BLOG ROUND-UP: Newsom Admin faces difficult tests on CA water this fall; “Then they’d be ready when the VSAs fall apart.”; The snow must go on; Critical habitat: The next endangered species?; and more …

Sunset at Mono Lake; Photo by Rennett Stowe

In blogs this week: Newsom Admin Faces Difficult Tests on CA Water this Fall; How does Newsom’s reasons for vetoing SB1 match with the legislation?; Then they’d be ready when the VSAs fall apart.; Voluntary Agreements on Delta flows have no real backstop; EPA’s appalling letter about water and homelessness; The Snow Must Go On; Critical Habitat: The Next Endangered Species?; and more …

blog-round-up-previous-editionsNewsom Admin Faces Difficult Tests on CA Water this Fall:  Doug Obegi writes, “This fall, as the Trump Administration escalates its attacks on California’s environmental protections, Governor Newsom’s team will face difficult tests regarding California water.  The State will be tested by the Trump Administration and its allies (corporate agribusiness and large water districts), all of whom are working furiously to weaken protections for water quality, endangered species, California’s rivers, and the Bay-Delta estuary.  While I’m deeply disappointed that Governor Newsom vetoed SB 1, the Governor’s veto is also a troubling sign for several big tests on California water coming this fall … ”  Read more from the NRDC here:  Newsom Admin Faces Difficult Tests on CA Water this Fall

Why is Newsom vetoing SB 1?  Eric Biber writes, “The California legislature recently passed SB 1, which would translate into state law a range of federal environmental and worker safety standards that were in place before the inauguration of President Trump to protect against federal roll backs in those areas.  However, Governor Newsom has indicated he will veto SB 1, on the grounds that the bill “does not . . .  provide the state with any new authority to push back against the Trump administration’s environmental policies and it limits the state’s ability to rely upon the best available science to protect our environment.”  How well does the Governor’s reasoning for vetoing the bill actually match up with the legislation he will be vetoing? … ”  Read more from the Legal Planet here: Why is Newsom vetoing SB 1?

Then they’d be ready when the VSAs fall apart.  On the Public Record writes, “Reasonable people are writing to me, saying that the VSA’s are necessary because the alternative is that the water districts will sue the State Board’s instream flow requirements and the litigation will last for decades.  We have seen attempts at collaboration with the water users fail every decade since the Bay-Delta Accords. These ones do not look promising either and they are undermining the Newsom administration’s environmental intentions. Rather than try re-run failed collaborations, the State should work within its own powers to change the constraints. … ”  Read more from On the Public Record here:  Then they’d be ready when the VSAs fall apart.

Voluntary Agreements on Delta flows have no real backstop:  Deirdre Des Jardins writes, “A September 19, 2019 Los Angeles Times Op Ed urged that Governor Gavin Newsom sign Senate Bill 1. One of the reasons given was that by affirming the Endangered Species Act protections in the bill, Newsom would signal that standards for the Voluntary Agreements on Delta flows would be kept high … Newsom’s veto of Senate Bill 1 shows just how little backstop there is for the Voluntary Agreements on Delta flows. … ”  Read more from California Water Research here: Voluntary Agreements on Delta flows have no real backstop

EPA’s appalling letter about water and homelessness:  Michael Kelley writes, “Today, in a blatant political attack, Andrew Wheeler told California that the state  “needs to fulfill its obligation to protect its water bodies and, more importantly, public health.”  That’s rich coming from the head of Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency.  It’s more than that — it’s appalling. The President has turned EPA into a weapon to attack his political enemies while scapegoating people experiencing homelessness. Going after the local and state governments that are actually trying to solve the homelessness crisis and implement our water laws while EPA is working to dismantle the Clean Water Act takes an astounding amount of chutzpah. … ”  Read more from We All Live Downstream here: EPA’s appalling letter about water and homelessness

The Snow Must Go On:  Kate Poole writes, “Here in California, we’re a little bit obsessed with our snowpack. Following the Department of Water Resources on its monthly wintertime trek to measure the Sierra snowpack has become a ritual for California water reporters and must-see t.v. for water wonks like me. I’ve yet to witness anyone get in a sword fight with their ski poles on this periodic trek, so why is it so riveting?  It’s riveting because the Sierra snowpack provides about a third of California’s annual water storage and supply. And without it, we’re in deep trouble. ... ”  Read more from the NRDC here:  The Snow Must Go On

SGMA – A Worthwhile Investment:  Dave Eggerton writes, “Five years ago this month, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) into law and it became part of his legacy. Today, fulfilling SGMA’s goals could drive the success of the Water Resilience Portfolio, establish Gov. Gavin Newsom’s own legacy and help deliver water sustainability for future generations.  Newsom made clear his commitment to establishing that legacy Sept. 14, when he announced his intention to veto SB 1 (Atkins). Had SB 1 been signed into law, it would have derailed Voluntary Agreements on Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta water. With deepening uncertainty over water supplies, the challenges facing Central Valley agriculture through SGMA may well have gone from difficult to impossible. But thankfully, that is not the case as of this week, and the success of SGMA remains within reach. ... ”  Read more from ACWA’s Voices on Water here: SGMA – A Worthwhile Investment

Feather River Fall-Run Status through 2018:  Tom Cannon writes, “In my last post on the status of Feather River fall run salmon in May 2017, I analyzed recruitment through the fall-run in 2016 that included survival of brood years through 2013. In a recent May 2019 post, I discussed the survival of hatchery brood year releases through 2013. After near record low escapement/recruitment in 2008 and 2009, there was a strong recovery from 2010-2014, followed by lower runs in 2015 and 2016 (brood years 2012 and 2013), the product of the 2012-2016 drought. Brood years 2012 and 2013 suffered from poor juvenile river survival of hatchery and wild salmon in critical drought years 2013 and 2014. Overall production was sustained by Bay and coastal hatchery smolt releases (trucking and pen releases). … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here:  Feather River Fall-Run Status through 2018

Stories You Haven’t Seen: Sacramento Valley Salmon Recovery Program:  “We encourage you to check out the various films and videos that show salmon recovery projects throughout the Sacramento River Basin and bring these projects to life. A new document shown below provides a compilation of links to these various films/videos.  The films and videos provide a unique glimpse into salmon recovery that includes project overviews, drone footage, interviews and animated narratives. The films and videos are organized by the different reaches of the river. ... ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here: Stories You Haven’t Seen: Sacramento Valley Salmon Recovery Program

Critical Habitat: The Next Endangered Species?  Zack Strong writes, “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) has made a host of changes to the rules implementing the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). These changes will negatively impact imperiled wildlife across the country—and even across the planet—by, for example, making it more difficult to list species, removing automatic protections for threatened species, and allowing FWS to ignore detrimental “baseline” conditions that may already be putting a species at risk of extinction. … ”  Read more from the NRDC here: Critical Habitat: The Next Endangered Species? 

Management’s eternal relevance:  Jay Lund writes, “Just a brief, and slightly pedantic, blog post this week on the importance of liberal education and broad thinking for those want to solve real problems, illustrated with a bit of history.  Engineers and physical scientists will know Claude-Louis Navier from his work on the fundamental equations of fluid mechanics (the Navier-Stokes equations) (1822). These are some of the scariest equations seen in most undergraduate engineering and science educations. ... ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here: Management’s eternal relevanceDaily 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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