BLOG ROUND-UP: Beware Trumpian claims that fish don’t need water; Twists and turns of 2019 Fall X2; How to read a Groundwater Sustainability Plan; Finally, some exciting news about water in CA; and more …

Photo by Bernard Spragg

In blogs this week: Beware Trumpian Claims that Fish Don’t Need Water; With SB1 behind us, California Has a Brighter Future for Water and Environmental Management; Twists and Turns of 2019 Fall X2; Some water management truisms; DWR’s $90.2 billion ‘State Water Investment Plan’ doesn’t consider adaptation to sea level rise; How to Read a Groundwater Sustainability Plan; Finally, some exciting news about water in California; It’s time the Safe Drinking Water Act got some respect; and more …

Beware Trumpian Claims that Fish Don’t Need Water:  Doug Obegi writes, “In recent weeks, agribusinesses and water districts that support the Trump Administration’s efforts to gut protections for salmon and other endangered species in California’s Bay-Delta have ramped up their claims that “new” science shows that the Trump Administration is right to weaken protections for endangered species, which would significantly increase water diversions from this imperiled estuary. However, these water agencies have a vested interest in claiming that fish don’t need water: so that they can divert even more of this public resource for their own use. … ”  Read more here:  Beware Trumpian Claims that Fish Don’t Need Water (Part 1), (Part 2)

With SB1 behind us, California Has a Brighter Future for Water and Environmental Management:  Mike Wade writes, “We applaud Governor Newsom’s veto of SB1, legislation that would have blocked efforts aimed at finding collaborative solutions to water supply and ecosystem challenges. He chose to calmly focus on the long-term rather than get caught up in the politics of the moment, which is often difficult. But it’s critical because what’s at stake is nothing short of California’s water future. ... ”  Read more from Fox and Hounds here:  With SB1 behind us, California Has a Brighter Future for Water and Environmental Management

Twists and Turns of 2019 Fall X2:  Tom Cannon writes, “The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), in a September 24, 2019 letter from Director Charlton Bonham, asked the US Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) to immediately implement “Fall X2” flows. Fall X2 increases Delta outflow from August 15 through October of wetter water years to protect Delta smelt. Fall X2 is a condition in the federal 2008 Smelt Biological Opinion for the Long-term Operation of the Central Valley Project (CVP) and the State Water Project (SWP). ... ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here: Twists and Turns of 2019 Fall X2

Some water management truisms, part 1:  Jay Lund writes, “Here is a partial collection of truisms on water management. These are common ideas that seem obviously true (particularly in the western US), but still offer insights and perspective. The original sources of these are unknown (although apocryphal citations are common). Any that I think are original to me, are probably not. … ”  Read more at the California Water Blog here: Some water management truisms, part 1

DWR’s $90.2 billion ‘State Water Investment Plan’ doesn’t consider adaptation to sea level rise:  Deirdre Des Jardins writes, “The Department of Water Resources’ 2018 California Water Plan Update proposes that the state invest $90.2 billion over the next 50 years in increasing resilience of water supply and flood infrastructure, and ecosystem restoration. The enormously costly proposal is ambitiously named the “State Water Investment Plan.”  The $90.2 billion in the proposed “State Water Investment Plan” includes $59 billion to “Strengthen Resiliency and Operational Flexibility of Existing and Future Infrastructure.” … ”  Read more from the California Water Research blog here: DWR’s $90.2 billion ‘State Water Investment Plan’ doesn’t consider adaptation to sea level rise

Five years into SGMA, here are five important considerations for balancing groundwater quality and quantity:  Sarah Fakhreddine writes, “California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), signed into law five years ago, requires local leaders to balance groundwater demand and supplies for the first time. Groundwater is an important foundation of California’s water system, and SGMA is a crucial way of strengthening that foundation and creating a more resilient future for the state.  However, balancing groundwater budgets will not be easy. And this major challenge is further complicated by the fact that activities designed to increase groundwater supplies can unintentionally cause new groundwater quality problems or worsen existing contamination. … ”  Read more from the Growing Returns blog here: Five years into SGMA, here are five important considerations for balancing groundwater quality and quantity

blog-round-up-previous-editionsHow to Read a Groundwater Sustainability Plan:  Don Wright writes, “Groundwater Sustainability Plans are popping up around the Valley like mushrooms after a rain. This may not be the definitive treatise on how to read a GSP – there is a comment section at the bottom of the page, feel free to add your two bits – but hopefully it will get us started in better understanding what we face in the near future. ... ”  Read more from Water Wrights here: How to Read a Groundwater Sustainability Plan

Finally, some exciting news about water in California.  Jeff Michael writes, “‘New $100M Innovation Hub to Accelerate R&D for a Secure Water Future: A research consortium led by Berkeley Lab, along with three other national labs, will head a DOE desalination hub to provide secure and affordable water’: I would suggest the Governor borrow a few quotes from the LBL news release about NAWI when he announces a bold new vision for California water priorities.  For example, “NAWI’s vision for creating a stable and resilient water supply for agriculture, industry, and communities involves a circular water economy, where water is treated to fit-for-purpose standards and reused locally, rather than transporting freshwater long distances.” … ”  Read more from the Valley Economy blog here: Finally, some exciting news about water in California.

Reimagining our Water System: Sites Reservoir as 21st Century Infrastructure:  “The Northern California Water Association (NCWA) and water leaders in Northern California have appreciated the opportunity to engage with the Newsom Administration and our many partners to help develop and then implement “a water resilience portfolio (portfolio) that meets the needs of California’s communities, economy, and environment through the 21st century.”  Building on the Governor’s call to “position California to meet broad water needs through the 21st Century” there are unique opportunities in the Sacramento River Basin to more effectively integrate 21st Century infrastructure into our multi-benefit water management approaches to help achieve resiliency. … ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here: Reimagining our Water System: Sites Reservoir as 21st Century Infrastructure

It’s time the Safe Drinking Water Act got some respect:  Jim Salzman writes, “I have been writing about drinking water issues for the past fifteen years and often been struck at how little attention the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) receives in our field. Passed just two years after the Clean Water Act, it gets scant or no coverage in environmental law casebooks and is rarely taught in environmental law courses. There were plenty of conferences celebrating the 40th anniversaries of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. Not so for poor SDWA.  There are certainly reasons why SDWA has not been considered part of the environmental statute canon. It does not focus on threats to the environment. Foundations and environmental groups did not consider it a priority for its first four decades. Indeed, prior to Flint, NRDC was the only national environmental group with a strong program on drinking water. ... ”  Read more from Legal Planet here: It’s time the Safe Drinking Water Act got some respect

Bottled water sales track community response to water contamination:  Faith Kearns write, “Drinking water contamination is an ongoing issue across the United States. However, tracking water quality violations and notifying residents about them is challenging, and there is no systematic approach for prioritizing assistance once a violation is detected. Using a dataset intended to assess bottled water marketing trends, Maura Allaire, an assistant professor in Urban Planning and Public Policy at UC Irvine, and her collaborators are tackling these challenges and gaining a better understanding of how communities deal with contaminated water. … ” Read more from The Confluence blog here: Bottled water sales track community response to water contamination

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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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