[env-trinity] California Water Solutions Now - Dan Bacher Article

Byron Leydecker bwl3 at comcast.net
Mon Aug 17 18:59:35 PDT 2009

Coalition Unveils California Water Solutions Now Report at Million Boat


by Dan Bacher 


A broad coalition of 23 fishing, public health, conservation, environmental
justice and tribal organizations today unveiled a ground breaking report,
California Water Solutions Now, at a rally against the peripheral canal at
the State Capitol, the final event of the Million Boat Float from Antioch to


"California Water Solutions Now is presented to show that, with real
reforms, California can have a sustainable water future," said Nick Di
Croce, Lead Author. "It's a game-changing report. The report is unique in
that it marries reduction in water usage to the ability to reduce water


Based on multiple scientific and engineering studies, it demonstrates how
sustainable water management, including groundwater cleanup, water
recycling, local storm water capture and cost-effective water conservation
can provide the water needed to serve California's projected population,
economy and environment through 2050, according to Di Croce. 


The cost of the actions detailed in the report by the Environmental Water
Caucus (EWC) will provide water to people and the environment "almost
immediately," at far lower costs and with significantly fewer greenhouse gas
emissions than new dams and their associated infrastructure, said Di Croce.
The report also expresses strong concerns about the proposed Peripheral
Canal, which could route even higher levels of water away from the Delta
than the already-harmful export levels of recent years. 


The groups have produced this report as the legislature is rushing to
consider a package of bills that fails to include fundamental improvements
in how we manage our water supplies. Canal opponents fear that the bill
package, developed with little input from the people of the Delta, will
serve as a road map to the building of a peripheral canal that Governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger and his allies in the Legislature are promoting as the
"solution" to California's water supply problems. 


The report contends that savings in urban water conservation alone will
carry California through the expected population increases through 2050. "It
calls for Delta exports to be reduced by half from the recent levels in
order to save, protect and restore the Delta," said Di Croce. "The report is
based on existing, authenticated studies and data produced by the Department
of Water Resources, the Pacific Institute and Planning and Conservation
League and is assembled in a way that tells the game charging story." 


The report also recommends fish passage over major dams, improved instream
flows, and cold water releases for fish. All of these measures have been
reinforced and supported by the last two biological opinions from the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service regarding
Delta smelt and Sacramento River Chinook salmon. 


The report was released as Central Valley salmon, Delta smelt, longfin
smelt, green sturgeon, Sacramento splittail and other species are in an
unprecedented state of collapse, due to increased water exports to San
Joaquin Valley corporate agribusiness and southern California, poor
management of Central Valley dam operations and declining water quality. 


The 42-page report highlights 10 Strategic Goals and 65 specific
Recommendations that can carry California into the future, and in particular
describes how the state can use current supplies and existing sustainable
strategies more efficiently and cost-effectively. The report also shows how
we can improve our valuable river habitats, eliminate discharges from
contaminated agricultural lands, and improve other water quality problems,
increase regional water self-sufficiency, and provide funding for
environmental agencies. 


Croce was one of a group of speakers who condemned the mad rush of the
legislature to build a peripheral canal when many other solutions to solving
California's environmental and water supply needs are available. The other
speakers included Senator Mark DeSaulnier, Assemblymember Alyson Huber,
Assemblymember Mariko Yamada, Bill Jennings, California Sportfishing
Alliance, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, Debbie Davis,
Environmental Justice Coalition, Jonas Minton, Planning and Conservation
League, Larry Collins, salmon fisherman and President of the SF Crab Boat
Association; Mike Hudson, President, Small Boat Commercial Salmon
Fishermen's Association, Robert Johnson, Jr.,  Californians against the
Canal, and Bruce Connelley, Chairman of the Million Boat Float. 


Over 200 people including recreational anglers, Delta farmers, commercial
fishermen, recreational boaters, environmental activists and Delta residents
attended today's rally. Today's event was preceded by a rally on Sacramento
River at the Delta King last night after a flotilla of canal opponents
converged on Sacramento. 


"We are here today to convey the story of the people of the Delta, who are
being excluded from input into this legislature process," said Barbara Daly,
who owns farmland in the Clarksburg and Rio Vista areas. "They are not
hearing or considering better alternatives to a peripheral canal or tunnel
in the Delta to address California water problems." 


Bruce Connelley, an Oakley City Councilman, organized the two-day flotilla
to show that boaters, fishermen and Delta residents are united in the
defense of the Delta against plans by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and
Legislators to build the peripheral canal. 


"We organized this flotilla because we felt it was time for the people to
speak and have their voices heard," said Connelley. "Legislators here in
Sacramento seem determined to push through this legislation that will
destroy the greatest estuary in the western hemisphere." 


The California Legislature will be holding a joint hearing of the Assembly
Parks and Wildlife and Senate Resources and Water Committees to review the
controversial package of water bills on Tuesday, August 18 at the State
Capitol, Room 4202, at 9 a.m. 


The document is available online on the EWC website:
http://www.ewccalifornia.org/reports/ For hard copies, please contact Nick
Di Croce Troutnk at aol.com and note the number of copies needed. 


Fore more information about the report, contact: 


David Nesmith, Facilitator, Environmental Water Caucus 

ewc at davidnesmith.com, 510-893-1330 


Nick Di Croce, Lead Author: California Water Solutions Now 

troutnk at aol.com, 805-688-7813 


Steve Evans, Friends of the River 

sevans at friendsoftheriver.org, 916-442-3155 x221 


Bill Jennings, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance 

deltakeep at aol.com, 209-464-5067 


Linda Sheehan, California Coastkeeper Alliance 

lsheehan at cacoastkeeper.org, 510-219-7330 



Byron Leydecker, JcT, Chair

Friends of Trinity River

PO Box 2327

Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327

415 383 4810 

415 519 4810 cell

bwl3 at comcast.net

bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org



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