On September 12th, 2022, the Sixth District Court of Appeal issued a ruling that the State Water Resources Control Board did not have the authority to curtail pre-1914 water rights under Water Code section 1052(a). This code section provides that “The diversion or use of water subject to this division other than as authorized in … Continue reading Will ruling on pre-1914 curtailments force the Water Board to track stored water?
This blog post analyzes long term changes in the Sacramento Four River runoff using a 10 year and 30 year running mean. Sacramento River runoff was lower during the Dust Bowl era drought of 1928-34, and the current 30 year mean runoff is close to the mean for the historic record. However, the current 10 … Continue reading Water Board’s Decision 1641 adopted in wetter period
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
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
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