BLOG ROUND-UP: California’s wildly inequitable water rights system; Will the Biden Administration adhere to its commitment to best science with water project operations?; DWR’s inability to take one solid action to protect the Delta; and more …

California’s wildly inequitable water rights system

Kate Poole writes, “Prior appropriation, or the notion of “first in time, first in right,” has been a prime directive of California water law for well over 150 years. It has brought us a system that is so inequitable in its impacts that more than one million residents of California lack access to safe drinking water, while industrial agriculture used more water to grow almonds and pistachios during California’s last drought than all of California’s residents. And while so-called “senior” water rights holders in the Sacramento Valley flood irrigate hundreds of thousands of acres during our current drought, reservoirs are drained of the cold water that our salmon need to survive and reproduce, pushing several native species to the brink of extinction. … ”  Read more from the NRDC here:  California’s wildly inequitable water rights system

Will the Biden Administration adhere to its commitment to best science and integrity in decision-making as it tackles Water Project Operations?

Paul Weiland writes, “On his first day in office, January 20, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis.  In that Order, the President stated that “the Federal Government must be guided by the best science and be protected by processes that ensure the integrity of Federal decision-making.”  He went on to direct all federal agencies to address federal actions during the prior four years that conflict with that objective.  In an accompanying list of agency actions for review, the President identified precisely two biological opinions that his Administration would review to determine if they were “guided by the best science” and adopted in a manner and using processes that would “ensure the integrity of Federal decision-making.”  The two biological opinions are the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Biological Opinions on Long Term Operation of the Central Valley Project (CVP) and the State Water Project (SWP). … ”  Read more from the Delta Currents blog here: Will the Biden Administration adhere to its commitment to best science and integrity in decision-making as it tackles Water Project Operations?

DWR’s inability to take one solid action to protect the Delta

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla writes, “The Department of Water Resources continues to fail in its management of the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary. From its creation of a long-term water export operations plan based on the inaccurate fake corrupted Trump biological opinions written by former Westlands’ lobbyists, (now being rewritten by Federal agencies), to the voluntary agreements that will short the Delta of even more freshwater flows, to a new version of the Delta tunnel that will list major impacts as outside the project footprint for expediency, DWR consistently fails to put Delta health or communities first.  Case in point: DWR is pursuing an effort to leave the saltwater barrier in place this fall. … ”  Read more from Restore the Delta here: DWR’s inability to take one solid action to protect the Delta

Citizens ballot initiative filed to fulfill funding of long-overdue California water projects

Katy Grimes writes, “A citizens water group has filed for ballot title and summary with the California Secretary of State on a water abundance ballot initiative for the November 2022 ballot.  The Water Infrastructure Funding Act of 2022, and the More Water Now initiative specifically calls for two percent of the state’s general fund – about $3.5 billion per year – to be allocated to projects that increase California’s water supply, according to the group’s website. “The initiative also permits up to half of those funds to be used to finance large water supply projects immediately. Tens of billions of dollars will become available. This two percent funding solution will continue until new completed projects add another five million acre feet per year of water supply to California’s farms and cities.” … ”  Read more from the California Globe here:  Citizens ballot initiative filed to fulfill funding of long-overdue California water projects

Long-Term Downward Trends in the Klamath River

Tom Cannon writes, “Over the past dozen-odd years, there have been significant negative trends in flow, water temperature, and lake levels in the upper Klamath River in California.  The trends likely reflect global warming, climate, and patterns in water supply use in the Klamath watershed.  The parameters contribute to declines in toxicity and fish populations, which are the subject for a future post.  Klamath Lake elevation and storage over the past dozen years have been significantly below average in five years … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here: Long-Term Downward Trends in the Klamath River

The challenge of meeting a legal and moral obligation to Colorado River Basin tribes

John Fleck writes, “At last week’s Getches-Wilkinson Center conference in Boulder, attorney Jay Weiner, who represents tribes (but was careful to say he was not speaking on any particular tribe’s behalf) made an important point, which is repeated in this excellent piece by Mark Armao this week in Grist … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here; The challenge of meeting a legal and moral obligation to Colorado River Basin tribes

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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