Clarity Blog

Clarity Blog

Water Weekly 3: I’m Backin’ Up

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:

Back to the Drawing Board

This week, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service teetered in the latest Sacramento Delta teeter-totter, as did its friends among the more radical environmental groups.  Judge Oliver Wanger threw out the Service’s current Delta smelt biological opinion – basically the fed’s fishy protection plan – calling portions of it arbitrary, capricious, biased and, overall, a failure in justifying the pumping cutbacks that have hurt farmers and city-dwellers alike.  Cheers and howls followed – but we know what’s next:  just more studies and more strife.  We have to ask, though: Just how much more lousy federal science can we tolerate?

Breeze through the 225-page decision here

Read the best news coverage of the decision here

And for the “fish not folks” side, read this

Backing the Plan

Also up in the Delta, the feds and the state couldn’t agree on why they both like the progress the Bay Delta Conservation Plan is making, so they published separate positive reports this week. Not surprisingly, the state’s report was the more positive of the two, and perhaps a bit surprisingly, both heartily endorsed the tunnel-under-the-Delta alternative.  We have to wonder, though, if Judge Wanger’s decision (above) might make the feds suddenly much more positive.  We don’t wonder at all about the rancor the reports raised among the usual nay-sayers.

Here’s the California Department of Water Resources report

Here’s the multi-agency federal report

Read the best news coverage of the reports here

Read what ACWA said about the reports here

Backs to the Wall

Folks at the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District are between a rock and a squishy place, as they’ve been ordered to halt their long-running polluting of the hub of California’s water supply, the Sacramento Delta.  The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board ruled a week ago that the District and the people of Sacramento would have to begin behaving like grown-ups and start cleaning up after themselves – with better treatment of their sewage.  Typically, local politicians wailed, moaned … and blamed Southern California.

Read the Sacramento Bee’s report on the order

And now the wailing, moaning and recriminations

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