Posted by: Jan | December 5, 2018

Important Meeting Dec 20



December 20-21, 2018 – The Delta Stewardship Council votes whether the tunnels are “Consistent” with the Delta Plan.
Starts at 9:00 am Thursday Dec 20
Official Notice
Location: City of West Sacramento Civic Center Galleria
1110 West Capitol Avenue
West Sacramento, CA 95691

Email as soon as possible so we can get a count and see if we have enough for a bus.

Posted by: Jan | December 5, 2018

Write your Senators – Stop the WIIN Act Rider



Here’s what I wrote:

Please do everything you can to stop the WIIN Act extension.

Shame on Gov. Jerry Brown and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Six years ago, at Sen. Feinstein’s urging, one of the world’s most prestigious scientific organizations, the National Academy of Sciences, studied the health of the Delta. The academy and every scientific report conducted about Delta Flow Requirements concludes that the best way to preserve the Delta’s ecosystem is to send more water, not less, through it and out to San Francisco Bay, not shipping the water south.

Delta citizens have spent years testifying about the real issues with the Delta tunnels – the horrendous 10+ year construction project and the devastating environmental effects from sending water around the Delta instead of through it – and our efforts are close to paying off. BUT NOW THIS! Just as two state agencies are about act to protect the environmental health of the Delta, the governor and Sen. Feinstein are trying to undermine them.

The drought is over. The WIIN Act extension is just the means for Brown and Feinstein to force their will on the state. In addition, the extension is designed as a rider to the federal appropriations bill, so it won’t get the committee scrutiny a bill of such magnitude deserves. This is bad politics.

You are our last hope for saving our Delta communities and the Delta environment. Reject the rider. It is unacceptable for Brown and Feinstein to continue to ignore the science in order to help the pocketbooks of the Corporate almond and pistachio growers and L.A. developers.

Also email Sen. Feinstein and express your disappointment in her for abandoning the scientific evidence that taking water around the Delta will not help it. And complain about the project’s complete failure to protect the Delta Communities which instead will be destroyed by 10+ years of construction through the heart of the Delta.

Posted by: Jan | December 5, 2018

Protest at Feinstein’s SF Office

Just when we are making good progress from our years of testifying about the real issues with the Delta tunnels – the horrendous 10+ year construction project and the devastating environmental effects from sending water around the Delta instead of through it – our efforts are close to paying off. BUT NOW THIS!

Jerry Brown and Diane Feinstein are colluding to make an end-around all of our efforts and bypass the state agencies whose charter is to protect the Delta. At issue is the federal WINN (Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation) Act, which was originally designed as a short-term fix to send more Delta water south during California’s historic drought. It is scheduled to expire in 2021. The WIIN Act extension reportedly comes with Trump administration financial support for the Delta twin tunnels!


ORGANIZED BY: Food and Water Watch, Restore the Delta

WHAT: Demonstration on street in front of Senator Dianne Feinstein’s SF Office calling on her to drop support for WIIN Act

WHERE: 1 Post St #2450, San Francisco, CA 94104

WHEN: Thursday, December 6, 2018 11:00 am


If you have questions or want more information, contact Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta

For more information, read the Editorial in the S.J. Mercury for more information:

Tweet to @SenFeinstein:

Posted by: Jan | November 21, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving from STCDA!

Happy Thanksgiving from STCDA!

I feel so lucky to have such wonderful, supportive members in the battle to save the Delta, a talented Board, and a great lawyer fighting for us!

We hope your Thanksgiving holiday is happy!


Nov 15&16, 2018 was the Delta Stewardship Council meeting to review their Staff’s findings about the WaterFix (Delta Tunnels).

Here is STCDA’s Briefing to the DSC. The plan was for the Council to vote in December whether to accept their staff’s recommendations to vote that the Delta Tunnels (WaterFix) is “Inconsistent” with the Delta Plan or not.

Randy Fiorini, DSC Chairman, suggested that the DWR withdraw their request that the WaterFix (Tunnel Project) is consistent with the Delta Plan (based on the Council Staff’s findings of inconsistency). That would mean that the DWR has to go back and rework the plan to address our issues of (1) Not reducing reliance on the Delta and (2) Not protecting the Delta as a Place during the construction phase.

Else DWR can take their chances that the DSC will vote in their favor in December.

Here’s details of the meeting from Maven’s Notebook.

Posted by: Jan | November 11, 2018

ALERT: Send Advice to Newsom

Great editorial by the Mercury News Editorial Board, How California can chart new approach to water woes.

Please join me and support them by sending a comment to “All in California” and/or twitter with hashtag #Advice4Gavin.

How? Tell Newsom you agree with the Mercury News Editorial. All in California link.

The Merc News advice? “Newsom should tell the State Water Board to stand firm in their push to increase the amount of water flowing through the San Joaquin River. It’s not only in the best interests of the state’s water future but also is consistent with his desire to resist President Trump’s effort to roll back crucial California environmental protections.”

