Delta Blues …where the scientists found “more than 40 potential causes for the Delta’s decline…but ranking them in order is just too difficult.”  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “We like to remind people every now and then that there are a lot of problems in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  The Delta Independent Science Board likes to call them stressors.  If you pay a little bit of attention to water news you would think there is only one problem there, the pumps.  If you pay a little more attention you probably realize there is a problem with partially treated sewage dumped daily by the millions of gallons which isn’t healthy for people or fish.  It’s ironic that the cities around the Delta dump the partially treated sewage into the drinking water that’s sent to Southern California.  It doesn’t only go to farmers.  You might also realize that striped bass eat a lot of smelt and baby salmon.  These are just three of the problems (stressors) in the Delta. … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Delta Blues …where the scientists found “more than 40 potential causes for the Delta’s decline…but ranking them in order is just too difficult.”

Federal court enjoins Trump Admin’s Delta pumping in May:  Doug Obegi writes, “Yesterday, the federal Court for the Eastern District of California issued a ruling granting in part the motions for preliminary injunction filed against the Trump Administration by the State of California in The California Natural Resources Agency v. Ross and a coalition of fishing and conservation groups (including NRDC) in PCFFA v. Ross. Today’s ruling gives a brief—but vital—reprieve to salmon and other imperiled native fish in the Bay-Delta, and it’s an encouraging sign that Plaintiffs will eventually succeed in overturning these biological opinions.  … ”  Read more from the NRDC here: Federal court enjoins Trump Admin’s Delta pumping in May

Obama judge blocks Trump water plan due to normal trout drought:  Wayne Lusvardi writes, “On Monday May 11, an Obama-appointed federal judge issued a temporary injunction requested by the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) and California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal-EPA) to block Pres. Trump’s policy of sending more seasonal spring water to Central Valley farmers.  The two California agencies contend that the new rules for allocating water were intended to support Trump’s campaign promise to provide more water for farmers in dry years to the detriment of wildlife.   This lawsuit comes after six California Republican congressmen sent a letter on May 6 to Gov. Newsom requesting he withdraw the lawsuit.  The head of the federal Bureau of Reclamation, Brenda Burman, also sent a letter to Sen. Feinstein stating “to embrace the tactics of litigious interest groups” would undo the progress made under the Obama administration for science-based allocation of water and voluntary agreements rather than court orders. … ”  Read more from the California Globe here: Obama judge blocks Trump water plan due to normal trout drought

Tough Water News: Geoff Vanden Heuvel writes, “On Tuesday morning, I read the 36-page opinion and order of Fresno Federal District Court Judge Dale Drozd granting the motion by the State of California and a group of environmental organizations for a preliminary injunction to prohibit the Central Valley Project (CVP) from operating its Delta pumping plant according to the new federal rules from May 14 until May 31. As I explained in an article I wrote about this issue two weeks ago, there are some fish species in the Delta that are protected by the Endangered Species Act. I thought there were two – the Delta Smelt and the Winter run Salmon – but there must be others because this decision by the court was to send more water to the ocean to protect the California Central Valley (CCV) Steelhead. ... ”  Read more from Water Wrights here: Tough Water News

“Improbable comeback” not looking probable:  Tom Cannon writes, “In an April 19, 2020 blog post entitled Science of an underdog: the improbable comeback of spring-run Chinook salmon in the San Joaquin River, a UC Davis team describes the efforts over the past five years to recover spring-run Chinook salmon in the San Joaquin as a “good comeback story.” It is a great story – as far as it goes.  Eighteen years of litigation and fifteen years of restoration work have put water back in a river that Friant Dam completely dried up in 1950.  There are also some spring-run salmon in the river, and a few made it from near Fresno to the ocean and back in the last few years.  The goal of the reintroduction program is the long-term maintenance of a population of 30,000 spawning adults with negligible hatchery influence.  The count for the 2019 run was 23.  Reaching the goal is highly improbable in the present scheme of things. … ” Read more from the California Fisheries blog here: “Improbable comeback” not looking probable

COVID-19 pandemic may have significant impacts on population growth in California:  Deirdre Des Jardins writes, “The COVID-19 pandemic could have significant impacts on population growth in California, due to reduced immigration, as well as reduced birth rates due to the massive economic impacts. This should be taken into account in planning for future infrastructure needs, including water supply infrastructure.  The demographic projections by the Department of Finance in the Governor’s 2020-21 Budget showed a significant reduction in forecasted population growth, stating ... ”  Read more from the California Water Research blog here: COVID-19 pandemic may have significant impacts on population growth in California

Chasing Nigiri:  The NorCal Water Association blog writes, “From the time he was old enough to slip into a pair of waders, Jacob could be found down at the creek perfecting his fly-fishing technique. In those early days you would find the father and son fishing northern California together everywhere from Putah Creek, little Sierra lakes and the Truckee River. Many times, the fishing trip was based on a random blue dot they found on a map the night before.  “If there was a puddle, we were fishing it,” said Jacob Katz.  When he wasn’t on the water, Jacob was on the baseball diamond. He loved the game but as the years passed, Jacob found that the crack of the bat just couldn’t compete with the draw of the river and the cast of a fly. … ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here: Chasing Nigiri

Follow-up on Spring 2020 Sacramento River conditions:  Tom Cannon writes, “In a recent post, I discussed the need to increase flows in the lower Sacramento River to reduce water temperatures for emigrating juvenile spring-run and fall-run hatchery and wild Chinook salmon. I recommended maintaining water temperatures below 65°F/18°C per the scientific literature. Water managers increased flows (or reduced diversions) on about May 11, and with the help of cooler weather, water temperatures came down significantly through the lower Sacramento River. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here: Follow-up on Spring 2020 Sacramento River conditions

Risky Business!  Merced Irrigation District (MID) is seeking State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) approval to sell water outside its basin.  Families Protecting the Valley writes, ” … Water districts have the additional task as public agencies to balance their budgets.  Water districts that sometimes have extra surface water use that extra supply to sell water to balance the budget.  The article referred to below addresses that situation.  Merced Irrigation District (MID) is seeking State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) approval to sell water outside its basin.  The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance has protested the transfer before the SWRCB.  The reasoning as we understand it is that if MID has water to sell outside the basin, then MID can afford to release more water for the environment.  Is there a solution to this dilemma? … ”  Read the full post at Families Protecting the Valley here: Risky Business!  Merced Irrigation District (MID) is seeking State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) approval to sell water outside its basin.

Golf courses go wild: Kathryn Stein writes, “When we think about golf courses, we tend to picture miles of well-watered, uniformly clipped, and perfectly manicured grass, not drought-tolerant native grass, wildlife habitat, and ecological restoration. However, for Maggie Reiter, a UC Cooperative Extension Turfgrass and Environmental Horticulture Advisor based in Fresno County, this is par for the course.  “I’ve always worked in the turfgrass and golf course management domain,” says Reiter. “Since I began twelve years ago, the proportion of naturalized areas on golf courses has increased. Now native grass stands and wildlife habitat are projected to make up 26 percent of golf course facilities. From a research and extension perspective, there is little information on management of these natural areas. So, there is a need for expertise on managing golf course naturalized areas for multiple functions, including ecological restoration goals.” ... ”  Read more from The Confluence blog here: Golf courses go wild

 

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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