Singapore's "Supertrees" act as vertical gardens, generate solar power, act as air venting ducts for nearby conservatories, and collect rainwater. Photo by Rod Waddington.

BLOG ROUND-UP: CVP and SWP plan to drain CA’s largest reservoirs; Zombie Tunnel Project back to life; CA’s new futures market for water; and more …

Bad news: CVP and SWP plan to drain CA’s largest reservoirs

Doug Obegi writes, “The Bureau of Reclamation and Department of Water Resources plan to allocate approximately 5 million acre feet of water this year – as long as California allows them to effectively drain the two largest reservoirs in the state, potentially killing most or nearly all the endangered winter-run Chinook salmon this year, threatening the state’s resilience to continued dry conditions, and maybe even violating water quality standards in the Delta.  The Bureau of Reclamation recently announced initial water supply allocations for Central Valley Project contractors that would deliver nearly four million acre feet of water this year (primarily for large agribusiness in the Central Valley), and the California Department of Water Resources has previously announced that it would deliver close to another million acre feet of water this year (about half of which would primarily go to irrigate rice along the Feather River). Five million acre feet is a lot of water, especially in a very dry year – roughly enough to supply the City of Los Angeles for 10 years. … ”  Read more from the NRDC here: Bad news: CVP and SWP plan to drain CA’s largest reservoirs

Zombie Tunnel Project back to life as the Delta Conveyance

Caty Wagner writes, “For many years we have opposed this project through its many iterations. The Peripheral Canal of the 80’s, the Bay Delta Conservation Project of the 00’s, the California WaterFix & Eco Restore Project of the 10’s and now the 20’s The Delta Conveyance project. Whether informally known as the twin tunnels, the tunnel boondoggle or the tunnel, we are forever hard at work to preserve and protect the Sacramento- San Joaquin Delta, the only and largest freshwater tidal estuary on the West Coast.  This month, Metropolitan Water District (MWD) joined at least 24 other water agencies in amending the state water contract provisions regarding water transfers, exchanges, and ratios. This allows water districts to sell their surplus water to each other, which comes with a host of pros and cons. ... ”  Read more from the Sierra Club here: Zombie Tunnel Project back to life as the Delta Conveyance

California’s new futures market for water

On December 7, 2020, financial futures based on California water prices began trading. This post is a short introduction to these water futures.  First, what’s a future? A future is a type of contract. It obligates the seller, who receives money, to provide some good at some future date, to the buyer, who pays money now to lock in the right to buy that good at that price. Humans have been using futures for thousands of years, primarily for agricultural products. But in recent years the futures markets have been expanding. … ”  Read more from the Sierra Club here: California’s new futures market for water

Delta flows: Sexism at MWD is no surprise for Delta activists

Barbara Barrigan-Parilla writes, “The Los Angeles Times recently reported that the Los Angeles City Council is threatening to cut ties with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California over the dozens of sexual harassment complaints filed by women and LGBTQ employees.  Now Los Angeles union local AFSCME1902 has joined Southern California legislators asking for a full audit of the sexual harassment complaints filed at MWD.  We concur. This audit must happen. Women and members of the LGBTQ community are not to be harassed, intimidated, and scared to work for a living, at a public agency. … ”  Read more from Restore the Delta here: Delta flows: Sexism at MWD is no surprise for Delta activists

Water year 2021 is a bad year for American River wild salmon and steelhead production

Tom Cannon writes, “Water year 2021 has been bad for American River salmon and steelhead, with very low Folsom Reservoir releases Oct-Jan. Water year 2021 can best be described as a dry year, at least through the first quarter, somewhat on the drier side of 2018 and 2020, which were below normal water years. However, whereas 2018 and 2020 followed wet years, water year 2021 follows a drier year. This means 2021 started with poorer Folsom Reservoir storage. ... ”  Continue reading at the California Fisheries blog here: Water year 2021 is a bad year for American River wild salmon and steelhead production

