Newsletter

California WaterFix: The Real Costs, Choices, and Criticisms

Over the years, some Northern California supporters of Restore the Delta have complained about Southern California water users by making specious claims that everyone down there “has a swimming pool,” or “waters their sidewalk” carelessly during periods of drought, while the Delta continues to decline with inadequate freshwater flows. We even have some supporters who maintain that the answer is to split the state in half, allowing Northern California to keep “its water,” while those people down south “figure out how to get their own water.” This is an idea that has been and will always be anathema to us, as we are all Californians, and the purpose of protecting and restoring the Delta is to ensure its future for [...]

From an LA Perspective: Solutions & Costs on Delta Tunnels

A year ago roughly, Roger Patterson from the Metropolitan Water District said that he would invite Dr. Jeff Michael, from the University of the Pacific to make a presentation to the Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors on the real costs of the Delta tunnels.   The invitation never happened.   So we hosted a meeting on the real costs of the tunnels with Dr. Michael as our special guest in Los Angeles at Boyle Heights City Hall. Here is a copy of Dr. Jeffrey Michael's PowerPoint,  which explains the real costs of the Delta Tunnels Project.   Executive Director of LA WaterKeeper, Bruce Reznik, also gave a terrific presentation on the types of regional projects that should be done in Los [...]

Independent Science Review Panel Finds Problems with Delta Tunnels Biological Opinion

(Science Geek Edition)   An analysis by an Independent Review Panel has been made public by the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC).   The panel was convened by the DSC Science Program to provide the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife with an independent analysis of the scientific information used in the California WaterFix (CWF) Incidental Take Permit application.   “This report suggests that the biological opinion has flaws and that the Delta Tunnels will be terrible for Delta fish - those that live here year round as well as those just passing through on their way to and from the Pacific Ocean,” said Tim Stroshane, Policy Analyst for Restore [...]

Metropolitan Water District: The Absentee Landlord

By Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director, Restore the Delta   In 2016, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), the largest of the State Water Contractors, spent $175 million to purchase Delta islands. Now they are trying to lease land back to the original owners, SemiTropic Water Storage Agency. MWD has learned that maintenance of Delta levees, water pumping, and water use tracking are big expenses for Delta landowners.   Similarly, Oroville Dam maintenance is expensive. Though warned in 2005 that the spillway was potentially dangerous, MWD and the other State Water Contractors fought against the maintenance and upgrades needed to keep downriver residents safe.   Now let’s consider MWD’s next big money item, the proposed Delta Tunnels.   That project [...]

Oppose Assembly Bill 313

By Tim Stroshane, Policy Analyst, Restore the Delta   Claiming that California’s “water management at the state level is broken,” Assembly member Adam C. Gray (D-Merced) plugged introduction of his Assembly Bill 313 via Maven’s Notebook on February 6, 2017.   In his cliché-ridden press release, Mr. Gray argues that “anyone who has tried to work with the state on water knows that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, conflicts of interest are the norm, and state agencies act as their own prosecution, judge and jury. The net effect,” he contends, “is an ineffective bureaucratic maze which leaves us unable to capitalize on vital opportunities and prioritizes special interests working behind the scenes over good [...]

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