By Leon Kaye
From The Guardian - Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013
Coalition response...As pointed out by this article, San Joaquin Valley farmers are responding to challenges in their efforts to produce a food supply that is distributed around the world. They have adapted improved management practices that have increased their water use efficiency. From 1967 to 2007, California farmers' water use fell by 14.6% while increasing the value of agricultural commodities by 84%. Recent reports indicate a worldwide food supply shortage could be ahead of us and this increased production will help reduce any impacts from food shortages.
Reports of tainted soils too often focus only on the problem and does not include the positive actions that are being taken to remedy these situations. Farmers in the Grasslands Bypass Project, about 100,000 acres of prime farmland, are working with local water districts, government agencies and environmental organizations to remove minerals from their drainage water before it reaches the San Joaquin River. Adapting drip irrigation systems, recycling drainage water with fresh water, lowering of irrigation wells and more have achieved significant results.
More than 57,500 acre-feet of drainage water was discharged through drainage channels in 1995 before this group began to take action. That number dropped to 14,500 acre-feet in 2010, a 75% reduction. The amount of selenium, salt and boron were reduced by 87%, 72% and 64% respectively.
A significant result of directly approaching this issue has been the removal of a section of the San Joaquin River from the list of impaired water bodies by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA described the Grassland effort a "success story" in a recent publication; read the report at http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/nps/success319/ca_san.cfm.
San Joaquin Valley farmers and their counterparts across the State are working to provide a food supply for the world that is healthy, affordable and safe.
From River News Herald - Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013
Coalition response...Water has been an issue even from the days of the Gold Rush and Californians have stepped forward to find solutions that benefit the entire State. That is the process in which the BDCP is directed---provide a reliable water supply and at the same time protect the Delta ecosystem. No one is advocating a taking of all the water or leaving the Delta region in such dire straights that farms and communities dry up.
It is disappointing that a news publication would republish inflammatory opinions as facts when describing the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. In truth, conveyance options being studied today are much different than the 1982 Peripheral Canal proposal. See a side-by-side comparison at www.farmwater.org/p-canalcomparison.pdf.
In addition, claims that new conveyance will "drain the Delta" ignore the fact that diversions will be adjusted based on the amount of water in the system, such as in wet, normal and dry years. When less water is available diversions will be smaller or stopped altogether. See a chart on how it will work at www.farmwater.org/exportthrottle.pdf.
If California is to secure a reliable water supply and a healthy ecosystem then discussions on achieving both must be based on facts.
From Sonoma News - Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013
Coalition response...Continuing to blame deliveries of water that flow through the Delta as a "significant cause" for the drop in the salmon population does a disservice to the public that deserves factual information. The report by the two organizations failed to include current reports that present a different picture.
Scientists from the Pacific Fisheries Management Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service have identified poor ocean conditions---warm temperatures and reduced food supply---as the leading cause of the drop in salmon numbers.
Since the adoption of CVPIA, studies conducted by the California Department of Fish & Game and UC Davis have shown a strong increasing trend in the abundance of warm water predatory fish in the Delta, including largemouth bass, that feed on juvenile salmon as they make their way through the Delta. The result is predator species consuming and replacing native fish species in the Delta --- http://www.farmwater.org/centrarchids.pdf.
As admitted by the author, the index report compiled by NRDC and the Golden Gate Salmon Association contains no new information. It's too bad that it doesn't because maybe greater acknowledgement of factors impacting salmon population to a greater degree than the pumps would be recognized. Instead, the author and the two organizations continue to blame the pumps for the low salmon numbers while ignoring the significance of recent scientific studies.
From Stockton Record - Monday, Jan. 7, 2013
From Redding Record Searchlight - Monday, Jan. 7, 2013
From Marysville Appeal-Democrat - Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013
From California Report - Friday, Jan. 4, 2013
From Imperial Valley Press - Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013
From Sacramento Bee - Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013
Friom Benecia Herald - Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013
From Imperial Valley Press - Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013
From Modesto Bee - Friday, Jan. 4, 2013