Wednesday, November 13, 2013

News articles and links from November 13, 2013

San Joaquin River 

From: Joe Moore, Valley Public Radio

California is on course for what could be its driest year on record. Those were the sobering words from scientists with the National Weather Service in Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle. And after two dry years, the relative lack of rain and snow is putting a great strain on the state's precious water resources.

But there's another big water story in our backyard - the restoration of the San Joaquin River.

Coalition response...Introducing salmon to the waters below Friant Dam and then hoping that they make it down the San Joaquin River to the confluence of the Merced River seems risky.  Despite over a $100 million spent on the restoration program, no infrastructure projects have been built that would protect adjacent landowners and also enable the fish to travel the river.  Barring a flood year in 2014, the only likely way fish will make it to the Merced River confluence is in the back of a tanker truck.

The chance of the salmon surviving their trek is minimal without the construction of the necessary infrastructure projects.

Water Supply

From: Erik Rosales, KMPH-26 TV

The man who helps to determine how much water valley growers are allocated each year paid a visit to Fresno.

California Secretary for Natural Resources' John Laird met with members of the California Latino Water Coalition.

Coalition members set up the meeting because they are concerned with the current predictions of yet another dry winter, and no new water storage facilities built.

From: Staff, KMJ Radio

San Joaquin Valley farmers are bracing for zero percent water allocation at the beginning of the year.


From: Darla Givens, News 10-ABC 

Going into the second week of November, Sacramento has yet to see rain.

The dry start to the month came on the heels of no rain for the month of October.

From: Dennis Shanahan, Fox 40 TV

After two dryer-than-average winters in Northern California, a third dry season would have noticeable impacts.

"If next year is dry, we expect that water agencies across the state will start asking their customers for voluntary conservation measures," said Jeanine Jones, Interstate Resources Manager at the California Department of Water Resources, in a Tuesday conversation with FOX40.

From: Mark Grossi, Fresno Beehive

How dry is it in Fresno this year? The National Weather Service in Hanford shows the city has 2.32 inches of rainfall since Jan. 1.

It's possible this could be the driest calendar year on record. I scanned the list dating back to 1878 and found 1917 with 3.91 inches. That's the lowest one I saw.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Staff, Fresno Business Journal

During a visit to Fresno on Tuesday, California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird reported that progress is being made on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan that will be released for public review on Dec. 13.

He said that although there are no specifics yet on downstream water capture and storage, it will be considered as part of the plan. Laird said that once the plan and environmental impact report are released, the public would have 120 days to comment on the documents.

From: Richard Stapler, BDCP 

The Department of Water Resources has revised its estimate of the cost to construct a 3,000 cubic-feet-per-second, single bore tunnel that some stakeholders have proposed be incorporated into proposals to restore the ecosystem and water supply reliability in the Delta. In 2012 dollars, that capital cost of such a facility is estimated at $8.6 billion. This cost also reflects the change in tunnel alignment to reduce impacts on local communities in the Delta announced in August of 2013. The California Natural Resources Agency will use this information to better understand the potential costs and benefits of combining a facility of this size and specification with other investments in water reliability as a means to secure California's water future. For comparison purposes, the revised construction cost estimate for the 3,000 cubic-feet-per-second, dual bore tunnel is $10.8 billion in 2012 dollars. The updated capital cost estimate for the 9,000 cubic-feet-per-second dual bore tunnel is $14.5 billion, also in 2012 dollars.

From: Friends of the San Francisco Estuary

Friends of the San Francisco Estuary has sent letters to the State Water Resources Control Board and key leaders of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan to comment on the need for increased freshwater flows to the San Francisco Estuary in their planning processes.

From: Joe Moore, Valley Public Radio

Peter Gleick is one of California's leading water experts. In an op-ed piece recently published in the Sacramento Bee, Gleick criticized the draft of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan for what he calls a lack of specificity.

Gleick, who is the president of the Pacific Institute and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, joined us on Valley Edition to talk about the plan, and his thoughts on the best way to improve the delta ecosystem, and provide reliable water supplies to agriculture and urban users.


From: Sarah Rothbard, Zocalo

The California Delta is connected to everything in the state, Lois Kazakoff, the deputy editorial page editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, told a crowd at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. It also forms a large part of the state's water supply. But in a recent survey of Californians, 78 percent of respondents said they didn't know what the Delta was and had never heard of it.


From: Heather Hacking, Chico Enterprise-Record  

Digging into groundwater, local water leaders will host a forum from 6-9 p.m. Thursday at the Chico City Council Chambers, 421 Main St. in Chico.


From: Press Release, USBR

Tuesday, Nov. 19 - Public Meeting: 10 a.m. to Noon
Technical Workshop: 12:30-3:30 p.m.
Federal Building, 2800 Cottage Way
Cafeteria Conference Rooms C1001-C1002
Sacramento, CA  95825

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