DWR discovers “accounting error,” reduces loan for Delta tunnel engineering design

In September 2020, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) signed an agreement to provide an additional $15 million to the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority (DCA) for engineering design and field work in support of the Delta tunnel project. DWR had previously loaned the DCA $33.8 million, bringing the total to $48.8 million.  On September 17, 2020, Delta Legacy Communities, Inc. sent a formal objection to the $15 million loan to DWR and the Department of Finance. Delta Legacy Communities, Inc. asserted that DWR did not have sufficient legally available revenues in the State Water Resources Development System (SWRDS) accounts to pay for the loan.  For each statute governing a SWRDS fund, Delta Legacy Communities explained how the statute restricted DWR’s use of the fund.  … ”  Read more from the Delta Legacy Communities here:  DWR discovers “accounting error,” reduces loan for Delta tunnel engineering design

Trump and Delta smelt:  The twitter thread

@calebscoville writes, “I was bombarded w/ messages about Trump’s claims about California water & a “certain little tiny fish,” the delta smelt, the topic of my dissertation & current book project. I wrote a short reaction piece but was unable to get it published as an oped. Here it is a thread ... ”  Check it out here:  Trump and Delta smelt:  The twitter thread

Voluntary agreements: a new era of collaboration

Westlands Water District writes, “Voluntary Agreements (VAs) have been proposed as a collaborative, modern and holistic alternative to the State Water Resources Control Board’s (SWRCB) staff proposed update to the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan (WQCP). From August 2018 until early 2020, state and federal agencies, public water agencies, and non-governmental organizations were engaged in robust discussions to identify the best path forward regarding the WQCP update. Westlands and other public water agencies are eager to reengage in the process to finalize the VAs, as they offer the best path forward for California water.  … ”  Read more from Westlands Water District here: Voluntary agreements: a new era of collaboration

Limiting harvest won’t rebuild salmon run

Tom Cannon writes, “The federal-state Salmon Rebuilding Plan for Sacramento River Fall Chinook (SRFC) (July 2019) was developed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) under a grant from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The plan was developed because the SRFC escapement (in-river and hatchery return spawners) for brood years 2012-2014 declined significantly after the 2013-2015 drought, as shown in counts of adults that returned in 2015-2017.  Regrettably, this plan is doomed to failure in periods of drought, because it does not address the underlying problems or long-term solutions that would contribute to meeting goals in the future. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here: Limiting harvest won’t rebuild salmon run

Correcting the record on a recent LA Times Michael Hiltzik record

Mike Wade writes, “LA Times columnist Michael Hiltzik recently published a column that contained an outrageous statement related to California’s water supply that is completely out-of-touch with the reality that California farmers live every day.  He stated, “Central Valley growers often talk as though only their water needs should count in California. . .” He’s either been living in a cave or is so wrapped up in his own bias he’s not able to factor in the truth. ... ”  Read more from the California Farm Water Coalition here:  Correcting the record on a recent LA Times Michael Hiltzik record

A Craigslist for water trading? Learn how this new water management platform works

Christina Babbitt writes, “Eric Averett is general manager of the Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Storage District in Kern County, California, which is one of 21 regions required by the state to balance groundwater demand and supply within 20 years under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.  Rosedale is home to approximately 27,500 acres of irrigated cropland and 7,500 acres of urban development. Groundwater demand there exceeds supply by approximately 5,000 acre-feet per year.  To inform landowners about their water budgets, Rosedale partnered with EDF, Sitka Technology Group, WestWater Research and local landowners to co-develop a new online, open-source water accounting and trading platform. … ”  Read more from EDF here:  A Craigslist for water trading? Learn how this new water management platform works

Q&A: An artist and educator captures deeply personal stories of life without clean water

Katheryn M. Stein writes, “Kristine Diekman is an artist, educator, and Professor of media at the California State University San Marcos School of Arts. Her digital media project, Run Dry, tells the story of the water crisis in California’s San Joaquin Valley.Run Dry is a story of small, rural California communities and their struggle to remain connected to the most precious resource—water. This digital media project combines short documentary films, personal stories, photographs, and data visualizations about water scarcity and contamination in the San Joaquin Valley. It asks, what does clean water bring us and why should we tell the story of its loss?  … ”  Read more from The Confluence here:  An artist and educator captures deeply personal stories of life without clean water

