Wednesday, May 22, 2013

News articles and links from May 22, 2013

Bay Delta Conservation Plan 
From: Henry I. Miller, Forbes

Coalition response...It’s refreshing to see some deep thought and consideration of the full effects of California's water supply crisis as opposed to the steady drumbeat of opposition to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. There are real consequences to not taking the bold actions led by Governor Jerry Brown. This article by Henry Miller strips away the phony arguments against BDCP and shows it for what it is - a solution for California that restores environmental resources and provides reliable water supplies for millions of Californians.

From: Dan Bacher, Sacramento Bee

Coalition response...Installing "state-of-the-art fish screens" at the south Delta pumps would not benefit fish, as claimed by the author, but would increase their risk and exposure to predator fish. Fish are currently pulled to the pumps along a channel that has become heavily populated with predators. BDCP's proposed tunnels and screens would divert water from the north Delta. Instead of trapping the fish at the end of a channel like in the south Delta, fish would continue their journey along the Sacramento River toward the ocean. The letter-writer's suggestion is a death sentence for fish.

BDCP provides the best choice to provide a supply of water to public water agencies that already have legal contracts for a certain amount of water. That supply becomes reliable under BDCP for 25 million Californians and thousands of farmers who are growing food for a world market. Reducing the delivery to only 3 MAF per year falls short of the existing contracts and would create higher water rates to urban users and force farmers to idle thousands of acres that would result in an increased reliance on imported food. Also, no criteria exists from the State Water Resources Control Board to support the author's position of reduced exports.

From: Yolanda Long, Sacramento Bee
Coalition response...Claims that the BDCP's proposed tunnels will "drain the Delta" are without fact and ignores studies already conducted by scientists and researchers who have worked for year in developing BDCP. The amount of water that will flow through the tunnels will be limited by the actual day-by-day conditions and flows of the Sacramento River. Studies have concluded that water diversions will likely be in the range of average exports over the past 20 years. 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. Learn more at

Restoration of the Delta's ecosystem is also one of the goals of BDCP, which includes protection for fish species. For the past 20 years State and federal fish agencies have attempted to protect and restore imperiled fish species through regulating water supplies that has taken water away from 25 million Californians and thousands of farmers. The result has been money spent, water lost and socio-economic upheaval in rural and disadvantaged agricultural communities. Little if any improvement for these species has been accomplished.

If California is going to secure a reliable water future that includes a restored Delta ecosystem, then BDCP must move forward to reality.

From: Richard Morat, Sacramento Bee

Coalition response...Over the past seven years the Bay Delta Conservation Plan has evolved using the largest body of scientific evidence for any project of its kind in California - more than 18,000 pages. That information is available for review at The letter-writer's criticism of the so-called "insatiable thirst" by agriculture is simply wrong. Between 1967 and 2000 the volume of farm production rose 89 percent while applied water remained almost flat, according to data from the Department of Water Resources and the National Agricultural Statistics Service. And more improvements have occurred since then as well. Between 2003 and 2010 San Joaquin Valley farmers invested more than $2.1 billion upgrading the irrigation systems on 1.8 million acres, enhancing their ability to efficiently grow food for much of California, the U.S. and consumers abroad.  How is that a bad thing?

Individuals and organizations too often use the term of "subsidized water" without fully understanding or explaining its meaning or benefits. The only "subsidy" that exists today is the result of action by Congress in 1935 when it waived the interest costs on building the Central Valley Project. That investment has returned billions more in new tax revenue from the farming operations and related businesses that depend on CVP water. Find out more about the economic benefits farm water brings to the economy at

From: Kathryn Phillips, Contra Costa Times

Coalition response...Despite the Sierra Club's opposition to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, Governor Jerry Brown is on the right track to help solve some of California's biggest water supply and environmental challenges. The Club claims to be concerned about the long term water supply needs of millions of Californians (not to mention thousands of food-producing farmers) but at the same time it ignores the reality of today's broken water system.

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan has been developed to benefit all of California through a reliable water supply and a restored Delta ecosystem. Years of scientific research have resulted in more than 18,000 pages of documentation that demonstrates that the co-equal goals within the BDCP is the right way to go - for water users and for the environment. 

In the end the Sierra Club asks the Governor to "fiercely protect and fight for the public trust of surface and groundwater resources, which belong to all Californians." Publicly the Sierra Club claims that water resources belong to all Californians. The problem with their plan is that it prevents millions of us from having much access.

Water supply 

 From: KGET 17

From: KION 46/FOX 35


From: Dennis Pollock, Western Farm Press


From: William Dotinga, Courthouse News Service

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