Media Alerts

ICYMI 5/7/21: Unsafe Drinking Water, Drought or New Normal?

Public Health Crisis Looms as California Identifies 600 Communities at Risk of Water-System Failures– The Revelator 5/5/21More than 300 communities have chronically unsafe drinking water containing contaminants that can come with serious health consequences, including cancer. The areas hardest hit are mostly small, agricultural communities in the San Joaquin and Salinas valleys, which are predominantly Latino and are often also places classified by the state as “disadvantaged.” Unsafe water in these communities adds to a list of health and economic burdens made worse by the ongoing pandemic…But just how much cash is needed to address the problem?The answer, we now know, is about $10 billion, according to a new “needs assessment” from state agencies and the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation that [...]

ICYMI 5/2/21: Dying Delta, Gleick on Drought, Mormon Slough, Our Living Delta

Op-Ed: Newsom promises while the delta dies – Los Angeles Times 4/29/21The West Coast’s most important estuary is dying, and Gov. Gavin Newsom has hastened its demise.As he took office two years ago, Newsom promised to generate voluntary agreements among farmers, environmentalists and government officials on the rules for allocating water that flows through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. One year ago, in a CalMatters op-ed, he said again that agreements were the way forward to “protect, restore, and enhance … the Delta.”Not only have no voluntary agreements emerged, but conditions in the delta have grown so dire that in March the National Marine Fisheries Service estimated that high water temperatures could kill 90% of endangered winter-run Chinook salmon in the Sacramento River this year. From [...]

ICYMI 4/29/21: Biden, Newsom, and Climate Resilience

Editorial: Biden offers California a clear, clean water strategy (Mercury News 4/27/21)California’s continuing failure to adopt a comprehensive water strategy is exacerbating its looming drought crisis.For nearly two decades, the state has put its focus on dam projects and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta tunnel fiasco. The primary aim is creating new ways of diverting additional water to Central Valley farmers at the expense of the fragile, over-tapped Delta, which supplies about one-third of the Bay Area’s fresh water supply.There’s a better approach.President Biden’s infrastructure plan calls for $50 billion to ease the West’s drought crisis by heavily investing in water efficiency and recycling programs. Gov. Gavin Newsom should jump at the opportunity to put the state on a long-term path [...]

Delta Flows: Actions Over Words 4/27/21

– Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director, Restore the DeltaLast week, an important workshop took place at the State Water Resources Control Board about dam operations and how water temperatures would be controlled with water releases for Sacramento River salmon during this year’s drought conditions.Today, at the beginning of a significant drought, we are holding less water in our reservoirs than we did at the beginning of the 2013-14 drought. This is not a good place to begin conservation efforts from.The workshop also included detailed information on current water quality conditions for the South Delta as a result of releases, or rather lack of adequate releases, on the San Joaquin River. Due to timing on other projects, we could not participate in [...]

ICYMI 4/15/21: Environmental Justice for Stockton and Biden’s Infrastructure Plan (Reuters)

RTD note: Little Manila Rising was part of the Stockton Environmental Justice initiative. They have become leaders on air quality in the Delta. We are so very happy to share this national story on their behalf. How computer mapping could help Biden find and fix polluted neighborhoods – Reuters (w/video) 4/13/21Diagnosed with asthma at 8 years old, Karlaine Francisco grew up thinking everyone had it.Her friends in south Stockton, California, also carried inhalers and suffered coughing and wheezing fits. “I would tell people, ‘Oh yeah, I have asthma,’” said Francisco, now a 17-year-old high school senior. “And then, my friend would be like, ‘Yeah, I have asthma too.’”After California began making environmental data available through an online mapping tool, Francisco and others in her [...]

Delta Flows: Recall Politics? No Thanks. The SF Bay-Delta keeps losing either way

Today’s blog breaks my heart. Why? Because Restore the Delta is focused on water quality issues, flood control issues, future planning, and training the next generation of local water experts – for that is where hope exists.  We are focused on the future because in some ways we have become very cynical about any positive meaningful change to Delta management presently — from the lack of care at the highest levels of government to local pockets of Delta communities that will not acknowledge the deterioration of the estuary before their eyes. Our Delta faces many threats At all levels, we see leaders who want what they want from the estuary: unrestricted water exports; a destructive mega-tunnel; discharge of pollutants without regulatory oversight; delisting [...]

DELTA FLOWS 4/4/21: The Dam Problem for the Bay-Delta Estuary

Restore the Delta – Calendar Announcements1. Attention San Joaquin County Middle School, High School, and College Students and Teachers! The 5TH ANNUAL H2O HACKATHON will take place on April 17th, 2021.2. Our Living Delta: An Online Benefit for Restore the Delta Friday will be May 21st at 6:30 pm. (Details soon!)  The Dam Problem for the Bay-Delta EstuaryNatalia Barraza, Climate-Water Advocate, Restore the Delta When I was 17, my parents took us kids to Las Vegas. On our way back to Stockton, we decided to stop at the Hoover Dam. I thought it was one of the coolest places ever. I was amazed at not just its size, but also that it was divided right into the middle of two states. I [...]

ICYMI 3/25/21: Droughts, Floods, and the Bay-Delta

New priorities needed for California’s next drought – Darius Waiters (Restore the Delta) and Brandon Dawson (Sierra Club), CalMatters 3/25/21A series of key decisions await Gov. Gavin Newsom as the state heads back into a potential drought.So this seems like the right moment to review what happened last time: Water was prioritized for big agriculture at the expense of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, endangered species and California communities. The State Water Board, in a review of the drought of 2014-15, found operations “not sustainable.”We hope Newsom will prevent a repeat of that disaster by setting new priorities for a prolonged drought: Protecting the human right to water for drinking and sanitation, protecting public health for those who live adjacent to our rivers, [...]

Delta Flows 3/19/21: Progress and Troubles

Meet the Climate Water Advocate TeamWe are pleased to introduce to our members the full Climate Water Advocacy Team now working with Restore the Delta. These young leaders, who are undergoing a six-month training course on the Delta and California water management, are reading and responding to government processes, sharing their work with others on numerous social media platforms, representing us at water and community events, and we hope will be launching a HABs water testing program later this year.Click here to meet the team. H2O Hackathon 2021After a long Covid-related delay, the H2O Hackathon is back. An event for San Joaquin County computer coders (but you don’t need to know how to code) from middle school through college, this year’s [...]

“Delta Adapts” Comments Sent by Stockton Coalition

Hello Restore the Delta Advocates!We just wanted to share with you a very impressive coalition letter that brought together some of the best thinking from Stockton’s activists.  On Tuesday March 16, 2021 Restore the Delta submitted our “Stockton Coalition Comments on Delta Adapts Vulnerability Assessment” to the Delta Stewardship Council. The goal of the Delta Adapts Draft Vulnerability Assessment is to evaluate the vulnerability of the Delta and Suisun Marsh to climate impacts through end of century. Our comments are part of the public review process to evaluate the draft assessment, especially the plans to identify areas within the Delta that are socially vulnerable to climate change impacts. We are proud of all the local people who spoke up during this process including the youth of the Restore [...]