Monday, April 4, 2011

News articles and links from April 4, 2011

State’s water policy is all wet


By Dan Walters

From Fresno Bee – Saturday, April 2, 2011

From Sacramento Bee- Saturday, April 2, 2011

Water, water everywhere, but precious little is saved


By George Skelton

From LA Times – Sunday, April 4, 2011

Water everywhere – but no place to store it


By Tom Nassif, WGA

From Sacramento Bee – Sunday, April 3, 2011

Drought may be over, but California still has to solve water woes


From SJ Mercury News – Sunday, April 3, 2011

Water wisdom


From Press-Enterprise – Sunday, April 3, 2011

(NOTE: The following response is posted to the above stories.)

Coalition response...It is rewarding to read the need to continue efforts to diminish the effects of future droughts by working now to develop new storage facilities that can be used to the advantage of all California water users. Too much water is being lost this year because of this lack of storage facilities. It is important to remember this valuable lesson when it comes time to make decisions that will provide increased storage and improved conveyance that benefits everyone.

Myth of California water shortfalls


By Peter Gleick

From SF Chronicle – Monday, April 4, 2011

Coalition response...
Peter Gleick says it’s time to “…pull back the curtain on one of the most common myths of California's water situation…” but in his usual style he only pulls the curtain back as far as it takes to make his point and no farther. That’s too bad because the public tends to make decisions based on the information they have. If they have all of the information with respect to California water issues, Gleick is likely afraid things won’t go his way.

He claims that the State Water Resources Control Board has acknowledged that there are eight times as many water rights given away as there is water available in an average year. The truth is that water rights permits are issued for time and place of use, not simply gross quantity. A prime example is for power generation. A user may have a water rights permit to generate power on a specific river but that is not a consumptive use of that water. Multiple permits for the same water only mean that we are efficiently using it over and over again. You would think Gleick would herald that as water use efficiency, something he claims to support. But he doesn’t do that because it would pull the curtain back a little too far.

Gleick goes on to say, “…despite the political posturing and the "Dust Bowl" signs up and down Interstate 5, the total value of California's agricultural products broke all records.” Yes, and people caught salmon all over the United States despite a fishing moratorium in our area the past couple of years. Where is the logic here? Gleick conveniently ignores one farm region that suffered enormous economic hardship but it’s all OK with him because the rest of the agriculture industry is doing just fine. Water supply cuts HAVE hurt people. See, the curtain is coming back a little more.

In his recent report on drinking water quality Gleick makes strong statements about the vulnerability of poor and disadvantaged communities in the San Joaquin Valley. Where is he when it comes to protecting the poor and disadvantaged from the actual water supply cuts that have cost them jobs? I guess he didn’t want to pull the curtain back too far on that one because we would see how inconsistent he is if the truth doesn’t fit his story.

And finally, Peter Gleick cites a list of bogeymen that farmers are supposedly complaining about because of the water supply cuts. “Some terrible person, or agency, or water policy, or fish is depriving humans of desperately needed water…” Gleick regularly throws around an agricultural water use figure of 80 percent, apparently trying to mislead readers with a big scary number and purposefully ignoring the water we humans have set aside for the environment. By including fish in his bogeyman list, Gleick is admitting that there is an environment out there that is part of the water user community; by his own admission it would be impossible for agriculture to account for 80 percent of ANYTHING when you count all of the players. See? If the curtain gets pulled back far enough Gleick’s “facts” lose their credibility.

Like the hapless Wizard of Oz, Peter Gleick’s control over the curtain is fleeting. By pulling it back completely, the public will see all they need to make sound water policy decisions.

Water Users Turn off the Delta Pumps, and Smelt Protections Require No Water


By Doug Obegi, NRDC

From NRDC – Friday, April 1, 2011

Coalition response...The writer provides a simple message as to why an increase in storage facilities and an improved conveyance system is needed to safeguard against future droughts. The reasoning for the current reduction in pumping from the Delta is because there is nowhere to store the water. Consequently, the effort to ‘fill the ocean’ continues despite a real need to save a portion of that water for the future. The beneficiaries of increased storage and improved conveyance are water-users and the environment. California’s decision-makers need to act now to provide this insurance for the future.

California’s ‘Dust Bowl Drought’ that Really Never Happened – is Officially Over!


By Patrick Porgans

From IndyBay Media – Friday, Aug. 1, 2011

Coalition response...This mish-mash of rhetoric ignores the facts that ruled California’s water supply during the recent drought years. Water deliveries were reduced to many users throughout the state because of reduced water supplies and environmental regulations that cut back the amount of water delivered through the Delta. Until someone comes up with a way to control the amounts of rain and snow that falls on our State, we will have to make do with the available supply. However, increasing storage and improving the conveyance system in years like now where there is an abundant water supply will go a long way in limiting water supply impacts.

The environmental regulations are subject to improved actions and a federal court judge has ruled that the guidelines restricting water deliveries from the Delta are capricious in their efforts and must be rewritten by federal agencies. Realistic guidelines will minimize the cutbacks and provide a more reliable water supply. These federal agencies are under a court order to act and we await the results of the rewrite.


Dams seem like a simple idea, but are harder to plan and build


From Modesto Bee – Monday, April 4, 2011

From Sacramento Bee – Monday, April 4, 2011


Delta ISB Meeting


From Delta Stewardship Council


Environmentalists, farmers disagree on runoff proposal


From The Record – Monday, April 4, 2011

New water quality regs are too broad


From Bakersfield Californian – Sunday, April 3, 2011


Legislator: Limit water restrictions


From Modesto Bee – Sunday, April 3, 2011

1 comment:

  1. Re: "No Shortage of Water" by Peter Gleick in SF Chronicle

    See: "No Shortage of Water Mythmakers" -