Thursday, May 16, 2013

News articles and links from May 16, 2013


Occasionally a CFWC response is posted to an article that generates a continuing dialogue, such as with this blog. While the author of the blog responded to Mike Wade's initial comment, his second comment, submitted yesterday, has not yet been published by the NRDC blog moderator. Below is Mike's second comment.

Coalition response...I must correct you and say that my beef is indeed with NRDC. You had an opportunity in your blog to discuss what's needed to help endangered species and yet you completely ignored some of the main factors listed in the PPIC report you quoted. In fact, the first bullet in the report's summary states: "Almost all scientists and stakeholders agree that all five categories of ecosystem stressors- discharges of pollutants, direct fish management, changes in the flow regime, invasive species, and alteration of physical habitat-have contributed to the ecosystem decline."

You ignored this top line point in the PPIC report and rather chose to use selected parts to justify your effort to once again blame public water agencies for the fate of salmon.
Consider these points:

* Climate conditions between 2000 and 2005 were wetter than average and did not result in increased salmon population, as GGSA and NRDC claim should have happened.
* In February 2008 a NMFS report ( concluded that the overall cause of the recent salmon decline was ocean conditions.
* A 2009 PFMC report ( said all of the evidence they could find pointed to ocean conditions as being the proximate cause of the poor performance of the 2004 and 2005 broods of Sacramento River Fall Chinook.

Neither of these agencies can be mistaken as biased supporters of the State and federal water projects; rather they appear here as honest brokers of balanced and trustworthy information.

Regarding the quote by Dick Pool about "the state and federal water projects that divert too much water out of the Delta", this too was analyzed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council. And rather than aggregate the total volume of water diverted for the year to create a false correlation with the decline of salmon, such as NRDC has done, PFMC analyzed exports during the critical migration period and found that they were, "... near average during the spring, when fall Chinook are migrating through the Delta." In other words, of the things that changed that could have caused the decline of salmon populations, projects' diversions were not among them.

Public water agencies are translating science into action by supporting, developing and/or implementing solutions that address the need for multi-solution approaches, such as those found in the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. Those solutions will increase both the quality and quantity of habitat diversity through ecosystem based management, as will solutions recommended by a range of science interests from PFMC to the PPIC.

NRDC has the opportunity to be part of the solution but it will take a concerted effort to move beyond the tired old approach of simply blaming the pumps.

From Sacramento News & Review - Thursday, May 16, 2013

Coalition response...The natural Delta has changed dramatically over the past 150 years due to expansion of farming operations and a variety of urban communities that are protected by a system of man-made levees. Jerry Meral's comment accurately reflected that a pre-levee Delta will never exist again. He has repeatedly explained that the targeted restoration of the Delta is directed by the BDCP Planning Agreement, which is to "Allow for projects to proceed that restore and protect water supply, water quality, and ecosystem health within a stable regulatory framework." BDCP remains the best opportunity to restore the Delta's ecosystem and create a reliable water supply for much of California. Water rights holders depend on water that flows through the Delta and they are entitled to receive it, according to California law. The BDCP provides an ecologically sound way to make that happen.

To claim that BDCP is void of science is wrong. One only has to look at the drafts of BDCP sections that have been released in recent weeks to view the years of work conducted by scientists, biologists and researchers.

The amount of water that will flow through the tunnels will be limited by the actual day-by-day conditions and flows of the river and is likely to be in the range of average exports over the past 20 years, not increased diversions as the editorial asserts. When flows are high more water can be moved through the tunnels. When flows are lower, less water will be moved...or none at all under dry conditions. Find out more at:

The "portfolio approach" does not provide the same levels of protection for Delta fish species or a water supply that is proposed by BDCP. The water supply for about 750,000 acres of farmland is at risk under the "portfolio" proposal. The water supply for south-of-the-Delta farmers will be reduced by 4 million acre-feet under its smaller, single tunnel plan. That means a huge drop in the number of acres growing fresh fruit and vegetables for consumers worldwide. At a time when millions of people around the world are entering middle income earning levels and competing for a potentially declining food supply, does it make sense to choose solutions that limit our ability to grow food on productive farmland? View the portfolio's effects at


From Capitol Weekly - Tuesday, May 14, 2013


From Chico Enterprise-Record - Thursday, May 16, 2013

From Modesto Bee - Thursday, May 16, 2013
From Central Valley Business Times - Thursday, May 16, 2013


From Redding Record Searchlight - Wednesday, May 15, 2013

From Anderson Valley Post - Wednesday, May 15, 2013


From SF Chronicle - Wednesday, May 15, 2013

From Sacramento Bee - Wednesday, May 15, 2013
From Modesto Bee - Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Press release
From IID - Tuesday, May 14, 2013

From Imperial Valley Press - Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Radio news
From Capital Public Radio - Wednesday, May 15, 2013


From Sacramento Bee - Thursday, May 16, 2013

From Fresno Bee - Thursday, May 16, 2013


 From Council for Watershed Health
Join us for the next Watershed Symposium on Southern California's Role in the Delta, May 21st at Burbank Water & Power's Eco Campus.

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