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.

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 »

Financial support sought for research on California water and toxics issues

 

Editor's Note: Dear website visitors, the recent story about Clean Water Act problems in California, posted on this website by Patrick Porgans and Lloyd G. Carter, has drawn more than 14,300 "reads" and apparently struck a chord. A great deal of data and research findings are disseminated through Planetary Solutionaries www.planetarysolutionaries.org. The data and information are made possible from decades of self-funded research that has provided the public with unbiased and factual information, design to inform and protect the public and the planet. If you support honest research into California's water problems, please do what you can to help assist Planetary Solutionaries (PS)to get out a series of e-FACT sheets on subjects such as the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Bay-Delta Estuary, toxics in  California, floods and drought, and endangered species. The E-FACT Sheets with be concise, substantiated by the record, depicting the source of the issues  and providing valuable information and solutions to the public and decision makers to remedy the issues. I have gladly posted the message below from PS.  Thank you.

 

Lloyd Carter

 

   READ MORE »

Selenium impacting health of honey bees

Selenium, a trace element that can be toxic under certain circumstances, has been linked to adverse health impacts in honey bee populations, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California-Riverside.  To read the full report click here:http://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/18085. Selenium in farm drainage water generated on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley poisoned  birds at the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge 30 years ago.  Despite the potential dangers from farming high selenium soils the State Water Resources Control Board has continued to allow these lands to be irrigated and drainage waters to be dumped in the lower San Joaquin River.

 

State and Regional Water Boards and state Health Department run afoul of Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act

 

Editor's note: The following is the sequel to a story posted at www.lloydgcarter.com on May 22.  It can be read here.  The following concerns California's abysmal efforts to meet goals set by the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act.

            By Patrick Porgans and Lloyd G. Carter

            Forty-one years ago, a united Congress overrode President Nixon's veto of the Clean Water Act (CWA), which ordered states to limit pollutants in the nation's waterways. Coupled with subsequent amendments, the CWA required all states to assess and establish Total Maximum Daily Limits (TMDLs) of pollutants for lakes, creeks, rivers, estuaries and ocean shorelines.  If the states wouldn't do it, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could step in and impose safety limits.

 READ MORE »

Judge lifts temporary restraining order blocking water releases on the Trinity River to protect migrating salmon

     The significantly lower volume of water now projected to be involved and the potential and enormous risk to the fishery of doing nothing, the Court finds it in the public interest to permit the augmentation to proceed.” (Page 19.)

By Lloyd G. Carter

               Fresno Federal Judge Lawrence O'Neill Thursday (Aug. 22) lifted a temporary restraining order blocking releases of cold water from Trinity River reservoirs intended to help migrating salmon avoid an Ich parasite infestation similar to one on the Klamath River in 2002 that killed over 34,000 adult salmon.

               In a 19-page ruling, O'Neill, following two days of testimony from expert witnesses, lifted the temporary restraining order and denied a permanent injunction sought by Westlands Water District in Fresno County and by other federal irrigation districts north of Westlands.

               The judge ruled:

 READ MORE »

Native Americans protest Westlands Water District water grab

 By Lloyd G. Carter

               Around 100 Yurok and Hoopa Indians living near the Trinity River in Northern California protested Wednesday (Aug. 21) outside a federal courtroom in Fresno where federal judge Lawrence O'Neill must decide whether to risk a repeat of a massive 2002 fish kill on the Klamath River.

               Following a complaint filed by the gigantic Westlands Water District, O'Neill  issued a temporary restraining order blocking a Department of Interior plan to use Trinity River water stored behind dams to help salmon reach their spawning grounds without being infected by a fatal parasite called Ich, which wiped out at least 34,000 salmon on the Klamath River.  The Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (both Interior Department agencies) announced Aug. 5  they would use up to 109,000 acre-feet of stored water to reduce the risk of an Ich outbreak similar to that which happened in September of 2011.  Releases of cold water were set to begin Aug. 13

 READ MORE »

Oil and Water do mix

 The following link to an Orion Magazine article was sent to me by a friend in the federal service.  Never doubt there are good-hearted people working for local, state and federal agencies who DO CARE about our natural resources and how we can protect them.

 

 http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/6047/

 

A couple of factoids from the article worthy of note:

 

  • The town of Taft was formerly know as the town of Moron at the turn of the century (I kid you not!);
  • In the time since steamflooding was pioneered here in the fields of Kern County in the 1960s, oil companies statewide have pumped roughly 2.8 trillion gallons of fresh water—or, in the parlance of agriculture, nearly 9 million acre-feet—underground in pursuit of the region’s tarry oil. Essentially, enough water has been injected into the oil fields here over the last forty years to create a lake one foot deep covering more than thirteen thousand square miles—nearly twice the surface area of Lake Ontario;
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