ICYMI – 3/11/20 Rain, Retirement, Salmon

Editorial: A week of rain is nice, but does virtually nothing to help L.A.’s water issues – Los Angeles Times 3/11/20
Two years ago, L.A. County voters approved Measure W, a tax to capture and clean storm water before it can carry its urban detritus to the sea. It’s a solid beginning, but it will be years before the projects funded by the measure will capture sufficient water to help quench our thirst.

We will have to rely more and more on local efforts like these because of changing climate patterns. Warmer winters will mean shrinking Sierra snowpacks, which in turn means that winter precipitation will come more often in the form of rain that can’t be captured, because it will come too fast and can’t be stored, because reservoirs can’t hold it.

That’s something to keep in mind as we decide where to spend money on water projects. We will always have to rely at least in part on water imported from elsewhere in California. But in an era of March Meh, should we shore up a system built for 20th century snowpack, or build out a local system to capture and use what nature delivers right on top of our heads?

Jeffrey Kightlinger, General Manager of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to retire. Kigntlinger Retires

SALMONPresident Trump is attacking California’s salmon fishing industry and its 23,000 jobs – John McManus and Noah Oppenheim, CalMatters, 3/11/20
Trump made campaign promises to his California supporters that require breaking our industry in order to deliver. Fishermen and environmental groups have sued to block this attack in federal court.  We thank Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Xavier Becerra for filing suit as well. But blocking weaker federal protections is not enough.

Newsom has made it clear that he’s willing to stop Trump’s water policies from destroying California’s natural resources and fisheries productivity, but there’s still work to be done. 

We urge Newsom to support efforts by the State Water Resources Control Board and the California Department of Fish and Game to set new, science-based water diversion rules that increase protections for salmon and the Bay-Delta.   The governor should then use state law to bring federal water operations in California into compliance with state standards. Using these tools, the governor can protect California from Trump environmental attacks and reverse the decline of salmon and the Bay-Delta. 

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