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ICMYI: Guest Commentary: The Gulf Hurricane is a Call to Action to Protect Californians from Catastrophic Floods

Guest Commentary: The Gulf Hurricane is a Call to Action to Protect Californians from Catastrophic FloodsMayor Michael Tubbs of Stockton and former state senator Mike Machado– MAVEN’S California Water 9/24/20“The next state Flood Plan must deliver effective flood solutions for all of Stockton and our neighbors. “The good news is that we know the best way to prevent a flood disaster. Improving local levees is only part of the solution. A main focus of preventing a flood disaster should be to design a flood plan that works with nature to restore rivers while reducing flood risk.  In the Delta, we can do that by building the Paradise Cut bypass. This desperately needed infrastructure can protect Stockton in the South Delta, just as the [...]

ICYMI: COVID, Ratepayers, Utility Bills 9/15/20

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla of Restore the Delta asks:“How Can the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California consider spending hundreds of millions of dollars in tunnel planning when so many cannot pay their water bills presently?”Opinion: Metropolitan Water District Can Do Better for Southern California Amid COVID – Times of San Diego 9/11/20“While the Water Authority has been cinching its belt to benefit ratepayers through freezing hiring, limiting travel and training programs and delaying equipment replacement, MWD has not done the same, or at least it has not adjusted its budget and rates in order to pass the benefit of any cost-cutting measures on to ratepayers. In fact, MWD’s board directed staff last April to look for cost-cutting measures to bring back to [...]

Harmful Algal Outbreak Worsens in SF Bay-Delta Waters

For Immediate Release: 8/26/20Contact:Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, 209-479-2053, [email protected], CA – The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board has reported that a recent collection of water samples from cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms (HABs) along the Stockton waterfront contain microcystins up to 220 times higher than the “danger” level (the highest advisory threshold). These extremely dangerous readings were found at 5 out of 6 testing sites along the Stockton waterfront. Microcystins in large quantities pose a major threat to drinking and irrigation water supplies, humans in contact with waterways, and the environment at large. To read the Water Board’s findings, click here. Restore the Delta’s Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla made the following statement: “We are grateful that the Central Valley Regional and State Water Boards continue to make water quality testing a priority [...]

DELTA FLOWS: What’s missing in the new Delta Tunnel price tag?

– Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta At the August 20, 2020 Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority meeting, it was revealed that the proposed Delta tunnel would cost $15.9 billion for construction and that $400 million would be budgeted to mitigate impacts resulting from construction.  Discussion of immediate planning expenses and tunnel costs occurred after comments from Restore the Delta and Local Agencies of the North Delta (LAND) insisting on transparency. We collectively wanted to know about the costs of the project and Delta tunnel planning paid for in advance by the Department of Water Resources and indicated that these items had to be made understandable to the public.  For comparison, let’s remember that Governor Brown’s California WaterFix (the two tunnel project) [...]

ICYMI: HABs, Pistachio War, California’s Changing Climate

Harmful Algal BloomsCalifornia: Beware the Green Goblin—aka Harmful Algal Blooms – Kate Poole, NRDC Expert Blog 8/17/20Harmful algal blooms, or HABs, are not just smelly and gross-looking. HABs pose serious human health risks, kill pets and other animals that ingest them, harm aquatic ecosystems, contaminate drinking water, and prevent the use of rivers and lakes for swimming, boating, and other uses….While San Joaquin County does its best to warn residents of HAB outbreaks, it is unconscionable that the state and federal government are not doing more to prevent these growing outbreaks, especially in underserved communities like Stockton. Of course children are playing in this water, especially when summer temperatures are routinely in the 90s and COVID-19 has confined all of us to our neighborhoods. Shared natural spaces [...]

DELTA FLOWS: Is the Delta Conveyance Project a Good Bet?

