BLOG ROUND-UP: Voluntary agreements, Delta’s trophic collapse; Groundwater depletion and salt-impaired lands in the San Joaquin Valley; Oil industry pollutants in Kern County water supply wells; and more …

Tomales Bay; photo by Miwok

blog-round-up-previous-editionsVoluntary Agreements Will Catalyze and Complete Long-Standing Priority Salmon Projects and Implement the Sacramento Valley Salmon Recovery Program: The Northern California Water Association writes, “The Voluntary Agreements that have been developed in the Sacramento River Basin are providing new opportunities to bring together and catalyze priority projects to improve conditions for salmon. This is a positive step forward for California. These projects have all been proposed by expert biologists and then further developed by water resources managers. These efforts are part of and will further implement the Sacramento Valley Salmon Recovery Program (Recovery Program), which has been a centralized effort to prioritize projects, and, most important, to manage, coordinate and advance projects through completion. The Recovery Program in turn is helping implement the California Natural Resources Agency’s Sacramento Valley Salmon Resiliency Strategy, the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Chinook Salmon Recovery Plan, and salmon recovery efforts contained in the Bureau of Reclamation and Fish and Wildlife Service’s Central Valley Project Improvement Act programs. ... ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here:  Voluntary Agreements Will Catalyze and Complete Long-Standing Priority Salmon Projects and Implement the Sacramento Valley Salmon Recovery Program

The Delta’s Trophic Collapse Explained:  Tom Cannon writes, “A just-released UC Davis Study concludes that the decline in the Delta pelagic open water habitat and fishes is strongly related to non-native clam invasions and water exports. This long-held theory now has strong supporting evidence. “The low pelagic productivity of the SFE [San Francisco Estuary] is considered a primary cause for the low abundance of several resident fish species (Sommer et al. 2007), including the imperiled Delta Smelt (Feyrer et al. 2003; Sommer et al. 2007; Hammock et al. 2017; Hamilton and Murphy 2018).” In their study paper, the authors reviewed five theories on the decline in estuary productivity ... ”  Read more from the Cal Fisheries blog here:  The Delta’s Trophic Collapse Explained

Smelt Truth! She shows where the smelt are and how the pumps versus the smelt story we’ve been told is all wrong.  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “Central Valley water warrior Kristi Diener has researched the swimming habits of the Delta Smelt and how it impacts pumping water from the Delta to the Central Valley and Southern California. We’ve all been told for the past decade that the pumps were killing the smelt who get sucked in and spit out. In her article below she shows where the smelt are and how the pumps versus the smelt story we’ve been told is all wrong. ... ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Smelt Truth! She shows where the smelt are and how the pumps versus the smelt story we’ve been told is all wrong.

Delta Plan Interagency Implementation Committee, a Critical Forum for Long-term Sustainability of the Delta:  Susan Tatayon writes, “Many of the agencies that helped create the Delta Plan, the State’s legally enforceable, long-term management plan for the Delta, are part of the Delta Plan Interagency Implementation Committee or DPIIC. Established by the Delta Reform Act of 2009, DPIIC comprises the highest-ranking members of 18 state, federal, and regional agencies. These leaders meet at least twice a year to coordinate programs and projects that affect land, wildlife, and water resources in the Delta. … ”  Read more from the Delta Stewardship Council blog here:  Delta Plan Interagency Implementation Committee, a Critical Forum for Long-term Sustainability of the Delta

Groundwater depletion and salt-impaired lands in the San Joaquin Valley:   Deirdre Des Jardins writes, “The Groundwater Resources Association of California and the University of California Water Security and Sustainability Research Initiative have proposed large increases in future diversions from the Sacramento River and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to provide recharge of overdrafted groundwater basins in the San Joaquin Valley.  Their white paper states:  “What Are the Legal and Regulatory Bottlenecks, and How Can They Be Eliminated or Reduced? 3.a The current, temporary and standard permitting processes should be reviewed and evaluated to determine whether it is sufficiently effective to support large increases in future diversions. The legislature’s AB 2649, as amended on April 25, 2018, was an important step in the right direction.” There are lower impact solutions to groundwater depletion than large increases in future diversions from the Sacramento River and the Delta. … ”  Read more from the California Water Research blog here:  Groundwater depletion and salt-impaired lands in the San Joaquin Valley

CSPA and Allied Groups Dissect Draft EIS for Don Pedro:  Chris Shutes writes, “CSPA, nine other conservation and fishing groups, and four whitewater outfitters (“Conservation Groups”) jointly submitted 75 pages of comments on April 12, 2019 on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the relicensing of the Don Pedro Hydroelectric Project and the first-time licensing of the La Grange Hydroelectric Project.  Together, the projects have buried over twenty miles of the Tuolumne River under Don Pedro and La Grange reservoirs.  Today, these reservoirs separate the upper and lower Tuolumne. … ”  Read more from the Cal Fisheries blog here: CSPA and Allied Groups Dissect Draft EIS for Don Pedro

State Water Board report documents oil industry pollutants in Kern County water supply wells:  Dan Bacher writes, “California officials have allowed the oil and gas industry to pollute drinking water wells while expanding drilling in recent years, exposing the constant touting of the state as the nation’s “green leader” by state officials and many media outlets as an unsupportable false narrative.  A new report released by the State Water Resources Control Board, entitled “2018 Annual Performance Report: Model Criteria for Groundwater Monitoring in Areas of Oil and Gas Well Stimulation,” documents the presence of oil industry pollutants in water-supply wells in Kern County.  The chemicals detected at elevated levels include arsenic, barium and boron, according to a statement from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). ... ”  Read more at the Daily Kos here:  State Water Board report documents oil industry pollutants in Kern County water supply wells

Some springtime reading on California water:  Jay Lund writes, “California is a wonderful place to study water. So many interesting and important problems, thoughtful and insightful authors, and much to be learned. Here is a selection of readings (updated from a 2012 post) on California water. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Some springtime reading on California water

Wading into stream restoration: A conversation with the State Water Board-appointed Stream Scientists:  Lisa at the Mono Lake Committee writes, “The 2017 spring snowmelt runoff was over 200% of average. It was also the single largest peak flow event since the stream restoration ordered by the California State Water Resources Control Board began in 1998.  Now, almost two years later, conversations and field observations continue to reflect on what is technically called an “Extreme-Wet” year type, validating the principles adopted by the State Water Board and restoration parties over 20 years ago. … ”  Read more from the Mono-Logue blog here:  Wading into stream restoration: A conversation with the State Water Board-appointed Stream Scientists

Who Is Responsible for Clean Water?  If federal authority ebbs, will states take the lead on regulating upstream water quality?  Jonathon Wood writes, “Since 1972, the Environmental Protection Agency has regulated discharges of pollution to “waters of the United States.” The meaning of that phrase, however, has been anything but clear. In recent years, the Supreme Court has urged the agency to adopt a clear, authoritative definition.  EPA has proposed a definition that would focus federal attention on larger, navigable waters, rather than trying to regulate every headwater stream and ditch in the country. This marks a sharp departure from the proposal’s 2016 predecessor—which has been struck down by several courts. That earlier effort asserted broad federal authority based on the scientific fact that small, upstream waters ultimately affect large, downstream ones. ... ”  Read more from PERC here:  Who Is Responsible for Clean Water?  If federal authority ebbs, will states take the lead on regulating upstream water quality?

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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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