Tuesday, July 16, 2013

News articles and links from July 16, 2013

Water Supply

From: Press Release, USBR
From: Press Release, Central Valley Business Times 

Due to better than expected hydrologic conditions through the latter part of June and first 12 days of July, the Bureau of Reclamation has determined that it will further increase the Central Valley Project's Friant Division water supply allocation.

In consultation with Friant Division contractors, the Friant Division Class 1 water supply allocation is being increased from 55 percent to 62 percent.

From: Staff, Fresno Bee

East San Joaquin Valley farmers again are seeing an increase in their federal water allotment -- this time from 55% to 62% of their Class 1 water from Millerton Lake.

From: Tim Quinn, ACWA

With state and federal agencies working toward the release a public draft of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, much attention is focused on the Delta and the need for long-term solutions. We all know a Delta solution is critical to the state's water future, but it is just one component of a broader set of actions needed to address overall water supply reliability and ecosystem health in California.

There is widespread agreement that a statewidewater action plan is required to ensure leadership and resources are focused on a suite of other priorities including surface and groundwater storage, local resources development, water rights protection, climate change and other vital issues.

From: Staff, YubaNet

The California water rights system is designed to provide for the orderly allocation of water supplies in the event that there is not enough water to satisfy everyone's needs. When there is insufficient water for all, water diversions are allocated in order of water right priority. Currently, certain water right holders primarily within the Sacramento River watershed are restricted (through a permit condition referred to as "Term 91 ") from diverting water when the State and Federal Water Projects are releasing stored water to meet Delta water quality standards and in-basin entitlements. The rule of water right priority only extends to natural and abandoned flows. Stored water that is released to meet Delta objectives is neither natural nor abandoned flow. This water therefore cannot be legally taken by riparian and other users. Currently, a substantial portion of Delta inflow is stored water. In the late summer and fall, there will be little or no natural and abandoned flows in the Delta watershed and other stream systems.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Matt Weiser, Sacramento Bee 

The public is invited to a meeting in Sacramento on Wednesday to learn more about Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to build two giant water diversion tunnels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The meeting will focus on the last round of draft project chapters, released in May. The highlight of these documents is Chapter 8, which outlines anticipated project costs and funding sources.

From: Gene Beley, Central Valley Business Times

Barbara Daly is a librarian and mother of five in the Delta town of Clarksburg. She could also be considered the "Erin Brockovich" of the latest battles in California's intensifying water war. Ms. Brockovich was instrumental in a lawsuit that ultimately cost Pacific Gas & Electric Co. $333 million for contaminating ground water near its substation in Hinkley.

In opposing Gov. Jerry Brown's plans for a $54 billion project to build massive, 45-mile-long twin water tunnels beneath the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta, Ms. Daly says there is a lot more involved than farmers needing water to grow food.

From: Editorial Board, Modesto Bee

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is in a unique position to influence at least a partial resolution of the brewing battle over the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The question is: Can he use his leverage in a way that benefits both the district he represents and the state of California he serves?


From: D.L. Taylor, Salinas Californian

"The Art of War" teaches that the first rule of any battle is to know your enemy. With nitrate levels in Salinas Valley groundwater surpassing state and federal health standards, regional water quality officials and a coalition of agriculture concerns are launching an ambitious project to fully understand that particular enemy.Dubbed the Central Coast Cooperative Groundwater Program, it will anonymously test wells in southern Santa Clara, San Benito, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties for levels of compounds that leach into groundwater from modern agriculture practices, nitrate being of top concern.

San Joaquin River

From: Spencer Michaels, PBS Newshour

RAY SUAREZ: Next, the long battle over one of the largest river restoration projects in the country, an effort that's facing new troubles over funding.

NewsHour correspondent Spencer Michels has our story from California.

Colorado River 

From: Press Release, YubaNet

The Senate Water and Power Subcommittee is holding a hearing today to discuss the future of one of the West's most critical natural resources - the Colorado River. The hearing comes on the heels of recent deadly wildfires, a record-breaking heat wave and worsening drought conditions in the Southwest that have put the region's residents, wildlife and natural resources at risk.

The Subcommittee will examine the Bureau of Reclamation's Colorado River Basin Water Demand and Supply Study, which provides an important look at the costs and benefits of a range of proposals to ensure the region has enough water to support its economy, environment and quality of life.


From: Staff, Chico Enterprise-Record 

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a blow July 1 to the Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority in its efforts to have the Bureau of Reclamation respect area of origin protections for local water contractors.

The Court of Appeals affirmed a decision by the Eastern District Court that ruled in favor of the US Department of the Interior in a case stemming from the Bureau of Reclamation reducing water deliveries to TCCA members in recent drought years.

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