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.

Westlands Water District 2009 Bond Rating

 Fitch bond rating company in 2009 assessed Westlands Water District's ability to issue more bonds to help pay for Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP).  Interesting reading.  You can download the PDF version of the Fitch report and read at your leisure.

 

 

SWP Water Supply Contract Extension

Patricia Schifferle reports on the SWP Water Supply Contract Extension.  There are three downloadable PDF documents.

 

 

State Water Board warns of drought-based water shortages

January 17, 2014

NOTICE OF SURFACE WATER SHORTAGE AND POTENTIAL FOR CURTAILMENT OF WATER RIGHT DIVERSIONS

        With California facing water shortfalls in the driest year in recorded state history, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has proclaimed a State of Emergency and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for these drought conditions.

         The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) administers California’s water rights system and is closely monitoring water availability. The water rights system is designed to provide for the orderly allocation of water supplies in the event that there is not enough water to satisfy everyone’s needs. In the coming weeks and months, if dry weather conditions persist, the State Water Board will notify water right holders in critically dry watersheds of the requirement to limit or stop diversions of water under their water right, based on their priority.  READ MORE »

GAO warns Clean Water in Peril, rivers still fouled

Gaithersburg, MD – In a report released yesterday (Jan. 13, 2014), the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that more than 40 years after Congress approved the Clean Water Act, the majority of our nation’s waters continue to be impaired. The main cause is non-point source pollution – runoff from farms, roadways, and backyards across the country. The Izaak Walton League empowers citizens to respond to this growing threat by monitoring and restoring water quality in their communities. GAO concludes that “progress toward the Clean Water Act’s goals of restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters – including designated uses of fishing, swimming, and drinking – has stalled, largely because non-point source pollution has not been controlled.” GAO calls on Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take a range of actions to protect and restore America’s waters.  READ MORE »

DADDY'S MONEY

"The case has lately turned into a mud-slinging-fest that, despite the legal verbiage necessary of court documents, reads like a soap opera scandal."

Denver Post July 3, 2013 article on
bankruptcy case of insider trading
suspect Roger "Mr. Fast Lane" Parker,
business associate and client of 
Westlands Water District
lobbyist/lawyer Norman Brownstein

By Lloyd G. Carter

                                In every American city there is at least one, and usually more than one, power elite group which wields great influence and power over civic, economic and political affairs.  There are at least two types of individuals in those power elites: People who inherit or marry into great wealth, and self-made multi-millionaires or billionaires.   In Fresno, that elite is centered around dynastic agribusiness clans and real estate developers, who have no problem plowing up productive orchards and vineyards to make way for cookie cutter subdivisions.  READ MORE »

How Billionaire Water Buffalo Stewart Resnick works a water scheme in Kern County to make water flow uphill

Bakersfield Californian columnist Lois Henry has written a brilliant explication of how a water deal goes down in Kern County, home of the Kern County Water Agency and water bank of Beverly Hills billionaires Stewart and Lynda Resnick. Go to www.Bakersfield.com and type in the words Lois Henry, Stewart Resnick and Root Creek. It's eye-opening.    cool 

In Memoriam: Dr. Michael Rozengurt

  I was saddened today to learn of the passing of Russian hydrologist/oceanographer/fisheries biologist Dr. Michael Rozengurt.  Dr. Rozengurt, who lived in the Los Angeles area, was 79.  I was contacted by his son Vadim, who thanked me for writing about his father on this website last July. (Just type Rozengurt in the website search engine box and you can read the whole story.)  Dr. Rozengurt, who fled Russia after sounding the alarm that Russian water officials were destroying the Aral Sea in a desert cotton farming scheme, came to America to see the same destruction happening to America's rivers and estuaries.

  He wrote Gov. Brown in 1980 warning that the proposed Peripheral Canal would destroy the San Francisco-San Joaquin Estuary fishery.  More than 30 years later he was railing against the proposed twin tunnels project, which he said would also destroy the Delta fishery.  His message was simple:  take too much water out of a river or estuary and you kill them, including the fish and other biota. 

  Dr. Rozengurt was a prophet in his native Russia and in America.  Leaders in both Russia and America ignored his warnings but he never gave up trying to talk sense to the water buffaloes.  He will be dearly missed.

   

Westlands officials ponder big buy-in on Bay Delta Conservation Plan

 

By Lloyd G. Carter

               Westlands Water District directors Wednesday (Nov. 20) hosted a workshop on the controversial Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and were told by California Department of Water Resources (DWR) officials the big federal water district in western Fresno and Kings counties may have to pony up $162 million over the next three years for pre-construction planning.

               DWR Director Mark Cowin told Westlands directors DWR will need $500 million over the next three years to finance pre-construction engineering and other studies while the BDCP undergoes expected court challenges by environmentalists and Northern California/Delta farming interests.  The BDCP document now runs over 30,000 pages.  Westlands directors should decide by January 2014 if they wish to opt in, Cowin said.  READ MORE »

Why we, in theory, protect migratory birds (which we don't really do)

Presidential Documents

3853

Federal Register

Vol. 66, No. 11

Wednesday, January 17, 2001

Title 3—

The President

Executive Order 13186 of January 10, 2001

Responsibilities of Federal Agencies To Protect Migratory

Birds

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the

laws of the United States of America, and in furtherance of the purposes

 READ MORE »

Westlands' 101st Senator

By Lloyd G. Carter

               Not only is lawyer/lobbyist Norman Brownstein collecting a $20,000 a month retainer from the Westlands Water District in western Fresno and Kings counties (western San Joaquin Valley) but his law firm is heavily invested in a Mojave Desert groundwater mining scheme while simultaneously representing the San Diego Water Authority, which wants to buy that precious groundwater.  Does anyone see the potential for a conflict of interest here? And do any of those hard-pressed Westland growers wonder where their money is going as they see their water supply continually cut back?  Other than adding three Brownstein attorneys to the cadre of water attorneys Westlands already employs, what, exactly has Brownstein done for his fat Westlands monthly paycheck?

 READ MORE »
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