Posted by: Jan | May 13, 2010

Water Education Foundation Tour


Discovery Bay was the next to last stop today in a two-day Water Education Foundation “Flood Management Tour” taken by about 50 people. The tour group included farmers, county supervisors, water agencies, and others – many from the Central Valley and L.A. The meeting was at the Boardwalk Grill and was a chance to show them Discovery Bay and to express the South Delta communities’ concerns about Two-Gates and other proposed changes to the Delta.

The first speaker was Mario Manzo from the US Bureau of Reclamations, Project Manager for the Two-Gates project. Following Mario, our own Mike Guzzardo talked about the STCDA concerns with Two-Gates: the appreciation for the Delta the people who live here have and the desire to not see it turned into a salt water estuary. Concerns with the proliferation of dams and gates affecting the water quality “IN” the Delta (as opposed to the rest of the people in the room’s concern about the quality of the water being “EXPORTED” from the Delta for agriculture and drinking water) and navigation and safety issues with the Two-Gates. About the desire for a “balanced” state water plan which takes into consideration the needs of Delta communities.

Although Mike wasn’t speaking to an audience sharing our concerns, it was an opportunity to give a human face to the views on the other side of the water export argument. Mike did a great job !

Good news from the USBR

Of significant interest were a couple of updates about the Two-Gates project from Mario. First, from the USBR perspective, the next steps are two to three years’ study to validate the science behind the project before anything would be done.

In addition, the USBR has been meeting with the Dept. of Waterways and Desmond & Desmond (agency representing the interests of the Recreational Boaters of California (RBOC)) about navigation, water access, and the other concerns raised about the Two-Gates project. “IF” any gates are installed, they would be different than in the initial project – more boater-friendly. Perhaps locks or equivalent. So that’s great news even though our goal is to avoid any experimental dams in the Delta which are likely to negatively effect the ecosystem.

It shows your comments and feedback were heard and is making a difference in how the USBR is looking at the Delta and its use. Mario made reference more than once to the 1400 comments the USBR had received about the Two-Gates project – and all but one objected to the Two-Gates project and most raised navigation and safety concerns. Good work everyone !

However …

While that’s good news, the bad news is that the legislative bills to re-start the Two-Gates project and do so quickly are still being pushed through the legislature. Mary Peipho spoke in opposition to Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR) 38 at the committee hearing Tuesday and all five Delta County supervisors oppose the Two-Gates and AJR 38. But it is still moving ahead. And the Delta Interim Draft Plan still lists Two-Gates as an objective.

We still have work to do but by all of us in the community working together, we are making progress.

Check out the new look for www.NoDeltaGates.com. We think it’s nicer and easier to read. Hope you agree.

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