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|Updates for 2018-2019 on Delta Water Wars and other news or go back to WaterWars 2017|
images-2019/CWF SWB WR Petition Withdrawal
||GREAT NEWS! DWR and USBR withdrew
their petition for the two tunnels and 3 to 5 intakes
off the Sacramento River, or some variation of that. New governor Newsom says he favors
a 1-tunnel option but they have to go back to the drawing board and go through a new permit
process. Hopefully the water lords will think twice about planning for a project that would
destroy the Delta's legacy towns and farming families! The issue remains: HOW MUCH WATER
can be taken from the Sacramento River watershed without causing damage to NorCal
environment? They are still going to push for "water supply reliability" but lets hope this time
they base the plan on facts, not computer-generated false historical data and flows.
However, there is still alot of "restoration" work and "flood & conveyance" work going on
so click on the maps to get an idea of the projects...Frank's Tract, Lookout Slough,
SouthSac setback levees, McCormac-Williamson restoration, etc.
|April 29, 2019||60 days ago DWR asked for time to review their plan for tunnels,
given Governor Newsom's
statement that he did not favor two tunnels. In the meantime, lots of work is being done in the
Delta that makes it appear the BDCP is still moving forward as many smaller projects.
Lots of flow into the Yolo Bypass for "restoration experiments". Moving forward with the
plans for Franks Tract to be partially "restored" with sand fill at the west side to help stop
saltwater encroachment when the fresh water is diverted to the export pumps. DWR map
indicates a new intake on Sutter Slough, Merritt Island, is already built. Expecting DWR
and USBR and MWD to come up with a "revision" which means they change the name
of the project and keep moving to drain NorCal of its fresh water. As soon as DWR
announces the new name and "new" project I will do an update to the "Name Game"
video I first made in 2009 and have updated several times. NSS
|February 1, 2019, updated 2/19/19
||Well, at least the current DWR and USBR spokespersons are finally
starting to tell the truth about the
purpose of "restoration" projects. Note the title for the combination of projects being done as I
write, over in the Yolo Bypass area: "Potential for Flood Storage and Conveyance".
The FUNCTION of the combined projects is to store more water from Oroville in the
Liberty Island Reservoir area. Yes, the computer models call the large open water body
a reservoir, so why don't the planners just admit it and require it to be shown on maps consistently?
Click on each thumbnail of the maps to the left and immediately below to see what work is being
done and the logical end result: expanded storage area of flood flows. However, the restoration
of Lindsley Slough has resulted in a beautiful place to gunkhole if you have a low profile boat
to get under the bridge at the Liberty Island area. Note the huge "restoration" area that goes
all the way to including all of Suisun Marsh and Bay. New governor said he is against the twin tunnels
so watch for the plans to create a west side single conveyance route. (My guess-not official)
||Lots of restoration projects going on in the Delta. 3rd week
of January saw tons of cut trees and broken branches
floating down the Sacramento River and Steamboat Slough, but not on the Mokelumne River. Odd.
So much floating junk ended up stuck at the cable of the J-Mac ferry, that the cable broke and sent the floating
debris down river. This is "restoration"?
In the meantime, the new Governor's office seems to indicate he is not in favor of two huge tunnels on the east
side of the Sacramento River (which would so negatively impact the Delta legacy towns) to divert more
export water to SoCal, but may look at less damaging options, to protect NorCal drinking water aquifer perhaps?
West side conveyance is certainly the more reasonable route, to lessen construction impacts to areas below
Hood and Clarksburg.
|December 2018||DWR has withdrawn its certification of consistency from
consideration of the Delta Stewardship Council,
which has given all of us a breather for a few weeks. But they will just rename the project and find
some other way to validate taking more water from NorCal to grow grapes in the lower Central Valley,
with the California tax payers footing the bill to transport that water. Save the Delta!
|October 2018||WaterFix hearings may or may not continue this week. Delta
Stewardship Council is having
hearings to certify the twin tunnels plan under the "co-equal goals" mantra when quite clearly
WaterFix is only about sending water to SoCal and lower Central Valley farmers and
frackers, leaving more environmental disasters for NorCal to grapple with.
|August 2018||WaterFix hearings are winding down and all sorts of back handed
political games are going on.
The California water scams continue on as the Delta and and Bay Area drinking water aquifers
continue to degrade. SWRCB is charged with protecting everyone's drinking water. Lets
see what they decide on the "twin straws" plan, as one writer called the tunnels.
|July flows 2018||video for CWF testimony: SHR-703|
||Governor Brown, Karla Nemeth and the DWR flunkies of Metropolitian Water District are seriously treading on constitutional rights and are trying to validate building tunnels and continued diversion of Sacramento River watershed into other areas of the state. In the meantime MWD and Department of Water Resources announced that the footprint of the proposed tunnels is changing...again. Yet MWD and the http://www.californiawaterfix.com website show a schedule that indicates the contractors for design, acquisitions and Executive Director position/company have already gone through the RFQ process and the contract companies have already been designated. But the project has not yet been approved by the Waterboard. In the meantime we do see lots of construction activity going on in the Delta. Such as changes to the tall power lines on some islands, new radio and TV tower appears to have been installed, and more. Native salmon species are at the lowest levels since California started counting the Salmon, at least according to scientists who have been reporting the drastic decline in native salmon species since DWR-USBR increased diversions over the last 15+ years. Water levels at low tide are the worst anyone has seen according to the owners of several marinas along the Sacramento River and also here on Steamboat Slough. It appears DWR plans to release only about 7500 cfs of flow past Freeport into the Delta in July, August and September 2018, if temporary water rights petitions are to be believed. Below are links to ongoing hearings:|
|To see the hundreds of thousands of pages of reports
and evidence, go to the links below. Waterfix Hearing dates were
cancelled as DWR and MWD revised some of the data and a revised EIR/EIS
is supposed to be sent to all of us. MWD and DWR in the meantime
are already contracting to design and build-apparently they think it is
a done deal with the Hearing board. As we speak DWR and USBR are
continuing to block flows into the Delta creating even lower tides than
would be natural at this time of year. These low flows are
examples of what we might expect year round as DWR and MWD have claimed
the right to the NorCal and Sacramento River watershed flows, in effect.
