Thursday, October 31, 2013

News articles and links from October 31, 2013

Sacramento River

From: Nick Croce, Santa Ynez Valley News

Solvang means "sunny fields" in Danish, and that's an apt description for our community.

But Solvang needs more than abundant sunshine and caravans of visitors to thrive. We also need water. And that's the rub. Our water supplies always have been dicey. That means we have to husband our water resources carefully. And for the most part, we do that.

Unfortunately, our city officials have allowed themselves to be snookered by a boondoggle known as the Twin Tunnels. This scheme, pushed by the state Department of Water Resources, would shunt water from the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta south via a pair of gigantic tunnels.

Coalition response...Nick DiCroce should be ashamed of his misleading descriptions of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and California water rights.

The BDCP is in response to a 2009 mandate by the State Legislature to restore the ecosystem of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta and to create a reliable water supply for 25 million Californians and 3 million acres of productive farmland. In recent years the supply of water that flows through the Delta for delivery to users has been reduced by as much as 90 percent.

His comment that "No cost-benefit analysis has been conducted." doesn't square with readily available, published economic data. And he mixes construction costs with total costs, which includes financing, in an attempt to illustrate out-of-control spending. An analysis headed by economist David Sunding of UC Berkeley reveals that the State's economy will receive an $84 billion benefit from the overall project. Read Dr. Sunding's economic impacts report here. 

In fact, the total cost for construction, operation and maintenance is only about $5 per month for Southern California residents. That's a small price to pay to protect the safety and reliability of our water supply. Why didn't Nick mention that?

Claiming that California's water resources are oversubscribed by a factor of five ignores the fact that water rights are issued for specific uses at specific places and time. That means water can be used at one place and time to generate power, and then a second time to irrigate a field of tomatoes and once again for washing clothes in a city or town. Water is used over and over in California and rights for each of those uses are unique.
Plenty of factual information exists on how California can protect its water supply at an affordable cost at

Water Plan  

From: Draft Report, NRA CDFA,CAL/EPA 

The California Natural Resources Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Department of Food and Agriculture today released a detailed draft action plan to help guide state efforts and resources on one of California's most important resources, water. The California Water Action Plan will focus on the reliability of our water supply, the needed ecosystem restoration to bring our water system back into balance, and the resilience of our infrastructure.   

Water Bond 

From: Ian James, Desert Sun

State lawmakers held a hearing in Indio on Wednesday to tout a proposed $6.5 billion bond that would go before voters and would be aimed at alleviating California's serious water problems.

Those who voiced support for the bond during the meeting included representatives of the Imperial Irrigation District, Coachella Valley Water District, Riverside County, Imperial County and the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indian Tribe. They also urged lawmakers to earmark a significant amount of money for the Salton Sea to remedy problems such as dust storms along its shores as the lake shrinks.


From: Ken Carlson, Modesto Bee

Stanislaus County supervisors unanimously approved a long-awaited groundwater ordinance Tuesday and said they need to move faster on regulations to address overdrafting in the eastern portion of the county.


From: Ari Phillips, Climate Progress

California is known for its massive water infrastructure in which northern reservoirs, which fill up from the Sierra Nevada snowpack, supply the populous southern and coastal regions of the state. However going into a third year of dry winter conditions, many of these northern man-made oases are at precariously low levels, hovering between one-third and one-half capacity, far less than the average for October.

Water Supply

From: Staff,

As the fall harvest winds down under what have been generally sunny, dry conditions on the West Side, the focus of the ag community is turning toward winter months - with hopes that Mother Nature will deliver an abundance of rain and snow.

From: Patrick Cavanaugh, California Ag Today  

Water-the only thing that farmers care about right now.  Without water, nothing else matters.

And nowhere is the worry greater than in the Federal Water Districts, such as Westlands, San Luis, and Panoche; all Westside water allocations throughout Fresno County and other counties of the Central Valley will be severely cut.


From: Press Release, USBR

The Bureau of Reclamation's Mid-Pacific Region announced today that Jason Phillips has been selected as the Deputy Regional Director. This position was formerly the Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services.

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