Posted by: Jan | June 5, 2018

Golf Charity Event – Early Sign Up Incentives

I know July 21 (the date of our Save the Delta Charity Golf Event) seems like a long ways off, but it would sure help us plan if we could get the golf sign-ups going early.

To incentivize you, we’re offering $5 of raffle tickets to any player who contacts us by June 15th with their intent-to-play and ANOTHER $5 in raffle tickets if we receive their checks by the end of June (via mail to the Drakes Drive address or in person). So $10 of prize raffle tickets for golfers who make both deadlines.

OTHER PLUSES: It helps us to get insight into the player list. AND you are assured a spot in the event.

So sign up early!!!

Registration forms: Excel Version (you can fill out and email back to me) or PDF Version (mail to me at 5672 Drakes Drive, Discovery Bay, CA 94505)

WE ALSO ARE LOOKING FOR SPONSORS AND RAFFLE/AUCTION PRIZE DONORS.

Email me at stcda@NoDeltaGates.com if you have any questions.

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Posted by: Jan | May 26, 2018

It’s California, not West Virginia Gov. Brown

I’m not completely surprised when I read a story like this taking place in West Virginia, land of coal miners needing to justify fossils fuels for their livelihood. This article in the Guardian today talks about a group of people up in the trees trying to block a pipeline construction project going through the forest they own (or did before eminent domain) and trying to keep their pristine stream clean, a stream that they can now drink from directly.

But we are encountering exactly the same mentality from California’s Governor regarding the Delta Tunnels.

“These [West Virginia] activists hold the typical concerns of having a gas pipeline run through the yard: if it leaks it poisons the water, the font of the incredible biodiversity in the area; there’s a two-and-a-half-mile blast radius if it explodes; the pipeline is taking their land through eminent domain against their will for resource extraction that they feel will not benefit them or their neighbors.”

It sounds like their State is going to ruin a pristine area – sounds like the Delta.

“Virginia’s governor, Ralph Northam, took $50,000 from MVP’s largest shareholder, EQT Corp, and another $199,251 from Dominion Energy, major shareholder of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline being built nearby.” Sounds like Jerry Brown taking $90,000 from Stewart Resnick and other Central Valley farmers before making his decision. And the Director of the DWR is now Karla Nemeth, wife of an executive strategist with the Metropolitan Water District. Too much corruption and money in government.

These people weren’t always activists, but recently became so. Their resistance started almost four years before that. They went through all of the steps to fight it: the comment periods unheeded, the independent environmental and archeological studies snubbed, the court challenges lost, the demonstrations ignored, the politicians petitioned and rebuffed.

Sound familiar? We in the Delta have been doing all that for twice as long and also have had our comments unheeded our attendance at their meetings ignored and rebuffed.

California is supposed to be the environmental leader, the protector of the oceans and rivers, believers in science-based government. Yet here we are. If the US House Bill with the rider to not allow law suits on the WaterFix passes, since law suits may be our final chance to stop the Delta Tunnels, construction might begin. I’ll be interested to see how long the tree sitters can stop construction in West Virginia.

Maybe our next Governor will understand we want California to be an environmental leader again and protect the Delta.

Posted by: Jan | May 24, 2018

Candidate Update

Here’s a summary of the latest info I’ve found regarding candidates and propositions for the Delta:

Candidates for Governor of California

Democrats:

  • #1 Delaine Eastin (D) Strongly opposed: She had the best answer of all of the candidates: ”The tunnels are the Peripheral Canal with a lid on it. The state isn’t doing water planning. We’re just doing expensive things like tunnels — an old idea.” She has also stated she favors groundwater recharge and not more dams. That is the right direction. She’s strong and tough and not taking big money so wouldn’t be influenced by the L.A. Developers and big agribusiness owners.
  • #2 Antonio Villaraigosa (D) Opposed to the tunnels: He wants to look at all the options first, like conservation, and the latest technologies and alternatives to the tunnels. (I put him #2 because he wants to “look at other options first” and didn’t say he would not go ahead with the tunnels. Plus he’s from L.A. and on the side of the Central Valley farmers, so it worries me things could change once elected).
  • #3 John Chiang (D) Sounds like he is Opposed: He has stated “My first priority is to preserve the delta.” I haven’t seen him specifically state he is opposed to the tunnels. Gov. Brown claims the tunnels are good for the Delta, after all. I want to hear him state his opposition clearly.
  • #4 Newsom (D) Thinks One Tunnel is Needed. That’s bad if it goes through the current though-Delta construction zone and unless operational constraints are mandated which hasn’t been successful in the past. On the good side, he wants to reduce reliance on the Delta by focusing on regional solutions, investing in recycling and ground water replacement, and conservation. But one tunnel through the Delta is bad.

