Site: John Fleck

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John Fleck: Westlands California water tunnels “no” could be “fatal blow”

This is a big deal: Citing concerns about costs to individual farmers, Westlands Water District’s board of directors voted 7-1 against participating in the project, known officially as California WaterFix. Westlands is the first major water agency to vote on the project, and other big districts are expected to make their decisions in the coming ...

The post Westlands California water tunnels…

2017-09-20 15:16   Click to comment

John Fleck: disaggregating agriculture

One of the great insights from my University of New Mexico colleague Bob Berrens, chair of the economics department and my predecessor as director of UNM’s Water Resources Program, is the importance of disaggregating agriculture. Much water policy discussion, rightly, revolves around the agriculture-municipal distinction. With ag getting (and needing) a much larger share of ...

The post

2017-09-14 13:36   Click to comment

John Fleck: collaboration has its limits

The post collaboration has its limits appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2017-09-10 20:48   Click to comment

John Fleck: Drought and the Presidency

Putting together a lecture for tomorrow for UNM Water Resources Program students on “drought” –  how we define, measure, and think about it – I noticed that Donald Trump, during a visit to North Dakota, seems to have brought up the issue, to wit: Trump on North Dakota’s drought: “It’ll disappear, it’ll all go away.” ...

The post Drought and the Presidency appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2017-09-06 22:49   Click to comment

John Fleck: Tamarisk beetle die-off not saving as much water as expected

The tamarisk beetle, introduced a decade ago to try to beat back an invasive tree clogging western rivers, has not saved as much water as hoped, according to new research by a team led by the USGS’s Pamela Nagler. Nagler and her colleagues used satellite data to estimate tamarisk water use before and after the ...

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2017-09-06 13:18   Click to comment

John Fleck: But do we actually need more water?

If I’m to make any useful contribution in these waning years of my career as a professional water wonk, it is trying to make this point: John Fleck, director of the Water Resources Program at the University of New Mexico, said there is no clear need for the water – not now or in the foreseeable future. “Growth ...

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2017-09-05 20:59   Click to comment

John Fleck: Palo Verde Irrigation District sues Metropolitan Water District over Colorado River water

One of California’s largest Colorado River farm water districts is suing the state’s largest municipal water agency, charging that efforts to move farm water to cities are threatening the viability of agriculture in one of the oldest farming valleys on the river. The Palo Verde Irrigation District, in a suit filed last month in Riverside ...

The post Palo Verde Irrigation District sues…

2017-09-05 20:46   Click to comment

John Fleck: Was prior appropriation really about distributive justice?

From Jill Robbie at the University of Glasgow, a nice explanation of David Schorr’s revisionist account of the evolution of the “doctrine of prior appropriation” in western water law: For some law and economics scholars, the evolution of the prior appropriation doctrine is explained due to the high value of water in the dry climate ...

The post Was prior appropriation really about distributive…

2017-09-02 13:51   Click to comment

John Fleck: Flood risk is about where you build stuff

The stretch of the Rio Grande in Albuquerque where we worry most about flood risk is called the “Montaño Gap”, a couple of miles on the west side of the river in the center of town where a school, some homes, and businesses are located in lowlands with essentially no levee protection. There was an ...

The post Flood risk is about where you build stuff appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2017-08-31 14:13   Click to comment

John Fleck: “Sleep is our business.”

From the morning bike ride. “Sleep is our business,” and has been for some time. All-you-can-eat sushi and Korean barbecue came later.

The post “Sleep is our business.” appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2017-08-26 14:55   Click to comment

John Fleck: Some notes on New Mexico’s improving water situation

Three interesting visuals for a Friday morning to help illustrate New Mexico’s improving water situation, with caveats. One For this first time since the federal Drought Monitor began operations in January 2000, New Mexico is completely free of drought or unusually dry conditions. Our map is clear: This is excellent news, as Olivier Uyttebrouck noted ...

The post Some notes on New Mexico’s…

2017-08-25 17:41   Click to comment

John Fleck: irrigating less

In 1940, Los Angeles County had 250,000 acres of harvested cropland. By the end of World War II LA County was, by far, the most agriculturally productive county in California. In the most recent Census of Agriculture, conducted in 2012, acreage had declined to just 40,000 acres and LA County was but a minor contributor ...

The post irrigating less appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2017-08-24 14:57   Click to comment

John Fleck: On the Colorado, the lowest water use in 25 years

Yes, a good snowpack helped us this year in the Colorado River. But the numbers are clear – reductions in water use made a far larger contribution to the good news on the river this year. This week’s official Bureau of Reclamation declaration that we won’t have a 2018 Colorado River shortage got a lot ...

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2017-08-17 14:20   Click to comment

John Fleck: What is it, exactly, about the Howitzers on Albuquerque’s Old Town Plaza that we should remember?

As is often my way, I wandered through Albuquerque’s Old Town Plaza at the tail end of my Sunday morning bike ride, stopping in the shade to enjoy the slow pace and people watching of the tourists mixed with Sunday church letting out. On the west side of the plaza are a couple of replica ...

The post What is it, exactly, about the Howitzers on Albuquerque’s Old Town Plaza that we should…

2017-08-13 23:22   Click to comment

John Fleck: Collaboration to deal with thorny dairy water and waste problems

From Sandra Postel and National Geographic’s Freshwater Initiative, the story of a collaboration among a dairy farmer, an irrigation tech company, and an environmental group to improve water efficiency in growing dairy forage crops and reduce the impact of dairy waste: A 2015 pilot of the system on a 40-acre (16.2-hectare) field of silage corn ...

The post Collaboration to deal with thorny…

2017-08-12 15:20   Click to comment

John Fleck: That time we built a dam in Glen Canyon, annotated and revised

Background here.

The post That time we built a dam in Glen Canyon, annotated and revised appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2017-08-11 14:57   Click to comment

John Fleck: That time we built a dam in Glen Canyon

Lauren Steely, late of the Bren School, did a neat analysis a few days ago to help visualize Oroville Dam inflow data. She’s using R’s joyplot tool, which is all the rage these days as a new day to line up and visualize variability in datasets that have repeating patterns. Like, for example, the annual hydrograph on ...

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2017-08-10 18:24   Click to comment

John Fleck: the forever bus route construction

I wrote a thing at Better Burque about pedestrian safety.

The post the forever bus route construction appeared first on jfleck at inkstain.

2017-08-06 21:42   Click to comment

John Fleck: “springing condition subsequent”

Lawyers have the coolest language. Consider the doctrine of prior appropriation. “Beneficial use,” the drafters of the New Mexico constitution explained, “shall be the basis, the measure and the limit of the right to the use of water.” It felt like poetry the first time I heard the New Mexico state engineer roll it out ...

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2017-08-03 22:50   Click to comment


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