Thursday, August 23, 2012

News articles and links from August 23, 2012


By Victor Gonella
From Sacramento News and Review - Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012

Coalition response...Scientists with the National Marine Fisheries Service would disagree with the rationale of the author. Ocean conditions have been identified as the leading cause for the drop in salmon population. Those conditions have improved and the result is an increase in the number of salmon that are returning to the rivers and encountering the gauntlet of fishermen. No one has argued that salmon have been salvaged at the pumps; the argument has been the number. Again, scientists and researchers have identified a much smaller percentage of fish taken at the pumps than the critics of exports have suggested.

The rules governing the flow of water through the Delta that could be exported while protecting salmon were labeled "arbitrary, capricious, and a scientifically unreasonable action" by a federal judge. That same judge directed federal fish agencies in 2011 to rewrite the rules. We're still waiting the results.

By John Bass
From Delta National Park - Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012

Coalition response...Two points: 1) Fixing the problems in the Delta for water users and the environment means returning the system to a more east-west flow, according to every credible biologist. You can do that by reducing or eliminating pumping in the south Delta, which doesn't provide a solution for water users. Or you can divert water upstream of the Delta during times when Sacramento River flows support it and then screen fish at that location. That's the kind of solution the legislature called for when it made water supply reliability and ecosystem restoration co-equal goals.
 2) Currently, Delta farmers seem to get all the water they want with the only cost being the expense to pump it out of the waterway. But in fact, the water stored upstream by DWR and USBR has been appropriated at a time when it does not affect other water rights holders. When the agencies release that water for project purposes including (1) in-basin demands, (2) water quality standards in the Delta (including flow), and (3) rates of export, it is water that is excess to the system and legally unavailable for downstream users, other than the public water agencies or individuals with DWR or USBR contracts. The way the system is currently being operated, and apparently what John Bass believes, is that water appropriated by these State and federal agencies is assumed to be available for all downstream users, which legally it is not. If in-Delta water users feel that their needs are not being adequately met, under the Delta Protection Act they have the option to make arrangements with the State Water Project to release water for their in-Delta use if they are willing to pay for those additional supplies.

From Bilingual Weekly - Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012

Coalition response...It is unfortunate when individuals and reporters reference selenium along the San Joaquin Valley westside that they do not acknowledge the ongoing efforts by the Grasslands Bypass Project (GBP) to reduce the amount of selenium flowing into the San Joaquin River. The map of the westside that accompanies this article was provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, the same agency that described the GBP as a "success story." From 1995 to 2010, the amount of selenium entering the river from the GBP was reduced by 87%, thanks to the cooperative effort of farmers, local water districts, environmental groups and State/federal agencies. While solutions continue to be sought for California's overall water problems, the Grassland Bypass Project is already finding answers. 


From Gilroy Dispatch - Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012


From Porterville Recorder - Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012


From Stockton Record - Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012

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