Republicans – both are “Opposed” but …

  • #1 – John Cox (R) Opposes the tunnels but doesn’t believe in climate change so it is unclear how/if he would address the problems in the Delta. On the other hand, he is against corporate money in politics, so maybe he’d be one to push back on Stewart Resnick and his big ag cronies.
  • #2 – Travis Allen (R) is opposed (that’s good) but he has a total lack of understanding about water in California. He wants to build dams so every home can have green lawns and thinks we have more than enough water to send to the “enormously productive Central Valley that has lacked water for years, and Southern California”. Dams are not today’s solution. With climate change the Sierras will be having less water, not more. We need more regional self-sufficiency through new technologies and conservation. Most of California is a desert. Green lawns need to be replaced. We don’t need more “profitable” almonds.

Green Party

  • #1 Josh Jones is Opposed and has a good understanding of the issues.
  • #2 Chris Carlson seems opposed but all I found as his “statement” was a silly poem. So I can’t take him seriously.

Other Races

I haven’t researched the candidates in other races, but can comment about what our current incumbents have been doing for the Delta and they have been great:

  • Jerry McNerney for U.S. Congress is an extremely strong advocate for the Delta and adamantly opposed to the tunnels. He helped stop the 2-Gates project – remember? That was where we almost lost our main navigation channel up Old River when they were going to dam it and Connection Slough. Since then he has continued to speak out and work on legislation that would be good for the Delta (like his W.E.S.T. Act) and oppose legislation that would harm the Delta.
  • Jim Frazier, CA Assembly District 11, is an outspoken advocate for the Delta and continues to be a thorn in the Governor’s side. Frazier formed the Delta Legislative Caucus last year and brought the State Auditor out to the people where she slammed the cost/benefits analysis (or lack thereof) for the tunnels. Frazier pushed a bill to dissolve the Delta Stewardship Council (the group of thugs who are supposed to be protecting the Delta and instead we say they have become the “Tunnel Stewardship Council”). Jim’s bill got stopped by the big oil and big ag representatives who were the majority. Frazier’s Stop the Tunnels sign on his office balcony was annoying the Governor whenever he walked by it (haha). Frazier now lives in Discovery Bay. He feels the pain right with us. He’s always given us support and resources.

Propositions

Prop 68 – I’m trying to get more information on this one. The Sierra Club backs it but I want to make sure there isn’t anything in there that could be used to support the tunnels or if that is addressed anywhere in the measure to be sure they don’t sneak and shift money around.

Posted by: Jan | May 21, 2018

When are they going to Stand Up?

Although the Santa Clara Valley Water District vote to finance $650 million of the Tunnels was disappointing, Director Barbara Keegan acknowledged the concerns expressed by residents in Discovery Bay (thank you all who sent email to the board) about impacts on boating and Delta recreation. She stated that the SCVWD appointed representative would be bringing the construction impacts to the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Joint Project Authority Board (DCDCA). “Someone has to stand up and say, ‘this is a problem.’”

That obviously didn’t happen in the first DCDCA meeting! Instead, a smiling Tony Estremera, also from SCVWD and now the new President of the DCDCA Board, seemed joyous and gleefully stated he was looking forward to the very long, long construction period.

NiceLongConstruction

Let the board know how incensed you were to see him laughing about the long construction phase!!! And that nothing about the construction will be nice for us!

Ask them when the SCVWD reps are going to stand up and say, “This is a problem!” ???

Everyone needs to email them again. Say that we saw Tony and Barbara at the first DCDCA Board Meeting. Yet even after all 5 Delta County Supervisors stood up and expressed concerns, the Board didn’t acknowledge the concerns or put an agenda item on for the next meeting to review the concerns.

