[env-trinity] Stockton Record 5 31 10

Byron Leydecker bwl3 at comcast.net
Tue Jun 1 10:10:41 PDT 2010


Legislature rejects study of peripheral canal alternative

Stockton Record-5/31/10

By Alex Breitler

 

The Legislature will not consider the latest alternative to a peripheral
canal: a proposal to build gates, barriers and fish screens to protect both
the ecosystem and the reliability of the water supply for much of
California.

 

Lawmakers on Friday declined to move forward a bill by Assemblyman Bill
Berryhill, R-Ceres, requiring study and analysis of the so-called Delta
Corridors Plan. The plan is supported by Delta farmers, San Joaquin County
and some environmentalists.

 

"I don't understand it," Berryhill said Friday. "All we're trying to do is a
study. We're really fighting big water interests in Southern California."

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California - which relies on
Delta water to serve cities as far south as San Diego - was opposed to the
$750,000 Delta Corridors study, to be paid for with previously approved bond
funds.

 

In a letter, Metropolitan and other water districts warned that Berryhill's
Assembly Bill 1797 "would divert attention and already limited resources ...
and result in delays better spent on more effective long-term solutions for
the Delta."

 

Delta Corridors, the districts said, would not solve water quality, water
supply and fishery problems.

 

Right now, water from the San Joaquin River as it passes by Stockton is
sucked west to the large Delta export pumps near Tracy. The corridors plan
would "isolate" the San Joaquin flows by raising them on a "river bridge"
over a channel that feeds the pumps.

 

Juvenile fish such as salmon or steelhead could get downstream without
getting sucked into the pumps. And the heavy load of salt in the San Joaquin
River would not be pumped south to farms and cities. The Sacramento River
would still supply most of the water pumped from the Delta. That water would
be pulled south through the Delta, as it is today, and would flow under the
bridge holding the San Joaquin flows so the two streams don't mix.

 

The plan has been pitched as a possible permanent solution to the Delta
crisis. Its supporters said Friday that it is not dead. They could try again
in the Legislature next year, and they're attempting to present their plan
directly to the Delta Stewardship Council, a new body that is writing a plan
for the estuary.

 

"At least it was successful in raising discussion," said engineer Russ Brown
of ICF Jones & Stokes, who prepared the plan on behalf of south Delta
farmers.

 

Opponents estimated the cost at $4 billion. The state has estimated the cost
of a canal at nearly $9 billion and a tunnel at about $11.7 billion.

"Delta Corridors would improve the existing situation, and has potential in
our view," said Stockton attorney Dante Nomellini, who represents farmers in
the central Delta. "But the game plan by the movers and shakers is to build
a peripheral canal and not look at anything else."

 

 

Byron Leydecker, JcT

Chair, Friends of Trinity River

PO Box 2327

Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327

415 383 4810 land/fax

415 519 4810 mobile

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(secondary)

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