Wednesday, December 18, 2013

News articles and links from December 18, 2013

Bay Delta Conservation Plan 

From: Matt Weiser, Sacramento Bee

The state's ambitious plan to restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has two main goals: improve water supplies and remove dozens of native animals from the endangered species list. Yet for nine key species - including salmon, Delta smelt and greater sandhill cranes - it remains unclear whether the plan will ultimately help or hurt.

Coalition response... One wonders how far opponents of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan will reach to pick holes in it. In this story Matt Weiser lists so-called adverse impacts on endangered species when he says, "Another concern is that the birds (sandhill cranes) could be killed by colliding with new power lines required for the project, both during the project and after." Seriously? There are power lines that already criss-cross the Delta including the area where sandhill crane habitat exists. No one is hearing about sandhill crane deaths from the large power lines that are already there.

If there is going to be a genuine discussion on the costs, benefits and challenges of a project like the Bay Delta Conservation Plan then we need to do away with baseless "concerns" that seem to be included in a story just for the added color.

From: Staff, Chico Enterprise-Record

Our view: We can only hope the south state realizes there really isn't enough water to make the expensive twin tunnels work.

The latest documents are out on the plan to put a pair of huge tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and despite amounting to 34,000 pages, there's darn little consideration of where the water is coming from.

Coalition response... It simply isn't accurate to say that there isn't enough water to make the twin tunnels work. Prior to 1990 south of Delta CVP contractors received 100 percent of their allocations, with the exception of 1977, the driest year on record.  The Bay Delta Conservation Plan's goal is to reliably deliver water that 25 million Californians and 3 million acres of farmland already have a legal right to use. The BDCP is intended to improve environmental resources so water supplies can return, at least in part, to the levels they once were.

From: Bob Wright, Stockton Record (Subscription Required) 

California's water woes can only worsen. Our farmers have given their all, they've pioneered an industry others can only follow. The world reaps our harvest while our farmers take the arrows. The days of good jobs and reasonably priced food and fiber are over.

Feeding and clothing a hungry world requires trucking water out of state. Water tables have sunk to unrecoverable levels; wells are failing, salt as sea water leaches backward into the voids.

Coalition response... The Bay Delta Conservation Plan's goal is to reliably deliver water that 25 million Californians and 3 million acres of farmland already have a legal right to use. It is not a water grab. The volume of water that went to Californians south of the Delta was restricted beginning in 1990 when environmental cutbacks reduced their supply. The BDCP is intended to improve environmental resources so water supplies can return, at least in part, to the levels they once were.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Jerry Meral, BDCP Blog

Californians have been debating the role of the Delta and the best way to move water to where it's needed for nearly 70 years. The recently released draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan and accompanying draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) reflect the ongoing evolution of Delta water policy in the critical areas of supply, water quality, environmental impacts, species preservation and the interests of the Delta communities. This is the first of a three-part blog that summarizes how our understanding of these issues has changed in relation to the dynamic growth of California and our constantly expanding appreciation of the needs of its environment.


From: Ken Carlson, Modesto Bee

As Stanislaus County leaders made sure farming interests had seats on a new Water Advisory Committee, certain urban interests made a pitch for places on the advisory panel, too.

Water Supply

From: Staff, Western Farm Press (Subscription Required)

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has mobilized a new drought management effort to prepare for and reduce potential impacts of what is expected to be a third straight dry year in 2014. DWR Director Mark Cowin said the department is focusing its personnel and programs "to offset potentially devastating impacts to citizen health, well-being and our economy." Cowin appointed Bill Croyle to lead the effort as department drought manager.

From: Theo Douglas, Bakersfield Californian (Subscription Required)

Officials from four San Joaquin Valley water agencies joined state and federal lawmakers Tuesday in applying pressure to the president and governor to declare a drought emergency and relax endangered species standards as a dry winter looms.

From: Staff, Santa Rosa Press-Democrat

After two consecutive dry years in California, this year is shaping up as a third.

In many parts of the state, this has been the driest year on record. And the long-range forecast is bleak, leaving water officials to ponder historic droughts.

Water Bond 

From: Jason Hoppin, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Sacramento lawmakers came to Seaside on Tuesday to shop a $6.5 billion plan to keep California's water infrastructure from going further down the drain.


From: Antoine Abou-Diwan, Imperial Valley Press

El Centro farmer and former Imperial Irrigation District director Mike Abatti is again challenging the IID's water apportionment plan.

In a lawsuit filed Nov. 27, he accuses the district of placing Imperial Valley's municipal and industrial water needs above the area's agricultural needs.


From: Staff, California Irrigation Institute

What is the future of the water-energy relationship? Can a balance on water use efficiency and energy use be found?  Come engage with other water and power professionals as we explore the future of water and energy efficiency at the 52nd Annual California Irrigation Institute Conference!  

Thursday & Friday, Jan. 23-24, 2014
Sacramento Arden West Hilton
2200 Harvard Street, Sacramento

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