Restore the Delta

New MWD general manager praised as a “visionary and inclusive leader”

For Immediate Release: June 1, 2021 Contact:Caty Wagner, Sierra Club, 203-988-3584Conner Everts, Southern California Watershed Alliance, 310-804-6615 Los Angeles – Western Tribes, water, climate, and social justice groups are praising the Southern California Metropolitan Water District (MWD) Board of Directors’ choice of Mr. Adel Hagekhalil to be the next general manager of the state’s largest and most powerful water district. In a letter to the board, the coalition states:“This is the right choice during this time to heal the organization and prepare our region in the face of persistent drought and changing climate. We look forward to partnering with you and the new GM on creating a healthy, safe and collaborative work environment at MWD.”More groups are joining the coalition each day.Conner Everts, Southern California Watershed [...]

Delta Flows: Met’s Kightlinger signing off, but his talking points linger

What a week, and it’s just started.We awoke Monday to the pleasurable sounds of the general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) Jeffrey Kightlinger’s swan song interview with the Water Education Foundation. After 15 years in charge of an arrogant boys club with many issues, Kightlinger is stepping down. Takeaway? We outlasted him! On the Delta Tunnel(s) issue, Kightlinger is asked:The proposed Delta Tunnel is years away from being complete, assuming all goes according to plan. Will California ever solve the conundrum of protecting the Delta while ensuring reliable water supplies through the State Water Project? KIGHTLINGER: The progress is very slow, there is no denying that, and it’s frustrating. But on the other hand, I do think there [...]

Send us your video and be included in Our Living Delta: A Benefit for Restore the Delta!

Our annual fundraiser looks a little different this year, but we want to include our members in the live show.We’re asking for 30-second videos from you answering the following questions:  Why do you follow Restore the Delta?What the Delta mean to you?What do you want for the Delta’s future? Not a tech expert? No problem! Just shoot the video on your smartphone and email it to [email protected] will include 10 of the submitted videos in our live show on June 4th at 6:00. We want to honor the people that have supported us over the years, while making sure that everyone is safe.  The deadline to submit your video is Friday May 21, 2021! If you have any questions, please email Mariah [...]

Delta Flows: Gov. Newsom Expands Drought Proclamation

– Tim Stroshane and Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla On May 10, 2021, Governor Newsom expanded his drought emergency declaration to 39 additional counties, now 41 in all. His latest declaration tears pages from the playbook Governor Brown used in 2013 and 2014. There will be at least one, and perhaps more, salinity barriers in the Delta to be installed by the California Department of Water Resources. This will disrupt waterways, create stagnant pools, and with established algae concentrations, more and probably larger harmful algal blooms (HABs) throughout the summer and fall. HABs pose dangers to public health through water contact to people and dogs, but also from emission of airborne contaminants. There is as of yet no timeline for the Delta salinity barriers. Newsom’s emergency declaration suspends [...]

ICYMI 5/10/21 Drought, Water Rights, VAs, SJ River Basin Plan

COLUMNS AND OPINIONSNo, California isn’t ‘flushing water to the ocean,’ despite what Fresno politicians say – Fresno Bee 5/7/21I’m guessing that’s not news to most folks. What they may not understand about the Delta — and certainly won’t be told by Fresno-area politicians bent on keeping the narrative simple — is the vital role it serves not just for fish and the environment, but entire fishing industries. In addition to providing water for Bay Area residents and farmers in five counties.Those same politicians certainly won’t tell you the Delta, thanks to decades of diversions, over-pumping and slow poisoning, is on the brink of ecological collapse. Because that doesn’t fit their narrative, either. “State must reform water rights system” – Letter to the Editor, [...]

Restore the Delta Helps Shape the Debate

One of the essential roles Restore the Delta plays is to constantly counter the lies and media stunts used by Big Ag to hoard water needed by all Californians and our environment.Here’s a perfect example from last week…No, California isn’t ‘flushing water to the ocean,’ despite what Fresno politicians say – Fresno Bee 5/7/21…For an alternative viewpoint, I phoned Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director and co-founder of Restore the Delta, and asked how she reacts each time she hears about all the water California “flushes” out to sea. “Years ago I would’ve gotten angry,” Barrigan-Parrilla said. “Now I just get sad that there are people leading us who couldn’t stay awake during eighth-grade geography.” The Delta is our state’s largest and most productive [...]

ICYMI 5/7/21: Unsafe Drinking Water, Drought or New Normal?

Public Health Crisis Looms as California Identifies 600 Communities at Risk of Water-System Failures– The Revelator 5/5/21More than 300 communities have chronically unsafe drinking water containing contaminants that can come with serious health consequences, including cancer. The areas hardest hit are mostly small, agricultural communities in the San Joaquin and Salinas valleys, which are predominantly Latino and are often also places classified by the state as “disadvantaged.” Unsafe water in these communities adds to a list of health and economic burdens made worse by the ongoing pandemic…But just how much cash is needed to address the problem?The answer, we now know, is about $10 billion, according to a new “needs assessment” from state agencies and the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation that [...]

Restore the Delta – Action Alert 5/5/21

We have two requests this week.1) SB222 and SB223 – Prevent Water ShutoffsCall Senator Susan Eggman today at 916-651-4005 and urge her to support SB222 and SB223. 500,000 Californians are facing water shutoffs coming out of the pandemic and ratepayers have $1 billion of water debt presently. These bills would help low-income families pay their bills and keep their water on. Senator Eggman is a champion of mental health services; being able to pay bills eliminates a great deal of mental stress on struggling families and goes hand-in-hand with physical health during a pandemic. 2) Bay-Delta Plan Delays Must EndDespite efforts by environmental partners, Northern California Tribes, and our own climate water advocates, the State Water Resources Control Board is not [...]

ICYMI 5/2/21: Dying Delta, Gleick on Drought, Mormon Slough, Our Living Delta

Op-Ed: Newsom promises while the delta dies – Los Angeles Times 4/29/21The West Coast’s most important estuary is dying, and Gov. Gavin Newsom has hastened its demise.As he took office two years ago, Newsom promised to generate voluntary agreements among farmers, environmentalists and government officials on the rules for allocating water that flows through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. One year ago, in a CalMatters op-ed, he said again that agreements were the way forward to “protect, restore, and enhance … the Delta.”Not only have no voluntary agreements emerged, but conditions in the delta have grown so dire that in March the National Marine Fisheries Service estimated that high water temperatures could kill 90% of endangered winter-run Chinook salmon in the Sacramento River this year. From [...]

ICYMI 4/29/21: Biden, Newsom, and Climate Resilience

Editorial: Biden offers California a clear, clean water strategy (Mercury News 4/27/21)California’s continuing failure to adopt a comprehensive water strategy is exacerbating its looming drought crisis.For nearly two decades, the state has put its focus on dam projects and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta tunnel fiasco. The primary aim is creating new ways of diverting additional water to Central Valley farmers at the expense of the fragile, over-tapped Delta, which supplies about one-third of the Bay Area’s fresh water supply.There’s a better approach.President Biden’s infrastructure plan calls for $50 billion to ease the West’s drought crisis by heavily investing in water efficiency and recycling programs. Gov. Gavin Newsom should jump at the opportunity to put the state on a long-term path [...]