Media Alerts of Interest: Coverage of yesterday’s state hearing on Delta water

Media coverage from February 18-19, featuring Restore the Delta and supporters:

News 10, watch or read: Central Valley farmers are demanding access to more water from the Delta

Feb. 19, 2015 News10/KXTV
"…But, those who campaign under the banner "Restore the Delta" say for them, it's also about the people.
"We're talking about the fish because the fish supply more jobs than this small area of California farming," California Water Impact Network lawyer Michael Jackson said. "It's not a matter of fish versus farmer. In this particular circumstance, it's farmer versus farmer."…
… However, people who live near the Delta are asking, "what about us?" Those residents worry that as freshwater leaves the Delta, salt water will come in. The state limits how much water can be pumped out.
"If they weaken it, all it is, is a transfer of wealth," Delta resident and landowner Rogene Reynolds said. "It's the better water leaving and the salt water intruding."


Capital Public Radio, listen here: Residents, Farmers Describe Drought Impacts At Marathon State Water Resources Hearing February 19, 2015

"The California Water Resources Control Board heard emotional testimony for at least 12 hours yesterday from people worried about how the state should manage its dwindling supply of water during the drought. Listen to the audio above for a recap of the marathon meeting by CapRadio's Amy Quinton."

Capital Public Radio Insight (today), listen here: Water Rights During Drought 

Excerpts and discussion from hours of testimony from California Water Resources Control Board meeting. 


Marketplace, listen or read: In Fight for water, it's North versus South Thursday Feb. 19, 2015

"Rudy Mussi, 62, is among those who oppose the tunnel plan. He and his brother farm 4,500 acres in the Delta. They grow wheat, chardonnay grapes, almonds and other crops.

“Building tunnels isn’t creating more water,” says Mussi. “You’re just stealing water from one area and giving it to somebody else.”

Mussi worries the diversion will take too much freshwater out of the Delta, leaving the water supply there too salty for farming. He wants the state to strengthen the levees instead of building tunnels. “We’re gonna fight … because if we don’t, it’s our demise," he says.”

ABC 30 Fresno Wednesday, February 18, 2015 11:00PM

"This past year we had a zero water allocation. The unfortunate part is because it has been so dry and we have not had any rainfall or snow pack so we are anticipating another year of zero water allocation at least initially," said Gayle Holman with the Westlands Water District.
The district supplies water for farmers from Firebaugh to Kettleman City. Holman said last year more than 200,000 acres went unplanted because of water cutbacks….
…"The Endangered Species Act puts a priority on protecting fish before agricultural needs," said Holman.
Environmental groups say increased pumping endangers the Delta Smelt. So far the state board has not made a decision about increasing the flow of water.

Courthouse News Service: Water for California Farms – or for Fish?

By NICK CAHILL  Courthouse News Service
"SACRAMENTO (CN) – Opposing recommendations from federal and state agencies Wednesday, the head of California's water board advised regulators to deny agribusinesses' request for increased pumping from the Delta during the next two months.
   The Bureau of Reclamation and the Department of Water Resources want to pump more water from the Delta south to agribusinesses, due to California's historic drought.
     State Water Resources Control Board Director Thomas Howard advised against it, in a standing-room-only audience full of state senators, farmers, fishermen and environmentalists.
     Howard said the regulator should not expand the portion of the Temporary Urgency Change Petition (TUCP) which asks for increased export flows from the Delta during February and March. …
…      "The State Water Board is again inexplicably and outrageously proposing to drastically relax minimal water quality and flow standards enacted to protect the Bay-Delta and tributary streams for the third year in a row," Bill Jennings, executive director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, said in a statement."

Hydrowonk Blog: What will be the Final SWP Allocation for 2015?

Hydrowonk Blog 2/18/15
"How does 21% sound, which would be a 40% increase over the current 15% allocation declared by the Department of Water Resources?  While “more is better”, Californians cannot rejoice.  Due to the natural variability in precipitation, there is a 9% chance that the final SWP Allocation may be zero!"

Maven’s notebook: 2/19/15


California Water Plan enews 2/18/15

–Draft schedule and guidelines for Prop. 1 grant applications
–Drought Response Workshop in Irvine
–USGS –results of study on nations groundwater quality
…and more

Northern California Water Assn.: DWR Quantifies the Benefits of Sites Reservoir in a Drought Year

Wednesday, Feb 18th, 2015
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has a new webpage on North of Delta Off-stream Storage (Sites Reservoir) that outlines the benefits Sites Reservoir would provide in a drought year like we experienced in 2014.  This off-stream regulating reservoir also has significant compounding value when integrated with other facilities.

LA Times: Pipe bursts, sending 100,000 gallons into Hollywood Hills neighborhood
February 18, 2015


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