A bus full of Discovery Bay residents made the trip to Sacramento on May 25th to protest the Delta Stewardship Council’s draft amendment on “conveyance” (aka the Delta Tunnels) and to provide public comment. But none of them were able to do so besides the formal presentation by Michael Brodsky as part of the first panel. A public comment period was supposed to follow the agenda item.

STCDA Supporters Attended En Masse | Michael Brodsky and Osha Meserve were on the first panel

Two panels were scheduled for an hour a piece. The panel discussions ran late and public comment didn’t start until nearly 4 p.m.

Read the full story here.

Regardless of why the schedule ran late, the result was a large group of disappointed attendees. The bus stayed an extra hour to attempt to allow Discovery Bay residents the opportunity to speak in public comment, but not one actually made it to the podium.

“They let everybody else speak but us,” several residents said simultaneously.

But while the Discovery Bay contingent was upset, they weren’t entirely dejected. As the group boarded the bus, they agreed to be back, and in greater numbers.

Photos courtesy of Richard Wisdom, DB Press
Article by “The Delta Confluence” Read the full story here.

Posted by: Jan | May 16, 2017

The Fruit Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree

The Father: Governor Pat Brown His Son: Governor Jerry Brown
pBrown1   thumb_Jerry-Brown-finger-to-head-AP-Paul-Sakuma-640x480_1024
FILE – This Nov. 5, 1958 AP photo shows Governor-elect Edmund G. “Pat” Brown proclaiming his victory. FILE – This Sep. 4, 2015 AP photo shows arrogant Governor Jerry Brown illustrating his distain for California legislatures.



It is now being reported that the flaws in the Oroville Dam go back to Governor Pat Brown’s overzealous ambitions to create a monument in his name, the Oroville Dam and the State Water Project.

The parallels between that project and the current California WaterFix/Delta Tunnels project being ramrodded through the process by his son, Governor jerry Brown, are quite astonishing.

Gov. Pat Brown was bent on building a dam and the accompanying State Water Project to expand water deliveries to the parched southern half of California. Gov. Jerry Brown is bent on building the Delta Tunnels for the same purpose.

Pat Brown campaigned relentlessly and convinced the Legislature and then the voters to approve a $1.75 billion bond measure when the federal government couldn’t help with funding. Jerry Brown campaigned relentlessly, using bogus scare tactics, and convinced the voters to vote “No” on Proposition 53, a bill which would have stopped the tunnels and high speed train by putting them on the ballot.

In addition, Jerry Brown has touted his $15 billion California WaterFix (aka Tunnels) project whereas independent economists identify it’s more like $60 billion now not counting likely overruns. Pat Brown later acknowledged that he and his advisers realized the project’s true cost was probably around $2.5 billion, but they weren’t sure voters could handle such a number.

Pat Brown believed cost didn’t really matter given what was at stake. “You need water. Whatever it costs, you have to have it,” he said. Hmm – doesn’t that sound like something Jerry is now saying?

Two of a kind. Full speed ahead regardless of who get hurt in the process.

The citizens of Oroville are now rioting in realization that they gave up their land and community for Pat Brown’s promises of grand improvements to come. In return for losing entire communities and thousands of acres of taxable land, the region would become home to California’s second-largest reservoir, Lake Oroville, and a tourist destination akin to Disneyland.

how-i-know-the-apple-didnt-fall-far-from-the-tree Well, at least his son may have learned something after all. Jerry Brown doesn’t even pretend that he’s trying to save the Delta. He has made no promises about improved tourism, protecting recreation, or farmers. No promises of improvements for the communities affected, only negative impacts.

I wouldn’t call that an improvement over his father’s personality, though.

The father left shattered promises; the son is shattering Delta citizens dreams for the future of life on the Delta.



References:
Yahoo News Article on Pat Brown 5/14/17
Sacramento Bee 5/15/17 Article on Pat Brown
Oroville Citizens Protest Broken Promises 5/15/17

Posted by: Jan | May 15, 2017

What Makes the Delta Special?

