Tag Archive for 'california water supply'


Photo retrieved from: www.nativenewsonline.net

“The Winnemem Wintu tribe, allies and other tribal representatives will be rallying and waving signs outside the 2nd California Water Summit this Monday, June 29, at the Westin Sacramento to protest Gov. Jerry Brown’s efforts to exclude California tribes, environmentalists and other important stakeholders in this public meeting about massive state water infrastructure projects.

The summit is being advertised by the Brown administration as a conference to discuss the “latest developments including project selection for the $7.5 billion water bond” that is now available after the passage of the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Act of 2014.

Registration for the summit is nearly an astounding $1,500 per person, and there have been no efforts to include tribal representatives, environmentalists or anyone who is advocating for sound water policy that will benefit future generations, local ecosystems and salmon and other fisheries.

No mention of tribal water rights is listed on the agenda, and it seems the only people attending will be water districts’ staff, government scientists, corporate representatives and other advocates for Governor Brown’s pet water projects like the Shasta Dam raise and the twin Delta Tunnels, both of which would be devastating for salmon and tribal cultural resources and sacred sites.”


Read more: Native News Online


Looking At A New Strategy To Save The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Retrieved from: www.allamericanpatriots.com

“Water supply, flood control, and environmental management are fundamental challenges for the western United States. California’s unique development patterns, with nearly 20 million of its residents living in water starved southern California, has resulted in a system of water transfers and aqueduct systems that rely on water being pumped, collected and transferred from Northern California through an extensive and damaging pumping and aqueduct system.

The Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta (the Delta) is the heart of California’s water source and the center of the transfer system. The Delta is an 837,594 acres area where the Sacramento and San Joaquin River join before entering the San Francisco Bay and then the Pacific Ocean. Water is pumped from the Delta through a system of aqueducts to agricultural users in the San Joaquin Valley and urban centers of the San Francisco Bay, Los Angeles and other communities throughout southern California. Unsustainable pumping of vast amounts of water yearly from the Delta has caused the collapse of several fish populations and has forced a rethinking of the federal and state water policies.

United States federal and state river and water policies for the past 150 years have relied on maximizing conversions of wetlands for agricultural uses while placing a high priority on flood control on major rivers like the Mississippi, Missouri and Sacramento. As we move well into the 21st century the historic water policies of flood control and water exports have left the Delta facing an imminent collapse that threatens the massive California water transfers and the delta fisheries if immediate action is not taken. The effect of the collapse is potentially the loss of water to the 20 million California residences and the agricultural economy of the California San Joaquin Valley.”

Read more: Aquafornia


Calif. seeks balance in fixing its water system

Photo retrieved from: deltaboating.com

“As they tackled the question of whether California can find balance between reliable water supplies and a healthy environment, a panel of water experts acknowledged to those attending the California Irrigation Institute conference last week in Sacramento that answers to contentious water problems are not a simple yes or no.

“Instead, they suggested the answers are embedded in a complex web of factors, with any one answer having far-reaching implications for the state’s economy, the environment and how food is grown.

“”What’s emerging in our discussions is that all water used in California and all the ways we use it are interconnected,” said Phil Isenberg, chairman of the Delta Stewardship Council, during opening remarks to the conference. “All decisions touch one another and there’s no way to avoid a conclusion that decisions made in one area trickle out to the rest of the state.”"

Read more: The Daily Democrat

The drying of the West; The Colorado River and the civilisation it waters are in crisis

Photo retrieved from: TheEconomist.com

“In the northern states, its water supports cattle empires. In its southern stretch, especially in California’s Imperial County, the river irrigates deserts to produce America’s winter vegetables. And all along the way, aqueducts branch off to supply cities from Salt Lake City and Denver to Phoenix and Los Angeles. The metropolis closest to Lake Mead, Las Vegas, gets 90% of its water from this one source.

“That is why Las Vegas is a canary in the mine shaft, as Pat Mulroy, the boss of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, puts it. The Las Vegas valley gets its water through two long channels drilled through the rock. The first taps the lake at 1,050 feet (320 metres) above sea level, the second at 1,000 feet. Lake Mead’s water level is now near its record low, at 1,086 feet. Within a few years it could leave Las Vegas’s first intake, or even both, dry.

