BLOG ROUND-UP: Oroville … what if?; Climate change and snowpack; Water rights and drought; No frills and no tills; and more, plus a round-up of April 1st posts

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blog-round-up-previous-editionsOroville…What If?  Families Protecting the Valley write, “According to national dam expert Scott Cahill of Watershed Services of Ohio, Oroville Dam is on the same failure track as in 2017.”  Cahill told radio station KFBK in Sacramento that the “concrete spillway slab is now moving water, which is evolving up through the slab today…Very similar to what it did before the failure (in 2017).”  The Department of Water Resources issued a statement in response to Cahill’s warning saying, “DWR is aware and anticipated some water to seep through the main spillway gates this winter. … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Oroville…What If?

What Climate Change Could Mean for the Future of California’s Springtime Snowpack: Geeta Persad writes, “Everyone coming from or heading to spring break ski trips in the Sierra Nevada this year knows that California’s snowpack is having a great year. The Squaw Valley Alpine Ski Resort broke its record for the snowiest month this February at more than 300 inches. When the Department of Water Resources does its April snow survey next week they’re sure to get a stellar reading on the state’s water supply. If you remember the bone-dry April snow survey of four years ago, when Governor Jerry Brown declared a water emergency and historic statewide mandatory restrictions, it seems almost like we’re in a different state. ... ”  Read more from Union of Concerned Scientists here:   What Climate Change Could Mean for the Future of California’s Springtime Snowpack

Actions to Improve California Water Rights Administration and Oversight for Future Droughts:  Nell Green Nylen writes, “In California, the next drought is always looming on the horizon. While we don’t get advance warning of when a drought will occur, how long it will last, or how severe it will be, we do have advance knowledge that drought planning and preparation are important. First, we know water management during droughts can have profound and lasting consequences for state and local water supply and, ultimately, for people and ecosystems. Second, we know past droughts have challenged those who manage and use water, revealing vulnerabilities in how we cope with drought. Finally, the more frequent and intense droughts we expect in the future are likely to amplify water conflicts and challenges. As a result, effective water rights administration and oversight will become increasingly vital in coming years. … ”  Read more from the Legal Planet blog here:  Actions to Improve California Water Rights Administration and Oversight for Future Droughts

Not light reading: On the Public Radio writes, “Everyone knows that when a blogger wishes to resuscitate a moribund blog, the best way to do that is by reading and commenting on a difficult text. I well remember the eager clicks and fervent commenting from our last reading of Unbundling Water Rights. For the next while, as I can bear it, I will be reading and commenting here on Prof. Jem Bendell’s paper Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy. … Is it possible that I am so starved for accountability that I want to see environmental extractors dismembered and eaten at the onset of the second infraction, left in bloody scraps by extremely literal all-powerful monsters? Yes! Yes, it turns out! … ”  Get the whole scoop at On the Public Record here:  Not light reading

A Watershed Year Ahead? Pathbreaking Efforts To Save Endangered Salmon:  Michael Rogner writes, “Right now tiny salmon are emerging from the gravels at the bottom of the Sacramento River. Thanks to all of the rain, the river is swollen and quick, and the beginning of their migration out to the Golden Gate is on a fast track. In fact, the river is so full that it is spilling over its banks in many locations, and those tiny fish are suddenly finding themselves in a strange new place: out on the floodplain. And it feels like home. ... ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here:  A Watershed Year Ahead? Pathbreaking Efforts To Save Endangered Salmon

No frills and no tills:  The Northern California Water Blog writes, “While the rest of the world was watching a flying DeLorean, humming along with a material girl and marveling at a man taking flight on a basketball court, Fritz Durst focused his attention on the ground.  It was 1985 and Back to the Future was a box office smash, Madonna was leading a musical revolution and Michael “Air” Jordan was taking the NBA to new heights … ”  Read more form the NCWA blog here:  No frills and no tills

Water and the river: Upping the ante: “Those who attended last Tuesday’s afternoon session of the Federal Energy Regulation Comission (FERC) at Modesto’s Doubletree Hotel listened to people who use and love the Tuolumne River explain why their needs should be represented in decisions about relicensing Don Pedro Dam’s hydroelectric project, which is powered by the Tuolumne River.  The chief issue for everyone was the state’s proposal to increase flows along all the major rivers of the northern San Joaquin Valley, especially the Tuolumne. The proposal has pitted farmers against fishermen and environmental groups, including a coalition committed to saving the ecology and culture of the San Joaquin Delta. … ”  Read more from the Valley Citizen here:  Water and the river: Upping the ante

California fixes a major problem with oilfield wastewater injection:  Adam Peltz writes, “A new rule goes into effect today that will help protect California’s groundwater.  The rule applies to injection wells – the underground facilities that enable enhanced oil recovery and the long-term disposal of the oil industry’s wastewater. California has around 55,000 oilfield injection wells, nearly one-third of the nation’s total, and the state’s oil industry injects over 100 billion gallons of water a year into them. The Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) came under scrutiny in recent years when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered state regulators accidentally allowed thousands of wells to pump oilfield wastewater directly into drinking water aquifers, along with other program deficiencies. … ”  Read more from the EDF’s Energy Exchange blog here:  California fixes a major problem with oilfield wastewater injection

