Archive for the 'STCDA News' Category

Re-Funding the Science Board

A year ago, the Delta Independent Science Board (Delta ISB) was defunded for Fiscal Year 2020-21. In June of 2020 the Delta Stewardship Council staff discontinued contracts paying the Delta ISB members at professional scientific rates. The Delta ISB members then served without compensation until November of 2020, when the contracts were replaced by $100 per diem salaried positions, effective retroactive to July 1, 2020. The compensation change has crippled the work of the Delta ISB. Some are arguing that this move was actually illegal.

The legislature has decided not to address the Delta ISB funding issue through the state budget, but through Senate Bill 821, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta: Delta Independent Science Board. This is a very important and necessary bill and we applaud the Senate for their efforts.

California Water Research was instrumental in uncovering this travesty and pushing for funding for this important work to be reinstated.

Especially now, as projects like the False River Dam are implemented and the Single Tunnel “Delta Conveyance Project” EIR is being finalized, having input from independent scientists is critical. It appears the CA Senate totally appreciates the need and the urgency and is pushing ahead to get the science board funding re-established.

For more info, https://cah2oresearch.com/2021/06/29/legislation-to-save-the-delta-independent-science-board-under-negotiation/

DWR Hold Webinars on Tunnel EIR

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) will be hosting informational webinars related to their preparation of a Draft EIR for the Delta Tunnel Project (Delta Conveyance Project).

Topics are listed below.

Haga clic aquí para ver este aviso en español.

Click Here for latest updates.

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is hosting four informational webinars between July and September 2021 to provide background information related to preparation of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR).  

Save the California Delta Alliance is not in support of these webinars or attendance at them, since in the past DWR has used meetings, such as the bogus in-Delta meetings about the WaterFix, to try to show they are “listening” to the community. In truth, nothing the community said at those meetings was recorded or used at all. The WaterFix continued marching along until we proved to the Delta Stewardship Council that the tunnels were too destructive to ever be deemed “consistent” with the Delta Plan. At that point, WaterFix died.

In it’s place, the “Single Tunnel” emerged.

We will fight again when the EIR is released.

Webinar Topic Details (in case anyone decides to participate).

Operations of the State Water Project and Delta Conveyance

State Water Project (SWP) basics, including how water moves through the Delta and current SWP operations

Future challenges and risks to SWP

Methods to model operations for Delta Conveyance Project environmental review

Interpretation and use of modeling results

Water quality requirements and related operational constraints

Fisheries 

Environmental setting details, including fish species evaluated, migration patterns and fish life cycles

Fish screen considerations

Models, data and analytical methods being used for evaluating potential impacts 

Climate Change

DWR’s overall climate change planning efforts, including the Department’s Climate Action Plan

Purpose of climate change analysis for the Delta Conveyance Project

Current climate change data

Approach to climate resiliency evaluation in the Draft EIR

Climate change and other resource area analytical methods being used for evaluating potential impacts, including for air quality and traffic 

Environmental Justice

Environmental Justice (EJ) Survey results overview, including lessons learned about EJ outreach in the Delta

Environmental Justice evaluation methodology to be included in the Draft EIR, including National Environmental Policy Act mthods considered and the use of EJ Survey data 

If you cannot attend but are interested in the information covered, the presentation and a video recording of each webinar will be made available. If you have any questions on the content covered before or after each event, please email DeltaConveyance@water.ca.gov

STCDA responds to the DWR “Delta Community Benefits”

Here’s the letter from the Save the California Delta Alliance submitted for the public comments on the Delta Protection Commission (DPC) website.

Bottom line: We oppose the Department of Water Resources fake “Delta Community Benefits” workshop and program.

Again? Keep emailing ‘No’

It looks like DWR is going to send out emails about their phony “Community Benefits Program Workshops” regularly.

Every time you get these in your email, we urge you to email back, again and again to DWR at deltaconveyance@water.ca.gov and tell them we are not interested in any tunnel workshops.


What we want is to reduce exports of Delta water. We want DWR to study alternatives to a tunnel in their upcoming Environmental Impact Report, including the end of pumping Delta water hundreds of miles and up and over the Tehachapi Mountains to Los Angeles. All that money spent, and electricity wasted, pumping trillions of tons of water up and over a mountain range can easily pay for desalination, water re-use and recycling, and water conservation that will make up far more than the amount of water being drained from our precious Delta. DWR, just tell Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to stop being lazy, do their job, and develop local and regional supplies so they can stop killing our Delta!They have been trying to build their crazy water grab tunnel since 2006, and even before that the old peripheral canal. Diverting the fresh water around the Delta is not good for the Delta!

