Friday, January 10, 2014

News articles and links from January 10, 2013

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Stephen Green, Sacramento Bee

Re "Delta tunnels won't hurt Sacramento" (Another view, Jan. 4): Jerry Meral, formerly in charge of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, contends that building massive tunnels under the Delta to divert water southward won't impact water supplying the Sacramento region. He states that "layers of institutional guarantees" ensure that Sacramento's water can never be diverted in that manner.

Coalition response... No one argues that the Delta is in rough shape. When discussing negative impacts it's important to remember that the predators that eat threatened and endangered fish have doubled as a percentage of the overall fish population. At the same time native fish have declined from 18 percent to a meager 4 percent of the population. Sacramento's semi-treated wastewater has also been the cause of thousands of tons of ammonium being dumped in the Delta annually. That has changed the basic chemistry of Delta water and killed off the microorganisms at the base of the food chain that once fed small the fish that have all but disappeared.

Water Bond 

From: Paul Rogers, San Jose Mercury News

Despite record dry weather, it's looking increasingly unlikely that a multibillion-dollar water bond to pay for dams, conservation and parts of Gov. Jerry Brown's $25 billion plan to build two huge tunnels through the Delta will be placed on the November ballot.

Water agencies around the state have assumed that some kind of measure would go to voters to provide a new river of cash for water projects. But Sacramento political leaders and insiders say Brown, widely expected to seek re-election this year, hasn't committed and has worries it could hurt him politically, particularly as polls have shown shaky support for it.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Susan Rohan, Sacramento Bee

Roseville recognizes that the Bay Delta Conservation Plan's goals of water supply reliability and ecosystem restoration are important to the state's future. We know that without a healthy Delta, the water supply for two-thirds of the state will be in jeopardy, but we need to make sure the other one-third of the state isn't left out of the mix. As the city examines the 34,000-page Delta water study, we're looking to see if the state answers our most pressing question: Is there an operations plan for the BDCP? We're hoping that the state has identified how it will manage export and environmental water needs while ensuring our region's water supplies remain reliable. Answering this question in a meaningful, unequivocal answer way will alleviate some concerns from our region and help create a truly statewide plan.

Water Supply

From: J.N. Sbranti, Modesto Bee

Two environmental lawyers are demanding Stanislaus County officials immediately stop issuing new water well drilling permits without first reviewing what impacts they could have on the environment.

They also want the county to revoke 61 large irrigation wells approved during the past five months. If Stanislaus officials refuse, the lawyers warn they will file a lawsuit within two weeks, claiming the county has violated provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act.

The lawyers, Jerry Cadagan of Sonora and Thomas N. Lippe of San Francisco, say they are representing Protecting Our Water and Environmental Resources, a group Cadagan recently founded.

From: Staff, CDFA

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture met on Tuesday, January 7 to discuss ongoing water worries in the state. Some of the TV coverage of the meeting follows.

Colorado River

From: Michael Wines, New York Times

The sinuous Colorado River and its slew of man-made reservoirs from the Rockies to southern Arizona are being sapped by 14 years of drought nearly unrivaled in 1,250 years.

The once broad and blue river has in many places dwindled to a murky brown trickle. Reservoirs have shrunk to less than half their capacities, the canyon walls around them ringed with white mineral deposits where water once lapped. Seeking to stretch their allotments of the river, regional water agencies are recycling sewage effluent, offering rebates to tear up grass lawns and subsidizing less thirsty appliances from dishwashers to shower heads.

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