Tuesday, June 25, 2013

News articles and links from June 25, 2013


From: Pat Snelling, Vacaville Reporter

The Delta is starving for water, so California officials set up a plan to take more water out of the Delta. How does this make any sense?

California has had a long history of water wars, with many battles and, once again, the state is gearing up for another fight.

The latest "new" Delta plan was released on May 16. Since then, seven lawsuits were filed and probably more are to come.

The Delta Stewardship Council says its plan meets the "co-equal" needs of those depending on Delta water and provides "reliability" for water contractors.

Coalition response...Water in California has generated differing viewpoints throughout our state's history, all the way back to the Gold Rush. Today's discussion focuses on a proposal to provide water to 25 million Californians and almost four thousand farms while restoring the Delta ecosystem, including habitat that will benefit fish species. Pivotal to this discussion are the facts that surround the proposal.

This piece does little to provide factual information on how the Bay Delta Conservation Plan will work for California. The following are some corrections the statements made by Pat Snelling:

Fact #1---The proposed Bay Delta Conservation Plan and its two tunnels are prevented by California law from negatively impacting existing water rights.

Fact #2---Since 2003 San Joaquin Valley farmers have spent more than $2.1 billion upgrading the irrigation systems on more than 1.8 million acres to increase their water use efficiency.

Fact #3---Westlands Water District is a public water agency with a publicly elected board of directors, not a privately owned business. 

Fact #4---More than 50 percent of Westlands farmland grows fresh fruits and vegetables.

Fact #5---The average farm size in Westlands Water District is actually less than 900 acres, not 3,000 as the author claims.

Fact #6---Increased water storage is essential to the future of California and also requires an improved conveyance system through the Delta.

Each Californian should seek the facts regarding water issues confronting our state and not rely on emotion expressed by others.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan 

From: Dennis Wyatt, Manteca Bulletin

The Delta Twin Tunnel plan could rob Manteca of water it has contractually tied up from the Stanislaus River basin.

That's the fear that the Manteca City Council has of the Delta water solution being pursued by Southern California and Bay Area urban water interests as well as large southern San Joaquin Valley farming concerns.

Mayor Willie Weatherford noted construction of the $24.54 billion update of the 1980 Peripheral Canal proposal is being justified by three goals: Saving the Delta, preserving wildlife, and sending more water south.

Coalition response...The concern expressed by Manteca city leaders regarding their water supply is similar to questions raised by others. BDCP officials have repeatedly answered these concerns by stating that the proposed Plan, including the two tunnels, are prevented by California law from negatively impacting existing water rights.

Understanding that the current proposal is not a remake of the 1982 Peripheral Canal is crucial. The current plan offers improvements that did not exist in the canal plan such as the BDCP tunnels will only move 9,000 cubic feet per second of water compared to 21,800 cfs with the Peripheral Canal. Only two fish species, salmon and striped bass, were identified for protection in the canal plan while BDCP includes 214 biological goals and objectives for 57 fish and terrestrial species, their habitat and the Delta ecosystem. Learn more at www.farmwater.org/p-canalcomparison.pdf.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Mark Truppner, Mother Lode

The State of California and the Obama Administration agreed to a formal deadline of October 1, 2013 for the release of the draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and accompanying environmental documents for public review and comment.

Governor Jerry Brown was Tuesday's KVML "Newsmaker of the Day".

The BDCP will enable the state to make significant progress toward achieving the co-equal goals of securing California's water supply and restoring the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem.


From: Maven, Maven's Blog

Welcome to Tuesday's blog round-up!  This week's round-up is action packed, so let's get started.

So why did the exporters sue over the Delta Plan?  Alex Breitler says the topic has come up:  "The question came up at yesterday's local Advisory Water Commission meeting: Why did water exporters sue over the Delta Plan? Delta-area folks think they're clearly getting the short shrift; what can the folks down south have to complain about? ... "  Alex ponders the possible reasons on his blog here:  Why did the water exporters sue?   

Yesterday, the State Water Contractors issued their own fact sheet explaining why, giving several reasons, including this:  "While SWC supports how the California Legislature directed the Delta Stewardship Council to create a comprehensive management plan for the Delta, the legislation did not give the Council power to influence or establish future water delivery quantities for public water agencies. However, the Environmental Impact Report for the Delta Plan assumes that its implementation will reduce export levels. Such assumptions are beyond the DSC's legal jurisdiction. This over-reach of legal authority threatens the delicate balance of Delta oversight. Establishing export levels in relation to outflows is a highly-regulated process involving three agencies with state and federal Endangered Species Act jurisdiction as well as the State Water Resources Control Board."  Read the full fact sheet here:  BDCP-Delta Plan Lawsuit SWC Fact Sheet.   

Water Supply

From: KSEE-24 TV

Fresno Irrigation District water deliveries for 2013 will begin coming to an end by the middle of July for the Fancher and Dry Creek Systems as a result of this year's limited water supply. At its June 18 meeting FID's Board of Directors voted to continue deliveries of water through July 31 on the Herndon system.

From: Tim Hearden, Capital Press

The manager of Fresno County's largest farm group says even though the county remained tops in the nation in terms of crop value last year, steeper declines may be on the horizon.

Ryan Jacobsen, the Fresno County Farm Bureau's executive director, said this summer's drought and low water allocations south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta forced more land in the valley to be fallowed this year.

From: Tim Hearden, Capital Press

Like Westside melon growers and other California growing operations, table grape producers are feeling the pinch of cutbacks in water allocations.

It's not expected to hurt volumes this year - another record crop is possible since vineyards plan to make up the difference by pumping more groundwater.

But it's a temporary fix.


From: Rebecca M. Quiñones, California WaterBlog

The Klamath River basin presents one of the best opportunities for the reform of hatchery practices and the recovery of wild salmon and trout populations in California.

Much of the habitat for the Klamath's Chinook, coho and steelhead fisheries is in relatively good shape compared with conditions in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river systems. Also, political and legal support for Klamath River restoration is growing.

Invasive Species 

From: Matt Weiser, Sacramento Bee
From: Matt Weiser, Modesto Bee

The State Lands Commission voted Friday to postpone rules that require cargo ships to treat their ballast water before discharging it within California's borders.


From: Water Association of Kern County

Jerry Meral, Deputy Secretary - California Natural Resources Agency
Update on Bay Delta Conservation Plan
July 23, 2013 11:30 a.m.
The Water Association of Kern County Board of Directors and Membership Meeting at the Petroleum Club of Bakersfield, 5060 California Ave., 12th Floor, Bakersfield, CA

No comments:

Post a Comment