Newsletter

News from Restore the Delta; California Water Commission: Not Neutral

“. . .Who lined himself with hope, Eating the air on promise of supply, Flattering himself in project of a power Much smaller than the smallest of his thoughts . . .” ― Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2, I, iii Articles Not BDCP neutral The odd case of the Water Commission Drought preparedness – Not Not BDCP neutral In order for the water bond to be BDCP neutral, as its Delta legislative supporters insist that it is, it would need to do more that ensure that no bond money can be spent on tunnels and that no water contractors can get credit for any Delta habitat activities. In order to be BDCP neutral, the water bond would need to ensure [...]

News from Restore the Delta: The BDCP is NOT dead

“This is the way the world ends; not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door.” ― Amanda Hocking, Hollowland Articles BDCP is NOT dead How MWD proposes to make this pencil out How the Water Bond plays into this Wringing more water out of the Delta Reducing flow for the SF Bay-Delta estuary through publicly funded water transfers BDCP is NOT dead On September 23, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) got an update on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) from Department of Water Resources Director Mark Cowin, Delta Stewardship Council Chairman Randy Fiorini, and MWD’s own Bay-Delta Committee. Cowin told MWD that DWR is making progress on three fronts: [...]

News from Restore the Delta: September 9, 2014

“In the discovery of secret things and in the investigation of hidden causes, stronger reasons are obtained from sure experiments and demonstrated arguments than from probably conjectures and the opinions of philosophical speculators of the common sort.” – William Gilbert Articles EPA re BDCP: The short version Worrisome language in the Water Bond “At the table” about habitat Revisiting the Delta Plan’s House of Mirrors EPA re BDCP: The short version People who follow Delta issues know by now that the California Natural Resource Agency will be recirculating the BDCP Draft and environmental documents early next year. This may be largely in response to a letter they received from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency giving a long list of problems [...]

News from Restore the Delta: August 27, 2014

Diseases desperate grown By desperate appliance are relieved, Or not at all. – Shakespeare, Hamlet Articles Full-court press from Westlands Roll up your sleeves for recirculated BDCP documents Full-court press from Westlands by Jane Wagner-Tyack Westlands Water District irrigators are face to face with the ugly truth of how little water their junior water rights give them when there isn’t any surplus, and how much they have to pay for what they can get. In July, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) (uninfluenced by exporters, of course) asked the State Water Resources Control Board to order south and central Delta water diverters with riparian and pre-1914 water rights to provide information about what [...]

News from Restore the Delta: August 5, 2014

“The only solid piece of scientific truth about which I feel totally confident is that we are profoundly ignorant about nature.” — Lewis Thomas Articles Why habitat restoration isn’t working BDCP’s water quality analysis: Indefensible Devious plans for surface storage Why habitat restoration isn’t working Conventional wisdom says that Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta fisheries have collapsed because of loss of the pre-reclamation mosaic of habitat, so only more habitat will restore them to health. But in fact, reclamation of Delta islands was completed by the third decade of the 20th century, yet fisheries remained relatively stable until the state and federal export projects became operational and began to export millions of acre feet of water every year. There is now more [...]

News from Restore the Delta: June 5, 2014

“In one of our conversations yesterday, we were talking about adaptive management and how everyone seems to be using the term differently, and the most cynical interpretation of a lot of the use of ‘adaptive management’ is promising to fix it later.” — Dr. Jay Lund, Delta Independent Science Board “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with bullshit.” — W. C. Fields Articles An Implementing Agreement at last Lost in translation A Water Bond soup with too many cooks Hits, runs, and an error Ask for a dome No barriers after all (updated correction 6/6/14) Every great campaign has an art movement An Implementing Agreement at last We finally have a draft Implementing Agreement (IA) released [...]

News from Restore the Delta: 5/19/14

“Everybody in Vanity Fair must have remarked how well those live who are comfortably and thoroughly in debt; how they deny themselves nothing . . . .” — William Makepeace Thackeray Calling the water shots Behind the scenes planning by the water contractors who want the twin tunnels is bearing fruit with the formation of two new Offices in the Department of Water Resources (DWR). One of them, a new Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) Office in the Executive Division of DWR, will be responsible for that third of the plan that is actually supposed to help the ecosystem – Conservation Measures 2-22. It will be headed initially by Chief Deputy Director Laura King Moon, known to us for her [...]

News from Restore the Delta: 4/30/14

Conceal a flaw, and the world will imagine the worst. — Marcus Valerius Martialis Articles IFFI equals Iffy A sample letter on the subject of Funding IFFI equals Iffy You can remember the major inadequacies of BDCP if you think of Eye-Eff-Eff-Eye — IFFI. That stands for Impacts, Funding, Fish and Implementation. Let’s look at these individually. IMPACTS All the benefits of BDCP go to people outside the Delta, and all the negative impacts are borne by people in the Delta region. There are over 50 negative impacts that can’t be mitigated, and BDCP doesn’t even have to try to mitigate them if planners decide that mitigating them isn’t feasible. Basically, it isn’t feasible if they don’t want to do [...]

News from Restore the Delta: 4/18/2014

We will now discuss in a little more detail the Struggle for Existence. – Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species Articles Hunger and thirst Speaking of BDCP …. 2014 State of Our Rivers Symposium Hunger and thirst By Jane Wagner-Tyack UOP economist Dr. Jeffrey Michael reports in an April 7 blog post that between 2007 and 2012, despite the drought in 2009, San Joaquin Valley agriculture made a clear shift toward permanent crops. Over that period, acreage of field crops (like cotton, hay, grain, and alfalfa) increased by 2 percent. Acreage of fruit and nut crops (like almonds, pistachios and grapes, crops that can’t be fallowed in a dry year) increased by 21 percent. Meanwhile, acreage of vegetable crops decreased [...]

News from Restore the Delta: 4/7/2014

“Tyranny is Tyranny, let it come from whom it may.” – Howard Zinn Articles What did they know? And When did they know it? Old news worth another look And independent scientists say…. And environmental groups across the board agree… What did they know? And When did they know it? In retrospect, state and federal water managers may wish they had sent less water out of upstream reservoirs last year. Even in an average water year, it’s a challenge to meet the needs of all the water users above and below the Delta and the needs of several runs of migrating and spawning fish as well. And what’s an “average” water year? Probably it is much dryer than anyone thought [...]