On sowing doubt about extinction risks for Chinook salmon in 2022

A decade ago, Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway wrote the seminal book, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Oreskes and Conway documented how scientists paid by the tobacco industry sowed doubt about the links between smoking and lung cancer, and how the … Continue reading On sowing doubt about extinction risks for Chinook salmon in 2022

Game theory explains what happened in the Voluntary Agreement negotiations

In 2009, Michael Hanneman and Caitlin Dyckman published a stark assessment:  "The San Francisco Bay-Delta: A failure of decision-making capacity." A decade later, their game theoretic analysis explains a lot of what happened with the Voluntary Agreement negotiations for the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan Update. This is the key bit: A well-known theorem from … Continue reading Game theory explains what happened in the Voluntary Agreement negotiations

Social network weaving for climate adaptation

Interconnected people

Network weaving is a concept from community organizing.  Here's a definition from the Kansas Opportunity Innovation Network: Network weaving is the process of building community and strengthening social capital in a community by bringing together and connecting better the actors in a social network ... A successful network weaving approach uses social network maps to … Continue reading Social network weaving for climate adaptation

The Delta regime shift hypothesis and the Voluntary Agreement framework

In response to the decline of pelagic fish populations in the early 2000s, the Interagency Ecological Program formed an interagency team to find the causes.  The team was called the Pelagic Organism Decline Management, Analysis and Synthesis Team. The interdisciplinary effort funded a suite of 47 studies to evaluate the likely mechanisms for the decline. … Continue reading The Delta regime shift hypothesis and the Voluntary Agreement framework

Voluntary Agreement framework consolidates power and inequities in California water

inclusion exclusion

The California Natural Resources agency released a Voluntary Agreement framework on Monday, March 29, 2022. The framework has been hailed as a "peace" agreement. Reading the Memorandum of Understanding, I find Hisham Ziuaddeen’s synthesis of how power operates across hierarchies of caste, gender, sexuality, ableness and class to be profoundly relevant. Ziuaddeen observed that power … Continue reading Voluntary Agreement framework consolidates power and inequities in California water

Models that forecast water that isn’t there hurt all beneficial uses

Assemblymember Adam Gray has called for an audit of the Department of Water Resources and the State Water Resources Control Board, in part to answer the question, What happened in the Water Year 2021 (October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021) to lead the state to miscalculate by some 700,000 acre-feet the amount of water … Continue reading Models that forecast water that isn’t there hurt all beneficial uses

On political winds, adaptive management and the Delta Independent Science Board

Signs saying respect ethics scientific integrity

The Delta Reform Act of 2009 created the Delta Independent Science Board as a board “in state government,” and tasked the board with “oversight of the scientific research, monitoring, and assessment programs that support adaptive management of the Delta through periodic reviews…” (Water Code section 85280(a)(3).) Senate Bill 821, chaptered in October 2021, added language … Continue reading On political winds, adaptive management and the Delta Independent Science Board

On the framework of power in California water – comments to the Delta Stewardship Council

Metropolitan Water District building

These comments were made to the Delta Stewardship Council at the October 28, 2021 meeting. I wanted to share with you some thoughts from Hisham Ziuaddeen, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist at University of Cambridge. He talked about frameworks of power. And I realized there is a framework of power in California water, and it determines: … Continue reading On the framework of power in California water – comments to the Delta Stewardship Council

Climate change: a conversation on interconnected risks

Interconnected people

This is part of a Twitter conversation with Chris Parker, a UK hydrologist who specializes in climate hazards and climate impacts, on Jan 1, 2022. Chris Parker @HyperHydr0 I often wonder how many possible climate hazards, impacts or risks there are that no one has either experienced, observed or thought possible. Given the events of … Continue reading Climate change: a conversation on interconnected risks

Fatal errors in DWR’s runoff forecasting: comments to the State Water Resources Control Board

The State Water Resources Control Board held a workshop today (March 16, 2022) on Sacramento River Temperature Management. Among the topics considered were "hydrologic conditions, including operations, forecasting, and accounting." These were my comments. This is Deirdre Des Jardins with California Water Research. I’m the physicist who sent comments to DWR in 2012 predicting the … Continue reading Fatal errors in DWR’s runoff forecasting: comments to the State Water Resources Control Board