Blog round up: Bloggers on what the BDCP can, can’t, and wants to do, salmon eating farmers, and drought

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan can’t do everything, points out the BDCP blog:  Yes, it’s big, but it’s function is to comply with endangered species laws:  ” … The BDCP can go a long way toward accomplishing the dual goals of ecosystem restoration and water supply reliability spelled out by the Legislature in the 2009 Delta Reform Act.  But the BDCP by itself cannot do everything the Legislature seeks to accomplish through that keystone law, including “promote statewide water conservation, water use efficiency, and sustainable water use” and “reduce risks to people, property, and state interests in the Delta by effective emergency preparedness, appropriate land uses, and investments in flood protection. … ”  More here from the BDCP blog:  What the BDCP Is — and Isn’t

But the BDCP will improve drinking water quality, says the Southern California Water Committee blog:  Carcinogenic byproducts of the chlorination process are a problem for drinking water systems; a little mentioned benefit of the BDCP is an improvement in water quality:   … “The BDCP proposes that, instead of pulling water directly from the South Delta, some freshwater be diverted from a more northern point on the Sacramento River. Moving the diversion point further away from the Bay’s seawater tides would significantly reduce the amount of THMs in the water that is delivered through the State Water Project. Although improved drinking water quality and public health benefits are two of the lesser talked about benefits of this important public works project, they’ve long-been a significant issue for California’s water agencies.  … ”  Read more here from the Southern California Water Committee: Delta Drinking Water Quality Benefits

California Water Commission considering a Resolution of Necessity for pending eminent domain actions, says Restore the Delta:  ” … DWR needs access to private property in the Delta to do “geotechnical activities” (exploratory drilling) to get information to build the Peripheral Tunnels.  They wanted to have this done before the 2012-2013 rainy season began.  They apparently need the information to complete the environmental documents for the BDCP, which are scheduled for release this summer. … ”  Read more here from Restore the Delta:  Resolutions of Necessity revisited

Mitigation versus Restoration in the Yolo Bypass:  The existing biological opinions call for habitat restoration, and many projects going on in the Yolo Bypass are to satisfy this requirement, notes Restore the Delta:  ” … Any work done pursuant to the BiOp is a being done as a condition for SWP/CVP to receive incidental take permits under the Endangered Species Act.  Habitat projects like those in the Yolo Bypass, at Yolo Ranch, and on Prospect Island are mitigation requirements for the federal and State water contractors to continue to operate existing South Delta pumping facilities that kill fish. These habitat projects ARE NOT “public benefits. ... ”  Read moire from Restore the Delta here:  Sleight of hand revisited

Fracking water estimates waaaay off, says the State Water Contractors Delta Doozy.  A recent commentary in the  San Diego U-T said that ‘trillions’ of gallons were used for fracking in California:  ” … The amount of water cited here, 2.8 trillion gallons, is the equivalent to approximately 8.5 million acre-feet of water supply. This quantity of water is nearly 10 times the maximum annual contract deliveries of supplies that are received by the Kern County Water Agency. The quantity is nearly twice the entire average-year deliveries of the Delta’s two major water facilities, the State Water Project and Central Valley Project. … ”  Read more here from the State Water Contractors:  Delta Doozy: Fracking Uses Trillions of Gallons of Delta Water

Salmon eating farmers on the San Joaquin River, says the Cal Watchdog blog:  That historical San Joaquin River was ‘pretty ugly’, flooding croplands, drowning salmon  and destroying property and lives; the destructive flooding wasn’t stopped until the farmers built the levees:  ” … Environmentalists armed with court orders want to restore the dry portions of the river purportedly to renew the salmon runs.  But the real story is not about the fish at all. It is about how environmental jobs programs are pushing farmers out of the dry reach of the San Joaquin River. … ”  Read more here from the Cal Watchdog blog:  Salmon eating farmers along San Joaquin River

It’s dry all over the state, points out the Chance of Rain blog, starting with Lake Mead:  ” … Reclamation assessments of the Colorado headwater region snowpack that will replenish Mead over the summer — not necessarily as fast as it is drained — vary between 61% to 77% of normal.  Southern Californians might take comfort that a big slug of their water doesn’t come from the Colorado River, but an aqueduct run hundreds of miles north to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta. … ” Except things don’t look much better up north, either.  The Chance of Rain runs down the dismal numbers here: High good, low bad: Mead in March 2013

Yup, there’s a drought going on in the Colorado Basin, no doubt, points out the Inkstain blog and displaying a map of the basin displaying various shades of red and brown to prove it:  ” … the forecast for spring inflow into Lake Powell, on the Colorado River, is the lowest since the CBRFC began doing forecasts in 1979. And the two-year sum of spring flows (April-July last year and this), if the forecast verifies, will be the lowest two-year spring total since Glen Canyon Dam was completed in the 1960s. … ”  More from the Inkstain blog here: Folks, we’ve got a drought going on

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