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Restore the Delta Files Protest Over State Water Board’s Changes to Delta Outflows

For Immediate Release: 7/23/15
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, (209) 479-2053, [email protected], @RestoretheDelta
Tim Stroshane, Policy Analyst, Restore the Delta (510) 847-7556 [email protected]

Restore the Delta Files Protest Over State Water Board’s Changes to Delta Outflows
Board is picking winners and losers in a drought

Sacramento – Restore the Delta has filed a protest and request for consideration with the State Water Resources Control Board over its prior “Temporary Urgent Change Petitions” regarding water exports, Delta outflows, and water quality standards for the SF Bay-Delta estuary during the drought.
In its protest, RTD bases its request in three key areas: the existing Temporary Urgency Change Petition does not serve the public interest, is contrary to law, and is resulting in an adverse environmental impact on the Bay-Delta estuary.
Among the claims in the letter:

  • The SWRCB has failed to implement the reduced Delta reliance policy mandated by the Legislature in the 2009 Delta Reform Act which intended to increase water importers’ reliance on local and regional supplies, drought-resistant supplies like water recycling, etc.
  • The CVP & SWP treated their supplies in 2013 and 2014 as though a long-term drought would not occur, exporting from the Delta for today, never mind future years’ supplies.
  • The SWRCB has yet to analyze and balance the value of water exports with the value of water to fisheries to Delta communities.

Read the letter here: https://www.restorethedelta.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/RTD-pet_protest-20150721.pdf
“We’ve asked the State Water Resources Control Board to do a post-mortem on how management of the state and federal projects and Board actions since the start of the drought contributed to the present depleted water supplies,” said Restore the Delta policy analyst, Tim Stroshane. “As a consequence of their actions—not just the dry conditions—state and federal water officials have placed the entire water system at risk of failure next year if this winter isn’t wet enough, including the Delta exports they’ve favored since 2012.”
“The Water Board's claim to have balanced the needs for exported water against available supplies has been overstated within the TUCP,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta. "The board decided that the needs of water exporters are of a higher value than the health of the estuary and the people and fish who depend on it staying healthy.  People in the Delta and in coastal communities are dependent on freshwater flows to protect fisheries, farms, and drinking water supplies. Delta fisheries are on the verge of extinction.  If water quality is so bad that we lose the fisheries that means Delta water quality is unfit for our communities as well."
Restore the Delta has been at center recently of the fight to protect the Delta on three fronts: a defense against Governor Brown's effort to build the Delta tunnels; Federal legislation that would allow for the over pumping of the Delta; and regulatory suspension of water quality and quantity standards for the Delta, contributing to the decimation of fisheries and protection of public trust resources.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Deon E Goodgain
    July 24, 2015, 3:22 am

    OilTankers to water Tankers Help clean up dead Zone’s

  • Michael Haney
    July 25, 2015, 9:12 am

    Gov. Brown main agenda to build the tunnels is to satisfy the greedy almond growers. I live in Winters Ca. and these same growers are sucking our aquifers dry causing many of our homeowners to dig new wells costing many thousands of dollars and great hardship. Many of these mega growers are backed by foreign money and their product is shipped out of this country. These growers have no regard for the irreparable harm they creating only caring about lining their own pockets.

  • July 26, 2015, 8:52 pm

    The failure of agencies to hold enough water in the early dry years to provide flow for ecosystems and senior water right users is allowing Sacramento Valley Seniors to appeal to the public for their support in turning to a declining aquifer system to supplement normal 2015 river supplies. The seniors have received Prop 50 funding to develop “groundwater production elements” (large wells that pump directly into irrigation canals for wide distribution) to be used in de facto groundwater substitution water transfers. USBR will allow Sacramento Valley diversions later in the year than rice growers need it. So the senior districts are pumping groundwater (developing a history of use for future adjudication proceedings) to save Aug-Oct. water released “for fish” that can coincidentally be sold SOD to juniors. This management scheme will dewater the Sacramento Valley surface flows over time leaving the Delta and the entire state dessicated for generations.