We have beaten them every time, in court, and at the ballot box. As long as Delta residents stick together and remain united against the tunnel, we will win again!


Let’s all of us stick together and Just say NO! to DWR, their tunnel, and their phony community meetings. We can’t be bribed.

Don’t be Fooled by their Tunnel Tricks

You may have received an email notice from our long-time adversary, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), inviting you to register and come to one or more “Community Benefits Program Workshops.” Just say “No!” to their bribery.

I urge you not to register or go to any of these workshops. This is simply DWR’s way of duping Delta residents into helping them get their giant water grab tunnel project approved. A trick. The more people who register and attend these sham meetings, the more it will help DWR hoodwink a judge into believing that this tunnel is good for the Delta and that DWR cares about us! What rot! Nonsense!

Instead, I urge you to email back to DWR at  deltaconveyance@water.ca.gov and tell them we are not interested in any tunnel workshops. What we want is to reduce exports of Delta water. We want DWR to study alternatives to a tunnel in their upcoming Environmental Impact Report, including the end of pumping Delta water hundreds of miles and up and over the Tehachapi Mountains to Los Angeles. All that money spent, and electricity wasted, pumping trillions of tons of water up and over a mountain range can easily pay for desalination, water re-use and recycling, and water conservation that will make up far more than the amount of water being drained from our precious Delta. DWR, just tell Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to stop being lazy, do their job, and develop local and regional supplies so they can stop killing our Delta!

They have been trying to build their crazy water grab tunnel since 2006, and even before that the old peripheral canal. Diverting the fresh water around the Delta is not good for the Delta! We have beaten them every time, in court, and at the ballot box. As long as Delta residents stick together and remain united against the tunnel, we will win again!

Let’s all of us stick together and Just say NO! to DWR, their tunnel, and their phony community meetings. We can’t be bribed.

Thank you!

Karen Mann, STCDA President
Jan McCleery, STCDA Past President

Trouble for MWD

Interesting article on Metropolitan Water District woes. Since they are the major backer of the Delta Tunnels, anything to slow that giant down is a big win for the Delta.

Interesting quotes:
Nicky Suard, who owns the Delta marina Snug Harbor, thinks MWD’s new scandal is happening at a time when more Los Angeles leaders and residents are questioning whether they want to be on the financial hook for a water project that could take two decades to build and be technologically obsolete before it’s even done. Suard says, given the increasing advances in desalinization tech and atmospheric water generators, LA officials should want out of their tunnel commitment.

“It’s great that LA’s leaders are revisiting this,” Suard noted. “It’s not in the best interest of their constituents to raise their rates even more – and it’s their residents who will ultimately be footing part of the bill.”

Dan Whaley, a business owner in Hood – the town most directly threatened by the tunnel – thinks that if LA goes through with finding localized water solutions and exits from MWD, it would allow the State to focus on helping Central Valley farmers without destroying his community.

“If water doesn’t need to go over the Tehachapi Mountains, then there’s enough water,” Whaley stressed. “There really would be no need for the tunnel.”

Will Major Scandal At Metropolitan Water District Save Delta Communities From The Tunnel?

Holiday Message from STCDA


Happy Holidays from Save the California Delta Alliance!

2020 certainly has been an interesting year for new experiences, time to bond at home and learning to “Zoom”. It is our sincerest hope that you and your loved ones have been able to cope and have remained healthy!

In spite of the rest of us having to endure “Stay In Place” orders – the State of California (and all the committees relating to the Tunnel Project), the Southern California Metropolitan Water District and their engineers have been pushing forward. Save the California Delta Alliance has a seat on the Stakeholders Engagement Committee (SEC). We Stakeholders earnestly tried to push the meetings to a time when we could meet in person with our community (via Town Hall meetings) for your input about the information we are asked to bring to you. However, we were advised by the Head Engineer, Kathryn Mallon, that they would move forward with or without us Stakeholders even during the Covid-19 pandemic. At this point they have presented to the SEC three options for the single 40’ diameter tunnel. Even though, the tunnel will be 150’ below surface – we and the Town of Discovery Bay have major concerns regarding the natural gas and artesian water well locations, which have not yet been mapped out (seems like a big deal to me!). Unfortunately, we have not had ANY change in the location of the intakes which will decimate the historic Hood area, even though many of us Stakeholders have begged them to reconsider the intake locations and/or designs.

The bottom line is we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support both financially and emotionally. We are expecting a new order of signs after the first of the year and we would love to deliver your signs for your home, business, and dock area.

