BLOG ROUND-UP: The Trump/Bernhardt plan for the Delta; Drought and decision making; Deep adaptation; Is San Diego reviving idea of own Colorado River aqueduct?; What went wrong with WOTUS; and more …
The Trump/Bernhardt Plan for Extinction in the CA Bay-Delta: Doug Obegi writes, “After spending the past several months reviewing the Bureau of Reclamation’s biological assessment (BA) for the Trump Administration’s rewrite of the 2008 and 2009 biological opinions protecting Delta Smelt and salmon in the Bay-Delta watershed, it’s becoming clear that this is a plan for extinction. That’s bad news for thousands of salmon fishermen, farmers in the Delta, and anyone who cares about California’s native fish and wildlife. Despite voluminous scientific evidence demonstrating the need to increase protections for endangered and threatened fish species, the Trump Administration is proposing to greatly weaken protections in order to increase water supply for the Westlands Water District and other water contractors. … ” Read more from the NRDC Switchboard blog here: The Trump/Bernhardt Plan for Extinction in the CA Bay-Delta
California Adopts New, Welcome Wetlands Protection Rules: Richard Frank writes, “This week California’s State Water Resources Control Board adopted important new rules to protect the state’s remaining wetlands resources. Enacted after over a decade of Board hearings, workshops and deliberation, those rules are overdue, welcome and critically necessary. Their adoption is particularly timely now, given the Trump Administration’s wholesale assault on and erosion of federal programs designed to protect our nation’s wetlands under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). The new California rules, adopted unanimously by the Board on April 2nd, create a new, statewide definition of wetlands. … ” Read more from the Legal Planet blog here: California Adopts New, Welcome Wetlands Protection Rules
We Need Both Wet Winters and Long-Term Planning to Stay out of Drought: The California Farm Water Coalition blog writes, “An online search of “California drought” literally turns up millions of articles, and some of the headlines appear in conflict. One series says California is “drought-free” and others warn we’re still operating at a water deficit. What’s the real story? Should California celebrate or is not yet time to stop doing our rain dance? … ” Read more from the California Farm Water Coalition here: We Need Both Wet Winters and Long-Term Planning to Stay out of Drought
A Contingency-Based Framework to Support Drought Decision Making: “In my last post, I outlined actions the State Water Resources Control Board (Board) can take to improve its future drought response capabilities. Our core recommendation is for the Board to bring greater predictability, timeliness, and effectiveness to water rights administration and oversight during droughts by proactively developing a contingency-based framework to support its drought decision making. In other words, we argue that the Board should build a toolbox of well-thought-out response strategies it can deploy as needed. These strategies should be organized within a framework that guides decisions about whether, when, and how to implement each one. ... ” Read more from the Legal Planet blog here: A Contingency-Based Framework to Support Drought Decision Making
Which Headline? See if you can find the one that’s out of place: From Families Protecting the Valley. Hard to excerpt. Go check it out here: Which Headline? See if you can find the one that’s out of place
From the Chair: Exploring the Delta’s big questions: Susan Tatayon writes, “For the millions of Californians who live and work far from the Delta, it can be easy to overlook the splendor of the largest estuary in western North America. Whether you are one mile or hundreds of miles from the Delta, however, all Californians have a stake in the survival and preservation of this fragile, dynamic ecosystem that is also the keystone of the state’s water supply system. In 2009, our Legislature officially recognized that the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed and California’s water infrastructure are in crisis. ... ” Continue reading at the Delta Stewardship Council website here: From the Chair: Exploring the Delta’s big questions
Deep Adaptation, first two sections: Introduction/Locating this Study Within Academia: On the Public Record writes, “Prof Bendell doesn’t number his pages, so his analysis is clearly inadequate and civilization will survive after all! Therefore, I don’t have to wrestle with any implications, which is just as well, since they all suck and I don’t want to. The lack of page numbers is going to make referencing the article difficult. I’m going to have to approach this by sections. I have been surprisingly floored by this paper since I read it last week. … ” Read more from On the Public Record here: Deep Adaptation, first two sections
New Podcast Examines Voluntary Agreements: The Northern California Water Assocation writes, “In the latest edition of Kurt Richter’s Rice Radio Podcast, he presents the contrasting alternatives before the State Water Resources Control Board as it updates its Water Quality Control Plan for the Delta. The first part of the podcast captures the acrimony surrounding unimpaired flows and the San Joaquin River proposal last year as heard at a Capitol rally. The second part of the podcast showcases the opportunities in the Sacramento Valley for a new way forward by reactivating our floodplains and taking other measures that more effectively integrate flows and habitat to help improve conditions for salmon and other fish. ... ” Access podcast here: New Podcast Examines Voluntary Agreements