Scott River coho 2020 run improves

I last updated the status of Coho salmon in the Scott River, a major Klamath River tributary in northern California east of Yreka (Figures 1 and 2), in a January 2020 post. At that time, I lamented on the decline of the strongest distinct population subgroup, 2013-2016-2019, exemplified by the weak run in 2016 caused by the 2013-2016 drought. In this post, I am happy to report on the strong 2020 run and the surprise improvement of the 2014-2017-2020 subgroup. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries Blog here: Scott River coho 2020 run improves

San Joaquin Valley: Local Agencies Shirk Groundwater Accountability

Eric Caine writes, “Local experts on water and water use like Vance Kennedy were apoplectic when farmers planted almonds and walnuts in the foothills of eastern Stanislaus County, where one of the last viable aquifers in the San Joaquin Valley provided enough groundwater for tens of thousands of acres of trees.  “That aquifer should be saved for use in an emergency,” said Kennedy, a retired hydrologist formerly with U.S. Geological Survey.  Today, obeying simple physical law, that same aquifer has dropped anywhere from fifty to almost one-hundred feet over the last ten years, depending on where it’s measured and by whom. … ”  Read more from the Valley Citizen here:  San Joaquin Valley: Local Agencies Shirk Groundwater Accountability

Connor Everts’ experience as a water board director

Conner Everts writes, “If you live in the city of Los Angeles, you have 5 commissioners to the LADWP Commission and 5 representatives appointed to the master wholesaler, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), all appointed by the Mayor. Some other cities have their own water departments and are members of MWD, as are many water agencies. Each city/agency has appointees to MWD, however you can run for seats on the local water district/agency that you get your water from.  Here’s my story … ”  Continue reading at the Sierra Club here: Connor Everts’ experience as a water board director

Poseidon’s toxic desalination proposal

Ray Hiemstra writes, “The people behind the Poseidon project feel Orange County residents do not pay enough for water. They feel that residents can and should pay. They see a potential profit in each glass of water, each shower and each toilet flush. Their plan is simple, add more expensive water that we do not need into our existing water supply and then charge us more for the water we already own. This idea is so profitable that it resurfaces again and again going on nearly 20 years now, and the Sierra Club has been working hard to keep your water supply inexpensive and abundant. … ”  Read more from the Sierra Club here: Poseidon’s toxic desalination proposal

Ocean desalination meets homelessness?

Charming Evelyn writes, “Who would think it? Ocean desalination intersecting with affordable housing?- Yet it has, in a little known state government agency called the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee (CDLAC).  According to the website description, The purpose of CDLAC is to implement Section 1301 of the Federal Tax Reform Act of 1986 and Section 146 of the Internal Revenue Code which imposes a limit on the amount of tax-exempt private activity bonds which a state may issue in a calendar year (i.e., the annual state ceiling).  … ”  Read ore from the Sierra Club here:  Ocean desalination meets homelessness?

Texas shows us our water future with climate change: it ain’t pretty

Erik Olson writes, “Earlier this week, 1 in 22 Americans didn’t have water or was on a boil water alert. Nearly 15 million people in Texas alone were without safe drinking water in the wake of the massive storm, cold snap, and power outages. Many more in Oklahoma, Louisiana, and other hard-hit Southern states also lost water or were on “voluntary” or mandatory boil water alerts. Wastewater treatment plants lost power and spewed more than a million gallons of raw sewage into frigid waters, threatening downstream users. The misery of being unable to flush your toilet, shower, or safely drink water in your own home was often compounded by the chattering teeth and sleeplessness from unbearably cold bedrooms. Low-income families and people of color were disproportionately harmed by breaking pipes and power failures, just as they are disproportionately at risk from contaminated water supplies. ”  Read more from the NRDC here: Texas shows us our water future with climate change: it ain’t pretty

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Singapore Supertrees by Rod Waddington

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.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
%d bloggers like this: