BLOG ROUND-UP: Who’s getting unreasonable water allocations in CA?; Can the Newsom administration be considered “progressive” on water resources?; PETA weighs in on Newsom’s water conservation plea; The Garcia: A river in strong recovery after a 30-year effort; and more …

Who’s getting unreasonable water allocations in CA?

Doug Obegi writes, “Despite the extremely dry conditions this year, the federal Central Valley Project and State Water Project are allocating more than 4 million acre feet of water to their contractors, with the vast majority of that water allocated to irrigation districts that claim to have senior water rights and negotiated unreasonable contracts with the state or federal government decades ago. Even as many agricultural contractors are getting 0% allocations from the CVP, and the cities that have contracts with the CVP are (hopefully) getting the water needed to meet human health and safety this year, other water districts that contract with the CVP and SWP are getting 50%, 75%, or 100% of their maximum contract amounts of water, as this table from the Bureau of Reclamation shows (note that this table has not been updated to account for recent allocation updates, despite NRDC’s repeated requests).  However, there are huge problems: these water allocations are completely breaking the system, they’re deeply inequitable, and they’re also unlawful. … ”  Read more from the NRDC here: Who’s getting unreasonable water allocations in CA?

Can the Newsom administration be considered “progressive” on water resources?

Verna Jigour writes, “A July 10th Mercury News editorial points out Governor Newsom’s tardiness in fulfilling campaign promises to resolve conflicts over our state’s water resources. This current drought year coinciding with a recall election does seem an apt time to debate potential resolutions like the ecohydrological restoration of degraded catchments (aka watersheds) promoted by Rainfall to Groundwater.  My perspective is that I offered the Newsom administration a gift in striving to inform the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) about an approach that would benefit both fish and farms in my input to the agency’s Water Resilience Portfolio, completed last year. Was that “pearls before swine”? (No offense intended to the four-legged ones.)  Same result over the past decade-plus I’ve been attempting to point out the opportunities to DWR, so not much difference on that between administrations that I can tell. … ”  Read more from Rainfall to Groundwater here: Can the Newsom administration be considered “progressive” on water resources?

People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) calls Gov.’s ‘shorter showers’ plea a short-sighted public relations move

Gov. Gavin Newsom has called on residents to cut back on their water consumption, which PETA likens to asking alcoholics to drink only two beers a day, so the animal rights group fired off a letter to him this morning pointing out that according to the Pacific Institute, 47% of California’s water-use footprint comes from meat and dairy farming—meaning that if the governor wants to do something serious about the drought rather than making a good-sounding but hollow appeal, he’ll go vegan and encourage other Californians to do the same. Vegans already save more water per day than the 15% reduction that Newsom is suggesting. … ”  Continue reading from PETA here: PETA calls Gov.’s ‘shorter showers’ plea a short-sighted public relations move

Shasta Dam Update – July 18, 2021

Tom Cannon writes, “There is still time to take action needed to save some of this year’s salmon production in the Sacramento River. Reclamation must immediately stop its irresponsible operation and revert to a maximum 5000 cfs Shasta Dam release, with no release from the middle gates and with minimal peaking power releases or input from Whiskeytown Reservoir.  Here is the situation right now … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here: Shasta Dam Update – July 18, 2021

State Water Board to decide fate of Shasta and Scott river salmon and steelhead – part 3, the Shasta River

Tom Cannon writes, “The Shasta River, like the Scott River, has a chronic streamflow problem that occurs in summer and fall of most years. Only in very wet years, do flows sustain the needs of ranchers and fish for water. In most dry years, nearly all the water in the watershed goes to agriculture, while the lower river and most major tributaries run virtually dry (Parks Creek, Little Shasta River, Yreka Creek). Salmon and steelhead survive during dry years only in the middle reaches of the mainstem Shasta River and in adjoining large springs fed by Mt. Shasta’s snow fields or leakage from Lake Shastina reservoir. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here: State Water Board to decide fate of Shasta and Scott river salmon and steelhead – part 3, the Shasta River

The Garcia: A river in strong recovery after a 30-year effort 

Craig Bell writes, “The strong recovery we are witnessing today in the Garcia River is thanks to a 30-year effort that began in 1991 when Mendocino County Supervisors approved the Garcia River Watershed Enhancement Plan (GRWEP, Caldon, Monschke, Higgins 1991). The GRWEP was the first watershed plan in the county (and maybe the state) that was produced by community stakeholders.  The Garcia River has benefited from the involvement of some of the best restoration practitioners and planners in California. ... ”  Read more from the Trees Foundation here:  The Garcia: A river in strong recovery after a 30-year effort 

If higher tides really threaten Bay Area roads, stop dumping fresh water into the Bay during a drought

Hank Campbell writes, “San Francisco is worried that highway 37 may be in danger of flooding. They invoke environmental justice, of course, but it’s really about rich people going to their second homes in Napa’s wine country on weekends. Rich people need peasants toiling to feel elite and without roads they can’t get there.  Yet if San Francisco journalists and editors are concerned about rising water, why are they continuing to support dumping the water that poor people need into the Bay? It clearly does not need more water. Poor people who can’t afford to live in Napa do. … ”  Read more from Science 2.0 here: If higher tides really threaten Bay Area roads, stop dumping fresh water into the Bay during a drought

Imagine a day without infrastructure

The California Farm Water Coalition writes, “The area we know as modern-day California has gone through several significant renaissance periods throughout its history. From the expansion of the Spanish Missions northward in 1769 to the Gold Rush in the 1840s, California’s growth into the Golden State seemed inevitable.  The tech industry got its start in the 1950s and 1960s as a result of the intersection between the San Francisco Bay Area’s scientific research universities, generous amounts of venture capital, and considerable defense spending by the U.S. government.  And California agriculture grew and evolved from dryland farming following the Gold Rush to become the world’s leading food-producing region, delivering hundreds of commodities to the state’s burgeoning population and beyond.  The thread that links all of this progress is infrastructure. … ”  Read more from the California Farm Water Coalition here: Imagine a day without infrastructure

Not just Mead: Powell will soon drop to the lowest level since filling in the 1960s

John Fleck writes, “While the historic June 15 low for Lake Mead has drawn headlines – “its lowest level on record since the reservoir was filled in the 1930” – we’re about to hit a similar milestone upstream at Lake Powell that has received less attention, but may in fact be more important. … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here: Not just Mead: Powell will soon drop to the lowest level since filling in the 1960s

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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