Blog round-up: Bloggers on the BDCP, the ‘Volvo Desert’, salmon, dam goats, Grand Canyon fog, and more

Delta Dialogues talk conveyance alternatives and criteria for a successful project: The Delta Conservancy’s Delta Dialogues process continued in November: “Delta Dialogues participants, gathered at a hunting club on the Rindge Tract outside Stockton, spent their November session doing some hunting of their own, seeking deeper understanding of alternative conveyances and listing their own criteria for BDCP and other Delta plans. It was the third straight Delta Dialogues meeting to involve detailed examination of “Multiple Intake Scenarios,” with the diverse group of stakeholders looking at possibilities that might include an intake on the Western Delta and alterations to the BDCP’s proposed intakes in the north of the Delta on the Sacramento River. Some participants also held a phone meeting Nov. 6 to examine aspects of a Western intake, including the impact on the Delta smelt. … ” Read more from the Delta Dialogues here: Getting Our Ducks in a Row

The BDCP and rumors of an urban subsidy for agriculture: The Valley Economy blog tackles the rumor: “Recently, I have heard Mark Cowin and other state and local water agency officials repeatedly state that there will be no urban to agricultural subsidies for water supplies from the twin tunnels. They have dismissed the notion as a “rumor”. How do these rumors get started? Why won’t they go away? Look no further than the latest pro-tunnel propaganda from the Bay Delta Conservation Plan blog, “Mature Choices for a Mature State.” ... ” Continue reading at the Valley Economy blog here: Is the Bay Delta Conservation Plan Blog Proposing an Urban Subsidy of Agricultural Users in BDCP?

Restore the Delta responds to Jerry Meral’s presentation in Redding:It is always interesting to watch Deputy Resources Secretary Dr. Jerry Meral work an audience. He has the most affable and persuasive way of making the most questionable assertions. And he can say “You’re right” to a questioner, then effortlessly frame what the questioner said in a way that may not actually agree at all. Dr. Meral’s November 18 presentation to the Redding City Council, a region he referred to there as “Superior California,” provides an interesting example of his rhetorical skills. It also gives us an opportunity to point out some of the most egregious misrepresentations in BDCP messaging. … ” Read more from Restore the Delta here: Delta Flows: November 26, 2013

San Diego’s water rates rising:  GrokSurf’s San Diego blog looks at the reasons behind the increase:  “The main reason for the increase was that the price of imported water keeps going up and the Public Utilities Department (PUD), as we know, needs to purchase that high-priced water to supply over 80% of the city’s needs. PUD buys imported water from the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) which in turn buys its water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) and from the Imperial Irrigation District (IID).  Compared to price hike hearings in previous years, this time relatively few people were up in arms. Even though several of the 37 people who submitted protest slips at the meeting seemed quite indignant, many who spoke expressed disappointment and unhappiness but appeared resigned to the fact that PUD has little choice but to recover the price it pays for imported water. Even U-T San Diego, normally happy to throw gasoline on smouldering embers, refrained from inflammatory editorializing.  Still, there are some valid reasons for general dissatisfaction with the situation. ... ”  Read more from GrokSurf’s San Diego blog here:  San Diego water rates going forward

On the Colorado River, something to be thankful for, and a new record is set:  The Inkstain blog says let’s be thankful for the snowpack because is it’s actually twice as big now as it was last year.  So what’s the new record?  Record upper basin use in 2011.

The Volvo Desert:  John Fleck at the Inkstain blog says he was surprised to find that New Mexico’s urban and agriculture use has been steadily declining for decades; the problem is decreasing supplies:  “I played a bit with the “peak water” theme, which sounds problematic. A headline writer used the word “grim” to describe the situation, which did not entirely please me, because ultimately, I think this is not necessarily bad news. So I wrote a followup column:  ‘It is easy to single out communities for which declining water supplies are a big problem – farmers this year in the Carlsbad area and the Hatch Valley, for example, or the villages of Vaughn and Magdalena. But perhaps more striking is the grace with which much of New Mexico’s population and economy has made the transition over the past two or more decades to a life with less water.’ … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here:  Continue reading at the Inkstain blog here:  Volvo Desert

The need for developers to find long-term sources of water for projects drives bidding war in California: The Valley Citizen blog writes: ” … Since 2001, developers must declare a long-term water source prior to building. Before that, once the houses were up, water had to be delivered. As recently as 2008, courts began ordering dozens of building projects be put on hold until they could find water sources. The outcome of the need to declare water sources has been more pressure to take water from agriculture and the environment. The plan to build two huge tunnels to convey water south from the San Joaquin Delta, backed by water districts in southern California and the southern San Joaquin Valley, emphasizes the volume of water the tunnels can carry, with little regard for how much water is needed up north. … ” Read more from the Valley Citizen blog here; Next Up: The Great Water Auction

Successful season for West Coast salmon fishing:  The FishBio blog reports the season started with a bang and continued on a roll:  ” … Just a few years ago, the California salmon industry was devastated during the Sacramento River fall-run Chinook collapse, but has now rebounded with consecutive years of a successful fishery. Preseason projections indicated that fishing off the West Coast was going to be better than any year since 2005, and thus far the projections have mostly lived up to the hype. Preliminary harvest reporting numbers for fishing off of Washington, Oregon, and California through October 31 are 489,443 commercially caught and 164,351 recreationally caught Chinook salmon. While the recreational numbers are about 10,000 fish lower than last year, the commercial catch is up by more than 100,000.   Looking at total catch by state, fishing off the coast of California proved rewarding. ... “  Continue reading at the FIshBio blog here:  Chinook salmon ocean harvest surveys show improvement

Not just for sushi anymore: Salmon and rice yields multiple benefits:  The Pacific Institute Insights blog discusses the recent Nigiri project, a collaborative effort working to understand and test the multiple benefits of nurturing young salmon on agricultural rice paddies in the Yolo Bypass:  ” … In partnership with scientists from UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, government agencies including the California Department of Water Resources, and the local nonprofit California Trout, Knaggs Ranch is applying the Nigiri culinary model to the local landscape. Working together, the partners are formulating a new model of integrated management that works to balance the multiple priorities of the area, including preservation of local rice agriculture, floodwater prevention, and restoration for local fish and wildlife habitats. Two years in the making, the Project is leading the way in shifting the Yolo Bypass, and in the long run, other regions of the Central Valley, towards a new multi-use management paradigm. ... “  Read more from the Pacific Institute’s Insights blog here:  Nigiri at the Landscape Scale: Salmon on Rice Rolls Up Multiple Benefits for Fish and Farms

Check out the top ten largest wastewater treatment plants in this slideshow from Engineering News Record: The Top Ten Largest Wastewater Treatment Plants

And lastly … What’s that on the side of that dam? Check out these dam goats who will surely amaze you: What An Amazing Dam. Wait… What’s That? Are Those…? No Way! 

Fog fills Grand Canyon:  Recently, the Grand Canyon experienced a rare phenomena as a temperature inversion caused the Grand Canyon’s many gorges to fill up with fog.  Check out the photo gallery here:  ‘River of Fog’ fills Grand Canyon in once-in-a-decade phenomenon

Compiled/written by Chris “Maven” Austin