Delta tunnel — Inconvenient truths about sea level rise and salinity intrusion

Polar ice sheet melting

The Delta tunnel Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) has a new Sea Level Rise Study in Technical Appendix 5A-F. The study was done with Bay-Delta SCHISM, a 3-D hydrodynamic model of the San Francisco Bay and Delta. The new SCHISM study has limitations, in that it assumes that Delta levees are raised to keep up … Continue reading Delta tunnel — Inconvenient truths about sea level rise and salinity intrusion

Delta tunnel EIR shows predictable megaproject management biases

Professor Brent Flyvbjerg is an internationally renowned expert in megaprojects. His research has shown how megaprojects are systematically subject to "survival of the unfittest." Flyvbjerg’s 2021 paper, Top Ten Behavioral Biases in Project Management: An Overview, describes several behavioral biases which are relevant to the Delta tunnel project. They include strategic misrepresentation, optimism bias, planning … Continue reading Delta tunnel EIR shows predictable megaproject management biases

Delta ISB review of Delta tunnel project proceeding under huge time pressure

On June 8, 2022, DWR’s Director, Karla Nemeth, made a presentation on the Delta tunnel project to the Delta Independent Science Board (Delta ISB), with several of the scientists who had worked on the project. She said that she supported the Delta ISB’s review of the project. But unlike the twin tunnels project, the Department … Continue reading Delta ISB review of Delta tunnel project proceeding under huge time pressure

The eye of the storm and the State Water Resources Control Board

The State Water Resources Control Board’s Climate Change Mitigation Strategist, Max Gomberg, just retired, and sent an incendiary parting letter to his colleagues, stating, Witnessing the agency’s ability to tackle big challenges nearly eviscerated by this Administration has been gut wrenching. The way some of you have simply rolled over and accepted this has also … Continue reading The eye of the storm and the State Water Resources Control Board

Expert panel recommended that Water Board require documentation of model weaknesses

On June 27, 2022, the legislature authorized the Acting State Auditor to perform an audit of the reasons for major errors Department of Water Resource's snow runoff forecasts in 2021. The Department of Water Resources' Director, Karla Nemeth, told the legislature that "the forecasting work is undertaken exclusively by the Department of Water Resources. The … Continue reading Expert panel recommended that Water Board require documentation of model weaknesses

Problems with Bay-Delta water resources modeling have been recognized for decades

The drought years of 2021 and 2022 saw major errors in the Department of Water Resources' Bulletin 120 runoff forecasts and Delivery Capability Report water supply projections. The Joint Legislative Audit Committee authorized an audit of DWR's modeling and water management on June 27, 2022. But the model errors are part of larger institutional issues … Continue reading Problems with Bay-Delta water resources modeling have been recognized for decades

Tales from the Water Wars — on becoming a warrior

I went to graduate school at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the 1990s. Although there were many things I loved about the campus, they had also had serious issues with the campus' handling of violence against female students. There had been a major Title IX complaint, supported by female faculty members. After an … Continue reading Tales from the Water Wars — on becoming a warrior

Tales from the Water Wars — 4th of July reflections

Our country was founded by idealists and dreamers, who fought for their ideals. And 246 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Americans continue to fight -- for justice, for the rights of the governed, for fairness, equity, and a livable future. I've reflecting today on the dedication of those I have I … Continue reading Tales from the Water Wars — 4th of July reflections

Legislature approves audit of water management by DWR and SWRCB during 2021

On Monday, June 27, the California Joint Legislative Audit Committee approved Assemblymember Adam Gray's request for an audit of the management of surface water by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the State Water Resources Control Board in 2021. The Acting State Auditor is also proposing to audit DWR's plan to uphold its contractual … Continue reading Legislature approves audit of water management by DWR and SWRCB during 2021