Newsletter

SB1 Needed Time-Out

As our followers know, Restore the Delta has been busy supporting SB 1 with protections for Delta species. And we continue to support these goals and the   full bill as it was initially written. However, there are new complications.  Parties with good intentions worked to add strong clean water rules, which we tend to favor as an organization. But these rules are strongly opposed by the Central Valley Flood Control Association because they will interfere with needed dredging and excavating for flood control measures.  We also favor and argue for good flood control measures for protection of human life, climate change mitigation, and ironically water quality protection. (Flood events are not good for water quality.) We understand that this issue needs [...]

RTD Update: Taking Care of Business Edition

It has been another busy day at Restore the Delta. These days, we are spending more time weighing in on processes that protect the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary than we are pushing a public message. That’s because we are in the let’s-get-stuff-done phase of our work. But that doesn’t mean our followers shouldn’t be aware of our efforts.   Here are some recent RTD actions:We have been advocating with Delta agricultural and fishing groups for passage of SB 1 — to protect Delta fisheries.https://www.restorethedelta.org/wp-content/uploads/Letter-to-Governor-Newsom-in-Support-of-SB1-final.pdfWe have joined comments created by our coalition partners for federal and state protection of Delta tributaries and waterways.https://www.restorethedelta.org/wp-content/uploads/PCL-et.-al-Cmt-Letter-GBP-Stormwater-Plan-CEQA-_09-09-2019-1.pdfWe have written comments about the linkages between climate change impacts to the Delta and the linkage to local groundwater sustainability planning [...]

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 [...]