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.

Salmon Imperiled

 

Massive Loss of Endangered Winter Run Salmon

Perhaps half of this years spawning class die in irrigation ditches: survivors

hammered by mismanagement of Shasta cold water reserves

 

During April, May and early June, large numbers of endangered winter-run Chinook salmon and other species were drawn into channels in the Yolo Bypass and Colusa Basin and died, according to reports by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and National Marine Fisheries Service biologists (NMFS).  The total number of stranded fish is unknown but agency biologists said it could be as high as half of this years returning population of winter-run.  This tragedy is exacerbated by high temperature stress on spawning winter-run caused by mismanagement of limited cold water pools in Shasta Reservoir this year.

 

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Record-breaking “Dead Zone” Predicted in the Gulf of Mexico This Summer

 

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Gulf of Mexico may be far from the corn fields of the Midwest, but it’s those fields that are causing a big problem for the gulf coast water this year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a record-size “dead zone” in the Gulf this summer, stretching from South Texas all the way to Alabama.  

Dr. Paul Montagna, Chair and Professor for the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI) at Texas A&M University, has studied these “dead zones”, also known as hypoxia zones, for more than 20 years.

“The zone sets up in late spring and lasts throughout the summer,” said Montagna. 

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Westlands lobbying firm heavily involved in plan to export Mojave Desert Water to San Diego County

    The law/lobbying firm that represents the Westlands Water District in Washington, D.C., for $20,000 a month, is also invested in Cadiz Inc., a firm which wants to mine groundwater in the Mojave Desert, according to a report from the Voice of San Diego website, which is a non-profit organization that undertakes investigative journalism.

     According to the article written by Will Carless, Christine Frahm is a shareholder in the Denver-based law firm of Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber and Schreck. She is also a former chairwoman of the San Diego County Water Authority, which has authority to seek new water supplies for the county's water districts.  Frahm has been heavily involved in San Diego County water politics for years and currently serves both as an attorney and "consultant" for the Water Authority via a multi-million dollar contract with the Brownstein law firm.  I have blogged on the Brownstein/Westlands connection in the past.  You can read my prior articles by entering the keyword Brownstein in my home page search engine.

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A voice in the desert wilderness

By Lloyd G. Carter

               On the day before the start of summer in June of 1980, Russian oceanographer/hydrologist/fisheries biologist and political exile Michael Rozengurt, along with American marine biologist Irwin Haydock, co-wrote then Gov. Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown Jr.  a two-page letter warning that a proposed "Peripheral Canal" to funnel Northern California river water around the problem-plagued Delta, would result in the demise of the Delta ecosystem and its abundant fishery.

               Rozengurt, now 78 and living in Los Angeles,  was no stranger to gloomy predictions.  In his 1986 epic on western water "Cadillac Desert", the late author Marc Reisner described Rozengurt as "an expatriate Russian fisheries biologist, who compared California's situation to what the Russians had done to the Sea of Azov, a spectacular fishery turned into a biological desert by Stalin's directive to irrigate a limitless acreage of cotton." He had also watched the Soviet construction of a peripheral canal on the Volga River in 1974 which had caused "mind-boggling" damage to the river's fishery.

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Discarded Drugs in your Drinking Water?

The dangers of discarded drugs getting into drinking water supplies have been under study for more than a decade and although it appears humans are not directly threatened, the same cannot be said for fish and other creatures living in waters tainted by pharmaceuticals.  The link below provides a very good explanation of the problem facing fish on drugs.  Thanks to my friend Mike Campagna for alerting me to this video.

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYbRlJLBzn4&feature=youtu.be

 

 

A letter from Friends of the River to federal officials about fatal flaws in the Bay Delta Conservation Plan

 

FRIENDS OF THE RIVER

1418 20TH STREET, SUITE 100, SACRAMENTO, CA 95811

PHONE: 916/442-3155 ● FAX: 916/442-3396

June 4, 2013

Dear Federal Agencies, Officers, and Staff Members:

INTRODUCTION

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Dirty Water, Dirty Tricks

By Patrick Porgans & Lloyd G. Carter

 

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
   (a) Every citizen of California has the right to pure and safe drinking water.
   (b) Feasible and affordable technologies are available and shall be used to remove toxic contaminants from public water supplies.
Health and Safety Code section 116270, subdivisions (a) and (b).
 
  In the heart of California's farm country, San Joaquin Valley growers get better quality river water for irrigation while farmworkers, farm families and rural communities often get polluted groundwater unfit to drink.
   Making matters worse, California officials have known for decades that groundwater used for drinking and home use is polluted by pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, industrial wastes and "treated" city waste water, but have done little to take advantage of nearly half a billion dollars in federal low interest loans available to address  the problem.

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Ruminations on the Borba affair

 

Some unanswered questions about Westlands Water District grower Mark Borba's racial slur against President Obama and the behind-the-scenes efforts to get Westlands more Northern California water

By Lloyd G. Carter

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Brown Administration Official Admits BDCP will not save Delta

While speaking with Tom Stokely of the California Water Impact Network (C-WIN) at a meeting with Northern California's Native American Tribes on Monday, April 15, Natural Resources Agency Deputy Director Jerry Meral said, "BDCP is not about, and has never been about saving the Delta. The Delta cannot be saved."
Brown administration official claims 'Delta can't be saved' 
by Dan Bacher 
  Recreational anglers, commercial fishermen, Indian tribal leaders, family farmers, environmentalists, Delta residents and many elected officials strongly oppose the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels because they say it will lead to the extinction of Central Valley salmon, steelhead and other fish species. 

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Prominent Westlands Grower Mark Borba resigns from board of Maddy Institute following racial slur of President Obama

 Officials of the Maddy Institute said today (April 16, 2013) that prominent Westlands Water District grower Mark Borba resigned last Friday from the board of directors of the institute.   The Institute, named after the late Kenneth Maddy, who served 28 years in the state legislature, was established in 1999.  The mission of the Maddy Institute, according to its website (www.Maddyinstitute.org)  is to inspire citizen participation, elevate government performance, provide non-partisan analysis and assist in providing solutions for public policy issues important to the region, state and nation.

  Borba, who along with his brother, farms 8,600 acres in Westlands, was voted off the board of directors of Community Hospitals in early March but hospital officials would not explain the reason.  On March 9, the Fresno Bee ran a front page story about an expletive-filled email that Borba sent to Westlands general manager Tom Birmingham, complaining about severe cutbacks in water allocations for Westlands.  In that email, Borba derisively called President Obama "Blackie" and also argued that Sen. Dianne Feinstein should have marched into the White House and demanded more water for Westlands, which may receive only 25 percent of its allotment this year.  READ MORE »

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