[env-trinity] Channel 2 "Special Report" on Water

Byron Leydecker bwl3 at comcast.net
Wed May 13 15:50:37 PDT 2009

Just a brief update on Fox's Bay Area Channel 2 "Special Report" on
California water last night about which I alerted you in a message Monday.


The "Special Report" consisted mainly of answers to questions and remarks of
John Sutton of the Glenn Colusa Irrigation District and a rice farmer and of
Peter Vorster, an hydrologist with The Bay Institute.  It focused on the
amount of water that this one district receives, uses and the excess of its
water allocation that it sells.  It is receiving 100 percent of its contract
amount this year.  The reporter indicated that water delivered to the
district from the Bureau of Reclamation was free and that it was profiting
at the expense of the taxpayer/owners of a public resource.  


The reporter indicated that the Bureau has contracted to deliver far more
water than exists to its contractors in Northern California and the San
Joaquin Valley.  


It also was indicated that acreage planted to rice in Northern California
has decreased steadily in recent years.  Sutton indicated - which is well
known to those familiar with water issues - that rice is not as intensive a
user of water as several other crops.  He mentioned alfalfa and permanent
pasture, but there are others, as most of you know.  The "report" seemed to
concentrate on water used for rice farming in this district and the excess
water provided the district under a contracted full delivery that it sells
to others for a profit.


Editorializing.It seemed to me that focusing on this one district and water
used for rice growing was unfortunate - it could lead people to believe that
water provided this district is an isolated problem when, in fact, it is a
minor issue in the overall California water picture.  


The "report" was not at all encompassing of major water issues facing
California.  The "report" did not deal with the major implications of the
problem of the allocation or mis-allocation of developed water resources
throughout the state and other significant water issues the state faces.  


If others watched the program and have different thoughts, or if I have
unintentionally misstated something, please offer your further comments or


Byron Leydecker, JcT

Chair, Friends of Trinity River

PO Box 2327

Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327

415 383 4810 land

415 519 4810 cell

 <mailto:bwl3 at comcast.net> bwl3 at comcast.net

 <mailto:bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org> bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org

 <http://fotr.org/> http://www.fotr.org 




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