The great uncoupling between water and growth

Brian Richter writes, “My research group published a new paper last week in the international Water journal that presents some very good news for water-stressed areas: cities are succeeding in decoupling their growth from their water needs.  Our research – focused on 20 cities in the Western US – revealed some surprising findings:  Even while their populations grew by an average 21% during 2000-2015, these cities were able to reduce their total water use by 19%.  The key to managing their water use was their ability to get their residents to use a lot less water per person each day – an average of 33% less. … ”  Read more from The Confluence here:  The great uncoupling between water and growth

How to save California’s forests

Edward Ring writes, “For about twenty million years, California’s forests endured countless droughts, some lasting over a century. Natural fires, started by lightning and very frequent in the Sierras, were essential to keep forest ecosystems healthy. In Yosemite, for example, meadows used to cover most of the valley floor, because while forests constantly encroached, fires would periodically wipe them out, allowing the meadows to return. Across millennia, fire driven successions of this sort played out in cycles throughout California’s ecosystems.  … Today, it is mismanagement, not climate change, that is the primary threat to California’s forests. This can be corrected. … ”  Read more from the California Globe here: How to save California’s forests

New insights into Putah Creek salmon

Malte Willmes, Anna Steel, Levi Lewis, Peter B. Moyle, and Andrew L. Rypel write, “It’s November 2016, and we’re out in canoes on Putah Creek as part of the annual salmon survey. Just as we navigate our watercraft through a narrow river section using push poles, thorny blackberry bushes and trees begin to close in from both sides of the channel. Finally, we reach a series of shallow riffles and spot our first salmon of the day. As we look it over, it’s easy to consider this fish, the ordeal it went through to get here, and how its journey symbolizes in some way the restoration of Putah Creek. ... ”  Read more from the California Water Blog here:  New insights into Putah Creek salmon

Thinking about population health and wellness in the Sacramento Valley

David Guy writes, “The extraordinary year has brought renewed focus on population health and wellness and the importance of enhancing our world so people can live healthier and more fulfilling lives.  This moment in time also provides an opportunity for introspection, a time to think about our families and friends, what is essential in our lives, and how we can contribute to population health and wellness. In the Sacramento Valley, through our collective work with the non-profit Northern California Water Association, our team is working hard to envision the role that water suppliers and local governments can serve to help people live healthier and more fulfilling lives. … ”  Read more from the Northern California Water Association blog here: Thinking about population health and wellness in the Sacramento Valley

The Lake Powell Pipeline and the problems posed by the lack of a Lower Colorado River Basin Compact

Eric Kuhn writes, “As the Colorado River Basin’s managers wrestle with thorny questions around the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline, a colleague who works for a Lower Colorado River Basin water agency recently asked a question that goes to the heart of the future of river management: With land in the Lower Colorado River Basin, why doesn’t Utah have a Lower Basin allocation?  The answer, arising from deep in the history of the Law of the River, goes far beyond the possible use of some of Utah’s Upper Basin water in the Lower Colorado River Basin’s Virgin River Valley. It strikes at the heart of important and as yet unresolved questions in the river’s future – about accounting for reservoir evaporation, and who bears the responsibility for, and benefits from, water flowing down the Lower Basin’s tributaries. … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here: The Lake Powell Pipeline and the problems posed by the lack of a Lower Colorado River Basin Compact

The question of reservoir evaporation – How much water are the Lower Colorado River Basin states really using?

John Fleck writes, “The conventional simplification of the Colorado River Compact’s water allocation scheme is that it set aside 7.5 million acre feet of water use for the “exclusive beneficial consumptive use” of the states of the Lower Basin – Nevada, Arizona, and California.  In the 21st century, the official accounting shows the Lower Basin states using an average of 7.4 million acre feet per year (the blue line in the graph above), so we’re good, right?  Well, actually….  ”  Continue reading at the Inkstain blog here:  The question of reservoir evaporation – How much water are the Lower Colorado River Basin states really using?

 

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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