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Meeting attracts southern perspective

Meeting attracts southern perspective Speaker says Delta board should spread message about needs to L.A.   By Alex BreitlerRecord Staff Writer STOCKTON – The guy hired to run the sound system got the last word at a meeting Tuesday about the fate of the Delta and water exports to the south. “I’m from Southern California, and this is the first time I’ve heard about any of this, really,” John Stringfield told members of the new Delta Stewardship Council. “You should probably spread the word a little bit more in Southern California so we know what your needs are. … I’m just saying. …” An audience full of Delta defenders applauded. They know exactly what the ramifications are as the council [...]

Historic Recommendations Presented to the Delta Stewardship Council

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parilla, Restore the Delta, [email protected], 209 479-2053 Jonas Minton, Planning and Conservation League, [email protected] (916) 719-4049 Bill Jennings, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, [email protected], 209-464-5067 Dr. Mark Rockwell, Endangered Species Coalition, Federation of Fly Fishers, [email protected], 530 432-0100 Barry Nelson, Natural Resources Defense Council, [email protected], 415-875-6143 Debbie Davis, Environmental Coalition for Water, [email protected], 916 743-4406 Nick DiCroce, Lead Author: California Water Solutions Now, [email protected], 805-688-7813 Barbara Vlamis, AquAlliance, [email protected], 530 895-9420 Historic Recommendations Presented to the Delta Stewardship Council Diverse coalition of national and local environmental, fishing and environmental justice groups recommend solutions to settle California water wars and recover the San Francisco Bay-Delta watershed Stockton, California, At tonight’s meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council a [...]

Feeling Violated

Since February 2009, the Department of Water Resources has been trying to gain access to selected parcels of Delta land to gather geologic and ecologic data.  This is data that could, arguably, be required for an EIR/EIS for the Natural Community Conservation Plan/Habitat Conservation Plan envisioned by the parties to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. With a HCCP/NCP in place, these groups will be on track to construct a peripheral canal or underground tunnel to convey water around or under the Delta. Landowners in the Delta are not happy about this data-gathering activity, which requires Temporary Entry Permits (TEPs).  The majority of Delta landowners have been opposed to the request from the beginning.  A few granted the state access upon [...]

The Water Board will be playing “Gotcha!”

The 2009 Comprehensive Water Package created new requirements for water users to monitor and report diversions.  Beginning in January 2012, users are supposed to keep monthly records of water diversions.  Delta water users are a prime target of this requirement, but it’s hard to see how the monitoring and reporting will yield useful information in the Delta. That’s because in the Delta, much of the diverted water that is not consumed by crop growth returns to Delta channels as runoff or percolates into the ground and returns to channels as seepage.  In some cases, Delta reclamation districts pump irrigation water back into communal channels at their own expense, and it is available for additional use in the Delta.  The 2009 [...]

Let’s all be reasonable

In addition to creating new monitoring and reporting requirements, the 2009 Water Package also created a Delta Watermaster.  Watermaster Craig Wilson will be presenting a report on “The Reasonable Use Doctrine and Agricultural Water Use Efficiency” to the Delta Stewardship Council next week. The report’s premise is that inefficient use of water is unreasonable use under the Reasonable and Beneficial Use Doctrine.  This report focuses on agriculture because “small changes in agricultural water use efficiency can produce significant amounts of ‘wet’ water and California’s agricultural sector, which has tested and proven many conservation practices, is in a position to identify economically justified and locally cost effective water management techniques that retain the value of return flows to both downstream users [...]

Ready. Fire. Aim.

On Jan 12th and 13th the Delta Independent Science Board (ISB) hosted a Delta Stressors Workshop.  According to the posted agenda, “The goal for January 12 is to identify alternative classifications of stressors and ways of evaluating their relative importance, especially considering interactions of multiple stressors. The goal for January 13 is to begin preparation of a synthesis report intended to assist the California Senate, Assembly and the Council in identifying approaches for addressing multiple Delta stressors.” Some members of the Board questioned the applicability or usefulness of the document they had been charged with producing. Many balked at the directive, saying that they lacked a goal, sufficient direction, or ways to measure the effectiveness of their product. Several board [...]

Tele-scoped, micro-scoped, sigmoido-scoped

This is a month for scoping. Last week the Bureau of Reclamation did scoping meetings in three Central Valley regions for the San Luis Delta Mendota Water Authority’s long term water transfer from Northern California to the Westside. Long-time observers of Central Valley water grabs, note that conducting this EIS/EIR and establishing such a long term transfer of exports out of the Delta watershed in advance without the environmental reviews regarding the water needed for the ecological health of the Delta is an end run around the process. In addition, salt discharge and pounds of selenium in violation of Clean Water Act standards are being discharged by the Westside into the San Joaquin River and Delta.  Providing more water to [...]

Scoping the Delta Plan

Also this month, the Delta Stewardship Council is holding CEQA scoping meetings on the development of the Delta Plan.   Meetings are scheduled in Sacramento and Clarksburg on January 24 and in Stockton on January 25.  Meetings will also be help in Southern California (Diamond Bar), in Merced, in Concord, and in Chico.  (Yes, the Legislature gave this DSC a very long reach.)   Links to information on these scoping meetings are available at http://deltacouncil.ca.gov/calendar.html

Save the Date

Restore the Delta will be hosting a special Delta wine and art event on February 26, 2011.  Mark your calendars and stay tuned for details next week.

Time Out for the BDCP

We finally have an interim something from the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, although it isn’t what the steering committee intended to have at this point: a quick fix for the Delta ecosystem that would let them get all their exports back. Westlands has thrown a fit and pulled out of the process; the state is making placating noises about building a conveyance (in this economy? with what environmental protections?); and the U.S. Department of the Interior may or may not be on board for the same conveyance, depending on how we read comments from Secretary of the Interior Salazar and Deputy Secretary Hayes.  (This is not a good time for the Obama administration to run afoul of agribusiness, wealthy water [...]