But other great advice is also in the editorial. Read: How California can chart new approach to water woes.

ALSO, if you use Twitter, send the advice to Newsom by including the hashtag #Advice4Gavin, these tweets will be discussed by reporters and political leaders next Thursday Nov. 15 on California Nation.

Tweet to Newsom to “Stand Firm and support the Water Board in increasing the water flows through the Delta.” Remember to use the #Advice4Gavin hashtag.

Consider: What if Newsom borrowed a page from Brown’s climate change playbook, which called for a big move away from coal and oil in favor of renewable and green energy?

What if, instead of seeking to build more dams or find new ways to divert more water from California’s rivers, Newsom focused on how we can conserve water and create vast new supplies of renewable water through increased recycling, new treatment plants, additional gray water systems, efficient irrigation systems, large-scale storm water capture and more.

That’s leadership. And it would leave a far greater legacy than Brown’s ill-conceived Delta twin-tunnels plan, which would cost $19.9 billion but wouldn’t add a drop of new water to California’s limited supply.

Newsom can start by making his position clear at a pivotal State Water Resources Control Board meeting rescheduled for Dec. 11. The board is scheduled to vote on a proposal to substantially increase water flows in the San Joaquin River and its tributaries from as low as 10 to 20 percent to 40 percent of natural flows.

Here’s more about the Delta Stewardship Council staff recommending against the tunnels. Deirdre Des Jardins (California Water Research)’s testimony on sea level rise was also agreed with by the staff, North Delta C.A.R.E.S. (Barbara Daly) testified against the legacy town damage that would occur, STCDA on all of the impacts up and down the Delta, and other testimonies were presented during the two-day Delta Stewardship Meeting October 24 & 25. What a great effort by the groups battling the horrible Delta Tunnel Plan!

Here’s Dan Batcher’s writeup:

Next step – the Council will review the Staff Report in November 13 and then vote (in December). Fingers crossed that the declare the Tunnels inconsistent with the Delta Plan which will mean the tunnels cannot go forward as is.

That would be a major (and we hope final) blow for the tunnels. Although I imagine someone who wants the tunnels would then sue. Stay tuned . . .

Posted by: Jan | November 8, 2018

Michael Brodsky clearly explains


Here’s a video from Discovery Bay Press prior to the Oct 24th meeting where Michael Brodsky explains why the Delta Tunnels are inconsistent with the Delta Plan.

Obviously, from our prior blog, the Delta Stewardship Council staff agreed.

We need to support Michael’s continued efforts. He is effective! He is winning! Please donate!

Or send a check made out to “STCDA” to:
P.O. Box 1760
Discovery Bay, CA 94505


The Delta Stewardship Staff Reports that WaterFix is not consistent with the Delta Plan!

The staff accepted two of Save the California Delta Alliance’s main arguments: that WaterFix is not consistent with D-1641 water quality requirements (meaning acceptable salinity in the Delta, particularly that it violates the Export to Inflow ratios); and that WaterFix does not respect local land uses because of impacts on recreation and legacy communities.

This is big!

The first argument about water quality is what many groups fighting the tunnels have been saying.

The second argument is one we (STCDA) have been pushing hard – working to protect recreation and boating throughout the Delta and protecting the legacy towns in the North Delta.

Telling testimony had been brought forward by Michael Brodsky about the horrible problems with 24×7 pile driving noise near the towns of Hood and Clarksburg – how students in elementary schools would not be able to hear their teachers speak . . . for up to 10 years. This is totally unacceptable. Construction trucks thundering through the historical Chinese town of Locke would absolutely cause those 100 plus year old buildings to crumble. These issues were reiterated by Barbara Daly representing North Delta C.A.R.E.S. California Water Research’s reams of analysis and study backed up the issues with the construction itself.

The STCDA case exposed how construction gridlock throughout the Delta roads and impossible barge traffic in all the waterways would drive tourists and boaters away – in total conflict with the Delta Plan that supposedly strives to protect the Delta as a Place for all of its wonderful aspects, including boating and recreation.

Right now the Delta Stewardship Council vote is likely tied 2 to 2. So with the staff recommending our way, this seems to be very good news.

Of course, in the lengthy battle, we have often hit what we thought was a “done deal” status to find water agencies pushing back and suing or other obstacles arising and hurdles to be overcome.

But, it is very good news and shows our arguments are on the right track. It shows your investments in STCDA are paying off and, if we can continue to fight any new challenges, we will win!

Thank you to our donors and supporters. We appreciate your support. Please continue to help us during our end-of-year fundraising.

A special thanks to Michael Brodsky and his hours and hours of pro-bono work to save our Delta !!!

Together we will win this thing! We will stop the Delta Tunnels!

