A New Water Source That Could Make Drought a Thing of the Past

By Ellen Brown : scheerpost – excerpt

Oceans of water are beneath our feet, and new technologies are extracting it economically without ecological damage.

Lack of fresh water is now a global crisis. Water shortages mean food shortages, with hunger creating death tolls substantially exceeding those of the current Covid-19 crisis. According to the United Nations, some 800 million people are without clean water, and 40% of the world’s population is impacted by drought. By one measure, almost 100 percent of the Western United States is currently in drought, setting an all-time 122-year record. Meanwhile, local “water wars” rage, with states, cities and whole countries battling each other for scarce water resources. 

The ideal solution would be new water flows to add to the hydrologic cycle, and promising new scientific discoveries and technologies are holding out that possibility. But mainstream geologists have long contended that water is a fixed, non-renewable resource —and vested interests are happy to profit from that limiting proposition. Declaring water “the new oil,” an investor class of “Water Barons” —including wealthy billionaire tycoons, megabanks, mega-funds and investment powerhouses — has cornered the market by buying up water rights and water infrastructure everywhere. As Jo-Shing Yang, author of “Solving Global Water Crises,” wrote in a 2012 article titled “The New ‘Water Barons’: Wall Street Mega-Banks are Buying up the World’s Water”:…(more)

Colorado River, Lifeline Of The West, Sees Historic Water Shortage Declaration

Kirk Siegler : npr – excerpt (excerpt) includes audio track and transcript

The first-ever shortage declaration on the Colorado River forces arid Western states to re-examine their relationship with resources many take for granted, drinking water and cheap hydroelectricity.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

For the first time ever, the U.S. government declared a shortage on the Colorado River last week. That means states like Arizona that rely on the river for their water supply are seeing big cutbacks as a punishing drought continues in the west. The Colorado River and its tributaries are a lifeline to some 40 million people in multiple states, including in California, who rely on it for drinking water. The river also irrigates countless farms and generates lots of cheap hydropower. So a shortage on the Colorado is a big deal, and we wanted to hear more about that. We asked NPR’s Kirk Siegler to talk us through it. He covers the West and has been reporting on the Colorado River for years…(more)

With Bundy Involved, This Won’t End Well…

By Cathy M : dailykos – excerpt

The West is in a bad drought, and all signs point to it getting worse. That has set up a confrontation between farmers in the Klamath Basin of S. Oregon, and the native tribe as well as the wildlife sanctuaries. The decision about water allocation is coming very soon, but already there’s been a “movement” that is ominous:

www.oregonlive.com/…

KLAMATH FALLS — Two farmers with ties to anti-government activist Ammon Bundy have purchased land by a shut-off irrigation canal in Oregon that would normally deliver water to a massive federal irrigation project along the California-Oregon border and have set up a protest encampment there, Jefferson Public Radio reports…

www.dailykos.com/…

In Idaho, for instance, armed-standoff-guru-turned-pandemic-denialist Ammon Bundy filed paperwork to run for governor, in a race already featuring another leading state “Patriot” movement figure…

www.klamathfallsnews.org/…

KWUA Urges a stop to unacceptable behaviors

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Klamath Water Users Association today urged that supporters of agriculture stop intimidating and inappropriate behaviors immediately.

Reports say that names and addresses of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation employees have been published on social media, inviting that anger be directed toward those public servants, and there have been other inappropriate communications. “Stop it,” said KWUA President Ben DuVal. “It is completely out of line. It will hurt Klamath Project agriculture.”…

www.opb.org/…

Twenty years after a shut-off of most irrigation water in the parched Klamath Project brought the competing needs of farmers, fishermen and tribes to a head, a new drought — and a fresh federally-ordered water shut-off — is triggering a sense of déjà vu

www.klamathfallsnews.org/…

Rep. Bentz & Rep. LaMalfa issue $57M proposal to address Klamath Water Crisis [VIDEO]

WASHINGTON, DCToday, Congressman Cliff Bentz (R-Ore.) delivered his first speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. He was joined by Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) in raising awareness of the catastrophic drought in the American West and supporting immediate relief for those affected by the ongoing crisis in the Klamath Basin through a $57 million aid and relief proposal…(more)

Over Troubled Water

Restore the Delta

Restore the Delta The San Francisco Bay-Delta, largest estuary on the west coast of the Americas and a national treasure. . . If you have heard of the Delta at all, you have heard that it is both a vital resource and a seriously threatened region. But you’ve probably heard the story of the Delta told by people who want to reshape it to take the water and create corporate wealth…(more)

RELATED:

Delta Flows: Recall Politics? No Thanks. The SF Bay-Delta keeps losing either way.