Diane Burgis, Contra Costa County Supervisor delivered a passionate please, telling them the issues of traffic through rural areas, the value of farming and the $750 million economic hit that will occur to the county from the loss of Delta recreation. She confronted the board about the damage to the Delta and said, “You know! You know this is going to be damaging.” She went on to say that it is a unique area, home to many historical legacy towns, many natural resources. She explained that our infrastructure is mostly 2-lane levee roads that are vital to our statewide economy and for the safety and welfare of those who live in the Delta. And that it is not the right place for massive construction and columns of trucks.

Don Nottoli, Sacramento County Supervisor added that the construction project will forever change daily life to the historic community. Quiet rural towns will be transformed into construction zones. Impacts are prolonged, sometimes 7 x 24 for years and years which will undoubtedly affect quality of life, displace people, effect agribusiness, tourism, fishing, boating. He told them the project is wrongheaded, misguided.

Yet at the end of the meeting, we see and hear this (let’s see his smiling face one more time):
NiceLongConstruction

Tell them we demand that the board add an agenda item for the next meeting to do an honest review of the Delta Communities concerns and of the true impact this massive construction project will have on communities and boating and recreation in the Delta.

Barbara Keegan had said she enjoyed going to the Delta and expressed that area shouldn’t be lost to Santa Clara Valley boaters to enjoy. But that is exactly what they are about to do. Lose it forever as a boating mecca.

We need to keep telling them.
Email Tony Estremera, the new President of the DCDCA Board and Barbara Keeling, the alternate. Include the general board email so they all receive it. And cc your County Supervisor.

(I’d appreciate a later forward of your email or BCC, but please don’t put me on the to/cc’s they will see.)

Name   Email   DCDCA Board
Tony Estremera   testremera@valleywater.org   President  
Barbara Keegan   bkeegan@valleywater.org   Alternate  
SCVWD Board   board@valleywater.org    

If you are in Contra Costa County, cc Diane Burgis

At this point, I don’t think it does any good to stress how dumb the project is or that there are better alternatives. Tony even said he thinks the infrastructure is “old” so it’s time for an upgrade. They have convinced themselves this is a valid project and the environmentalists are complaining for no valid reason about little fish that this project, they have been told, will help. You can add that it is a dumb project and why at the end, but make the key point, the thing they read and understand, is the huge, huge impact on Delta communities lives with the project. And how this peaceful, scenic, boating favorite is being taken away from their Santa Clara residents to enjoy on weekends forever once the construction project is allowed to begin.

Include that there’s always been a better, more viable construction alternative, the Eastern Route, which was recommended by the State’s own Independent Scientists years ago. Construction along that route wouldn’t impact the Delta at all. It would cost $1 to $1.7 billion more, so start with one tunnel and from that cost savings build it on the Eastern Route. Win-win.

We don’t want any tunnels, but if they build it, they need to go around the Delta, not through it.

I’ll be writing additional blogs about the construction impact and we can quote them and send them to the board in phases. But start those emails going. You can cc Diane Burgis if you live in CCC or your local Supervisor if you live elsewhere.

The alignment recommended by the independent reviewers is shown below – the Eastern Alignment. It would have gone next to I-5, reducing both truck and barge traffic through the Delta as well as any risks from tunneling under the Delta levees. It was decided against because of cost considerations, because that route is ten miles longer. But we all know, the economic and human impacts from the massive through-Delta construction destruction has not been calculated as part of the tunnel cost.

EasternAlignment

We have been telling every agency in comments and in person for almost ten years that they were going down the wrong alignment or, as Supervisor Skip Thomson told the DCDCA Thursday, they were going down the wrong tunnel.

At the start of all of this, someone should have drawn lines around the Delta, the fragile estuary, the place beloved by boaters and visitors throughout California, a place of historic towns and said, “This is what we want to protect.”

If they’d done that, then there would have been no “Through Delta” alignment alternative ever considered. Clearly there is no understanding of what it is we are trying to save.

In addition, scientists have said the soils through the Delta are not good for tunneling. Tunneling through the Delta is adding lots of risk – not only for the project, cost, and schedule – but also that settling can cause levee failures. And who knows what problems they could have going under the main river channels! Here’s the details about tunneling through the Delta.

