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Clarity Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Water’

Water Weekly 3: Big Water News – In Song!

What were the three biggest California water stories of the past seven days?  Well, the news-heads and policy wonks here at Laer Pearce & Associates have compiled them for you here.  You’ll find the Big Three here every week, or you can follow LPAWater on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here.  This week:

When Will They Ever Learn?

Talk about salt in the wound! The feds wanted to release an extra 300,000 acre feet of water to adjust the Sacramento Delta’s salinity, but Judge Oliver Wanger again rapped their knuckles and sent them to the dunce’s corner for using lousy science to try to justify their action. Wrote Wanger: “They continue to believe their ‘right to be mistaken’ excuses precise and competent scientific analysis for actions they know will wreak havoc on California’s water supply.” Yeah, but will they listen this time? It’s not like it’s the first time they’ve been caught doing this.

Here’s the full 140-page ruling

Here’s ACWA’s sober statement on the ruling

And here’s Pacific Legal’s more rambunctious statement (more…)

Water Weekly 3: Godzilla vs. Moonbeam!

What were the three biggest California water stories of the past seven days?  Well, the news-heads and policy wonks here at Laer Pearce & Associates have compiled them for you here.  You’ll find the Big Three here every week, or you can follow LPAWater on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here.  This week:

Mixed Signals from Brown

Gov. Brown paid a visit to the Fresno Bee editorial board this week. As the nation’s #1 ag county, water matters in Fresno, and Brown said all the right things in support of conveyance as part of a needed Sacramento Delta fix. Excuse how muted our “yay” is, because this week also saw Brown dumping the only GOP members of the pivotal California Water Commission – who happened to be the President of ACWA and the author of the water bond.  What’s it going to be, Guv, politics or bipartisan hard work?

Here’s the editorial the Fresno Bee wrote after Brown’s visit.

Read the Sacramento Bee on Brown’s ax job

“Press on!” says MWD’s Jeff Kightlinger

Curious about the top ag counties? Here they are.

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Water Weekly 3: Mixed Messages

What were the three biggest California water stories of the past seven days?  Well, the news-heads and policy wonks here at Laer Pearce & Associates have compiled them for you here.  You’ll find the Big Three here every week, or you can follow LPAWater on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here.  This week:

Good Judge/Bad Judge

This week we saw one brilliant judge and one judge who obviously is suffering from Marin-think-itis.  Let’s start with Judge Lynn Duryee of Marin Superior Court, who shot down the Marin Municipal Water District’s desal plant EIR with this gem: “Conservation costs nothing.” Yeah, but does it provide enough water for your county, Lynn, ol’ gal? We don’t think so… not that it matters if you get to bang a gavel.  Then there was good ol’ Judge Wanger who was spot-on in deciding the longstanding Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority v. Interior case, declaring if it falls in California, it’s California’s water, Bub, not your water.

Catch Marin-think-itis through this newspaper account

Or, if you must, read Duryee’s entire decision

Here’s an account of Judge Wanger’s un-wrangling of Tahoma-Colusa

Heck, this decision even hit the big time in Iowa!

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Endless Studies and Bloodthirsty Sharks

Our new water Weekly 3 is out – and can be read here.  As faithful readers have come to expect, it’s full of the latest water news … but this time with a bit more bite than usual.  Check out this entry:

Sharks Found In MWD Water!

Some of the most dangerous sharks on the planet have “Esq.” after their names, and a particularly bloodthirsty species was found this week hunting for food in MWD’s water supply. The San Francisco class action law firm of Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhomik & Greatwhite (just kidding on that last name) sued MWD “in the interest of millions of consumers” (wink, wink) claiming MWD’s use of “a hydrofluosilicic acid drug” for fluoridation may lead people to have fewer cavities without their consent. Really. The firm’s news release threatens other water districts “across the country,” so watch out for sharks in your water!

For the rest of the Weekly 3 (and links about the lawsuit and that potentially lucrative hydrofluosilicic acid drug), here’s that link again.

Water Weekly 3: Pesky, Pesky, Pesky Water News

What were the three biggest California water stories of the past seven days?  Well, the news-heads and policy wonks here at Laer Pearce & Associates have compiled them for you here.  You’ll find the Big Three here every week, or you can follow LPAWater on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here.  This week:

Pesky Smelt Insist on Procreating

The smelt-counters in the Delta are finding about twice as many of the little fishies this year, compared to last. Some attribute it to “smelt protections” – even though the State Water Project is pumping five times more water than in early 2010. More likely it’s high water levels and the turbidity that comes with more, faster-flowing water. That’s great news because if the feds accept the smelt’s love of muddy water, using the location of turbid water as an indicator should allow higher pumping volumes.

Here’s the story from the Sacramento Press (more…)

Water Weekly 3: Eco-hawks, Oldtimers and Stinkers

What were the three biggest California water stories of the past seven days?  Well, the news-heads and policy wonks here at Laer Pearce & Associates have compiled them for you here.  You’ll find the Big Three here every week, or you can follow LPAWater on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here.  This week:

“Virtual River” Runs Dry

The eco-hawks often talk of a “virtual river” that could supply Californians all the water they need, if only they’d conserve more.  It seems the virtual river flows through real farm land, given all the talk about how farmers waste water. Well, in San Diego County, the virtual river theory is getting pretty parched as farmers who are doing all the right things – installing drip irrigation, planting high-value crops – are facing economic ruin because even with the best practices, water’s still going up to $1,400 per acre foot next year.

Let the California Farm Bureau Federation tell you more.

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Water Weekly 3: “Shanghaiing the Yangtze” and more!