Today’s blog breaks my heart. 

Why? 

Because Restore the Delta is focused on water quality issues, flood control issues, future planning, and training the next generation of local water experts – for that is where hope exists. 

We are focused on the future because in some ways we have become very cynical about any positive meaningful change to Delta management presently — from the lack of care at the highest levels of government to local pockets of Delta communities that will not acknowledge the deterioration of the estuary before their eyes…(more)

State Initiates Environmental Review for Proposed Delta Conveyance Project, Begins Public Scoping

press release : eastcountytoday – excerpt

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) released a Notice of Preparation (NOP) for a proposal to modernize water infrastructure in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, initiating environmental review in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The NOP, announcing the preparation of an environmental impact report (EIR) for the proposed Delta Conveyance Project, marks the first step under the CEQA process.

The proposed project described in the NOP is a single underground tunnel with two intakes that together have a total diversion capacity of 6,000 cubic feet-per-second (cfs). The NOP notes that there will likely be alternatives identified that evaluate a range of capacities from 3,000 cfs to 7,500 cfs. The NOP signals the start of the scoping process for the EIR and provides an opportunity for members of the public and agencies to provide input on the scope and content of the EIR, including information needs, potential project effects and mitigation measures, and possible alternatives to the proposed project…

The purpose in proposing this project is to develop diversion and conveyance facilities in the Delta necessary to restore and protect the reliability of California’s water deliveries south of the Delta in a cost-effective manner, and consistent with the recently released draft Water Resilience Portfolio.…(more)

Single tunnel water suck from the Delta is under review.

Lawsuit claims corruption, racism, sexual harassment contributed to Oroville Dam crisis

By Ryan Sabalow and Darrell Smith : sacbee – excerpt

Workers were patching Oroville Dam’s weathered concrete spillway, nearly four years before a massive crater would tear it open.

Michael Hopkins, an employee at the Department of Water Resources, alleges he saw something he would never forget.

A legally deaf woman was assigned to drive a truck down the spillway and listen for hollow sounds in the concrete as her colleagues performed what’s known as “chain drag testing,” Hopkins wrote in a declaration filed last week in Sacramento Superior Court.

“This isn’t going to work,” the woman told her supervisor, who brushed off her concerns and told her to get back to work, Hopkins wrote.

Hopkins’ allegation isn’t the only alarming charge found in a lawsuit stemming from the crisis at the nation’s tallest dam, which began two years ago Thursday when a large crater formed in the spillway, eventually leading to the evacuation of 188,000 people.

The suit before Sacramento Superior Court Judge James McFetridge has ballooned to include allegations that dam officials stole equipment, cooked financial books to conceal wrongdoing, destroyed evidence and fostered a toxic culture of sexual and racial harassment that included slurs and nooses hung where a black worker would find them… (more)

 

Suspect Hunters Point shipyard contractor did similar work at Treasure Island

Corporate managers accused of directing an extensive fraud in the cleanup of San Francisco’s toxic shipyard led similar projects at nearby Treasure Island — work that apparently has never been rechecked since fraud at the shipyard was discovered, even as a $5 billion real estate development on the island speeds ahead.

Tetra Tech EC, a subsidiary of the government contracting giant Tetra Tech Inc., is being sued for fraud by whistle-blowers and the Department of Justice. Federal prosecutors say the firm cut corners and falsified radiation tests while serving as a cleanup contractor at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, a mothballed naval base tainted with radioactive substances that last for thousands of years and can cause cancer… (more)

Treasure Island not only is a superfund site tied to the clean-up scandals at Hunters Point, the island has a rash of complaints of health problems and power outages. Not the island paradise it is being sold as.

