Keywords:endangered species, fisheries, Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta
On April 16 and 17, 2014, the Delta Science Program convened an expert Panel (the Panel) and a workshop to identify the best...
On April 16 and 17, 2014, the Delta Science Program convened an expert Panel (the Panel) and a workshop to identify the best available science to inform the State Water Resources Control Board’s (the Board) decisions regarding interior Delta flow requirements to protect beneficial uses of water in the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Estuary (Bay-Delta Plan).
This workshop and others were convened to provide advice to the Board on issues important to updating the 2006 Bay Delta Plan. At the workshop, the Panel (consisting of the authors of this report) heard presentations from a variety of experts on Delta flows and on species and ecological responses to flow. The Panel was also provided with a selection of scientific reports relevant to the effects of interior Delta flows on fish and their environment in the Delta.
This report is informed by both the written and oral information provided to the Panel as well as by other publications that the Panel felt were necessary to satisfy its charge. The Panel did not make a thorough independent search of the literature on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to determine if there were additional publications that were relevant to its charge.
In this report we summarize what is known about the direct and indirect relationships between interior Delta flows and listed fish species. We then use this knowledge to address a set of specific questions posed by the Delta Science Program and the Board.
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. ...
Record-low counts of Delta smelt at a time of persistent drought underscore the importance and challenges of managing freshwater flows for the benefit...
Record-low counts of Delta smelt at a time of persistent drought underscore the importance and challenges of managing freshwater flows for the benefit of fishes in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta while also meeting human demands for water. Understanding the effects of water flows on fishes is central to understanding how the Delta ecosystem functions and is key to achieving the state’s coequal goals of “providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring and enhancing the Delta ecosystem … in a manner that protects and enhances … the values of Delta as an evolving place”. The economic, ecological, and social costs of scientific uncertainty in water management controversies are significant - and to some degree unavoidable.
Scientific findings that relate fishes and flows increasingly guide decisions on how to manage flows for the well-being of threatened or endangered species in the Delta. Many studies – and management decisions – rely on correlations between water flows and fish populations. But the decisions warrant fuller understanding of precisely how the flows affect the fishes. Knowledge of these underlying mechanisms is likely to facilitate adaptive management by clarifying uncertainty and risk, by creating specific expectations for outcomes and by strengthening testable hypotheses. This report therefore recommends, first and foremost (there are other recommendations as well), redoubling effects to identify causes and
effects concerning fishes and flows in the Delta.
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.