BLOG ROUND-UP: Oops, DWR Did It Again; You can’t address the Colorado River Basin’s problems without addressing the Salton Sea; The LA River and the trade-offs of water recycling; Sustaining integrated portfolios for managing water in California; The untimely death and life of the Colorado River; and more …

Above Lyons Dam; Photo by Bodey Marcoccia

This week in California water blogs: Oops, DWR Did It Again; You can’t address the Colorado River Basin’s problems without addressing the Salton Sea; The LA River and the Trade-Offs of Water Recycling; Sustaining integrated portfolios for managing water in California; The untimely death and life of the Colorado River; The evolving law of state protection of environmental resources on federal lands; and more …

blog-round-up-previous-editionsOops, DWR Did It Again:  Chris Shutes writes, “WaterFix version 1 is hung out to dry.  There have been welcome announcements by the Newsom administration of a clean start on California water policy.  But on June 10, 2019, the Department of Water Resources posted “Why Delta Conveyance” to one of its many webpages, linked in DWR’s email listserve DWR Water News.  It appears that some of the messengers at DWR have set the dial back to the spin cycle. … ”  Read more from the CSPA blog here: Oops, DWR Did It Again

Delta tunnel: geotechnical drilling done in violation of county ordinances to protect groundwater: Deirdre Des Jardins writes, “The Department of Water Resources and the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority are doing extensive engineering work to assess potential designs for a single Delta tunnel. On June 10, 2019, the Department of Water Resources began geotechnical drilling in the former WaterFix project tunnel alignment and a former WaterFix project intake location. According to the DWR website, the geotechnical drilling is at 19 sites in three Delta counties (San Joaquin, Sacramento, and Contra Costa.) The work requires drilling of 6.5 to 8 inch boreholes to a depth of 150-200 feet. The drilling reportedly requires a crew of five to six people for up to 11 days at each site. ... ”  Read more from the California Water Research blog here: Delta tunnel: geotechnical drilling done in violation of county ordinances to protect groundwater

You can’t address the Colorado River Basin’s problems without addressing the Salton Sea:  John Fleck writes, “I couldn’t resist the “abandoned boat ramp” trope when I visited the Salton Sea this week. No amount of channel dredging is going to get you to the Sea at this point. And all that recently exposed shoreline between the old boat ramp where I was standing when I took the picture and the Sea off in the distance represents a source of dangerous dust.  Conserve water on the farms of the Imperial Valley, and you reduce tail water flowing to the Salton Sea, which shrinks when evaporation is greater than inflows. When the wind whips up from the south, this place can be unbearable. We cannot address the Colorado River’s problems without addressing that dust. … ”  Read more from the Inkstain Blog here:  You can’t address the Colorado River Basin’s problems without addressing the Salton Sea

The LA River and the Trade-Offs of Water Recycling:  Gokce Sencan and Caitrin Chappelle write, “After a very wet winter, California has been declared drought free. But planning for future water shortages has continued. In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti recently announced a goal of 100% wastewater recycling by 2035 to help make city supplies drought proof.  While recycling wastewater helps cities adapt to a changing climate and prepare for droughts, it can have unintended consequences for local watersheds. In some cases, the growing use of recycled water could minimize or even eliminate flows from wastewater treatment plants into local rivers and streams and reduce ecological and recreational benefits. The Los Angeles River exemplifies this kind of trade-off: expanded water recycling will reduce the amount of treated wastewater flowing into this increasingly revitalized urban waterway. … ” Read more from the PPIC Blog here: The LA River and the Trade-Offs of Water Recycling

Unintended Consequences: So now some water agencies are pushing for more outdoor conservation efforts rather than indoor to keep the wastewater flowing:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “As Californians endured the drought, they did an excellent job conserving water, maybe too good.  As the article below explains, all the low flow toilets, all the 1-minute showers meant less water pushing waste through the sewers.  All that “resulted in corroded wastewater pipes and damaged equipment, and left sewage stagnating and neighborhoods stinking.  Less wastewater, and thus more concentrated waste, also means higher costs to treat the sewage and less recycled water for such things as irrigating parks, replenishing groundwater or discharging treated flows to rivers to keep them vibrant for fish and wildlife.” … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here: Unintended Consequences

Sustaining integrated portfolios for managing water in California: Jay Lund writes, “This post reviews some lessons from portfolio water management in California and identifies roles for state government in facilitating development and implementation of effective portfolios.  To better align state regulations and funding with these goals, a more adaptable structure for state planning is suggested.  Effective integration of local, regional, and state water management goals must more flexibly employ regulations to support environmental operations as components of local, regional, and state water management portfolios. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  Sustaining integrated portfolios for managing water in California

The untimely death and life of the Colorado River:  John Fleck writes, “I brought a bicycle this week on a road trip to the Lower Colorado River, and left myself the morning today to ride out to Morelos Dam.  After a quick morning of meetings yesterday in Tucson with the University of Arizona Press folks turning our words into a book, I drove on to Yuma for the night. Yuma is in the lettuce pocket at the bottom of the Colorado River, and it’s one of my happy places. I dumped my luggage at a riverside hotel (they got me a room facing the Colorado), drove to In-N-Out, and took my dinner and a camera down to Yuma’s Gateway Park. … ”  Read more from the Inkstain Blog here: The untimely death and life of the Colorado River

The evolving law of state protection of environmental resources on federal lands: Eric Biber writes, “One theme in environmental law and policy over the past two years has been an increasing conflict between states and the federal government – with a range of states (particularly those with Democratic governors and legislatures) challenging the federal government on environmental matters and seeking to be more aggressive in protecting the environment.  One flashpoint for this conflict has been in the context of public lands, and there have been enough recent, important developments that I wanted to do an assessment of where we are and where we might go in terms of the legal space states may have to operate. More details after the jump, details which get fairly deep into the legal weeds. ... ”  Read more from the Legal Planet blog here: The evolving law of state protection of environmental resources on federal landsDaily emails

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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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