Monday, December 9, 2013

News articles and links from December 9, 2013

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Alex Breitler, Stockton Record

Somewhere in her rural home on Roberts Island, Delta activist Rogene Reynolds keeps a storage bin filled with mementoes from decades past.

But they're not cherished family photos or letters.

Reynolds' keepsakes include dog-eared reports by water wonks who have long since retired, and maps of California's immense water distribution system.

Coalition response... What should stun reporters and the public is that opponents of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan have been able to get away with distributing misleading information about California's water supply, water rights and the goal of the proposed twin tunnels. Why does Tom Zuckerman keep telling people that the BDCP doesn't produce any new water? Because he knows that most people don't realize that the project is simply trying to restore the delivery of water to people south of the Delta that they already have a legal right to use. No one is "stealing the water" and he knows it.


From: Peter Moyle, California Water Blog

The primary goal of the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) is to shorten the government's list of "endangered" and "threatened" species. The American Peregrine falcon, the brown pelican, the eastern Steller sea lion and California populations of the gray whale are among the iconic creatures that have recovered to large populations and have been "delisted," thanks to the strong conservation measures afforded under the 40-year-old law.

But there is another, less congratulatory way species have made it off the lists: new and better information becomes available showing a species is no longer or never was in danger of extinction.

Salton Sea

From: Tony Perry, L.A. Times

With an ominous deadline approaching, two feuding Imperial Valley agencies have put aside their differences and developed a plan they hope can save the ailing Salton Sea, the state's largest body of water and often considered its most vexing environmental problem.

The Imperial Irrigation District and the Imperial County Board of Supervisors have agreed to push for additional geothermal energy exploration on the eastern edge of the sea.


From: Thaddeus Miller, Merced Sun-Star  
From: J.N. Sbranti, Modesto Bee

Water levels appear frighteningly low at the San Luis Reservoir, but water officials assure that is relatively normal this time of year.

In fact, government researchers have just completed a study about expanding the reservoir, which they say would increase California's water storage capacity and improve the reliability of water supplied by Central Valley Project canals.

Water Supply

From: Staff, Redding Record-Searchlight

Last week's water-bond hearing brought a much-needed political focus on the link between up-country forests and the water supplies of those downstream - but even Assemblyman Brian Dahle, who'll grab any opportunity to push the issue, doesn't really think a state bond is the way to pay to thin and tend forests.

So what's the better way? How about we bill the people using the water for the work needed to restore watersheds? Get Angelenos to pay for maintain the North State forests that are the source of their clean water.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Matt Weiser, Sacramento Bee

The giant Delta water-diversion tunnels proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown need $1.2 billion more spent on planning and design before construction starts or is even assured.

The additional planning costs, which come on top of $240 million already spent, first came to light at a board meeting of the Westlands Water District late last month. The Sacramento Bee confirmed this additional planning cost in recent interviews with the California Department of Water Resources, which is leading the project, and several of the water agencies that are responsible for the bills.

From: Mark Gold, L.A. Observed

Mark the calendar. This week will go down as a crucial week in California's water history. The draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and associated Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) was filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday and the public comment period begins this week. So if you're in the mood for reading over 10,000 pages on the state's attempt to fix the Delta of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers and provide farmers and urban users--including Angelenos--with a more reliable water supply for the future, happy holidays to you!

From: Tib Belza, NCWA Blog

With the state and federal agencies releasing the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) this week, the leaders in the North State are unified in our commitment to statewide water solutions that protect the economy, environment and quality of life in Northern California. The North State Water Alliance this week continues our call for the Governor to develop an innovative and comprehensive statewide water plan. This plan must not exclusively focus on new infrastructure in the Bay-Delta and related restoration actions, however much as those elements may be needed, but must also meet the Legislature's overarching goal of providing a more reliable water supply for all of California.

From: Amy Quinton, Capital Public Radio

The BDCP proposes to restore the ecology of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and build two tunnels to carry water from the Delta to central and southern California.

The release of what's called the Environmental Impact Report is one of the biggest steps in what's been a multi-year planning process.

It marks the beginning of the formal public review of the plan.

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