By Tim Stroshane, policy analyst for Restore the Delta Just how realistic is this Delta Conveyance Project in 2020? Will this star-crossed project be another COVID-19 victim? The Delta Conveyance Project (DCP) appears to have even less support than former Governor Jerry Brown’s California WaterFix. The Sacramento News & Review reported in recent weeks that Kathryn Mallon, the executive director of both the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority and the Delta Construction Finance Authority, earns twice the salary as Governor Gavin Newsom—and Newsom is earning his (by comparison) with having to prepare a new state budget and oversee the state’s response to the pandemic. The paper also reported that four state water contractors have written to the governor that they would participate [...]

ICYMI: Kamala Harris on Cal Ag Issues, Looming Water Cutoffs

Harris, Biden’s VP pick, opposed USMCA, backed farm bill – AgriPulse 8/14/20Kamala Harris, Joe Biden’s pick as his Democratic running mate, has gone on record opposing new trade agreements, including the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and has taken up the interest of farmworkers during her short tenure in the U.S. Senate. Harris, a former California attorney general, was elected to the Senate in 2016 to succeed fellow Democrat Barbara Boxer. Her four-year Senate tenure hasn’t produced a long voting record on agriculture and trade policy, but she supported the 2018 farm bill and took stands on some rural issues….”Senator Harris is a very smart and fair leader,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta in Stockton, Calif. “She will work productively with all parties to help [...]

DELTA TUNNEL: DWR Files Contract Validation before Project Plan or Environmental Review

For Immediate Release: August 7, 2020Contact:Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, 209-479-2053 [email protected] Sacramento, CA – Yesterday, the California Department of Water Resources filed a validation complaint to be positioned to sell bonds for the design, planning, and construction of the Delta Conveyance Project (Delta Tunnel), even though no project plan or environmental impact report has been released to the public for review. Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta made the following statement: “Following in the footsteps of Westlands Water District, which is attempting to move forward with a contract validation for a permanent water contract without environmental review, Governor Gavin  Newsom’s Department of Water Resources is using the same move from the Trump playbook — rush the project, ignore the public and proper [...]

ALERT: Restore the Delta is sharing this message from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley.

Cyanobacteria Bloom-Central Delta 7/28/20 Good Afternoon,  Central Valley Water Board staff has observed moderate cyanobacteria blooms in various Delta locations during routine recreational water quality monitoring activities. Cyanobacteria water samples were collected at five locations on 7/16/20 and sent to Bend Genetics for lab analysis.  Incident Details:     Moderate cyanobacteria HABs throughout the San Joaquin River, Disappointment Slough and Honker Cut.  Two cyanobacteria genera (Microcystis and Aphanizomenon) detected at the locations sampled.  Microcystins exceeding the Warning Guidance for posting of planktonic blooms at Potato Point and exceeding the Caution Guidance at Tinsley Island and Lost Isle. (https://mywaterquality.ca.gov/habs/resources/habs_response.html#posting_guidance)         Microcystins (ug/L)  Recommended Signage  Sample #  Site  Water Sample  Scum Sample  11 San Joaquin River at Potato Point  10.56 Not collected Warning  12 San Joaquin River at Tinsley Island 1.07 Not collected Caution 13 San Joaquin River at Lost Isle 2.98 Not collected Caution 14 Disappointment Slough ND Not collected  No Advisory 15 Honker Cut ND Not collected   No Advisory  Next Steps:    Post recommended [...]

ICYMI – Harmful Algal Blooms, Governor’s Water Portfolio

Stockton algae bloom has higher level of toxins this year, officials say – KCRA-TV 7/28/20 (VIDEO) A yearly algae bloom in the Port of Stockton is back. The bloom happens during the summer and turns the waterway green, creating a problem in the ecosystem. The watchdog group Restore the Delta said the harmful levels of algae are showing up earlier this year.While the Central Valley Water Board said the timing of the bloom is about normal.However, both groups agree that the level of toxins is higher than in past years.Newsom Lays Out Big Dreams for California’s Water Future – Courthouse News Service 7/28/2020Touting ways to shield California’s most precious resource from climate change, Governor Gavin Newsom released strategies Tuesday to improve drinking water [...]