hounds here:  California and its water

Hurricanes are getting worse.  California should take note:  Jeffrey Mount writes, “As Hurricane Florence ground its way through the Carolinas this past weekend, climate watchers couldn’t help but notice that the size and behavior of the storm have been eerily reminiscent of Hurricane Harvey, which devastated Houston last year. What made these two hurricanes so destructive was their slow pace and the fact that they were supercharged with moisture from bathtub-warm oceans. It’s a deadly combination that leads to epic, record-setting amounts of rainfall and unprecedented flooding, amplifying damage from the high winds and storm surge typically associated with hurricanes. … ”  Read more from the PPIC blog here:  Hurricanes are getting worse.  California should take note

The public trust doctrine as an anti-corruption weapon:  Jonathan Zasloff writes, “As Rick noted a couple of weeks ago, the California Court of Appeal has recently decided that the public trust doctrine applies to groundwater resources — a long overdue holding that flows (so to speak) pretty much directly from the landmark Mono Lake decision that applied the PTD to surface water. (Since surface and groundwater are hydrologically identical, the burden rests on those who deny the applicability to make the case, which they so far have not done).  Environmentalists love the Public Trust Doctrine, and of course will seek to apply it everywhere and anywhere, especially since it could serve as a powerful Takings defense. But one thing about it has jumped out at me, namely, its embrace by courts in several developing countries in the Global South. ... ”  Continue reading at the Legal Planet here:  The public trust doctrine as an anti-corruption weapon

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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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