Thursday, September 12, 2013

News articles and links from September 12, 2013


From: The Irrigation Association  

Studies continue to show that food production must double by 2050 to meet global demand. In an era of increased competition over water resources, meeting this aggressive growth target will require the adoption of innovative technologies, practices and policies. In this session, experts from the agricultural and irrigation industries will discuss how to meet the challenge of feeding the future with today's resources.

Register for this live webinar presentation that begins at 11 am this morning. CFWC Executive Director Mike Wade will speak on "The Value of Water in California."


From: Staff, Sacramento River Watershed

We are pleased to have Lee Bass, Acting Deputy for Programs and Project Management as our opening speaker and have invited Jason Peltier, the Chief Deputy General Manager of the Westlands Water District and Congressman John Garamendi to engage in a lively discussion around California water issues. We are anticipating a stimulating forum agenda that will feature panel discussions on topics including:

    -- a comprehensive new framework for system wide flood management,
    -- existing and proposed water storage,
    -- a vision for Sacramento River fisheries, and concerns and efforts surrounding one of our most important resources, our headwaters.

From: Alex Breitler, Stockton Record 

County water leaders took the first tentative step Wednesday toward cooperatively sharing Mokelumne River water with the Bay Area - a concept that has been discussed for more than a decade but has never been successfully executed.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Richard Stapler, California Natural Resources Agency 

In an effort to spur discussion about desperately needed upgrades to California's water supply delivery system, some water districts in California along with Natural Resources Defense Council have urged the study of a tunnel delivery system in the Delta that is a third of the size of the emerging proposal. The basic idea was to spend less on new conveyance and more on replacing lost Delta supplies with new local water sources and additional storage facilities.

While BDCP's environmental analysis process is not yet complete, the Department of Water Resources has conducted extensive economic and water modeling analysis of a potentially smaller water conveyance fix and habitat restoration for the Delta than proposed by BDCP. The findings point to some fundamentals of engineering and math. A tunnel that is a third of the size is in no way a third of the construction cost. Constraining the future water system reduces public water supplies. It increases reliance on 50-year old pumping facilities in the southern Delta that are of concern to the environmental organizations themselves. And it doesn't free up nearly the necessary funds to replace the lost water supplies.

From: Alex Breitler, eSanJoaquin

State officials said this afternoon that the so-called "portfolio plan" proposed by some environmentalists and water agencies is "not a viable solution."

Read Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird's letter today (linked to within BDCP blog entry) to the San Diego County Water Authority, and its accompanying analysis.

Water Bond

From: Maven, Maven's Notebook  

The Water Bond Working Group convened by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez and chaired by Assembly Member Anthony Rendon has completed its initial work on rebooting the critically flawed water bond passed by the Legislature in 2009.  Rendon commented:

"I am very proud of the efforts of the Working Group. Each member dedicated a tremendous amount of time representing the priorities and concerns of their communities and constituents. We convened a very broad and public process to craft a leaner and cleaner proposal to move forward."

The product of the Working Group will appear in print in AB 1331, currently in the Senate, on Thursday, September 12.  This initial revised bond totals $6.5 billion and addresses Drinking Water Quality, Protecting Rivers & Watersheds, Regional Climate Change Response Projects - Integrated Regional Water Management, Protecting the Delta, and Water Storage for Climate Change.

From: Lisa Lien-Mager, ACWA  

An informational hearing on the 2014 water bond is set for Sept. 24 in the state Senate.

The Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and the Senate Environmental Quality Committee have slated the joint hearing, titled "Setting the Stage for a 2014 Water Bond: Where Are We and Where Do We Need To Go?," for 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in room 4203 of the state Capitol.


From: Kevin Oliver/KCRA-3 TV, CDFA Planting Seeds

"It can be a disaster for some of our farmers if they have to leave land idle," says Richard Rominger.

Water Supply

From: Assembly Member Jim Patterson, California Ag Today

(State Assembly member Jim Patterson represents the 23rd district, which encompasses   eastern Fresno County and part of eastern Tulare County.  His comments on what needs to be done regarding California water for agriculture and urban use were made at the recent Water Summit in Fresno.)

I am new to the Assembly, in "sponge-mode"/listening mode and attempting to understand what we can and cannot achieve in the short-term and long-term. So what I have been trying to do is to set a framework in which I can be engaged and supportive of the water bond in 2014. And my hope is that the Senate democratic leadership will be as clear as possible with respect to the principles that the 2014 bond is going to put forward.

Salton Sea

From: Antoine Abou-Diwan, Imperial Valley Press

If approved, Assembly Bill 71 would require the state Natural Resources Agency to coordinate with the Salton Sea Authority on restoration efforts. It would also allow the Salton Sea Authority to proceed with a funding and feasibility study that identifies potential funding sources and matches them with regional needs, such as a revitalized wildlife habitat, economy and environment.

From: Matt Williams, ACWA 

Legislation that would tweak the governance structure for developing a comprehensive restoration plan for the Salton Sea has advanced to the governor's desk.

Sponsored by Assembly Member V. Manuel Pérez (D-Coachella), AB 71 would direct the California Natural Resources Agency to lead restoration efforts, in consultation with the Salton Sea Authority.


From: Rep. Jared Huffman, SF Chronicle

In "Dirty Harry," Clint Eastwood memorably asked, do you "feel lucky?" It made for great theater, but it's no way to manage North Coast salmon. Unfortunately, that's been the policy of the U.S. Department of Interior toward the near-record run of chinook salmon that is migrating up the Trinity and Klamath rivers. Instead of a comprehensive strategy to fulfill its duty to protect this iconic fishery, the department is rolling the dice. So far, the salmon have been lucky.

From: Kenny Priest, Eureka Times-Standard

Marginal seas, opening weekend of NFL football, freezers full of fish. For whatever the reason, the 2013 ocean salmon season -- which some locals would rate as the best ever -- came to a peaceful end last Sunday.

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