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Browsing the archives for the California water category.

Drought legislation for California — finally!

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California water

COLUMN: The drought-busting bill congress just passed might screw the endangered species act

Wired Magazine

This summer, Donald Trump visited the Central Valley and promised voters he would prioritize agricultural development in California. In his speech, the president-elect blamed the environmental laws protecting a “certain three-inch fish“—the Delta smelt—for the prolonged drought. He promised, if elected, to place the needs of farmers over fish.

But it looks like his promise is coming ahead of schedule. On Saturday, Congress passed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, a huge bill that protects safe drinking water, provides upgrades to infrastructure like ports, and provides $558 million dollars in drought relief for California. And most of that stuff is uncontroversial.

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California U.S. Senators fight over new California water-bill plan

California water, Water, Resources & Quality

Boxer, Feinstein in angry split over new California water-bill plan

McClatchy DC

A controversial California water bill that’s sparked years of fighting has been added to a fast-moving measure, boosting the chance the water measures will pass Congress but sharply dividing the state’s U.S. senators.

In a remarkable break for the two longtime Democratic allies, Sen. Barbara Boxer pledged Monday to fight against the legislation written by Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Now in the final weeks of her congressional career, Boxer said she would seek to block the broader water-projects bill to which Feinstein and her Republican allies in the House of Representatives had attached the California measure.

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Mike Dunbar: Would Times like some facts with that Kool-Aid?

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California Rivers, California water, CORRUPTION, Salmon and fish, Water, Resources & Quality

PNP comment: Wow, this is a great article and parallels the same knowledge we here in Siskiyou have been touting — and being ignored by the Greenies and guvmunt agency bureaucrats. Worth the read, it is! — Editor Liz Bowen

Modesto Bee

December 2, 2016

In reading a recent editorial in the Los Angeles Times, we just about choked on our Cheerios.

One of our nation’s truly great newspapers, with inspiring editorial writers, the Times noted that California is more than merely lines on a map. Invoking the “California condor, the giant sequoia, the golden trout,” the writer implied that farmers in Stanislaus, Merced and San Joaquin counties have lost sight of what it means to be Californians. Since we’re all in this state together, folks living around here should be happy to give up more of the water that flows through our communities to save salmon.

If we get rid of all those lines, how can anyone justify pumping billions of gallons of water hundreds of miles from the rivers where it once flowed, away from the ocean to which it was headed, through deserts, over mountains, and into giant tubs for the future use of people who’ve never heard of the Tuolumne River?

What the editorial didn’t mention was wading into the Tuolumne to count spawning salmon carcasses; visiting the hatchery where millions come to life on the Merced; spending millions of dollars pushing around gravel in the Stanislaus to make rock beds suitable for salmon eggs. Don’t know how the Times missed that.

So where did the Times’ editorial writers get their information? We’re guessing from trusted sources in the environmental community. That’s fine; we talk to them, too. We just recognize they’ve got a point of view and an agenda.

If the Times had talked to anyone here – including the scientists who work most closely with the thousands of salmon that swim up our rivers each year – they might have gotten a different story. They might have learned that the salmon here are no different genetically from the 720 million tons of salmon harvested each year. That the number of salmon native to our rivers is actually zero. That any salmon you find on the San Joaquin or its tributaries was born in a hatchery. The fish the environmentalists are trying to save are already extinct.

Like so many others, the Times decried the harm farming does to the state’s “$1 billion fishing industry.” But according to the state, the best commercial salmon catch in this century was worth $15 million – less than half the value of the crab fishery.

There’s more. The Times blamed the drought and agriculture for catastrophically low salmon counts – disregarding the role played by state officials, who released too much cold water from Lake Shasta at the wrong time last year, dooming thousands of salmon and trout. Or the federal officials who insisted on releasing 35,000 acre-feet of cold water from New Melones to push juvenile salmon and steelhead to the ocean; but the fish refused to go, waiting until it actually rained to swim out.

The Times has millions of readers; here’s part of what it told them: “In this sixth year of drought, the agriculture industry and its supporters have pushed hard for diverting every scarce drop of water flowing down streams and rivers to orchards and field crops instead of, as they often describe it, allowing good water to be flushed downriver, through the Delta, into the San Francisco Bay and out to sea.”

Except that’s not true. First, virtually every resident of this area wants to see vibrant, beautiful rivers flowing through our communities. Hundreds volunteer to clean the riverbanks, plant trees, clear floodplains and many make donations. Second, our irrigation districts, county officials and local legislators quietly negotiated a deal to provide an additional 300,000 acre-feet of water for environmental purposes on top of the 20 to 30 percent already flowing to the ocean. But that offer – a year in the making – was ignored as it moved up the ladder.

Now our region is in a life-and-death struggle with the state over a plan that will double the water flowing away from one of California’s poorest regions – all for roughly 1,100 additional salmon. Did the Times’ environmental sources mention any of that?

As much as we admire the Times’ prize-winning editorial writers, they shouldn’t allow themselves to be spoon-fed by anyone.


