BLOG ROUND-UP: Delta tunnel planning moves full speed ahead; MWD suggests SoCal has too much water?!; CVPIA hijacked by enviro advocates; Myths vs. Facts: 2019 biological opinions; Birds, farms and a Carolina girl; and more …

Headwaters of the San Joaquin River; Photo by J. Cook Fisher

In blogs this week: Delta tunnel planning moves full speed ahead; MWD suggests Southern California has too much water?!; CVPIA Accountability: Regrettably, the program has been hijacked to a degree by environmental advocates…; On the Public Record with some minor thoughts on the Water Resilience Portfolio; Myths vs. Facts: 2019 biological opinions for long-term operations of the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project; Striped bass: an important indicator species in the Delta; Birds, farms and a Carolina girl; and more …

blog-round-up-previous-editionsCalifornia’s Delta tunnel planning moves full speed ahead:  Dan Bacher writes, “The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is moving full-speed ahead with its campaign to build the controversial single tunnel under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, as demonstrated in the latest Delta conveyance update from the agency yesterday.  Conservationists, Tribal leaders, recreational anglers, commercial fishermen, environmental justice advocates, boaters, Delta business owners and elected leaders oppose the single tunnel because it would drive already imperiled Delta smelt, long fin smelt, winter-run and spring-run Chinook salmon and other species into the abyss of extinction. … ”  Red more from the Daily Kos here: California’s Delta tunnel planning moves full speed ahead

MWD suggests Southern California has too much water?!  Doug Obegi writes, “When was the last time that you heard a water district in California complaining that in the future, they will have too much water supply? Remarkably, that’s the future that the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) outlined at their October 2019 Board of Directors’ retreat.  On the one hand, this is great news, as it indicates that Southern California can invest in local and regional water supply projects to sustain the economy while significantly reducing diversions from the Bay-Delta. ... ”  Read more from the NRDC here: MWD suggests Southern California has too much water?!

CVPIA Accountability: Regrettably, the program has been hijacked to a degree by environmental advocates… Families Protecting the Valley writes, “Environmentalists have spent many years trying to make farmers look like they’ve been living off of government subsidies and free water.  Most people probably don’t realize farmers have to pay for their water.  But they do.  Those who rely on the Central Valley Project have been paying for decades and they continue to pay.  How much?  We’ll get into that. … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here: CVPIA Accountability: Regrettably, the program has been hijacked to a degree by environmental advocates… 

On the Public Record with some minor thoughts on the Water Resilience Portfolio:  OtPR writes, “I was legit impressed that the opening statement read that ‘water is central…’ and I had hopes that perhaps this will be a meaningful document that avoids tired clichés and weak thought and on the very next page, the first sentence said “lifeblood” and all my naïve dreams were crushed. Anyway, I would like to congratulate the authors on waiting one entire page before using the tiredest word in water. … ”  Read more from On the Public Record here: Minor thoughts on the Water Resilience Portfolio

Myths vs. Facts: 2019 biological opinions for long-term operations of the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project:  The California Farm Water Coalition writes, “In October of 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released new biological opinions (BiOps) analyzing the operation of the Federal Central Valley Project (CVP) and the California State Water Project (SWP). Following the release of the BiOps, there were numerous inaccurate characterizations of the opinions. Below are facts about the BiOps and comments from independent peer reviewers. … ”  Read more from the California Farm Water Coalition here: Myths vs. Facts: 2019 biological opinions for long-term operations of the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project

Striped bass: an important indicator species in the Delta:  Peter Moyle writes, “The striped bass is a favorite sport fish in the San Francisco Estuary (SFE), especially the Delta, because of its large size, sporting qualities, and tasty flesh. Historically, it supported major commercial and sport fisheries but the commercial fishery was shut down long ago and the sport fishery is in long-term decline. The decline of adult fish is reflected in decline of juvenile striped bass as well. Juvenile abundance in the major fish surveys of the SFE track the decline of delta and longfin smelt well. These declines are a good indication that major changes have taken place in the pelagic (open water) environment in the upper SFE, creating problems for pelagic fishes in general. Nevertheless, adult striped bass, which are voracious predators, have been accused of causing the declines through predation, although there is little evidence for this ... ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here: Striped Bass: An Important Indicator Species in the Delta

Essential needs for the recovery of endangered winter-run salmon:  Tom Cannon writes, “Summer spawning and egg incubation water temperatures in the upper Sacramento River below Shasta Dam is a well-known and documented key to the recovery of winter-run salmon Chinook salmon. In a December 2018 post, I noted the importance of early-fall flows to support the emigration of juvenile winter-run salmon from spawning and early rearing areas of the upper Sacramento River near Redding. In this post, I add another measure to the list of essential needs. … “  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here: Essential needs for the recovery of endangered winter-run salmon

