BLOG ROUND-UP: Socializing subsidence, Delta residents and the single tunnel plan, Economic policy approaches to water allocation, little action on 2014 salmon recovery plan, and more …

Albert Bierstadt -Evening, Owens Lake, California

Subsidence?  Socialize it:  Eric Caine writes, “Subsidence and socialism are two “S” words that wouldn’t seem to have much in common, especially here in the San Joaquin Valley. Nevertheless, for insiders in the Valley’s intricate water game, the words are inextricably linked.  Subsidence is caused by overpumping groundwater. Pump too much groundwater and the land sinks. Pump too much water over decades, and the land sinks a lot. “The single largest alteration of the earth’s surface”— consider that statement, and then think about how it happened. ... ”  Read more from the Valley Citizen here:  Subsidence?  Socialize it


Delta Flows:  Delta Residents and the Single Tunnel Plan:  Barbara Barrigan-Parilla writes, “In a recent column for CALmatters, Ellen Hanak and Jeffrey Mount of the Public Policy Institute of California offer a bit of advice to us Delta residents.“By proposing to build one tunnel instead of two, Gov. Newsom has opened the door for a grand compromise. The Delta’s many interests should seize this opportunity.”  Thanks for the tip, PPIC. Residents of the San Francisco Bay-Delta (there are more than 4 million of us) agree to evaluate proposals by the Newsom administration with clear eyes and in a spirit of collaboration. Here are some questions Delta people plan to ask as we engage with this new process.  Does the plan reduce water exports? … ”  Continue reading at Restore the Delta here:  Delta Flows:  Delta Residents and the Single Tunnel Plan

Economic policy approaches to water allocation in California:  Faith Kearns writes, “Dr. Ellen Bruno is an Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist in quantitative policy analysis at UC Berkeley. Her research evaluates the effectiveness of different policy instruments for improving the management of our increasingly scarce water resources.  Q: You are currently working on the changing regulatory structure of groundwater in California, and in particular groundwater trading. Can you tell us a little more about your work?  A: At the end of 2014, the California legislature passed a major statewide water regulation, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act or SGMA, requiring groundwater agencies throughout California to correct the over-extraction of groundwater. In my work, I answered some economic questions that are relevant to the implementation of this new law. … ”  Read more from The Confluence here:  Economic policy approaches to water allocation in California

Blog: Water is Critical to Southern California’s Economic Growth:  Charley Wilson writes, “I spoke to the Antelope Valley Board of Trade last Friday about water. As I was preparing my remarks in the days before, I thought about the water projects that are most important to the region — from securing the State Water Project supply through WaterFix to local projects such as the High Desert Water Bank and the Palmdale Regional Groundwater Recharge and Recovery Project. All of these projects have the same goal: improving the region’s water supply reliability by capturing water when available and storing it for later use. … ”  Read more from the Southern California Water Coalition here:  Blog: Water is Critical to Southern California’s Economic Growth

35% “Farmers may have to fallow at least 500,000 acres of farmland and switch to crops that require less water.” Families Protecting the Valley writes, “Westside farmer Mark Borba shared this facebook comment about the 35% water allocation announcement made last week by the Department of Water Resources and the Bureau of Reclamation:  “Assume you have a home mortgage, a car loan, a kid in college, and of course your normal daily living costs ongoing. Then assume you receive a note on your work desk some morning announcing that “This year you’ll receive 35% of your salary…so cope with it!”. What does one do to meet all those ongoing costs? Can you perhaps “idle” a few rooms in our house…lowering the mortage? Or, cut your car in 1/2…and only make part of the monthly payment? How about tell you kid to only attend school 1/3 of the day? Importantly, reduce your family’s calorie intake by 65%? … ”  Continue reading at Families Protecting the Valley here:  35% “Farmers may have to fallow at least 500,000 acres of farmland and switch to crops that require less water.”

Proposal for voluntary agreements submitted to the State Board:  “The Northern California Water Association (NCWA) and Sacramento River Basin water resource managers today joined California’s Natural Resources Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency, conservation organizations and water suppliers from every part of the state in a letter to the State Water Board advancing voluntary agreements to more effectively implement water quality objectives in the State Water Board’s Water Quality Control Plan for the Bay-Delta (Bay-Delta Plan).  Today’s formal submittal to the State Water Board includes a collaborative and detailed plan with specific actions to improve fish and wildlife habitat conditions in the Bay-Delta Watershed, including fisheries enhancement measures on the American, Feather, Sacramento and Yuba Rivers. … ”  Read more from the Northern California Water Association blog here:  Proposal for voluntary agreements submitted to the State Board

Portfolio solutions for water – flood management:  “The tweet below, shows slight (but still frightening) levee overtopping this week on Cache Creek, just north of Woodland, California. It also illustrates the combined operations of flood preparation and response, with a simultaneous floodplain evacuation order. Integrating a range of preparations and responses have made the Sacramento Valley much safer from floods.  One often hears, “If only we did X, we would solve this problem.” Alas, effective solutions are rarely so simple or reliable. Most robust solutions for problems involve a diverse and complementary portfolio of actions, developed over time. When a set of diverse actions are carefully crafted to work together, they often provide more effective, adaptable, and reliable performance, at less expense that a single solution. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Portfolio solutions for water – flood management

Little action on 2014 salmon recovery plan:  Tom Cannon writes, “The 2014 Recovery Plan for Central Valley salmon and steelhead includes actions designed to lead toward recovery of listed Central Valley winter and spring run salmon salmon and steelhead.  After ten years, there has been little progress and improvement, and populations are at or near record lows.  The problem is not the plan.  It is lack of implementation and progress toward implementation.  Yet despite lack of progress, various agencies are advancing new major water projects, the extension of water right permits, and the update of water quality control plans that would further threaten the state’s fishery resources if Recovery Plan actions are not implemented.  What are the key actions in the Recovery Plan whose lack of progress hinders recovery? … ”  Continue reading at the California Fisheries blog here:  Little action on 2014 salmon recovery plan

Governor Appoints San Joaquin Valley Grower William Lyons to New ‘Agriculture Liaison’ Position:  Dan Bacher writes, “On February 12, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the appointment of William Lyons, 68, of Modesto, to serve in a new position — the Agriculture Liaison in the Office of the Governor.  Lyons, a San Joaquin Valley grower who has opposed increased San Joaquin River flows, has been chief executive officer of Lyons Investments Management, LLC since 1976. He previously served as Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture from 1999 to 2004. … ”  Read more from the Daily Kos here:  Governor Appoints San Joaquin Valley Grower William Lyons to New ‘Agriculture Liaison’ Position

Why Wet Weather in California Now Doesn’t Equal Lots of Water for Californians Later:  Geeta Persad writes, “California has been blessed with a wet winter this year. At the time of publishing, most of the state is at or well above the historical average precipitation to date for this time of year and Sierra Nevada snowpack is at more than 140% of historical average. That’s been good news for the California plants, animals, and humans that rely on water to survive and recreate. But lots of precipitation now doesn’t necessarily mean that California will have lots of water when it needs it. That’s because what matters is not only how much water we get, but when and how we get it. … ”  Read more from The Equation blog here:  Why Wet Weather in California Now Doesn’t Equal Lots of Water for Californians LaterDaily emails

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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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