By John Bass
From Delta National Park - Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011
Coalition response...The author's speculation, one which he admits to never having seen or heard, that a tunnel/canal would allow CVP/SWP contractors to avoid "selenium-, boron-, and mercury-laced waste water" is a new one to me. I've never heard that stated in any conversations, hearings or read it in any written testimony. While the Grasslands Bypass Project only involves the drainage from 100,000 acres, the potential of applying what we learn from it to other farm areas is significant.
From 1995 to 2010 the drainage water in the San Joaquin River dropped by 75%, from 54,500 AF to 14,500 AF. Likewise, the following reductions were achieved: selenium/87%, salt/72% and boron/64%.
Where is it all going? Part of the reduction is the result of on-farm irrigation practices that have reduced the amount of drainage water. Nearly all of the 100,000 acres is now under drip or micro-irrigation systems. Public water agencies are also committed to this process and have converted 10 miles of canals to either concrete or underground pipelines.
The Panoche Drainage District established the San Joaquin River Salinity Management Program (SJRSMP) in 1998 to divert drainage water from the river to what has become 6,000 acres of forage grasses and other crops that can tolerate the higher salt levels in the drainage water.
The comment that "the drainage infrastructure reroutes toxic water around Salt Slough, but it does this by concentrating it in Mud Slough" fails to accurately describe the process. Rather, the reduced drainage from the farmland goes to the SJRSMP lands, with the remaining portion rerouted, under permit, through Mud Slough to the San Joaquin River. This final amount will ultimately be eliminated through treatment and disposal as intended by the project.
From SF Chronicle - Friday, Dec. 9, 2011
From SD Union-Tribune - Friday, Dec. 9, 2011
From Desert News - Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011
By Mark Grossi
From Fresno Bee - Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011
From The Record - Friday, Dec. 9, 2011
From Aquafornia - Friday, Dec. 9, 2011