News Worth Noting: Secretary Laird responds to science panel report on the BDCP; Valadao, economic leaders & the Bishop of Fresno on Delta exports; CRS report on federal drought assistance, UCLA report on drought & economy
Secretary Laird responds to Lead Scientist Dr. Peter Goodwin on the Independent Science Panel’s review of the BDCP’s Effects Analysis: He writes: ” … We have performed a preliminary review of the report and agree that there remain areas in the Effects Analysis that can be improved. We are already working to address many of your concerns. As the science of the Bay-Delta is constantly improving, uncertainty remains. We must continue to recognize this uncertainty in the application of the best available science. To help address scientific uncertainty in the BDCP, we continue to develop a thorough adaptive management and monitoring program. We appreciate the recommendations from the panel in this area. However, we must ultimately draw conclusions and take action based on our current understanding and interpretation of the best available science notwithstanding the fact that there remains uncertainty. … ” Read the full letter here: Secretary Laird response to Dr. Peter Goodwin
Representative Valadao issues statement on Delta exports: “Following recent rainstorms throughout the State, Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-21) released the following statement Wednesday morning: “Due to recent storms throughout California, the Delta is experiencing what could potentially be the last major flows of this season. Despite the severe drought conditions throughout the State, very little of this water is being captured and utilized due to insensitive and unsubstantiated federal regulations. The best available scientific information demonstrates fish have not been directly harmed by the water supply projects this year. And yet, water is allowed to flow out into the ocean despite the fact that farmers, families, and entire communities are suffering from water shortages. If reckless regulators deem fish and families to be equal priorities, at the very least, Delta Flows should be equally distributed between both groups. If such a logical and fair solution had been in place prior to this week’s storms, on Monday alone 16,800 acre feet of water could have been pumped to the communities most in need. Regulators must rebalance requirements further to lessen the harm being felt throughout my district, and the State, or demonstrate how the restrictions they demand are benefiting fish.” Read more here: Valadao Releases Statement on Delta Exports
State economic leaders and the Bishop of the Fresno diocese write letters in support of increased exports during the storms: The REAL Coalition (Regional Economic Association Leaders of California) write: “We believe that in this crisis situation, a fairer allocation of risks based on the most current information available, is essential to meet your responsibilities to both the environment and our economy.” The Bishop of Fresno writes: “We are reminded in this time of drought of our dependence on the Creator. The creation entrusted to us is a common heritage and requires us to work together as responsible stewards for the common good, especially mindful of the vulnerable. As the economic and health impact of the drought grows, those with limited resources will be the first to suffer.” Read the letters here: Drought REAL_Coalition_Jewell-Pritzker_Emergency_Water_Actions_LtrDrought Bishop’s Letter to POTUS
Congressional Research Service Report: ‘Emergency Water Assistance During Drought – Federal Non-Agricultural Programs: ‘”Drought conditions often fuel congressional interest in federal assistance. While drought planning and preparedness are largely individual, business, local, and state responsibilities, some federal assistance is available to mitigate drought impacts. While much of the federal assistance is targeted at mitigating impacts on the agricultural economy, other federal programs are authorized to provide non-agricultural water assistance. Interest in these non-agricultural programs often increases as communities, households, and businesses experience shrinking and less reliable water supplies. Authorized federal assistance is spread across a variety of agencies, and each has limitations on what activities and entities are eligible and the funding that is available. … ” Download a copy of this report courtesy of the Water Wired blog here: CRS Report: ‘Emergency Water Assistance During Drought – Federal Non-Agricultural Programs’
UCLA report examines effect of drought on California’s economy: The report covers other topics; from the portion of the press release pertaining to the drought: “The California forecast report, prepared by UCLA Anderson Forecast senior economist Jerry Nickelsburg, examines the impacts the ongoing drought and dry weather are having on the California economy. Nickelsburg looks at the key economic components of a drought — demand, supply and a forecast of future drought conditions — and notes that in California there are four sources of demand: agriculture, fisheries and the environment, households, and industry. Agriculture, by far the largest segment of demand, consumes about 80 percent of all delivered water. … ” More from the UCLA Newsroom here: Despite harsh winter, drought in West, UCLA Anderson Forecast predicts employment growth
About News Worth Noting: News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations. News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms. If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.