Direct from Governor Newsom:  On the Public Record writes, “Governor Newsom was asked about his water policy at the PPIC lunch yesterday. At minute 52, he said (slight editing for clarity):  Q: You appear to have endorsed Gov. Brown’s to water, relying on tunnels rather than reducing dependence on the Delta. Is there a better way. Let’s talk about your vision on water.  “Put out portfolio plan, very prescriptive a counternarrative to that question. Beyond conveyance, in addition…  Not going to do, frustrate two-thirds of you. Not interested in reinforcing the arguments of the past. I love reading all that, hey he’s naïve, he’s being misled, you know, good. You know. Because it means we’re doing something a little different. … ”  Continue reading at On the Public Record here: Direct from Governor Newsom

Governor’s climate bond language on “resilience principles”  Dierdre Des Jardins writes, “California Water Research’s January 13, 2020 blog post criticized the Newsom administration’s Draft Water Resilience Portfolio for not actually defining resilience.  The Governor’s 2020-2021 budget proposed a $4.75 billion Climate Resilience Bond, which would allocate $1 billion to the Department of Water Resources to spend on “regional and inter-regional water resilience” projects without defining what “resilience” meant.  The Department of Finance has just released the language for the Governor’s proposed 2020 Climate Resilience Bond.  ... ”  Read more from the California Water Research blog here:  Governor’s climate bond language on “resilience principles” 

Hatchery steelhead smolts released just in time to chow down on baby salmon:  Tom Cannon writes, “The state and federal hatcheries in the Central Valley will be releasing 1.5 million yearling steelhead smolts this winter. The location and timing of these releases could not be worse for the survival of newly emerged wild fall-run and spring-run salmon.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will release approximately 600,000 smolts from the Coleman Hatchery on Battle Creek into the Sacramento River near Redding in January. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will release approximately 900,000 steelhead smolts from state hatcheries will be released to the lower American, Feather, and Mokelumne Rivers in February. The peak of newly emerged salmon fry is January in the Sacramento River near Redding and February in the three tributary rivers (the difference is a result of managed fall water temperatures.) … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here: Hatchery steelhead smolts released just in time to chow down on baby salmon

Episode 1: “Unraveling the Knot” Water movement in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta – reprise:  Bill Fleenor, Amber Manfree, and Megan Nguyen write, “In 2010, John DeGeorge of RMA, Inc used animated model results to illustrate specific flow and water quality issues in the Delta to the State Water Board. The Center for Watershed Sciences, working with John and using RMA software, has assembled a series of narrated animations to show some major forces acting on Delta flows and water quality. The goal is to “Unravel the Knot” of California’s Delta – at least some it – in terms of flow and water quality.  In Episode 1 we start with general background of California water and the role and significance of the Delta.  The main points are ... ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here: Episode 1: “Unraveling the Knot” Water movement in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta – reprise

Groundwater plans are due in California, but the hard work is just getting started:  Christina Babbitt writes, “January 31 is a big day for California water. It’s the day when 19 critically overdrafted groundwater basins must submit plans to the state for how they will bring their groundwater demand in line with available supplies over the next 20 years.  … SGMA is taking water managers and users into uncharted territory. Since its passage, California water managers have made important progress, creating new groundwater agencies and learning more about their local groundwater supplies and demands. These are important first steps toward sustainability, but SGMA requires a deeper paradigm shift to succeed.  Here are four actions ... ”  Read more from EDF’s Growing Returns blog here:  Groundwater plans are due in California, but the hard work is just getting started

Advancing sustainable groundwater management in the Sacramento Valley:  The Northern California Water Association writes, “With Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) emerging from basins that are subject to critical conditions of overdraft to meet the January 31 deadline, this is a good time to reflect on sustainable groundwater management.  In the Sacramento Valley, local agencies have organized Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) and they are poised to advance the next generation of groundwater management in California through the GSPs that will be submitted by January 2022. The map below from the Department of Water Resources shows the GSAs and the collaboration across the entire Sacramento Valley floor, which includes ten counties and nearly 100 special water districts and companies working together with landowners and other interested parties. … ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here:  Advancing sustainable groundwater management in the Sacramento Valley

Groups criticize Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir site, environmental report:  Dierdre Des Jardins writes, “On Monday, January 27, Friends of the River, Save Del Puerto Canyon, California Water Research, and environmental and fishing groups filed comments highly critical of the Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir proposed site and the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Report.  Del Puerto Water District and the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors are proposing to construct the project to store agricultural water supplies. The city of Patterson (population 22,352) is just below the main dam, and local residents are concerned about public safety. … ”  Read more from the California Water Research blog here:  Groups criticize Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir site, environmental report