The Public Policy Institute of California’s water experts offered an interesting idea Friday through The Sacramento Bee. Instead of building twin tunnels to carry the Sacramento River beneath the Delta, Gov. Jerry Brown should build just one. Two 40-foot-wide tunnels can siphon off virtually all of the Sacramento River; just one can’t. Skeptics have long noted that the Sacramento provides 80 percent of the Delta’s water, and it’s impossible to provide more reliable water deliveries south and simultaneously save the Delta. Eliminate one tunnel, the PPIC says, and eliminate that skepticism.

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla of Restore the Delta liked the idea. But in her enthusiasm, she took aim at the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers – echoing the state’s demand for 50 percent flows. She didn’t mention that 95 percent of the Delta has been channelized, leading to the demise of the Delta smelt. Not a word about tearing down levees to allow sinking islands to flood and create more habitat. Nothing about getting rid of striped bass that feast on smelt and juvenile salmon.

Apparently it’s less about restoring the Delta than about getting more water. It always is.

Read it here: http://www.modbee.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/mike-dunbar/article118612498.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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California: Sites Reservoir backers prepare to seek bond money

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California water, Dams other than Klamath, Water, Resources & Quality

PNP comment:  Finally some movement on this situation! This is where the California Water Bond money should go, not to the destruction of the Klamath dams. — Editor Liz Bowen

Sites Reservoir backers prepare to seek bond money

Capital Press

Backers of the proposed Sites Reservoir west of here believe they have plenty of momentum going into next year’s application period for Proposition 1 water bond funds.

The number of agencies signed on to participate in the project has grown from 14 to 34, including from the San Francisco Bay area and San Joaquin Valley, said Jim Watson, general manager of the Sites Authority. And the Legislature recently passed Assembly Bill 2553, a bipartisan measure that will give flexibility in construction methods to help speed the project.

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Opinion: Learn from history … fight to keep your water

California water, Op-ed, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

PNP comment: Looks like the coho salmon is the only fraud perpetrated on farmers and ranchers and fishermen. — Editor Liz Bowen

OPINION: Learn from history … fight to keep your water

Modesto Bee

At an important meeting last week in Modesto, The Bee reported, Francisco Canela, a member of the Stanislaus County Water Advisory Committee, asked one of the state’s top water regulators a great question:

“Where’s the end game for this community? That’s our concern. We’re giving more water and more water, and we aren’t getting anything back.”

The short answer to Canela’s question is that the community will never get back any water or anything else.

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Fish disease prompts river flushing

Air, Climate & Weather, California water, Endangered Species Act, Federal gov & land grabs, Hypocrisy, Klamath River & Dams, Salmon and fish, Trinity County, Water, Resources & Quality

PNP comment: While it is commendable to want to help inland resident trout, low summer flows are the typical type of summer environment they live in — and do survive. Anyone claiming there is a need to artificially pulse the rivers — in hot August and September — are buying into the lie that it helps salmon.

It actually targets and stimulates the salmon that are happily playing in the ocean to start swimming inland, when there is not sufficient water flows for them. (Pulsing artificially suggests that the autumn rains have arrived  — of which they have not!)

So the salmon will begin swimming up river, when the trouts’ disease and the back-to-normal low water flows will greatly endanger the lives of the salmon. What a bunch of disgusting bunk and fraudulent science pulsing truly is. Why would anyone want to bring the salmon up river before the real autumn rains naturally raise the water flows? — Editor Liz Bowen

 

By Damon Arthur of the Redding Record Searchlight

Posted: Yesterday 6:58 p.m.

To prevent an outbreak of a deadly fish-killing disease, federal officials plan to begin tripling the amount of water flowing out of Lewiston Dam and into the Trinity River.

Starting Thursday, the amount of water coming out of Lewiston Dam will increase from 450 cubic-feet per second to about 1,300 cfs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the dam.

The Trinity River flows into the Klamath River and the higher flows in the Trinity are meant to aid salmon and trout in the Klamath.

Federal officials and others are worried about an outbreak of a disease called ich, which spreads among fish crowded into slow-moving pools of warm water in the river. The higher flows from the Trinity are supposed to flush out the lower Klamath with cooler water and reduce crowding among the fish.

A small number of fish have become infected in “extremely warm water” in the Klamath, said Michael Belchik, a senior fisheries biologist for the Yurok Tribe, which is based on the Klamath River.

An ich outbreak in 2002 killed some 35,000 salmon and steelhead trout in the river.

“We take this threat to our fish very seriously, and we’re looking at every option to protect our fish,” said Thomas P. O’Rourke, Yurok Tribe chairman. “We don’t want to go through another catastrophe like the fish kill in 2002, and we will do anything we can to avoid that outcome this year.”

The Klamath Fish Health Assessment Team, which monitors fish fitness in the river, rated danger in the stream on Wednesday at “yellow” because of unfavorable physical and chemical conditions in the stream.

