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Action Alert: We need your public comment at the Water Board’s 5/20 Workshop!

Dear Restore the Delta friends,

We need your attendance and public comment at a public workshop held by the State Water Resources Control Board on Wednesday.  The Board wants to use the workshop to receive public input regarding its drought related activities in the Bay Delta watershed.
 
To date, the Board has been letting its executive director, Tom Howard, issue “temporary urgency change petition” (“TUCP”) decisions allowing state and federal water projects to get out from under established water quality protections for the Delta in order to smooth over the projects’ mismanagement of their water supplies.
 
While some of the TUCP order’s provisions are intended to protect endangered runs of Chinook salmon upstream, they have reduced and will reduce further flow and water quality in the Delta this summer. Delta smelt may not survive in the wild from this summer’s warm temperatures and its shrunken open water habitat.
 
Board members have gone along with Mr. Howard’s decisions so far this year and last. It appears this workshop is to provide Board members and staff (including Mr. Howard) with an opportunity to learn more about the effects of the Board’s TUCP orders.
 
Right now our Delta is already in an unhealthy state due to the drought and the continual relaxation of Delta flow and water quality standards. The Board’s TUCP orders have allowed water exports to continue going to growers in the south and west Central Valley, while very little water has gone to protect our public trust resource, the Delta. Exports for health and safety needs of cities and counties served by the state and federal projects have also been allowed, but have not been tracked to ensure the water gets where it is needed.
 
What is galling about the TUCP orders is that they weaken existing flow and water quality standards that were already known to fail at protecting endangered fish and wildlife in the Delta. Their further weakening  contributes to the continuing collapse of the Delta and our regional fisheries and economy, as well as encourage invasive species to thrive in bad Delta water conditions (like the water hyacinth and later in the summer, toxic blue-green algae blooms).
 
Extinction is forever.
 
Last year Board staff recognized that because they allowed a similar petition to change flow standards  to go through, 95% of winter run salmon were killed – but growers in the west and south San Joaquin valley are pushing and attacking Board staff to allow more water to be pumped, not taking into account the hugely adverse impact on Delta communities.
 
So far the voices of San Joaquin Valley growers have dominated past Board workshops. We have not had enough people to represent the Delta’s story to the Board.
 
Can you commit to joining us on May 20, Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. in Sacramento? Joe Serna, Jr. – Cal/EPA Headquarters Building Coastal Hearing Room 1001 I Street, Second Floor Sacramento, CA
 
We need you to sign up (using a blue card, which the Board makes available at the back of the meeting hall) and to make a 2 minute public comment introducing yourself, explaining how the TUCP or drought will/has negatively impact you  and explaining how increased pumping (that this petition will enable) will threaten our Delta communities, economies, and ecosystem.
 
The building is fully disabled accessible, with elevators and accessible seating in the hearing room.
 
We will be there with snacks and any help you may need to make this process as easy and accessible as possible for you. If you like, we can be available to read through your prepared public comment (feel free to e-mail or call us at 209-475-9550 for any guidance), thank you.

To see our suggested talking points on the “TUCP,” click here.

If you absolutely cannot attend the meeting, you could submit a public comment via post or e-mail to the board.

You should address correspondence to:

Jeanine Townsend, Clerk of the Board
State Water Resources Control Board
P.O. Box 2000
Sacramento, CA 95812-2000

Email can be sent to Jeanine Townsend at:

[email protected]

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • May 15, 2015, 1:27 am

    Jeanine, I am very concerned about further human interference with the Delta ecosystem. I am 67 yrs old and have frequently had many recreational visits to the Delta since 1962 fishing, water skiing, swimming and just plain relaxing. I have also see many changes since then. The most important factor to all life on planet Earth is dependent upon healthy ecosystems that have evolved over thousands of years. Human populations depend on those systems that provide life to us, be it food or oxygen and our human populations also can affect the functioning of ecosystems. As human populations increase so does our demand on ecosystems and there can come a tipping point when we degrade the functioning of a system. Water is a finite resource we only have so much. As we have all been taught robbing Peter to pay Paul get you nowhere as you are still in debt. And giving away more water than we have gets us a toxic system that will fail down the road. Agriculture $$ and political pressure to continue down the road supplying water to So. Cal people to produce food that is shipped out of the country to benefit a few already wealthy individuals at the cost of depleting a large Ecosystem that benefits thousands of people is not right. Someone has to have the strenght to stand up and just say no. We can not give everyone all they want. I just drove down 1-5 south and see new orchards being planted now even with water shortages, so what is that about. Does the So. Cal agriculture care about any one but themselves. I see signs, no water no food. Aren’t salmon food also. And what future do they have? And how about the thousands of people that enjoy boating / fishing and de-stressing by spending a wonderful day on the water in the Dealta and the health benefits of that. Where do we fit in?? Simple soultion: Leave the water and the Delta alone its barely surviving now. Any decisions made that detract from keeping water in the Delta are decisions that are the problem not the solution. Just like we teach our kids, Just say no to drugs, well just say no to water grabs.

