The Chronicles of the Hydraulic Brotherhood
Lloyd G. Carter, former UPI and Fresno Bee reporter, has been writing about California water issues for more than 35 years. He is President of the California Save Our Streams Council. He is also a board member of the Underground Gardens Conservancy and host of a monthly radio show on KFCF, 88.1 FM in Fresno. This is his personal blog site and contains archives of his news career as well as current articles, radio commentaries, and random thoughts.

New Riparian Restoration Connection website

The Tamarisk Coalition,a non-profit alliance working to restore riparian lands, is excited to announce the launch of a new website called the Riparian Restoration Connection (RRC) This new resource has been created to help connect the riparian restoration community in the West to funding opportunities, trainings, conferences, events, and other educational opportunities specifically relevant to invasive species management and riparian restoration efforts in the region.
What’s different about this website?  READ MORE »

Fishing and Conservation Groups Win First Round to Curb Selenium Discharges into SF Bay Delta Estuary

    Fishing and conservation groups have won the first round in their attempt to get state and federal officials to follow water quality laws and comply with the Clean Water Act. For years West side Irrigators have been dumping their selenium pollution into the San Joaquin River and SF Bay Delta Estuary without required pollution control permits.


On Friday August 31, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District if California ruled this selenium-polluted ground water being discharged into the sloughs, San Joaquin River and San Francisco Bay Delta Estuary is subject to the pollution control provisions of the Clean Water Act. Background: Since 1996 San Luis Delta Mendota Water Authority and USBR have been allowed to discharge Selenium into the sloughs, San Joaquin River and Delta in excess of Clean Water Act water quality protection standards without required permits. Recently in 2010 Western San Joaquin Valley growers sought and obtained another approximate decade long extension. The dischargers argued they do not need to comply with the Clean Water Act pollution control measures because they are exempted under an irrigated return flow provision.


U.S. Geological Survey says benzene in California groundwater is mostly naturally occurring


    Benzene occurs infrequently in California public supply wells and comes predominantly from naturally occurring petroleum deposits deep in the ground, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey. Spills associated with underground fuel storage and above ground distribution systems have long been considered the main source of benzene in groundwater. This unique study finds that contamination most often occurs in older, brackish, groundwater located near naturally occurring deep underground oil and gas deposits.

    As part of a statewide study assessing groundwater quality, scientists analyzed untreated groundwater from wells, not treated tap water. Groundwater used for public supply is typically treated by water providers to ensure compliance with water quality standards. “This study illustrates the value of letting scientific facts speak for themselves when dealing with critical issues such as the frequency and potential sources of groundwater contamination,” said USGS Director Marcia McNutt.  READ MORE »

EPA releases San Francisco Bay Delta Action Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released an Action Plan today (Aug. 27, 2012) that proposes seven measures for improving water quality, restoring aquatic habitat, and improving the management of the San Francisco Bay Delta Estuary. The release of the Action Plan follows the agency’s analysis concluding that existing federal and state water quality programs are not adequately safeguarding the ecosystem. “California’s economic security depends on a healthy Bay Delta,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “By upholding the goals of the Clean Water Act, we can ensure that our water is fit for drinking, farming, recreation, and for fish and wildlife.”


The Action Plan responds to findings and recommendations made following EPA’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in 2011 that sought public input on the effectiveness of existing federal and state water quality protection programs. The Action Plan prioritizes the following seven actions to be pursued in partnership with the State Water Resources Control Board, the Regional Water Boards for the Central Valley and San Francisco Bay, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, and numerous other state and federal agencies:

• — By 2013, propose a standard to curb selenium discharges from cities, farms, and oil refineries;  READ MORE »

August Radio Show

54:42 minutes (6.26 MB)

In his August radio show, Lloyd interviews an opponent of a proposed gravel mine along the Kings River in Fresno County and also discusses Gov. Brown's announcement he wants to build a peripheral tunnel to take water from Northern California to the southland.

July Radio Show

63:52 minutes (7.31 MB)

In his July radio show, Lloyd interviews Fabien Cousteau, grandson of famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau.  A fascinating interview.

Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board fines growers $50,600 for polluting San Joaquin River

     On August 10, 2012, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board issued the following announcement:


Word of the Day: Hydromancy


hydromancyAudio Pronunciation\HYE-druh-man-see\

Definition:  divination by the appearance or motion of liquids (as water)  READ MORE »

Multi-billion dollar Pipe Dream


Governor's "Pipe" dream decimates the Delta Estuary, Enriches a Few

The Anatomy of the Proposed Water Grab

Fall 2008


The Schwarzenegger and Bush Administrations Use Drought Fears to Launch the Westlands-Kern-MWD Plan to hijack water supplies.

They pretend it is AN ECOLOGICAL PLAN to Restore Delta estuary salmon and ecology.  READ MORE »

SEC issues final judgment in an insider trading scam involving the son of a prominent attorney for Westlands

On May 5, I blogged about the powerful Denver, Colorado law firm Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber and Schreck with long-time ties to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. You can read that story  at

The same firm of Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber and Schreck was hired by the Westlands Water District to pursue a billion dollar claim in the U.S. Court of Claims in Washington, D.C. over failure by the U.S. Bureau of

Reclamation to complete a drainage system for Westlands.  Lead partner Norman Brownstein, a prominent Washington lobbyist has been embarrassed recently by his two adult sons who have become involved in shenanigans

or outright violation of criminal laws.   Brownstein's younger son, Drew "Bo" Brownstein, was involved in an inside trader scam and pled guilty, resulting in a prison term.  Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission

issued the following news release:


U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission


Litigation Release No. 22404 / June 28, 2012


SEC v. H. Clayton Peterson et al., 11 Civ. 5448 (S.D.N.Y.) (RPP)


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