During the last year, the STCDA legal counsel, Michael Brodsky, has been working behind the scenes in research and developing the case to fight the tunnel again. His last visit to the Court resulted in a victorious outcome – unfortunately, the war continues. Your donations will be appreciated to assist us in defraying the costs of insurance, signage, expert witnesses, and other expenses incurred.

This is not a battle won overnight and your help will be appreciated for the next victory. We don’t think residents in the area want a project which ships Delta fresh water to Southern California. During the last SEC meeting I asked if the engineering plan for the water conveyance is like a “TOILET” – all the engineers laughed hysterically and agreed that’s EXACTLY what the proposed plans are like. Our historic California Delta is NOT a TOILET! This TOILET will result in danger to future fishing, farming, drinking water, increased heavy equipment resulting in noise and traffic congestion with no apparent benefit to the residence and users of the California Delta. Please continue to help us fight this battle.

Again, thank you for your continued support and encouragement in this battle to Stop the Tunnel. Even One Tunnel is too many!

Happy Holidays,

Karen J. Mann, President 2020
Save the California Delta Alliance (STCDA)

Karen’s Holiday Message PDF

A Revolt against the Tunnel Process – The SEC is a sham.


The Delta Conveyance Design & Construction Authority (DCA) has touted that they are running an open and transparent process engaging Delta community input via the “Shareholder Engagement Committee (SEC).” But two of the Committee members have sharp words for the SEC process: Karen Mann, STCDA President representing South Delta local businesses on the SEC, and Angelica Whaley representing North Delta legacy communities. Others who have followed the SEC meetings including Bill Wells, Executive Director of the California Delta Chambers and Visitors Bureau, and the Recreational Boaters of California (RBOC) echoed their complaints.

Karen Mann rightly referred to the methods being used by the DCA to control the SEC as Orwellian, saying: “Franz Kafka and George Orwell would both blush at the masterful barrage of bureaucratic mind control deployed by the DCA, as reflected in the glossy reports and minutes produced by you. Make no mistake, we understand that the purpose of these materials is to mislead Governor Newsom and ultimately the courts into thinking you have meaningfully engaged with Delta stakeholders when you have not.”

It’s worth the read – here is an excerpt:

I recently saw a letter from Angelica Whaley, dated September 23, 2020, taking issue with the failure of the SEC to give any real consideration to the concerns of Delta Stakeholders so far.

I agree that this committee has not meaningfully addressed any of the concerns of Delta Stakeholders. We have been strangled by your rules that do not allow us to talk about the things that are really important to us and then barraged with a mass of hyper-technical deta Is about tunnel construction that we are asked to comment on.

I think it is fair to say that 80% of the materials presented to the Stakeholder Committee by the construction engineers are not well understood by committee members, thus further limiting any comment to minor items such as the location of a particular access shaft or barge landing because this kind of item is really the only thing that is presented in a way that is understandable by a layperson.

Franz Kafka and George Orwell would both blush at the masterful barrage of bureaucratic mind control deployed by the DCA, as reflected in the glossy reports and minutes produced by you. Make no mistake, we understand that the purpose of these materials is to mislead Governor Newsom and ultimately the courts into thinking you have meaningfully engaged with Delta stakeholders when you have not.

Back in 2019, when DWR abandoned California Waterfix, DWR Director Nemeth issued a series of proclamations regarding the single-tunnel project promising that the “Newsom administration wants to engage with Delta communities to hear their ideas and concerns.” This Committee is supposed to carry that out. But you have not allowed us to speak our ideas and concerns at all.

Instead, you tell us that anything we want to discuss is part of the CEQA process and not to be discussed at these meetings. So where is the Newsom Administration’s effort to engage with Delta communities to hear their ideas and concerns? It doesn’t exist.

She ends with these strong closing words:

Read Karen’s entire letter here…

Angelica’s letter raises the ongoing concerns about about where the North intakes would be built. STCDA and North Delta representatives successfully argued that location would destroy legacy communities and have other major impacts. The intake location was one of the main reasons that WaterFix (the Twin Tunnel project) was rejected by the Delta Stewardship Council. Yet as DWR began planning for the Single Tunnel, the Intakes were in the same location! The SEC has not been allowed to offer any alternative locations.

Other letters condemning the DCA’s SEC approach:

Bill Wells’ “Water Fraud Update” for December

A great write-up in the December 2020 Bay & Delta Yachtsman magazine by Bill Wells on the latest “WaterFraud Update”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requested comments on the Delta Conveyance Project plan to divert the Sacramento River around the Delta with a tunnel starting at Hood. Michael Brodsky, an attorney for the Save the California Delta Alliance submitted six pages of comments explaining why the project should be stopped. The Delta Chambers, Delta Legacy Communities and many other organizations and individuals submitted comments too, explaining what a bad idea the project is.