Another Week, Another Project affecting the Delta

The Coast Guard is reviewing a permit to build a new two-lane bridge over Middle River, replacing the existing Woodward Island ferry on the Middle River. The ferry is currently a 5 MPH zone just north of Ski Beach.
p_ferry
File photo from Quincy Engineering, Sacramento

As boaters who use Middle River as one of our local boating highways, is there a cause for concern?

There is some good news with a bridge. The cable ferry can be very dangerous. The bridge is high enough (30 feet at the center span) for most boats (except sail boats and large barges with cranes) to pass underneath without waiting for a bridge opening. It is not the normal path for sail boats.

There will be two years during summer months until October 31 of periodic 1-week waterway closures.

My main boating concern is that this project, like all others the state plans, fails to show an understanding of the esthetics of the Delta for boaters. What worries me is that, like many Delta projects including the BDCP/California WaterFix/Delta Tunnels, the project plan was developed by a group called ICF International in Sacramento. This group seems to lack a real understanding of the value of the Delta.

So I was wondering . . . what makes the Delta special?

Just because there are similar bridges here and there in the Delta, does that mean it is all right to put more bridges up just anywhere? It is similar to other project write-ups I’ve seen when I thought that just because there are rock levees in places, it doesn’t mean that an entire Delta with only rock levees would give the same visual experience.

Middle River is a more vegetated river, a prettier area. We want to make sure scenic areas of the Delta maintain their vegetation and boating enjoyment.

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Riding down a nicely vegetated slough

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Look! A turtle on a log in the tules

All projects that affect the Delta should be reviewed by people who boat on the Delta. These guys need to go anchor out at Mildred Island and watch the sun set over Mt. Diablo. The need to take a ski boat zipping through the sloughs up and down Middle River and enjoy the scenery. There is the popular Ski Beach nearby the proposed bridge. It would be preferable if note was taken about Ski Beach site and a discussion about whether the bridge would wreck the esthetics there.

We took our ski boat up there a few weeks ago and concluded there isn’t a real issue with the bridge and Ski Beach, but I wish people writing these project plans for the Delta would research first and comment on it.

In addition, is there justification for spending our tax payer money on an expensive bridge? The main use for the bridge is going to be to build the Delta Tunnels. That project should have to pay for a significant portion of this bridge.

For these reasons, I think it makes sense for people to send in comments on the new bridge. Perhaps say they appreciate boating safety being considered. But the fact that there are bridges in the Delta shouldn’t necessarily mean bridges should be installed everywhere.

And what about the costs?

Comments are due May 18th

Email to: Carl.T.Hausner@uscg.mil

Or send US Mail to:
Commander
Eleventh Coast Guard District
Coast Guard Island, Bldg 50-2,
Alameda, CA 94501-5100

More Details

Why a bridge?

My first question (always suspicious about the motives behind any project in the Delta) was why are they doing it? Looking at the map, the bridge will provide access to Woodward Island, one of the many farmed islands in the Delta. Woodward is just south of the railroad track, with Old River on the west and Middle River on the east. The Twin Sloughs runs south of it. The stated purpose is both replacing the old ferry to provide 24×7 emergency access.

Hmm. The island isn’t inhabited. However, after doing more digging I was told that the island is where the East Bay Municipal Water District (EBMUD) pipelines cross. If those broke, they’d need to quickly get equipment and workers to that island. Having a road also helps get trucks to the island to assist with levee repairs (although often levee repairs are done by barges).

There’s a bigger picture. There is a long-term goal to replace all of the old cable ferries. The cable-guided ferry has been in operation since 1936 in one form or another. It is one of five ferries still operating in the Delta. The old ferries are falling apart, dangerous, and provide limited access.

How will it affect boaters?

The good news is that the plans are for a bridge that will be 30 feet high in the center and have seven spans. That means it is large enough for even large yachts to navigate through. Sailboats will be restricted, but a sailboat cannot go under the Middle River Railroad Bridge, and that bridge typically does not open.

