Newsletter

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 [...]

Delta Flows: What Exactly is California DWR Selling Bonds For?

by Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director, Restore the Delta October 12, 2016 UPDATE at 12:00 today: DWR will delay their response to our PRA request. Mr. Stroshane, Your California Public Records Act request (attached) sent to Director Mark Cowin has been forwarded to me for review and response. I’m replying to your request pursuant to the California Public Records Act, Government Code sections 6250 et seq. The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has determined it maintains records responsive to your request. The records you request are maintained in separate file locations at DWR. We anticipate these records may be voluminous and will require a significant amount of time to locate, assemble and review. DWR is presently collecting and reviewing these [...]

Delta People Should Shut Up, Again

by Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla and Tim Stroshane Restore the Delta   Remember back in May of 2015 when Jerry Brown suggested critics of his Delta Tunnels plan should “shut up?”   Well, now Californians for Water Security are also asking SF Bay-Delta activists to please shut up. That’s not surprising coming from an astroturf lobbying campaign, launched with the support of the Paramount Farming/The Wonderful Company (Resnick). See the email traffic on group’s founding, released under the California Public Records Act.   What caused this new round of scolding by backers of the Delta Tunnels? Two things.   Most recently, they were upset about the news we released on a state-funded, economic analysis that found the Delta Tunnels are not feasible [...]

Should State Agencies Be Lobbying for the Delta Tunnels?

A recent email forwarded from one of our supporters seemed innocuous enough. The subject line read: “Op-Ed: WaterFix provides solution to California's water woes.” These kind of emails are shared every day by people who follow California water policy. What was strange about this email was the sender, a government agency. From: CALIFORNIA NATURAL RESOURCES AGENCY The email was a heads up regarding an op-ed from Mike Mielke with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group arguing in favor of the Delta Tunnels (CA WaterFix). Pretty standard stuff. What seemed odd is when the email clearly wanders into grassroots advocacy: “Share Mike’s op-ed and these stats to make sure people know how crucial WaterFix is to securing clean water for 25 million [...]

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