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ICYMI 4/16/23: River’s End, El Nino, Dam Removal, Salmon Cancelled

 TODAY “River’s End” 4:00 pm KVIE2 SacramentoRiver’s End explores the global water crisis, using California as a microcosm. It shows how water politics that led to the draining of the Owens Valley by Los Angeles, made famous by the film Chinatown, continue to this day in ongoing efforts to take ever more water from Northern California’s San Francisco Bay estuary. Except this time, the water grab is at the hands of industrial agriculture.April 2023 ENSO update: El Niño Watch – NOAA 4/13/23That’s where we are… but where are we going?? There’s a 62% chance that El Niño will develop during the May–July period, and more than 80% chance of El Niño by the fall.Inside Calif.’s Klamath River dam removal project, the largest in [...]

Today’s GOP Kangaroo Court on California Salmon in Tulare is Heartbreaking

For Immediate Release:  4/11/23Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, 209-479-2053, [email protected] Stockton, CA – Today Reps. Calvert and Valadao are holding a media event in Tulare to launch two federal bills designed for a salmon extinction with the stated intent of opening water spigots for Big Ag forever.H.R. 872 (Calvert) Strips the National Marine Fisheries Service of its authority to protect salmon and other anadromous species under the ESA. H.R. 215 (Valadao):  Authorizes and directs the enlargement of Shasta Dam, which would destroy Native American sacred sites, harm fish and wildlife, and violate State law.Prohibits the United States from reinitiating consultation on Central Valley Project and State Water Project operations for 7 years in an effort to lock in place the Trump [...]

ICYMI 3/30/23: Concerns Rise over SJ Valley Flooding

The Current SituationSierra Nevada Storage – UCSD/Scripps Institute 3/27/23The following figure shows the most recent summary of reservoir water storage and reservoir-plus-snowpack water storage for the westward draining Southern Sierra Nevada, based on daily California Department of Water Resources’ reports of storage in 28 reservoirsand of state-averaged snow-water content. SHERRIF’S OFFICE: San Joaquin River Closed to Recreational Boat Traffic – 3/30/23The San Joaquin River is closed to recreational boat traffic from the Deepwater Channel to the Stanislaus County line. The releases of water upriver, combined with heavy rains have caused the rivers & sloughs in the south Delta to reach extremely high levels on surrounding levees. Wakes from boats at high tides, could pose a risk to levee stability in some areas. [...]


by Spencer Fern, Delta Science Coordinator, Restore the Delta Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are a nuisance species of algae that form in conditions of high nutrient loads (Nitrogen and Phosphorous), stagnant waters (low-flow conditions), sunlight exposure, water clarity, high water temperatures (generally > 75° F), as well as salinity (however HABs are becoming increasingly salt tolerant). In the San Francisco Bay-Delta the species of HABs we know to be the most harmful are: MicrocystisActive toxin: microcystinsAnabaena AKA Dolichospermum Active toxin: anatoxins AphanizomenonPossible active toxins: microcystins, anatoxins, cytotoxins These are specifically freshwater HABs (FHABs) which thrive off the stagnant fresh water in the dead-end sloughs around the Delta in areas like Stockton, Discovery Bay, Antioch, Rio Vista, and Franks Tract. This proliferation raises concerns about health [...]

Help us take action for a healthy Bay-Delta with the State Water Resources Control Board!

Dear Friends, Here is a more detailed update as to why we are asking you all to join us in advocating for a completed Bay-Delta Plan with the State Water Resources Control Board on 3/27 from 1 to 7 pm.  (More details about the mechanics of the event at the end of this email.)If you have been following our work with petition filing with the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and US EPA, you will note that we have been asking for the following: 1.Updated, protective Bay-Delta water quality standards because the Board has not updated standards for over two decades. The entire process has been delayed by the voluntary agreements, which will further short-change the Delta of protective water quality [...]

ICYMI 3/21/23 EPA on Delta Tunnel, KQED, Boswell v. Allensworth, Bay-Delta Plan/VAs 

 Region 9 of US EPA comments on the Delta Tunnel (DEIS) – 3/16/23From the comments:“… the Delta is already experiencing degraded conditions due to insufficient inflow, increased surface water temperatures, invasive animal and plant species, harmful algal blooms, and sea level rise. As described in the Draft EIS and Draft EIR, the proposed project will not ameliorate any of these stressors and is likely to exacerbate many of them.” “The operation of the Proposed Project has potential to increase the extent of ecological impacts already impacting the Delta and Sacramento River, including salinity, temperature, nutrients, and chemical contaminants.”“Given that the status of many Delta fish species is threatened, endangered, or other description of imperilment, further diversion of Sacramento River water under the [...]

River Stage and Stockton’s Flood Risk

by Artie Valencia, Community Organizer & Government Liaison, Restore the Delta To understand flood risks from the recent Atmospheric River storms, Restore the Delta is analyzing River Stages in Feet and SWE (snow water equivalent) levels recorded from the latest storms. The ongoing monitoring of River stages in the San Joaquin River at Brandt Bridge is being done by the California Department of Water Resources, while surface water elevations are tracked by UCLA Climate Scientist Daniel Swain. ABOUT THE DATA On March 4th, 2023, the river stage in the San Joaquin River at Brandt Bridge was 6.75 and increased up to 10.63 feet between the weekend and March 14th. The River Stage that induced localized and river flooding in Stockton was [...]

ICYMI 3/12/23: TUCP Dies, RTD Goes National, Flood Bond Act Comments

State water agency rescinds controversial Delta order that put fish at risk – Alastar Bland, CalMaters – 3/10/23As storms swell California’s reservoirs, state water officials have rescinded a controversial order that allowed more water storage in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta while putting salmon and other endangered fish at risk. Ten environmental groups had petitioned the board to rescind its order, calling it “arbitrary and capricious, contrary to law, and…not supported by substantial evidence.” …Jon Rosenfield, science director with San Francisco Baykeeper, said the water board is “acknowledging what we knew all along — that there is no drought emergency & eliminating minimum flow requirements that protect water quality, fish, and wildlife is not in the public interest.” But Rosenfield added that rescinding the waiver is [...]

ICYMI 3/7/23: Water Rights, TUCP, Tunnel, Tribes and EPA

 ‘A foundation of racism’: California’s antiquated water rights system faces new scrutiny – LA Times 3/6/23It’s an arcane system of water law that dates back to the birth of California — an era when 49ers used sluice boxes and water cannons to scour gold from Sierra Nevada foothills and when the state government promoted the extermination of Native people to make way for white settlers. Today, this antiquated system of water rights still governs the use of the state’s supplies, but it is now drawing scrutiny like never before…“We’re confronting 21st century climate change, drought and water supply problems with a 20th century system of California water infrastructure and a 19th century system of water rights, and that’s a problem,” said Frank, [...]

ICYMI 3/1/23: Tunnel, Newsom, Water Rights, Solutions

A California tunnel could save stormwater for millions. Why is it so divisive? – Washington Post 3/1/23 Barrigan-Parrilla said opponents are eyeing potential regulatory and legal challenges to the project as the Army Corps and the State Water Resources Control Board review it, and in December joined with Indigenous groups in filing a civil rights complaint with the Environmental Protection Agency.The complaint asks the EPA to update water-quality standards for the delta and require increased river flows into the estuary, keeping water and salinity levels at safe and healthy levels for aquatic life and farming communities. It argues that reducing water levels in the delta violates the civil rights of groups including the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians and the [...]