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ICYMI – CA Water News, Events, and More 5/17/20

Federal Court Enjoins Trump Admin’s Delta Pumping in May – Doug Obegi, NRDC blog 5/12/20“Today’s ruling gives a brief—but vital—reprieve to salmon and other imperiled native fish in the Bay-Delta, and it’s an encouraging sign that Plaintiffs will eventually succeed in overturning these biological opinions.” RTD statement here. After Losing Several Key Battles Over Water, Delta Advocates See Hope in the Last Option Remaining: the Law – Bay Nature 5/13/20“So where are we now? The Voluntary Agreements are a fading dream. Lowered standards for the big water projects, both state and federal, are in force on the books. Everybody’s back in court. Those who want more water for fish and estuarine systems have lost several key battles in a row.” Chair Esquivel. Time to re-start [...]

Join us on May 22nd for our webinar Delta Water Flows – The Confluence of Science and Policy!

DATE: Friday May 22, 2020TIME: 11 AMJoin us for our next webinar on the basics of water flow in the Delta.Restore the Delta’s policy analyst, Tim Stroshane will present “Taking the Delta Watershed’s Pulse.”This webinar is not about modeling. Instead, it will identify and demystify sources of data for managing Delta water and other resources, and help you understand why and how data are used by local, state, and federal water agencies.  This seminar will address: How exactly does water flow into and out of the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary? • How is that flow regulated and by whom? • What are the data sources that water activists and water industry professionals rely on to measure the Delta’s pulse?  • Why are some things [...]

Federal Court Temporarily Blocks Trump’s Water Grab in California

For Immediate Release: May 12, 2020Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, 209-479-2053, [email protected] federal court has temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s efforts to pump more water to the agricultural Central Valley, which the State of California and conservation groups said would threaten endangered species and salmon runs. A judge issued a preliminary injunction in two lawsuits brought against the administration by California’s Natural Resources Agency and Environmental Protection Agency and by a half-dozen environmental groups. The order bars the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation until May 31 from going ahead with expanding the amount of water it pumps from the San Joaquin Delta through the federal Central Valley Project. The suits argued that the exports would cause irreparable harm to species protected by state and [...]

ICYMI: We’ve Been Busy

Dear friends, The State of California went into Shelter-In-Place for the COVID19 pandemic on March 19, 2020. Despite sheltering in place, Restore the Delta has been working hard from our respective bunkers.  As our annual fundraising benefit and other contributor benefits have been postponed indefinitely, we are humbly asking our supporters for immediate contributions so that we can continue our Delta advocacy. Please support our on-line midyear mailer by donating here.We know the economy is tight for everyone; we are hoping for a large number of smaller donations so that we are not asking too much of any individuals or groups.Delta project and water planning processes have been deemed as essential by the state, but our funding opportunities have been greatly curtailed. [...]

Drinking Water Week (Part 2): The Undead Policies of California Water

by Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla and Tim Stroshane These are the undead ideas of California “water policy” today: A Delta Conveyance Project. New Dams and Reservoir Storage. Voluntary Agreements. Such ideas are put forward by the water industry—and few others—as “solutions” to California’s seeming chronic shortage of water.  These ideas have been defeated time and time again (statewide elections, regulatory-agency-forced-march attrition and rejection, change of governor). They are propped up like scarecrows by water industry investment of time, money, and expertise to keep them in their undead state. They keep returning, largely unwanted and unsupported, to menace the California public, especially when they learn the environmental and economic impacts of such projects. Both new storage and some form of Delta conveyance have [...]

Drinking Water Week (Part 1): The Return of the Same Old Drought

By Tim StroshaneIt is Drinking Water Week, according to the American Water Works Association and the Delta Stewardship Council. When not paying attention to the ever-present and necessary news about the novel coronavirus pandemic spreading COVID-19 disease, in the middle of March we began hearing about California re-entering drought. (Courthouse News Service and Los Angeles Times.)So this week seems like a good time to talk about California droughts past and present, and how we can protect drinking water for all—especially customers drinking water from small water suppliers and in rural communities of our state.Drought now joins pandemic and murder hornets in a rather apocalyptic 2020. The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) checked its Sierra snowfields on April 30th and found that snowpack [...]

We’ve Been Busy

Dear friends, The State of California went into Shelter-In-Place for the COVID19 pandemic on March 19, 2020. Despite sheltering in place, Restore the Delta has been working hard from our respective bunkers.  As our annual fundraising benefit and other contributor benefits have been postponed indefinitely, we are humbly asking our supporters for immediate contributions so that we can continue our Delta advocacy. Please support our on-line midyear mailer. We know the economy is tight for everyone; we are hoping for a large number of smaller donations so that we are not asking too much of any individuals or groups.Delta project and water planning processes have been deemed as essential by the state, but our funding opportunities have been greatly curtailed. While we are [...]

ICYMI: CA Water is a Mess – Views from Experts 5/3/20

Messy Voluntary AgreementsGrand compromise on California water wars in disarray. Newsom faces multiple lawsuits this week – Dale Kasler, Sacramento Bee 4/29/20“Now, Newsom’s own operations plan for the Delta is drawing fire from environmentalists and water users alike. And the voluntary settlement agreement – a far-reaching water-sharing effort brokered by former Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration – appears to be falling apart.Jennifer Pierre of the State Water Contractors said Newsom’s plan for the Delta “effectively ends the historic Voluntary Agreement process that brought together water agencies, regulators and conservation groups to tackle decades-old water resource problems.” Delta stakeholder group provides history of Delta water quality planning and expresses their concerns over the voluntary agreements – Mavens 4/30/20 The wonderful Maven’s Notebook (go donate) [...]

ICYMI – Day #2 Happy Lawsuit Season

With all the lawsuits flying back and forth, we just had to get in on the action!– BarbaraFor Immediate Release, April 29, 2020 Contact:Jeff Miller, Center for Biological Diversity, (510) 499-9185, [email protected] Wright, Sierra Club, (916) 873-5258, [email protected] Lawsuit Challenges California’s Failure to Address State Water Project’s Threat to Bay Delta, Salmon Runs SAN FRANCISCO— Four environmental groups sued the California Department of Water Resources today over its approval of the long-term operation of the State Water Project, the massive system of dams, pumps and aqueducts responsible for siphoning water from Northern California to Southern California. The project approval also failed to analyze the environmental harms of building a new diversion tunnel to send water south. Today’s lawsuit, brought by the [...]

ICYMI: CA Water News 4/29/20 Lawsuit Season Begins!

Central Valley Project contractors file lawsuit against the state – Maven’s 4/28/20 “[Tuesday] a coalition of water providers filed suit to protect the Central Valley Project (CVP) and the farms, businesses, residents and wildlife refuges it serves in 17 California counties. … the State of California recently filed suit challenging the operations of the CVP and now, through its Incidental Take Permit (ITP), the State could further limit the ability of the CVP to deliver water to its customers.  Tim Stroshane, policy analyst for Restore the Delta said: “Desperate times are leading to desperate measures from state and federal water contractors. They want as few rules as possible over their dream of a water transfer market sluiced by the proposed Delta tunnel [...]