Blog round-up: Bloggers on the BDCP’s economic report, the water bond, Trinity River lawsuits, and more


“Earthrise” from the Apollo 8 mission
Photo credit: NASA

Today’s picture, “Earthrise“, was taken by astronaut William Anders during the Apollo 8 mission.  It is just one of the many incredible pictures from NASA that is available for download on this page.  This week’s blog round-up is out-of-this-world, too, as the BDCP once again takes center stage:

The BDCP’s Statewide Economic Impact Report has three structural flaws, says economist Jeff Michael at the Valley Economy blog.  One of those flaws:  ” … The $15 billion Delta tunnels must be subject to a separate analysis.  BDCP invalidly ties environmental restoration projects together with the tunnels into a bundle, although these conservation projects could be pursued without the tunnels. The principles of benefit-cost analysis, and the state’s own guidelines are crystal clear here, the tunnels must be justified independently. … ”  Read more from the Valley Economy blog here:  The BDCP Economic Impact Study

BDCP economic study falls short for some:  North Delta Water Agency’s Melinda Terry, also a Delta resident, expressed her frustration at last week’s meeting presenting the report to the public:  ” … That analysis actually finds a net economic benefit to the Delta, but that’s pretty hard to stomach for Terry, who said the study amounted to “fraud.” “Stop lying and hiding from the Delta residents what the real impacts are to them,” Terry said. “If it’s such a statewide benefit, that’s politics, but be honest about it. How dare you say there’s Delta benefits? That’s outrageous. I just can’t swallow this…”  Read more from Alex Breitler’s blog here: Mounting frustration in the Delta

Public Water News Service Blog also picks up on Melinda Terry’s comments:  “Last Thursday, when Melinda Terry, the manager of the North Delta Water Agency, took the podium to protest the BDCP’s economic analysis report which showed that the twin tunnels project would bring a $4.7-billion benefit to the people of California, no one for even a moment thought that she would agree with the BDCP’s figures.  Then again, no one thought she would characterize the whole BDCP as a fraud!  But she did, finally voicing what all of us other protesters have been thinking all along. … ”  Read more from the Public Water News Service blog here:  Fraud!

The twin tunnels are ‘The Mother of All Trojan Horses, so says Dennis Wyatt at the Manteca Bulletin.  How so?  ” … They could theoretically create a system where salt water intrusion is kept at a minimum through carefully placed levees and intentional flooding of islands. But salt water runs deep. Less fresh water flowing through the Delta means less seepage into underground aquifers. And if other tributaries have to contribute greater amounts of water to keep the Delta clear of salt water during droughts  that means further drafting of underground aquifers. The result will be salt water intrusion far from the Delta that could render domestic and farm wells useless. … ”  Read more here from the Manteca Bulletin:  Lies, damn lies, and the Twin Tunnels

The BDCP and the 2014 water bond:  The Hydrowonk blog is not convinced that the 2014 bond (as it is currently written) will pass.  ” … DWR simply believes that California voters pass water bonds by large majorities.  How does one choose between these two world views?  Simply look at the very history of California water bonds found in DWR materials!  Based on the history of water bonds, the 2014 water bond has about 7-1 odds against passing.  A smaller water bond would do better, but are not close to an even money bet.  Time to seek counsel from a former Carmel mayor.  Do you feel lucky . . .? … ”  Continue reading at the Hydrowonk blog:  Is Relying on the 2014 Water Bond To Help Fund California’s Bay Delta Conservation Plan A Good Bet?

