BLOG ROUND-UP: The public trust and SGMA; The stormwater opportunity; The role of water resources systems analysis in a changing future; Reaching across the table to share water; and more …

Yosemite National Park by Giuseppe Milo

The public trust and SGMA:  “In a recent decision in litigation over flows and salmon survival in the Scott River system, the California Court of Appeal has ruled that groundwater pumping that diminishes the volume or flow of water in a navigable surface stream may violate the public trust. The public trust does not protect groundwater itself. “Rather, the public trust doctrine applies if extraction of groundwater adversely impacts a navigable waterway to which the public trust doctrine does apply.” The court also concluded that the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) does not preempt or preclude independent application of the public trust to groundwater pumping, finding “no legislative intent to eviscerate the public trust in navigable waterways in the text or scope of SGMA.” … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  The public trust and SGMA

California water and land use leaders aim to protect state’s water:  “Since 2011, California has seen the whipsaw effects of drought and flood—from dam and levee failures and flooded neighborhoods to dry wells, parched fields, and trucked water programs to meet basic human needs. While experts predict that these fluctuations are the new norm, smart water leaders are considering new ways to slow down, capture, and store rainy day flows for the inevitable dry days that follow.  Last month, water and land use leaders met at the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Center in Davis to discuss opportunities and challenges for protecting and increasing groundwater recharge. … ”  Read more from the California Economic Summit blog here:  California water and land use leaders aim to protect state’s water

blog-round-up-previous-editionsThe stormwater opportunity:  Morgan Shimabuku and Sarah Diringer write, “Navigating around puddles that form on streets and in parking lots after a rainstorm can be a nuisance. But this water, technically known as stormwater, has the potential to become an important water supply for many Californian communities. For example, one study showed enough potential supply from stormwater in major urban and suburban centers in California to annually provide millions of gallons for the recharge of local aquifers. In addition to providing valuable water supply, effective stormwater management can help reduce local flooding and prevent trash and other pollution from getting into streams or the ocean. What’s more, many stormwater capture projects have further co-benefits, such as providing habitat, reducing urban temperatures, reducing energy use, creating community recreation spaces, and increasing property values.  … ”  Read more from the Pacific Institute here:  The stormwater opportunity

‘Defining the Role of Water Resources Systems Analysis in a Changing Future’ and More:  Michael Campana writes, “Friend and colleague Kaveh Madani sent me this editorial that he and six others wrote and published in the ASCE Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management: Defining the Role of Water Resources Systems Analysis in a Changing Future by Joseph R. Kasprzyk, Rebecca M. Smith, Ashlynn S. Stillwell, Kaveh Madani, David Ford, Daene McKinney and Soroosh Sorooshian.  This piece is important enough that it transcends the civil engineering profession and should be made available to the broader water resources community. … ‘  Read more at the Water Wired blog here:  ‘Defining the Role of Water Resources Systems Analysis in a Changing Future’ and More

Record low 2018 juvenile salmon index for fall-run salmon:  Tom Cannon writes, “In a 9/20/18 Maven’s Science News an article describes a record low index of juvenile salmon from this past winter-spring Red Bluff screw trap survey. The article states that the poor juvenile numbers foreshadow a poor Sacramento River salmon run in 2020. The article is vague as to the cause. The article implies that a likely cause for the poor 2017 adult run and record low 2018 Red Bluff trap index was the trucking of Coleman Hatchery smolts to the Bay during the 2014 drought, which then did not find their way back to Coleman as adults. ... ”  Read more from the California Fisheries Blog here:  Record low 2018 juvenile salmon index for fall-run salmon

Yuba River salmon status 2018:  Tom Cannon writes, “The Yuba River had a record low fall Chinook salmon run in 2017 (Figure 1). Why are our salmon populations plummeting in the Yuba River and many other rivers in the Central Valley watershed? It is because hatchery and wild salmon survival was poor in rivers, the Bay-Delta, and ocean during the historic 2013-2015 drought.  What is it about the Yuba salmon run that can tell us something about the overall salmon decline in the Central Valley? … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here:  Yuba River salmon status 2018

New California laws address climate change – some bills fall short:  Jason Barbose writes, “It’s Fall. That means crisp morning air, dwindling sunlight, and a chance to take stock of legislative victories and setbacks in California, as Governor Brown has now signed or vetoed the last of the bills sent to his desk this year.  As always, the progress we make in Sacramento is not only improving Californians’ quality of life, but also keeping momentum going for other states and countries. Many of the gains we make in clean technologies, for example, are reducing costs and proving solutions at scale, charting a course from which others can learn. ... ”  Read more from The Equation blog here:  New California laws address climate change – some bills fall short