The State’s own Independent Science Board years ago recommended the Eastern Alignment. Yet they were ignored.

The State Agencies have a history of ignoring science

This entire project was supposed to start with the Delta Flow Requirements but that 2010 scientific report said they were already exporting too much water. So the Delta Stewardship Council and Department of Water Resources ignored the report and looked for ways to export even more water.

It’s like the Oroville Dam. The DWR was warned about design flaws in the dam but for cost reasons, ignored them. The DWR now has been warned about the risks of tunneling through the Delta, are ignoring those risks, and plowing ahead to save money.

It’s like the Metropolitan Water District’s worst tunneling disaster. The current tunnel path goes through the largest natural gas field in California, the Rio Vista gas fields, but not East. MWD ignored warnings of gas fields when tunneling their Castaic tunnel, had an explosion from the gas, killed 17 workers. MWD is again ignoring the warning and not taking any of the recommended steps regarding tunneling through a gas field.

043018_1546_waterfixtun2
043018_1546_waterfixtun1
Images courtesy of the California Water Research, https://cah2oresearch.com/2018/04/30/waterfix-tunnel-construction-gas-wells/

A large justification for the tunnels is fear of future earthquake causing the levees to fall down. Yet the tunnels are not being designed to withstand a seismic event. Plus going through the shifting Delta soil will make any earthquake impacts worse. Plus they are going under the major river channels.

Why are then not going East?

With the risks to going on the current path, shouldn’t they step back, perhaps start with one tunnel and with the cost savings from that go the ten-mile longer but safer and less destructive route?

Wouldn’t that be a win-win?

No Tony, the Delta folks are not looking forward to this horrible construction project!
NiceLongConstruction
Estremera and Nemeth rejoicing in kicking off the Delta Tunnels – before permits are even issued!

Gene Beley has posted videos of the entire Design Conveyance Design & Construction Joint Powers Authority (DCDCA) meeting held last Thursday, May 17th in Sacramento. If you remember, this is the new Board just formed to manage the Delta Tunnel construction. The five Delta County Supervisors commented at the start of the meeting. What struck me was the end of the meeting, when the new President of the Board, Tony Estremera signed the official agreement papers with Karla Nesmeth, Director of DWR. Estremera was absolutely beaming at the prospects of leading this fine project and stated, “We look forward to a nice long period of construction.”

I think we need to educate Mr. Estremera about the damage this destructive construction project is going to do to Delta communities!

The entire meeting video is here. At the beginning, the five Delta County Supervisors speak out against the tunnels: Diane Burgis, Contra Costa County; Don Nottoli, Sacramento County; Oscar Villegas, Yolo County; Chuck Winn, San Joaquin County; and Skip Thompson, Solano County Supervisor and Chairman of Delta Protection Committee and member of the Delta Stewardship Council. They all jointly stood together and lambasted the DCDCA Board and the project for the damage it would do to the Delta, for the fact that better projects are not being done, and for the closed door policies and lack of representation of Delta Communities into the process.

Diane Burgis was the most passionate and articulate about what is at risk – the agriculture in the Delta, the $750 million from recreation and boating. She explained the two-lane levee roads that comprise the infrastructure here that are not appropriate for a major construction project, and the impact on historical towns. She said, “The Delta deserves long-term protections. Land use changes cannot contribute to the diminishment and damage to the Delta!” Nottoli said this project, “will forever change daily life to the historic community. Quiet rural towns will be transformed into construction zones, affecting the quality of life, it will displace people, effect agribusiness, tourism, fishing, boating.” He called the project “wrongheaded” and “misguided.”

Villegas said the county supervisors needed to be part of the project. He was concerned about the $17 billion price tag and said, “We know it will go beyond that and rate payers won’t be willing to pay. And projects that are better for the environment” won’t get done.

Winn expounded that the twin tunnels don’t generate any more water or flood protection. He thinks that, “California is not in a situation where we lack water, we lack infrastructure. We have 150 million to 300 million AF/year. 32.6 MAF had no benefit because there was no storage capacity in those areas or further south. Need to manage it more productively.

