From: Curtis Knight, CalTrout
When Shasta Dam was finally completed, it was an engineering wonder - one that provided flood control to the Central Valley, power to its communities, and water to the Central Valley Project's irrigators.
Unfortunately, the effects weren't all positive.
Coalition response...While the author provides an in-depth look at efforts to assist salmon, his comment of "flows in the Sacramento River below the dam were managed for water deliveries, not fish." does not ring true for current operations. Changes to the release of Shasta water have been governed by regulations designed to help salmon. The result has been a closely monitored release of cold water made possible by the Temperature Control Device (TCD) that was completed in 1997.
The TCD enables colder water from deeper levels in the reservoir to be released for salmon while maintaining water commitments and continuing power generation. Other efforts to help salmon have included new spawning areas along the Sacramento River.
The author is correct in pointing out the benefits of flood control and power generation resulting from the construction of Shasta Dam. The Central Valley farmers use the water from Shasta to grow a food supply that is unmatched anywhere in the world. These benefits---flood control, power and a safe and healthy supply of food---are enjoyed by all.
Bay Delta Conservation Plan
From: Wade Graham, Los Angeles Magazine
People have always worried about water in California. We've been fighting over it for so long, the conflict itself has become part of our landscape. We've seen farmers suing miners, fishermen suing farmers, cities suing cities, and other western states suing California-along with one another-to control a precious resource that can seem frustratingly fickle. Wet years marked by torrential rain, mudslides, and floods are followed by shriveling droughts. All the while, enormous rivers flow in one end of the state, far from the enormous thirsts elsewhere.
Coalition response...The information in this article on the amount of farmland irrigated with gravity (flood, furrow, etc.) irrigation is puzzling. In fact, more than $2.1 billion has been invested in upgrading the irrigation systems on more than 1.8 million acres since 2003, which shifts a significant amount of farmland from what the author considers "wasteful flood irrigation." It would be helpful for the author to provide a source for his information, which doesn't seem to match current data.
From: Antoine Abou-Diwan, Imperial Valley Press
Imperial Irrigation District officials fired back at two water agencies challenging how IID uses its entitlement of Colorado River water, characterizing their statements as "political rhetoric" and threats on the district's right to use water within its territory.
In letters to Southern Nevada Water Authority and Metropolitan Water District dated Sept. 12, IID General Manager Kevin Kelley rejected both agencies' claims that the use of Colorado River water to help maintain habitat and shoreline on the Salton Sea is not reasonable and beneficial. Kelley also rejected MWD's assertion that IID's water rights are "limited to potable and irrigation purposes."
From: Bob Moffitt, Capital Public Radio
With an eye on a possible third consecutive year of low rain totals, the California Department of Water Resources is reducing the amount of water released from Lake Oroville into the Feather River.
The flows were at 5500 cubic-feet-per-second last week and will be one-third of that on Friday.
From: Dave Kranz, Ag Alert
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 the State Water Resources Control Board should not "apply or enforce" the fee, which it has imposed since the 2003-04 fiscal year.
From: Maven, Maven's Notebook
Science in the Delta is entering a new era. The requirements of the Delta Reform Act, the recommendations of the National Research Council, and recent court rulings have propelled California forward on a new path of collaborative approaches to management actions in the Delta. Now more than ever, decision makers will need effective, timely, and relevant science support to be able to effectively address difficult policy and management issues.
From: Dennis Wyatt, Oakdale Leader
Delta sport fishing with its flashy bass tournaments and purses as high as $100,000 is threatening water supplies for South San Joaquin County farms and cities as well as elsewhere in California.
"The California Department of Fish and Game Commission goes to great lengths to protect it," South San Joaquin Irrigation District General Manager Jeff Shields said of the sport fishing industry.
From: J.N. Sbranti, Modesto Bee
Groundwater and geographic data garnered from thousands of Stanislaus County wells are being used to create a computerized 3-D mapping program that may help predict the impact of future pumping on the region's water supply.
The $1.25million U.S. Geologic Survey study won't be finished for another year, but it's expected to provide a high-tech tool for simulating and analyzing groundwater flows.
Bay Delta Conservation Plan
From: Editorial Staff, Santa Maria Times
It's gratifying when our editorials attract the attention of critics, and especially when they respond to the opinions we express.
California's state government is considering a $25-billion project called the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. The governor and many lawmakers are solidly behind it, in part because of pressure from the city of Sacramento and landowners and growers in the San Joaquin Valley.
From: Alex Breitler, eSanJoaquin
The governor's twin tunnels plan is supposed to create 42,258 jobs in San Joaquin County alone during 10 years of construction. That's more than Sacramento County (22,572 jobs), even though the bulk of construction will occur there, in the north Delta.
Why is that?
According to David Sunding's economic benefits analysis, only 3,491 of the San Joaquin jobs are direct construction jobs. The remaining 38,767 jobs are either indirect or induced.