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Secrecy and deceit of a failed administration

Last week, Mike Taugher reported in the Contra Costa Times that key people – including some of those institutional enviros – have been meeting behind closed doors to work out a deal for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP).  The Governor really wants that canal, and he prefers to do water policy closeted with a few of his best friends. Click here for article The people at this small table in the closet need to figure out just what they are going to build and how much water it will carry.  They need to figure out how to split the water between farming, urban users, and the environment.  They need to figure out which fish can still be saved, and [...]

Suits of all designs

The Coalition for a Sustainable Delta, a group of Kern County growers and irrigators whose idea of a sustainable Delta is one from which they can get a large and uninterrupted supply of water, is suing the Department of Fish and Game for having game fish protection on striped bass, a non-native predator.  There’s plenty of evidence that striped bass and salmon did fine together before exports changed the habitat of the Delta.  DFG could remove protections on striped bass and there still wouldn’t be enough water for salmon at the present level of exports. On the positive side, a lawsuit that can actually do some good has been filed against DWR and the SWRCB (the Water Board) by the [...]

Can faulty assumptions result in wise conclusions?

Last week the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) adopted an interim plan for the Delta as required by last year’s Comprehensive Water Package. This is the plan that the DSC will use to guide its actions until the Delta Plan is adopted and implemented, by January 1, 2012. There were problems with the legislation that created the DSC and called for the plan, so of course there will be problems with the plan. Legislation gave the DSC the policy objective to “Manage the Delta’s water and environmental resources and the water resources of the state over the long term.” This implies that managing the water resources of California over the long term is inextricably linked to managing the Delta’s water and [...]

Swing your partner and do-si-do

Remember that joint powers authority (JPA) that made its way into the water bond section on operational improvement (mainly dams and reservoirs)? Remember how the Legislature decided, on second thought, that this JPA was a really bad idea? It was such a bad idea that they introduced a bill - AB 2775 - to "surgically" remove it from the water bond. (See our June 23 edition click here.) What's the problem with a JPA? We've seen it used before, by the Kern Water Bank, to allow private investors to profit from public infrastructure investments. In the case of the water bond, it was clear to those monitoring the push for dams and reservoirs that the people who want to build Sites Reservoir [...]

Haste makes waste, again

Back in April, Restore the Delta reported that Delta Stewardship Council Staff recommended that CH2MHill provide the primary support for developing the Delta Plan, as mandated by the legislature. CH2MHill was already heavily involved in the historic Cal-Fed process and developing the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, which the Delta Stewardship Council is set to either incorporate or not incorporate into the Delta Plan. At that time, the Delta Stewardship Council recognizedthat it needed an additional independent consultant because CH2MHill was too invested in the BDCP process. Thus, the DSC hired ARCADIS, Inc. to begin reviewing the BDCP. This was a good move as the entire process was looking more and more like a game of musical chairs between CH2MHill and various [...]

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