Monday, September 30, 2013

News articles and links for September 30, 2013


From: Press Release, Delta Protection Commission

Larry Ruhstaller, a Member of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, has been chosen to serve as Chair of the Delta Protection Commission effective Tuesday, October 1st, 2013. Mary N. Piepho, Supervisor for Contra Costa County, was elected to serve as Vice Chair.


From: Report, DWR 

For selected reservoirs in Northern and Southern California ending at midnight 09/29/2013.

From: Alex Breitler, Stockton Record

This might be a good time for nature to turn over a new leaf.

California's new water year starts Tuesday, and the state desperately needs rain and snow this winter.

Water Bond

From: Bettina Boxall, LA Times

Californians say the state's water supply system has serious problems that require improvement, but they are unwilling to spend billions of dollars in ratepayer and taxpayer funds on the task, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

The results suggest an uphill fight for proponents of a state water bond and for a proposal to replumb the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the transfer point for Northern California supplies delivered to the San Joaquin Valley and urban Southern California.

From: Editorial Staff, SF Chronicle

Clean, drinkable water for disadvantaged communities is the feel-good component of both of the water bond bills proposed to replace the pork-laden $11 billion measure now on the November 2014 ballot.

The real elephant in the room, however, is the governor's proposed twin tunnel project to improve the quality and reliability of water exported from the delta. Should state taxpayers fund the delta restoration improvements the plan requires, thus eliminating funding for other kinds of regional water efficiency and improvement projects?

From: Dan Walters, Sacramento Bee

There is simply nothing more important to California's future than an adequate and dependable supply of clean water.


From: Ken Carlson, Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County supervisors won't take up a groundwater ordinance on Tuesday as previously intended. The long-awaited ordinance dealing with groundwater exports has been pushed back to Oct. 29.

The county's legal experts have fine-tuned the language, and a committee including local water district officials will take a final look, said Keith Boggs, an assistant executive officer for the county.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Gerald Meral, Contra Costa Times  

An opinion piece that ran recently on this page contained misstatements regarding the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.

While this article did correctly characterize the Bay Delta Conservation Plan as a Habitat Conservation Plan, it incorrectly identified the plan's goals and requirements.

From: Larry Wilson, LA Times

While it may not be the Mississippi, California has a delta, too, and some of its residents are singing the blues.

On Monday, the Metropolitan Water District and the California Department of Water Resources hosted a tour in support of the massive proposed Bay Delta Conservation Plan, a 50-year project to send Delta water south in big tunnels and protect the habitat of native fish and plants. Opponents don't see it as conservation. They see more efforts to transfer water from their north to our south.


From: Maven, Maven's Notebook 

In April of 2013, the Public Policy Institute of California released the report, Stress Relief: Prescriptions for  Healthier Delta Ecosystem, which noted that the state is at a critical juncture with adoption and forthcoming implementation of the first "Delta Plan" and a decision on the BDCP possible by early next year.  "But California still faces an uphill battle to incorporate science effectively in decision making and make judicious management choices with a highly fragmented and adversarial institutional structure involving dozens of federal, state, and local entities," states the report's summary.

From: Maven, Maven's Notebook

Public comment period now open for Delta drinking water policy: The State Water Resources Control Board is now taking public comment on the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board's  amendment to the Water Quality Control Plan for the Sacramento and San Joaquin River Basins that would establish a Drinking Water Policy for surface waters of the Delta and its upstream tributaries. The amendment was adopted by the regional board in July of this year.


From: Dan Walters, Sacramento Bee

A Sacramento judge has given what appears to be final approval to a long-pending plan by the San Diego Water Authority to buy several hundred thousand acre-feet of water each year from the Imperial Irrigation District, 100 miles to the east.

From: Seth Nidever, Hanford Sentinel

In sign of just how nervous Kings County farmers are about water, controversy has flared over a seemingly routine bill authored by Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield.

AB 426, dealing with water rights transfers, was part of a package of Salas-authored water bills that cleared the Legislature earlier this month and are sitting on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk waiting for a signature.


From: John Lindsey, SLO Tribune  

December 2010 produced more than 12 inches of rain at Cal Poly (home of climatology for San Luis Obispo). That was the most rain in the month of December since 1931. However, since January 2011, almost every month has experienced below-normal precipitation. In fact, so far 2013 is the third driest year on record at Cal Poly.


From: June Williams, Courthouse News Service

Government lawyers told the 9th Circuit it would cause "chaos" to renegotiate dozens of water projects that environmentalists say relied on faulty science.

The fight against the Department of Interior and Fish and Wildlife Service dates back to 2005 when the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and other environmental groups first demanded a new biological assessment and halt of proposed changes to the irrigation project that would pump more water out of the San Francisco and San Joaquin River Delta.


From: Dennis Wyatt, Manteca Bulletin  

A move by South San Joaquin Irrigation District to possibly become the first irrigation district in California to go to a 100 percent pressurized delivery system may pay unexpected dividends in reduced ongoing maintenance costs.

From: Marina Gaytan, Merced Sun-Star

The San Luis Canal Co., encompassing approximately 45,000 acres of fertile farm land between the cities of Dos Palos and Los Banos, recently celebrated their 100 year anniversary.

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