Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla

Delta Flows: A time for remembrance

Our friends and neighbors in the North Delta have had an extended season of personal loss with the passing of several community members over the last six months. We offer our sincerest condolences to the Hemly Family, the Go-Arnold Family, and the McClain Family. We noted in a prior post that Cathy Hemly passed away this spring. In July, Cathy and Doug’s son, Matthew passed away too soon due to an accident. Our hearts are with his wife Sarah Hemly and their children, and the entire Hemly family. We simply do not have words to express how this type of sorrow envelops a family. We simply extend all our love to the Hemly family and their friends in the community [...]

Delta Flows: Working for a healed future, despite a broken past

By: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla RECAP: Where The Future Flows – Next Generation Visioning On October 13th and 14th, Restore the Delta held its two-day symposium featuring next generation Delta leaders. Panels addressed: Climate Change Harmful Algal Blooms Sustainable Agriculture  Delta Environmental Justice Needs Tribal and Historical Inclusion Salinity, Water Quality, and Fisheries Delta Recreation and Public Access We cannot recommend strongly enough, why all our supporters should listen to these sessions in their leisure, like a podcast. Video Links – Day One and Day Two.Not only were these panels filled with researched, professional and accurate commentary, but the participants revealed what they want to see for the future of the estuary and within their Delta communities. We need to acknowledge that the Delta’s youth represent those [...]

Delta Flows: California surface waters are in peril, and all we got is this lousy tunnel.

By: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla Tunnel Trauma: Despite knowing for some time that the Delta Conveyance Project (DCP) was advancing, when the Department of Water Resources (DWR) dropped the environmental impact report (EIR) for the project at the end of July, we, at Restore the Delta, felt like we were suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. The remnants of CalFed, the Chunnel, BDCP, CA WaterFix, and now the DCP – it is too much. There are so many other issues that need attention to restore the health of the Bay-Delta estuary and California’s rivers, including but not limited to harmful algal bloom research and mitigation, fishery health, habitat restoration, flood control, drought management, preparing for climate change impacts, managing invasive species, heat islands, [...]

Delta Flows: Failed Drought Planning for the Delta 

By: Barbara Barrigan-ParrillaDrought Barriers, an evil necessity?Yesterday, Restore the Delta sent the following scoping comment letter to the Army Corps of Engineers in response to a “Dredge and Fill (404) Application from California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to construct North Delta Drought Salinity Barriers Project.” DWR proposes in its application to add two more temporary rock fill barriers along Steamboat and Miner sloughs in the North Delta intending to prevent intrusion of high-salinity tidal waters into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta should critical drought conditions persist into 2023 and beyond. Responding to planning for the installation of salinity barriers as the preferred method to manage drought in the Delta has always been difficult for Restore the Delta. On the one hand, as [...]

Delta Flows 4/6/22: A Bittersweet Time at Restore the Delta

Restore the Delta staff and interns have begun public work again, in-person following the pandemic, with a bright and hopeful focus on problem solving and community building activities.Meanwhile, a new, and deeply problematic, Temporary Urgency Change Petition has been conditionally approved to suspend Delta water quality standards the next 90 days. In addition, the Department of Water Resources has released a Voluntary Agreement Framework for the Sacramento River watershed that is so deeply disappointing for the future of the Delta and California rivers that we simultaneously feel like we are publicly mourning.First, We Focus on the PositiveOur new team of Climate Water Advocates, funded by the James Irvine Foundation, the Mosaic Momentum Foundation, and Environment Now, are nearing completion of 18 [...]

Delta Flows 2/13/22: Voluntary Agreements Undermining Climate/Water planning in the Delta

by Barbara Barrigan-ParrillaIn December, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) announced that the Voluntary Agreement (VA) process had ended for the San Joaquin River watershed; that rule making and implementation planning would begin for the Bay-Delta Plan (Phase 1) for the San Joaquin River watershed (with physical implementation in 2023); and that the process for the creation of the Bay-Delta Plan (Phase 2) for the Sacramento River watershed would commence, while the VA process would continue for the Sacramento River watershed. On top of the delays in restoring water quality and quantity for the Delta caused by never-ending VAs, court cases remain pending for curtailment orders during the last drought; court cases continue in response to last year’s Temporary [...]

Delta Flows 11/8/21: Pondering Mysteries in California Water Management

Mysterious Term Sheet A recent letter from Friant Water Authority to Secretary Crowfoot and Secretary Blumenfeld, responding to the State’s request to provide “red flag” comments on the October 18, 2021 Draft Memorandum of Understanding Advancing a Term Sheet for the Voluntary Agreements to Update and Implement the Bay Delta Water Quality Control Plan, and Other Related Actions (Term Sheet) and related appendices by October 29, contains mystery. Friant’s letter raises multiple concerns about costs, water supply, conflict with the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, and the need for federal legislation to force Central Valley Project contractors to pay their fair share. It most notably states that with respect to the litigation over the 2019 Trump Biological Opinions and negotiations over interim operations “dismissing [...]

Delta Flows: The Delta Conveyance Project, From Bad to Worse

We didn’t think it could be possible – that the change from twin tunnels to a single tunnel could net a Delta Conveyance Project that is even worse for the Delta than California WaterFix.  But alas, the Newsom Administration’s rogue agency, the Department of Water Resources, has managed to take a bad idea and make it even worse. Before we share details of a recent coalition letter explicating how the Delta Conveyance Project fails in the present, let’s linger for a moment on why DWR is a rogue department in California government.While other boards, agencies, commissions, and government entities, in an attempt to improve equity in outreach are expanding who they bring to the table to deal with Delta planning issues [...]

Delta Flows: DWR’s inability to take one solid action to protect the Delta

By: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla The Department of Water Resources continues to fail in its management of the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary. From its creation of a long-term water export operations plan based on the inaccurate fake corrupted Trump biological opinions written by former Westlands’ lobbyists, (now being rewritten by Federal agencies), to the voluntary agreements that will short the Delta of even more freshwater flows, to a new version of the Delta tunnel that will list major impacts as outside the project footprint for expediency, DWR consistently fails to put Delta health or communities first. Case in point: DWR is pursuing an effort to leave the saltwater barrier in place this fall.  Even though the current permit requires complete removal of the [...]

Delta Flows: Monitoring for the Bay-Delta Estuary on Multiple Fronts

Before we continue with the blog below, we want to thank our contributors who have helped us keep this vitally important work for the estuary going. This weekend is the 15th anniversary and start of the 16th year of work by Restore the Delta! If you have been busy this summer and unable to contribute to Our Living Delta, it’s not too late. Click her to make a contribution.  As you read this blog, you will see that we are busier than ever working to protect the estuary that we all love.CEQA Reform Bill UpdateA number of our followers were in touch with us quickly after our last alert asking for a bill number for the CEQA Reform Bill in the California legislature and [...]