There are four “levels of readiness,” for the river, starting at green, the lowest level and best conditions for fish. Levels increase to yellow, orange and red, which means a fish kill is imminent or underway, according to the team’s website.

During the past several years of warm summer weather and drought, the higher releases from Lewiston Dam have been an annual event in August and September.

This year’s higher flows, which could go as high as 3,500 cfs, are expected to last until late September.

David Coxey, general manager of the Bella Vista Water District in Redding, said sending more water down the Trinity River means there will be less water for cities and agriculture in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys.

Nearly all the municipal water districts in the Redding area get water through the bureau.

“It’s disheartening how our supply reliability continues to erode,” Coxey said.

There is also less hydropower generated when more water is sent down the Trinity River, Coxey said.

Water is shipped via large pipes from Lewiston Lake to Whiskeytown Lake, where it is used to also generate power at the Carr Powerhouse. The water is then shipped by pipe again from Whiskeytown to Keswick Reservoir, where power is generated again at the Spring Creek Powerhouse.

Higher flows into the Trinity and Klamath rivers also ultimately mean less water flowing into the Sacramento River to aid endangered winter-run chinook salmon that spawn in the river in Redding, Coxey said.

“This is a discouraging decision that further hurts the salmon over here,” he said.

# # #

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Sites Reservoir likely years down the road

Agriculture - California, CA Farm Water Coalition, California water

California Farm Water Coalition

July 20, 2016

Sites Reservoir likely years down the road

Redding Record Searchlight

Don’t expect to see a reservoir built in the hills west of Maxwell anytime soon. Plans to build the Sites Reservoir have been in the works since 1957, and if it is eventually approved, work on the project probably would not be complete for another 10 to 12 years, according to Jim Watson, the Sites Reservoir Project general manager.

“Sites is not for us. Sites is for our grandchildren,” said Nadine Bailey, chief operating officer for the Family Water Alliance in Maxwell.

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So Cal water district completes $175-million purchase of delta islands

Agriculture - California, CA Farm Water Coalition, California water

California Farm Water Coalition

July 19, 2016

Southern California water district completes $175-million purchase of delta islands 

Los Angeles Times

Southern California’s powerful water supplier has completed the $175-million purchase of five islands in the heart of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the ecologically sensitive region that’s a key source of water for the Southland.

The top attorney for the Metropolitan Water District said in a memo Monday that the agency had finalized the purchase of the islands from Delta Wetlands Properties.

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Delta: State Supreme Court sides with So Cal in epic water war over delta islands

Agriculture - California, CA Farm Water Coalition, California water

Daily report from California Farm Water Coalition

State Supreme Court sides with Southern California in epic water war over delta islands

Los Angeles Times

The state Supreme Court has cleared the way for Southern California’s powerful Metropolitan Water District to buy five islands at the epicenter of the delta’s water system, officials said Friday.

Some officials and environmentalists in Northern California had fought to halt the sale, worried about what the MWD planned to do with the land. The agency has said it might use some of the land to provide access for the construction of a proposed delta tunnel system, a controversial project some oppose amid California’s five-year drought.

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Shasta water release plan has no cutbacks to farmers – for now

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California Rivers, California water, Dams other than Klamath

SacBee.com

June 29, 2016 3:51 PM

Highlights

Decision a victory for Central Valley growers

Federal fisheries officials reverse their stance

Compromise still expected to save Chinook salmon

 After weeks of uncertainty and pressure from members of Congress, federal officials on Wednesday announced a plan for managing water releases from California’s largest reservoir this summer in a manner that will not involve cutbacks in farm water deliveries – at least if all goes as hoped.

For more than a month, federal agencies have battled behind the scenes over how to balance the needs of California farms and two endangered fish species whose populations have been decimated by years of drought and environmental decline.

Federal fisheries officials – who hold considerable sway over how the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation operates Shasta Dam and other federal reservoirs – had been weighing whether to hold back substantial volumes of water at Shasta Lake into the summer to protect juvenile winter-run Chinook salmon. A companion proposal called for letting more water flow to the Pacific Ocean through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta during summer, in hopes of bolstering survival rates for another species teetering on the brink of extinction, the Delta smelt.

Both plans met with forceful opposition from Central Valley farmers, who rely heavily on Shasta water deliveries for irrigation. The proposals would have meant another year of curtailed deliveries during key portions of the growing season.

Instead, the Shasta plan released Wednesday marked a victory for farm interests and a significant about-face for fisheries officials. Rather than the more drastic proposal under discussion, the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reverted to a model for operating Shasta Dam that stays the course for giving farmers more water deliveries than in recent years.

Agency officials said their compromise plan should still result in ample cool water to keep endangered winter-run Chinook from dying in the Sacramento River. The bureau will be required to closely monitor temperatures in Shasta Lake to ensure that cold-water releases are possible through summer and fall. If they determine that Shasta is too warm, they will cut back releases to ensure there is enough cool water for later in the year.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article86742377.html#emlnl=Morning_Newsletter#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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