Thursday, June 6, 2013

News articles and links from June 6, 2013

      Bay Delta Conservation Plan
From: Restore the Delta, Antioch Herald

Restore the Delta, opponents of Gov. Jerry Brown's rush to build Peripheral Tunnels that would drain the Delta and doom salmon and other Pacific fisheries today released its "Simple Math" total of costs.

"The Brown Administration has released tens of thousands of pages but not one single, simple accounting of the costs," said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta. "They are hiding the math because the cost keeps escalating and the benefits diminishing."

Coalition response...Restore the Delta's "Simple Math" attempt at quantifying the costs of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and their statement that "it's not worth it" didn't provide enough information for a logical conclusion. Missing from the equation was the volume of water that could be reliably delivered for the cost of the project.

Considering that water users would pay the full $43.9 billion cost of the tunnels (habitat restoration is considered a public benefit and therefore a public cost) and then applying the historical average of about 5 million acre-feet of water delivered per year over the 50-year span of the project, RTD's simple math exercise pencils out to about $172 per acre-foot. In comparison to current prices farmers are encountering right now because of the water-short year, the $172/AF may not be too bad, especially if it brings reliability back to the system. Simple.

From: Dick Kincaide, Tri-Valley Times

Twin tunnels water proposal will be disaster.

In response to Jill Duerig and Beau Goldie's response to your editorial on why the Bay Delta Conservation Plan is not right for the Tri-Valley water district, it's the same story on a big fat NO AGAIN ON TWIN TUNNELS that will divert 50 percent or more of our precious water to Southern California and leave us high and dry in the coming future drought years.

Coalition response...The two tunnels will not divert 50% of the water that moves through the Delta as claimed by the letter writer. Export levels have only been about 20% and the amount of water to be sent through the tunnels will be based on available supply. When the water level in the Sacramento River is high more water will be available to move through the tunnels. Lower flows means less water will be exported. Learn more at

Water rights were issued long ago to public water agencies in central and southern California and the Bay area for the purpose of serving farms, homes and businesses. California law prevents the Bay Delta Conservation Plan from negatively impacting existing water rights holders. Claiming that BDCP will dry up an existing water supply is false.

New water storage is needed in our state and BDCP provides the opportunity to realize full benefits from new storage.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

Big data and our big delta plan
From: Lois Kazakoff, SF Chronicle

By the numbers, the state's proposal to restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta ecosystem and fashion a "reliable" water supply is daunting:

- 7 years in the making
- 20,000 documents in the plan and supporting scientific studies
- 57 endangered species whose needs were assessed
- 214 specific biologic goals
- $54.1 billion to construct two tunnels, restore delta habitat, administer the project and pay the interest on the bonds ($26.3 billion interest on the tunnel revenue bonds plus $3.2 billion on the general obligation bonds).


Reclamation Announces Update to the 2013 Central Valley Project Water Allocation for Friant Division Water Service Contractors
From: Press release, US Bureau of Reclamation

After reviewing the latest runoff data from the California Department of Water Resources and the National Weather Service that was developed since the week of May 29, the Bureau of Reclamation has determined that better than expected conditions allow for an improvement in the Central Valley Project's Friant Division allocation.

Reclamation ups water allocations
From: Central Valley Business Times

Buyers of Central Valley Project Friant Division water might now get half of the amounts they're hoping for this year, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says Wednesday.

Quantification Settlement Agreement 

Judge upholds landmark California water pact
From: Elizabeth Varin and Alejandro Davila, Imperial Valley Press

A California judge has upheld the nation's largest farm-to-city water transfer.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly ruled Tuesday that authorities properly weighed the environmental impact of the landmark 2003 Quantification Settlement Agreement, a set of agreements on how to divide the state's share of Colorado River water. The centerpiece calls for the Imperial Valley to transfer water to San Diego.

Quantification Settlement Agreement upheld by judge
From: Elliot Spagat, Desert Sun

A judge has upheld the nation's largest farm-to-city water transfer, ruling that state authorities in California properly considered the environmental effects of the landmark 2003 Quantification Settlement Agreement over how to divide the state's share of Colorado River water.

Salton Sea

Mediation to continue on Salton Sea restoration solutions
From: Alejandro Davila and Elizabeth Varin, Imperial Valley Press

Mediation on how to address impacts caused by the nation's largest farm-to-city water transfer will continue between Imperial County and the Imperial Irrigation District, officials said Wednesday, although what that mediation will produce is still unclear.

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