BLOG ROUND-UP: Rapid changes in the Delta both diminish scientific certainty and increase science’s value; Central Valley salmon hatchery release strategies 2019; Moving forward on Flood-MAR with pilots; To break bread, we need water; Shark water redux; and more …

Photo by Viv Lynch

This week in blog commentary: Rapid changes in the Delta both diminish scientific certainty and increase science’s value; A conversation with the Delta Conservancy; Delta Plan performance measures: if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it; Central Valley salmon hatchery release strategies 2019; Moving forward on Flood-MAR with pilots; To break bread, we need water; 1,100 reports missing: NRDC files suit on water-saving rules; Shark water redux; 2019: A Look at the Best Images from Above; and more …

Rapid changes in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta both diminish scientific certainty and increase science’s value:  Jay Lund writes, “Conditions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are changing, changing in new ways, and changing rapidly. Changes are rampant not only in climate, but also in ecosystem structure, economic structure and globalization, invasive species, infrastructure, water demands, environmental regulations, and societal objectives. Although the Delta always has changed, often rapidly, we are seeing new types of changes. … ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here: Rapid changes in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta both diminish scientific certainty and increase science’s value

Pablog-round-up-previous-editionsrtnerships, restoration, and more: a conversation with the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy:  Susan Tatayon writes, “Along with the Delta Protection Commission, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy is fondly known as one of the Delta Stewardship Council’s sister agencies. Although each organization includes the word “Delta” in its name, each is distinct in its charge by the California Legislature and day-to-day work.  I recently sat down with the Conservancy’s Executive Officer Campbell Ingram to discuss how the agency’s work fits in with the state’s Delta Plan, a current preliminary draft amendment to the Plan’s approach to ecosystem restoration in the Delta, and the Delta Plan Interagency Implementation Committee (DPIIC). I am pleased to share highlights from our conversation for this month’s Chair’s blog. … ”  Read more from the Delta Stewardship Council blog here: Partnerships, restoration, and more: a conversation with the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy

Delta Plan performance measures: if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it:  Martina Koller writes, “Recognizing the importance of management theories rooted in the adage, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it,” the California Legislature in the Delta Reform Act of 2009 required the Delta Plan to include measures to track performance and implementation of the Plan.  First adopted in 2013, the Delta Plan included a set of initial performance measures, which were later refined with input from the Delta Independent Science Board, the public, and federal, state, and local agencies. In 2018, the Council adopted a suite of new and updated measures to reflect best available science and Delta Plan amendments made in recent years. This year, the Council launched a new online dashboard that visualizes metrics, baselines, and targets associated with the Plan’s 154 performance measures. … ”  Read more from the Delta Stewardship Council blog here: Delta Plan performance measures: if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it

Central Valley salmon hatchery release strategies 2019:  Tom Cannon writes, “Federal and State hatcheries released 32 million juvenile salmon into the Central Valley, the Bay-Delta, and nearby coastal waters in 2019. The hatchery programs included spawning and rearing salmon from all four salmon races: fall-run, late–fall-run, winter-run, and spring-run. The hatchery programs have come a long way through decades of adaptive management, but some lessons were not learned. In this post I summarize and discuss the release strategies in 2019 of the seven hatchery programs. In most cases, release strategies were good for smolt survival. Some releases were made into poor flows and high water temperature conditions that would contribute to poor survival from slowed migration, heat stress, starvation, or high predation rates. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here: Central Valley salmon hatchery release strategies 2019

Moving forward on Flood-MAR with pilots:  Richard McCann writes, “The progress on implementing floodwater managed aquifer recharge programs (Flood-MAR) reminds me of the economist’s joke, “sure it works in practice, but does it work in theory?” A lot of focus seems to be on trying to refine the technical understanding of recharge, without going with what we already know about aquifer replenishment from decades of applications.  The Department of Water Resources Flood-MAR program recently held a public forum to discuss its research program. I presented a poster (shown above) on the findings of a series of studies we conducted for Sustainable Conservation on the economic and financial considerations for establishing these programs. (I posted about this last February.) ... ”  Read more from the Economics Outside the Cube blog here: Moving forward on Flood-MAR with pilots

