Photo retrieved from: www.latimes.com
“Construction of the State Water Project in the 1960s increased the flow of water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, and the steadier supply allowed the planting of orchards.
Agriculture takes an environmental toll in both parts of the San Joaquin Valley, with polluted runoff and concentrated metals and minerals leached from the soil, but also in the mountains and the delta. Delta farmers and their political supporters have mobilized many times and are mobilizing again to fight the increased diversion of water to the south. Their interests are valid and their role crucial to all of California, because in protecting their own farms they inspect and patch the levees that keep the delta from being overcome by brackish bay water unusable not just by themselves but by growers in the San Joaquin Valley and city dwellers from Silicon Valley to Los Angeles.
But the delta, as it currently exists, is as artificial a construct as the water districts farther south. Delta farmers want to keep the westward flow of mountain water strong and steady through the rivers, the sloughs and marshes to the bay to keep out seawater that, naturally, before construction of their islands from decomposed reeds, would seasonally creep upstream past what is now Sacramento and Stockton.”
Read more: L.A. Times
Photo retrieved from: www.uscannenberg.org
“Property owners in the northern half of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have approved a tax increase to defend their water rights in case the state pushes ahead with a plan to build a new tunnel or canal around the estuary.
The increase was approved by 64 percent of voters in the North Delta Water Agency, said agency manager Melinda Terry. The mail ballot results were announced Monday. The assessment will be imposed in July and will raise about $1.25 million annually.
The agency, which has only two employees, has not raised the assessment in 14 years. But it says more money is needed because the region is embroiled in a national debate over restoring the Delta.
An ecological crisis in the Delta has made water exports from the estuary more difficult. Nearly 25 million Californians and 3 million acres of farmland rely on that water.
State and federal officials are considering, via the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, a new canal or tunnel with five diversions on the Sacramento River between Freeport and Clarksburg.
If built, the $13 billion project could compromise water quality for North Delta Water Agency taxpayers. Their main defense is an unusual 30-year-old contract with the state Department of Water Resources, in which the state assures that its water diversions will not harm agency members.”
Read more: The Sacramento Bee