DSC independent consultant ARCADIS released a report that bashed BDCP's progress and lack of significant findings, and the lack of willingness and/or ability to ask the right questions. A notable weakness is the vagueness surrounding proposed operational criteria and conservation measures. RTD reported on this last month (August 25) in our "Haste makes waste, again" article. The DSC briefly discussed the ARCADIS report, and we can only hope that they give it the attention it warrants. If the folks running BDCP had listened to and addressed the issues and concerns we have heard continually brought up at public scoping meetings and community outreach meetings, maybe the council could have saved itself the ARCADIS consulting fee.
There was a good bit of discussion regarding the DSC's adoption of a Delta Plan, the folding in of BDCP, and how an appeal should be handled if someone takes issue with the Plan. Greg Zlotnik (State Water Contractors) requested some clarification from the Council on the necessity of BDCP in a Delta Plan. Isenberg reminded Zlotnik that "necessity" was not the critical point; the critical point was whether the BDCP would remain eligible for state funding. (It is easy to forget that taxpayers are funding this process on which the State of California has now spent over $100 million.) Isenberg: "That is why you are here." Zlotnick: "No, it isn't." Isenberg: "Trust me, that IS why you are here." [...]
A Thursday morning meeting of Bay Delta Conservation Plan principals was disrupted by a fisherman, two environmentalists, and a Delta farmer protesting the closed process. The Department of Water Resources has told legislators that they're not welcome at meetings of signatories to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, the plan that state water exporters have undertaken to secure their water supplies. The meetings have been going forward behind closed doors since August in what Resources Secretary Lester Snow told lawmakers was "a key procedural component of the public BDCP Steering Committee process." Showing up this morning at the meeting convened at the California Farm Bureau Federation in Sacramento were Dan Bacher, fisheries activist, researcher, and editor of The Fish Sniffer; Bill [...]
Westlands Water District got a letter from Congress members George Miller, John Garamendi, Grace F. Napolitano, and Mike Thompson. “We read with great interest,” they write, “that the Westlands Water District has more water at San Luis Reservoir than it can use this year, and is contemplating an exchange with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. . . . [This] announcement of “extra” federal water delivered to Westlands will come as a surprise to anyone who has seen Westlands’ political advocacy, press releases, and court filings over the course of this year.” The Congress members have nine questions for Westlands, including a question about why the district isn’t using any “extra” water to replenish the groundwater it says is [...]
The California Water Commission (CWC) is one of those State boards and commissions that could have sunsetted ten years ago and hardly anyone would have noticed. But it’s back, thanks to the 2009 Comprehensive Water Package. The Legislation gave the CWC some responsibilities with respect to the water infrastructure envisioned by the water bond. The commissioners have been selected (see Dan Bacher’s article on the subject from last May http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/05/14/18647925.php), and six of the nine met for the first time on September 28. (Two have appointments that are not yet in effect.) Anthony Saracino (director of the California Water Program at the Nature Conservancy) chaired the proceedings. Joe Del Bosque (member of AgSafe, California Farm Bureau, California Latino Water Coalition [...]