Trump and Newsom deliver on water promises:  Todd Fitchette writes, “Those words California Gov. Newsom uttered recently giving farmers a glimmer of hope that he was going to be pragmatic over irrigation water – never mind.  To Newsom’s credit, he’s perhaps been to the San Joaquin Valley and visited with farmers more than his predecessor. Jason Phillips, CEO of the Friant Water Authority, says Newsom has taken time to listen to and attempt to understand farmers. Those actions, and his recent words to want to work with farmers on voluntary water agreements were positive.  Yet Newsom’s apparent hatred for President Trump was too much for the charismatic governor to bear as the day after Trump delivered his promise for more farm water to Valley farmers, Newsom’s promise to sue the Trump Administration over its water plan surfaced in federal court. … ”  Read more from the Western Farm Press here: Trump and Newsom deliver on water promises

How Much More? Here is a list of major water losses in our Valley in the last 30 years:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “So Governor Newsom’s idea of voluntary agreements to solve the water wars is for farmers and cities to pay “$5 billion for environmental work and habitat restoration and sacrifice 800,000 to 900,000 acre-feet of water.”  The only reason any sane city or farmer would agree to this ‘voluntary’ agreement is because the risk of an involuntary agreement is so much worse.  If someone has a gun to your head and says shoot yourself or we’ll do it for you, which do you choose? … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here: How Much More? Here is a list of major water losses in our Valley in the last 30 years

California water war on verge of erupting: Geoff Vanden Heuvel writes, “There were big moves related to California water this week. I wish I could reassure you that everything is going to be okay – but I cannot.   The San Joaquin Valley is home to about 5 million acres of irrigated agriculture. Approximately 80 percent of this fertile farmland has access to surface water, ranging from some access to good amounts of this valuable resource. These surface water deliveries supplement groundwater farmers use to grow food, making farming in the Central Valley a viable proposition over the long-term. However, about one million acres of San Joaquin Valley farmland currently lacks access to enough surface water. This puts approximately one-fifth of perfectly good irrigated farmland in the Valley at risk should access to groundwater be restricted, which is the inevitable result of the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). ... ”  Read more from Water Wrights here: California water war on verge of erupting

Winter 2020 – Salmon need winter flow pulses:  Tom Cannon writes, “In a February 2019 post, I discussed the importance of winter flows for fall-run salmon in the Central Valley. The peak fry emergence from gravel spawning beds is in winter. Millions of fry move to river margins to await flow pulses to carry them from upper main river and tributary spawning grounds to lower river floodplain, Delta, and Bay nurseries. Without such pulses, the fry stay in the cold rivers competing for limited food and habitat, which leads to poor overall survival and fewer smolts reaching the ocean.  Two January storms in 2020 show the importance of flow pulses for the emigration of fall-run salmon fry. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here:  Winter 2020 – Salmon need winter flow pulses

Longfin Smelt – January 2020:  Tom Cannon writes, “The fall midwater trawl index of spawning adult longfin smelt in 2019 was below expectations for a wet year (Figure 1). In a January 8, 2020 post, I foreshadowed the reduced fall spawner index for 2019, and suggested a grim outlook for the future of the population. In addition, high December 2019 Delta exports forced more spawning upstream into the Delta, increasing the likelihood of larval entrainment into the south Delta export pumps. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here: Longfin Smelt – January 2020

California lagging behind on PFAS, but has the chance to do it right:  Andria Ventura writes, “The estimated number of Californians affected by water contaminated by toxic PFAS chemicals is rising. Data released just last week confirms that California has cause for worry, and underscores that the state should act now to protect its residents. One way to do that is to pass laws that stop unnecessary use and release of these harmful chemicals and that provide for better testing for them. … ”  Read more from the We All Live Downstream blog here: California lagging behind on PFAS, but has the chance to do it right

Yes, there’s a difference between “endangered” and “threatened” species:  Holly Doremus writes, “A recent ruling from the federal District Court in DC provides an important  lesson that the US Fish and Wildlife Service would do well to heed: the agency has limited discretion to find that species are threatened rather than endangered.  Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), species can be listed as either endangered (“in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range”) or threatened (not now endangered but “likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future”). The designation determines the degree of management flexibility, especially for animal species (plants get less protection altogether, but that’s a story for another time). … ”  Read more from Legal Planet here: Yes, there’s a difference between “endangered” and “threatened” species

EPA enforcement in distress — and more trouble is brewing:  Joel A. Mintz writes, “In recent months the Trump administration has intensified its assault on federal environmental safeguards on several fronts. It has proposed drastic reductions in the scope of protections against water and air pollution, lagged in the cleanup of hazardous waste contamination, allowed the continued marketing of toxic herbicides, narrowed the scope of needed environmental impact reviews, ignored and undermined legitimate scientific studies and findings, and dismantled government attempts to mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis.  Every bit as disturbing, but much less discussed, is a discouraging deterioration in the rigor of EPA’s once-effective enforcement program, which identifies and punishes polluters that skirt federal regulations. … ”  Read more from the Revelator here:  EPA enforcement in distress — and more trouble is brewing

Featured image credit:  Hot Creek near Mammoth; Photo by Joe Parks 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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