Wednesday, December 11, 2013

News articles and links from December 11, 2013

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Roger Dickinson, Sacramento Bee

For two decades, Sacramento battled with the East Bay Municipal Utility District over diverting water from the American River, which would have reduced our water flows, endangered fish and other wildlife, degraded the American River Parkway and compromised our water rights. After battling to a standstill for several years, my colleagues on the Sacramento City Council and county Board of Supervisors, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and I worked out a solution with EBMUD that met the critical needs and objectives of both sides.

Coalition response... Notwithstanding Assemblyman Dickinson's take on the issue, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan has been one of the most transparent planning processes in history. There has been ongoing and focused outreach by administration officials to Delta counties, including regular meetings with Secretary Laird and other high-ranking officials. Claiming that public water agencies south of the Delta are going to run the project without limits simply ignores reality and is irresponsible hyperbole. It has been disproved every day for the past 20 years as the State and federal projects operate to the water quality, environmental and water rights standards set by the SWRCB and a host of other state and federal agencies. The BDCP will also be governed by permits issued by the SWRCB, which will satisfy the stringent conditions imposed by state and federal fishery agencies.  The BDCP must satisfy the highest environmental standards in the nation to be approved and implemented.

It has taken seven years of intense research and planning to craft a solution that addresses both water supply issues and environmental needs. Now that a public review draft has been released let's give it the consideration due.  A plan designed to resolve these long-term challenges for our state deserves deliberate, reasonable review.

From: Mary Leo, Sacramento Bee

Re "Delta details unveiled - in 34,000 pages" (Page A1, Dec. 10): Please, who has time to read 34,000 pages in a year? I doubt any of our elected officials who will vote on this proposal involving two giant water-diversion tunnels will accomplish this task. How can we expect a fair and unbiased outcome to this proposal if the average person cannot read the details in the time allotted to be fully informed on this matter?

Coalition response...

The BDCP documents ARE complex- but they have to be. These 34,000 pages include plans to improve the delta ecosystem while providing a more stable supply of water to Californians south of the Delta. Environmental Impact Reports must be thorough and consequently are often long documents. The administrators of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan are actively looking to facilitate reviewers through twitter. If you're looking for specific content in the plan, tweet your question, including the hashtag #WhereinBDCP.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Charles Wilson and Mike Wade, Los Angeles Daily News

Southern Californians are leaders in conservation, using the same amount of water today as 20 years ago, despite adding 3 million people to the population. The region has recycled more water than anywhere else in the United States and invested more than $5 billion in storage facilities to improve local water supply reliability. This way of life has become essential as we have faced droughts and reduced imported water supplies. But cities aren't alone in learning how to be more efficient with water.

From: David Benda, Redding Record-Searchlight

An environmental disaster that will bankrupt taxpayers is the initial response of some local stakeholders to Monday's release of a huge state water plan.

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan is billed as a long-term strategy for the management and development of water resources in the face of an uncertain future for California.

From: Staff, Redding Record-Searchlight

Does anyone really understand the Bay Delta Conservation Plan?

Yes, we know the plan that the state formally released this week involves restoring habitat in the delta down where the Sacramento River meets the bay, along with a pair of tunnels proponents hope will work more reliably and less destructively than the long-running system of pumping North State water through the delta itself.

Water Plan 

From: Steve Knell, Merced Sun-Star
From: Steve Knell, Modesto Bee

The Brown administration recently released a draft California Water Action Plan, the purpose of which is to outline and address the state's water challenges and provide sustainable management goals for our water resources. The action plan includes a suite of recommendations that, if implemented, would provide sound water policy guidance.

Unfortunately, there are those in Sacramento whose agenda differs from that of the governor.

Water Supply

From: Staff,
From: AP Staff, Sacramento Bee

With another dry winter looming, California lawmakers called on Gov. Jerry Brown and President Barack Obama to declare a drought emergency and federal disaster in the state.

In a letter sent Monday, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Democratic Rep. Jim Costa urged the governor to take immediate action. A separate letter signed by dozens of other California lawmakers called for the same declaration.

The lawmakers cited the California Department of Water Resources' announcement of low water deliveries for Central Valley agriculture due to light rainfall projections.


From: Antoine Abou-Diwan, Imperial Valley Press

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California approved an agreement with the Imperial Irrigation District Tuesday that would allow both agencies to share equally in the costs of upgrading earthquake-damaged water infrastructure in Mexico, in return for an equal share of conserved water that should result.

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