Keywords:anadromous fish, biological opinion (BiOp), Central Valley Project (CVP), ecosystem management, endangered species, native fish, Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, upper watershed management
This report was prepared as part of the State Water Resources Control Board’s (“Board”) process of developing and implementing updates to the Bay-Delta...
This report was prepared as part of the State Water Resources Control Board’s (“Board”) process of developing and implementing updates to the Bay-Delta Plan and flow objectives to protect beneficial uses in the Bay-Delta Watershed. The focus of this report is Delta outflows and related stressors. The report is based upon reading extensive background materials selected by the Delta Science Program as well as materials identified by individual Panel members to be relevant, a two-day public meeting that included a number of presentations and during which public comments were received by the Panel, review of some of the materials provided during and after the meeting, and the Panel’s internal discussion and deliberations.
The Board conducted a review of the current 2006 Bay-Delta Plan in 2009 and determined that Delta outflows and other requirements for the protection of fish and wildlife beneficial uses should be considered for revision. “Delta Outflows and Related Stressors” was further identified by the Delta Science Program as one of four topics emerging from a series of Board workshops in 2012 for which additional workshops should be conducted to provide input on the best available scientific information.
Delta outflows and their management have been the subject of extensive scientific and management discussion for decades.
A benchmark in this discourse is the report from a series of technical workshops facilitated by Dr. Jerry Schubel (Schubel et al. 1993). Schubel notes in the preface to that report that estuarine standards are required to protect the estuarine ecosystem from “further degradation” until “debate and disagreement over the relative importance of the benefits of low salinity habitat and therefore of flow, on the one hand, and of the liabilities of the physical diversion of a portion of that flow and the associated processes of entrainment of organisms, on the other,” can be resolved with a degree of scientific certainty acceptable to the Board.
To some extent, this Panel has been asked to revisit whether standards for Delta outflow are still required, and to identify the degree of scientific certainty regarding the importance of Delta outflow to the ecosystem relative to other stressors.
The Salton Sea is shrinking. Currently the state’s largest inland body of water, as it dries up, the Sea poses a substantial threat...
The Salton Sea is shrinking. Currently the state’s largest inland body of water, as it dries up, the Sea poses a substantial threat to public health and the environment. Left unaddressed, desert winds will lift dust from thousands of acres of newly-revealed lakebed and blow it into population centers, agricultural areas and world-class resort economies.
This impending crisis is long in the making, a policy paralysis driven by years of government process without implementing a fix. There are clear, understandable and specific mitigation steps that should be taken immediately. The decisions California leaders make in the near future about this remote desert lake will determine whether this dismal scenario will be averted. The Commission urges the Natural Resources Agency to begin implementing shovel-ready projects and the Governor and Legislature to immediately begin planning and funding the next phase of Salton Sea projects while developing a long-term restoration plan. ...
When California signed the QSA, it agreed to mitigate the impacts on the Salton Sea caused by the water transfers. The state clarified its intent to restore the sea through the QSA’s implementing legislation. Experts testified it would be tens of billions of dollars cheaper to mitigate the impacts of a shrinking sea up front than to deal with the adverse impacts
Fulfilling California’s commitment to the Salton Sea is an element of maintaining the terms of the QSA, which provides water security to many Californians. Continued inaction, and the consequent public health and environmental impacts, could undermine political support for the QSA. Further, in the larger picture, California’s fulfillment of its commitments is critical to its ability to negotiate future difficult agreements. ...
Water is California’s most essential resource. It is limited in availability—in some years, extremely limited, forcing devastating delivery cut-backs to cities, farms and...
It is the policy of the California Water Impact Network to: • Oppose and work to defeat the construction of the Twin Tunnels...
It is the policy of the California Water Impact Network to:
• Oppose and work to defeat the construction of the Twin Tunnels Project which would divert water from the Sacramento River to the South Delta pumps before it gets to the Bay-Delta.
• Support and work to achieve the reduction in Delta exports to a maximum of 3 million acre-feet per year. Oppose any increased Delta exports to Central and Southern California.
• Support and work to achieve the elimination of paper water from State Water Project and Central Valley Project contracts.
• Support regional water self-sufficiency through conservation, recycling, storm water capture and other “soft path” means.
• Support upgrading Delta levees to withstand both sea level rise and the risk of a major earthquake.
• Support increased water supply reliability for State Water Project urban areas by reinstatement of the Urban Water Preference in State Water contracts and returning the Kern Water Bank to the public to store
the Urban Preference south of the Delta as a drought supply.