THIS JUST IN … A grand compromise for the Delta? Restore the Delta responds …

This morning, the Sacramento Bee posted a commentary written by Ellen Hanak, Jeff Mount, and Brian Gray outlining a ‘grand compromise’ for the Delta that proposes a single tunnel, focusing on more broader ecological management rather than single species approach, and explore investments to benefit Delta residents.  Click here to read the full commentary.

Restore the Delta has issued this in response:

Restore the Delta logo“This week a coalition of conservation and public interest organizations sent a letter to Obama administration officials calling for the termination of the proposed Delta Tunnels.

As environmental and financial obstacles mount for Governor Brown’s full-scale Delta Tunnels (CA WaterFix), backers of the project are now scrambling for a viable Plan B.

Today, the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) released their proposal in the Sacramento Bee: A Grand Compromise for the Delta. Their proposal calls for a single tunnel project, improved water quality protections for Delta communities, water flows for ecosystem health, and a Delta smelt hatchery.

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta said in response to the proposal:
“We are encouraged the Public Policy Institute of California is backing down from support for the highly destructive Twin Delta Tunnels proposal. But the project PPIC is describing today is a different and new project. Before it can be analyzed, we still need to figure out how much water the Delta needs. The flow hearings for the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers must be completed before a project can be analyzed. We learned this week from independent fishery experts that the San Joaquin River needs at least 50 percent unimpaired flows to stop extinction and achieve legally required doubling goals for salmon.

“We are pleased the Water Quality Plan Update for the Delta is moving forward and we are grateful to the State Water Resources Control Board and the Brown Administration that this process is unfolding. We remain concerned that any side settlements for the sale of water from and within the San Joaquin River watershed, which Governor Brown has been promoting, will interfere with improved flows to meet public trust values. In addition, any new tunnel proposal would, we hope, include a more comprehensive public scoping process so as to include Delta environmental justice communities. We would also hope for a more transparent environmental and economic review process with better science and better public debate than what was put forth for the current Delta Tunnels proposal.”



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4 Responses

  1. Robert Pyke

    Confucius say “he who stands in the middle of the road gets run over by trucks passing on both directions!”

    I say this is not a solution that makes anyone happy and people who propose stuff like this are promoting themselves, not a real solution.

    For a real solution see

  2. John Perry

    It seems to me that the Northern California environmentalists continue to believe that restoration of fish in the Delta is more important that equitable distribution of water resources to all parts of the state. The funding that will be used to restore salmon comes from all State taxpayers not just those who spend every last cent on trying to prevent the natural extension of a bait fish or trying to get salmon back to where they were 100 years ago.
    As the climate evolves from the last ice age to a more moderate climate, the flora and fauna change with temperature. There is nothing we can do to prevent another ice age or a more temperate climate in California.

    • Richard Allen

      Mr. Perry, please read the Public Trust Doctrine. This Doctrine was the cornerstone for saving Lake Merced and the Westside Basin Aquifer in San Francisco.

      It was California Trout working with 5 water committee members, who were founding members of the Lake Merced Task Force in Jan 2000, that took on the challenge to overturn water politics in San Francisco.

      Check out the recent quote by Justice Richard Tallman, 9th Circuit Court of Apeals, in overturning a lower Court decision supporting Westlands anti environmental position. Justice Tallman’s quote, “People need water…..but so do fish.”

      Going forward, keep in mind, that senior water rights actually belong to nature. The rest of us are just short term guests and have a stewarship responsibilty to protect our natural resources.

      San Francisco, Lake Merced Task Force 2000-2012

    • Farmer's Wife

      John wrote: “It seems to me that the Northern California environmentalists continue to believe that restoration of fish in the Delta is more important that equitable distribution of water resources to all parts of the state.”

      Actually, I think you are correct.
      What makes for “equitable distribution of water resources to all parts of the state” A RIGHT?
      At some point we must learn to live within our resource limits, NOT take from others.

      A proposal not long after Louis & Clark’s expedition and others, strongly suggested that “states/territories” be aligned with water basins, which makes sense. Instead of relying on importing resources you live within the constraints of your environment.

      Growing alfalfa in S Cal desert to feed industrial dairy cow operations in the desert, is an insane transfer of water.. Especially in light of small 100 yr old dairy farmers going broke, in Northern California, because they can not compete with those huge operations; we have created a dysfunction system that benefits corporations, not individuals. All due to “transfers” of water.

      What if we had to live with what nature provides us? Perhaps we would pay more attention to supporting a functioning ecological system instead of stripping out the very resources that provide us sustenance.

      Living in San Diego at the moment and it is incredible that people think this is sustainable…


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