The other good news is that it should no longer be a 5 MPH zone. That’s nice for boaters. Although caution should still be taken if planning to tow a skier, wakeboarder, or raft through the opening. There have been accidents and even deaths caused by mishaps with wakeboarders and even jet skiers around bridge pilings. That is why the Orwood Railroad Bridge and Middle River Railroad Bridge are 5 MPH zones.

Regardless, a bridge with pilings isn’t the hazard that a cable ferry can pose. In the ’60s, several Liberty High teens lost their lives when they zoomed through the ferry area on Middle River, ignoring the 5 MPH zone. The cable ferry was in operation so that the cable was taunt and at boat height. It was quite tragic.

While the new bridge will not have an operational opening, the center span can be removed by a crane for the rare requirement of getting a large construction barge with high equipment under, or other need.

That sounds like all good news – right?

But still, an expensive bridge just in case some pipelines break?

Wouldn’t it be cheaper and more cost effective to add shut-off valves in the pipes (if they aren’t there already) and the State could helicopter equipment in for a one-time fix as fast and much cheaper than a permanent bridge?

Looking at the map, I realized that Woodward Island is also the location of one of the proposed Delta Tunnel shafts. There is currently no way to get the ongoing column of large trucks and earth-moving equipment to the shaft site needed to construct the tunnels. A large, sturdy bridge that doesn’t need to open for boats would certainly solve that problem! Ahah!

Yet, after further checking, I found out that the project started before the Delta Tunnels project. Here’s a January 2008 article: Ferries a dying breed”. That article talks about the $40 million worth of crops and cost to taxpayers that occurred when the Jones Tract levee broke and flooded the island. It sounds like their justification is that, the way the bridge is being constructed, it would be easier to get trucks over and still can move barges around for levee repairs on Woodward Island.

But that argument doesn’t hold water when the long-term plan for the state is to let salt water intrude into the Delta. Woodward Island wouldn’t be farmable at that point, so that negates the need to be able to keep Woodward Island levees repaired.

What about funding?

This seems like a pretty expensive way to go. In the 2008 article, it was reported that the project then could cost as much as $10 million, primarily funded through federal money. The rest of the cost will be picked up by the county, the island’s reclamation district and the East Bay Municipal Utility District, which owns pipelines running across the island.

If almost all of the reason is to provide emergency access to EBMUD’s pipeline, that seems expensive and seems EBUD should foot a larger proportion of the bill.

According to the Central Valley Business Times article last month, the Coast Guard says the bridge will not have a significant impact on the environment.

The official Project Plan is here: WOODWARD ISLAND BRIDGE PROJECT (FERRY RAMP REPLACEMENT) OVER MIDDLE RIVER, BRIDGE NO. 00F0001 INITIAL STUDY/MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION.

Comments are due May 18th

Email to: Carl.T.Hausner@uscg.mil

Or send US Mail to:
Commander
Eleventh Coast Guard District
Coast Guard Island, Bldg 50-2,
Alameda, CA 94501-5100

Posted by: Jan | May 11, 2017

The Battle for the Delta

An article about Save the California Delta Alliance and how it got started in May 110 Magazine: The Battle for the Delta.

110-mag

Posted by: Jan | May 11, 2017

Tulare Lake Basin – the missed opportunity

“How Wet Weather Impacted California’s Groundwater Deficit” is a good article about California’s groundwater supply and, I add, the State’s mismanagement of it.

“Even after this year’s heavy rains, California’s groundwater supply remains slowly but steadily shrinking. Our wet year was a missed opportunity by the state to have a plan in place to capture additional rainwater in wet years. I don’t mean more reservoirs. While the snow pack can hold 15 million acre-feet (MAF) and the state’s reservoirs 40 MAF, California’s groundwater reserves, by contrast, are vast. In the porous soils below the ground there may be a billion acre-feet of water storage.

“40 MAF is enough to fill a skyscraper (the size of a city block) 4 inches. But a billion acre feet would fill a skyscraper 60,000 miles high.

