Monday, December 2, 2013

News articles and links from December 2, 2013

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Dennis McEwan, Sacramento Bee

"Denny, you and your environmentalist buddies better vote for this thing, 'cause it's the best deal you're ever going to get."

Those words were spoken by my father in 1982, extolling me to vote "yes" on Proposition 9, the referendum on the peripheral canal. He was a 30-plus-year, veteran engineer with the California Department of Water Resources, and I was a 20-something idealistic college student majoring in conservation biology. As such, we couldn't have been further apart on water issues in this state.

Coalition response... It's refreshing to see a balanced article about the problems in the Delta and how solutions need to address multiple stressors, such as inadequate fish screens, predators, water quality and the loss of habitat. Clearly there's a problem when, "...only 18.5 percent of young Chinook salmon that were drawn into the State Water Project fish facility survived the process. Most are eaten by predators, and others succumb to the jostling of holding tanks and hauling trucks."

It's time to move past the position that the Delta is OK the way it is. It's not. And the requirement to provide adequate and dependable water supplies that drive much of California's economy isn't going away. As the author says, "...the status quo is death to Delta ecology."

Water Bond 

From: Damon Arthur, Redding Record-Searchlight

North State residents will get the chance to comment on a proposed statewide water bond when the state Assembly holds a hearing in Redding next week.

The Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife is holding a hearing on a proposed $6.5 billion water bond at the Shasta County Board of Supervisors chambers on Wednesday.


From: Matt Weiser, Sacramento Bee

A recent federal inspection has concluded that Oroville Dam, the tallest dam in the nation, needs a comprehensive earthquake safety assessment.

The dam on the Feather River is the primary storage facility for the State Water Project, the state-owned plumbing system that provides drinking water to more than 23million people across California. Failure of the dam could inundate not only the city of Oroville but numerous other communities downstream, including Yuba City, Marysville and even West Sacramento.


From: Phil Dirkx, San Luis Obispo Tribune

The Paso Robles groundwater basin is in more trouble. You've probably heard that we've been pumping water from that basin faster than nature replaces it. We've also been having a drought. And now the basin has attracted lawyers and lawsuits.

The story was in Wednesday's Tribune. The headline said, "Two lawsuits filed to stop emergency water measure." The lawsuits seek to prevent our county supervisors from regulating the pumping of water from the basin.

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