BLOG ROUND-UP: Climate change and salmon on the San Joaquin, A water budget for the environment, Countdown to drought, When levees fall down, Contaminated Valley groundwater, and more …

blog-round-up-previous-editionsSalmon Saga on SJ River: You can’t believe in climate change and and also believe in bringing back salmon to the San Joaquin River.  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “You can’t believe in climate change and and also believe in bringing back salmon to the San Joaquin River.  Salmon need cold water and climate change predicts warmer water.  Nevertheless the effort to bring salmon back continues, now in its 10th year. The article below tells us “only time will tell whether the population of spring-run Chinook salmon in the San Joaquin River will be able to sustain itself given the increasingly warm summers in California.” ... ”  Continue reading at Families Protecting the Valley here:  Salmon Saga on SJ River: You can’t believe in climate change and and also believe in bringing back salmon to the San Joaquin River

A water budget for the Environment:  Jeff Mount writes, “California’s freshwater ecosystems—and many native species that rely on them—are in decline and becoming increasingly vulnerable to drought. Allocating water to these ecosystems is contentious because it often conflicts with urban and agricultural uses. There may be a way to meet environmental needs that reduces conflict.  My recent presentation before the Delta Science Program outlined an alternative approach to managing water for the environment that is detailed in a 2017 PPIC report.  Currently, state and federal regulators rely heavily on minimum flow and water quality standards to protect the environment. These flows are often set to meet the needs of one or more endangered species. This approach has failed to reverse the decline in native species and their ecosystems for many reasons—simply bumping up minimum flows is unlikely to improve conditions. ... ”  Read more from the PPIC blog here:  A water budget for the Environment

Countdown: 2 Days to Drought:  The California Farm Water Coalition writes, “On Wednesday, the State Water Board will vote to remove enough water from the system to irrigate over 200,000 acres of farmland or meet the annual domestic needs of 2 million people every year. If approved, this action will lead to one of the most preventable droughts California has faced.  How Will This Impact Our Food Supply?  Simply put, less water for farms will mean less of the fresh, local produce our families depend on.California farmers have proven incredibly resilient in drought situations, employing the latest technology to do more with less. However, while you can grow food with less water you can’t grow it with no water. ... ”  Read more from the California Farm Water Coalition here:  Countdown: 2 Days to Drought  See also: Countdown: 4 days to drought, Countdown: 3 days to drought.

Valley scores a victory in the California Water Wars: Devin Nunes writes, “Younger generations in the San Joaquin Valley may have no memory of the Valley before our farmland became checkered with dusty, dried up fields. Traveling around the Valley now, it may be hard for them to imagine what the Valley landscape looked like without so many huge plots of parched, unproductive land.  The stunning transformation of so much lush Valley land into desert is not the result of natural calamity, or global warming, or bad luck. It stemmed from a series of specific government laws and regulations that took enormous water flows from farms and communities and diverted them for other purposes. The bad news is that yes, there are environmental extremists and government bureaucrats who would willingly depopulate the country’s most productive farmland. The good news is that just as government actions created this problem, government actions can fix them. ... ”  Continue reading at Water Wrights here:  Valley scores a victory in the California Water Wars

When the levees fall down – what’s their plan? Jan McCleery writes, “Riddle me this: Since the Tunnel proponents say a MAJOR justification for building the tunnels is the damage that WILL occur from the next major earthquake and the resulting RISK to water exports south, why are they planning to build their tunnels in a place and a way that ignores that same risk?  That earthquake risk is an important factor for David Sunding’s Cost/Benefits Analysis of the WaterFix (aka Delta Tunnels). The earthquake risk (or major storm causing all of the levees to crumble) is used as a scare tactic to get L.A. water rate payers to buy into the Tunnels. We heard it repeated again at the Delta Stewardship Council meeting last Friday by proponents of the Delta Tunnels: That these tunnels are needed so that when the big one, the earthquake hits, their water supply in L.A. won’t be cut off. … ”  Read more from the Save the California Delta Alliance blog here:  When the levees fall down – what’s their plan?

Contamination of Valley groundwater a hidden threat:  Bruce Frohman writes, “The City of Modesto has a large plume of toxic chemicals below ground. As time goes by, the plume is spreading via groundwater migration. Multiple sources of contamination are making wells around the community unusable.  Though serious, groundwater depletion is only one of our problems. Every year, more wells are taken out of service. In the long run, unless a way is found to clean out the chemicals, very few wells will remain in service, even if we find ways to recharge diminishing groundwater supplies. Technology to clean contaminated groundwater is very limited and takes decades to accomplish. … ”  Read more from the Valley Citizen blog here:  Contamination of Valley groundwater a hidden threat

Fishermen Petition State to Control Pesticide Pollution on California’s Gorgeous Smith River: “The Smith River, located in the redwood region of the far northwest corner of California near the Oregon border, is known as the state’s most pristine coastal river. The legendary river produces huge steelhead and king salmon for anglers fishing from shore and boats every year — and is home to the California state steelhead record of 27 pounds, 7 ounces, set back in 1976 by Robert Halley of Crescent City.  Yet this gem is threatened by massive pesticide pollution from lily bulb farms in the river’s estuary. This estuary, along with other river estuaries up and down the coast, provides key habitat for juvenile salmon, steelhead and coastal cutthroat trout on their migration. … ”  Read more from the Daily Kos here: Fishermen Petition State to Control Pesticide Pollution on California’s Gorgeous Smith River

Getting strategic about Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation in California: Jeanette Howard et al writes, “An essential first step to protect biodiversity is understanding what species are present in a region, where they can be found, and their conservation status. For freshwater organisms in California, this information has been difficult to gather because sampling data are collected by many different entities and have been stored in disparate databases.  But now, a large number of freshwater biodiversity datasets have been assembled to guide strategic conservation planning for the numerous plants and animals that find a home in the state’s rivers, lakes, ponds, and wetlands. “Big Data” has arrived in the form of the PISCES database, which includes range information for all of California’s freshwater fishes; open access to global biodiversity museum records; eBird and other citizen science data collections; and the aggregation of local freshwater bioassessments into the Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP) database. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Getting strategic about Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation in California

Careers in water treatment and operations: “Most people in California turn their faucet on and use water for drinking, washing, cooking, and other activities with confidence that the water they are using is safe. The institutions that provide the ever-needed resource at any time of the day are water agencies, and they serve the public daily through a wide variety of important roles. One of the primary roles of a water agency is to deliver high quality water with reliable service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Agencies employ water quality technicians and scientists that do the work to deliver dependable water on a consistent basis. ... ”  Read more from the SoCal Tap Water blog here:  Careers in water treatment and operations

The Colorado River and the last gasp of the Lords of Yesterday:  “Writing a new “afterward” for the paperback edition of Water is For Fighting Over and Other Myths About Water in the West (DID I MENTION IT’S COMING OUT IN MARCH!!!!), I’ve been spending a bunch of time reflecting on the last couple of years. Writing a book bears a more than passing similarity to parenthood. You do your utmost to prepare your offspring. You send them out into the world carrying your best intentions, and then they life a life of their own, forever connected to you yet beyond your power to do much to influence their trajectory. In the winter of 2015, as I was completing the manuscript of Water is For Fighting Over, I was optimistic about our ability to solve the Colorado River’s problems, and I said so, in a very public way. … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here: The Colorado River and the last gasp of the Lords of Yesterday

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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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