BLOG ROUND-UP: Does California need SB1?; Resilience and the portfolio approach; Some common questions on water, part 2; The new normal of no more labels; and more …

DWR inspecting dissipators on the newly-constructed Lake Oroville main spillway.  Photo by Florence Low (DWR)

This week in blogs: California needs SB 1; Gov. Newsom can be a climate leader by focusing on resilience. Here’s how; On the Public Record is still wrestling with the “portfolio approach”; Some common questions on California water (Part II); California’s Growing Demand for Recycled Water Has Ripple Effects; The new normal of no more labels; Is there a “Grand Bargain” to be had in the Colorado River Basin?; and more …

California needs SB 1:  Kate Poole writes, “California’s Senate passed Senate Bill 1, the antblog-round-up-previous-editionsi-Trump rollbacks bill, today.  This move brings the state one step closer to leading the pack of enlightened state leaders around the country who are safeguarding their states against relentless attacks on the environment and public health from Washington, D.C.  Thanks to Senate pro tem Atkins, and Senators Stern, Portantino, and Hueso, for authoring and ushering this important bill to protect California’s residents, workers, and environment from baseless federal rollbacks of clean air, clean water, endangered species, and worker safety standards.  … ”  Read more from the NRDC here:  California needs SB 1

Gov. Newsom can be a climate leader by focusing on resilience. Here’s how.  David Festa writes, “In pulling the plug on the twin Delta tunnels and scaling back California’s high-speed rail line, Gov. Newsom broke from his predecessor, who fiercely defended the projects as part of his climate agenda.  But that doesn’t mean Newsom can’t build on Jerry Brown’s strong climate legacy. He can, all while charting a different legacy for himself. ... ”  Read more from the EDF Growing Returns blog here: Gov. Newsom can be a climate leader by focusing on resilience. Here’s how. 

On the Public Record is still wrestling with the “portfolio approach”: My objection to the Newsom administration’s “portfolio approach” is that a “portfolio approach” is a method, not a goal.  So in CA water, I can’t tell what goal the administration is trying to accomplish with their eight years*, besides not alienate anyone who might donate to Newsom‘s presidential campaign in 2026. ... ”  Continue reading from On the Public Record here: Still wrestling with the “portfolio approach”.  See also: Deep Adaptation: Apocalypse Uncertain

Some common questions on California water (Part II): Jay Lund and Josué Medellín-Azuara write, “This is the second installment of answers to some common questions regarding water problems in California.  Part I examined some common questions on water supplies (questions 1-5).  Part II looks more at common questions on water uses and demands. ... ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:Some common questions on California water (Part II)

On Science and Management in the Delta: A Conversation with Water Expert Jay Lund:  Susan Tatayon writes, “I recently sat down with California water expert and Delta Independent Science Board (ISB) member Jay Lund to talk about some of the challenges and opportunities for scientists and decision-makers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. I am pleased to share highlights from our conversation in this month’s Delta Stewardship Council Chair’s blog.  Our conversation followed the Delta ISB’s recent letter to the Delta Plan Interagency Implementation Committee (DPIIC) calling for a bolder, forward-looking, and better-integrated science and management program that would provide policymakers and managers with better scientific information and management options for the Delta. DPIIC is the group of leaders whose agencies have a role in implementing the policies and recommendations in the Council’s Delta Plan. ... ”  Read more from the Delta Stewardship Council Chair’s blog here:  On Science and Management in the Delta: A Conversation with Water Expert Jay Lund

Collaborative Collaborative Approach on Executive Order Echoed at ACWA Conference:  Dave Eggerton writes, “What a great conference we enjoyed earlier this month in Monterey. If you attended, you were part of an energized community of water leaders eager to listen, learn and share viewpoints on what lies ahead of us in 2019.  It was especially an honor to host four of California’s water leaders from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Administration as our keynote speakers. Over breakfasts and luncheons, we received a very informative inside look into what will drive much of the discussion in California water during the year – Gov. Newsom’s April 29 executive order on developing a Water Resilience Portfolio. … ”  Read more from ACWA’s Water News here: Collaborative Collaborative Approach on Executive Order Echoed at ACWA Conference

Wet Winter-Spring 2019 Good for Central Valley Salmon:  Tom Cannon writes, “On May 8, 2019, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) released one million fall-run salmon smolts from the Feather River Fish Hatchery into the lower Feather River.1 Their prognosis is good, as it is for most salmon, both hatchery and wild, in the Central Valley in this very wet year.  This post focuses on features of wet years that are good for salmon, and how those features help us to understand how to improve salmon production in general. In the past, I have posted a lot about increasing hatchery contributions. In this post, I focus on wild salmon in wet year 2019. ... ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here: Wet Winter-Spring 2019 Good for Central Valley Salmon

Delta Smelt Are Poor Swimmers:  Kristi Diener writes, “Delta smelt are poor swimmers. When they have to swim against voluminous outflows, they struggle. They also lack endurance for distance and swimming against currents. This was the result of the taxpayer-funded swim performance test conducted more than 20 years ago. Why is this important?  Delta smelt live in the freshwater/saltwater mixing zone made up of outflow from the fresh waters of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, and the inflow of saltwater pushed towards that freshwater from the ocean tides. Smelt leave this mixing zone in search of freshwater to spawn, in the late winter to early spring. … ”  Read more from Cal Ag Today here:  Delta Smelt Are Poor Swimmers

