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Public Responses


Worthless Saltwater

May 07, 2019

5-6-19: Just since April 1st, a year's worth of freshwater for 58,605,000 (fifty eight million, six hundred and five thousand) people has become worthless saltwater. This is more than two years worth of water for the 25 million people who get their water from the Delta. It won't be used in our homes, to grow food, to recharge groundwater aquifers, to arrest subsidence, or to improve water quality. What this water WILL do is flush waste from the San Francisco Bay to the ocean from the more than 2,450 raw sewage spills that have occured in and around the Bay in just the last five years.

The S.F. Bay has become a contaminated cesspool, barely capable of producing sufficient amounts of phytoplankton because of excessive nutrients like nitrogen, ammonia, and phosphorus. These come from partially treated municipal discharges, and dilapidated sewage systems in the Bay Area that are overflowing into the Bay many times per week. Phytoplankton feeds every small creature in the sea, and in the food web, larger organisms depend on the smaller creatures to eat. Phytoplankton is also the primary food source for Delta Smelt.

We always hear more flows are needed to produce a rebound of endangered fish, and perhaps that conjures up an image in our heads of fish swimming in shallow water that needs to be deeper? But that's not the case. Fish have plenty of water. They need additional freshwater flows to dilute the toxic sludge in their habitats where they are struggling to survive. That water can only be confiscated from agriculture, and it is.

The total south-of-delta water contract amount for Ag is 1,942,077 acre feet. So far contractors have been alloted only 65\% of what they need to alleviate the need for pumping groundwater to make up the shortfall-something they should not be forced to do in a wet year like this. That 35\% loss equals 679,000 acre feet. Eight times that amount went to the ocean since April 1st. It has been used to help flush out the Bay instead.

Learn more here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CaliforniaWaterForFoodMovement/

Sources here: https://files.constantcontact.com/…/9c760b68-2cb6-4667-a36c…




Kristi Diener