BLOG ROUND-UP: A Cosmonaut and the Delta Conveyance Project; What recall candidates are saying about infrastructure; Are SF and SoCal prepared for droughts and climate change?; Are water sales delaying development of alternative sources?; and more …

About a Cosmonaut and the Delta Conveyance Project

Tim Stroshane, Policy Analyst and Restore the Delta, writes, “After the Wednesday evening “climate change” edition webinar for the Delta Conveyance Project presented by the California Department of Water Resources, I found myself remembering the Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov.  In the spring of 1967, Komarov gave his life for the Soviet space “team.” When I was nine and a half, the Soviet Union sent Komarov into space in Soyuz 1, even though the Soviet leadership of their space agency and the political class knew that its rocket and space capsule had numerous design flaws that were not resolved before launch. Leonid Brezhnev, the Soviet Premier at the time, wanted the mission to happen before May 1, 1967, the 50th anniversary of the Russian Revolution of 1917, so they sent Komarov regardless.  … ”  Read more from Restore the Delta here: About a Cosmonaut and the Delta Conveyance Project

What the recall candidates are saying about infrastructure

There is a saying in California politics (popularized by Willie Brown) that, when it comes to big projects, one should just “start digging a hole and make it so big, there’s no alternative to coming up with the money to fill it in.”  It is ironic, then, that no matter how much money California voters dedicate to major infrastructure projects that the state has not even dug a hole to put water in for decades.  It clearly hasn’t been an issue of funding; it just clearly been an issue of Sacramento. … From the Sites Reservoir project, to the Temperance Flats water storage project, to recycled water projects, to raising the Shasta Dam, projects are touted then trimmed, shelved, or abandoned for any number of reasons.  Usually those reasons involve NIMBYism or actual environmental complaints or technical glitches, or minor environmental complaints or egregious oversight or delusional environmental complaints or poor planning or utterly fictional environmental complaints – whatever the cause, it doesn’t seem to matter how much money you have to fill in the hole if you can’t even dig one in the first place.  To that end, this week’s questions in our recall candidate issue “round up” series are about infrastructure. … ”  Read more from the California Globe here: What the recall candidates are saying about infrastructure

Delta Conveyance Project, Texas-Style

Barbara Barrigan-Parilla writes, “For decades, Anti-California sentiment has been part of American media news coverage, which sadly too often measures state success only in terms of corporate success. The trope, “what is wrong with California,” does not evaluate the societal, environmental, and economic outcomes that would improve the quality of life for working people within our state. It places two segments of an incomplete narrative side-by-side for consideration: a state can succeed through corporate growth, or it can fail. Corporate responsibility is never delineated when the media frames the story as to whether corporations are thriving or failing in California.  A recent article in the Los Angeles Times about AECOM moving its headquarters to Dallas accurately asserts that “Texas state officials have for years been trying to lure California businesses, enticing them with fewer state environmental regulations, a lower cost of living, and no personal income tax.” … ”  Read more from Restore the Delta here: Delta Conveyance Project, Texas-Style

Are SF and SoCal prepared for droughts and climate change?

Doug Obegi and Ashley Cooper write, “Scientists and conservation groups including NRDC have been warning for years that farms and cities in California need to plan to divert less water from the Bay-Delta watershed, and the 2009 enactment of the Delta Reform Act established that it is State policy to reduce reliance on water supplies from the Bay-Delta through investments in local and regional water supplies like water recycling (Cal. Water Code § 85021). The current drought is an unwelcome reminder that we are not prepared for drought, leading to the State Water Board ordering curtailments of some water diversions, ongoing violations of water quality standards in the Delta, DWR shutting down hydropower generation at California’s second largest reservoir because water levels are so low, and reservoir operations likely to kill nearly all of California’s endangered Chinook salmon in the Sacramento River this summer. … ”  Read more from the NRDC here: Are SF and SoCal prepared for droughts and climate change?

Are water sales delaying development of alternative sources?