“The best way to do this, Harter says, would be to divert surplus flows in wet years onto undeveloped land and allow it to sink. Agricultural land is the most porous.”

But then the article falls short. Stops. To me then, the obvious approach is to restore the Tulare Lake basin. That would flood existing farmland for a year or two but the result would be restored Central Valley groundwater.

Unfortunately the article echoes the answer we keep hearing from the state.

“… we could turn around California’s growing groundwater deficit. But we probably won’t,” he says.

Why not? I ask. Is it easier to destroy the entire Delta than ask the farmers to take subsidies every 5-10 years while the Tulare Lake does it’s historical job and restores the groundwater table?

Tulare Lake Article

Tulare Lake Basin Proposal

Posted by: Jan | May 10, 2017

Taking the Bus

Save the California Delta Alliance (STCDA) members got on the bus Friday April 28 to travel to Sacramento and attend the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) meeting. This was the monthly meeting after the March meeting in Brentwood where 400 people showed up to let the Council know, in no uncertain terms, that they opposed adding an Amendment to the Delta Plan supporting “conveyance” (i.e., tunnels) as a “fix” for the Delta.

Arriving at the bus pickup location at 6:30 a.m. (yawn), Mike passed out tee shirts “Save the Delta / No Tunnels / No Gates”

1-GetYourTee

while Jan managed the bus boarding.

2-LoadTheBus

Once loaded and ready to travel, a “healthy” breakfast was served.

3-BreakfastAnyone

The bus arrived in Sacramento.

P1000104

We headed to the conference room and quickly that room was full. We had been joined by an additional thirty or more STCDA members who drove up separately plus members from North Delta C.A.R.E.S., RTD, and others. There was a strict limit on the number of people in each room, so a separate conference room was opened upstairs for the overflow. I asked the representative if the Council would have audio/video to be able to see the people in the overflow room. She told me that people in that room would have audio and video to follow the proceedings.

“No,” I countered, “the other way around. So the Council can see the reaction of the people in the conference room.”

A shocked look. That was a no.

RTD passed out signs where one side said “Agree” and the other “Disagree” so we could silently and respectfully rabble-rouse and let our feedback be known. During the two-plus hour presentation by the Council Staff to the Council about this new Amendment, the “Disagree” signs were seen repeatedly.

There were some very good change in the Amendment; statements that made it sound like the Delta Plan would actually do something to Protect the Delta. I was almost feeling like the 400 in attendance in March were being heard and wondered if my planned comments were outdated, that the Council was going to become “Stewards of the Delta” as their name implied. But then they went right back to tunnel-talk.

The “Disagree” signs quickly appeared when the Council quoted as fact a statement by Lund saying the main issue in the Delta is “conveyance limitations” and “improvements to through-Delta conveyance are needed, but not enough.”

Boo hiss!

Slide 23 had another list of reasons why the tunnels are needed. Next to the list of reasons why the tunnels will “fix” things I wrote “FALSE”, “FALSE”, “FALSE.” That slide also again raised the “earthquake bogey,” as Dr. Pyke has termed it. The false scare-tactic thought up right after Katrina that says all the levees will fall down when there comes a major earthquake in the Delta and then L.A will lose it’s water supply. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I then wrote down a sentence for my planned comments that after commending the Council on some of the pro-Delta changes made to the Amendment, I added: “If you truly are still protecting the Delta, the WaterFix project needs to be abandoned.”

DSC428-0

The only time I remember all signs saying “Agree” during that part of the meeting was when one of the Council members who was paying attention to the attendees’ feedback asked if we thought there is valid science out there that is not being considered in the WaterFix plan. Well, yeh – of course, everyone agreed.

ScienceWeArentLookingAt

The Council had made many changes/redlines to the Amendment that were presented. Many of the changes sounded very good for the Delta.

After the amendment presentation, the Council opened the meeting up for comments. There were more than thirty people that made comments from the main room. There were another thirty waiting to come downstairs to make their comments.

Comments being made to the Council:

MeetTheCouncil1

The line-up to make comments:

1T3A2121

Captain Frank Morgan letting the Council know what he thinks of the tunnel plan.

