Friday, October 2, 2009

More Water Reform

This just in from International Rivers with respect to a better way to manage water flow than building expensive dams that seriously degrade rivers and downstream ecologies. Click on picture above to go to the CHRC site: California’s rivers are seriously threatened. Today, more than two thirds of the state’s native fish species are extinct, endangered, or declining and almost every river in California has been dammed or otherwise diverted.

Following up on my previous post, the dialogue in Sacramento around the water management issues is politically dysfunctional, becoming a threat to the state itself, and requires an ecologically-based solution to water use and supply in this state. Lori Pottinger has written an excellent article at Huffpo, with great links, to explain how the solutions to our drought and water crisis need to move from the old plumbing model to practices in environmental flows. This kind of methodology uses natural features, watersheds, gravity and geological structures to manage water supplies for human and ecological needs. A parody on the dysfunction tactics is here from Jon Stewart.

Of note: this little case history of a watershed shows its progression on maps from a viable ecological system to a nearly nonfunctional swath of industrialized real estate due to site drainage and pollution. It's a typical example of conditions all over California as a result of development and sprawl. It's also necessary to point out that this progression results from increasing wealth as well as population. Think of McMansions...