BLOG ROUND-UP: Low Delta outflow not keeping bay salt water out of the Delta; San Joaquin Valley water belongs to the people; Why is a Wisconsin prof using Beijing research to push water snitching in CA?; and more …

Low Delta outflow not keeping bay salt water out of the Delta

Tom Cannon writes, “Low Delta outflows at the beginning of summer 2021 (Figure 1) are not adequately keeping brackish Bay water out of the west Delta (Figures 2-4). One reason salt is intruding is the high “spring” tides (Figure 5). Another factor is the State Water Board’s Order granting a Temporary Urgency Change Petition (TUCP) to the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the Bureau of Reclamation. The Order allowed the installation of the False River Barrier in early June that helps force freshwater Delta inflow from the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers to the south Delta pumping plants. It also allows lower summer Delta outflows and weaker salinity standards in this critical water year. The normal critical summer outflow criteria is a monthly average 4000 cfs. The outflow requirement was reduced to 3000 cfs. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here: Low Delta outflow not keeping bay salt water out of the Delta

San Joaquin Valley water belongs to the people

Eric Caine writes, “From the very beginning, water in the San Joaquin Valley has been manipulated, controlled and adjudicated by the wealthy and powerful. Its history is a story of exploitation, mostly through the use of serf labor, the courts, and public subsidies.  The founding principle that made it possible for the powerful few to extract huge profits from a public resource was, “first in time is first in line.” When applied to law, the corollary to the “first in line” principle became, “first in right.”  The major players in establishing water law in the San Joaquin Valley, and, by extension, in the entire state — those who were “first in line” — were George Lux, Henry Miller, and James Ben Ali Haggin. … ”  Read more from the Valley Citizen blog here: San Joaquin Valley water belongs to the people

Why is a Wisconsin prof using Beijing research to push water snitching in California?

Katy Grimes writes, “Residents of Sacramento seemed to be particularly enthusiastic about snitching on water wasters, according to a recent study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  The Sacramento Bee published an article last week encouraging Sacramento residents to rat-out neighbors for “wasting” water on landscape, swimming pools and other suburban water uses, and referenced the study.  The article, “Is your neighbor wasting water? Snitching on them may ease California drought, study says,” referenced the study by La Follette School Associate Professor Manny Teodoro, Public Water Waste Reporting: Contextual Correlates and Conservation Outcomes, published in Water Resources Research, and examines the effectiveness of “California’s participatory surveillance programs,” such as Save our Water.  “California’s participatory surveillance programs” is bureaucrat-totalitarian-speak for snitching on your neighbors. While California politicians and water officials have long supported water snitches, this is the first time we’ve seen a study supporting the idea, and curiously, an out-of-state university study. ... ”  Read more from the California Globe here: Why is a Wisconsin prof using Beijing research to push water snitching in California?

Governor Newsom’s 15% voluntary water use reduction

The California Farm Water Coalition writes, “Governor Newsom’s call for a 15 percent voluntary water use reduction is one more reminder of what scientists have been telling us – California’s drought is deepening and we need to do more to capture surplus supplies in response to the new normal of wetter wet years and drier dry years. With adequate planning and political will, we can prevent the shortages we’re seeing now, just a few short years after the State almost lost Oroville Dam during an exceptional flood. It’s also a reminder that more and more of the state is facing the consequences of this year’s water supply shortages. … ”  Read more from the California Farm Water Coalition here: Governor Newsom’s 15% voluntary water use reduction

CA must act now to adapt to hotter, drier climate

Tracy Quinn writes, “Governor Newsom has expanded his emergency drought declaration, which directs the State Water Board to take action to conserve water and expedite voluntary water transfers, from 41 to 50 counties. The Governor also called on all Californians to voluntarily reduce water use by 15 percent. While the calls to conserve are not mandatory, we still need to act urgently. Most major reservoirs in the state are well below historic averages and no one knows how long this current dry period will last. We shouldn’t wait until our rivers and reservoirs run dry before we start to conserve; we need to save every drop possible now so it will be available to us later. ... ”  Read more from the NRDC here: CA must act now to adapt to hotter, drier climate

State Water Board to decide fate of Shasta and Scott River salmon and steelhead

Tom Cannon writes, “On July 1, 2021, staff from the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) held a public Zoom meeting to provide information and solicit input on potential actions that could be implemented to address low flows in the Scott River and Shasta River watersheds (Figure 1) during the ongoing drought.  The Scott and Shasta rivers are major salmon and steelhead producing tributaries of the Klamath River.   Low flows in the Scott and Shasta have led to the recurring mortality of salmon and steelhead due to high water temperatures, stranding, or hindered migration.  The recurrence, duration and intensity of mortality events now threatens the extinction of salmon and steelhead in these rivers.  … “  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here:  State Water Board to decide fate of Shasta and Scott River salmon and steelhead

SEE ALSO: State Water Board to Decide Fate of Shasta and Scott River Salmon and Steelhead – Part 2, the Scott River

Brad Udall: Second-worst Powell inflows in more than half a century

John Fleck writes, “Brad Udall on twitter yesterday ran through a striking series of graphs of the current state of the Colorado River. With his permission, I’m posting them here along with a slightly polished version of his accompanying commentary. Some key points that grabbed my attention:  Second-lowest Powell inflow in a period of record we use dating to 1964. Risk of Powell dropping next year to levels that could jeopardize power production. Risk of Mead dropping low enough in the next 18 months to trigger much deeper “Tier 2” reductions to Lower Basin water users in 2023. ... ”  Read more at the Inkstain blog here: Brad Udall: Second-worst Powell inflows in more than half a century

Yo-yo environmental regulations aren’t good for anyone

Damien Shiff writes, “Recently, the Biden administration announced plans to cancel various regulatory reforms the Department of Interior had implemented under President Trump to modernize the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Upon reading the news, the phrase, “Here we go again” comes to mind.  With every change in presidential administrations, it now seems, we just have to accept a dramatic shift in environmental regulation and enforcement philosophy. That’s bad enough from a policy perspective, as it makes it difficult to plan for the future.  In this case, the unwelcome shift is compounded by the fact that the Biden team will be discarding several positive changes the Trump administration put into place that brought some much-needed modernization to the ESA. … ”  Read more from the Pacific Legal Foundation here: Yo-yo environmental regulations aren’t good for anyone

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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