Thomson told the Board, “You’re going down the wrong tunnel.” He reminded them that, “The Delta Reform Act mandated a policy to reduce exports from the Delta. The tunnels only addresses one of the co-equal goals. There are other projects that will really unite California from North to South, not cause further devastation to the Delta. A JPA is bad public policy to acquire land, design and start construction before permits have been approved. You don’t build a house before you get the permit. You need to go through the permitting and bond validation before starting. Most planning has occurred behind closed doors. There are 4 million people directly impacted yet the state, Governor, and his administration haven’t made one attempt to reach out to us. We can be part of the solution, else we will be part of the problem. How will you make sure we are not harmed by the project?”

A big thank you to Gene Beley who traveled to the meeting, recorded it all, and prepared the edits and separate pictures.

Please use the links below to contact Senators Feinstein and Harris and ask them to oppose the House Appropriations Committee’s 2019 Spending Bill’s rider Sec. 437 which would exempt the Delta Tunnels from all judicial review under any Federal or State Law. This attempted run-around of the courts is an affront to democracy.

Senator Feinstein’s D.C. Office:
Phone: (202) 224-3841
Senator Feinstein can also be reached via email

Senator Harris’s D.C. Office:
Phone (202) 224 – 3553
Senator Harris can also be reached via email

PLEASE FORWARD this to all of your contacts and ask them to write the senators and to call or write their U.S. congressman to complain.

As quoted in the RecordNet article: “Enough with this tedious rule-of-law stuff, Rep. Ken Calvert, a Riverside County Republican, said in a statement.
“All of the project’s stakeholders have had a plethora of opportunities to express their thoughts and concerns,” Calvert said. “We must move forward with the project.”

Calvert is right that we have had a plethora of opportunities to express our thoughts and concerns. The problem is that state vehemently refuses to address them. You’ve attended meeting after meeting, gotten on the bus, expressed your thoughts and concerns: how this project would wreck our cherished waterways, how construction traffic has no place on all our rural roads and waterways, through bird habitat and peaceful scenic areas. The scientists tell them we need more fresh water flowing through the Delta, not less. Yet these deep concerns fall on deaf ears. So now Calvert says that they’ve heard the concerns, ignored them, are going to just march ahead and impact Northern California economically, environmentally, and emotionally but we have no right to justice?

They are going to take away a precious, favorite area so many Californians cherish so the almond growers can grow more almonds and L.A. can have more homes with green lawns.

They know they are in the wrong. That is why they know their project doesn’t stand up to legal scrutiny. If the State Water Resources Control Board wasn’t stacked with Brown’s cronies, after all the damning testimony presented over the past 2 years at the Water Board Permit Hearings, the Water Board wouldn’t issue the permits and we’d be done. We could go back to normal and Met could invest in desalination, recycling, conservation.

See the Recreational Boaters of California’s (RBOC) ‘Call-to-Action: Oppose Elimination of Judicial Review of Twin Tunnels’ for more details.

Posted by: Jan | May 17, 2018

Bridges Over Troubled Water

With a 40,000 page document describing the upcoming tunnel project, you would think that the State agencies would now know everything about the Delta.

WRONG!

Listening to the Water Board Hearings got me started researching the barge traffic and the Delta bridges that huge numbers of barges traveling throughout the Delta would need to have opened in order to travel through.

Since I know the South Delta the best, I started looking there. What bridges do we have?
SouthDeltaBridges

Here’s the bridges the WaterFix EIR thinks we have in the South Delta:
EIRSouthDeltaBridges

What is frightening about this? First, they obviously have never researched the area they are planning this huge construction project to go through. They hire junior researchers who sit in an office somewhere and look at the internet to get some data, but don’t get out on the waterways or ask locals.

OrwoodRRBridge
Every Discovery Bay boater knows about the big bascule bridge operated for the railroad, the Orwood Railroad Bridge on Old River. There is an alternate, identical bridge on Middle River. I’ve never seen the Middle River Railroad Bridge open. It is the backup in case the Orwood bridge is broken or down for maintenance. You see, if neither of those bridges were operational, boaters in Discovery Bay and nearby marinas would be cut off from the rest of the Delta and beyond. The railroad is obliged to provide waterway access 24×7. The right to navigable waterways is part of the Rivers and Harbors Act. The railroad bridge is the only bridge on Old River between Discovery Bay and the main channel. The bridge operators who control the Orwood RR Bridge are probably the nicest, most polite bridge operators on the Delta and work hard to try not to inconvenience the boaters. (Of course, trains always get the priority!)