Please donate!

Or send a check made out to “STCDA” to:
P.O. Box 1760
Discovery Bay, CA 94505

Posted by: Jan | November 2, 2018

When the levees fall down – what’s their plan?

Riddle me this: Since the Tunnel proponents say a MAJOR justification for building the tunnels is the damage that WILL occur from the next major earthquake and the resulting RISK to water exports south, why are they planning to build their tunnels in a place and a way that ignores that same risk?

That earthquake risk is an important factor for David Sunding’s Cost/Benefits Analysis of the WaterFix (aka Delta Tunnels). The earthquake risk (or major storm causing all of the levees to crumble) is used as a scare tactic to get L.A. water rate payers to buy into the Tunnels. We heard it repeated again at the Delta Stewardship Council meeting last Friday by proponents of the Delta Tunnels: That these tunnels are needed so that when the big one, the earthquake hits, their water supply in L.A. won’t be cut off.

The claim is that when the big one hits (or a superstorm), all of the levees in the Delta will fall down, salt water will intrude, and L.A.’s fresh water exports will stop.

Although the “Earthquake Bogey” has been hotly contested time and again, it remains a key justification in the discussions.

So let’s figure this out.

The tunnel shafts being built every few miles throughout the Delta have two purposes: (a) Lowering pipe segments down to construct the pipeline during the building stage and (b) Accessing the pipeline for maintenance and repairs long-term. Continued and long-term access to these shafts is vital for the tunnel construction and long-term maintenance.

South Delta tunnel access shafts south of the channel and north of Highway 4 are on Mandeville Island, then south to Bacon Island, and Victoria Island.

In the South Delta, the shafts are all on Delta Islands.

There aren’t a lot of roads in that area. Mostly waterways.

The plan is for a 24×7 column of construction trucks to travel from Antioch to the tunnel shafts taking construction materials and construction workers and to move borrow pit dirt to build the shafts up and take muck (“Reusable Tunnel Material”) out and back to the muck pond just south of Discovery Bay.

How do all of these trucks get to those tunnel access shafts. They are on islands … surrounded by water?

There is a road (one road) that can get all of the trucks from Highway 4 to all of the construction activity on Bacon Island and Mandeville Island. One road they all need to travel on and then turn off to go to the shaft they are assigned to.

The road exits Highway 4 onto what is now a farm road, Bacon Island Road located on Jones Tract. If you recall, Jones Tract is the island that flooded in 2004 when a rodent or some other agent caused the levee to break. That was the last island rupture in the South Delta. The Sante Fe Railroad Line goes through the center of Jones Tract.

Bacon Island Road crosses the lower part of Jones Tract and then heads to the levee and runs up along the top of the levee along Jones, under the railroad trestle and continues to the Bacon Island Bridge. The trucks will cross the Bacon Island Bridge (a farm bridge that opens for boat traffic and will need to open more for barge traffic based on the busy barge plan). It travels along the Bacon Island Levee, up to perhaps the oldest bridge on the Delta, Connection Slough Bridge, across it to get to the Mandeville Island shaft.


The pictures below show these small top-of-levee roads with one side dropping off to the waterway and the subsided island farm on the other.

Small two-lane levee island roads on the tops of the levees between the waterways and Jones Tract, across Bacon Island Bridge to Bacon Island, then across Connection Slough Bridge to Mandeville.

That one and only road is on top of the very same levees that WILL FALL DOWN IN AN EARTHQUAKE (if you believe what DWR has publicized and based the need for the tunnels on). If any of the levees where the Bacon Island Road runs fail, the islands will flood and the access shafts will be totally inaccessible.

What will the cost for maintenance be when the “big one” hits? Since the tunnels aren’t being built to withstand a maximum earthquake in the Delta and are being built through soft, shifting alluvial Delta soils, there is a high probability they will crack and shift and need maintenance.

Riddle me this: If they believe their story that the Delta levees are fragile and about to all fall down, are they stupid enough to plan a project so when that happens, construction will come to a screeching halt and maintenance shafts will be in the middle of lakes and unaccessible?

This points out a glaring hole in the construction plan. They have chosen the through-Delta route for cost reasons and because they have been buying up Delta islands to avoid eminent domain problems. But they are tunneling through wetlands and areas which they predict will, in the near future, (according to them) be flooded and underwater. Where is the thinking?

Other References:

  • The February 2018 WaterFix cost-benefit analysis by David Sunding discusses the risks and potential economic costs of export curtailment due to multiple levee failures from a Maximum Considered Earthquake (MCE) on the Hayward- Rogers Creek fault. Sunding’s cost-benefit analysis implies that construction of the Waterfix tunnels would result in no reduction in State Water Project and Central Valley Project exports in the event of such an earthquake.
  • Yet: Tunnel experts and researchers dispute tunnel construction is sufficient in an earthquake.

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