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.

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)


Fish and Wildlife Service announces revised media policy

Editor's note:  Below is the newly revised media policy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  I suggest you read my article also on this website's homepage "Two-faced Fish in a Barrel" and Felix Smith's comments  (scroll down)  before you conclude how effective the new media policy will be. There should be something in the policy about not swearing at reporters.
Memorandum of June 29, 2012

To:  All U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Employees

From:            Director

Subject:        New Service media and communications policies

Kesterson Whistleblower Felix Smith comments on my "Two-Faced Fish in a Barrel" story

Editor's Note: Nearly 30 years ago Felix Smith, an employee of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), leaked information to then Fresno Bee reporter Deborah Blum that selenium-tainted farm drainage water from the Westlands Water District was causing embryo deformities in migratory birds nesting or feeding at the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge evaporation ponds in western Merced County.  FWS biologists were initially barred from publicly speaking about the bird deformities by Reagan Administration Interior Secretary James Watt.  Smith and another FWS biologist, Harry Ohlendorf, had discovered the deformed birds in the Spring of 1983 when they opened eggs in nests at the so-called wildlife "refuge."   The Fish and Wildlife Service purportedly was preparing a press release on the issue but after months, Smith got angry and impatient at the stall tactics and let Deborah  Blum (who later won a Pulitzer Prize) know what was going on. Within 18 months, following continuing national publicity on the issue, the State Water Resources Control Board ordered Kesterson cleaned up or closed.  READ MORE »

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson resumes his war on wildlife

    Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, who is backing mining companies that are polluting Idaho streams and creeks with selenium, is on the warpath again.  (See my story below on two-faced fish in a barrel for more details about Simpson.) The House subcommittee he chairs, which oversees Department of Interior spending, has passed a proposed budget bill which slashes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service budget by 21 percent.

     I just received the following press release from Ducks Unlimited about Simpson's efforts to slash funding for North American wetlands Conservation as well as the FWS budget..  Simpson is also reportedly planning to cut funding for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,  Simpson is the chair of the Subcommittee on interior, Environment and Related Agencies, although his name is not mentioned in the DU press release below.


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