THEY DON’T EVEN LIST THE RAILROAD BRIDGES!

Probably because they referenced bridges on the CalTrans site and the railroad isn’t a highway. Hmm.

SIDENOTE: I’ve read more than one state agency project that plans a dam across the railroad slough – virtually removing boat access to the alternate bridge. They don’t care and they have no clue.

Then, weirdly, they put “(Santa Fe)” next to the Middle River Bridge name on Highway 4 and the Low Water/High Water clearances listed for the Hwy 4 bridge are actually the railroad bridge clearances. So clearly, they are messed up.

They didn’t list any times of operation or even the bridges that don’t operate. I added the Orwood Road Bridge because it’s one only very small boats can get through. I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to route a barge through there – haha.

Other Bridges

Other bridges we boaters go through regularly are the Middle River (Bacon Island) Bridge and the Connection Slough Bridge. They should be concerned about both of those. They plan docks and barge landings in Connection Slough. Also they need their construction trucks to go across the Connection Slough Bridge to get to the Mandeville Island tunnel access shaft. But it is totally missing from the EIR (Chapter 19, Table 19.6 “Roadway and Rail Draw Bridges in the Study Area.”) In addition, the table title includes “Rail” but it missed them! Oh, and they added a bridge in downtown Stockton, the “San Joaquin River (Garwoods)” bridge. Not in the Plan Area. The EIR is a mess. This is only one example.

Well, at least now they know the Bacon Island Bridge exists. When the USBR came to Discovery Bay in 2010 to pitch their 2-Gates Fish Protection Project, we complained that they couldn’t put a dam in Old River else they’d block all boat traffic except for certain times and days. They had no clue there was a Bacon Island Bridge. Gees.

Highway 4 Issues – Traffic Nightmare!!!

There are two bridges on Highway 4 between Discovery Bay and Stockton. They are among the oldest, built around 1917. Coming from Stockton, the eastern bridge is the Middle River Bridge. They stopped operating it quite a few years ago. It doesn’t even open by request. The second, near Discovery Bay, is the Old River Bridge. It is not operated regularly. In fact, I think it has only opened maybe once in the last 30 years. So the boating traffic south of Highway 4 is mainly wake board boats, water ski boats, and fishing boats. To get barges to Clifton Court Forebay, the barges would need to go through the Orwood RR Bridge. Then it would need to go through the bridge at Highway 4.

During the Water Board Permit Hearings last month, our STCDA team of expert witnesses presented analysis of the project which included how horrible traffic will be throughout the Delta. Captain Frank Morgan of Discovery Bay described his analysis of traffic issues: trucks and cars congesting the small Delta roads and barge traffic and construction going on throughout the waterways.

OldRiverBridge
Bridge of the Week

One big problem Captain Morgan identified was that the Highway 4 Bridge over Old River (the first bridge you encounter when leaving Discovery Bay heading towards Stockton), would need to be opened multiple times a day to let barges pass through. On Highway 4, the columns of construction trucks going from Antioch and from Clifton Court Forebay through the bridge to Bacon Island Road would compound the high volume of commuters and all of them would be waiting in line the 20 minutes or more for the slow barge to get through whenever the bridge is opened, backing up traffic past Discovery Bay and back. (Currently, that bridge never opens.)

I became suspicious if the DWR knew anything about the bridges in the Delta when the DWR lawyer in his cross-examine asked why the Highway 4 bridge would need to be opened. Bill Wells and Frank Morgan needed to explain to him that tug boats were needed to push or pull the barges and tugs need to be high enough to see over the barge and what it is carrying so yes. That bridge’s clearance has just 10-12 feet clearance when closed. Our ski boat can squeeze under it. I’m checking to see if there are any tug boats low enough.

