Delta Flows: September 18, 2013

“Endless money forms the sinews of war.”             – Marcus Tullius CiceroMixing oil and waterThe end-of-session approval by the legislature of SB 4, Senator Pavley’s watered-down (sorry) attempt to regulate fracking that is now going to the Governor for his promised signature, made us curious about the connection between water exported from the Delta and gas/oil extraction.This is particularly interesting because all that irrigated arid land in the southern San Joaquin Valley is sitting on top of a vast basin of potential fuel, including the Monterey Shale that oil producers have their eyes on.In 2011, the online magazine Orion explored this subject in an article titled “The Colonization of Kern County,” by Jeremy Miller. Although this article is several years old, [...]

Delta Flows: September 4, 2013

“There are no compacts between lions and men, and wolves and lambs have no concord.” -Homer, The Illiad“We’ll have to get back to you about that”The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) has held the first of their In-Delta Office Hours to provide additional information or take input about their Peripheral Tunnel and their people-and-fish-unfriendly-habitat efforts in the Delta.  When confronted with questions from residents of the Delta region, the DWR “Delta Landowner Liaisons” were mostly caught off-guard.  Here’s a video link. Actually, it seems a little cowardly for the BDCP veterans at DWR to send these young women out unprepared to answer the tough questions about BDCP. But that shouldn’t stop us from asking the tough questions.Here are some more reports [...]

Delta Flows: August 28, 2013

“A little neglect may breed great mischief . . . for want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost.” — Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s AlmanacCorrection An astute reader noted that in our recent article on the five-agency Bay Area desal project being planned for Mallard Slough on Suisun Bay, we said that the Contra Costa Water District gets State Water Project water. They don’t. However, two of the other agencies – Santa Clara Valley Water District and Zone 7 – do.Levee sleight of handLet’s risk taking our eyes off the Bay Delta Conservation Plan’s (BDCP’s) Peripheral Tunnel realignment plans for a [...]

Delta Flows: August 21, 2013

“You don’t have to do things. Maybe by avoiding doing things you accomplish quite a lot. Maybe if Kennedy had avoided the Bay of Pigs or Vietnam, that would have been quite an accomplishment.” – Governor Jerry Brown, Thoughts (1976) Senate hearing looks at BDCP governance and financing At a Joint Informational Hearing of the Senate Governance and Finance and the Natural Resources and Water Committees on August 13, senators got an overview of BDCP Governance and Financing. Major themes: It isn’t clear who is in charge, and the financing doesn’t pencil out. Governance involves: • An Authorized Entity Group – those getting the permits, deciding how SWP and CVP will be operated, and approving changes to species recovery measures. [...]

Delta Flows: August 9, 2013

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. – Pablo Picasso Art and the Delta as Place Arts activists from around the U.S. and the world will hear about the Delta in September thanks to two young Delta advocates. At Gabfestry, an Arts Activist conference in Maine, students Ryan Camero and Javier Padilla Reyes will be presenting “Visions in the Dark: The Case for Creative Placemaking,” a presentation/workshop focusing on conditions in Stockton and California. According to the project website, “They will represent Stockton, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and the issues surrounding them to an international audience and will return to bring community projects that aim to inspire and empower leaders as well as nurture [...]

Delta Flows, Special Edition: July 31, 2013

“In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments – there are consequences.” – Robert Green IngersollSpecial Edition by Jane Wagner-Tyack  This could be our future  We have a situation going on in California right now that will tell us whether the State Water Resources Control Board can manage the state’s water resources for the benefit of the whole state rather than for the benefit of south San Joaquin Valley agriculture worth less than one-half of one percent of the state’s GDP.This past spring, the Water Board received ten petitions from Northern California water rights holders to “temporarily” transfer their water diversion rights to some state and federal water contractors south of the Delta.  These contractors included the San Luis and Delta-Mendota [...]