FrankMorgan

Chairperson Randy Fiori (right) looking unswayed by all of the arguments against the Tunnels.

ChairRandy

Out of all those commenters, only one was “for” the tunnels and she was from the Department of Water Resources (DWR), the State agency pushing the tunnels. She received “boos.”

If you remember, the Delta Plan is a plan with two co-equal goals: “Reliable exports” to the South (for the Central Valley farmers and urban users like L.A.) and “Protect the Delta.” Our point is that huge tunnels requiring a massive eleven year construction project through the middle of the Delta would cause havoc and economic ruin for all of the communities affected by the construction. Plus, the result of diverting fresh water directly from the Sacramento River and around (under) the Delta instead of allowing it to flow through would impact Delta farmers, waterways, fish, and communities. That is not the way to protect the Delta!

Also remember that last year STCDA and other organizations won a lawsuit against the DSC because the Delta Plan did not, as directed by the legislature, include measurable targets for reducing exports, reducing reliance on the Delta, and ensuring sufficient flow through the Delta. The result of that lawsuit win is that the judge invalidated the Delta Plan until proper revisions could be made. If course, the DSC is appealing that judgement but still, they should not be moving ahead with new amendments until they correct the existing Plan.

Both legal councilors Bob Wright (Friends of the River) and Michael Brodsky (STCDA) were strong critics of the Council for moving ahead with this amendment, ignoring the judge’s ruling and, as Bob Wright said, ignoring the direction they were given by the Legislature when the Council was formed, to start with the Delta Flow Requirements to protect the Delta.

Citizens argued for their communities and farmers for their farms. People gave personal testimony about the harm that would come from this project. Michael Brodsky’s summed up the message everyone was telling them: “Since 2010, the Delta Stewardship Council has refused to do their job. Their job is to find solutions to the problem that the way we now export water from the Delta to supply California cities and farms harms the Delta and makes our state’s water supply unreliable.

From 2010 to 2013, the Council spent thousands of hours developing a useless Delta Plan because they refused to address harmful exports. For three years, they said “the BDCP will do it for us; the BDCP will fix everything” We sued them and asked the Court to order them to do their job—which is to address harmful exports, not bow down to the BDCP. The judge agreed with us. The judge struck down the Delta Plan and ordered the Council to try again.

Now the Council says, well, the BDCP has looked at all of this for years and years now and what they want–the twin tunnels—is good enough for us. No need for us to look at this, it has all been done for us.

They just don’t get it. The status quo, a failed tunnel project, doesn’t cut it. Delta Council, please do your job and find solutions to save our Delta. That is our message.”

It was now 2:00 p.m. and the meeting hadn’t had even one stand-up break. The bus riders had to leave but many others remained. The assumption had been that the Council would then vote to add the Amendment into the Plan, since they have marching orders from the Governor to move his tunnel project ahead. But instead, the chose to not vote, to go back and review the process.

Maybe the lawyers calling them on the Council to obey the law and do their job had an impact. Maybe the huge turnout at the last two meetings has made them take pause. Maybe some of them are actually listening to the facts, that the WaterFix is not based on valid science and is not what is needed.

Building tunnels does not reduce reliance on the Delta. They would increase reliance on the Delta. The tunnels would not reduce exports from the Delta. Instead, they are planned to maintain the currently excessively high level of exports and have the capability to export much more, to export the entire volume of the Sacramento River. The Delta Plan does not even discuss the Delta Flow Requirements because those requirements written in 2010 said that the exporters were already taking too much money. Updated requirements released recently say that even more flow is needed than analyzed in 2010.

That is the true science. Fish need water. The Delta needs fresh water flowing through it to remain a healthy environment for fish and humans to live, farm, and boat in its waterways. The goal of the 90,000 pages written for the California WaterFix is to obfuscate the true science.

Their current thesis compares building the tunnels versus “status quo.” Much mention was made that “the status quo cannot continue.” One quote was that “Continuing the present through-Delta pumping strategy implies maintaining the ecosystem in its current state, which is detrimental to desirable species.”