The DWR lawyer also asked Frank Morgan if they couldn’t just build a higher bridge there. Frank’s eyes got big as he sat absorbing the question and then said in his opinion they couldn’t. There’s a big curve just prior to the bridge and the roads are narrow levee roads. He thought it would be hard to go back far enough to ramp up to 40 feet on the narrow 2-lane levee roads with sloughs on each side. And the DWR guy seemed to agree it would need to be 40′ high at least, if what they were proposing was having completed tunnel segments on those barges. But the DWR lawyer didn’t know what the barges would be hauling so couldn’t answer. (Researching, I doubt they’d try to move 40′ high completed tunnel segments, but it isn’t clear.)

I wish they would put a new bridge in. The current two bridges are scary, narrow, and traffic accidents occur regularly.
Hwy4Bridge-Aerial

OldRiverBridgePhoto
Four Square

It continues to amaze me how little they understand about the Delta and how many errors we continue to find in their huge document and knowledge.

Posted by: Jan | May 17, 2018

First meeting of the DCA Board

The five Delta County Supervisors were all at the first Delta Conveyance and Construction Authority (DCA) Board Meeting (previously called the Joint Powers Authority (JPA)) today in Sacramento. They were their to show that the entire Delta is opposed to this project, and to voice their dismay at this board being formed and starting any efforts before permitting is complete. Their comments included calling out the behind closed door meetings that are so prevalent in this project. Solano County Supervisor Skip Thompson, who heads the Delta Protection Committee, protested that there are 4 million people directly affected by this project yet there hasn’t been one conscientious effort to reach out to us. He asked, “How are you going to work with local government and the community to make sure we are not harmed by the project?” Good question since the State agencies have made no alterations to the project to alleviate any of our concerns that we have expressed, clearly, over the past years.

DeltaCountiesCoalition

I was told that the Supervisors were duly ignored with strong comments from at least one Metropolitan Water District Executive who is now a new DCA Director on the Board, saying he will do whatever is necessary to get this project underway.

The DCA Board plans to meet at 2 p.m. the third Thursday of each month in the Sacramento Library. But the President, Santa Clara Valley Water District’s Tony Estremera, seemed to have an agenda of his own – namely to try to get more meetings scheduled and move as quickly as possible towards construction. He kept pushing for meetings every two weeks. There was no support for his proposal. In fact, because of the Brown Act and public transparency, and because they didn’t have a place to meet in 2 weeks, he was basically told “No”. Even the MWR executive said June 21st is early enough. Estremera didn’t relent. Even after minutes were recorded as, “The next meeting will be held June 21 here at the Sacramento Library” Estremera interjected, “Unless we hold an earlier meeting.” He also had a tendency to get lost during the meeting and not know which agenda item they were talking about. Interesting.

Clearly, Estremera was very happy someone offered him the prestigious role as President of this newly formed and important DCA Board. In fact, on Monday May 14th he issued this statement: “Santa Clara Valley Water District will lead the charge [emphasis mine] as we move ahead with the important work of improving water supply reliability for our county and the state. I look forward to the challenge of implementing this project.”

I would expect that from the MWD Directors. But at the Santa Clara Valley Water District Meeting, at least lip service was paid to understanding the huge concerns Delta residents have with this project.

I wish I were a fly on the wall at some of the wheeling/dealing that goes on in California politics. At least Estremera is up for re-election!

Posted by: Jan | May 17, 2018

First, they ignore the science . . .

science-being-ignored
Order yours here.

Let’s not forget. In 2009 the California Legislature directed the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) to write a Delta Plan, starting with science. The Legislature wanted scientists to determine how much water needs to flow through the Delta to maintain a healthy environment to then determine how much excess water is available to export.

That makes sense! That is logical!

FemaleScientist
The Fable of the Farmer and the Fish

  But the 2010 Delta Flows Requirements Report said the exporters were already exporting too much water. (The maximum average export to keep the estuary healthy is 3 to 3.5 million acre feet (MAF) per year average. They export 5 to 6 MAF average. And they want more!)

The DSC chose to ignore the science. They even put a cover page on the report that said basically that the report is only science and the report forgets that farmers and cities in the south need more water than that.

State agencies have proceeded to march ahead, ignoring science.

The new Delta Tunnels project (“WaterFix”) goal is to not only continue to over-export, but to take even more, the fresher water directly from the Sacramento River.

How well do you think that is going to go?

Have you seen any good disaster movies lately?

jurassic park

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