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Covering recreation and environmental issues within California
John Stewart

Colorado River Basin Study Projecting Major Imbalances in Water Supply and Demand Released

Comprehensive study developed by Interior and seven basin states looks at water supply and demand over the next 50 years; includes range of proposed strategies from stakeholders to mitigate projected imbalances

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the release of a study – authorized by Congress and jointly funded and prepared by the Bureau of Reclamation and the seven Colorado River Basin states – that projects water supply and demand imbalances throughout the Colorado River Basin and adjacent areas over the next 50 years. The Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study, the first of its kind, also includes a wide array of adaptation and mitigation strategies proposed by stakeholders and the public to address the projected imbalances.

The average imbalance in future supply and demand is projected to be greater than 3.2 million acre-feet by 2060, according to the study. One acre-foot of water is approximately the amount of water used by a single household in a year. The study projects that the largest increase in demand will come from municipal and industrial users, owing to population growth. The Colorado River Basin currently provides water to some 40 million people, and the study estimates that this number could nearly double to approximately 76.5 million people by 2060, under a rapid growth scenario.

"There's no silver bullet to solve the imbalance between the demand for water and the supply in the Colorado River Basin over the next 50 years – rather, it's going to take diligent planning and collaboration from all stakeholders to identify and move forward with practical solutions," said Secretary Salazar. "Water is the lifeblood of our communities, and this study provides a solid platform to explore actions we can take toward a sustainable water future. While not all of the proposals included in the study are feasible, they underscore the broad interest in finding a comprehensive set of solutions."

Authorized by the 2009 SECURE Water Act, the study analyzes future water supply and demand scenarios based on factors such as projected changes in climate and varying levels of growth in communities, agriculture and business in the seven Colorado River Basin states of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.

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John Stewart

DLRP, CFLRP and more acronyms

An alphabet soup of efforts is emerging from the government bureaucracy.  For starters is CFLRP - Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program.  That spawned DLRP - Dinky Landscape Restoration Project.

So, what does this mean?  In short, they are efforts to restore the forest to a "natural" state by reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire.  Using the term "catastrophic wildfire" does raise the hackles of a number on the preservation side as in their view, wildfires are not catastrophic; they are either natural or unnatural.  As I understand, a natural wildfire burns desired litter and understory while and unnatural wildfire burns everything; meaning it is catastrophic due to the amount it burns.

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John Stewart

California Budget Report Issued

While the LAO is painting a bright picture of the California budget, the Sacramento Bee reports the state is headed for a $1.9 billion dollar budget shortfall.

The Legislative Analyst's Office has just issued the following report:

The 2013-14 Budget: California's Fiscal Outlook

The 18th annual edition of the LAO's Fiscal Outlook—a forecast of the state's budget condition over the next five years—shows that California's budget situation has improved sharply. The state's economic recovery, prior budget cuts, and the additional, temporary taxes provided by Proposition 30 have combined to bring California to a promising moment: the possible end of a decade of acute state budget challenges. Our economic and budgetary forecast indicates that California's leaders face a dramatically smaller budget problem in 2013-14 compared to recent years. Furthermore, assuming steady economic growth and restraint in augmenting current program funding levels, there is a strong possibility of multibillion-dollar operating surpluses within a few years.

This report (52 pages) is available using the following link: http://lao.ca.gov/laoapp/PubDetails.aspx?id=2668.

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Chief

Willow Spring, Big Maria Mountains

Tierra del Sol 4 Wheel Drive Club of San Diego Conservation Trip
Willow Spring, Big Maria Mountains
Blyth, CA

It was early Friday afternoon as Dan and Chris and I headed to Blythe, CA to locate Willow Springs for the Society for the Conservation of Big Horn Sheep (SCBS). We spent Friday night at a good cheap hotel in East Blythe and after breakfast and double checking the GPS coordinates, headed north on Highway 95. About 17 miles north of town, we encountered the first of many obstacles. The directions and map provided by the SCBS noted a road off US 95. USGS topographic maps and the DeLorme California Road Atlas agreed that a road started at the same spot. Physically, that spot was a six foot high wall of dirt and rock and bore evidence of being a road at one time. Undeterred, we scouted for other highway exits. We found two additional exits about half a mile south of the now blocked route. Both roads were posted with the brown signs designating entry into a Limited Use BLM Land Management area indicating street-legal vehicles were allowed.

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