BLOG ROUND-UP: Welcome to the future of California water policy; The political science of Bernhardt’s biological opinions; Biological opinions, voluntary agreements and recovery planning in the Sacramento river basin; State plans to jump-start Salton Sea work, but locals remain frustrated; and more …

Field of ghosts in the Southern San Joaquin Valley …

In blog commentary this week: Welcome to the future of California water policy; The political science of Bernhardt’s biological opinions; Biological opinions, voluntary agreements and recovery planning in the Sacramento river basin; Fire and water: researching debris flows to mitigate post fire storm hazards; State plans to jump-start Salton Sea work, but locals remain frustrated; Colorado River basin story map highlights importance of managing water below the ground; and more …

blog-round-up-previous-editionsWelcome to the Future of California Water Policy: Mike Wade writes, “While we await an update on the Voluntary Agreements, it’s a good time to take a closer look at the many benefits of this generational change in managing water and the future of California water policy.  First, it’s important to understand just why the Voluntary Agreements are so revolutionary.  The regulatory structure we’re leaving behind operates by defining winners and losers. In a complete break with this system of built-in conflict, California is recognizing that we all share our most valuable resource and all water users should participate in determining its allocation. Under the Voluntary Agreements  … ”  Continue reading at the California Farm Water Coalition here: Welcome to the Future of California Water Policy

Delta Flows: The Political Science of Bernhardt’s Biological Opinions:  Barbara Barrigan-Parilla writes, “Governor Gavin Newsom has never been one to hesitate expressing his values in opposition to President Trump. However, as noted by Politico, and plenty of California water policy folks, there was no direct response from the Governor to the Trump administration biological opinions filled with species protection and water quality rollbacks and miscalculations. Instead, we heard from the California Natural Resources Agency, “We will evaluate the federal government’s proposal, but will continue to push back if it does not reflect our values.”  Shouldn’t the Newsom administration be ready by now to articulate their sincere values regarding Delta management? And more importantly, shouldn’t the Newsom administration be ready to act on their water values as forcefully as they do gas emissions, immigration, and a host of other issues? … ”  Read more from Restore the Delta here: Delta Flows: The Political Science of Bernhardt’s Biological Opinions

Biological Opinions, Voluntary Agreements and Recovery Planning in the Sacramento River Basin:  The NorCal Water Association blog writes, “The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) has recently completed consultations under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regarding the coordinated long-term operations of the Central Valley Project (CVP) and the State Water Project (SWP). … Although most of the provisions in the new BiOps are focused on Delta operations, there are several provisions that are specific to the Sacramento River Basin. ... ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here: Biological Opinions, Voluntary Agreements and Recovery Planning in the Sacramento River Basin

Fire and water: Researching debris flows to mitigate post fire storm hazards:  “Destructive debris flows, commonly known as mudslides, have affected many parts of California in the past few years. Debris flows can cause extensive damage to homes and infrastructure, and threaten human safety. A related issue that gets less attention is how debris flows affect water quality downstream following fires. A current study led by Andrew Gray of the University of California, Riverside, is therefore timely.  “Historically, we haven’t known much about the quality and quantity of sediments exported from burned areas. Our approach to addressing this knowledge gap was to monitor debris flows and associated suspended sediment so we could get a better understanding of the changing conditions that might lead to a debris flow following a wildfire. We also wanted to characterize the effects of debris flows on water quality,” says Gray. ... ”  Read more from The Confluence here:Fire and water: Researching debris flows to mitigate post fire storm hazards

State plans to jump-start Salton Sea work, but locals remain frustrated:  Pablo Garza and Ronna Kelly write, “The Salton Sea is California’s largest lake, but it’s hard to grasp its immense size – and beauty – until you see it with you own eyes. Last week, roughly 200 people gathered in this unique area – both residents and leaders from around the Salton Sea and from outside the region – for the Salton Sea Summit, a conference that explored the many challenges and solutions facing the Salton Sea region.  The summit was important because, as California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot noted during his keynote on the first day, the Salton Sea has “major problems.” … ”  Read more from EDF here: State plans to jump-start Salton Sea work, but locals remain frustrated

Colorado River Basin story map highlights importance of managing water below the ground:  Rachel O’Connor writes, “The Colorado River is a water workhorse for seven western states, supplying drinking water to 40 million people. But it’s not the region’s only important source of water.  Groundwater — the water underground that we can’t see — is also hugely important in the Colorado River Basin. Groundwater provides base flow to rivers and streams, supports groundwater-dependent ecosystems, serves as the primary source of drinking water for many rural communities and plays a key role in water supply balance. … ”  Read more from EDF’s Growing Returns here: Colorado River Basin story map highlights importance of managing water below the ground

Hydropower Reform Coalition Opposes Another Trump Administration Attack on the Clean Water Act:  Chris Shutes writes, “The Hydropower Reform Coalition (HRC), including CSPA and allied hydropower advocates, has submitted extensive comments in opposition to the Trump Administration’s attack on Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. Trump’s Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new Proposed Rule on August 22, 2019 that would roll back protections for water quality as required in statute and as affirmed in numerous Supreme Court decisions. ... ”  Read more from the CSPA here: Hydropower Reform Coalition Opposes Another Trump Administration Attack on the Clean Water Act

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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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