California’s water demand: a look at the numbers

Nate Silver's datalab, aka 538, takes a fresh look at the numbers that show California's water demand. Leah Libresco digs up some real gems: California’s water problem won’t be solved by shorter showers or browner lawns. In Gov. Jerry Brown’s executive order setting California’s mandatory water reductions in cities and towns, he called for 25Continue reading “California’s water demand: a look at the numbers”

Does fear of earthquake in Delta justify $25 billion project?

Last week California water agencies dumped a 34,000 page project report — on Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the need for twin tunnel project — on an oblivious public. The LA Times editorialized on the project without stating a clear opinion, but did mention that the city has become much much better at water conservation: ThereContinue reading “Does fear of earthquake in Delta justify $25 billion project?”

Deal to “fix” the delta collapsing: Dan Walters

In a front-page story last week in the Los Angeles Times, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Bettina Boxall used an oblique structure, gritty detail, and a plethora of conflicting quotes to give a sense of the trouble surrounding a plan to put a massive new straw from the State Water Project into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  Here'sContinue reading “Deal to “fix” the delta collapsing: Dan Walters”

Delta earthquake risk serious, but not catastrophic: USGS

A soon-to-be-released report from the US Geological Survey finds the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta would be hit even harder by an earthquake than previously believed, but with winter rains, the Delta would also recover more quickly than was estimated in a state study just three years ago. This excellent story by Pat McBroom in The CaliforniaContinue reading “Delta earthquake risk serious, but not catastrophic: USGS”

California’s Katrina: levee failure in the Delta

Do I exaggerate? Time will tell. One similarity can't be denied: levees can fail in California, just as they failed in Louisiana. And if they do, a major disaster and economic collapse could befall our culture, just as it befell New Orleans'. If a big — 6.9 or larger — enormous earthquake hits the BayContinue reading “California’s Katrina: levee failure in the Delta”

National Academy of Sciences backs bio opinions in Delta

Over at John Fleck's shop in Albuquerque, the reporter looks at the release of a National Academy of Sciences report on the Delta. The unavoidable news is that the panel concluded that restrictions on pumping to save the endangered Delta Smelt were "scientifically justified," and said so numerous times in the report. But to noContinue reading “National Academy of Sciences backs bio opinions in Delta”

Dianne Feinstein and Westlands: Secret Sweethearts?

Almost two years ago, the tenacious Lloyd Carter — a former reporter turned water law expert — wrote a public letter to Senate Dianne Feinstein, calling her out for her work on behalf of cotton and almond growers of the so-called Westlands water district of the Central Valley. As he commented on his site, inContinue reading “Dianne Feinstein and Westlands: Secret Sweethearts?”

Water Deal: Delta Savior, or Unworkable Mess?

Yours truly has been trying to make sense of the massive California water deal headed for the Governor's desk. Haven't made a whole lot of progress yet; it's so big that apparently most of the legislators who voted on it, either pro or con, didn't even try to read it. But I have come acrossContinue reading “Water Deal: Delta Savior, or Unworkable Mess?”