A Little Is Too Much to Ask!
You probably haven't heard about the State Water Resources Control Board's (SWRCB) decision not to allow even a tiny amount of additional water diverted out of the Delta
Mar 11, 2015
"The revised order also concludes that the unconditional approval of the intermediate export rate as requested by the projects is not reasonable." - State Water Resources Control Board
"For these reasons, today’s revision to provide the CVP and SWP with the flexibility to ensure that public health and safety needs are met only authorizes increased exports when absolutely necessary." - State Water Resources Control Board
You probably haven't heard about the State Water Resources Control Board's (SWRCB) decision not to allow even a tiny amount of additional water diverted out of the Delta for SoCal and the Central Valley except under "very limited circumstances" (See it here). The request is called a Temporary Urgency Change Petition (TUPC).
we hate to flood you with initials, but it's the only flood you're going to get. We haven't seen any stories about all this except for the one below in the Stockton Record.
The media apparently doesn't think it's much of a story, and they're right. It's not. It's just a story about some farmers and thirsty people trying to get a little bit of relief from the water experts who run the water show in California. It's not much water we're talking about, and that's probably why they don't think it's a big story.
But, that's exactly why we do think it is a big story. The fact that we can't even get a little bit of relief is a big story to us. How can we expect these water managers to help us do big things when even little things like this can't be done? It makes us feel like we're begging for their help. It shouldn't be that way.
In case you're wondering about those "very limited circumstances." As the Stockton Record reports, this decision opens "the door to higher levels of pumping but only if it can be justified as necessary for basic health and human safety." State Board Executive Director Tom Howard explains "that “unconditional approval of (higher) exports would tip the balance too far in favor of exports, with resulting unreasonable effect on fish and wildlife.” No mention of unreasonable effects on farmers. Who cares?
State bureaucrats like Tom Howard have flexibility when it comes to how much water can be pumped out of the Delta. The flexibility only amounts to a tiny amount in the overall scheme of things. But, even this tiny amount is too much to ask.
Here's the translation to this latest decision: They'll give a little more to the cities if it "can be justified as necessary for basic health and himan safety" and only if it doesn't hurt the fish.
In California the food chain goes like this: Fish 1st, People 2nd, and Farmers never.
Alex Breitler/Stockton Record
State water watchdogs may allow more water to be pumped south from the Delta this month, but only under “very limited circumstances.”
The decision, announced late Thursday, came two weeks after an emotional hearing in which south San Joaquin Valley farmers and farm workers pleaded for more Delta water, saying their livelihoods were at stake.
Also hanging in the balance as California careens into a fourth year of drought, however, is the fate of threatened fish species in the fragile estuary. The State Water Resources Control Board already has temporarily waived some fish protections in the Delta in order to save more water in upstream reservoirs and allow for a modest amount to be pumped south.
Thursday’s decision goes a little further, opening the door to higher levels of pumping but only if it can be justified as necessary for basic health and human safety.
The decision “strikes a reasonable balance,” state board Executive Director Tom Howard wrote, adding that “unconditional approval of (higher) exports would tip the balance too far in favor of exports, with resulting unreasonable effect on fish and wildlife.”
Ara Azhderian, water policy administrator with the San Luis Delta Mendota Water Authority south of the Delta, called the decision a “positive step.”
“Maybe it doesn’t go as far as it should have in some areas, but certainly it goes in the right direction,” he said. “We are happy to see that progress.”
Environmentalists were less enthusiastic. In an email blast on Friday, The Bay Institute warned of a possible “countdown to extinction” as the state relaxes rules on how much water must flow through the Delta. March is an important month for several species.Stockton environmentalist Bill Jennings, with the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, said the decision was a partial “cave” to the water users, though Jennings acknowledged that the state held firm on refusing to unconditionally grant higher pumping levels.“They keep cutting the baby in half,” Jennings said. “Unfortunately, when you’re down to the last 1 percent to 2 percent of (fish) species, you don’t have a lot of room to give.”The amount of water in question is relatively small compared to how much is typically exported from the Delta or allowed to flow through it for fish. But this year’s debate shows how, during times of scarcity, every is considered precious.— Contact reporter Alex Breitler at (209) 546-8295 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at recordnet.com/breitlerblog and on Twitter @alexbreitler.
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