BLOG ROUND-UP: Cal Water Fix; groundwater, pelagic fish, coho salmon, water for birds, and more …

Child’s Play, by Damian Gadal

New Water Fix Financial Plan Is Extremely Risky. Will MWD Board Reconsider Their Vote on July 10?: Dr. Jeff Michael writes, “On April 10, Metropolitan Water District (MWD) approved, with little analysis, a hastily conceived plan that greatly increases their “Waterfix” commitment from $4.3 billion to a blank check for 65% of the project (currently estimated at $10.8 billion).  Most of the additional cost is from MWD committing to finance the project’s “unsubscribed capacity,” which is defined as 1/3 of the $17+ billion project.  The “unsubscribed capacity” exists because the agricultural serving Central Valley Project made a rational decision not to finance their share of the $17+ billion Waterfix tunnels, and MWD’s last minute reversal is a desperate attempt to fill this financial hole and get it approved before the full risks of the plan can be understood.  While this vote commits MWD to 65%, they are also negotiating exchanges with State Water Project agricultural contractors for portions of the other 35%, so it seems probable that MWD’s final share will be 75% or more. … ”  Read more from the Valley Economy blog here:  New Water Fix Financial Plan Is Extremely Risky. Will MWD Board Reconsider Their Vote on July 10?

Metropolitan Water District Feigns Legislative Distance Over Calvert Rider: Public Record Act Documents Reveal Complicit Action Including Other CA Water Districts & Agencies:Restore the Delta recently acquired a series of documents contained in a Public Records Act Request (PRA) from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD or Metropolitan) that indicate respective staff members from MWD, Kern County Water Authority (KCWA), and the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCWVD) reviewed the extent to which the House Appropriations spending bill met their previously planned needs for the CA WaterFix project, including the Calvert rider—a legislative provision that would ban further judicial review of the Delta tunnels project. ... ”  Read more from Restore the Delta here:  Metropolitan Water District Feigns Legislative Distance Over Calvert Rider

The rest of the story about groundwater:  Westlands Water District writes, “When it comes to groundwater in the Central Valley, there have been many articles lately telling part of the story but very few telling the whole story. Those articles criticize communities and farmers for pumping groundwater to supply water to their residents and to irrigate their farms. Most of the articles place the blame for groundwater pumping squarely on the shoulders of farmers and urban water users. This is only part of the story. Urban and rural communities have increased their pumping of groundwater due to 25+ years of federal and state policies that have curtailed surface water deliveries. … ”  Read more from the Westlands Newsletter here:  The rest of the story about groundwater

Bee Fights for Farmers? But as the Bee pretends to defend almond growers, it really is the going after Trump that this is all about:  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “If you read the Sacramento Bee Editorial below you might think their Editorial Board actually supported Central Valley almond growers.  We haven’t heard such glowing language about farmers since Paul Harvey’s “So God Made a Farmer” speech.  The Board gushes that “Exceptional wine may be what the world thinks of as California’s agricultural bounty, but it is almonds that dominate the farmland these days in the Golden State. Only hay commands more agricultural acreage, though its value is a fraction of the approximately $6 billion a year that almonds earn…the Golden State has some of the richest farmland in the world. California is the nation’s top agricultural exporter with more than $20 billion a year.” … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here:  Bee Fights for Farmers?

Enhancing pelagic habitat in the North Delta:  Tom Cannon writes, “The Bureau of Reclamation recently released an Environmental Assessment for the Sacramento Deep Water Ship Channel Nutrient Enrichment Project. The proposed project would directly release nitrogen nutrients into the Ship Channel, which runs from West Sacramento to Cache Slough, north of Rio Vista.  The project is designed to stimulate plankton blooms in the North Delta as part of the Delta Smelt Resilience Strategy, which describes the goal as follows:  The purpose is to determine if the addition of nitrogen can stimulate plankton (fish food organisms) production in a section of the ship channel, which is isolated from the Delta in terms of water flow. … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here:  Enhancing pelagic habitat in the North Delta

Coho salmon fishery options in California:  “The two sub-adult hatchery coho pictured above were recently caught in Puget Sound near Seattle, in a mark-selective fishery (note adipose fins missing on all hatchery coho as in California) where all wild fish (intact adipose fin) must be released. This Washington state sport fishery is hugely popular.  These hatchery fish reside in the Puget Sound year-round, unlike their wild counterparts … ”  Read more from the California Fisheries blog here:  Coho salmon fishery options in California

blog-round-up-previous-editionsMore water for birds: New water supplies for Sutter National Wildlife Refuge:  The Northern California Water Association blog writes, “As part of a concerted and ongoing effort to assure reliable and affordable water supplies for the National Wildlife Refuges in the Sacramento Valley and to provide water for multiple benefits, the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and Reclamation District 1004 (RD 1004) have developed and then last winter implemented a creative new pilot program to deliver water at an important time to Sutter National Wildlife Refuge (Sutter NWR) on the east side of the Sacramento Valley. … ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here:  More water for birds: New water supplies for Sutter National Wildlife Refuge

What Does Justice Kennedy’s Retirement Mean for Environmental Protection?  Ann Carlson writes, “The news that Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring has ramifications for many important areas in constitutional law, including affirmative action, same-sex marriage, and abortion. His vote was also pivotal in many environmental cases. Justice Kennedy will almost certainly be replaced by a more conservative justice. If that justice votes with the conservative wing of the Court on environmental cases (and it’s hard to imagine Trump appointing someone other than a hard core conservative), environmental causes are almost certain to suffer.  Justice Kennedy provided pivotal votes in several cases that were environmentally protective. … ”  Read more from the Legal Planet here: What Does Justice Kennedy’s Retirement Mean for Environmental Protection?  SEE ALSO: Environmental Strategies for the Post-Kennedy Era, from Dan Farber at the Legal Planet

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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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