  • Teresa Hernandez
    May 15, 2015, 2:16 am

    Shut the pumps down. The Delta is going to have a very rough year. They hyacinth and grasses did not freeze back this year. They will grow rampantly with no water flow and increased temperatures. With the temporary barriers and reduced flow the Delta is going to suffocate. It does not take a scientist to see this. Having lived here for over 45 years and witnessing the effects of drought and shipping water. We need to slow the pumping and wait until more prosperous water years before shipping water via new canals.

  • John Parker
    May 15, 2015, 4:15 am

    I will try to come

  • Robert Jereski
    May 15, 2015, 4:24 pm

    I oppose the TUCP orders in as much as they weaken existing flow and water quality standards already known to fail to protect endangered fish and wildlife in the Delta. This would exacerbate the collapse of the Delta and our regional fisheries and economy, as well as encourage invasive species to thrive in bad Delta water conditions (like the water hyacinth and later in the summer, toxic blue-green algae blooms).

    It must be reversed and protections for the Delta strengthened.

    Less water should be pumped and account must be taken of terrible impacts of water pumping on Delta communities.

  • Linda Morse-Robertson
    May 16, 2015, 1:24 am

    Having lived in the California Delta a major portion of my adult life, I am absolutely appalled at the decimation to date by the admitted “over-pumping” of the Delta.

    Yet, now, twin tunnels to deliver water that IS NOT THERE! Nor cannot be guaranteed, either. DWR has MISMANAGED their deliveries, has admitted more water has been taken than is legally allowable and they want us to believe they can or will do a better job with tunnels.

    Almond trees have been planted with FULL knowledge that there were only supposed to be ROW CROPS during EXCESSIVE RAIN WATER years, yet we who live in the Delta are supposed to roll over and allow what little water is left to be given to Metropolitan Water District who has fostered the absurd notion that our SENIOR water rights should be ignored.

    This next election? ALL who have voted for this debacle will be VOTED OUT!

  • kevin mcnamara
    May 16, 2015, 7:07 pm

    The CA Delta is already in a precarious state with the drought. Removing more water from the Delta is dangerous to wildlife, farmers, and residents. Please consider maintaining the health of the Delta before making decisions regarding moving water from north to south.
    Truly,
    Kevin McNamara
    Rio Vista, CA 94571

  • frances matteucci
    May 16, 2015, 9:19 pm

    i am from farm background, son-in-law in delta farming near Clarksburg, Ca.-on Sacramento River and delta.. i have also followed all the arguments concerning the tunnels . Our local League of women voters ,of which i am a member studies many issues, and we do a thorough study on water–i oppose tunnels. The tunnels are a huge mistake in so many ways such as ; expense, federal EPA , FISH AND WILDLIFE, RUINATION OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ESTUARY, SALINE CREEPING INTO THE DELTA, AND ETC, ETC. What’s with the Gov. telling us to shut up??; taxpayers money paid for the 1 million hours put into the proposed project. we should have had a vote on just to study if the 1 million hours should be funded. We voted for the BDCP which became a joke as it pushed the tunnels.
    Besides,there is no water to put into the tunnels without catastrophic results.

  • Donald Maher
    May 19, 2015, 6:55 pm

    The CA Delta is in a very precarious state with the drought, and removing more water from the Delta is dangerous to the wildlife, farmers , and residents. Please consider maintaining a healthy Delta over the excessive water demands of the agricultural businesses. Please don’t forget the effects of Owens Lake and Walker Lake due to such water grabs. Please don’t repeat the same misguided mistakes.