TAKES ON FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
TO PROTECT DISCOVERY BAY AND THE DELTA
against the U.S. Department of Interior’s – Bureau of Reclamation
“2 Gates Fish Protection Demonstration Project”
Hello SFBDF Members and Friends!
BAY AND DELTA AREA RESIDENTS AND BUSINESS OWNERS SHOULD ATTEND THIS MEETING!
Our members will be presenting an update on where we are today on the “2 Gates” issue plus enhancing everyone’s understanding of the bigger water issues that will be affecting us for years to come.
There will be special guest speakers including:
- Mary N. Piepho – Contra Costa County Supervisor
- Susanna Schlendorf – District Director for Assemblymember Joan Buchanan
- David Nesmith – Environmental Water Caucus
This special program is designed to give an overview of:
- A Brief History of the Bay and Delta.
- An Update on the 2 Gates project.
- An overview of major Delta water projects.
- Who’s taking water from the Delta, where are they taking it from and why?
- What contaminants are in our water, where are they coming from and what can we do about it?
- How do we provide water to those who need it and what measures can we take to conserve water?
- Why are we growing low value crops instead of growing more drought resistant crops that yield more and use less water?
- Water conveyance and storage.
- Our efforts to maintain the beauty and health of the Southern Delta and Discovery Bay.
- A surprise announcement about SFBDF you won’t want to miss.
We hope you can make this event, please feel free to pass this email on to anyone you know who may be interested.
“Save the San Francisco Bay and Delta Foundation (SFBDF) is a public interest organization committed to working with local, state, and federal government
to create a balanced plan that offers water for everyone and also makes the California Delta and San Francisco Bay a safe and healthy environment for all who live here.”
|Dave Dove, Chairman||925.354.3800
|Karen Mann, Vice Chairman||925.513.3231 x1
|Mike Guzzardo, Media Relations||925.864.5757
Please read the email below for the latest from Supervisor Piepho who is keeping a watchful eye on those that would ruin our delta.
From: BOS District3 [mailto:Supervisor_Piepho@bos.cccounty.us]
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2010 4:28 PM
Subject: Feinstein’s water meddling
For Your Information
Courtesy of Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho, Contra Costa County, District III
Los Angeles Times Editorial
February 17, 2010
Feinstein’s water meddling
By attempting to divert water to a group of farmers in the west San Joaquin Valley, she risks upsetting a delicate compromise reached last year.
Cities, farmers, fishermen and environmentalists have been waging an exhausting tug of war over water for decades in California, but last fall something unusual happened. All those ropes being tugged by competing interests were woven into something new — a framework for settling conflicts approved under a package of bills by the Legislature. The agreement might have been a fragile web, but it was a historic one nonetheless. And then, last week, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) fired a cannonball through it.
Feinstein announced that she would attach a rider to an upcoming federal jobs bill that would boost water deliveries from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to a vocal agribusiness community in the west San Joaquin Valley. Because these farmers were late to the game of acquiring water rights, they’re the first to get shorted when deliveries are cut, as they were last year because of drought conditions and court- ordered pumping restrictions aimed at restoring fish populations. West valley farmers only got about 10% of their allocations of federally subsidized water in 2009, and Feinstein’s rider would ensure they get closer to 40% this year and next.
Feinstein says she’s proposing the amendment because “people in California’s breadbasket face complete economic ruin without help.” Indeed, unemployment is running alarmingly high in some Central Valley communities. But then, they’ve long been beset by chronic unemployment. Moreover, a report by the University of the Pacific suggests that the vast majority of the region’s job losses have been in the construction industry, not agriculture. And it’s perverse to insert language in a jobs bill aimed at benefiting farmworkers without considering the impact on fishermen, whose industry has been devastated by heavy pumping of delta water. The delta is home to hundreds of species, including the increasingly threatened chinook salmon.
That’s only the beginning of what’s wrong with Feinstein’s amendment. If approved, it would create a legal morass around conflicts between federal and state endangered species protections. Worse yet, it would blow apart the trust built up among competing stakeholders during years of negotiations preceding last year’s water package. Her attempt to make an end run around this bipartisan process, at the behest of a powerful interest group, could destroy what limited progress has been made and end in years of litigation and acrimony.
Though the west valley’s farms are important to the state’s economy, they are located in a naturally arid landscape that’s unsuited to agriculture; moreover, runoff from the area contains heavy selenium deposits, which turned a local reservoir into a toxic waste dump. If cuts in water deliveries make it expensive to farm in such unsustainable places — well, maybe that’s as it should be. The region should only get its water allotment if managers deem there is enough surplus to allow it.
Feinstein says she’s still working on the language of her rider and is open to alternative suggestions. Here’s ours: Stop interfering with the state’s delicate water talks and withdraw this destructive amendment.
Office of Supervisor Mary N. Piepho
Contra Costa County, District III
309 Diablo Road
Danville, California 94526
Ph: (925) 820-8683
Fax: (925) 820-6627
181 Sand Creek Road, Suite L
Brentwood, California 94513
Ph: (925) 240-7260
Fax: (925) 240-7261
Tomi Van de Brooke, Chief of Staff
Lea Castleberry, Deputy Chief of Staff
Marion Murphy, Scheduler/Office Operations
Karyn Cornell, East County Field Representative
Jennifer Quallick, South County Field Representative