Risk to Delta Farmland

Delta Farm Produce

Thoughts from the July 27, 2020 Stakeholder Engagement Committee Meeting: A long presentation was provided about changes to the single tunnel (Delta Conveyance Project) plan looking at: (1) Reducing the footprint of what will remain afterwards (the size of the platform around each launch site) and (2) How to retain viable topsoil and after the project layer RTM (Muck) covered by topsoil to restore as much of the island as possible to useable farmland. That sounded positive – changes being considered due to inputs from Delta residents and farmers worried about the economic loss from so much Delta farmland being taken out of production forever.

The SEC farm representatives expressed serious doubts, though. Doubts that the RTM will make a viable layer (since there is absolutely no nutrients in it and instead are chemicals like mercury and arsenic) plus conditioning chemicals. Doubts if the topsoil, if removed for years, would be able to be restored since its beneficial soil microorganisms would have died also. These doubts leave remaining concerns about the loss of agriculture and economic benefits.

But more than that … I couldn’t help but ponder … The DWR has been studying doing this project for years … YEARS … and no one ever stopped to consider that (1) Delta farmland is the most fertile land in the country, due to the eons of time creating it, (2) It takes less water because it is surrounded by the Delta, (3) Their project was going to risk huge farm islands going totally out of production forever? The OBVIOUS conclusion must be that the DWR knows nothing about the Delta and has never cared about the Delta or these issues would have come up before now.

I hope the farm representatives on the SEC were glad that some changes for the positive “may” have come out from their hours and hours of participation in these meetings. But for me, I found it very depressing.

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