This is a month for scoping.
Last week the Bureau of Reclamation did scoping meetings in three Central Valley regions for the San Luis Delta Mendota Water Authority’s long term water transfer from Northern California to the Westside.
Long-time observers of Central Valley water grabs, note that conducting this EIS/EIR and establishing such a long term transfer of exports out of the Delta watershed in advance without the environmental reviews regarding the water needed for the ecological health of the Delta is an end run around the process.
In addition, salt discharge and pounds of selenium in violation of Clean Water Act standards are being discharged by the Westside into the San Joaquin River and Delta. Providing more water to irrigate these toxic soils sending pollution to the San Joaquin and Delta is the ultimate double whammy—more exports AND more pollution.
There has also been inadequate analysis of the impact of these transfers on groundwater, particularly in the Sacramento Valley.
Long-time observers note that the Central Valley Project has broken a whole string of diversion promises. Trinity County was promised 50,000 acre feet. The Hoopa and Yurok tribes were promised their fishing would not be damaged. The American River was promised recreation and watershed protections. The San Joaquin River and South Delta were promised improved water quality from New Melones and restoration of a San Joaquin River damaged by years of diversions.
What promises are the Bureau and its CVP going to be breaking next?