Downward trend in San Francisco Bay longfin smelt:  Tom Cannon writes, “In my last posts on longfin smelt, I expressed some optimism about their recovery from the 2013-2015 drought based on 2017 and 2018 population data. I have changed my mind. In this wet water year 2019, the longfin have again crashed.  The long-term trend over four wet-year November adult trawl surveys, including this year (2019), continues downward. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here: Downward trend in San Francisco Bay longfin smelt

Birds, farms and a Carolina girl:  The NorCal Water Association writes, “There wasn’t an older brother or sister. Single mother worked full time, and in an age when this was normal, the outdoors became her babysitter.  Few of her friends lived in the same Pinehurst, North Carolina neighborhood, so Meghan was left with the trees, rocks and her imagination to pass the time. She didn’t know it then, but those days under the southern sun would play a vital role in shaping her adult life. … ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here: Birds, farms and a Carolina girl

A changing water landscape:  Ellen Hanak writes, “California saw some especially big changes over the past year in its ever-changing water world. New groundwater sustainability agencies finalized their plans to better manage overtapped groundwater supplies, and are poised to begin implementing them. In October, the Trump administration announced plans to pump more water from the Delta, complicating efforts to negotiate solutions to water supply and ecosystem management conflicts in the Central Valley. And the Newsom administration recently released a plan to make the state’s extensive water system more resilient to climate change. All of this—and much more—took place in 2019. … ”  Read more from the PPIC here: A changing water landscape

Perspectives on groundwater sustainability: Erik Ringelberg with the Freshwater Trust:  “The Freshwater Trust is most well-known for its work on protecting freshwater river ecosystems. In California, a significant amount of surface water bodies are regulated and diverted through dams and other surface water infrastructure. Surface water bodies also lose flow when the groundwater is depleted. So for our efforts in California, we see as an important role for the Trust to use our understanding of surface waters and apply that to protecting their associated groundwater systems. California is catching up on groundwater protection and we are taking the lessons we have learned from other Western states and applying them to groundwater in California. … ”  Read more from the We All Live Downstream blog here: Perspectives on groundwater sustainability

Dirty water – dirty politics:  Liz Amsden writes, “Who can deny the value of potable water to every living thing in this city, this county, this state?  Four million residential and industrial customers in 43 cities in the Los Angeles, San Gabriel and San Fernando Basins are dependent on multiple water sources – groundwater pumped from below them, by aqueduct from the Colorado River, the Sierra Nevada snowpack, Mono Lake, the Owens Valley and recycled from wastewater treatment plants.  Control of our water is not random; it has been designed behind closed doors by current and termed-out state legislators, political operatives, and their questionable allies. … ”  Read more from City Watch here: Dirty water – dirty politics

The risk of Southern California falling into “perfect drought”:  John Fleck writes, “Last year was, for Southern California water management, perfectly wet. By that I mean a good snowpack in the Sierra Nevada and the Colorado River Basin.  I’m stealing a wonderful phrase here from a new paper by the University of Arizona’s Connie Woodhouse (the full paper’s behind a paywall): “A Long View of Southern California Water Supply: Perfect Droughts Revisited.” … ” Read more from the Inkstain blog here: The risk of Southern California falling into “perfect drought”

Evaluation of Governor’s proposed Climate Resilience Bond:  Dierdre Des Jardins writes, “This is an evaluation of the proposed Climate Resilience Bond in the Governor Newsom’s proposed 2020-2021 California Budget, and associated parts of the Newsom administration’s Draft Water Resilience Portfolio. This evaluation is done in comparison with the Principles for State Investment of Climate Adaptation, developed by California Water Research as part of the Water Portfolio Recommendations of the One Water Network of environmental organizations. ... ”  Read more from the California Water Research blog here: Evaluation of Governor’s proposed Climate Resilience Bond

Misunderstanding the Law of Causation:  Dan Farber writes, “Last week’s NEPA proposal bars agencies from considering many of the harms their actions will produce, such as climate change. These restrictions profoundly misunderstand the nature of environmental problems and are based on the flimsiest of legal foundations.  Specifically, the proposal tells agencies they do not need to consider environmental “effects if they are remote in time, geographically remote, or the product of a lengthy causal chain.”  The proposal also excludes “cumulative effects.”  [85 FR 1708] Not coincidentally, all of these restrictions target climate change, which involves very long-term, global, complex, and cumulative effects. ... ”  Read more from the Legal Planet here: Misunderstanding the Law of CausationDaily 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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