Newsletter

Delta Flows: Learning from the Bullet Train Mess

Happy Hot Monday! We hope everyone is staying hydrated and cool during our first heat wave of the season.As we scanned the news today this story jumped out as something for Delta activists to think about.This LA Times story is truly a heartbreaking cautionary tale about the impacts of large infrastructure projects on farming communities. High-speed rail route took land from farmers. The money they’re owed hasn’t arrived – LA Times 6/10/19 “One problem was the agency’s decision to issue construction contracts with only 15% of the rail design completed, a so-called design-build approach. With only preliminary designs of highway bridges, rail structures and utility relocations, it was difficult to know how much land would be needed and the degree to which [...]

Do CA DWR “Hearings” Actually Listen?

by Tim Stroshane, Policy Analyst, Restore the Delta The concrete-walled room was intimate and windowless, with chairs arranged into several rows facing toward a screen onto which a slide projector beamed DWR’s PowerPoint presentation. Placed in each corner was an easel with large displays for different facets of the State Water Project system. Each easel had a DWR staff person standing with it. To the side was a table where a court reporter sat with a laptop into which she would pour words stated at the event. There would be no questions or statements made in front of the assembled public this agency nominally serves.A “public meeting” held by DWR on May 13, 2019 once more illustrates that DWR officials [...]

Delta Flows: A Day For California History Books. But What’s Next?

When scholars of California history and California water review the decisions our state leaders made to plan for the impacts from climate change, they will look back at May 2, 2019 as the pivotal date in our state’s water planning processes.  As the Department of Water Resources, under Governor Newsom’s direction, rescinded permits for California WaterFix from the State Water Resources Control Board, a decision was made to begin new water planning processes with the intention to make California water resilient in the decades ahead, while providing better protections for the Delta and Delta communities. While the vast majority of our followers recognize that the decision to end the twin tunnels is a huge victory for the Delta and the [...]

Delta Flows: Delta Residents and the Single Tunnel Plan

In a recent column for CALmatters, Ellen Hanak and Jeffrey Mount of the Public Policy Institute of California offer a bit of advice to us Delta residents.“By proposing to build one tunnel instead of two, Gov. Newsom has opened the door for a grand compromise. The Delta’s many interests should seize this opportunity.” Thanks for the tip, PPIC. Residents of the San Francisco Bay-Delta (there are more than 4 million of us) agree to evaluate proposals by the Newsom administration with clear eyes and in a spirit of collaboration. Here are some questions Delta people plan to ask as we engage with this new process. Does the plan reduce water exports? The primary purpose of a single Delta tunnel is no [...]

Delta Flows:  Delta Residents and the Single Tunnel Plan

In a recent column for CALmatters, Ellen Hanak and Jeffrey Mount of the Public Policy Institute of California offer a bit of advice to us Delta residents.“By proposing to build one tunnel instead of two, Gov. Newsom has opened the door for a grand compromise. The Delta’s many interests should seize this opportunity.” Thanks for the tip, PPIC. Residents of the San Francisco Bay-Delta (there are more than 4 million of us) agree to evaluate proposals by the Newsom administration with clear eyes and in a spirit of collaboration. Here are some questions Delta people plan to ask as we engage with this new process. Does the plan reduce water exports? The primary purpose of a single Delta tunnel is no [...]

ICYMI: Brown Hints at “Big Water Deal” in Next 30 Days

In Case You Missed It: Secret Negotiations on Bay-Delta Plan Unfolding as Brown Hints at Major Water Announcement in Next 30 Days It’s been a busy week at Restore the Delta. Here’s what you need to know: Newsom and Brown wade into California water wars to delay plan to help fish – Ryan Sabalow for The Sacramento Bee “Gov. Jerry Brown and incoming Gov. Gavin Newsom have waded in one of California’s fiercest water wars, prompting state regulators to delay a key vote on a proposal meant to help struggling salmon and steelhead trout. “In a letter Tuesday to the California State Water Resources Board, Brown and Newsom urged it to postpone consideration of proposed regulations to give the various [...]

Delta Flows — WaterFix Alphabet Soup Edition: JLBC; CBA; DCFA; WIFIA; Series AZ Revenue Bonds

By: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla   JLBC Hearing Recap After the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) Hearing last month for the State Water Contract Extensions Amendments, Restore the Delta joined in working with coalition partners on an analysis, and legislative follow up on outcomes from the hearing. While the “holding” of the hearing itself does indeed advance the WaterFix process, we were pleased with legislators, under the leadership of the Committee Chair, Senator Holly Mitchell, for asking tough questions and asserting their authority for further oversight of State Water Project Contract Extensions, specifically in relation to the Delta tunnels. In effect, it was the best possible outcome from a bad process. This does not mean we were pleased, however, with the Department [...]

Delta Flows: Prop 3, Water Quality Plan Update For the San Francisco Bay-Delta

Yet, another water bond Restore the Delta has been working on so many issues this year that we have not weighed in with our members on Proposition 3, the $8.9 billion dollar water bond, on the November ballot.  Additionally, we did not open a PAC and lead an opposition campaign opposing Prop 3, as we did against Prop 1 in 2014, because we knew that even if we could raise the money, we didn’t have the mental/physical/spiritual bandwidth to lead an opposition campaign on top of all the other work we have undertaken this year in our advocacy to stop the Delta tunnels, and to ensure that adequate flows are restored to the Delta estuary, for all Delta communities. We [...]

ICYMI: Highlights from RTD’s EJ Report Press Conference

In Case You Missed It: Highlights from RTD’S EJ Report Press Conference  Read our press release here. Tunnel foes shift focus to Delta’s most disadvantaged communities – Stockton Record “It is the role of government agencies to consider environmental justice concerns as they affect all groups of people, including communities of color and low-income residents that comprise a significant number of residents in Stockton and throughout the Delta region. Many of those communities are impoverished, according to the report. “’This report addresses a number of things that San Joaquin County has been fighting for and we stand behind the principles that seek protection of the Delta and the people that we serve,’ Miller said. ‘The story of San Joaquin County [...]

California’s Real “Fix” for Affordable Water

By: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla Recently, I had the opportunity to hear Mr. Gary Brown, Director for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), address government water leaders from an assortment of California’s state and local water agencies about how Detroit reworked policies to address water affordability issues—a strategy that has led to 95% of Detroit’s water customers now paying their monthly water bills on time. While there are numerous differences between how a water-rich area like Detroit and an arid region like Los Angeles County can manage water availability, distribution, and rates, Mr. Brown described an ethos that is sorely lacking in water management throughout California. Mr. Brown said, and I am paraphrasing here, that while the Detroit Water and Sewerage [...]