Wednesday, June 5, 2013

News articles and links from June 5, 2013

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Cindy Manduffie, Sacramento Bee

Coalition response...Cindy Manduffie is concerned about the health of the Delta's aquatic ecosystems and rightfully so. The Delta is broken. It doesn't provide the habitat for native fish to thrive anymore. Poor water quality has fundamentally changed the chemistry of the Delta, reducing the food supply that starts at the base of the food chain. Baby salmon don't stand a chance because of non-native predators that consume them by the millions as they try to make it to the ocean. Unnatural river flows take fish to a dead end at the south end of the Delta where predators lurk. 

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan is designed to reverse the trend that Ms. Manduffie has identified while continuing to meet the water supply needs of thousands of farmers and 25 million Californians. We can't sit still and we can't go back to 1850 before the Delta was drained. The right protections coupled with sound science and engineering can bring back the native fishery and continue to meet the water supply needs of a state that is the 9th largest economy in the world.

From: Steven Greenhut, Bloomberg

Coalition response...A clarification is needed to this story---Judges have not "routinely shut down the pumps." Instead, it has been biological opinions written by federal fish agencies that have caused the disruption in water deliveries without improvements to fish populations that they are designed to protect. These biological opinions ignore the most recent science that identifies a loss of habitat, water quality, predation and poor ocean conditions as causes for smelt and salmon declines.

A federal judge ruled in May 2010 that federal fish agencies must rewrite the biological opinions and this time include recognition of negative impacts to humans resulting from the opinions. We're still waiting for that rewrite.

Colorado River

From: Bob Berwyn, Summit County Citizens Voice

Coalition response...California farmers who grow food using Colorado River water provide a significant portion of the nation's fresh fruits and vegetables during certain times of the year. Selecting the right crop to grow depends on a number of factors, including whether or not there is a market for it. It's pointless to plant a crop that uses less water if it can't be sold. Some might consider that even more wasteful.

Ongoing discussions regarding the supply of Colorado River water must include farmers and the public water agencies that deliver water to the farms. Reducing the amount of water used in California to grow food may ultimately have an impact on the amount of fresh, local food products at the grocery store.

Quantification Settlement Agreement 

From: Associated Press, Imperial Valley Press

From:Mission Times Courier

Water Supply

From: Los Angeles Times


From: Kate Campbell, Ag Alert


From: Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times

From: Matthew Daly, Modesto Bee


From: Staff, Chico Enterprise-Record

From: Staff, Modesto Bee

From: Water Association of Kern County

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