Oil interests in a peripheral canal is apparently not so new, notes the Delta National Park blog, who dove into this retrospective on the 1982 peripheral canal fight and noticed oil interests were a big part of that fight back then:  ” … What I see here is that back in January/February 1983, the Oil and Natural Resources Sector contributed 35.6% of the “for” monies while being only 7% of the “for” donors. Small number of donors making big investments to ensure that they get their water, not for farming, food security, and family, but for what? Fracking, perhaps?  It seems reasonable to think that fracking’s expansion and extensive use of water to dislodge the fuel from the fossil or whatever will only make that sector’s interest in a water supply keener now than then. … ”  Read more from the Delta National Park blog here:  Fracking is not a conjunctive use of water

And speaking of oil and gas production in Kern County, Lloyd Carter’s Chronicles of the Hydraulic Brotherhood reaches back a couple years to find an feature article on the subject from Orion Magazine. Get the link here: Oil and water do mix

How Central Valley farmers view the Delta:  Blogger Gene Beley travels to Fresno to attend the Delta water conference, and provides a transcript of a portion of one of the panel discussions where Thomas Birmingham of Westlands discusses how the Delta has benefited from the water projects and more.  Read and/or view it at the Central Valley Business Times here:  Dispatch from another planet

Westlands files suit against Trinity River releases, Hoopa tribe intervenes:  Dan Bacher runs down the latest developments on the Trinity River.  The Westlands Water District and the San Luis Delta Mendota Water Authority filed suit last week in an attempt to stop the increased flows on the Trinity River meant to protect salmon on the Lower Klamath River, saying the release of water will cause them “significant and irreparable harm.”  The Hoopa tribe responded by intervening:  ” … “Our fisheries scientists are very concerned about developing fish disease conditions in the Lower Klamath River, conditions that will affect the salmon runs returning to the Trinity River,” said Danielle Vigil-Masten, Chair of the Hoopa Valley Tribe. “Accordingly, the Hoopa Valley Tribe has strongly supported the decision of the Bureau of Reclamation to release additional Trinity River water to ameliorate conditions in the Lower Klamath River. A die -off of Trinity River salmon, if it were to occur again this year, would be very harmful to the many Hoopa tribal members who rely upon these fish.” … ”  Read more from Dan Bacher at the Daily Kos here:  Westlands files lawsuit against Trinity water release

Alex Breitler takes a look at author Bob Madgic’s latest book, this one on the Sacramento River: ” … “The Sacramento: A Transcendent River” is a third kind of book entirely, a big and beautiful coffee-table style volume that takes us on a journey from the Mt. Shasta-area headwaters of the stream, all the way to the Delta. This is not a mere sportsman’s guide with pretty pictures; Madgic honors the river’s natural heritage, but also turns an appropriately critical eye to the role humans have played in the watershed (sometimes to its detriment) and explores management issues that continue to baffle Sacramento River scientists today. … ” Read more here: ‘A transcendent river’

A comprehensive plan is needed for California, says the Northern California Water Association blog, who agrees with the Sacramento mayor’s op-ed published recently in the Sacramento Bee:  ” … The Northern California Water Association (NCWA) and our partners in the North State Water Alliance are committed to statewide water solutions that advance the economy, environment, and quality of life in Northern California. We have been a strong proponent that California needs a more comprehensive water plan than just a narrow Delta solution. We share the Mayor’s belief “that Governor Brown can come up with an innovative solution when it comes to water policy,” which should include his administration immediately developing a more “comprehensive statewide water plan.” … ”  Read more from the NCWA blog here:  We need a comprehensive water plan for California

Don’t fix the Delta, build reservoirs in Santa Barbara instead, says the Cal Watchdog blog: ” … A 2012 climate change study entitled “When It Rains It Pours,” by Environment California’s Research Policy Center, suggests it might be better for California to build new water storage facilities in Santa Barbara than in the Sacramento Delta.  The reason: From 1948 to 2011, extreme storms increased south of the Bay-Delta by 35 percent and decreased north of the Bay-Delta by 26 percent.  Santa Barbara in particular saw a 72 percent increase in extreme storms. … ”  Read more from the Cal Watchdog blog here:  Rainfall study contradicts CA water policy

 And lastly … nothing silly or amusing for this space today.  Sorry 🙁


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