To that statement, I say “wrong.” The error in the above logic is that it ignores the real solution: Cutting back on exports. Oh horrors, say the farmers. Less almonds? Less profit?

Yes! Even cutting back, there is still plenty of water for urban use and in most years enough for growing all the produce California and most of America needs for their table, plus excess. But there is not enough water to expand almond orchards for Asia without end. The export limit was met and exceeded in the late 1990’s.

Is the Council listening? Time will tell. The May meeting is being re-planned. Originally scheduled to meet in Suisun City, it is now moved back to Sacramento and date changed to Thursday/Friday May 25/26. The tentative schedule is that they will discuss conveyance (i.e., the Delta Tunnels/WaterFix) Thursday afternoon. At this point we are hearing that they won’t vote on the Amendment at this meeting. Instead it will be a working meeting discussing their process. That is what the lawyers told them they needed to do.

So right now, I’m calling the bus trip a “win.”

Thank you to Richard Wisdom, DB Press, who provided most of the pictures above.

Posted by: Jan | April 10, 2017

Santa Clara Water Users Foot the Bill

Who will foot the bill for continued planning for the Delta Tunnels? Not who you think. Santa Clara Valley Water rate payers (and no others) will be subsidizing Jerry Brown’s boondoggle to help Big Ag plant more and more almond orchards. If you don’t already know it, the Delta Tunnels will devastate Delta communities, farms, and fish, primarily to benefit Big Ag.

Driving down I-5 yesterday, I was astounded to see all of the new plantings for orchards on both sides of the highway, as far as the eye can see. During the four years during the drought, the acres of almond orchards continued to increase, as did profits from selling almonds to Asia. More money year after year. (The ones who lost were the poor communities in the Central Valley who saw the ground water they relied on for drinking and showering become polluted or even dried up.)

If you live in Santa Clara Valley, you may be the ones paying for the Delta Tunnels! The tunnel construction project will devastate the waterways in the Delta and end result will be stagnant, polluted water in the Delta so that the fresh water can be diverted to grow more almonds in the desert lands in the Central Valley. This project makes no sense, mainly benefits the big corporate growers, and will devastate communities in the Delta. Communities like Discovery Bay will be destroyed. The ripple effects will destroy the entire Delta estuary and pollute the San Francisco Bay.

That’s right! If you live in or near the following cities, you may be a ratepayer funding Governor Brown’s Delta Tunnel boondoggle: Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose (especially in Alviso), Santa Clara, Saratoga, Sunnyvale.

What will you get out of this deal? Not more water. The promise of the tunnels is to extract the fresher water further north from the Sacramento River, water that has not been polluted by the Central Valley farm runoff like the San Joaquin currently is. So Metropolitan Water District (that serves LA), Santa Clara, and other water districts would get access to the cleaner water and would have less filtering to do to make it available as drinking water. Do you think you, the rate payers, will then get reduced water rates? Actually, it’s more likely your water district will increase rates due to these tunnel costs and pocket any cost reductions they realize in the future.

Please contact your Santa Clara Valley Water District Board Member and let them know of your opposition to funding for more planning of CA WaterFix (the Delta tunnels). Let them know of your disappointment in backroom deals and resolutions that contradict state Board policy to the public.Let them know of your disappointment in backroom deals and resolutions that contradict state Board policy to the public.

According to the latest meeting materials from the San Luis Delta-Mendota Water Authority (SLDMWA), it appears that Santa Clara Valley Water District was the only Delta-Mendota member agency that voted to provide the Department of Water Resources with additional funding for the Planning Phase of California WaterFix. This after Santa Clara Valley Water District Board Members have stated at public meetings that they were not going forward with CA WaterFix planning until a finance plan was made available for the project and after further public discussion.

The Delta-Mendoza Water Agency had $4.26M of existing debt financing that had not been used, yet, all the other member Agencies apparently would not agree to use their share of that money for continued planning costs, which means urban ratepayers are paying for the Delta tunnels planning costs for Big Ag water districts.

