Water Grabs of California, Explained Simply

by Jay Lund

California Water Grabs explained simply 2

Your water use is a “grab” and a “waste.”  My water use is a nab, and a sacred right.  We all see water the same way, mostly, but from different perspectives.

Historically, periods of progress in water management occur when enough people rise above such motivational rhetoric and struggle for workable solutions.

Further reading

Hanak, E., J. Lund, A. Dinar, B. Gray, R. Howitt, J. Mount, P. Moyle, and B. Thompson, Managing California’s Water:  From Conflict to Reconciliation, Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, CA, 500 pp., February 2011.

Kelley, R. 1998. Battling the Inland Sea. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Pisani, D. 1984. From the Family Farm to Agribusiness: The Irrigation Crusade in California, 1850–1931. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Jay Lund is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California – Davis. 

About jaylund

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Director, Center for Watershed Sciences University of California - Davis
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7 Responses to Water Grabs of California, Explained Simply

  1. J Rizzi says:

    Add Millions of Acre feet for GRABs while at the same time as helping fish and environment by Locking up the Salt Water Pipeline from Benicia to Sacramento and from Benicia To Stockton.

    Solutions are ignored? not explored? Putting a Shipping Lock system to protect Bridges and screen out salt water from easily entering the “DREDGED” shipping channels that are moving the HEAVY salt water from Benicia to the inland shipping ports. Blocking only the south 1/2 of the channel with the lock and tidally controlled louvers that let fresh water out and close to stop most salt water intrusion. NEVER studied get and water and other agencies do not what the public to know that dredging for shipping is causing the Salt water intrusion and requires more and more fresh water flows to keep Delta a fresher water environment.

    Wake up and put a lock on the dredged shipping channel that is a big contributor to the SALT issues in the Delta! Joseph_Rizzi@sbcglobal.com for more details.

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    • Gordon says:

      Joe — are you aware of the Bay-Delta Model in Sausalito ? It may not even exist still, it has been a while since I was there. It is a fantastic creation of the complete Bay/Delta to scale with millions of embedded electrodes to control flow. They were able to model what would happen over a 100 year period if the proposed tidal damn was built across San Pablo or Susuin Bay. What it showed was a total disaster. I do believe you might be right about the contributions to salt intrusion by the shipping channels. There is a system to control salt water intrusion into the California Aqueduct – The gates to Clifton Court Fore Bay, which open on the outgoing tidal flow and close on the incoming tide. This has a significant effect on the southern delta flow patterns.

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      • jaylund says:

        In modern times, these studies are more easily and insightfully done with mathematical computer models, although the physical model is impressive. The capabilities of modern models are quite amazing, and often underutilized.

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      • J Rizzi says:

        Gordon – What is your source on the opening and closing of the Clifton Court Forebay gates?

        South 1/2 of Benicia Bridge having a shipping lock and tidally controlled louvers are vastly different than a dam or barrier in the bay (which I oppose).

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  2. Tom Arthur says:

    How does method of grabbing water clarify the situation? Isn’t a basic accounting method simpler/necessary? Show all the final “buyers”/users of the supply chain and the amount each consumed for that product or service. Details actually matter. Not just urban user but break down lawns, drinking, bathing, etc. Not just farming but break down crops and whether exported or domestically consumed. Then show the amount the supply chain pays/gallon or water. I think that a “P&L” and cash flow like analysis is necessary for an honest discussion by all stake holders.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tom Arthur says:

      Imagine the same type of video but for water consumption. If an Almond goes to China, you need to show it. If a drop goes out to the Pacific, show that too. All as a % of total available water. The video below makes it obvious how, how much, when and to whom the US and Russia have supplied arms since the 1950s. I’d love to help make the same video but for CA water consumption.

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