Home Delta A Delta War is Brewing

A Delta War is Brewing

by ECT

There is a lot of information floating around yesterday about Governor Browns plans with the Delta. Rather than be just another article explaining what transpired, I figured I’d consolidate most of the articles from around the state into a single location.

If you notice, they all have different details starting with the cost of the project which most papers list the project cost of $14 billion while the Los Angles Times says its $23 billion.

Photo via Restore the Delta Facebook Page

Before I get to the articles, I want to hand out some major kudos.

Major kudos goes out to U.S. Rep. John Garamendi, D-Fairfield who gave the best quote of the day by far by stating,  “To the secretary and the governor: You’ve launched your war; we’ll fight the battle.”

He is damn right they have a war on their hands now. We will fight him at every step.

I’d also like to give some major kudos to Supervisor Mary Piepho as she stated, “We need science before size…Science should drive the capacity of any project, not the other way around. It is completely unacceptable.” Piepeho serves on the Delta Protection Commission, Delta Conservancy and helped found the Delta County Coalition.

Kudos also go out to Rep. Jerry McNerney who issues the following statement,  “For years, I have been fighting against water exportation that would hurt our community. This BDCP plan is a travesty for northern California and will decimate our region, costing millions of dollars and thousands of jobs. This development is a huge breach of the public trust. Governor Brown and Secretary Salazar have shown today that they have little regard for the people of San Joaquin County. The families, farmers, and small business owners in northern California stand to have their livelihoods destroyed. This will have ruinous consequences for our local economy at a time when we already struggle with record unemployment.”

Restore the Delta Executive Director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla did not use as strong as rhetoric as Garamendi or Piepho, but she still got the job done by stating, “This proposal is fatally flawed… We oppose the rush to build a project that would exterminate salmon runs, destroy sustainable family farms and  saddle taxpayers with tens of billion of dollars in debt.”

Here is a map of the proposed project

Here is a list of articles that I found to be nice reads on the fireworks from Sacramento yesterday.

Sac Bee: Jerry Brown: ‘I want to get s— done’ at this stage of life

“Analysis paralysis is not why I came back 30 years later to handle some of the same issues,” the 74-year-old former governor said. “At this stage, as I see many of my friends dying — I went to the funeral of my best friend a couple of weeks ago — I want to get s— done.”  Full article


Sac Bee: State, federal officials reveal Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta plan

The details of the proposal they discussed are not new. It calls for two massive tunnels large enough to divert the Sacramento River  at 9,000 cubic feet per second from three intakes somewhere between Freeport and Courtland. The intent is to end the reverse flows caused by current state and federal pumps in the south Delta, which alter aquatic habitat and kill millions of fish.

The estimated cost of the plumbing is about $14 billion, to be funded by some three dozen water agencies from San Jose  to San Diego, which rely on Delta water to serve 23 million Californians and 3 million acres of farmland.

What is new is the federal government’s commitment to the project.  Full article

San Jose Mercury:  Gov. Jerry Brown fires first shot in new water war

The proposal also calls for restoring the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a vast network of marshes and sloughs that has seen ecological decline as the state’s farms and cities have increasingly tapped it for trillions of gallons of water each year. Protecting the estuary from earthquakes and faster snow melts, while firming up aging and decrepit levees, are all key goals.

While building the tunnels does not require the approval of California voters, they would have to OK about $9 billion to cover the cost of habitat restoration and operation of the tunnels — probably as part of a 2014 water-bond measure that the Legislature recently moved from the November ballot. And without that approval, the project could die.  Full Article


Los Angeles Times: Gov. Brown pushes $23-billion plan to tunnel under delta

Under the proposal, which is a scaled-down version of an earlier design released during Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration, three large intake facilities would be built on the Sacramento River near Hood. They would be capable of diverting 9,000 cubic feet of water a second into two side-by-side underground tunnels that would carry supplies 35 miles to the huge government pumps in the south delta that send water to Central Valley farms and Southland cities. Currently, supplies are drawn through the delta to the pumps, a system that has profoundly altered the delta ecology.

Water users — ultimately farmers and residential customers — would foot the $14-billion construction bill and roughly $5 billion in operating costs. State taxpayers would cover most of the $3-billion to $4-billion expense for habitat restoration. Full Article


Fresno Bee: Plan for California tunnels for delta water unveiled

Tunnel construction itself would cost about $14 billion and would be paid by water users. Officials said taxpayers would bear the $10 billion cost of habitat restoration, but a water bond that could provide some money for restoration was moved to November 2014.

State officials admit they don’t know just how much water would be diverted through the tunnels or how habitat restoration and decreased flows would affect the fish. They say these questions would be answered through scientific studies that accompany construction over the next 10-15 years. Full Article

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