Ecosystem

This category contains 21 posts

HORB revisited

Last week, the court approved a joint stipulation (PDF) filed by the various parties involved in the OCAP salmonid litigation. [1] The stipulation will set the plan for the coordinated operation of the state and federal projects — striking some sort of balance between Delta exports and species protection, and replacing certain requirements of the … Continue reading

Imperial and San Diego file petition on Salton Sea mitigation water

In 2002, one year before the Quantification Settlement Agreement (QSA) and related agreements were executed, the State Water Resources Control Board issued a key approval facilitating a long-term water transfer. The transfer, which carries a 45-year term and an option to renew for 30 additional years, involves Imperial Irrigation District conserving water and transferring the … Continue reading

Fall X2 and delta smelt, continued

This post is a continuation of the previous post. Given that there is a salinity range physiologically tolerable to delta smelt — and a subset salinity range that is not just tolerable, but actually suitable, for which there is a higher probability of finding fish in practice — salinity is an important factor when determining … Continue reading

Opportunity to enhance delta smelt science scrapped by Wanger compromise

The 2008 biological opinion prepared by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommends a set of actions that should be taken to protect delta smelt while operating the federal and state projects.  USFWS will prepare yet another version of this BiOp by an order of Judge Wanger, or else be relieved of the need to do … Continue reading

Wanger Recap: Final judgment for delta smelt, salmon dispute cools off

The spring season is often associated with uplifting imagery: Of nature reawakening and basking in ever-stronger sunlight, and of a new life cycle that emerges as the Earth sheds the frigid harshness of winter.  But at least in the world of California water, spring can be decidedly less romantic for various reasons — not the … Continue reading

YouTube video clips of fish and the Delta

It’s been awhile since I last posted to this blog.  I didn’t mean to let it lapse for this long, but it can be hard to regain momentum once stopping.  Anyway, an update is overdue, and for those of you still checking in, I thought it would be fun to return by sharing a YouTube … Continue reading

Draft report available for the Delta flow criteria

The Delta Reform Act of 2009 requires that the State Water Resources Control Board develop new flow criteria describing the flows needed to protect public trust resources in the Delta.  In theory, these criteria will inform the BDCP and Delta Plan, while furthering the Legislature’s co-equal goals of ecosystem restoration and water supply reliability.  A … Continue reading

Should the public trust doctrine be extended to groundwater?

The public trust doctrine was extended in 1983 to protect the unique ecosystem and environment of Mono Lake.  Should it be extended once again — this time to protect coho salmon on the Scott River? It’s no secret that California has serious problems when it comes to groundwater management.  Aquifers throughout the state are pumped … Continue reading

Parties to the Delta Smelt litigation propose alternative CVP and SWP operation plan

On May 27, 2010, Judge Wanger issued his ruling on the delta smelt biological opinion, which was analogous to his earlier ruling on the salmonid biological opinion.  In the Consolidated Delta Smelt Cases, Wanger determined that the federal agencies had acted arbitrarily and capriciously with respect to Component 2 of the reasonable and prudent alternative … Continue reading

The Head of Old River Barrier, and a delicate balance of species and exports

One purpose of the Vernalis Adaptive Management Plan (VAMP), beyond looking at flows and exports, was to investigate how the survival rate of Chinook salmon smolts migrating through the San Joaquin River system could be improved by constructing a rock barrier at the Head of Old River (HORB).  Reverse Old & Middle River (OMR) flows … Continue reading

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