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Restore the Delta Responds to Peripheral Tunnels Update

Restore the Delta Responds to Peripheral Tunnels Update

Restore the Delta responded to today’s statements by Brown Administration officials at a legislative informational hearing regarding the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), the administration’s peripheral tunnels plan.

Delta exports vs. Regional self-sufficiency: “DWR head Mark Cowin has it wrong.  If we invest in regional water projects throughout the state, as we reduce water taken from the Delta, Southern California will gain greater self-sufficiency – which will keep them safer from catastrophic events.”

“The BDCP would use up all money available for investments in wise water management strategies, and thus interfere with moving California forward to more sustainable water resource practices.”

Who will pay, who will benefit? “The continued refusal to perform a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis means the water ratepayers are being set up to pay for Westlands’ Water District’s unsustainable schemes.”

“DWR Director Mark Cowin told the committees that a $14 billion investment that doesn’t create new water is a ‘hard argument to make to your neighbor.’ We agree, especially since two-thirds of the water would go to the mega-growers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.”

New pumps don’t solve reverse flows:  “New pumps will not eliminate reverse flows in the South Delta.  At best reverse flows could be reduced.  The potential exists, but depends on establishing and enforcing standards regarding reverse flows and positive outflow at Jersey Point on the San Joaquin River,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parilla, executive director of Restore the Delta.  “To date, enforceable standards have not been put into place.”

Habitat won’t restore Delta without reducing water exports: “Prior attempts to create habitat in the Delta have been unsuccessful because plants and animals respond in unpredictable ways to habitat that humans try to engineer.  Habitat creation is a huge, costly experiment that gives no assurance of actually restoring the Delta ecosystem.  About half the projects created under CalFed have not been successful due to lack of fresh water flows. No ecosystem restoration strategy can compensate for the loss of half to two-thirds of the flows of fresh water through the Delta.  Fish need water.  Taking more water out of the system cannot possibly help them.”

Fish screens: “Why are there noimproved fish screens in the South Delta, which have been promised for decades, as that is where 25% of water would be exported? The Brown Administration proposes to install experimental fish screens in the North Delta, and despite their utter failure in the South Delta, we are supposed to be confident these new, as-yet-undesigned North Delta screens will miraculously work.”

“Restore the Delta agrees with U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui, who told the committees that  ‘Under the BDCP, the water contractors hold all the cards.’  Representative Matsui has it right; the joint powers authority made up of Delta water exporters is alarming.”

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  • rebecca
    May 8, 2013, 6:50 am

    I am just learning of this horrendous project. I have seen an interactive map of where the pumping stations are going to be and the borrow/disposal areas. My question is where are the high power lines going to be? How will this affect the birds in the national refuge which much of this projects borders. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that birds don’t stay within the confines of the refuge. How deep will the tunnels be? What affect would it have on the river as it currently stands? How much lower will the river become? Will people still be able to boat in the delta? The Borrow/disposal areas, will these be flooded or will they just be dirt piles with toxic waste on them? Will their be any restitution for homeowners bordering the sites who will have their views forever changed. How tall wil the outlet control structure be? Is there a class action suit as of yet?