Yes, many lawsuits are already filed. It is now a race to see if
the courts can stop the excess diversion of Sacramento River watershed
flows to other areas of the state before the native salmon species go
extinct. Smelt are gone. Next it is the SALMON! Look
at the graphics to the left, which were provided by DWR to show how much
flows will be left on each of the North Delta waterways with the tunnels
operating. EcoRestore will attempt to get the salmon to migrate
through the seasonal flows of the Yolo Bypass area and/or Sacramento
Ship channel, so that the salmon don't get trapped in the intakes on the
Screen print below shows the planned spending on the tunnels project...they already started spending before getting the Waterboard approval ...so all that noise from electrical work in the North Delta in February through early May? Probably shifting electrical lines to provide the power needed for running a tunnel boring machine or the intake pumps?
|April 2018 links to following hearings or other
actions and activities related to the ongoing attempt by MWD and its flunky DWR to continue to divert excessive flows from the Delta and SF Bay area counties, leaving very low flows on Steamboat Slough in a normally high flow months:
Metropolitan Water District of SoCal has voted to fund the bulk of the cost of the tunnels ... meaning SoCal rates will go up drastically if the tunnels are ever built. NorCal is finally speaking up and expressing how many ways taking that much water from the Sacramento River from the proposed locations would do unacceptable damage. Just because some water managers want more control. Like the movie Avitar but the target is the Delta water, minerals, farm lands and great places to vacation, as least for now!
||We had hearings and more hearings. In the
meantime some of the Protestants discovered what appears to be collusion
between at least Waterboard hearing staff and DWR/USBR attorneys.
Lawsuit has been filed against Waterboard regarding the claimed exparte
communications but the hearings go on. WaterFix proposes 3 huge
intakes on the Sacramento River between Freeport and Walnut Grove and
two huge tunnels to move the water to the SoCal pumps. 9000
cfs of water diversion off the Sacramento River would further eliminate
native fish species and further degrade the fresh water and drinking
water aquifers of the Delta and bay area and Sacramento Valley area.
Some short sighted "visionaries" of Santa Clara and San Jose are
supporting the WaterFraud plans, to get water now for expansion.
However it would also limit Santa Clara and San Jose future development
since no water would be available-it would be headed south to the
DWR is already advertizing for tunnel contractors and expects to name the contractors by April 1 2018. Mr. Bernarski of MWD said that they could hire 6-7 tunnel contractors and they would build all sections of the planned tunnels all at once. The 3 intakes could be built all at once too but why wait for other things like power needed to move the water? Hence projects like what is going on right now on Grand Island where there is a major power upgrade going on gives an example of the noise levels one could expect in the areas of the intakes and tunnel pathway.
Note there is also discussion of building 2 intakes and 6,000 cfs of diversion. Bottom line: they have been taking too much water from the Sacramento River watershed and now the salmon are showing signs of serious decline in populations. There are so many documents and schenagans going on, you need to go to this side page to review some of the info if you are interested. Governor Brown and MWD of SoCal are trying to ram this plan through ... more in days to come.
||WaterFix hearings start up again on Jan 18. North Delta Cares
has been meeting with local land owners and has been collecting policy
statements in protest of proposed diversion of more Sacramento River
water to other areas of the state. In the meantime, USBR proposes
to maximize diversions from the Sacramento River, DWR and others propose
more storage facilities like Sites Reservoir, MWD bought the 5 Delta
Islands and is starting to use the islands for water storage and other
uses. MCCormack/Williamson Tract was partially flooded in Feb 2017
and will be "restored" with a deep body of water at the south end that
looks much like the forebay created at Liberty Island. And then
there are the major construction projects to improve levees in select
areas of the Delta.
In the meantime, Waterboard hearing officers and personell have been meeting on the side with the DWR computer modelers and attorneys to discuss changes to testimony and presentations, which is contrary to legal procedures according to all of the agencies and their attorneys who have filed protests about the ex parte communications against Waterboard and DWR. It is important for the viewer to recognize that DWR-Dept of Water Resources works for and on behalf of Metropolitian Water District of SoCal, and other state water contractors. DWR does not at all represent the interests of most humans living in the SF Bay area, the Delta or the Sacramento River watershed all the way up to the Oregon boarder.
News articles about what is going on:
Made in 2009 and still just as relevant. In 2009 DWR was proposing basically 15,000 cfs or most of the Sacramento River water to be diverted year round unless the flow was to low. Now the tentative plan that could change any time is to take 9000 cfs from three 3000 cfs screened intakes, PLUS USBR would be taking their maximum allotment. DWR documentation introducted in the phase 1 of Waterfix hearings indicates flows on the Sacramento river past the proposed intakes could be as low as 6000 cfs to be split between the 5 "Mainstem" waterways in the North Delta, basically suspending the Delta into a permanent worst-case drought flow.
Lots of past documents available at previous documents uploaded per links below, or more general and historical information can be viewed at http://www.deltaREvision.com