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UPDATED ACTION ALERT – Santa Clara Valley Water District

Dear Friends,Tuesday, Valley Water indicated that their funding measure (discussed in yesterday’s alert) for the November ballot will not include funding for Delta tunnels planning.  That is good news.We think, however, that you may want to share two observations with Valley Water’s Board of Directors.Tell them that the language for the bond measure cannot be squishy so the funds can  be moved around at a later date for tunnel planning.  Make sure the tunnel is not included in this funding explicitly.Also, ask the Board to explain how the funding measure then allows for money to be freed up through the general fund for tunnel expenditures.  Is this what Valley Water ratepayers want? Will Valley Water ratepayers support an expenditure if a [...]

Join us on June 25th for our next webinar “Reframing a Region: Communities of Color in the California Delta”

DATE: Thursday June 25th, 2020TIME: 11 AMThis webinar will address popular narratives of the California Delta that present the region as a white space. Using an array of primary sources, a panel will contest this view, illustrating how communities of color were fundamental to the development of the Delta region. Our panel includes:Phillip Merlo, San Joaquin County HistorianPhillip Merlo is a professional historian and educator who serves as the Director of Education at the San Joaquin County Historical Society & Museum. A Stockton native with roots in the delta, Phillip has degrees in history and geography from UC Berkeley. Prior to his tenure at the museum, he served as a social studies teacher at Franklin High School. He has written on the history of [...]

ACTION ALERT – Santa Clara Valley Water District

On June 23, 2020, the Santa Clara Valley Water District will be discussing the possibility of putting a funding measure on the November ballot. We believe the ballot in part is to raise funding for the Delta tunnel project. Valley Water describes their first priority as:  Priority A: Ensure a Safe, Reliable Water Supply   This is exact language used by the Department of Water Resources to describe the Delta tunnel project.  With all the funding challenges for Valley Water associated with dam repairs and flood control, a bond measure that could finance a risky Delta tunnel project that still requires permitting, CEQA review, and a 23-year construction period — all for a diminishing water supply due to climate change — is problematic for [...]

BREAKING: DANGER levels of cyanotoxin found in Discovery Bay

This is a message from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley. 6/10/20 Good Afternoon, The Water Boards received a report of significant cyanobacteria harmful algal bloom (HAB) occurring in Discovery Bay, including multiple locations at the DANGER level (highest threshold). This afternoon (6/10/2020) State Water Board’s HAB Hotline received lab results of the June 4th water samples collected from Discovery Bay by Central Valley Regional Water Board staff – results are summarized in the table below. Incident Details: • Extensive cyanobacteria HAB throughout the bay with elevated cyanotoxins in the bloom material that accumulates near slow moving areas (e.g. coves, docks). • Multiple cyanobacteria genus (Microcystis and Dolichospermum) detected at all locations sampled. • Microcystins exceeding recommended [...]

ICYMI: Water Wars During COVID19

Water’s Not the Issue: California farmers leverage Covid-19 in bid for more waterEast Bay Express 6/10/20“But while tens of millions of pounds of food has been destroyed or buried in the ground, a band of California’s farmers is claiming they can’t produce enough food to feed Americans, and they’re using the pandemic as leverage to grab more of the West’s scarce water.“For Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of the group Restore the Delta, the letters come off as grabs at water from the heavily strained Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, which her group has fought for years to protect. Heavy water diversions from the Delta have driven native fish species toward extinction—notably Delta smelt and several runs of Chinook salmon.“The way farmers are [...]

Delta Flows: California water during national crisis (Part 1)

by Executive Director Barbara Barrigan-ParrillaThis is the hardest, most emotionally difficult blog, I have written for Restore the Delta in our 14-year history. How do we talk about the vital work that we do and what is happening in California water against the context of what is happening in America:  a pandemic, a crisis in governance, and the exposure of systemic racism that led to the murder of George Floyd and too many Americans of color over the last 30 years?  How do we have this discussion without overreaching from our areas of expertise and our mission, while showing empathy, respect, and support for so many people suffering in our community, the state, and our nation? When people of color in our communities [...]

Action Alert Call Congress About Trump Executive Order (Tunnel Related)

President Trump, hiding behind the COVID pandemic, has, according to Roll Call,  “Signed an executive order that would expedite permitting for infrastructure projects, building on earlier orders to ease regulations for industry. The White House contends the move will help speed the nation’s recovery after the coronavirus pandemic.” “The order directs federal agencies, including Interior, Agriculture and Defense departments and the Army Corps of Engineers, to hasten the permitting processes required under the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act.” This is bad news in regard to the Delta tunnel and the raising of Shasta Dam, which will decimate the remaining lands of the Winnemem Wintu people. Both projects will destroy salmon fisheries. The Delta tunnel will ruin Delta [...]

Lawsuit Challenges Federal Water Contracts That Imperil Delta, Fish, Wildlife

Restore the Delta has been quiet this year about the Federal water contractors, but it does not mean that we have not been paying attention. This year, our strategy is all about taking action. And that means litigation when necessary against Secretary Bernhardt and the US Bureau of Reclamation.– Barbara—For Immediate Release, Contacts: Jeff Miller, Center for Biological Diversity, (510) 499-9185, [email protected] Robert Wright, attorney for Restore the Delta and Planning and Conservation League, (916) 873-5258, [email protected] Barrigan-Parrilla, (209) 479-2053, [email protected] SACRAMENTO— Three environmental groups sued the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation today to dispute the award of permanent federal water contracts to water users supplied by the Central Valley Project.  The Central Valley Project is one of the world’s largest water storage and delivery systems. It includes 20 [...]

Taking the Delta Watershed’s Pulse Webinar Sneak Peak

by Tim Stroshane, policy analyst The world of water management and politics, for all its political tempests and atmospheric rivers, is also driven by science and data. This is important because there is something binary about water—you either have it and life is good, or you don’t and life gets harder the less you have. That makes facts about water—and the data on which they’re based—really important. If you are curious to learn where and how you can see data on the Delta Watershed, sign up for Restore the Delta’s webinar, Taking the Delta Watershed’s Pulse on May 22nd at 11:00 AM. I’ll be going over basic types of data used by the water industry and government regulators when they make decisions [...]

Tunnel Planning First? California Resources Agency Failing to Address Immediate Issues

For Immediate Release: 5/18/20Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, 209-479-2053, [email protected], CA – This March, during the early days of the pandemic, Restore the Delta and local partner organizations sent a letter to urge the Central Valley Regional Flood Protection Board (a California Resources Agency department) to pull from its agenda an approval for a “statement of no objection,” requested by the Department of Water Resources,  for transmittal to the US Army Corps of Engineers for starting its 408 process for DWR’s proposed Delta Conveyance Project (DCP) “Delta Tunnel.” Central Delta Water Agency sent a similar letter here. Restore the Delta asked the Flood Board to delay public information hearings due to the pandemic, and explained that a “statement of no objection” to the proposed Delta Tunnel plan was premature in [...]