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Are We the Only Ones Who Notice?

We missed the last two storms, so maybe we can get it figured out for this one.

Mar 29, 2014

As the saying goes, better late than never. After hundreds of thousands of acre feet of water were wasted down the San Joaquin River Restoration project, Senator Dianne Feinstein said it might be time to take a second look at it. As the Fresno Bee put it, "with the possibility of a long-term drought ahead and so many questions unanswered, it's worth taking a second look at today's restoration plan and weighing alternatives." It wouldn't have been that difficult to figure out before all the water was wasted.

Now, after hundreds of thousands of acre feet of water have flowed out to sea because of delta pumping restrictions, the Senator is
backing a request from the exchange contractors and asking the Dept. of Interior to evaluate the operating criteria for the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project. They want to capture as much runoff from the current storm as possible. We missed the last two storms, so maybe we can get it figured out for this one.

Check out this link: Water not captured for beneficial use during peak delta flow, Feb. 2014.

The chart shows the tens of thousands of acre feet lost daily during February because of pumping restrictions. Now that it's gone, Senator Feinstein comes to her senses.

The thing the Senator could do that would really make sense is to pass a Senate Bill that addresses the law instead of begging bureaucrats to give favorable interpretations of the law to farmers. They generally aren't inclined to do so. Pass a law that requires them to do it. That, she says, is off the table.

Nothing that's been done this year, by the Senator, by the Governor, by the President has given us one drop of water. It's all talk, letters and proclamations.


 

Senator Feinstein and Valley Congressmembers back Exchange Contractors Request

 

Mar 27, 2014

 

Senator Feinstein, along with Congressmembers Ken Calvert, Jim Costa, Jeff Denham, Kevin McCarthy, Devin Nunes and David Valadao have written a letter to Secretary Sally Jewell and Secretary Penny Pritzker, backing the exchange contractors request and asking them to evaluate the operating criteria for the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project in order to capture the maximum amount of runoff possible from this week's storm that is passing through.


The extremely low water allocations to agriculture will have severe impacts, while so far, the numbers of take of listed species at the pumps are 0 or minimal, the letter states. “These numbers show that existing protections for endangered fish are more than adequate. On the other hand, our constituents' farms and communities are facing potential devastation. From our view, it is apparent that there is significant imbalance of regulatory burdens,” the letter says.


A disaster of great magnitude has been unfolding in our communities, the letter says. Since the state's drought declaration, there have been only two major storms, and based on historical weather patterns, these storms could be the last chance.


We understand that your Departments have to consider other factors, such as salinity levels in the Delta and the need for pulse flows. Still, this latest data strongly suggests that there is significant leeway for the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Marine Fisheries Service to alter current water operations to benefit water users without risking jeopardy to protected species,” the letter says.


This latest rain storm is occurring as we speak. You have authority under the law and, we assert, the obligation, to immediately take advantage of the rare, and likely the last, opportunity this year to capture and move water to bring relief to millions of Californians, and to mitigate the large-scale drought disaster that has struck our State. We urge you in the strongest terms to take action without delay,” the legislators say.


Read the full letter here: California Lawmakers Call on Administration to Take Immediate Action to Capture Water from Latest Storm

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