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
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
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
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.
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.
Voluntary Agreements to restore the Sacramento Bay-Delta are part of the Newsom administration’s Water Resilience Portfolio. Water agencies have touted these agreements as a “new way forward.” But voluntary agreements in the Delta are not new – they just fail and are never discussed again.
The Australian model of flexibility and partnership with water diverters in management of ecosystem water has been catastrophic in Australia's Murray-Darling Basin.
True leadership in California water involves addressing major ongoing conflicts between beneficial uses and the hard choices that need to be made in an age of increasing demands and finite resources.