Please let your Board member know that you object to Santa Clara Valley Water District ratepayers paying for Delta tunnels planning costs for big agricultural water districts like Westlands Water District — which has a history of literally getting other government agencies to pay their way.

Send your comments to:

  • John L. Varela – District 1 and 2017 Chair: jvarela@valleywater.org
  • Barbara Keegan, Director – District 2: bkeegan@valleywater.org
  • Richard P. Santos, Director – District 3 and 2017 Vice Chair: board@valleywater.org,rsantos@valleywater.org
  • Linda J. LeZotte, Director – District 4: LLeZotte@valleywater.org
  • Nai Hsueh, Director – District 5: nhsueh@valleywater.org
  • Tony Estremera, Director – District 6: testremera@valleywater.org
  • Gary Kremen, Director – District 7: gkremen@valleywater.org

Thanks to our friends at Restore the Delta for alerting us to this issue.

Posted by: Jan | April 6, 2017

Everyone Get On the Bus!

NOTE: DAY AND TIME CHANGE – NOW FRIDAY APRIL 28 AT 9 A.M.

We showed the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) that the communities in the South Delta were not going to sit still for their pushing the Delta Tunnels as a necessary solution to save the Delta. We showed up at the DSC meeting in Brentwood in March!

We can make a HUGE impression if we all show up one more time, this time at their doorstep in Sacramento. This is an important meeting where they will decide whether to move ahead to incorporate the tunnels into the Delta Plan.

Friday, April 28th at 9 A.M.
The tunnel (conveyance) agenda item is first item on Friday

Right now the meeting is scheduled for:
Park Tower Plaza, 980 Ninth Street, 2nd Floor Conference Center
Sacramento, CA 95814

But to be safe, check their agenda page here prior to heading up. They are trying to set up a larger conference room.

To make it easier to go, we plan to provide buses from Discovery Bay to the meeting. The cost would be $25/person. We would meet at 6:30 am in the Marina/Boardwalk Grill parking lot and return in the afternoon.

I would appreciate knowing if:

  1. YES – You can count on me! I will get on the bus!

  2. BusSacramento

  3. MAYBE – Not sure yet. But if I go I’ll ride the bus.

  4. MAYBE – Not sure yet. But if I go I’ll drive myself.

  5. I will go, but I will drive myself

Show up in your tee shirts if you bought one for the Brentwood event.
  
Pictures from the Brentwood Meeting, courtesy of Richard Wisdom, The Press

We have a few tee shirts left (8 women’s Med; 6 men’s Large – men’s run large) if you want to purchase on for $10. (If we get a lot of requests, we will look into ordering more). Click the link below to email your Tee Shirt Request

Posted by: Jan | April 2, 2017

Send Comments by April 17th

IMPORTANT: April 17 DEADLINE TO SUBMIT COMMENTS

The Delta Stewardship Council is working to add an amendment to include the Delta Tunnels in the Delta Plan. That is not right!

Suggested comment ideas from our Legal Council – items that are most impactful, (please rewrite in your own words) are here:
Comments Ideas/Suggestions.

EMAIL ADDRESS: Click here to send your email to deltaplanNOP@deltacouncil.ca.gov with a BCC to bdcp.commments.copy@nodeltagates.com.

Amending the Delta Plan to rubber-stamp the Twin Tunnels is just wrong, which is what we all went to Brentwood to tell them and now need to follow up with formal comments.

We also need to let them know that their process isn’t working. They could see how many people were concerned from the Brentwood meeting. But that format isn’t one where all concerns can be communicated and absorbed by the Council. We need working group sessions, and need them locally and in the evenings as well.

Most importantly, there is no valid reason for the Council to be amending the Delta Plan to accept the one alternative of the Twin Tunnels as the ONLY action. See the attachment for reasons and issues with the way the Council is moving ahead.

Please submit comments now. Thank you!

Comments Ideas/Suggestions.