Passage of Prop 3 depends on educating the public, says Tim Quinn:  He writes, “With one month left before the Nov. 6 general election, water agencies should seriously consider making a concerted effort now to educate their communities about Proposition 3, if they have not already done so. Numerous reasons can be listed as examples of how passage of this water bond will not only benefit Californians, but their children and grandchildren. In the bigger picture, Proposition 3 builds on momentum from the passage of Proposition 68 passed in June, and it will require a tremendous amount of momentum to overcome the many challenges culminating within California water before our eyes. … ”  Read more from ACWA’s Voices on Water blog here:  Passage of Prop 3 depends on educating the public

Investing in our headwaters: Mountain Counties support Proposition 3:  “Proposition 3, the “Water Supply and Water Quality Act of 2018,” is a water bond initiative that will appear on the November 2018 statewide California ballot. Proposition 3 would invest 8.877 billion dollars funding projects to enhance water supply and water quality, watershed restoration, fish & wildlife habitat, water infrastructure, groundwater sustainability, and storage. That all sounds good, doesn’t it? But this is California, and some say, “Not another water bond!” Some may believe that it is just another means for state politicians to get their hands on more money for the general fund to squander away on programs other than water. “Send the money to Sacramento, never to return,” comes to mind here in the Mountain Counties region. … ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here: Investing in our headwaters: Mountain Counties support Proposition 3

Lead testing in schools:  “A grueling game of tether ball. A competitive kickball session. Or maybe just one of those typical hot California fall days. Whether they’re filling their reusable bottles or slurping it straight from the fountain, water is a necessity for the school day. And with kids just heading back to the classroom, the last thing parents want to worry about is the safety of school water.  Mom and Dad might sleep a little easier now knowing that any public K-12 school built before 2010 will be required to test lead levels in all school drinking water sources by July 2019. But what about newer schools? Should we be concerned with  those too? The mandate doesn’t include any site built after the 2010 cutoff, but a new state directive gives those officials the option to request testing. … ”  Read more from the SoCal Tap Water Blog here:  Lead testing in schools

Now is the time to fund stormwater projects in LA County:  Corinne Bell writes, “This November, voters in LA County will have the opportunity to help address the largest source of pollution to surface waters in our region: stormwater. Measure W would finally create a funding stream to pay for projects necessary to address stormwater pollution and flooding. These projects would also increase local water supply, improve air quality and reduce the urban “heat island” effect, among other benefits. Measure W ensures that the communities that typically bear the burden of environmental harms will get their fair share of these beneficial projects, as the Measure seeks to provide Disadvantaged Community (DAC) benefits in proportion to the DAC population in the County. ... ”  Read more from the NRDC here:  Now is the time to fund stormwater projects in LA County

Crossing lines: Reaching across the table to share water:  Kathleen Rugel writes, “Apparently it takes the village to make a water agreement. At least that’s what I have found in my research on how people share water around the globe. It takes participation from all relevant users. If they’re not all included, there’s likely to be trouble down the line. To circumvent this, it is necessary for traditionally disparate sectors to sit down together, sometimes for the first time, and talk to one another.  Top-down directives for how water and other resources are shared are often less effectual. These mandates, mostly regulatory as opposed to participatory, can lead to resentment, rebellion and sometimes, litigation. Unfortunately, litigated decisions deliver narrow results which rarely satisfy the original needs and concerns of all stakeholders. … ”  Read more from the Getting to Water blog here:  Crossing lines: Reaching across the table to share water

IPCC 1.5°C Report: A Call to Transform Our Energy System: Han Chen writes, “The IPCC, the international organization tasked with assessing the science related to climate change, has just issued its special report on global temperature rise reaching 1.5 degree Celsius. What are the key points from this Summary for Policymakers? The world can still prevent warming exceeding 1.5°C, but this will require transformative actions at a global scale. In particular, the report calls for a far more rapid decline in the use of fossil fuels, more rapid scaling up of renewable energy taking advantage of the falling costs, and avoiding a lock-in of high-carbon infrastructure. … ”  Read more from the NRDC blog here:  IPCC 1.5°C Report: A Call to Transform Our Energy System

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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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