BLOG ROUND-UP: CVP “No Harm” deal; Spring Delta export restrictions, Water deals, part 2; Delta activists welcome Governor Newsom; True California water leadership; and more …

Photo by Josh and Erica Silverstein

blog-round-up-previous-editionsThe CVP “No Harm” deal for the Delta Tunnels does a lot of harm to MWD’s business case for their $12+ billion investment:  Jeff Michael writes, “Why did the Central Valley Project want a “Do No Harm” agreement about the delta tunnels?  Last year, Central Valley Project (CVP) contractors made a rational and predictable decision not to pay their share of the WaterFix.  To save the project, Metropolitan Water District (MWD) staff convinced their board to add a multi-billion dollar blank check to fill the enormous financial hole.  To do so, MWD staff argued that the extra funding would allow them to receive the benefits that the CVP would have gotten from their investment.  MWD staff did this with a highly speculative estimate of future water supply benefits from financing the second of the twin tunnels, the so-called “unsubscribed capacity”. … ”  Read more from the Valley Economy blog here:  The CVP “No Harm” deal for the Delta Tunnels does a lot of harm to MWD’s business case for their $12+ billion investment

The road to viable Central Valley Chinook salmon populations is paved with cost-effective management actions. Do spring export restrictions fit the bill?  “Balancing species protections against human demands on the environment is the central challenge for conservation planners in California. The state’s taxpayers and residents have shown themselves to be supportive of sometimes costly conservation efforts targeting the state’s federal and state listed species and programs targeting the California condor, northern spotted owl, sea otters and desert tortoises. But that support may wane if species conservation pairs a big price tag with limited or indiscernible benefits to the species. … ”  Read more from the True Fish Scientist blog here:  The road to viable Central Valley Chinook salmon populations is paved with cost-effective management actions. Do spring export restrictions fit the bill?

What the Water Deals Mean, Part 2: Voluntary Settlements Privatize the Public Trust:  Chris Shutes writes, “The holidays are over, and the sales are on.  Karla Nemeth, Director of the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) published an op-ed in CALmatters on December 26, 2018 to tell the world “what new water deals mean.”  Tom Birmingham, General Manager of Westlands Water District on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, pronounced on the same day that “new voluntary water agreements are a good deal.”  Together, they’re selling a 15-year lease on the public trust resources of the Sacramento – San Joaquin watershed and the Bay-Delta estuary.  Of course, like all leases, at the end of the lease period there will be no equity to show for it.  As the 15 years sunset, the sales associates will throng to re-up the public on buying back public water.  With luck, after those 15 years there will be some fish and other public trust resources left to protect. ... ”  Read more from CSPA here:  What the Water Deals Mean, Part 2: Voluntary Settlements Privatize the Public Trust

SF Bay-Delta Activists Welcome Governor Newsom; New agenda could protect largest estuary on the West Coast:   Restore the Delta writes, “As Gavin Newsom is sworn-in as the new Governor of the State of California, water activists from the San Francisco Bay-Delta community are feeling hopeful about a potential change in California water politics.  Newsom is bringing a new set of priorities to Sacramento that may not include California WaterFix, also known at the twin “Delta Tunnels,” a controversial,  yet so-far unsuccessful legacy project of Governor Brown. The Twin Tunnels proposal still lacks state permits required to begin construction and that process has now become an uphill battle . ... ”  Read more from Restore the Delta here:  SF Bay-Delta Activists Welcome Governor Newsom; New agenda could protect largest estuary on the West Coast

Improving Collaboration Across Agencies is Key to Meeting Challenges Ahead:  Randy Fiorini writes,The November 2018 Delta Plan Interagency Implementation Committee (DPIIC) meeting featured a presentation from the independent, non-partisan, federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) that reviewed federal involvement in restoration in the estuary.The report included several recommendations for improving coordination among State and federal agencies, developing a revised framework to guide federal action in the watershed, and renewing efforts to track expenditures for performance management.  The report emphasized the importance of DPIIC and the forum it provides for meaningful communication and coordination. Continuing to use DPIIC as a venue for public discussion of State and federal priorities in the region, as well as increased coordination across the Bay, Delta, and watershed should be a high priority for every agency seated at the DPIIC table. ... ”  Read more from the Delta Stewardship Council blog here:  Improving Collaboration Across Agencies is Key to Meeting Challenges Ahead

True California water leadership: Facing difficult choices (part 1):  Deirdre Des Jardins writes, “As Governor Jerry Brown leaves office, there has been a flurry of press releases and media coverage about the Brown administration’s leadership on California water issues. But true leadership in California water is not cheerleading for new water diversion projects. True leadership in California water involves addressing major ongoing conflicts between beneficial uses and the hard choices that need to be made in an age of increasing demands and finite resources. In this context, the true California leaders in the Brown administration have not been Governor Brown, Director Nemeth, or Secretary Laird, but the chairs of the State Water Resources Control Board and Delta Stewardship Council, two regulatory agencies which recently faced these conflicts and took difficult and politically unpopular regulatory actions that needed to be taken. … ”  Read more from the California Water Research blog here: True California water leadership: Facing difficult choices (part 1)

Assessing–and Celebrating–California Governor Jerry Brown’s Environmental Legacy: “On this, the last day of Jerry Brown‘s tenure as California’s governor, it’s appropriate to reflect on Governor Brown’s environmental legacy.  And a most formidable legacy it’s been.  Brown has, quite simply, been the most environmentally conscious and effective governor in California’s 169-year history–by a wide margin.  While he’s served four full four-year terms as Governor, it is over his most recent two terms (2011-19) that Brown’s environmental leadership and achievements have been most prominent.  To a considerable degree, the success of Governor Brown’s administration can be attributed to the assemblage of top leaders he recruited and appointed to the state’s most important environmental positions.  Here’s a brief list: … ”  Continue reading at the Legal Planet blog here:  Assessing–and Celebrating–California Governor Jerry Brown’s Environmental Legacy

 

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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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