Bill to restore compensation for Delta Independent Science Board languishes on Governor Newsom’s desk

Delta ISB meeting

Two decades ago, California agencies joined federal agencies in signing the CALFED Record of Decision, which committed to a world class Delta science program. A key part of that commitment was to establish an Independent Science Board to provide oversight and peer review of the overall program. In 2009, the legislature established the Delta Independent … Continue reading Bill to restore compensation for Delta Independent Science Board languishes on Governor Newsom’s desk

On scientific confluence and the challenges of avoiding a ghastly future in California water

Seventy years ago, psychologists Fritz Perls, Paul Hefferline, and Richard Goodman defined confluence as considering different viewpoints and assimilating them into one's own worldview [1]: At the end of any successful experience – one that is not interrupted but allowed to complete itself – there is always a confluence of energy or energy producing materials. … Continue reading On scientific confluence and the challenges of avoiding a ghastly future in California water

On DWR’s water supply models and drought risks

The Delta Independent Science Board has just released their draft Water Supply Reliability Review. We strongly agree with their recommendation on water supply system models: The next generation of state-sponsored water supply system models for reliability estimation should be built, updated, and evaluated by a broad consortium of state and federal agencies and external experts … Continue reading On DWR’s water supply models and drought risks

Resources Secretary sends letter to legislature on CEQA exemption in trailer bill

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

Natural Resources budget trailer bill would exempt habitat restoration projects from CEQA

Aerial photo of Franks Tract

SB 155, the Senate Natural Resources budget trailer bill, provides $593 million for projects that “advance multi-benefit and nature based solutions" this fiscal year, and another $175 million next fiscal year. Section 23 of the bill exempts the following projects from the California Environmental Quality Act: (1) A project to conserve, restore, protect, or enhance, … Continue reading Natural Resources budget trailer bill would exempt habitat restoration projects from CEQA

On a just transition for farmworker communities and farmworkers in the San Joaquin Valley

San Joaquin Valley communities are on the front lines of massive land fallowing due to drought and soil and groundwater salinization. Satellite imaging shows almost a million acres of land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and in the Tulare Lake region that is either moderately or severely impaired by salinity. In … Continue reading On a just transition for farmworker communities and farmworkers in the San Joaquin Valley

On dealing with climate grief

Many of my friends have cabins that are threatened by the Sierra wildfires. Across the country, others are dealing with the devastation of Hurricane Ida. Twitter has been filled with messages of shock, fear, grief, pain, and loss. I think people go through Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's stages of grief as the devastation of climate change starts … Continue reading On dealing with climate grief

Consideration of climate change in the Delta tunnel project

The Department of Water Resources will be holding a webinar on consideration of climate change for the Delta tunnel project on August 25, 2021.  The following discussion is from my testimony in 2016 for Part 1A of the WaterFix Water Right Change Petition hearing. It explains some key problems with the consideration of shifts in … Continue reading Consideration of climate change in the Delta tunnel project

Delta Protection Commission, Water Board express support for restoring funding to the Delta ISB

Both the Delta Protection Commission and the Water Board expressed strong support for restoring funding for the Delta Independent Science Board at their meetings this month. The Delta Protection Commission voted unanimously to send a letter of support for SB 821 to the legislature. At the August 5, 2021 Delta Protection Commission meeting, the Commissioners … Continue reading Delta Protection Commission, Water Board express support for restoring funding to the Delta ISB

Thoughts on DWR’s Delta Conveyance Webinar on Fisheries

The single tunnel project was supposed to be redesigned to limit impacts on Delta legacy communities and fish.  But many of the bad design decisions from the previous project have been kept. The most glaring examples are the enormous, 3,000 cfs intakes, which were carried over from the twin tunnels project. Dave Vogel wrote about … Continue reading Thoughts on DWR’s Delta Conveyance Webinar on Fisheries