“Flexible” management of ecosystem water and the Australian catastrophe: Bill Kier and Deirdre Des Jardins write, “The California State Water Resources Control Board is in the middle of a comprehensive review and update of the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan, which sets water quality measures and flow requirements to protect Delta fisheries. In a repeat of political interference with previous major Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan Updates, Governor Gavin Newsom has appointed a new Water Board Chair and has directed the Secretaries of Natural Resources and the California Environmental Protection Agency to engage in negotiations with the Trump administration and water contractors on Voluntary Settlement Agreements to implement the update. … ” Read more from the California Water Research blog here: “Flexible” management of ecosystem water and the Australian catastrophe
Community Participation in Groundwater Sustainability: The Borrego Valley: “Imagine over 600,000 acres of wilderness. You are surrounded by blue sky, mountains, rock formations and a cornucopia of plants including creosote, palo verde, cacti, and ocotillo. As you walk around, you have the opportunity to see bighorn sheep, mountain lions, kit foxes, mule deer, coyotes, greater roadrunners, golden eagles, black-tailed jackrabbits, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, quail, prairie falcons, desert iguanas, chuckwallas, and red diamond rattlesnakes. The place in question is Anza Borrego Desert State Park. The park is also a storied place that was inhabited for thousands of years by the Cahuilla, Cupeño, and Kumeyaay (Diegueño) Indian tribes, the members of which created petroglyph and pictogram rock art. … ” Read more from the We All Live Downstream blog here: Community Participation in Groundwater Sustainability
Portfolio Solutions for Safe Drinking Water – Multiple Barriers: Jay Lund writes, “Only some parts of the world have safe drinking water almost ubiquitously, and only in the last century. (We lucky few!) In these countries, drinking water safety relies on a complex portfolio of actions and accountability by individuals, industries, and diverse layered units of government. The provision of safe drinking water is another example of portfolio approaches to water management. ... ” Read more from the California Water Blog here: Portfolio Solutions for Safe Drinking Water – Multiple Barriers
Shasta River Update – April 2019: Tom Cannon writes, “A February 20, 2019 article in the Eureka Times-Standard reported continuing improvement of Klamath River fall-run Chinook. … In a May 2017 post, I discussed an increasing contribution to the Klamath run from the Shasta River. In Figure 1 below, I have updated my original spawner-recruit analysis from the prior post with 2017 and 2018 escapement numbers for the Shasta River. The Shasta run in fall 2018 was third highest on record for the Shasta River. The river’s fall-run population continues to benefit from improved water management. Coho salmon and steelhead have yet to show significant improvements. ... ” Read more from the California Fisheries Blog here: Shasta River Update – April 2019
Are Delta Smelt in Hot Water? Yes, and water management has been putting them there: Tom Cannon writes, “A March 14, 2019 post in Maven’s Notebook summarized a presentation at the 2018 Bay Delta Science Conference on Delta smelt growth factors in the Bay-Delta estuary. The main author, Dr. Hobbs, described UC Davis research on smelt growth rates from analysis of smelt ear-bone cross sections. The research indicates that growth rate is related to salinity, water temperature, and water clarity (turbidity). Growth rates were depressed when salinity was above 3-4 parts per thousand (ppt),when water temperature exceeded 20-21oC, and when water clarity was relatively high. … ” Read more from the California Fisheries Blog here: Are Delta Smelt in Hot Water?
Five reasons why we oppose the Drought Contingency Plan: They write, “Yesterday, members of Congress introduced the Colorado River “Drought Contingency Plan” bill into the U.S. House and Senate (the bill is here). Save The Colorado opposes the bill for the following reasons: First, the bill was written by the very same agencies — the Southwest U.S. states and local/regional water districts — that dammed, drained, and increasingly destroyed the Colorado River in the first place. What the Colorado River needs is an outside, independent group of scientists to create a non-biased management plan for the river. This bill is not just the fox guarding the hen house; it’s the fox building the hen house so the fox can continue to raid the hen house and kill 100% of the hens every single year. ... ” Read more from Save the Colorado here: Five reasons why we oppose the Drought Contingency Plan
Is San Diego reviving the idea of building its own Colorado River Aqueduct? “A cryptic item in the agenda for Thursday’s meeting of the San Diego Water Authority Board suggests the agency may still harbor an interest in having its own canal to the Colorado River, separate from the current system through which it gets its Colorado River water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. … ” Read more from the Inkstain blog here: Is San Diego reviving the idea of building its own Colorado River Aqueduct?
What Went Wrong With WOTUS: Reflections on Economic Valuation and Environmental Regulation: “In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a regulation addressing the definition of the “waters of the United States,” also known as WOTUS. The controversial rule would have expanded federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act, potentially extending it to cover isolated wetlands, small streams, and other such waters. In this PERC Policy Series, former EPA economist and PERC Lone Mountain Fellow R. David Simpson recounts his experience leading a group of EPA economists who reviewed the economic analysis that supported the 2015 rule. … ” Read more and download report at PERC here: What Went Wrong With WOTUS: Reflections on Economic Valuation and Environmental Regulation
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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.