Wednesday, August 14, 2013

News articles and links from August 14, 2013

Bay Delta Conservation Plan 

From: Chris Acree, Fresno Bee

At the Aug. 3 Delta Water Summit held at Fresno State, I was disappointed to see little attention paid to the basic science and economics of the $48 billion twin-tunnels proposal. The tunnels will not add one drop of new water to the state's water supply. So who will benefit from the project and who has to pay for it?

Coalition response...This letter-writer may want to update his information before writing again about the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and its proposed tunnels. A full economic impacts study has been conducted by The Brattle Group, coordinated by Dr. David Sunding, Thomas J. Graff Chair in Natural Resource Economics at U.C. Berkeley. Sunding is also the founder of Berkeley Water Center and his clients include the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and U.S. Department of Justice. He is currently providing expert testimony in two interstate water disputes before the U.S. Supreme Court. His credentials are impeccable.

According to Dr. Sunding, the statewide benefit to California from implementing the BDCP is an $84 billion increase in business activity, $11 billion in wages for California workers and 1.1 million jobs over the 50-year BDCP lifespan. These economic benefits should be embraced by everyone struggling in this current economy. Read the study at:

Trinity River 

From: Farmwater

United States District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill issued a temporary restraining order halting water releases from Trinity Reservoir by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation through Friday, August 16. According to the Order, the stated purpose of the planned releases is to "reduce the likelihood, and potentially reduce the severity, of any Ich epizootic event that could lead to associated fish die off in 2013" in the lower Klamath River.

The full order by Judge O'Neill is available here.

From: Damon Arthur, Redding Record Searchlight

At the request of San Joaquin Valley farmers, a federal judge in Fresno today ordered a halt to higher water releases in the Trinity River designed to keep Chinook salmon from becoming diseased and dying.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation already had started ramping up releases from Lewiston Dam today from 450 cubic-feet per second to 750 CFS before the judge called a halt to the project, forcing the bureau to begin dialing back flows.

From: Mark Grossi, Fresno Bee
From: Mark Grossi, Modesto Bee
From: Mark Grossi, Merced Sun-Star

A U.S. District Court in Fresno has stopped the release of Trinity River water to protect salmon in Northern California until Friday.

From: Kimberly Wear, Eureka Times-Standard  

A U.S. District Court judge in Fresno halted water releases meant to prevent a fish kill on the lower Klamath River on Tuesday, granting a temporary restraining order sought by farmers in the San Joaquin Valley who filed a lawsuit against the federal government last week.

From: Bob Egelko, SF Chronicle

Central Valley farmers protesting the federal government's release of water into the Klamath River to protect spawning salmon won a delay of at least three days Tuesday from a federal judge.

From: Associated Press, San Jose Mercury News

A federal judge has temporarily halted plans to release water from the Trinity River to protect Northern California salmon.

From: Staff, Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard

On August 13, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California issued a temporary restraining order ("TRO") prohibiting the Bureau of Reclamation ("Reclamation") from releasing into the Trinity River up to 109,000 acre-feet of water from storage in the federal Central Valley Project's ("CVP") Trinity and Lewiston reservoirs between August 13 and September 30, 2013.

From: Elizabeth Warmerdam, Courthouse News Service

A federal judge Tuesday blocked the planned release of hundreds of millions of gallons of water from the Trinity Reservoir, after water districts sued Uncle Sam, claiming it was putting fish before people.

Water Supply

From: Staff, Porterville Recorder

In Porterville, the past winter season was the driest ever. In other parts of the Valley, it was the sixth-driest since records began to be kept more than 100 years ago.

From: Phil Larson, Public CEO

(This article was previously printed in the Fresno Bee.)
This year Fresno County was able to balance its budget while restoring programs and positions. After years of tough budgets and painful decisions, I wish I could say it was a relief, but instead I am fearful of what could happen next year.

Water Bond

From: Barry Eberling, Fairfield Daily Republic  

State Sen. Lois Wolk has proposed a $5.6 billion state water bond, one that includes no money for the controversial proposal to build twin tunnels to take water exports under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

From: Staff, Woodland Daily Democrat  
Senator Lois Wolk Tuesday introduced a $5.6 billion water bond to provide funding for broadly supported projects to address the state's urgent water needs.

From: Staff, Davis Enterprise

State Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, introduced a $5.6 billion water bond Tuesday to provide funding for projects to address the state's water needs.


From: Press Release, State Water Contractors

The State Water Contractors is continuing its series of fact sheets analyzing proposed alternatives to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) with the release of a fact sheet that reviews the "Fattening" Delta Levees proposal that is suggested by some BDCP opponents. This new analysis explains that while strategic levee improvements are necessary to better protect the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta), widespread "fattening" of levees alone is not a complete solution for the myriad of problems facing this important estuary.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Richard Stapler, BDCP  

This summer the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) is becoming better known and better understood. Thanks to the release of the Administrative Draft of the plan, Californians can view for themselves the scope and purpose.

By the time the Public Draft Plan is released this October and the formal period for gathering public comments begins, the BDCP will be even better. A work in progress, the plan is sure to undergo further modification and strengthening as we respond to people living in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and state and federal regulatory experts who are providing ongoing environmental reviews.

From: Bryan M. Gold, Elk Grove Citizen

Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli, whose district includes Elk Grove and the Delta, wrote in a magazine article that proceeding with the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) will change the Delta forever.

From: Pamela Martineau, ACWA

The governance structure and funding sources for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) were examined Aug. 13 during a joint informational hearing at the state Capitol of the Senate Governance and Finance Committee and Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee.

From: Maven, Maven's Notebook  

On August 5, the Brown Administration released a draft Statewide Economic Impact Study that estimated that implementation of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) would result in positive economic benefits to residents statewide of $4.8 to $5.4 billion.  Some of those benefits include the creation of 177,000 construction and habitat restoration jobs, the avoidance of shortages that could cost 1 million jobs and an increased in statewide economic activity of $84 billion over 50 years, as well as increased recreation opportunities and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, the report says.


From: Press Release, USBR  

The Bureau of Reclamation has released for public review draft environmental documents for a Warren Act contract for transfer of up to 15,000 acre-feet of water from Merced Irrigation District to Westlands Water District and/or San Luis Water District.


From: Alex Breitler, Stockton Record 

A state agency charged with preserving and protecting the Delta has a new leader.

Erik Vink, a 49-year-old land manager from Yolo County, will replace former state Sen. Michael Machado as the director of the 15-member Delta Protection Commission, according to an announcement Tuesday.

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