From Bilingual Weekly - Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Coalition response..It is unfortunate the author did not include the explanation relating to a cost-benefit analysis as publicly stated by California Deputy Resources Secretary Jerry Meral. Meral has repeatedly explained that the proposed conveyance is part of a habitat conservation plan that includes public benefits of environmental restoration. Under the federal Endangered Species Act, conducting a cost-benefit analysis is frowned upon. Furthermore, Ken Schreiber is the coordinator of a separate habitat plan that balances growth and protection of natural resources in the Santa Clara Valley. His response to conducting an analysis for the BDCP---"Technically, could you do it? Yes. Would the results mean anything? The answer is no."
The author also states that farmers could conserve 3 million acre-feet of water by converting flood irrigation practices to drip irrigation. This statement ignores reality and exhibits a lack of true understanding of irrigation practices. A recent report by the Center for Irrigation Technology at California State University, Fresno demonstrated that true water conservation potential in agriculture is closer to 330,000 acre-feet, one-tenth of the author's estimate.
According to the California State Water Plan, from 1990 to 2000 the amount of flood irrigation acreage has already been reduced by 16% and even more has occurred in the last decade. Shifting from flood to drip often improves distribution uniformity but also can increase crop consumptive use through more vigorous plant growth, according to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. That counts as increased efficiency but doesn't necessarily mean that additional water will be left over for other uses.
From Ag Alert - Wednesday, March 7, 2012
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