“Huge Signal” of Change from Columbia River Salmon

MAY 30, 2009. BONNEVILLE DAM  – Run of small salmon on the Columbia River baffles anglers, scientists, Seattle Times. ”Just looking at the Bonneville Dam count, it’s extraordinary,” says Brian Beckman, a National Marine Fisheries Service biologist in Seattle. “It’s just kind of jaw-dropping … There is a huge signal from the fish that something has changed.”…

Nevada Supreme Court to Judge State Engineer

ASK any of the rural Nevadans who stand to lose their water to Las Vegas and its proposed 300-mile pipeline into central Nevada if the proceedings were fair, and they will laugh at your naivete. For them, Las Vegas gamed the table before the rural communities even knew that a game was on. One of their last recourses to stop the pipeline is a suit coming before the Nevada Supreme Court on Monday at 10.30am.

The court’s summary of Great Basin Water Network versus the State Engineer of Nevada reads: “In 1989, the predecessor to the Southern Nevada Water Authority filed applications for unappropriated water rights from rural Nevada for use in Las Vegas. More than 800 interested persons filed protests. In 2005, the State Engineer notified roughly 300 of the interested persons that a prehearing conference would be held to discuss the water rights applications. Some organizations and individuals

Weekly Drought Map

Beverly Hills Billionaires Bilk Bay-Delta, Taxpayers Too

Poor farmers, except Stewart and Lynda Resnick. The Contra Costa Times reports that in addition to owning more than 115,000 acres in Kern County and the largest pistachio and almond growing and processing operation in the world, the Resnicks’ holding company, Roll International, also owns Fiji water, Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice, and Teleflora, the largest floral wire service in the world. Evidently that wasn’t rich enough, reports an excellent series by Contra Costa Times reporter Mike Taugher. The Resnicks have found a nifty way to profit from water, gleaning 20 cents of every dollar spent on Delta preservation — at the expense of the taxpayer and the environment. Taugher’s stories are linked below. If the links fail, you may need to register with the Contra Costa Times.

1. Farming’s Power Couple

2. Paper Shuffle Allows for Easy Money

3. Pumping Water and Cash from the Delta

4. Water Ownership Murky,

Dust Storms Cause Premature Snow Melt in Colorado

This May 24 report from the  Los Angeles Times is must read material for anyone looking at the relationship between the desiccation of the western deserts of California, Utah and Arizona by climate change and ground water pumping, the tearing up of fragile dry land by off road vehicles, and the effect of the subsequent dust storms on Rocky Mountain glaciers. These glaciers are crucial to the Western water supply.

From the story: 

  • Twelve dust storms barreled into the southern Rockies from the deserts of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico so far this year. In contrast, four storms hit the mountains all year long in 2003. 
  • The storms leave a dark film on snow that melts it faster by hastening its absorption of the sun’s energy. That, coupled with unseasonably warm temperatures, has sped up the runoff here, swelling rivers to near flood stage, threatening to make reservoirs overflow and
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