BLOG ROUND-UP: Biops, WaterFix, managing groundwater, water supply portfolios, drought preparation, Longfin smelt, multi-benefit water management, and more …

Padam Lake by Hefin Owen

blog-round-up-previous-editionsThe BiOps! They have been used to take water from farms and people for the benefit of fish:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “The Biological Opinions, or BiOps, are the rules intended to protect the salmon and smelt in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  The rules have been in place for the past ten years and it’s no secret they haven’t had the desired results.  The Delta is no better because of them.  They have been used to take water from farms and people for the benefit of fish.  But the fish and not benefited and the farmers and people have been harmed. … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here: The BiOps! They have been used to take water from farms and people for the benefit of fish

WaterFix: Down One Tunnel, in Holding Pattern. What’s Next? Cindy Charles writes, “In his State of the State address on February 12, 2019, newly elected Governor Gavin Newsom announced he didn’t support the “California WaterFix” as a two-tunnel project, and that he favored downsizing it to just one tunnel.  What does this news mean?  The WaterFix project to tunnel water under the Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta no longer exists as designed. Many steps of this alleged solution for improving the environment and fisheries of the Delta and San Francisco Bay will need to be retraced. … ”  Read more from the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance here:  WaterFix: Down One Tunnel, in Holding Pattern. What’s Next?

Portfolio Solutions for Water Supply:  Jay Lund writes, “”Water problems in the western United States, when viewed from afar, can seem tantalizingly easy to solve: all we need to do is turn off the fountains at the Bellagio, stop selling hay to China, ban golf, cut down the almond trees, and kill all the lawyers.” – David Owen (2017), Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River.  Given California’s long dry seasons and tremendous variability in annual rainfall, its water supplies for cities and agriculture are surprisingly reliable and inexpensive.  This reliability has not been easy to achieve and requires constant attention (Lund et al, 2018).  In recent decades this reliability has been due to portfolio approaches employed by California’s most reliable water supply systems. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Portfolio Solutions for Water Supply

A winning approach for managing groundwater in the San Joaquin ValleyAlvar Escriva-Bou, Ellen Hanak, and Josué Medellín-Azuara write, “The San Joaquin Valley is in a time of great change. Decades of groundwater overuse have caused drinking water and irrigation wells to go dry, increased the amount of energy required to pump water, harmed ecosystems, and reduced the reserves available to cope with future droughts. Groundwater overdraft has also caused land to sink, damaging major regional infrastructure, including canals that deliver water across the state.  These problems spurred the enactment of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which requires local water users across California to bring groundwater use to sustainable levels by the early 2040s. With California’s largest groundwater deficit, the San Joaquin Valley is ground zero for implementing SGMA. ... ”  Read more from the PPIC blog here:  A winning approach for managing groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley

Why It’s Important to Prepare for Drought During a Deluge:  Nell Green Nylen writes, “In the midst of the wet winter storms bringing rain and snow to California this year, you might not expect drought preparations to be among the state’s current priorities.  And yet, they need to be.  In this post, I’ll explore why to set the stage for a blog series that explores what the state can do to prepare for the more frequent and intense droughts we expect in California’s future.  The series draws on work my colleagues and I did for California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment.  The water management challenges California faces during wet and dry times are interdependent. ... ”  Read more from the Legal Planet here:  Why It’s Important to Prepare for Drought During a Deluge

Longfin Smelt February 2019:  Tom Cannon writes, “In my last update on the status of longfin smelt (February 2018), I decried the continuing decline of the Bay-Delta population of longfin, which are listed under the California Endangered Species Act.  The fall index for 2018 indicates continued low population levels (Figures 1 and 2), with 10 to 100 times higher production in wetter years than dry years.  After the very poor recruitment in 2015 and 2016, there was some recovery in wetter years 2017 and 2018. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here: Longfin Smelt February 2019

Northern California Water Association’s 2019 Priorities for Multi-Benefit Water Management:  “The Northern California Water Association (NCWA) Board of Directors yesterday adopted the Strategic Planning and 2019 Priorities shown below. These priorities to help advance multi-benefit water management in the Sacramento Valley will guide NCWA’s actions this year.  The NCWA Board of Directors appreciated the strong participation in the January 16, 2019 strategic planning session in Richvale and we have both appreciated and incorporated the good ideas and suggestions for the 2019 priorities we have received from throughout the Sacramento Valley. … ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here:  Northern California Water Association’s 2019 Priorities for Multi-Benefit Water Management

From Super Bloom to Super Bust: The Water Crisis that Could Kill Borrego Springs:  “The formal beginning of spring is just around the corner, but an unusually wet winter already has visitors flooding into Borrego Springs in search of desert sunflowers, verbena, lupine, poppies, and primrose.  Thanks to a chain of storms, the desert is green and bursting with the promise of a rare “super bloom” that will likely carpet its floor with wildflowers in and around Anza-Borrego State Park. For local Borrego Springs businesses and hotels, this event is an economic boom that floods the town with a wave of commerce and full hotel rooms. … ”  Read more from the OB Rag here: From Super Bloom to Super Bust: The Water Crisis that Could Kill Borrego Springs

Extreme wet weather in Louisiana and California highlights urgent need for newer, smarter strategies: Ann Hayden and Steve Cochran write, “It’s not often that communities in California and Louisiana face similar water challenges. California is better known for having too little water and Louisiana too much – both challenges exacerbated by climate change.  But record-setting wet winter weather led both states last week to release significant amounts of water from reservoirs and rivers to prevent flooding, underscoring the need for new approaches to build climate-resilient communities across the country. ... ”  Read more from the Growing Returns blog here:  Extreme wet weather in Louisiana and California highlights urgent need for newer, smarter strategies

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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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