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Size matters

Moon and Snow both noted that operating criteria determine how much water you get, regardless of what is built. But Assembly member Yamada and Huffman both made the point that with a large facility come large expectations. And the size of the facility is still unknown.Huffman asked Snow about the meeting that took place last week with the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C. Snow said it involved an explicit discussion of cost and generated a great deal of frustration.Westlands' Peltier voiced that frustration. He focused on two issues. First, what the water contractors heard from federal agencies is that the BDCP is on track to produce a document that the feds do not consider permittable. He blamed this [...]

Uh. . . Let’s think about this

More Dudley Ridge landowners are selling water rights Last week in the N.Y Times, Felicity Barringer reported on a proposal for two farmers in Dudley Ridge Water District in the southern San Joaquin Valley to sell their water rights  for development at Tejon Ranch.  Selling 2,000 acre-feet annually for $5,850 an acre-foot will net the sellers $11.7 million. Says Barringer, "Water managers in rural areas argue that without a consistent supply of water, farmers face economic chaos, if not ruin. Among other things, they cannot be sure of the viability of longer-term crops like fruit and nut trees. Annual crops like tomatoes can be abandoned for a year and the fields left fallow, but trees must be watered in wet [...]

Northern California cries “Foul!”

Last week 43 cities, counties, water districts, and associations from all parts of Northern California sent a letter to Karen Scarborough, Undersecretary of the Natural Resources Agency, expressing concerns about the lack of Due Process in consideration of the BDCP plan document scheduled for release November 18. They expressed “foundational concerns” about water rights and Delta flows, and about funding.  They noted that “The November 18th document should describe in detail the benefit that the PREs [potentially regulated entities] will receive, as well as any benefits that the public is expected to receive and pay for.” Attached to this letter was another to sent to Scarborough on September 3 by Stuart L. Somach, General Counsel of Glenn Colusa Irrigation District [...]

We’ll take just water, please. Hold the selenium.

Petitions have been filed asking the State Water Resources Control board to reconsider its October resolution approving a Basin Plan for the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins that did not adequately address selenium control in the San Joaquin river basin. Petitions have been filed by the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, the California Water Impact Network, AquAlliance, and a group of Environmental Advocates consisting of the Southern California Watershed Alliance, the North Coast Rivers Alliance, the Planning and Conservation League, Friends of the Trinity River, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, Sierra Club California, and Friends of the River. Says the petition by Environmental Advocates, “Resolution 2010-0046 refuses to effectively address partially regulated and the unregulated discharges of pollutants [...]

Another detour around the BDCP process

The Sacramento Bee’s Matt Weiser announced that State officials have reached an agreement that will provide an estimated $188 million over 10 years to restore habitat for imperiled fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Click here for article. DWR and DFG will undertake certain restoration activities to satisfy state and federal environmental laws. State water contractors will pay for those projects. Weiser writes that, “In the agreement, finalized last week, DWR also commits to restoring a total of 8,000 acres of habitat for fish including salmon, sturgeon, Delta smelt and Sacramento splittail. This may involve acquiring additional Delta properties.” “The deal is intended to satisfy state and federal endangered species acts, as well as the terms of a forthcoming Bay [...]

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