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
In response to the decline of pelagic fish populations in the early 2000s, the Interagency Ecological Program formed an interagency team to find the causes. The team was called the Pelagic Organism Decline Management, Analysis and Synthesis Team. The interdisciplinary effort funded a suite of 47 studies to evaluate the likely mechanisms for the decline. … Continue reading The Delta regime shift hypothesis and the Voluntary Agreement framework
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
Climate scientist Michael Mann wrote an Op Ed in the LA Times, On the climate crisis, delay has become the new form of denial. The Op Ed has many concepts that resonate with what is happening with California water management. Mann argues: One can no longer credibly deny that climate change is real, human-caused, and a … Continue reading For California water management, delay is denial of climate change impacts
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.