Stanislaus River salmon in 2020:  Tom Cannon writes, “The San Joaquin River watershed has contributed up to a third of the total Central Valley salmon run as recently as 2017, if one counts the Mokelumne River as a San Joaquin River tributary and includes its large hatchery contribution. Though the fall salmon run in the Stanislaus River includes many hatchery strays from throughout the Central Valley, the Stanislaus remains the biggest contributor of wild-produced salmon in the San Joaquin basin.  … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries here:  Stanislaus River salmon in 2020

Catching the water bug: A conversation with Brinda Sarathy:  Faith Kearns writes, “Brinda Sarathy is Professor of Environmental Analysis and Director of the Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability at Pitzer College.  In addition to being on the faculty at Pitzer, you are also directing the Redford Conservancy. Can you explain a bit about the Conservancy and your work there?  We’re focused on engaging communities for undergraduate research and education on sustainability in Southern California. In the region, we worry about water scarcity, population growth coupled with growing economic inequality, and the disproportionate allocation of environmental burdens and benefits.  In light of these challenges, the Redford Conservancy was established in 2012 to facilitate action on Pitzer’s sustainability commitments. … ”  Read more from The Confluence blog here:  Catching the water bug: A conversation with Brinda Sarathy

The new navigable waters protection rule, explained:  Anthony Francois writes, “Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a consequential change to federal regulations that define “navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act. The new rules maintain protection of many categories of waters but significantly reduce the range of protected wetlands.  Under federal law, the Clean Water Act prohibits discharges of pollutants from point sources to “navigable waters,” also referred to as “waters of the United States” (or WOTUS), unless permitted by either the EPA or the Army Corps of Engineers. The definition of these waters, therefore, sets the boundaries of these federal agencies’ authority. … ”  Read more from PERC here:  The new navigable waters protection rule, explained

Trump the Polluter!  The rollback of the “Waters of the United States” allows disreputable landowners to “dump pollutants” “directly into hundreds of thousands of waterways.”  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “President Trump and his administration are regularly portrayed as proponents of environmental destruction.  People should remember there are usually two sides to an argument and when you see the mainstream media making one side out to be angels and the other side devils, there’s probably more to the story.  The case of Waters of the United States (WOTUS) is one such case.   The New York Times explains the change made by the Trump Administration “has implications far beyond the pollution that will now be allowed to flow freely into waterways…The rollback of the “Waters of the United States” allows disreputable landowners to “dump pollutants” “directly into hundreds of thousands of waterways.”  Sounds pretty bad.  But, is it true? … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Trump the Polluter!  The rollback of the “Waters of the United States” allows disreputable landowners to “dump pollutants” “directly into hundreds of thousands of waterways.”

Taps, toilets, and good hygiene: critical ingredients for resilient agriculture: Mai-Lan Ha writes, “2019 was a critical year for climate and water. Major events – from hurricanes to droughts and brushfires – highlight that climate’s impacts are being felt now and that the world needs to take action to build resilience while also accelerating action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At the UN Climate Action Summit and at COP 25, Secretary General António Guterres announced that, “ We must put adaptation and resilience at the centre of decision-making.”  The UN Sustainable Development Goals cannot be achieved if adaptation and resilience are not integrated into planning processes. This is the imperative of our lifetime and impacts all sectors, particularly affecting the poor and most vulnerable. One of the sectors that will see the most significant impact will be agriculture. ... ”  Read more from the Pacific Institute here:  Taps, toilets, and good hygiene: critical ingredients for resilient agriculture

The ecology of truth, trust, and hope: Obi Kaufmann writes, “It may or it may not come as a surprise to you that tonight we are engaged in an ancient ritual, perhaps the oldest ritual our species knows — a ritual that seems to well up from the substrate matrix upon which our consciousness arises. The ritual is community building. Tonight, right now, right here, we are building community. We have together begun the telling of a story that binds us to this place and this time and that unites us in memory and vision. Tonight we are pulling a blanket around ourselves, tonight we are in a huddle and the opponent we face is despair. The tool we are armed with against this ever-encroaching enemy of powerlessness and paralyzed agency is hope itself. Hope in the human mind, is a function of time. If there is time, there is hope. And tonight we’ve got time. ... ”  Read more from the Coyote and Thunder blog here: The ecology of truth, trust, and hope

Featured image credit: Tidal marshlands along the San Francisco Bay, near Redwood City, California.  Photo by Todd Lappin via Flickr.

 

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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