Tuesday, October 22, 2013

News articles and links from October 22, 2013

Bay Delta Conservation Plan 

From: Frank Mickadeit, Orange County Register

Even as our reporter Pat Brennan was writing last Sunday's huge front-page curtain-raiser on the state's $25 billion proposal to radically alter the Sacramento Delta and send more water to Southern California, opposition was conferencing at an Irvine hotel.

I was there. And anybody who thinks this new plan is going to have an easier time getting sign off from Northern Californians than the failed 1982 Peripheral Canal plan did hasn't spent any time listening to Northern Californians with a stake in the outcome.

Coalition response...Without a reliable supply of water flowing to California farms the locally grown food supply that consumers expect in their grocery stores could be threatened. If water supplies continue to be reduced to San Joaquin Valley farmers as in recent years because of federal regulations to protect fish in the Delta, less farmland will be planted and consumers may have fewer choices.

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan and its proposed tunnels are designed to provide a reliable water supply that is important to farmers. That is part of the reasoning that farmers and water agencies have already paid more than $140 million to develop the Plan. They recognize the importance of keeping water flowing that they already have a right to receive and are paying the costs to deliver it.

The Plan will also restore the ecosystem of the Delta and increase the habitat for fish and wildlife. This added habitat will not only provide a food supply for fish but also protection from predator fish.

The Plan and its proposed tunnels are vastly different than the 1992 Peripheral Canal. The capacity of the tunnels is only 9,000 cubic feet per second (cfs), compared to 21,800 cfs for the Peripheral Canal. The Plan also provides flexibility to maintain in-Delta water quality with through-Delta operations while the Peripheral Canal was fully isolated with no through-Delta operations. Learn more at http://www.farmwater.org/p-canalcomparison.pdf. 

San Joaquin River 

From: Alex Breitler, eSanJoaquin

The State Water Resources Control Board on Friday announced that it has approved water-rights changes allowing extra flows to be sent down the San Joaquin River.

"The water rights changes approved (Friday) allow for the dedication of water released from Friant Dam to the river channel to support fish and wildlife and for that water to then be picked up for other uses farther downstream," the board reported in a news release.

Coalition response....Your readers should understand that the estimated cost for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program now exceeds $1.1 billion and could climb over $2 billion, according to the Bureau of Reclamation's 2012 framework document. This means the final cost could more than double the reported $900 million. Funding for the restoration efforts have been difficult to obtain from the federal budget.

While more than $100 million has already been spent for studies, monitoring, application expenses and overhead, not one infrastructure project identified in the Program has been started. These projects are considered necessary to reroute the river channel and provide protection for salmon.

These projects would also safeguard against negative impacts to farmland adjacent to the river. In 2010 when interim flows sent increased levels of water down the river, seepage occurred and farmland was flooded. The federal government was required to pay for the damages encountered by the farmers.

Wouldn't it make more sense to complete these projects before building a hatchery and releasing salmon into the river? Currently, there is no clear path for the fish to reach the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Without these projects it is doubtful that the fish will survive their journey.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Jack Robinson, Sacramento Business Journal 

The state's $25 billion plan to fix the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is a start, experts told a group of civic, government and business leaders Monday. But much more work is needed to prevent water woes from devastating California's economy in the long term.

Salton Sea

From: Antoine Abou-Diwan, Imperial Valley Press

The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a memorandum of understanding between the IID, county of Imperial and the Air Pollution Control District regarding Salton Sea stabilization and restoration.

The three agencies have been in litigation over the Quantification Settlement Agreement for about 10 years.

Water Quality

From: Bettina Boxall, LA Times
From: Bettina Boxall, Merced Sun-Star

Nitrates from agricultural fertilizer could continue to leach into groundwater for at least 80 years after initial use, according to researchers who conducted a long-term study of nitrogen uptake.

Using isotope tracers, scientists followed the fate of nitrogen-based synthetic fertilizers applied to fields planted in France with wheat and sugar beets.

No comments:

Post a Comment