As scientists, we’re trained to key in on ‘response variables’.
In my case, fisheries scientists often examine how fish
physiology, populations, communities or whole ecosystems react
to various environmental drivers or human alteration.
Unfortunately, variation in data is too frequently looked upon
as a nuisance, an after thought, or worse – a statistical
hurdle distracting from presenting the cleanest possible
pattern. Yet, what if the variation within the data was the
interesting thing all along?
Sweetwater Authority has selected its new general manager to
manage the water agency responsible for about 200,000 customers
in the South Bay. Following a months-long vacancy, Carlos
Quintero started his role on Sept. 27 following the Sweetwater
governing board’s approval last month of a three-year
employment contract with him. He has worked in the water
industry for the past 24 years.
Carrie Oliphant, a 20-year veteran of the Coachella Valley
Water District, is the agency’s first female director of
engineering, and working her way up, she says, has been “a
really good experience” in a “very supportive environment.” Her
job is a huge undertaking, as the century-old public agency
covers more than 1,000 square miles and services 110,000 homes
The California Natural Resources Agency in 2009 and again in
2013 issued reports on existing and anticipated climate change
impacts based on peer reviewed science. Assessments from those
reports have become part of the foundation as to why the
California Legislature has established policies aimed at
reducing greenhouse gas emissions and therefore the projected
impacts of climate change. -Written by Dennis Wyatt, Columnist for the Bulletin.
On October 1, the Bureau of Reclamation formally began the
multi-year process to replace the Trump Administration’s
blatantly unlawful biological opinions for the operation of the
State Water Project and federal Central Valley Project in
California’s Bay-Delta watershed by requesting what is known as
“reinitiation of consultation.” This is an important
first step – after all, recognizing and admitting you
have a problem is the first step on the road to recovery.
For millennia, Native Americans watched [salmon] enter the
Klamath River. The tribes celebrated them as a gift from the
gods, but the fish numbers dwindled…. Huge dams … blocked
the fish from their upstream spawning grounds and slowed the
Klamath in torpid reservoirs. Now humanity is set to surrender
much of the river back to nature. Four large dams on the
Klamath River are due to be torn down in what is called the
largest dam removal project in American history.
[O]ur drought is indeed affecting bees — but not the urban
garden variety, where people still water their yards. It’s the
feral colonies that live outside the city that are
struggling. … Feral bees are colonies that aren’t being
taken care of. They’re wild and make their hives anywhere and
everywhere, though we often don’t notice them. Without rain or
watering, bees scale back on producing honey to conserve energy
and struggle to keep their hives at the right temperature.
Colonies that are too dehydrated could experience
Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Southern Nevada on
Monday and is scheduled to talk about climate change and
investing in climate resilience. … Harris is expected to
emphasize that water shortages have a ripple effect on U.S.
farmers, food supply, and economy – and that climate change
will continue to make extreme weather including droughts and
heat more frequent, costly, and harmful, according to the White
House communications team.
On a bright, blustery October day, a day that felt almost like
normal fall weather, I had a conversation with filmmaker Emmett
Brenner about his latest film, Reflection: A Walk with Water.
In the film, Brenner and fellow environmental advocates walk
the length of the Los Angeles Aqueduct to raise awareness about
the misuses of water in California and the acute effects it’s
having on the land.
In October of 2019, the desire of the U.S. Bureau of
Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources
(DWR) desire to update the biological opinions governing the
Sacramento-San Joaquin was met after more than a decade of
detailed data on water management, fish species management, and
flows in relation to both were compiled. New biological
opinions, issued in 2019, were the result of the very latest
scientific information. … Now, a mere two years later,
the Biden Administration and Governor Newsom have unilaterally
decided to throw that work away and start over. -Written by Wayne Western Jr., SJV Sun contributor.
The Northern Hemisphere looks ready to transition into a La
Niña winter in the next month, according to the latest outlook
from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s
Climate Prediction Center, KTLA sister station WUTR reported.
… Southern California, the southwestern states, Texas,
and the Gulf Coast states through to Florida … are plagued by
drought, and a La Niña year could make that worse. The
opposite is actually true for Northern California and the
Pacific Northwest, where La Nina winters tend to bring more
precipitation, not less.
The Water Education Foundation has won a national award
for its innovative partnership with the California Department
of Water Resources (DWR) to train schoolteachers across the
state on climate science and how they can bring hands-on
activities into their classrooms connected to local examples of
climate change impacts. The award was presented by Center
for Climate and Energy Solutions and The Climate Registry
during their virtual Climate Leadership Series and Awards
Showcase, Oct. 13-15.
We need a dramatic shift in our efforts to curb wildfires in
California. Instead of reacting to wildfires, we need to
utilize the knowledge of Indigenous people on managing the
land. When it comes to fire prevention, the wisdom of
Indigenous tribes like the Yurok, Karuk, Hoopa and Wintun is
unparalleled. … Thoughtful prescribed burns with
low-intensity fire were carried out on the land for thousands
of years to keep fire, food and water resources in
harmony. -Written by Chelsi Sparti, a member of the
Winnemem, Nomtipom and Nomsus bands of the Northern Wintu
People; and Chris Villarruel, a member of the Ajumawi band
of the Pit River Nation.
It seems that every time there’s a proposal in the Legislature
to help repair the Friant-Kern Canal, something goes wrong. It
happened again last month. Senate Bill 559 would have
directed state money toward repairing the Friant-Kern Canal,
Delta-Mendota Canal and the California Aqueduct, which are
sinking due to land subsidence. The damage is hurting their
ability to move water. But the bill got tripped up in the
State Water Board Chair E. Joaquin Esquivel and DWR Director
Karla Nemeth have been appointed to the Western States
Water Council. … Bianca Sievers, 31, of Sacramento, has been
appointed Deputy Director for Special Initiatives at the
Department of Water Resources. …
With funding from the California State Water Resources Control
Board, the City of Fort Bragg is launching a
desalination-reverse osmosis system that can treat up to
144,000 gallons per day. The system will treat water from the
Noyo River, where saltwater intrusion during high tide can
often render the water unsuitable for drinking.
Water law experts disagree broadly about whether two federal
court decisions vacating the Trump-era definition of the waters
of the U.S., or WOTUS, applies nationwide as the Biden
administration defines the term for itself. … The
confusion stems mainly from at least four federal court
rulings—two vacating the the Trump-era rule and two remanding
On Thursday, October 7, 2021, Governor Newsom signed Senate
Bill 821, which mandates that members of the Delta Independent
Science Board shall not be employees of the Delta Stewardship
Council, and that the Council shall issue contracts to pay the
Delta Independent Science Board members at professional
scientific rates. The Governor’s signing of SB 821 ends an
embarrassing chapter in the state’s administration of the Delta
Independent Science Board.
The struggle over management of water supplied through the
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta continues as the Biden
administration seeks a reversal of rules put in place by
agencies under the Trump administration. Last week, the U.S.
Bureau of Reclamation sent a letter to federal fisheries
agencies and announced it is reinitiating consultation of the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries
Service 2019 biological opinions related to the coordinated,
long-term operation of the Central Valley Project and State
The White House announced Tuesday that it would work to revise
building standards for flood-prone communities across the
country in the face of climate change, while launching tools to
make climate information more accessible to the public. The
move is part of the Biden administration’s broader effort to
push the United States to reckon with the costs of global
warming by factoring in the long-term consequences of decisions
being made today.