Monday, November 4, 2013

News articles and links from November 4, 2013

Bay Delta Conservation Plan 

From: Dana Bartholomew, LA Daily News

A century ago, Los Angeles opened an epic waterway that ran 233 miles from the eastern Sierra to sate the thirst of its expanding city. But the L.A. Aqueduct wasn't enough.

The State Water Project opened in 1964 and now supplies water for 25 million Californians and agriculture for millions more. But now its levees are vulnerable to rising sea levels, extreme flood and a major earthquake. And dozens of species of fish and wildlife have been adversely threatened.

To protect the environment, a federal court six years ago ordered its water shipments cut by up to a third. To fix it, the state has proposed a controversial $25 billion Bay Delta Conservation Plan. Draft environmental documents are expected to be available for public comment in November.

Coalition response...Dr. William Patzert misses a key point in his comments about agricultural water use. Farmers use water to grow the food people in Southern California and across the nation buy at the grocery store. It may seem to Patzert that farm water use is high but farmers and consumers are actually on the same side of the table. Consumers want a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables at an affordable price for their families. Farmers need dependable water supplies to grow them.

Since 2003 San Joaquin Valley farmers have invested more than $2 billion on upgraded irrigation systems. In recent decades food production has doubled while the amount of water used to grow it has remained about the same. On-farm water use efficiency is state of the art. Dr. Patzert would do well to examine the benefits consumers derive from California farms rather than simply accusing farmers of using too much water.

San Joaquin River

From: Associated Press, SD Union-Tribune
From: Associated Press, Fresno Bee
From: Associated Press, Modesto Bee
From: Associated Press, Sacramento Bee
From: Associated Press, SLO Tribune
From: Associated Press, Manteca Bulletin

A year ago federal officials trucked 116 spawning salmon to the upper San Joaquin River in Central California and invited media to watch them swim free for the first time since a dam cut off the river's flow a half century ago.

The effort to see if gravel riverbeds still could sustain eggs cost $237,000. A few months later, the offspring died.

Coalition response...The restoration of the San Joaquin River is not going as planned. Cost overruns, financing difficulties, delays in constructing needed projects and operational efforts that have resulted in farmland being flooded have plagued the restoration plan. Cannon Michael's suggestion should be given serious consideration. The "wait and see" attitude articulated by the fishery agency representative may be a significant part of the problem. Federal agencies have the luxury of time and little accountability for deadlines. Farmers do not.   

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: William Kahrl, LA Times

(A subscription may be required to read this article.)
One hundred years after its opening, the Los Angeles Aqueduct continues to cast a long shadow over the rough and tumble of California water policy. The arrival of water from the Owens Valley made the modern city possible. But it also reshaped Los Angeles to suit its capabilities and changed water politics forever."

And the efforts of state and federal water planners today to ensure that these systems will continue to meet the needs of two-thirds of California's people through the implementation of the proposed Bay Delta Conservation Plan likewise rely on the assurance that the rights of Northern California water users will be protected.

From: Andy Lipkis, LA Times

(A subscription may be required to read this article.)
On Nov. 5, 1913, William Mulholland stood before a crowd of 40,000 people near San Fernando and unfurled an American flag, signaling the official opening of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. As water from the Owens Valley rushed through the spillway for the first time, Mulholland exulted to the assembled onlookers: "There it is. Take it."

It was a good line. But Mulholland should have pointed skyward - because that is the true source of our water.

Spurred on by advocates, including Green LA Coalition's local water committee and the Council for Watershed Health, public agencies across the region are looking at investments to create alternatives to importing water from far away.

From: Jeremy B. White, Sacramento Bee

While avian aficionados and flying fowl flock to the Sacramento Delta to revel in its natural bounty, legislators and policymakers continue to hammer Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed Bay Delta Conservation Plan for potentially disrupting the area's precarious ecological balance.

From: Alex Breitler, Stockton Record

With Gov. Jerry Brown expected next month to formally propose his twin tunnels project, Stockton-area leaders say it's time to tell the Delta's "real story."

The Delta Coalition - a diverse group of local politicians, environmentalists, business and farming interests - will host a forum on Monday in the hope of educating both state lawmakers and the general public.

The event, called "The Real Delta Story," is from 10 a.m. to noon at the University of the Pacific Alumni House, 1022 Dave Brubeck Way.

Water Supply

From: Calvin Men, Santa Cruz Sentinel 

Maintaining the state's water resources, restoring water habitats and concerns about recycled water were topics the California Secretary of Natural Resources John Laird touched on Saturday at the Louden Nelson Community Center.

Water Plan 

From: Seth Nidever, Hanford Sentinel

A California water action plan released this week is too farsighted, according to agricultural leaders who view the 20-page draft document as big on long-term goals but short on immediate answers.


From: Staff, Imperial Valley News

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will focus on groundwater supply issues at its upcoming meeting on Tuesday, November 5th in Sacramento. This meeting will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 'N' Street - Main Auditorium, Sacramento, CA 95814.

No comments:

Post a Comment