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California Water News, Editorial & Blogging Highlights

In case you missed it!

Editorial: Don’t give Southern California control of Delta water – San Jose Mercury News & East Bay Times Editorial Boards
“The Associated Press reports that the governor is considering removing control of design, construction and operation of any Delta project from the state Department of Water Resources and giving it to the water agencies that pay for it. This means any Delta water conveyance project would be largely driven by Southern California’s Metropolitan Water District.”
Earthquake Resilience of Southern California’s Water Distribution Systems -Maven’s Notebook
“When we look at all these different aqueducts, I would argue that the most vulnerable is the California Water Project for the reasons I’ve explained; I should put in context that the San Andreas Fault earthquake has a 150 year return period, that’s pretty frequent in the earthquake world.  The earthquakes up in the Delta are much less frequent.  It could easily not happen in all of our lifetimes or our children’s lifetimes or our grandchildren’s lifetimes.  Or it could happen tomorrow, that’s the way risk works.  It’s a low probability event, it’s a lower probability than the San Andreas for sure, but it’s going to happen.  It’s just a question of how long.” – Dr. Jonathan P. Stewart, Professor and Chair of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at UCLA
California’s Proposed Budget Reveals Water, Climate Priorities – Water Deeply
“Mention of the Delta tunnels, which Brown has fervently promoted for years, was conspicuously absent from the budget, even though the state quietly unveiled interest in building a single-tube version of the project, called California WaterFix, on Friday, January 12.
“Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of the group Restore the Delta, feels the omission is deceptive and the budget itself not entirely representative of the Brown administration’s priorities.
“‘The fact that there’s no money for California WaterFix in the budget doesn’t mean that ratepayers and taxpayers in California aren’t being affected by this,’ she said.
“The state auditor reported in October that the Department of Water Resources was guarding a pool of $286 million that it planned to use, in part, to fund development of the WaterFix project.
“‘I’m frustrated because I’m not seeing legislative oversight coming out of this audit,” said Barrigan-Parrilla. “The auditor knows that money is there. Why isn’t it accounted for in the budget?’” –
Alastair Bland 
One Tunnel Confusion: Whether its downsizing or phasing, one tunnel won't fix the WaterFix – Valley Economy Blog 
“I have been told two reasons why one tunnel could be as harmful to fish as two tunnels even if it diverts less water from the Sacramento River.  First, the smaller tunnel capacity would mainly reduce exports during high-flow periods when diversions are least damaging to the environment.  Second, when lower amounts are diverted during lower-flow periods, fewer intakes would cause more concentrated, higher-velocity diversion rather than being spread over 3 intakes and 5-6 miles of river.  So the main effect of one tunnel is to cut in half the capacity to divert water during high-flows, which has been touted as the main benefit of the tunnels.” – Dr. Jeff Michael, Executive Director of the Center for Business and Policy Research at the University of the Pacific 
How Would You Spend $10 Billion to Improve Water Supply Reliability in California? – Natural Resources Defense Council Blog 
“This fact sheet highlights a wide variety of projects proposed by California water providers. Unlike WaterFix, these projects allow us to increase water supply reliability, reduce diversions from the Bay-Delta, create thousands of well-paid jobs in local communities, and improve regional water security in the face of climate change and threats of natural disasters.” –NRDC Senior Attorneys (Water Program), Kate Poole & Doug Obegi
How Trump’s pumping plan is dividing California over water – again – The Sacramento Bee
“The government ‘wants to suck our lifeblood dry,’ said Noah Oppenheim, leader of a group representing commercial fishermen. An ally hoisted a sign that said, ‘Don’t pump the Delta to extinction.’ Dania Rose Colegrove, a Hoopa Valley Tribe member, said the Trump proposal would suck more water from the Trinity River, a place her tribe considers sacred, to keep wealthy farmers’ crops growing hundreds of miles south.” –Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow



ICYMI: January 29, 2018
Nora Kovaleski, 408-806-6470, [email protected]
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, 209-479-2053, [email protected]

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  • Edward J Garrison
    February 1, 2018, 3:00 pm

    How much are the Do Cal water companies paying Jerry Brown to push this boondoggle?