Friday, January 3, 2014

News articles and links from January 3, 2014

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Bob Kelley, Sacramento Bee

Re "Low storage brings water ration orders" (Page A1, Dec. 29): My understanding is that Folsom Dam will cut its releases next week. The American River will become lower and with the other dams, such as Shasta and Oroville, low, that means the Sacramento River will drop as well. If the Delta tunnels project were in now, what would the impact be?

Coalition response...  It is a mistake to assume that the twin tunnels are designed to operate all the time under any circumstances. Clearly stated in publicly released documents are examples of operating guidelines that respond to Sacramento River flow. At times when there is abundant water in the river the tunnels will move a fraction of it south into storage for people who have a legal right to use it. When the river is low, tunnel operations would cease in order to address required protections for the Delta. Those operating rules one year ago would have provided enough water to meet the annual needs of more than 4.6 million people. Instead it went to the ocean with no measurable environmental benefit. Read more at

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: David Siders, Sacramento Bee

Former tunnel plan chief will aid it as volunteer

Jerry Meral, the chief steward of Gov. Jerry Brown's $25 billion water project while deputy secretary of the state's Natural Resources Agency, is going to work for an environmental group supporting the controversial plan.

From: John W. Schuff, Sacramento Bee

Re "Folsom Lake's drop exposes lost town" (Our Region, Jan. 1): The mostly dry bed of Folsom Lake holds vast potential in our drought. Southern California wants to do to Folsom Lake what they did to Mono Lake. We can't let them.

Water Quality 

From: John Holland, Modesto Bee

Farmers will meet in Modesto and Merced this month to get updates on monitoring for water pollution from their land.

They belong to the East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition, which has been testing the water for about a decade as an alternative to direct, and more costly, regulation by the state.

Water Supply

From: Lance Johnson, Sacramento Bee

Re "Drought requires water conservation" (Editorials, Dec. 22): California really is facing a third drought year and an unparalleled water crisis. Water conservation has been standard procedure on farms for decades, so The Bee must be calling for urban water rationing.

From: Todd Fitchette, Western Farm Press

On Jan. 3, California water officials set out to survey the state's snowpack. Word is they packed light and left the snowshoes at home, heading out instead with sunscreen and hats to protect themselves from the sun.

This is not good, folks. While comparisons to the drought of 1976-1977 that nearly claimed Shasta Lake and had other key reservoirs at record lows are noteworthy, we're really in a much worse predicament than we were then as California's population has increased by 16 million to more than 38 million today.

From: George Warren, News10

In a desperate attempt to avoid a water crisis in the coming months, the operator of Folsom Dam may reduce outflows to the bare minimum necessary to protect spawning steelhead trout in the American River.

Bureau of Reclamation Central California area manager Drew Lessard said his staff was in talks with federal and state wildlife officials to determine how much outflows could be cut without harming the winter run steelhead, a federally-protected species.


From: Staff, California Water Commission

The California Water Commission will hold a meeting at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 in Sacramento.

This meeting will be webcast live at:

For more information about the California Water Commission, please visit our website at:

From: Staff, East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition

Modesto: 10 a.m. to noon or 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday in Harvest Hall at the Stanislaus County Agricultural Center, 3800 Cornucopia Way, off Crows Landing Road.

Merced: 10 a.m. to noon or 1 to 3 p.m. Jan. 15 in the San Joaquin Hall at the Merced County Fairgrounds, 900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

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