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
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
On Thursday March 10, 2022, the Delta Independent Science Board had a presentation by Diane Riddle, Matt Holland, and Erin Foresman of the State Water Resources Control Board on the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan. These were my comments: In the interests of fairness and balance, I am going to provide the viewpoint of environmental … Continue reading On the Voluntary Agreements — comments to the Delta ISB
On January 22, 2022, Dan Bacher published an article, Why is California’s DWR increasing State Water Project allocations in the middle of a drought? Jennifer Pierre, the General Manager for the State Water Contractors: tweeted the following response to the article: All of the allocated water is already in storage downstream of the Delta. It … Continue reading Will State Water Contractors support disclosure of forecast SWP operations?
The Department of Water Resources has just announced that they are increasing the State Water Project allocations to 15%. Given the huge problems last year with watershed runoff forecasts, DWR is taking a huge risk of not meeting environmental water needs later in the year. In November 2021, nine scientists from leading California water research … Continue reading In increasing State Water Project allocations, DWR is taking huge risks
On Thursday, September 9, Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot a letter to the members of the legislature regarding the controversial CEQA exemption in the Natural Resources trailer bill, AB/SB 155. Crowfoot's letter addressed objections to the trailer bill previously raised by Restore the Delta, stating: The proposed CEQA exemption may only be applied to habitat … Continue reading Resources Secretary sends letter to legislature on CEQA exemption in trailer bill
A 1983 Bulletin by the Department of Water Resources (Bulletin 160-83)  documents that Oroville reservoir was designed to provide long-term carryover storage and reliable water deliveries in case of a repeat of the 1928-1934 drought. The Department of Water Resources proposed in the same Bulletin 160-83 to change State Water Project operations to take … Continue reading The State Water Project was originally designed for a six year drought
The 1.18 million acre-feet of water dedicated to environment in the CALFED Record of Decision has basically vanished. Its disappearance is one of the reasons that pelagic fish populations in the Delta have collapsed.
Unless we do a better job of keeping water in our rivers and streams, California’s native aquatic species will not survive climate change.
Newsom's veto of Senate Bill 1 shows just how little backstop there is for the Voluntary Agreements on Delta flows. This should not be surprising, given how the regulatory framework for the Water Board's determination of Delta flow objectives has been gutted.