For Immediate Release: January 21, 2016
Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, 209-479-2053 [email protected]
STATE OF THE STATE: Restore the Delta Reaction
(Sacramento) In his State of the State address today, Governor Jerry Brown said: “The challenge is to solve today’s problem without making those of tomorrow even worse.”
On water issues he said:
“There is no magic bullet, but a series of actions must be taken. We have to recharge our aquifers, manage the groundwater, recycle, capture stormwater, build storage and reliable conveyance, improve efficiency everywhere, invest in new technologies – including desalination – and all the while recognize that there are some limits…Pitting fish against farmer missed the point and grossly distorts reality. Every one of us and every creature that dwells here form a complex system that must be understood and respected.”
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta responded:
“We are thrilled to hear Governor Brown’s commitment to protecting ecological systems. And we are glad he has committed to solving today's problems without making them worse.
“Unfortunately, Governor Brown insists on moving forward with the Delta tunnels project despite serious environmental concerns raised by numerous organizations including the Environmental Protection Agency which found the plan ‘incomplete’ with required analysis ‘not yet done.’
“The tunnels will destroy the sole source of drinking water for one million Delta residents, the physical environment and the state's most magnificent fisheries and breathtaking habitat for birds on the Pacific flyway, not to mention the agricultural and related economies for an additional three million Delta area residents.
“The Delta tunnels will cost $17 billion before cost overruns and interest, and will not make any new water for California. Perhaps the Governor should take his own advice and drop his bad Delta Tunnels plan.”
In case you missed it, Jonas Minton from the Planning and Conservation League has a great op-ed in The Sacramento Bee, "Will state water resources board protect the Delta?"
Excerpt: "It is not just fish in danger. The outdated water quality standards do not recognize the risk of pathogens such as microcystis, commonly known as blue green algae, which reproduce in stagnant water. With half or more of the freshwater being diverted from the Delta, the spread of this organism is a growing health concern.
Federal law requires the board to update Delta standards every three years, yet the board has not done so for more than 20 years. It has only granted exemptions from the already inadequate standards, allowing more water to be diverted.
Incredibly, the board recently announced that even though it won’t update the standards until 2018 at the earliest, it will consider approving Gov. Jerry Brown’s massive tunnel project that could divert even more fresh water from the Delta. The permitting process for the Delta tunnels is to start Jan. 28. After approving new standards, it plans to place additional conditions on the amount of water the tunnels could divert."