Delta Counties’ Water Summit

Important meeting coming up. Here’s all of the information: https://nodeltagates.files.wordpress.com/2022/06/save-the-date-delta-counties-water-summit.pdf

Letter to Met

A “spot on” letter from Bill Wells to the Metropolitan Water District. If you don’t know Bill, he’s been a water warrior for years and years. He is the Executive Director of the California Delta Chambers, a monthly contributor to the Bay and Delta Yachtsman magazine, writing the “Delta Rat Scrapbook” articles, and is on the Board of Directors for our Save the California Delta Alliance.

Still Waiting for California to take the “First Step”

 

A good article in CalMatters was written by Carolee Krieger, the executive director for California Water Impact Network called “Here is the first step to a sustainable water policy”.

STCDA provided feedback commentary to CalMatters:

Good commentary and on the mark. But it’s discouraging to say that documenting the actual amount of water available is the first step to a sustainable water policy. This is the same step people have been saying for the 10 or more years that I’ve been tracking these issues.

Based on our legal counsel, Michael Brodsky’s briefs, we blogged on our Save the California Delta Alliance website about “Paper Water” in 2013, reporting that the state had oversold water by five times the amount it actually had. The UC Davis study Ms. Krieger refers to was in 2014.

Yes. The answers are appropriate water rights, addressing groundwater overdrafting, addressing Delta environmental issues via Delta flows, conservation, wastewater recycling and the retirement of impaired agricultural lands.

It includes doing what the Legislature dictated in the 2009 Delta Reform Act, namely moving toward regional self-reliance more than 10 years ago. Yet nothing changes.

It is very important to keep these issues in the forefront. Yes, it may be old news, but we all need to keep saying it until the agencies in charge wake up and pay attention.

Jan McCleery, Past President Save the California Delta Alliance

The Town of Hood Fights Back

Since the start of the tunnel project (Bay Delta Conservation Plan, then WaterFix, now the single tunnel Delta Conveyance Project), a repeated concern by everyone, and a big part of STCDA’s push back, has been the location of the intakes for the new pumps. The intakes continue to be planned to be put right on top of the tiny town of Hood.

The Delta Protection Committee penned a letter years ago to the Delta Stewardship Council saying the plan would cause “blight” on the small legacy towns. STCDA concurred.

Karen Mann who was a representative on the DWR’s Stakeholder Engagement Committee raised the point time and again that the intakes must be moved. All pleas fell on deaf ears. Time and time and again.

Well, the town of Hood just fought back: https://nodeltagates.files.wordpress.com/2021/10/10-22-2021-hood-letter-to-governor.pdf

Tales from a Water Warrior

Relevant to the prior Mono Lake article urging Governor Newsom to not rely on “voluntary agreements” to solve our current water crisis and instead let the Water Board do their job and mandate restrictions,

Deirdre Des Jardins, one of the constant and effective independent warriors in the Water Wars, wrote this insightful article about her efforts the past years to bring science to the Delta battle. It’s worth a read, as she illustrates the effort it takes to do this battle.

Image of the SWRCB Hearing Officer, Tam Doduc, muring the Oct 2, 2021 hearing. Taken by Deirdre Des Jardins.

In particular, she relates the “State Water Resources Control Board’s WaterFix Water Right Change Petition Hearing took place from July of 2016 to September of 2018. It was the largest water rights hearing in 50 years, involving over 110 parties and over 85 attorneys. I participated in the entire hearing. In addition to testifying on impacts of climate change, operations modeling, and reservoir operations for drought.”

Save the California Delta Alliance also participated in those hearings. Michael Brodsky attended days on end. Mike Guzzardo, Captain Frank Morgan (of the Rosemarie), Bill Wells, me, and others went to Sacramento and testified. (I only spent a few days there. Deirdre was relentless).

Worth the read – meet Deirdre.

https://cah2oresearch.com/2021/10/02/tales-from-the-water-wars-the-passing-game/?fbclid=IwAR37wdm_ohqTS7auKRFIGZqVv9jT2snJE-erRVgAoyQQ_ZutebaGpLdtAhA

They Saved Mono Lake … the Delta will take the same effort

Good editorial in the LA Times on Sunday. They say, ““If California is to save the [Delta], the governor should note the successful conclusion of the Mono Lake dispute and free the water board to issue mandates. Only then will the parties come to the table truly ready to deal.”

How did the L.A. Department of Water and Power, which historically kept water flowing out of Mono Lake and the Eastern Sierra to the city of LA become a partner in protecting the environment? The battle started in 1978, showing that these things take a long time to resolve.

It also shows no one budges without a lawsuit. One of our successful lawsuits to require the state to agree to adjustments on the Delta Flows is still being contested, years later.

Regarding the Delta and the immediate threat to the salmon, Gov. Gavin Newsom has called on water agencies to reach “voluntary agreements” without first being compelled by a court ruling or water board order to meaningfully engage.

This is a backward approach and cannot reach a successful conclusion for the Delta without our active involvement.

We’d appreciate any donations to help us with our current efforts and those that will be coming up to battle the Delta Tunnel. The Tunnel EIR is scheduled to be released in 2022.

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.


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