Sacramento Valley Watersheds: Regional Collaborative Approaches to Maintaining and Improving Groundwater Quality for Multiple Benefits:  Vicki Kretsinger Grabert writes, “Understanding the status of California’s surface water and groundwater availability and sustainability are key goals of many programs. Sacramento Valley’s water resources managers and communities are proactively and collaboratively engaged in identifying and implementing strategies that support water resources sustainability. This includes protecting groundwater quality for multiple beneficial uses, which is being addressed through the following programs ... ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here:  Sacramento Valley Watersheds: Regional Collaborative Approaches to Maintaining and Improving Groundwater Quality for Multiple Benefits

California Needs Clean and Affordable Drinking Water: Gail Delihant writes, “The concept of having safe and affordable drinking water may seem simple, considering all the advanced technology we have available today. However, nothing is simple when it comes to water in California.  For more than four years, Western Growers staff has been cultivating relationships with environmental justice organizations to forge pathways that would ultimately protect growers from onerous drinking water replacement orders issued by the State Water Board Office of Enforcement (OOE). Odd as it may seem, adversity does make strange bedfellows. … ”  Read more from Western Growers here:  California Needs Clean and Affordable Drinking Water

NRDC goes back to court to save water in California:  Ed Osann writes, “This week, NRDC filed suit against El Dorado County in Northern California, citing the county’s continuing failure to comply with state regulations designed to prevent the waste of water in newly installed irrigated landscapes. Under a law enacted over 25 years ago1, this responsibility falls upon every city and county in California as they issue building permits that include irrigated landscapes. State regulations, known as the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO), include standards for landscape design and irrigation efficiency that were last updated in 2015. While hundreds of local jurisdictions have implemented the 2015 update (including Placerville, the county seat of El Dorado County), the County government itself has not, although brisk building activity has resulted in many new landscape installations receiving county permits. … ”  Read more from the NRDC here: NRDC goes back to court to save water in California

California’s Growing Demand for Recycled Water Has Ripple Effects:  Caitrin Chapelle writes, “Wastewater agencies produce highly treated water that is increasingly being reused as a water supply. While it’s still only a small portion of overall water use, the use of recycled water has nearly tripled since the 1980s―and is continuing to rise as water agencies seek to meet the demands of a growing population and improve the resilience of their water supplies.  Recycled water production is closely related to water use and wastewater management. It also directly influences flows for ecosystems and downstream water users in some watersheds. … ”  Read more from the PPIC blog here:  California’s Growing Demand for Recycled Water Has Ripple Effects

UC ANR research to determine future climate change impacts today:  Jeannette E. Warnert writes, “Scientific evidence of a warming climate in California and across the globe is clear, but the impacts on ecosystems and agriculture are still difficult to predict.  Sophisticated computer models are used to forecast future climate. Understanding that temperature and precipitation levels will change in the future does not tell the full story: UC Agriculture and Natural Resources researchers also want real-world experience under those future conditions.  Moreover, some agricultural operations have higher sensitivity to the changes than others. Rangeland forage is particularly sensitive to climate changes since, unlike irrigated agriculture, ranchers rely solely on precipitation. They have no control over how much and when it rains. … ”  Read more from the Green Blog here: UC ANR research to determine future climate change impacts today

The new normal of no more labels:  The Salton Sea Saw blog writes, “The Salton Sea has always been a hard place to love.  After the flood of 1905-07, the former Salton Sink was expected to dry up and disappear, but instead it spread out and settled in as the lake it had always wanted to be. Even in its heyday, when it was a favorite haunt of Hollywood, there was a freakish aspect to its outsized appeal.  For one thing, it was so big that you could see it from outer space; for another, it was so alien that it seemed to belong there.  But it wasn’t the lunar landscape that set the Salton Sea apart from lesser lakes; it was the idea that it was there at all. ... ”  Read more from the Salton Sea Saw here:  The new normal of no more labels

Final Lower Colorado River accounting for 2018: John Fleck writes, “The 2018 Lower Basin accounting report is out, and if you’re interested in understanding what’s happening on the Colorado River, it’s a gold mine. Did you know, for example, that California’s annual Colorado River water use is down 21 percent from its peak in 2002? Or that the Gila Monster Farms on the Arizona side of the river used 4,536 acre feet of water in 2018, up from 4,197 acre feet last year? (I am not making this up, there really is a Gila Monster Farms, read this report and you will be a hit at parties.) ... ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here: Final Lower Colorado River accounting for 2018

Is there a “Grand Bargain” to be had in the Colorado River Basin? Eric Kuhn and John Fleck write, “With the Colorado River’s “Drought Contingency Plans” now completed, basin water managers are turning to the question of what happens next. That question, as we see it, is:  Is there a chance at a “grand bargain” that addresses the unresolved questions head on?  Or can the problems continue to be finessed, addressed at the margins, or put off into the future (the “incremental approach”)?  In preparation for this week’s Getches-Wilkinson Center summer conference at the University of Colorado, we have prepared a draft working paper sketching out some of the implications of the conclusions in our upcoming book on the relationship between the Colorado River’s hydrology and its management rules (Science Be Dammed: How Ignoring Inconvenient Science Drained the Colorado River). … ”  Continue reading at the Inkstain blog here: Is there a “Grand Bargain” to be had in the Colorado River Basin?

Question of the Century: Do We Have a Right to a Livable Climate? Valerie Brown writes, “The climate is changing, the changes are human-caused, and most of them will be detrimental to people and ecosystems. But while public sentiment and plausible policy measures on these threats have been maturing in recent years, the law has not kept up.  Today climate change as a legal matter remains blurry and disconnected from the principles our system of government aspires to follow. The question remains unanswered: Do we — including future generations — have a legal right to a climate in which we can pursue our rights to life, liberty, property and happiness? … ”  Read more from The Revelator here: Question of the Century: Do We Have a Right to a Livable Climate?

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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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