BLOG ROUND-UP: More Water Now ballot initiative, Ecosystem restoration and Delta science, Drought deja vu all over again; and more …

On the Public Record has a better idea for a water initiative.

The San Joaquin Valley big boys are trying to get an initiative onto the 2022 ballots. They call it More Water Now; the proposition is to designate 2% of the general fund for water projects until the new projects yield 5MAF. Here are a couple op-eds against it. Here is an advocate’s case for it. (I have to say. Don Wright is the best possible advocate for anything Big Ag wants. He is so painfully sincere in his belief that they’re doing a good thing.) I assume all the good governance people will hate this initiative for ballot-box budgeting. I assume that water people will hate it because it funds all the projects that can’t be built because the water they yield is too expensive, even after it does away with environmental protection. Fine, whatever. You might think that I would be sputtering outraged at the sheer gall of the initiative backers. ... ” Continue reading at On the Public Record here: I have a better idea for a water initiative.

Why is California’s ‘More Water Now’ ballot initiative already under attack?

Katy Grimes writes, “California has a long history of squandering its precious water. …  The state officials in charge bow to environmentalists by allowing half of the state’s water to flow out to the ocean, leaving farmers and local governments to fight for the other 50%. The state uses about 47.5 percent of its developed water supply for the environment, including wild river flows, managed wetlands and wildlife preserves, habitat and water quality control for fish, and required Delta outflows, according to the Department of Water Resources. Water is diverted in times of drought and times of plenty to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, leaving much less for irrigation or for Californians to drink.  Approximately 10% of the remaining water is used by cities, and 40% is used by agriculture. Yet it is always urban use and agriculture forced to conserve.  This is why the Water Infrastructure Funding Act of 2022 was written and has begun to qualify as a state ballot proposition. “More Water Now,” as it is known, will be a nonpartisan initiative constitutional amendment. ... ”  Continue reading at the California Globe here: Why is California’s ‘More Water Now’ ballot initiative already under attack?

Delta Flows 12/1/21: Ecosystem Restoration and Delta Science Update

Tom Stroshane writes, “With comments due on the Delta Stewardship Council’s environmental impact report on the agency’s amendments to the Ecosystem Restoration chapter of the Delta Plan, let’s pause to recall why these amendments came before the public.  When then-Governor Jerry Brown separated the two-bore Delta tunnels project from the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) in April 2015, he canceled a legally automatic transfer of BDCP’s ecosystem restoration policies and programs to the Delta Plan should BDCP be approved for construction. This was called for in the Delta Reform Act of 2009. … ”  Read more from Restore the Delta here: Delta Flows 12/1/21: Ecosystem Restoration and Delta Science Update

California Drought – Deja Vu All Over Again

Kate Poole, Senior Director, Water Division, Nature Program at the NRDC writes, “California’s Department of Water Resources recently announced its plan for operating the massive State Water Project in 2022 if dry conditions persist. When rolling it out, DWR’s Director acknowledged that “[i]t is going to take a multi-pronged approach to successfully respond to these unprecedented drought conditions.” But DWR is not on track to successfully respond to drought; in fact, it is not doing much of anything different from the same old disastrous response to drought over the last decade. It’s time for the State Water Resources Control Board and other decisionmakers to take the reins of drought management away from DWR and put California on a track to successfully manage the new normal of intense and frequent droughts. … ”  Read more from the NRDC here: California Drought – Deja Vu All Over Again

Lake Shasta – Late fall 2021

Tom Cannon writes, “When I first moved to California in fall 1977, I camped at Lakehead on Lake Shasta. I was surprised to only find the Sacramento River. I got the same view on a recent visit. No black bass or channel catfish, and few trout. The lake is down nearly 200 feet from when it last filled in spring 2019 … ”  Continue reading at the California Fisheries blog here: Lake Shasta – Late fall 2021

Entsminger and D’Antonio on how dry a future Colorado River the upcoming negotiations should consider

John Fleck writes, “Daniel Rothberg yesterday published a very helpful Q and A with John Entsminger of the Southern Nevada Water Authority that gets to the heart of one of the really important discussions now underway in the Colorado River Basin:  Rothberg: You mentioned not that long ago, testifying in Congress, that “the river community is far from a consensus about how dry of a future to plan for.” What are some of the differing opinions right now? And where are people on establishing that baseline of what the future looks like for the river? Entsminger: I was on a panel at the University of Colorado Law School within the last six weeks or so. And a couple people on the panel were asked that question of how dry a future should we be planning for, and I said I thought an 11 million acre-feet annual flow of the river is probably a good place to start based upon what I’ve heard from folks like Jonathan Overpeck and Brad Udall and other smart climate scientists. … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here: Entsminger and D’Antonio on how dry a future Colorado River the upcoming negotiations should consider

Ten New Environmental Laws in California

Victoria Rome writes, “The environmental community continued to chalk up wins in the state legislature despite another unusual year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a gubernatorial recall election. We successfully navigated video meetings and remote testimony to advance climate and health policies with the help of coalition partners, environmental champions in the legislature and a committed governor. We also faced some disappointing outcomes and fierce lobbying by powerful interests trying to thwart progress. As the climate crisis marches on, NRDC and our partners will continue to push state leaders for bold policies that can become models for other jurisdictions. There is always more work ahead, but it’s also important to reflect and mark the progress we’ve made. Below are ten key bills that passed the legislature and were signed by Governor Newsom in 2021. Most of these new laws take effect in January 2022 except where noted. … ”  Read more from the NRDC here: Ten New Environmental Laws in California

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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