Bruce Frohman writes, “If one wants to know how bad a drought is, ask someone whose business it is to plumb the water table and test the effectiveness of wells and pumps. A gentleman in the business told this writer that he is busier than ever.  Businesses that rely on well water need to keep the water flowing. Wells need testing to make sure they don’t go dry and to check pumps for operational efficiency so that they don’t waste electricity or burn out. During a drought, testing is critical for economic survival. If a well goes dry, the landowner may go out of business. … ”  Continue reading at the Valley Citizen here: Are water sales delaying development of alternative sources?

Dammed hot: California’s regulated streams fail cold-water ecosystems

Ann Willis, Ryan Peek, and Andrew L. Rypel write, “Given the current drought, it’s no surprise that California’s dams are struggling to provide cool water habitats to support native freshwater ecosystems. But what if they were never able to support them under any conditions?  New research shows how current stream management fails to provide the patterns of cool water that California’s native ecosystems need. The challenges stem from two issues: an oversimplification of stream temperature targets and the assumption that dam regulation can replicate desirable cold water patterns. … ”  Read more from SJV Water here: Dammed hot: California’s regulated streams fail cold-water ecosystems

A tale of three critically dry years – more Shasta reservoir solutions to save salmon

Tom Cannon writes, “Shasta Reservoir is low again at the end of summer in drought year 2021. The pattern is very similar to critically dry years 2014 and 2015 (Figure 1) that resulted in the loss of access to Shasta’s cold water and failure of the winter-run salmon spawn in the summer. Year 2021 is leading to another failure of the winter-run salmon spawn and fry production. Shasta’s cold-water pool supply is depleted, and river releases are too warm (Figure 2). Water temperatures downstream of Shasta held in 2020 (Figure 2) despite high water releases (Figure 3), because 2020 had 1 million acre-feet more storage at the beginning of the year than either 2014 or 2021. The three disaster years could have had different outcomes if as little as 300,000 acre-feet of additional storage had been available in 2013 and spring 2021. ... ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here:  A tale of three critically dry years – more Shasta reservoir solutions to save salmon

American river water forum 2.0 – the future for American River salmon and steelhead

“Tom Cannon writes, “Conditions in the lower American River have been bad all year, and are getting worse. Folsom Reservoir storage never recovered this spring and is critically low this summer. Releases from reservoir to the river have been low, resulting in excessively warm river water temperatures (Figure 3).  In a recent post on the Water Forum’s blog, Jessica Law, the new executive director of the American River Water Forum, described current conditions for the lower American River … ”  Read more from California Fisheries Blog here:  American river water forum 2.0 – the future for American River salmon and steelhead

Colorado Basin shortages point to need for state action

Ed Osann writes, “This year’s unprecedented shortage declaration for the Colorado River should galvanize all Colorado Basin states to redouble their efforts to curtail wasteful and unnecessary uses of water and build more resilient communities. The issue gains urgency with the realization that next year is unlikely to bring significant relief. Action now is needed to maintain the supply drinking water in 2022, 2023, and beyond. … ”  Read more from the NRDC here: Colorado Basin shortages point to need for state action

Why don’t they redo the Colorado River Compact?

John Fleck writes, “My co-instructor Bob Berrens and I added a slide this morning to our welcome lecture for first-year students in the University of New Mexico’s Water Resources Program, hoping to foreshadow two questions we’ll be asking the students over and over and over and over this semester:  Bob: That sounds great, how are you going to pay for it? John: X sounds great, why don’t they just do X?  The welcome lecture includes all the usual “read the syllabus”, and “no this won’t be on the quiz, we don’t have quizzes”, and such, as we shove aside the bureaucratic detritus of academia so we can get down to the business of talking about water.  The headline for this year’s class (yes, I am an inkstained wretch, see blog title, our syllabus has a headline) sums up the dilemma: There’s less water. What do we do? … ” Read more from the Inkstain blog here: Why don’t they redo the Colorado River Compact?

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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