Media Alerts

ICYMI 3/9/21: LAT Editorial on MWD, Levee Troubles Nationwide

Editorial: Sexual misconduct at the Metropolitan Water District hints at deeper problems – 3/8/21…Environmentalists and people living and working in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta bristle at disrespect exhibited at MWD board meetings and in negotiations over projects such as the proposed tunnel to bring Sacramento River water around, rather than through, the delta on its journey south. The link between that mistreatment and the abuse of female employees was described in an extraordinary post by Restore the Delta Executive Director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla.The Times story notes that three MWD directors who demanded an independent investigation of the sexual abuse were removed from the board.As the organization seeks a new leader and a new direction, it should acknowledge the sexual abuse that has been inappropriately tolerated [...]

Delta Flows: Immediate Threat to the Delta; Update from Climate Water Advocates

Immediate Delta Threat    By: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla Because the Delta tunnel project has been such a long, all-consuming process/fight/project/challenge, we find that for many of our followers there is reduced bandwidth to engage with serious scenarios facing the Delta that need at times more of our attention than the tunnel. (The first round of many environmental impact reports for the tunnel and processes will commence this summer and will take years of response.) Thus, we want to redirect your attention to the immediate problem at hand: the looming drought and the real threat of excessive water exports crashing the Delta. Section 13247 of the California Water Code is the provision of state law that requires the State Water Resources Control Board and [...]

ICYMI 3/3/21: Met’s Mess, New Drought? Water Debt

Will major scandal at Metropolitan Water District save Delta communities from the tunnel? – Sacramento News and Review 3/2/21Now, MWD’s leadership is facing calls for audits and investigations into its work culture from state assembly members, the president of the Los Angeles City Council and a major public employee union. The results of such probes could affect exactly how intact the utility is when it heads into its final gambit to build the tunnel…One of the many voices MWD’s leadership ignored that day was Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla of Restore the Delta. Barrigan-Parrilla has been appearing before MWD’s board for years on behalf of conservationists. After the LA Times story broke, she wrote a lengthy essay about her own observations. California’s wet season nears an end [...]

Delta Flows: Sexism at MWD is No Surprise for Delta Activists

By: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla The Los Angeles Times recently reported that the Los Angeles City Council is threatening to cut ties with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California over the dozens of sexual harassment complaints filed by women and LGBTQ employees. Now Los Angeles union local AFSCME1902 has joined Southern California legislators asking for a full audit of the sexual harassment complaints filed at MWD. We concur. This audit must happen. Women and members of the LGBTQ community are not to be harassed, intimidated, and scared to work for a living, at a public agency. The employees written about in these news accounts were full of pride working for a system that delivered clean water to the community it served – but [...]

Delta Flows: Climate/Water Bootcamp, Membership Meeting, Operations During COVID

Hello, Restore the Delta activists and supporters, It has been a while since our last chat. Let’s start with the good news!Restore the Delta has a new team of university students who are working on climate/water issues for the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary. Funded by the Irvine Foundation and Sierra Health Fund, these leaders from Stockton who are studying oceanography, environmental and material science, civil engineering, history, and political science have already been to the State Water Resources Control Board to make the case for the State Water Board to implement and continue with their Bay-Delta Plan to restore water flows for the Delta and for further protection for the estuary from harmful algal blooms. They, and local climate fellows from a [...]

ICYMI: Trump sending more California water to farms troubled federal biologists. They were sidelined

February 14, 2021   In an exclusive by The Sacramento Bee and The Guardian, Ryan Sabalow, Jimmy Tobias, Emily Holden, and Dale Kasler report on how federal biologists were sidelined by Trump officials in making determinations that have further decimated the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta estuary. Their report,  “Trump sending more California water to farms troubled federal biologists. They were sidelined,” describes how policy makers, Maria Rea with the Sacramento National Marine Fisheries office, and Cathy Marcinkevage, an agency branch chief, sought to protect the integrity of their scientific findings for Delta fisheries and regarding how the Trump Delta water plan would hurt already endangered Chinook salmon and steelhead. Their efforts were overridden by a strike team that edited out of [...]

ICYMI 2/13/21: Women harassed, bullied, ignored at powerful water agency

‘They thought I was so low’: Women say they were harassed, bullied, ignored at powerful water agency – Los Angeles Times 2/12/21In interviews with 20 current and former staffers and reviews of hundreds of pages of district records, court documents and audio recordings, The Times found a pattern of complaints alleging harassment and bullying of women who enrolled in the apprentice program, which trains workers who operate and repair the water pumping stations and treatment plants of the Colorado River Aqueduct and other district facilities. It is a crucial pathway into higher-paying, skilled jobs.Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director, Restore the Delta:Restore the Delta stands in solidarity with the women at MWD. Women in the Delta face at times, similar inequity and harassment. [...]

COMMENTS LETTER Grasslands Bypass Project Drainage Management Plan

Hello everyone, While RTD is still operating virtually, we like to keep you updated on our recent policy work. On Monday, we submitted these comments  to the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board regarding the Grasslands Bypass Project Drainage Management Plan Here is a section of the letter:“We continue to insist that serious consideration of alternatives to the status quo of simply protecting the beneficial uses of the important wildlife refuges along the San Joaquin River. Make no mistake: we value the wildlife refuges. But so far, beneficial uses of environmental justice communities in the same corridor are being ignored in the regulation of selenium discharge from the Grasslands area. An important set of alternatives to the status quo is planned [...]

ICYMI 1/29/21 – Delta Youth, Water Bills

A Rude Awakening – KPFA 1/29/21On the January 29th edition of Rude Awakening with Sabrina Jacobs, our Executive Director talks about the ongoing challenges facing the Delta that are systemically tied to problems with water management: water quality, invasive species, harmful algal blooms, future flood threat, and our work with Delta youth.  The interview starts at 35:15. San Diego Water Managers Push For State Relief – KPBS 1/27/21 San Diego County water managers are lobbying state officials to help get financial relief for customers and water agencies struggling with water debt during the COVID-19 pandemic.The region’s water wholesaler was surprised by the amount of debt looming over water customers and the agencies that sell it.State water officials estimate 1.6 million customers are behind on [...]

ICYMI 1/26/21: Saving the Tuolumne, “River’s End” film

Today, we call your attention to an op-ed by our friends at NRDC and Golden State Salmon on why the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission must be led by someone who values the San Joaquin River, its tributaries, and the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary. Also, San Francisco Baykeeper was part of a wonderful documentary called River’s End. It picks up in many ways where Restore the Delta’s Over Troubled Waters left off in 2012.San Francisco: Save the river you drink from – Opinion: San Francisco Chronicle 1/26/21“The science is clear that the Tuolumne and its native fish and wildlife will never recover without leaving more water in the river. Other water agencies around the state have shown how San Francisco can thrive while taking [...]