[NOTE: Here is Michael Brodsky’s six page letter sent to the ACOE plus all of the attachments.]

Here is an excerpt from Michael Brodsky’s comments, it will give you the idea of what is going on: “DWR has settled on two intakes, intakes #3 and #5, both located adjacent to the small low-income minority community of Hood. No alternative intake locations are considered or have been seriously considered. Please see Attachment 4 for a graphic depiction of intakes #3 and #5 looming over and dwarfing the small town of Hood. Attachment 4 was prepared for hearings on the former California WaterFix, but the location of intakes #3 and #5 has not changed. DWR believes that it has existing water rights at these locations and therefore its SWRCB process would be a Petition for a change in the point of diversion. If it locates the intakes anywhere else, its SWRCB process would be the initiation of a new water right, a somewhat higher bar to pass. This administrative convenience for DWR does not excuse the environmental justice atrocity being perpetrated on Hood. Hood will be destroyed by the multi-year construction activity needed to build these two intakes. The town will be largely abandoned and residents who remain will suffer irreparable harm. The injury to Hood and insult to principals of environmental justice is all the more acute because DWR recently concluded that intake #2 be eliminated from consideration because of the community impacts on the small town of Clarksburg. Attachment 5 is DWR’s statement of unacceptable impacts on Clarksburg with no mention of Hood. The impacts on Clarksburg were significant and unacceptable in their own right but less than on Hood. Clarksburg is more prosperous and more white than Hood and one wonders aloud, if the lesser impacts on Clarksburg were an unacceptable imposition on that community why are greater impacts being imposed on the less prosperous community of Hood acceptable to DWR? Intakes #3 and #5 must not be placed at these locations. They must be moved.

“The Application should be rejected for the reasons stated above. If not rejected out of hand, then a reasonable range of alternatives not considered by DWR should be included in the Corps-prepared EIS.”

Ironically the DWR recently sent a “Social Justice” survey out to many Delta Area taxpayers to see if they wanted a western alignment or a more easterly alignment of the tunnel. To me “Social Justice” would be to stop the project and use the billions of dollars saved to help get California’s economy going again.

Apparently, there is some skullduggery going on at the Stakeholder Engagement Committee. We keep hearing of “Community Development” funds that will become available to groups that support the tunnel. One fellow from the North Delta told us that there could be $150 million available if the community supported diverting the river. Another fellow from Bethel Island said that there could be $300 million available for tunnel supporters and only maybe $5 million available if the tunnel is not supported. Other SEC members are tightlipped about the funds. An attorney friend of mine says this sounds a lot like Quid Pro Quo and possibly illegal. I am sure we will be finding out more about this in the future.

His complete article about other Delta happenings is here: Bay & Delta Yachtsman Magazine.

ACTION ALERT – Send Emails Today

IMPORTANT ACTION ALERT – PLEASE SEND EMAILS.

Tomorrow (Tuesday, December 8) is the Metropolitan Water District vote on Funding the Next Phase of the Delta Tunnel. This is an important milestone.

You can help influence the vote by sending an email to MWD today or early tomorrow urging the Board of Directors to vote NO on continuing the tunnel efforts!

TO: The Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors.
Email: dl-boardsupportteam@mwdh2o.com

and OfficeoftheGeneralManager@mwdh2o.com

BCC: volunteers@NoDeltaGates.com (This will allow us to track the number of emails MWD is receiving from us)

Subject: Vote NO on Funding the Next Phase of the Delta Tunnel

In your emails, please say you are a member of the Save the California Delta Alliance as well as any other comments you want to make. We want MWD to know it’s our STCDA members who are so strongly opposing this project. Let them know STCDA, who has been such a vocal opponent to their tunnel project for years, is still here, protecting the Delta, strongly opposed to their continued efforts.

I’m sure you all have comments to make that are especially important to you: From construction impacts including boating and recreation impacts of a construction project through the Delta (destroying wetlands, Delta farms, etc.) to the long-term water quality issues that will occur from diverting the cleaner Sacramento River water around the Delta instead of flowing through it.

Or you can simply tell them STCDA members urge you to vote “No.”

As always, your help is appreciated.

Thank you!

If you use Twitter, you can tweet to MWD at @mwdh2o and Board Chair Gloria Gray at @GloriaDGray and tells them to VOTE NO on the tunnel.


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