[env-trinity] Sac Bee Editorial 7 31 2010

Byron Leydecker bwl3 at comcast.net
Sat Jul 31 15:23:23 PDT 2010

Editorial: Finally, Delta's flows get needed attention

Published: Saturday, Jul. 31, 2010 - 12:00 am | Page 10A 

The State <http://topics.sacbee.com/State+Water+Resources+Control+Board/>
Water Resources Control Board last week issued a draft report that concluded
what has long been obvious - excessive diversions of water are imperiling
the Sacramento-San <http://topics.sacbee.com/Sacramento-San+Joaquin+Delta/>
Joaquin Delta and the fish that depend on this estuary.

This is hardly a shocker. Over the last several decades, cities and farms
have diverted about 50 percent of the flow of the Sacramento River
<http://topics.sacbee.com/Sacramento+River/>  and nearly two-thirds of the
San <http://topics.sacbee.com/San+Joaquin+River/>  Joaquin River.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist (or a fish scientist) to tell you that
fish need water - preferably cool, unpolluted water. If you take that water
away, or return it to the river laden with fertilizers, pesticides and
higher temperatures, fish suffer. It is that simple. 

Defenders of the status quo are already attempting to discredit the state
board's <http://topics.sacbee.com/state+board/>  findings and mislead the
public about next steps. U.S. Rep. Jim Costa, a Fresno Democrat who faces a
tough re-election bid and is trying to burnish his standing with corporate
farmers, lambasted the report as one-sided. "This kind of misinformation
serves as fodder for extreme environmentalists and critics of our valley who
aim to cut off our water," he told reporters.

This is ridiculous.

Last year, the Legislature <http://topics.sacbee.com/Legislature/>  approved
a sweeping overhaul of state water law aimed at twin goals - improving water
reliability and restoring the Delta. <http://topics.sacbee.com/Delta/>  The
package was controversial. Many in Northern
<http://topics.sacbee.com/Northern+California/>  California called it a
water grab. One reason The Bee supported it was because it included
provisions, sought by Environmental Defense Fund and other groups, that the
state board examine the flow needs of the Delta and ensure that those needs
were considered in any attempt to alter water conveyance in the estuary.

The state board's draft report responds to that directive, but it is not the
last word on how the Delta will be managed. It doesn't mean that stressors
such invasive species and poorly treated sewage are non-factors in the
Delta's decline. Nor does it mean the state will seek to return the Delta to
pre-18th century conditions. The Delta faces competing interests, and any
attempt to restore it must recognize that the clock cannot fully be turned

Yet science must to play a part in any effort to replumb the estuary. The
state board's report is a step in that direction.

The needs of fish need to be known and accepted. The desires of powerful
water users are already known. Reconciling the two will be the challenge. 

Read more:



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

 <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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