Posted by: Jan | March 26, 2017

Delta Locals “Flood” DSC Meeting


Mike McCleery giving feedback to the Delta Stewardship Council

South Delta locals poured into the Delta Stewardship Council meeting on Thursday, March 23 in Brentwood. There was an amazing turnout! Particularly considering that this was the third of the DSC’s “throughout California” distributed meetings. The Tracy DSC Meeting had only 3 people in attendance; the Southern California DSC Meeting was only attended by water agency personnel.

But when the DSC dared venture into the South Delta, we showed them that the people here are 100 percent opposed to the Delta Tunnel boondoggle. There were several hundred people in attendance, many were from the Save the California Delta Alliance group and at least 70 were wearing STCDA’s new “Save the Delta / No Tunnels / No Gates” tee shirts. The DSC recognized that the crowd was there for Agenda Item 11 (obviously) and the Council moved that to be the first topic discussed.

Many people got up and made comments against the tunnels. Barbara from Restore the Delta noted problems with how the council has been holding its meetings and that the DSC meetings need better communication and format. People asked for evening meetings, when more people could be involved, and asked for more involvement in the process where their input would be considered.

Many who commented brought up boating & recreation, impacts to the water quality, the need to protect the people who live in the Delta, local farming, fish, etc. Many talked the need to improve delta flows, reduce reliance on the Delta, and reduce exports. The recent National Marine Fisheries Service report that the Delta Tunnels will destroy the fish in the Delta was brought up and quoted from. People asked why the DSC couldn’t weigh the value of almonds over the value of the Delta. Several people, questioned that the DSC is a real “Stewardship” Council and reprimanded them on the need to take their role seriously, be stewards, and protect the Delta. Bob Wright, Friends of the River legal council, made good points questioning why this amendment was being proposed at all, and stated that the tunnels should not be in the Delta Plan nor the NOP. A representative from the Sierra Club spoke and stated that the Sierra Club are with us in opposition to the tunnels. Lauren Korth, Delta Field Representative from Jim Frazier’s office read Jim’s comments which were very strong and on-target.

The DSC’s opening statement was that it is obvious the current method of exporting water is “broken,” hence a conveyance system is needed to “fix” it. Therein lies the biggest issue. If they started with the Delta Flow requirements like the legislature had directed them to do, and therefore reduced exports, then a conveyance project may not even be needed.

A few of the DSC members seemed to be swayed or impressed by what they heard. However, Randi Fiorini, the chairman, seemed to not be really listening to comments, not interested, and seemed ready to adopt the amendment and move it along. (He does come from the CV farmer side.) Although not everyone was paying attention, a couple of the council did seem to be hearing what we said. Patrick Johnston wanted to address the issue with meetings not being as effective in getting input plus the need to hold some meetings in the evening. Ken Weinberg with experience putting the Carlsbad Desalination Plant on-line appreciated the push for new desalination plants as a way to actually add water to the system. And Skip Thompson, Solano County Supervisor and representative on the Council from the Delta Protection Commission, questioned the process for amending the plan at this time and felt that the DSC seems to be trying to get around the rules. He also brought up Jeffery Michael’s Tunnel Plan Cost/Benefit analysis that showed that for every 29 cents of benefit, the cost was $1.00. Definitely not reasonable. He pushed back on the council and got a standing ovation.

Standing Ovation for Skip Thompson’s supportive remark

But then Supervisor Thompson said the DSC in their role has to make the “Grand Compromise.” I found that to be an interesting term when fish can’t really “compromise.”

Other members of the DSC weren’t as supportive of our concerns and appeared to want to just move ahead and add the tunnels to the Delta Plan.

Thanks to everyone who attended. We think some of the council members may be hearing us.

Please send any additional comments that may have come to mind by April 17th. See our Event Tracker page about the April 17th deadline to know the email address where to send your comments and see suggested comments.

ALSO – the next event is when the DSC decides whether or not to move ahead with the amendment to add the Delta Tunnels to the Delta Plan. A few council members are swaying. Help us push them over to our side by getting on the bus to Sacramento.

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