Mono Lake: Improving stream restoration and lake monitoring in 2019: Temporary measures sought while license revision slowly advances:  Geoffrey McQuilkin writes, “The effort to restore Mono Lake’s tributary streams is poised to reach new successes when the drawn-out process of authorizing new science-based streamflows and associated infrastructure improvements finally concludes.  While that date remains frustratingly uncertain, the Mono Lake Committee is advocating for immediate implementation of currently-feasible restoration measures to take place in 2019 while continuing to push for the rapid completion of the revision of the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s (DWP) license to divert water from the Mono Basin. … ”  Read more from the MonoLogue here:  Mono Lake: Improving stream restoration and lake monitoring in 2019: Temporary measures sought while license revision slowly advances

Double Standards!  It’s a sad day when someone who fight’s for the rights of farmers is seen as unfit for public service:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “David Bernhardt is on his way to becoming the next Secretary of the Interior Department.  Democrats don’t have the votes to stop it but they’re letting it be known that they don’t like it.  Why?  Because during the past two years while serving as deputy secretary of the department he “helped advance a slew of controversial proposals on oil and gas drilling on public lands and off the coastschanges to the Endangered Species Act, and a move to free up more water for California agriculture that could further harm endangered fish.” … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Double Standards!  It’s a sad day when someone who fight’s for the rights of farmers is seen as unfit for public service

The Dirty Water Rule would mean more oil and gas wastewater in rivers and streams:  Andrew Grinberg writes, “For decades, oil and gas industry growth has been enabled by slashing protections for water. Some of the most common forms of oil and gas production benefit from federal loopholes and policies that remove water protections in order to streamline permitting and cut operational costs. The aquifer exemption program in the Safe Drinking Water Act’s (SDWA) Underground Injection Control (UIC) program, and the notorious Halliburton loophole that removed SDWA protections for hydraulic fracturing operations, are two of the most egregious examples. ... ”  Read more from We All Live Downstream blog here:  The Dirty Water Rule would mean more oil and gas wastewater in rivers and streams

April 1st posts …

Climate warming brings new water to California’s Delta:  Nestle Frobish writes, “The California Department of Water Resources is working to employ the ongoing break-up of the Antarctic ice cap to provide a vast supply of water for California.  Current plans are to employ ocean tugs to bring ice bergs into San Francisco Bay for docking in the State Water Project’s Clifton Court Forebay.  Several propulsion designs are being explored.  The resulting meltwater will provide a salt-free source of water in the south Delta for local and Delta export water users, cold water for Delta Smelt, and a summer winter-sports recreation activity in the southern Delta.  Satisfying the entire roughly 7 maf/year of total Delta export water demand will require roughly 8.6 billion tons of ice berg annually (9.2 cubic kilometers of ice). … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Climate warming brings new water to California’s Delta

President Trump Federalizes Lake Tahoe, Unveils TRUMPP: Tahoe Regional Underground Mountain Pipeline Project:  “In an early-morning 1 April 2019 Tweet President Donald J. Trump announced that he had signed an Executive Order federalizing Lake Tahoe and authorizing TRUMPP, the Tahoe Regional Underground Mountain Pipeline Project: (1/2) New TRUMPP plan will boost American jobs, use WV coal, provide water to over-regulated farmers & build infrastructure. (2/2) Nothing for loser states OR, CA, NV, WA! Total disasters! TRUMPP – Tahoe Regional Underground Mountain Pipeline Project – Making America Great Again!  The President later explained what TRUMPP really is at a White House press conference.  … ”  Read more from Water Wired here:  President Trump Federalizes Lake Tahoe, Unveils TRUMPP: Tahoe Regional Underground Mountain Pipeline Project

April Fool’s Day news: Blackwater to enforce California’s marine protected areas!:  Dan Bacher writes, “California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Chuck Bonham on April 1, 2019 announced the beginning of a historic partnership between Blackwater (now Academi Corporation) and the CDFW to enforce the statewide network of marine protected areas created under the landmark Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative.  The Western States Petroleum Association, Walmart, Safeway Corporation and the Resources Legacy Foundation, all avid backers of the MLPA Initiative, have generously offered to pay for the costs of enforcement. … ”  Read more from the Daily Kos here:  April Fool’s Day news: Blackwater to enforce California’s marine protected areas!

Trinidad Bay, remodeled and monetized:  Bernice Brouhaha writes, “Thousands of tourists and local residents descended on Trinidad last week for the much anticipated opening of Wally’s Wonderful Water World, a massive theme park celebrating the local marine eco-system and all the wonders of the sea.  The massive, family friendly complex – complete with captive whales, dolphins, sharks and even amusement park rides,  covers much of what used to be Trinidad Bay.  Project proponent Horatio McCallister noted how the project has vastly expanded opportunities to interact with the sea. … ”  Read more from the Mad River Union here:  Trinidad Bay, remodeled and monetized

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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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