BLOG ROUND-UP: Trump’s Bay-Delta biops are a plan for extinction; Some more water management truisms; Settlements constrain efforts to enlarge Shasta Dam; Providing ‘overdraft’ protection for groundwater in the Pajaro Valley; Building climate resilience through insurance; and more …

Outside of Bishop. Photo by RS2Photography. October 16, 2019.

In blogs this week: Trump’s Bay-Delta biops are a plan for extinction; Some more water management truisms; Settlements constrain efforts to enlarge Shasta Dam; When they say pumping will increase ‘roughly 10 percent’, it’s 10% of 20 percent; Reimagining our water system: A water resilience portfolio for California; Providing ‘overdraft’ protection for groundwater in California’s Pajaro Valley; Building climate resilience through insurance; and more …

Trump’s Bay-Delta biops are a plan for extinction: Doug Obegi writes, “Given the trail of environmental degradation, unlawful agency action, and scientific misconduct left in the wake of decision-making by the Trump Administration and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, it’s no surprise that the new biological opinions for the Bay-Delta dramatically increase water diversions for Mr. Bernhardt’s former clients and dramatically weaken or eliminate protections for salmon and other endangered species. As we continue to read through the biological opinions, here are detailed reasons why these biological opinions are a plan for extinction in the Bay-Delta.  … ”  Read more from the NRDC here:  Trump’s Bay-Delta Biops are a Plan for Extinction
blog-round-up-previous-editionsSome more water management truisms (Part II):  Jay Lund writes, “Here is part two of a partial collection of truisms on water management. These ideas seem obviously true, but still offer insights and perspective. Original sources are mostly unknown (but apocryphal citations are common). Any that I think are original to me, are probably not. … ”  Continue reading at the California Water Blog here: Some more water management truisms (Part II)

Settlements Constrain Efforts to Enlarge Shasta Dam:  Drevet Hunt writes, “This week, California’s Attorney General and a coalition of fishing and conservation groups that includes NRDC settled lawsuits brought against Westlands Water District on terms that will help ensure Westlands does not assist in the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s ill-conceived effort to enlarge Shasta Dam. The proposed settlements, which await entry by the court, come on the heels of the California Supreme Court’s decision upholding a preliminary injunction obtained by the Attorney General, which the trial court granted after finding that raising Shasta Dam likely would violate State law, and which prevented Westlands from moving forward with a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process undertaken to facilitate the dam’s enlargement. ” Read more from the NRDC here: Settlements Constrain Efforts to Enlarge Shasta Dam

10% = 2%!  So when they say pumping will increase ‘roughly 10 percent’ we need to remember that it’s 10% of 20 percent:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “You have no doubt heard about the Biological Opinions in the news lately that will allow more water to be pumped out of the Delta to people of Southern California and farmers in our Central Valley.  According to the article below, “that plan proposes to increase water withdrawals from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta by roughly 10 percent, often during critical migration periods for fish like Chinook salmon and Delta smelt.” … ”  Read more from the Families Protecting the Valley here: 10% = 2%!

Reimagining our Water System: A Water Resilience Portfolio for California: The Northern California Water Association 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 “position California to meet broad water needs through the 21st Century” there are unique opportunities in the Sacramento River Basin to reimagine our water system and more effectively pursue modern water management to help achieve resiliency. … ”  Read more from the NorCal Water Association blog here: Reimagining our Water System: A Water Resilience Portfolio for California

Newark Luxury Development Would Pave Over Wetlands, Displacing Wildlife & Increasing Risk from Sea Level Rise:  Julia Foote writes, “Before the 1960s “save the bay” efforts began, the San Francisco Bay was treated like a dump- a place for trash and sewage. Most cities planned to sacrifice their shorelines and fill wetlands for development. A dire fate for the San Francisco Bay became apparent, and spurred a grassroots movement to save the bay and create the first urban national wildlife refuge. This effort led to a trajectory of respecting and restoring our wetlands.  Yet today, a backwards phenomenon is happening in Newark. … ”  Read more from the Sierra Club here: Newark Luxury Development Would Pave Over Wetlands, Displacing Wildlife & Increasing Risk from Sea Level Rise

Providing ‘Overdraft’ Protection for Groundwater in California’s Pajaro Valley:At Driscoll’s, we’ve long advocated for responsible and collaborative solutions to groundwater management, and seek to grow in harmony with our communities. Water is a shared resource, and we all must work together at the local level to ensure it’s being managed well to keep our communities, businesses and ecosystems healthy for generations.  That’s why, over the past few years, we’ve been working with UC Santa Cruz, the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County, the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency, and an independent grower on the Bokariza-Drobac stormwater infiltration system — an innovative groundwater-recharge project in the Pajaro Valley. … .”  Read more from Sustainable Brands here: Providing ‘Overdraft’ Protection for Groundwater in California’s Pajaro Valley

Broken pipes. Complex funding applications. The water challenges facing California’s disadvantaged communities.  Adriana Fernandez writes, “California might have the fifth largest economy in the world, but many people in the state’s disadvantaged communities feel like they are living in a third world country because they don’t have safe, clean and affordable drinking water.  Throughout the past year as a Tom Graff Diversity Fellow at EDF, I had the privilege to gain a deeper understanding of these critical water challenges facing low-income, underrepresented communities in California and amplify the voices of community members left out of the decision-making process. ... ”  Read more from the EDF’s Growing Returns blog here: Broken pipes. Complex funding applications

Climate Change Affects Students’ Well-Being: Case Study of Extreme Heat in San Joaquin Valley and Need for Climate-Smart Schools:  “Education is a fundamental right, codified in the constitutions of nearly half of the 50 states including California and in international law. Schools are expected to provide safe and healthy environments for children to learn and grow. Yet many are ill-equipped to protect them from the heatwaves, floods, wildfires, and droughts that are happening in increasing number and severity across the nation. The repercussions can be huge, affecting school finances, students’ health and academic performance, and communities. With limited budgets and lengthy deferred maintenance lists, building a resilient school may not be top of mind but, with climate change amplifying these extreme events, it should be. ... ”  Read more from The Equation here: Climate Change Affects Students’ Well-Being: Case Study of Extreme Heat in San Joaquin Valley and Need for Climate-Smart Schools

Building Climate Resilience through Insurance: Ted Lamm writes, “The autumn of 2019 is bringing fresh evidence of the damage and disruption California has begun and will continue to suffer due to climate change. In response to the devastating 2017 and 2018 wildfires, California’s electric utilities have been preemptively cutting off power to hundreds of thousands of customers around the state for days at a time—and still, unavoidably and tragically, major fires have struck Sonoma County, Los Angeles, and elsewhere.  Wildfire and power shutoffs are just part of California’s “new abnormal” of climate risks such as flood, sea-level rise, extreme heat, and drought that will unfold with growing frequency (and interactivity) in coming years and decades. It has long been clear that insurance will play an integral role in helping Californians recover from these events, and that new risks will present systemic challenges to the insurance sector itself. … ”  Read more from Legal Planet here: Building Climate Resilience through Insurance

Supreme Court Wades Back into the Murky Clean Water Act:  “Since the 1980s, Maui County’s wastewater treatment plant has discharged millions of gallons of recycled water into groundwater. Over several months, this pollution migrates to the ocean where it affects the health of coral reefs. Under the Clean Water Act, any addition of any pollutant from any point source to a navigable water requires a costly and time-consuming permit. Yet the county has never obtained a permit, believing that the conveyance of the pollution by groundwater rather than a pipe rendered the permit requirement inapplicable. … ”  Read more from PERC here: Supreme Court Wades Back into the Murky 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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