Tuesday, September 17, 2013

News articles and links from September 17, 2013

Bay Delta Conservation Plan 

From: Staff, Los Angeles Magazine

A twitter feed? A reality show? Whatever it is, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta needs something to boost its name recognition in Southern California. Supplying a third of the region's water and vast tracts of farmland, the delta is where the San Joaquin and Sacramento River systems, which drain the Sierra Nevada, mingle with the salty tides of San Francisco Bay. Divided up with earthen levees more than a century ago in order to cordon off the water and make room for people, it's become a crazy quilt of islands, farms, suburbs, roads, shipping channels, bridges, pumps, and aqueducts. More than 25 million people and a huge chunk of the state's economy rely on the delta. And it is in trouble: The delta is at the center of a historic court brawl between farmers and fishermen, and its infrastructure is so challenged that a natural disaster could cut off the flow of water from the area, which would be catastrophic.

Coalition response...Water flowing through the Delta irrigates millions of acres of farmland, the source of much of the fresh produce that makes its way to Southern California. Consumers widely prefer local California produce as opposed to imported food products. It just makes sense that a reliable water supply is necessary to keep California farms productive. 

Government regulations intended to protect the ecosystem have disrupted the water supply to almost 4,000 farms and 25 million Californians. Earlier this year those regulations prevented the delivery of more than 800,000 acre-feet of water to farms, homes and businesses in many parts of the state. Sadly, these regulations have failed to restore the Delta to a level that adequately protects wildlife.

That's where the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) comes in. The BDCP is a new approach to endangered species protections that will enhance the ecosystem while at the same time restore reliability and security to California's water supply. That means a secure water supply for Southern California and the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables we all want from local California farms.

Water Bond 

From: Editorial Staff, Riverside Press-Enterprise

Legislators should finish next year a task they started in the just-finished session: crafting a more realistic water bond measure focused on the state's most pressing water needs. California needs to ensure a reliable supply of water for the future, but asking wary voters to approve a bloated water bond is not a feasible way to reach that goal.

Salton Sea

From: Erica Felci, Desert Sun

A bill that would give local stakeholders greater say in the Salton Sea's restoration is awaiting endorsement from California Gov. Jerry Brown.

Assembly Bill 71 looks to revive the never-approved restoration proposal by having the local Salton Sea Authority work directly on a plan with the state's Natural Resources Agency.


From: Staff, Porterville Recorder

A disputed fee charged to California water rights holders is invalid, a judge says in a proposed decision, because insufficient connection exists between the amount charged, the benefits received and the burdens imposed by those who pay the bill. In his proposed decision, Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Raymond Cadei said that the State Water Resources Control Board should not "apply or enforce" the fee, which it has imposed since the 2003-04 fiscal year.

Water Facilities 

From: Press Release, USBR

The Bureau of Reclamation has scheduled a negotiation session with Fresno County Waterworks No. 18 for the long-term transfer of the operation and maintenance of Reclamation-owned facilities located at Friant Dam.


From: Jim E. Winburn, Daily Press

The Mojave Water Agency will host a talk from its ABCs of Water series to provoke a discussion on water and politics.

Kirby Brill, General Manager of the Mojave Water Agency, will lead participants in the talk, "Muddying the Water: Mixing Water & Politics," at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 24 at the Mojave Water Agency.

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