“The threat to Sin City is a good example of the four dimensions—physical, legal, political and cultural—of water in the West. For the physical, the standard response is to summon the engineers. Ms Mulroy already has them digging a third intake at 890 feet. Given the weight of the water on top, this is fiendishly difficult and will not be ready until 2014. Ms Mulroy also wants to pipe groundwater from the rural and wetter northern counties of Nevada to Las Vegas, but that has caused a vicious row.”

read more: The Economist

Billionaire Farmers Scheming To Privatize California’s Water Are Under Attack

Photo retrieved from: www.bakersfieldnow.com

“Filed by a coalition of farmers and environmental groups in the Sacramento Superior Court, the twin lawsuits cut to the heart of the ongoing backdoor privatization of California’s water supply, which has allowed a handful of rich and powerful people to enrich themselves at taxpayers’ expense, without anyone getting wise. The litigants’ objectives are simple enough: to re-nationalize a vital asset and shut down an illegal water racket that has sucked rivers dry, fueled unsustainable real estate growth, and violated California’s constitution. But to fully appreciate the importance of these lawsuits, you have to understand the proportions of the scam that was perpetrated. And to do that, you have to learn a little history about the privatization of the Kern Water Bank.

The Kern Water Bank is an underground reservoir located about 300 miles south of San Francisco, in the hottest, driest, southernmost edge of California’s Central Valley. In the late 1980s, California’s Department of Water Resources began developing the water bank, which can now hold enough water to hydrate the entire population of the city of Los Angeles for nearly two years, as a safeguard against prolonged drought. During wet years, it would serve as a repository for excess water coming in from Northern California, and would be pumped out in dry years to make up any shortfalls in the water supply. California spent nearly $100 million developing the underground reservoir and connecting it to the state’s public canals and aqueducts. But in 1995, the state suddenly, and without any public debate, transferred it to a handful of corporate interests.”

Read more: AlterNet

Where California’s Next One Million Acre-Feet of Water Should Come From

Photo retrieved from: www.alternet.org

“This is a key time for California water: we are coming off of three years of serious drought and growing political conflict over water allocations. The Legislature passed a comprehensive water bill last November. A major water bond was proposed to fund a wide range of interventions, but has now been tabled for at least two years and could be greatly altered or even scrapped altogether. New reviews from around the state are calling for prompt efforts to use infrastructure, markets, and institutional reform to address the state’s water crisis. All parties agree that the state will need a diverse portfolio of solutions for our diverse and complex water problems.

But the argument that we must do everything at once — conservation, new dams, seawater desalination plants, replumbing the Delta, some of this or that — is disingenuous, and wrong. We must do the most critical and effective things first, from a technical, political, and economic perspective.

And the most effective thing, hands down, is improving water-use efficiency. The Pacific Institute has just released a new analysis that recommends a set ofspecific actions that can annually save a million acre-feet of water quickly and at a lower economic and ecological cost than developing new supplies. These water savings are split 30/70 between the urban and agricultural sectors.

A million acre-feet is a lot of water. A million acre-feet is nearly 12 times the city of San Francisco’s annual water use and 1.6 times LA’s annual water use. It is equivalent to the flow of 890 million gallons of water per day. It is enough water to irrigate all the grain produced in California annually. ”

Read more: AlterNet

As We See It: Save the salmon: Good news on fishing season, but battle over water diversion remains.

“There was a time when salmon was king.

“Now, finally, for the first time in three years, sport fishermen will again be able to fish for salmon in Monterey Bay.

“But the glory days of salmon fishing in local waters — really, most of the fishing industry — are decades past. The issue of who is to blame for the decline in chinook salmon, and its resulting effect on the fishing industry, is complicated.

“Overfishing and climate change have been blamed. But probably the main culprit is changes in the freshwaters flowing to the ocean. Salmon spawn in rivers and streams, before maturing in the ocean — and fishing advocates blame corporate farms in the San Joaquin Valley, which receive federally subsidized water diverted from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, for ruining the salmon spawn.”

read more: Santa Cruz Sentinel