News Worth Noting: Coalition supporting CalWater Fix debunks biased study; Delta Counties Coalition: New analysis raises serious doubt about financial viability of the Delta tunnels project; Reclamation to release additional water from Trinity Reservoir

Coalition supporting California Water Fix debunks biased ‘study’ manufactured by project opponents

Author and funders are longtime advocates against WaterFix. Report completely fails to acknowledge economic losses of future water cutbacks without project.

From Californians for Water Security:

Water Security LogoToday, Californians for Water Security blasted a report released by California WaterFix opponent Jeffrey Michael, who works as a vocal and active surrogate for the opposition.

“The author and funders of this study are longtime opponents of WaterFix. There is nothing independent or objective about this report,” said Michael Quigley, executive director of the California Alliance for Jobs.  “Failing to implement the California WaterFix because of short-sighted opponents will hurt the 25 million Californians who rely on our state water supplies.”

“The promoters of this report fail to address the fundamental economic benefit of this project: To protect our state’s families, farms and businesses from continued water supply cutbacks that are all but certain if we don’t move forward with WaterFix,” said Charley Wilson, executive director of Southern California Water Committee. “There’s nothing objective about a report created by an individual who has worked in opposition to this project for years.”

The California WaterFix will protect the water supply for two-thirds of our state’s homes, farms and businesses.  The current system is vulnerable in the case of an earthquake or a natural disaster; and fails to capture water during rainy seasons for the historic droughts California has endured in recent years.

About Californians for Water Security
CWS is a growing coalition of more than 12,000 California citizens and more than 175 organizations representing business leaders, labor, family farmers, local governments, water experts, environmentalists, public safety officials, infrastructure groups, taxpayer associations, and others who support the plan to fix California’s broken water distribution system. The Governor’s plan was drafted after nearly a decade of scientific review and analysis by leading water experts and conservationists and has received input from leading scientists and engineers. The coalition is waging an active advertising, grassroots lobbying, social media and public advocacy campaign to support this important project to fix our aging water distribution infrastructure and improve water reliability and security throughout the state.  For more information on Californians for Water Security, visit: www.watersecurityca.com

Delta Counties Coalition: New analysis raises serious doubt about financial viability of the Delta tunnels project

From the Delta Counties Coalition:

Delta Counties Coalition LogosThe Delta Counties Coalition (DCC) recognized the need for a benefit-cost study and applauds recent work by Dr. Jeff Michael, Executive Director of the Center for Business and Policy Research at the University of the Pacific. Dr. Michael’s work confirms that the Governor’s proposed twin tunnels project is not a good investment for California or project proponents. The analysis raises serious doubts about the financial viability of the twin tunnels project.

Using a benefit-cost analysis model and methods prescribed by the California Department of Water Resources, Dr. Michael’s benefit-cost analysis concludes that the WaterFix costs would be up to four times greater than its benefits. The WaterFix is likely to provide only 23 cents worth of benefits for every dollar of cost. Even in an optimistic scenario, project benefits are projected to provide only 39 cents worth of benefit. Given these findings, a public project of this magnitude cannot be reasonably justified to ratepayers or taxpayers.
This report also discredits claims that the twin tunnels would improve export water supply, water quality, or reduce physical risk in the event of a massive earthquake. It also explains that the project would negatively impact agriculture in the Delta by loss of land to facility construction and mitigation, and by water quality degradation.

The DCC was formed to better represent the nearly 4 million people throughout the Delta region and works collaboratively to give one voice to the Delta and better engage in the efforts to achieve three goals: improve the Delta ecosystem, provide a more reliable water supply for the state, and protect and enhance Delta communities.

Reclamation to Release Additional Water from Trinity Reservoir to Supplement Flows in the Lower Klamath River; Environmental Documents Released

From the Bureau of Reclamation:

ReclamationThe Bureau of Reclamation will release additional water from Trinity Reservoir for the lower Klamath River to help protect returning adult fall run Chinook salmon from a disease outbreak and mortality. Supplemental flows from Lewiston Dam will commence on August 25 and extend into late September.

On August 2, Reclamation released a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the plan to use water from Trinity Reservoir for the supplemental flows. The Draft EA also analyzed using a potential emergency volume, if needed, to avoid a significant die-off of adult salmon. Real-time monitoring and adaptive management will help guide implementation of supplemental flow releases.

Releases from Lewiston Dam will be adjusted to target 2,800 cubic feet per second (cfs) in the lower Klamath River starting August 25. To meet this target, releases from Lewiston Dam will increase from 450 cfs up to 1,300 cfs before dropping to 450 cfs in late September. Additional information will be provided if higher peak flows are needed in early-to-mid-September as part of the preventive action.

Flows from Lewiston could be raised as high as 3,500 cfs for up to five days if real-time monitoring information suggests a need for additional supplemental flows as an emergency response.

Over the next several weeks, releases could increase as quickly as 250 cfs every two hours, and flow reductions could drop as quickly as 100 cfs every four hours. The public is urged to take all necessary precautions on or near the river while flows are high.

The Final EA and Finding of No Significant Impact are available at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=26477 .

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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.

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