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Questions for the SJVWIA

But so far the group has come out opposed to a proposed ballot initiative that would take money away from high-speed rail and use it instead for water projects.

Jul 07, 2016

The SJVWIA (San Joaquin Valley Water Infrastructure Authority) is a joint-powers group made up of five Central Valley counties (Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings and Tulare) formed to administer the provisions of Prop 1, the Water Bond of 2014.  The primary goal of the group is to stay engaged with the Prop 1 process and advocate for funding of Temperance Flat Dam.  
 
This seemed like a good idea at the time, and still could be, but so far the group has come out opposed to a proposed ballot initiative that would take money away from high-speed rail and use it instead for water projects.  You would think if there's something Valley farmers could agree on it would be this, but this JPA (joint-powers authority) group chose to divide the farm community instead of taking the lead in unifying all in a worthy cause.  
 
The group is continuing their effort to build Temperance Flat on their own path.  We would all like to support Temperance Flat, and we do in concept, but there are problems.  We've noted them in several previous newsletters (Is Temperance Flat the Answer?).  In the newsletters we brought up some of our concerns.  With regard to that we have some questions for the SJVWIA:
 
1.  Are they aware that the bond was written so that 50% of all water has to be used for the environment?
 
2.  Are they aware that because of the 50% stipulation and because water would be spread over several years, farmers are predicted to get only 41,000 acre feet per year to spread over 1.1-million acres?
 
3.  Are they aware that the draft feasibility study justifies the dam for its ecosystem benefits to salmon which it values at 2-10 times higher than the water supply benefits?
 
4.  Are they aware that the main purpose of Temperance Flat is storing cold water to revive fish habitat in the San Joaquin River?
 
5.  Are they aware that farmers now get the benefit of high water events and controlled flood releases to replenish the underground aquifer, and they get the water at very reasonable prices?
 
6.  Are they aware that the water will now be captured, half going to the environment and the other half available to farmers at $600 per acre foot?  
 
Does the Joint Powers Authority know something we don't?  If so, we would like an explanation.

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