BLOG ROUND-UP: How many juvenile salmonids reach the Delta each year?; Coalition opposes voluntary agreements; Thoughts on DWR’s Delta Conveyance Webinar on fisheries; From feast to famine- California’s 2021 water supply; and more …

How many juvenile salmonids reach the Delta each year? We don’t know.

Bradley J. Cavallo writes, “In the 1981 blockbuster film “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, the nefarious French archaeologist Belloq holds up a cheap pocket watch and explains to Indiana Jones “It’s worthless. Ten dollars from a vendor in the street.  But I take it, I bury it in the sand for a thousand years, it becomes priceless…”  Here in the Delta, fisheries monitoring data are treated a lot like Belloq’s watch. An ancient, sandy watch isn’t valued for keeping precise time. Just the same, long-term fisheries monitoring data aren’t necessarily valued because they provide information effective for monitoring and managing Delta fishes. … Unfortunately, a well-intended but misplaced appreciation for the value of historical, long-term fisheries methods and data has been, and continues to be, an impediment to progress. ... ”  Read more from the Delta Currents blog here: How many juvenile salmonids reach the Delta each year? We don’t know.

Environmental, Tribal, and Fishing groups oppose so-called “Voluntary Agreements” for the Bay-Delta

Barbara Barrigan-Parilla writes, “On August 3rd, Restore the Delta signed on to an environmental water coalition letter to all 120 state legislators—40 in the state senate, and 80 in the assembly—opposing Governor Gavin Newsom’s requests for nearly half a billion dollars in funding to the state budget for “voluntary agreements” (or VAs) concerning Sacramento River flows and water quality objectives.  A total of 21 environmental, tribal, and fishing groups joined in signing the letter. The letter informs legislators that the voluntary agreements process is “woefully inadequate.” ... ”  Continue reading from Restore the Delta here: Environmental, Tribal, and Fishing groups oppose so-called “Voluntary Agreements” for the Bay-Delta

Thoughts on DWR’s Delta Conveyance Webinar on fisheries

Deirdre Des Jardins writes, “The single tunnel project was supposed to be redesigned to limit impacts on Delta legacy communities and fish.  But many of the bad design decisions from the previous project have been kept. The most glaring examples are the enormous, 3,000 cfs intakes, which were carried over from the twin tunnels project. Dave Vogel wrote about the twin tunnels project intakes: Three extremely long flat-plate fish screens would be positioned in front of each huge water diversion intake. The size of these screen structures will be massive, greatly exceeding the size of existing fish protective facilities in California. The combined length of the three screens will extend nearly 3/4th of a mile … ”  Continue reading at the California Water Research blog here: Thoughts on DWR’s Delta Conveyance Webinar on fisheries

From feast to famine- California’s 2021 water supply

The California Farm Water Coalition writes, “In two years, California’s State reservoirs have gone from beginning water 2020 “robustly” full, with historic releases of surplus potential supply and the memory of dangerous risks of flooding associated with the same storms that damaged Oroville Dam not far behind us, to devastating curtailments in August of 2021.  On August 3, the State Water Resources Control Board completely eliminated 2021’s surface water supplies for farms in much of the state.  The action affects about 5,700 water rights holders with roughly 12,500 water rights from north of Lake Shasta to Fresno, prohibiting them from diverting surface water for the purpose of farming. … ”  Read more from the California Farm Water Coalition here: From feast to famine- California’s 2021 water supply

A comparison of white supremacy to ag supremacy.

On the Public Record writes, “California faces a necessary discussion about how much of our water should be allocated to agriculture. This conversation is hampered by a set of beliefs I’m calling Ag Supremacy, seen at its purest in the “Thank a Farmer” campaign. I think many in ag and out have an unexamined sense that farmers are the core American identity and somehow purer, harder working and better than effete city-dwellers. Partly because of that, we don’t look clearly at the extent of their resource and labor extraction and hoarding. Below, I’ve pulled apart some of the elements of white supremacy to show the counterpart for ag supremacy. … ”  Read more from On the Public Radio here: A comparison of white supremacy to ag supremacy.  SEE ALSO: We’re going to need it.

Newsom administration wasted so much water, Oroville just ran out

Katie Grimes writes, “Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale), Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber), and Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Marysville) met this week at the top of the Oroville Dam to decry Governor Gavin Newsom’s “lack of leadership and gross mismanagement of the state’s water, power and forests/wildlands.”  They demanded urgent action because Californians are suffering, and it’s about to get worse.  The wells that rural communities depend on – which LaMalfa, Nielsen and Gallagher represent – are running dry, and farmers are being denied water to grow food. Currently there are weekly threats of rolling blackouts and Public Safety Power Shutoffs, as hundreds of thousands of acres burn throughout the state, threatening lives, property and wildlife. … ”  Read more from the California Globe here: Newsom administration wasted so much water, Oroville just ran out

Butte Creek Spring-Run Chinook Salmon in Peril

Tom Cannon writes, “Butte Creek’s spring-run salmon are dying in droves (over 12,000 carcasses of un-spawned adults counted so far in summer 2021) in their over-summering reach upstream of Centerville. A huge run of the most important core element of the California Central Valley Spring-Run ESU is being wiped out by low flows and high water temperatures.  This year’s spring-summer salmon migration and holding water temperatures have been about 5ºC higher than normal. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here: Butte Creek Spring-Run Chinook Salmon in Peril

Is San Joaquin River groundwater Allstate’s orchard insurance?

Steve Ringhoff writes, “YOU tell Allstate they can’t draw from the San Joaquin River to water the almonds they planted in the last couple of years west of Modesto — a modest little project — modest if you have a basket of billions. Though some think $28,000,000 is more than modest.  If you use Highway 132 to go west from Modesto, you probably have noticed a big change to farmland just west of the bridge over the San Joaquin River, where two parcels straddle River Road and where Caltrans recently installed signals.  You used to see little raptors perched on white standpipes surveying the fields for furry little snacks. Great and Snowy Egrets prowled the ground looking for food of their own. First, the standpipes disappeared, then the land was leveled and underground piping was laid. Soon, it became clear that drip irrigation would replace the siphon-and-flood system. Then a pattern of sticks appeared, each protected by a little “milk carton” labeled “Duarte.”  Yep, Allstate was among those rushing to plant almonds. … ”  Read more from the Valley Citizen here: Is San Joaquin River groundwater Allstate’s orchard insurance?

Newsom’s true opponents? Water and fire

Edward Ring writes, “Not quite one year ago, Gavin Newsom did something that took political courage. It was also the right thing to do. He removed from one of the state’s local water boards one of the most outspoken critics of a desalination plant proposed for Huntington Beach.  Unlike critics of desalination (once referred to as desalinization, and swiftly being rebranded yet again as desalting), Newsom understands a fundamental fact: When the Colorado Aqueduct reduces its annual contribution to the water supply of Southern California from over 1.0 million acre feet to zero, and the Delta pumps stop sending additional millions of acre feet of water down the California Aqueduct, in the midst of a drought that lasts not three years, but twenty years, all the water conservation in the world will not slake the thirst of Southern Californians. ... ”  Read more from the California Globe here:  Newsom’s true opponents? Water and fire

 

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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