BLOG ROUND-UP: The Trump memo, the subsidence myth, California Water Fix, producing salmon food, Arizona’s drought plan moving in reverse, and more …

Autumn in Twin Lakes, photo by Gina Collecchia

blog-round-up-previous-editionsWhat Trump Did: He is attempting to tinker with the ESA through the Bureau of Reclamation that would allow more water to go to humans instead of fish and wildlife:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “President Trump is trying to maximize water deliveries from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the southern half of the state including farmers in the Central Valley.  He is attempting to tinker with the Endangered Species Act through the Bureau of Reclamation that would allow more water to go to humans instead of fish and wildlife.  Environmentalists have already stepped up to the plate to object.  Doug Obegi of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) says the “Trump Administration is saying damn the fish and damn the rivers and let’s get more water to Westlands.” … ”  Read more from the Families Protecting the Valley here:  What Trump Did

California Can #Resist Trump’s Attacks on Rivers & Bay-Delta: Doug Obegi writes, “During a campaign stop in Arizona last week, President Trump issued a memorandum outlining steps that the Federal Government will take to attack environmental protections for California’s salmon, rivers and Bay-Delta estuary. Trump’s announcement did not make any immediate changes to environmental protections, but instead was primarily procedural, establishing a schedule for the Trump Administration to “redo” biological opinions (Endangered Species Act protections in the Bay-Delta) in 2019. It’s not surprising that this Administration is moving to weaken environmental protections in the Central Valley, given that Trump falsely claimed in 2016 there was no drought in California and that the Administration tasked the former attorney for the Westlands Water District with coming up with this plan. … ”  Read more from the NRDC here:  California Can #Resist Trump’s Attacks on Rivers & Bay-Delta

Six things you should know about the recent presidential order streamlining water delivery: The California Farm Water Coalition writes, “On Friday, October 19, President Trump signed an order streamlining the federal process that governs much of California’s water-delivery system.  While this is definitely great news for California farmers, it’s also good news for all California water users. Let’s look at a few of the things Californians should know about this order … Continue reading at the California Farm Water Coalition here:  Six things you should know about the recent presidential order streamlining water delivery

Jeff Denham’s True (Water) Colors:  Eric Caine writes, “Assistant Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt doesn’t get much attention. He probably likes it that way. If more people knew about his previous job as a high-priced lobbyist for Westlands Water District, there might be more publicity about his attempts to influence California water policy.  As it is, the people getting credit for the Trump administration’s western water policy are Jeff Denham, David Valadao, Devin Nunes and Kevin McCarthy, all from the San Joaquin Valley. Jeff Denham is the only one of these representatives from a district that consistently claims to have “surplus water,” even during droughts and the imminent threat of a state “water grab.” … ”  Read more from the Valley Citizen blog here:  Jeff Denham’s True (Water) Colors  See also:  And You Can Kiss Your Water Good-bye

The Subsidence Myth: Don’t get us wrong. Subsidence is not a myth. The myth is why there is subsidence:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “Don’t get us wrong.  Subsidence is not a myth.  The myth is why there is subsidence.  George Skelton of the L.A. Times believes farmers are to blame.  We disagree.  Sure, farmers pumped water from the underground aquifers and the land sunk.  But why did they pump?  They pumped because of the continuous taking of water from the San Joaquin Valley to deliver for fish in the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta, namely smelt and salmon.  This was a human policy decision of the water bureaucrats appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the State Water Resources Control Board. ... ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  The Subsidence Myth

Water Fix: DWR claims “no sensitive receptors” to hazardous materials in North Delta towns:  Deirdre Des Jardins writes, “The Delta Stewardship Council is considering nine appeals of the certification by the Department of Water Resources that the WaterFix project is consistent with the Delta Plan.  In addition to appeals filed by the Delta Counties, one of the appeals was by North Delta Cares, a small community organization that represents residents and businesses in the Northern part of the Delta, including the small North Delta legacy towns.  North Delta Cares’s appeal cited concerns about release of hazardous materials from construction of the Delta tunnels … ”  Read more from the California Water Research blog here:  Water Fix: DWR claims “no sensitive receptors” to hazardous materials in North Delta towns

Klamath River Fall Chinook Salmon – Fall 2018 Update:  Tom Cannon writes, “The Klamath River is closed to salmon fishing again this fall after the number of fish caught reached the small allotted quotas. Poor run size (escapement) continues to be a problem, especially for the Scott River, a major spawning tributary of the Klamath. The 2015-2017 Scott run was approximately 2000 spawners, as compared to over 12,000 in 2014. Few fall-run salmon have been counted in the Scott this fall, compared to 4500 on the Shasta River. A past post describes the problem in detail. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries Blog here:  Klamath River Fall Chinook Salmon – Fall 2018 Update

A new way forward: Producing food for salmon at River Garden Farms:  The NCWA blog writes, “It is the dead of winter but the rice fields outside of Knights Landing are full of life. Traditionally, this is the slowest time of year for the farmer as his crops have been harvested and he typically would be found patiently waiting for the spring planting season to begin.  But, at River Garden Farms, this has become a time when they are producing a new type of food.  The rice fields, once left dormant during the coldest time of the year, are now used to help produce billions of bugs. … ”  Read more from the Northern California Water Association blog here:  A new way forward: Producing food for salmon at River Garden Farms

Opportunities for science collaboration and funding in the Delta:  “The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) is central to California’s water supply system, and serves a diverse group of stakeholders, including local, state, and federal agencies, elected officials, and water users. Its islands, channels, and wetlands also are home to an expansive but highly disrupted ecosystem, which is studied extensively. Many studies are done to meet regulatory obligations or to inform management decisions. Because many organizations make up the Delta science enterprise, there are multiple approaches and reasons for this science, as well as highly variable funding. ... ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Opportunities for science collaboration and funding in the Delta

Arizona’s efforts to cope with reduced Colorado River supplies, moving in reverse:  John Fleck writes, “Last week’s cancellation of a key meeting in Arizona to work on the state’s plan to reduce its Colorado River water use was an “oh shit, what now?” moment. (Ian James’ story on the cancellation and the current state of the discussions here.)  In the wake of the cancellation, there’s now a new letter, this time from a coalition of central Arizona cities, laying down a marker as cities push back against efforts to move municipal water to agriculture as part of the water use reduction plan.  This is super weird. … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here:  Arizona’s efforts to cope with reduced Colorado River supplies, moving in reverse

Report: Water Infrastructure Solutions for Health & Justice: Becky Hammer writes, “Water infrastructure directly affects our health. When it works properly, it provides us with safe drinking water and limits pollution in our local rivers and streams. On the other hand, when it falls into disrepair, it can lead to contamination that can make people sick.  This week, the Clean Water for All coalition released a new white paper—co-authored by NRDC, along with our partners at PolicyLink and Black Women’s Health Imperative—that details how our nation’s water infrastructure too often fails our communities. NRDC recently found that more than 27 million Americans are served by water systems violating health-based standards established in the Safe Drinking Water Act. … ”  Read more from the NRDC here:  Report: Water Infrastructure Solutions for Health & Justice

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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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