January 2018

State scores Temperance Flat dam project at a big fat zero. Boosters are pushing back

An application for $1 billion of state bond money to build Temperance Flat dam east of Fresno scored a dismal zero from the California Water Commission on the cost-benefit ratio, potentially jeopardizing its construction.Supporters of the dam expressed shock and dismay and are blaming the commission staff for the low score.

Fresno Bee, January 28, 2018

Editorial: Don't give Southern California control of Delta water

The Associated Press reports that the governor is considering removing control of design, construction and operation of any Delta project from the state Department of Water Resources and giving it to the water agencies that pay for it. This means any Delta water conveyance project would be largely driven by Southern California's Metropolitan Water District.

San Jose Mercury News, January 27, 2018

Options for Gov. Brown's delta tunnel project look to be drying u

Very little about the project known as California WaterFix is clear. A report by the state auditor last October expressed concern that "the state has not completed either an economic or a financial analysis to demonstrate the financial viability" of the twin-tunnel plan.

Orange County Register, January 26, 2018

Delta Smelt Fail To Rebound, Despite End To California Drought

The 2016-2017 water year was one of the wettest on record in California. While all that water in the system was enough to officially end the state's drought, its impact on endangered species is another story, especially when it comes to the Delta smelt. A survey conducted in October 2017 by state and federal agencies found only 2 of the fish, the lowest number on record.

NPR, January 26, 2018

How Trump's pumping plan is dividing California over water -- again

The Trump administration's plan, which will take about a year to finalize, is based in large part on a 2016 law signed by former President Barack Obama. The vaguely worded law creates some additional protections for the Delta but also directs pump operators to deliver more water when possible to customers of the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project. Many environmental groups condemn the law, but its backers, including California's U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, said it served as a compromise between environmental and water-supply needs.

Sacramento Bee, January 26, 2018

Nearly all envisioned dams and reservoirs don't provide enough public benefit

Signaling trouble for nearly a dozen landmark water storage projects to help California cope with its next drought, state water officials on Thursday announced none of the proposals -- including the Sites Reservoir in Northern California -- provide the public benefits that their supporters claim, potentially putting their state funding at risk.

Daily Democrat, January 19, 2018

Brown administration working to scale down $17 billion Delta tunnels project

Faced with a shortage of money and political support after seven years of work, Gov. Jerry Brown's administration is working on a plan to scale back one of his key legacy projects -- a $17 billion proposal to build two massive tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to make it easier to move water from Northern California to the south.

Mercury News, January 12, 2018

Editorial: Block Trump plan to pump Delta water south to the Central Valley

California must block this plan to curry favor with Trump supporters at the expense of the Delta and the communities that now rely on its water.

Mercury news, January 8, 2018

The delta smelt heads for extinction, marking a half-century of failed California water policy

"This fish draws so much attention not because they are an indicator of the health of the ecosystem. That will affect not only the delta smelt itself, but other species, and even the health of humans," says Tien-Chieh Hung, director of the fish conservation and culture laboratory at UC Davis, which is trying to cultivate a population of delta smelt for possible restoration in the wild some time in the future.

Los Angeles Times, January 5, 2018

As fish disappear, Trump administration seeks to pump more California water south

The Trump administration, teeing up a fight with California regulators, is trying to pump more water through the fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the southern half of the state despite fresh evidence of the estuary's shrinking fish population.

Sacramento Bee, January 2, 2018

November 2017

One tunnel would still devastate Delta

Any compromise, however, must provide benefits to all. And any version of WaterFix -- whether one tunnel or two -- will sacrifice the health and safety of communities and wildlife in the Delta, the San Francisco Bay and Southern California.

Sacramento Bee, November 8, 2017