In blogs this week: Payback! When you cross the California environmental community, they will let you know; Climate change and instream flows; Perspectives on Groundwater Sustainability; California Taketh!; Can we understand it all? ; Klamath River Salmon – the Wrong Advice!; Reimagining our Water System: Utilizing Natural Infrastructure—Groundwater Recharge; From “The Great Mistake” to “Science Be Dammed”; Aging Dams, Forgotten Perils; and more …
Payback! When you cross the California environmental community, they will let you know: Families Protecting the Valley writes, “Environmentalists in don't like to lose and in California aren't used to ever losing. That's why they let it be known they wouldn't stand for the veto of SB1, the California Environment, Public Health, and Workers Defense Act of 2019. So when Governor Gavin Newsom followed through with his threat to veto the bill on Friday, Sept. 27, environmental groups let loose with a flurry of press releases, articles and statements denouncing the governor. If you want to put the battle in terms of war, environmentalista always take new ground, they never retreat. ... ” Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here: Payback! When you cross the California environmental community, they will let you know
Climate change and instream flows: Deirdre Des Jardins writes, “During the 2012-2016 drought, the State Water Resources Control Board temporarily suspended at least 35 minimum instream flow standards. The Department of Fish and Wildlife reported in 2015 that there had been 783 fish rescues in 52 different watersheds, comprising 51 species, and more than 264,000 fish. Six hundred wild McCloud River redband trout were captured and held in nine holding tanks in the Shasta River fish hatchery until stream conditions improved. This was crisis management. … ” Read more from the California Water Research blog here: Climate change and instream flows
Perspectives on Groundwater Sustainability: Adam Livingston with Sequoia Riverlands Trust: Nina Foushee writes, “Adam Livingston is the Director of Planning and Policy at the Sequoia Riverlands Trust (SRT). SRT is part of the Groundwater Collaborative, a group of non-governmental organizations, tribes and individuals that share information and resources to aid NGO participation in the development and implementation of groundwater sustainability plans around the state. Clean Water Action's Communication's Manager, Nina Foushee, interviewed Adam about the role of land trusts in sustainable groundwater management. … ” Read more from the We All Live Downstream here: Perspectives on Groundwater Sustainability: Adam Livingston with Sequoia Riverlands Trust
California Taketh!: Families Protecting the Valley writes, “California sees itself as a leader in the world. It's not necessarily how others see us. We mostly write about water issues and certainly our water policy is in disarray. But there are a lot of other issues that make living here difficult. We have high poverty and homelessness. A recent headline said “California's roads are some of the worst in the nation and getting worse.” Former Governor Jerry Brown said we have $187B in unmet infrastructure needs, not just roads and water but also dams and bridges. The unfunded liability of state pensions has been estimated at a trillion. California has the highest state income tax, one of the highest sales taxes. … ” Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here: California Taketh!
Can we understand it all? Jay Lund writes, ” … Today, as individuals we understand only a little about the detailed world around us (cell phones, medical technology, monetary policy, politics, international trade, law, etc.). We operate with amazing Neolithic brains in a modern world, relying mostly on others for details. Public education and outreach matters, of course, as seen during the drought, but our expectations must be reasonable. In our complex society and economy, with many important distractions, most people will only learn a lot about water systems if they fail. … ” Read more from the California Water Blog here: Can we understand it all?
Klamath River Salmon – the Wrong Advice!: Tom Cannon writes, “In a June 2019 article in the LA Times , also posted in Maven’s Notebook, JACQUES LESLIE suggests that “hatcheries don’t belong in this picture” once the planned removal of four dams on the Klamath River is complete. Based on my decades of work in the Klamath watershed, this post suggests a different approach. A conservation hatchery could accelerate and improve the outcome of the recovery of Klamath River salmon. I respond below to a few statements in the article. ... ” Read more from the California Fisheries blog here: Klamath River Salmon – the Wrong Advice!
Reimagining our Water System: Utilizing Natural Infrastructure—Groundwater Recharge: The NCWA blog writes, “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 “utilize natural infrastructure,” there are unique opportunities in the Sacramento River Basin to enhance and expand utilization of natural infrastructure for multiple benefits such as “forests and floodplains,” as well as advancing “groundwater recharge” to help with sustainable water management. ... ” Read more from the NCWA blog here: Reimagining our Water System: Utilizing Natural Infrastructure—Groundwater Recharge
From “The Great Mistake” to “Science Be Dammed”: John Fleck writes, “When I was wrestling six years ago with a path through what became my book Water Is For Fighting Over, I collected material about what I came to call “the great mistake” – the overallocation of the Colorado River’s water. One of my favorite stories surrounded William Sibert: ‘It is quite probable that the compact attempts to apportion more water than the actual average undepleted flow of the river.' ... ” Read more from the Inkstain blog here: From “The Great Mistake” to “Science Be Dammed”
Metropolitan Southern California’s use of Colorado River water on track to be the lowest this year since the 1950s: John Fleck writes, “The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s deliveries of Colorado River water this year are currently forecast at 550,518 acre feet, and depending on conditions over the two-and-a-half months of the year could drop as low as 506,000 acre feet, according to forecast data from the Bureau of Reclamation and what folks at MWD told me today. That is the lowest draw on the river by coastal Southern California since the 1950s. … ” Read more from the Inkstain blog here: Metropolitan Southern California’s use of Colorado River water on track to be the lowest this year since the 1950s
Aging Dams, Forgotten Perils: Dan Farber writes, “Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Critical U.S. infrastructure is dilapidated and unsafe. Regulation is week, and enforcement is weaker. Everyone agrees on the need for action, and climate change will only make the problem worse. but no one seems to do anything about it. Sadly, this has become a familiar story. Take dams for instance. A year ago I noted that the federal government regulates the safety of only a small proportion of dams in the United States, while it owns less than 5%. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, in 2015, there were more than 15,000 dams classified as “high-hazard potential,” a number that had increased by a third since 2005. ... ” Read more from the Legal Planet here: Aging Dams, Forgotten Perils
Amid National Drinking Water Crises, EPA Moves to Weaken Lead Protections: “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is planning on releasing its proposed changes to the Lead and Copper Rule, the notoriously complex and outdated law meant to protect people from harmful lead contamination in drinking water. But instead of strengthening the law, as public health experts recommend, the Trump administration’s rollback extends the timeline for replacing the country’s six million lead service lines by two decades and keeps the federal action limit for lead at 15 parts per billion (ppb); by comparison, Canada’s action level for lead is 5 ppb. ... ” Read more from the NRDC here: Amid National Drinking Water Crises, EPA Moves to Weaken Lead Protections
The William Perry Pendley Rehabilitation Tour: John Platt writes, “William Perry Pendley wants you think that what he thinks doesn’t matter. Pendley spent four decades advocating for the corporate exploitation of U.S. public lands. He now serves the Trump administration as the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management, the agency responsible for much of those same public lands. Over the years Pendley, a self-styled “Sagebrush Rebel,” has pushed for the wholesale divestment of public lands from federal control, denied the existence of climate change and the hole in the ozone layer, denigrated the press, and called illegal immigrants a “cancer,” among other radical, extremist positions. But now he’d have you believe that those actions and opinions no longer matter. … ” Read more from The Revelator here: The William Perry Pendley Rehabilitation Tour
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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.