To break bread, we need water:  Page Buono writes, “Water connects us across generations, cultures, geographies. And, though we may often forget, water also connects us across tables. We need water. Food, needs water. The production of one apple requires 18 gallons. A 1/3-pound hamburger is 660 gallons of water in the making. One slice of bread takes 11.  Trace those vital drops back to the store, the trucks, the fields. Trace them back far enough and, almost inevitably, you will wind up at a river.  Throughout the country, producers of our food are grappling with the impacts of warming temperatures, back-to-back drought, and increasing demand on over-allocated resources, squaring up against the harsh reality that land is worthless without water.  But as is often the case, scarcity in this way also drives innovation. ... ”  Read more from the American Rivers blog here: To break bread, we need water

1,100 reports missing: NRDC files suit on water-saving rules:  Ed Osann writes, “Did the dog eat their homework?  We haven’t found a better excuse from the estimated 340 California cities and counties that have failed to file annual reports on landscape water use with the state’s Department of Water Resources.  So this week, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) took the unprecedented step of filing a lawsuit against a proposed class of more than half of all cities and counties in California over their failure to report on their local permit programs for new irrigated landscapes, as required by state regulations. … ”  Read more from the NRDC blog here: 1,100 reports missing: NRDC files suit on water-saving rules

The Value of Conservation: Our land, our farms and our farmers all have stories worth preserving:  Karen Ross writes, “It’s not quite New Year’s Eve yet, but I’ve already got the kernel of a resolution taking root in my mind for 2020. It’s about stories – stories about people. About farmers and ranchers. About the power their stories hold to illustrate the importance of the policies we create and enact and enforce as public servants.  During last week’s meeting of the Strategic Growth Council, nearly $57 million was approved for distribution as part of the Sustainable Agricultural Land Program (SALC). Of course, it is always rewarding to be in a position to support great work with grants and easement funds, but the SALC is so inspiring because of the stories we hear each year from the farmers, ranchers and land trusts.  … ”  Read more from the Planting Seeds blog here: The Value of Conservation: Our land, our farms and our farmers all have stories worth preserving

Northern California water resources managers are prepared for the water year: The NorCal Water Association blog writes, “As the water year in California emerges, we have been blessed with snow in the high country and rain in many parts of the state. We are continually reminded that there is variability inherent in California’s precipitation and weather patterns and our water system has been built to address this variability and the maldistribution of water in California. We are also reminded that there is tremendous value in having stored water, both in reservoirs and aquifers, for both flood and water supply management.  Water resources managers in Northern California have learned from recent wet and dry years. It is still early in the water year, however, thanks to the good planning and work of water resources managers, Northern California is well prepared for this upcoming year … ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here: Northern California water resources managers are prepared for the water year

Shark water redux:  Brian Richter writes, “Last week I was able to attend the annual gathering of the Colorado River Water Users Association (CRWUA) in Las Vegas.  It appears that my recent post about the multi-decadal depletion of Lake Powell (“A Shark in Fresh Water“) is generating a good bit of discussion, and some questioning of my numbers (my thanks to those that asked!).  Therefore some elaboration is in order.  “Did Lake Powell really lose ~600,000 acre feet per year?”  Not in each and every year.  But over the past 19 years, the reservoir did in fact lose 600,000 acre feet per year on average. … ”  Read more from Sustainable Waters here: Shark water redux

Climate Change and rhetoric on the Colorado River:  John Fleck writes, “I could see the reporters at last week’s Colorado River Water Users Association meeting chafing at the rhetoric we were hearing regarding climate change. In my strange new role (kind of a reporter, I am writing another book,  and kind of not – I have this crazy university gig) I was invited into the news events, but tried to hang at the metaphorical back, letting the folks with daily deadlines and immediate needs ask most of the questions.  And regarding climate change, ask they did. Here’s how the Arizona Republic’s Ian James characterized the scene as he explained the comments made by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here: Climate Change and rhetoric on the Colorado River

2019: A Look at the Best Images from Above:  “As we look ahead to another year on this beautiful and fascinating planet, NOAA’s  Satellite and Information Service would like to take a moment to review 2019 from a satellite’s perspective.  It was a year of record-breaking tropical cyclones—in both the Atlantic and Pacific. Many parts of the globe were ravaged by wildfires in 2019 while the wonders of our solar system were on full display.  For NOAA personally, it was a year when we added another cutting-edge satellite to our fleet, as  GOES-17 became operational.  With their lofty view from space, NOAA satellites can see both the awe-inspiring beauty and the sobering destruction that Mother Nature creates across our dynamic blue planet. Below is our Top 10 list (in no particular order) of the most captivating images that Earth-observing satellites captured in 2019.  … ”  Read more from NOAA here: 2019: A Look at the Best Images from AboveDaily emails

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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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