What were the three biggest California water stories of the past seven days?  Well, the news-heads and policy wonks here at Laer Pearce & Associates have compiled them for you here.  You’ll find the Big Three here every Thursday, or you can follow LPAWater on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here.  This week:

Shanghaiing the Yangtze

Harken with us back to the days of yesteryear, before “unsustainability” became an unpardonable sin, back when “exploitation” defined our approach to natural resources. Sigh. Sort of. There’s a lot to be said for keeping species alive, even if it can be a costly pain in the … water bill.  But in China, they’re still into subjugating nature, as described in this fascinating article about plans to divert six trillion gallons of water a year from the Yangtze River. We balk at $11 billion for the SacDelta fix, but this project’s price tag is $62 billion!

Check out the New York Times article here

And here’s a map showing the different diversion routes

Speaking of moving water long distances, how about from the moon?

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“Turn Off the Water When You Brush” Just Ain’t Enough

All around California, updated Urban Water Management Plans (UWMPs) are appearing, as required by state law.  Here’s the lead of a news story that ‘s typical of many we’ve seen in the last few weeks:

LAKEWOOD – The city is reminding residents to stop watering sidewalks and conserve water for outdoor irrigation in an effort to meet the state’s 2020 goal of 20percent water reduction.

Conservation was part of the message at Tuesday night’s City Council’s meeting, where the council approved the Urban Water Management Plan Update 2010.

The updated plan is required every five years by the state and includes plans for water supply, water shortage contingencies and achieving the state’s goal of 20percent reduction in water use by 2020.

Of necessity, the “20 by 2020″ water conservation goal (and its companion “15 by 2015″ goal) from 2009′s epochal water legislation is at the core of all new UWMPs, and it seems the plans’ authors have rounded up the usual suspects when discussing how they’ll achieve those goals:  Incentives, seeking funding for new conservation-oriented programs, education and outreach.

To which we say, great, nice start, and good luck with that. You’re going to need it.

It’s not that those sorts of efforts haven’t proven effective. They have. We know because we’ve helped many districts communicate programs like that.  It’s just that more will be needed. As the headline says, alluding to the most famous of the old way of promoting conservation, “Turn of the water when you brush” just ain’t enough.  Not enough people will listen, fewer still will change their habits, and even if they did, not enough water will be saved.

Let’s get more aggressive

We’ve been thinking about new ways to attain the sorts of water savings that will have to be achieved to keep water providers out of the penalty box when 2015 and 2020 roll around. They include:

  • Re-think the water bill - We’re most excited about the missed communication opportunities on water bills, especially ebills.  Bills are the one document customers read regularly, but they’re a confusing mess and a messaging nightmare. We’re developing some great new ideas – let’s set up a meeting with your billing service.
  • Coalesce and conquer - Ever heard of an advertising coop? It’s when a bunch of businesses, like the individual car dealers in an auto mall, join forces to buy more ads than they could ever buy on their own. We have developed ideas and themes that a “communication coop” of several water providers in a region could mutually hit a home run with.  Who’s going to step up to the plate?
  • Water budget based rates – Yes, this is a really big idea and you’d have to start  now to get them in place in time to get some years under your belt before the deadlines hit. So get started – and let us help you manage a successful Prop 218 campaign, as we’ve done for many water providers. In district after district, the penalty rates for excessive water use have educated customers more about what constitutes an efficient level of water use than a blizzard of statement-stuffers ever could.
  • Expanded programs - The new money that comes from those penalty rates can fund an unprecedented level of conservation outreach, including rebates, audits, consults and new communications tools … like the new bills we want to help you develop.

Unlike much of what comes out of Sacramento, California actually needs the 20 by 2020 goals the Legislature set for us.  Of course, the Legislature didn’t give you the tools or money to go along with the mandate, so it’s going to take a real commitment and really creative thinking to meet the goals. Let’s talk.

Water Weekly 3: The color of trouble

What were the three biggest California water stories of the past seven days?  Well, the news-heads and policy wonks here at Laer Pearce & Associates have compiled them for you here.  You’ll find the Big Three here every Thursday, or you can follow LPAWater on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here.  This week:

Brown Out

During the campaign, Jerry Brown shed about as much light on his water policy as a … moonbeam.  We thought he’d be OK, but would he be great OK or so-so OK? It’s the latter. Resources Secretary Jerry Meral said yesterday MWD’s hoped-for big tunnel will no longer be the primary focus of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. EPA praised the move. MWD’s been quiet. Enviros have dug in with, “Tunnels, chunnels or any movement of water from or around the Delta are [sic] wrong! They will destroy the Delta …” Where’s the wiggle room in that?

Here’s the SacBee on Meral’s comments.

And from the far left, a response (more…)

Water Weekly 3: Wars and Rumors of Wars

What were the three biggest California water stories of the past seven days?  Well, the news-heads and policy wonks here at Laer Pearce & Associates have compiled them for you here.  You’ll find the Big Three here every Thursday, or you can follow LPAWater on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here.  This week:

Border Wars

After fighting proposed ocean desalination in Carlsbad and Huntington Beach for a couple centuries (well, it feels like that even if it’s only been a decade or so), environmentalists were shocked that the San Diego County Water Authority might buy water from a desal plant proposed at a Rosarito Beach power plant just across the border from thirsty San Diego. Calling the proposed plant a “trans-boundary scam,” one opponent whined, “It’s absolutely unethical!”   And abusing the courts with one losing claim after another to stop Poseidon’s plants is ethical?

Read the environmentalists’ lament here

Here’s a longer, more objective piece from Voice of San Diego

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