Lloyd G Carter Blog

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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.
Updated: 1 hour 37 min ago

181 California dams not sending enough water downstream to protect fisheries

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 15:41

University of California, Davis

NEW TOOL IDENTIFIES HIGH-PRIORITY DAMS FOR FISH SURVIVAL

  Scientists have identified 181 California dams that may need to increase water flows to protect native fish downstream. The screening tool developed by the Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California, Davis, to select “high-priority” dams may be particularly useful during drought years amid competing demands for water.

   “It is unpopular in many circles to talk about providing more water for fish during this drought, but to the extent we care about not driving native fish to extinction, we need a strategy to keep our rivers flowing below dams,” said lead author Ted Grantham, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis during the study and currently a research scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

   “The drought will have a major impact on the aquatic environment.” The study, published Oct. 15 in the journal BioScience, evaluated 753 large dams in California and screened them for evidence of altered water flows and damage to fish. About 25 percent, or 181, were identified as having flows that may be too low to sustain healthy fish populations.  READ MORE »

Categories: Further Reading

If drought goes on will migration out of California start?

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 15:31

   Some folks are predicting mass migration out of California if the drought continues.  The U.S. Weather Service, the U.S. Geological Survey and several universities have predicted that the drought may go on for several more years and could last decades. Here is one such prediction (copy and paste into browser) from the Epoch Times website: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1030249-14-california-communities-now-on...

Categories: Further Reading

Radio Show tomorrow, Sept. 11, 2014

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 16:47

Website visitors:  My monthly radio show airs tomorrow at 1 p.m., Sept. 11, 2014, at KFCF, 88.1 FM in Fresno.  If you are out of listening range you can listen live streaming on the internet at www.kfcf.org.

My guests will be Venture Capitalist and philanthropist Noel Perry of the organization "Next 10" and Kerman Farmer/environmentalist Walter Shubin.  Tune in if you get a chance. 

   Lloyd

Categories: Further Reading

35-year Mega-Drought coming for San Joaquin Valley and the American Southwest?

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 20:22

   A new study by Cornell University, the University of Arizona, and the US Geological Survey researchers looked at the deep historical record (tree rings, etc.) and the latest climate change models to estimate the likelihood of major droughts in the Southwest over the next century. The results are as soothing as a thick wool sweater on a midsummer desert hike, according to Mother Jones Magazine.

   The researchers concluded that odds of a decadelong drought are "at least 80 percent." The chances of a "megadrought" one lasting 35 or more years, stands at somewhere between 20 percent and 50 percent, depending on how severe climate change turns out to be. And the prospects for an "unprecedented 50-year megadrought" — one "worse than anything seen during the last 2000 years" — checks in at a nontrivial 5 to 10 percent.

    To learn more, go to this link: http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2014/09/southwest-megadrought

Categories: Further Reading

The Power of Salt

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 09:54
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Where the river meets the sea, there is the potential to harness a significant amount of renewable energy, according to a team of mechanical engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The researchers evaluated an emerging method of power generation called pressure retarded osmosis (PRO), in which two streams of different salinity are mixed to produce energy. In principle, a PRO system would take in river water and seawater on either side of a semi-permeable membrane. Through osmosis, water from the less-salty stream would cross the membrane to a pre-pressurized saltier side, creating a flow that can be sent through a turbine to recover power. The MIT team has now developed a model to evaluate the performance and optimal dimensions of large PRO systems. In general, the researchers found that the larger a system’s membrane, the more power can be produced — but only up toa point. Interestingly, 95 percent of a system’s maximum power output can be generated using only half or less of the maximum membrane area. Leonardo Banchik, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, says reducing the size of the membrane needed to generate power would, in turn, lower much of the upfront cost of building a PRO plant.  READ MORE »
Categories: Further Reading

Drainage Deal Imminent?

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 09:40
A tentative agreement is near in secret talks between the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation,the U.S. Justice Department and the Westlands Water District to settle three long-simmering drainage lawsuits, according to Interior Department sources. The settlement could be a bonanza for Westlands, which has been searching for half a century for a solution on how to safely dispose of farm drainwater containing salts, heavy metals and the trace element selenium. Westlands drainage triggered deformities in birds at evaporation ponds at the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge in Merced County more than 30 years ago. According to one source, Westlands will only have to retire a minimum amount of selenium-tainted soils even though a safe drainage solution has not been achieved. A current Reclamation plan to reduce or eliminate toxic drainwater will cost an estimated $2.7 billion for Westlands' 600 growers. Geologists say more than 300,000 acres of land in Westlands and adjacent water districts (state and federal) have elevated levels of selenium, a trace element highly toxic to birds and fish. Environmentalists have called for a cessation of farming on these tainted soils.  READ MORE »
Categories: Further Reading

A note from Lloyd

Wed, 08/13/2014 - 10:23

Attention website visitors:  You may have noticed production has dropped off sharply on this website.  The reason is I have had some health problems recently coupled with being out of town a lot. However, my radio show, "Down in the Valley" will air tomorrow at 1 p.m. on KFCF 88.1 FM.  You can listen live streaming at www.kfcf.org.  My guest will be Bakersfield Californian columnist Lois Henry, who writes frequently about water issues in her neck of the woods.   Stay tuned.

 

     Lloyd

 

 

Categories: Further Reading

Radio show tomorrow, July 10, 2014

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 16:28

  A note from Lloyd:

  On Thursday, July 10, at 1 p.m. on KFCF radio, Fresno, I will interview Loren Wood, overseer of the Harlan P. Kelsey Arboretum, on my monthly radio show.  If you are in the Fresno area, you can hear the show at 88.1 FM.  You can hear it live streaming on the internet at www.kfcf.org.

   Mr. Wood, who holds a master's degree from Harvard University and is the overseer of the Kelsey Arboretum, contends that Kelsey was the East Coast counterpart of John Muir and was an acclaimed native plant horticulturalist as well as a driving force in the establishment of several national parks in the Eastern U.S.  Wood has written a book entitled  "Beautiful Land of the Sky."

  Tune in if you get a chance.

 

 

Categories: Further Reading

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