This week in blog commentary: Bad News for the Bay-Delta [Today]: Trump Admin’s New BiOps; Trump Finally Uses (Weaponizes) the Clean Water Act; Analyzing Fish Population Dynamics in the Bay-Delta; We’re all complicit in California’s water follies; Reimagining our Water System: Advancing Water Recycling in California; The Destruction Caused by the Border Wall Is Worse Than You Think; Hotbed of Resistance: A Voice From Inside Trump’s EPA; and more …
Bad News for the Bay-Delta [Today]: Trump Admin’s New BiOps: Doug Obegi writes, “On October 22 the Trump Administration is expected to release new Endangered Species Act permits, known as biological opinions, that are almost certain to significantly weaken and/or eliminate existing federal protections for salmon and other endangered species in California’s Bay-Delta watershed. The Trump Administration is rolling back these federal protections for the stated purpose of “maximizing water deliveries” to agribusinesses and other water districts served by the federal Central Valley Project and State Water Project. … ” Read more from the NRDC here: Bad News for the Bay-Delta Tomorrow: Trump Admin’s New BiOps
September trawl survey finds zero Delta smelt as feds set to release weaker fish protection rules: Dan Bacher writes, “The Delta smelt, once the most abundant fish in the entire Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, has come closer and closer to extinction in the wild in recent years. In the first month of the fall midwater trawl survey, September, zero Delta smelt were caught in the survey. The Delta smelt, constantly maligned by San Joaquin Valley agribusiness interests, is an indicator species, found only in the estuary, that demonstrates the health of the ecosystem. Conservationists, scientists and anglers are hoping that this fall’s midwater trawl survey won’t be a repeat of 2018, when the California Department of Fish and Wildlife found zero Delta smelt in the months of September, October, November and December. … ” Read more from the Daily Kos here: September trawl survey finds zero Delta smelt as feds set to release weaker fish protection rules
Trump Finally Uses (Weaponizes) the Clean Water Act: Corinne Bell writes, “There’s low. And then there’s rock bottom. The Trump Administration’s EPA takeover, with its race to the bottom rollbacks of the environmental and public health protections that Americans have relied upon for decades, is low; so low that even some of the industries the Administration seeks to support are pushing back. But what the Trump Administration has been up to lately in California– weaponizing the Clean Water Act to serve a political vendetta…well, can it get any lower than that? … ” Read more from the NRDC here: Trump Finally Uses (Weaponizes) the Clean Water Act
Analyzing Fish Population Dynamics in the Bay-Delta: Tom Cannon writes, “I have been analyzing the declines in Bay-Delta and Central Valley fish populations for over 40 years. Fish population dynamics were the focus of my college education and my 50-year career in environmental impact assessment. I have participated in all the major efforts to understand the Bay-Delta fish population declines. From all of these efforts, it is clear to me what has caused the major fish population crashes. ... ” Read more from the California Fisheries blog here: Analyzing Fish Population Dynamics in the Bay-Delta
The Dreamt Land by Mark Arax: We’re all complicit in California’s water follies: Ann Willis writes, “We are all sinners. At least, that’s the impression Mark Arax leaves in The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California. What’s bold, and distinguishes this book from others about California, is that Arax grapples with a history that we’re still in the midst of creating, rather than reflecting on sins long past and easily put away as the transgressions of others. In that way, he leaves us both illuminated and uncomfortable, for we must ask ourselves: Are we complicit? Or an agent of the rigged system? For there doesn’t seem to be much safe space for innocence. ... ” Read more from the California Water Blog here: The Dreamt Land by Mark Arax: We’re all complicit in California’s water follies
California Headwaters Returning to Health with ACWA Member Support: Dave Eggerton writes, “ACWA member leadership takes many forms in securing a sustainable water future, and one of the most exciting is within the quiet shadows between pines in parts of the Sierra Nevada. It’s open space, and in some cases a sight unseen for generations. However, the hard work behind restoring the health of this forest will make generational impacts. Protecting water at its source depends on healthy headwaters and watersheds, one of ACWA’s guiding priorities. … ” Read more from ACWA’s Voices on Water here: California Headwaters Returning to Health with ACWA Member Support
Reimagining our Water System: Advancing Water Recycling in California: “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 that meets the needs of California’s communities, economy, and environment through the 21st century.” Building on the Governor’s call to “embrace innovation and new technologies,” there are opportunities for increased use of recycled water as sources of long-term reliable water supplies to increase drought resiliency throughout California. … ” Read more from the NCWA blog here: Reimagining our Water System: Advancing Water Recycling in California
How much might Utah’s Lake Powell pipeline cost? John Fleck writes, “My Colorado River policy attention time is a finite resource, and I admit I’ve not paid terribly close attention to Utah’s Lake Powell Pipeline proposal. My reasoning has been that it’s likely so expensive relative to the water it would provide that, with the end of big federal subsidies, Utah’s eventually going to wake up and say, “Wait, what? We’ll have to pay how much?” Simply using less water is likely to be a lot cheaper, and the folks in Washington County clearly have that option available. My public policy attention triage strategy is essentially “Don’t waste a lot of time on this one, it’s likely to go away soon.” I’ve been thinking that for a while. It hasn’t gone away. … ” Read more from the Inkstain blog here: How much might Utah’s Lake Powell pipeline cost?
The Destruction Caused by the Border Wall Is Worse Than You Think: Adam Federman writes, “It’s an almost solemn moment: A single saguaro cactus, perhaps 10 feet tall, is ripped from the desert to make way for President Trump’s border wall. This scene was one of the many videos and photographs to emerge in late September as the Department of Homeland Security began to clear large swathes of once-protected habitat in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, a 517-square-mile preserve in Arizona. … ” Read more from Sierra Magazine here: The Destruction Caused by the Border Wall Is Worse Than You Think
Hotbed of Resistance: A Voice From Inside Trump’s EPA: ” … Nicole Cantello is one of its spokespeople and has been president of AFGE Local 704 in Chicago for the past five months. She’s also spent 29 years as an EPA attorney holding polluters accountable and currently works as senior counsel for water and water enforcement in the Great Lakes region. Cantello spoke to The Revelator in her capacity as union president about how life has changed for EPA workers during the Trump administration, how those changes affect the environment and why we need a plan to rebuild the agency. ... ” Read more from The Revelator here: Hotbed of Resistance: A Voice From Inside Trump’s EPA
2020 in the Courts: A Preview: Dan Farber writes, “There are going to be some significant environmental cases over the next year. In addition, some important new cases will be filed now or in the near future, which may have produced some interesting rulings. It will probably take more than a year, however, for some of the big new cases down the turnpike to result in their first level of judicial opinions, let alone reach completion. … ” Read more from the Legal Planet here: 2020 in the Courts: A Preview
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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.