When we say there is a lack of talented labor we are not kidding. What else explains the new contract awarded Tetra Tech to clean up the Camp Fire sites? There are not a lot of contractors who can pretend to do the job.

RELATED:
Frequent power outages leave Treasure Island residents out in the cold

 

Carl DeMaio Names 12 Democrat Legislators as Targets in Campaign to Defeat the Water Tax

By Carl DeMaio

Group that successfully recalled State Senator Josh Newman in 2018 over Gas Tax will now target 12 “Water Tax Weaklings” in State Senate and State Assembly

In 2018, State Senator Josh Newman was successfully recalled from office over his decision to cast the deciding vote on the controversial Gas Tax hike. In light of equally-controversial Water Tax being proposed in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget, Reform California announced it is targeting 12 state legislators (4 state Senators, 8 Assemblymembers) over the issue in an attempt to either block the Water Tax from being passed OR to use it as a wedge issue to defeat these legislators in the 2020 cycle.

“Sacramento politicians are hereby put on notice that if they vote to impose a costly and unfair Water Tax on California’s already-struggling working families they will face consequences at the ballot box,” said Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California.

Targeted Members of the Assembly
Brian Maienschein
Sharon Quirk-Silva
Sabrina Cervantes
Tasha Horvath
Cottie Petrie-Norris
Jacqui Irwin
Christy Smith
James Ramos

Targeted State Senators
Richard Roth
Tom Umberg
Melissa Hurtado
Anna Caballero

These 12 legislators are seen as the most vulnerable members of the state legislature – and more importantly, if 3 State Senators or 7 Members of the Assembly announce their opposition to the Water Tax, it would effectively be killed as any tax hike requires a two-thirds vote in BOTH chambers to pass.

The Water Tax Weakling campaign will include 30-second ads, Facebook ads, text messaging and phone outreach, and storefront canvassing to reach more than 1.5 million high-propensity voters in each of the 12 districts held by the targeted legislators. Voters will be informed of their representative’s unacceptable position on the Water Tax and will be asked to sign a petition to oppose the Water Tax. Links to all campaign creative materials and the Water Tax Petition is at StopTheWaterTax.com…

“For those who doubt the potency of an issue like the Water Tax, just ask former State Senator Josh Newman whose political career was ended after he voted for the Gas Tax hike,” DeMaio said. “This campaign to target 12 Water Tax Weaklings is just the beginning,” he concluded.

About Reform California: Formed in 2003 by former San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio, Reform California is dedicated to holding state and local government accountable and fighting costly and unfair taxes, mandates, and fees because working families cannot afford a higher cost of living — and state and local politicians already have enough of our money… (more)

We will watch to see who supports this tax. So far, this is what we have to go on. No bill, but there could be a budget item to pay for the “Twin Tunnels” former Governor Brown was pushing that would draw water from the Delta. More research is needed.

California Lawmakers Push for Oversight of Delta Tunnels Project

By Nick Cahill : courthousenews – excerpt

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) – A group of Northern California lawmakers seeking more sway over a mammoth $17 billion water project introduced a proposal Friday that would require new construction contracts to be reviewed by the Legislature.

The Legislative Delta Caucus says because of the scope of the California WaterFix, the project should require more scrutiny from both the public and lawmakers now that former Gov. Jerry Brown has left office.

Brown fiercely advocated for the expensive public works project that he and supporters believe will both update the state’s aging water delivery infrastructure and protect it against sea level rise and other effects of climate change. Also known as the Delta Tunnels, the project calls for two 30-mile tunnels that would funnel water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to aqueducts that supply farmers and cities farther south.

State Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, believes his proposal will shed new light on the “flawed” project that environmental groups bitterly oppose….

Senate Bill 204 would require the state agencies in charge of WaterFix, namely the state Department of Water Resources, to submit information about pending contracts with private companies to the Legislature before finalizing deals…

Democratic Assemblyman Jim Frazier, whose district covers parts of the delta, called SB 204 a “common-sense, good-government bill.”. (more)

 

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