[env-trinity] Chico ER: Put water to local use first

Robinson, Eric erobinson at kmtg.com
Fri Aug 16 12:12:53 PDT 2013

The CVP's Trinity River Division already releases more water into the
Trinity River and lower Klamath River during late summer and fall than
would be there in a state of nature.  Without the water storage
developed by the the CVP's Trinity River Division, Trinity River and
lower Klamath River flows would be lower than they are now.  The CVP's
Trinity River Division already is making conditions better for fall-run
Chinook salmon in the lower Klamath River.  
Remember, the Trinity River Restoration Program Record of Decision
(TRROD) adopted in the year 2000 established a fishery flow release
schedule under which 453,000 acre-feet of water is earmarked for
fall-run Chinook salmon restoration and maintenance in 2013 (a "dry"
year under the TRROD fishery flow release schedule).  The Restoration
Program has discretion in how to use each year's TRROD water.  They make
their decision how to use that water in early spring each year.  The
large fall-run Chinook salmon return and dry/low-flow hydrologic
conditions were known to the Restoration Program when they set the 2013
flow release schedule.  Despite that, the Program elected not to use any
of the 453,000 acre-feet for a late summer/fall pulse flow to address
the disease risk issue now being cited as requiring a pulse flow.
That is not "legal mumbo jumble . . . ."  Those are the inconvenient
facts that are ignored by those spinning fictional narratives decrying
the federal court's rulings restraining the excess CVP storage release.


From: env-trinity-bounces at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us
[mailto:env-trinity-bounces at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us] On Behalf Of
Patrick Truman
Sent: Friday, August 16, 2013 11:17 AM
To: Ara Azhderian; Tom Stokely; env-trinity at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us
Subject: Re: [env-trinity] Chico ER: Put water to local use first

Wow, what a bunch of legal mumbo jumble BS. Bottom line: we were willing
to share our resources with the citizens of California, but for whatever
reason, slight of hand, or any other legal tactic, the water resources
of the Klamath-Trinity watersheds are completely over-allocated, and any
out-of-basin 'water rights' need to be adjudicated and brought into a
reality based sustainable position. Farming in a desert, how
unsustainable is that. Ah, there is that word, sustainable. No worries,
the United Nations is moving in next week. Bottom line though: we want
our water back...




From: Ara Azhderian <mailto:ara.azhderian at sldmwa.org>  
Sent: Friday, August 16, 2013 8:53 AM
To: Tom Stokely <mailto:tstokely at att.net>  ;
env-trinity at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us 
Subject: Re: [env-trinity] Chico ER: Put water to local use first

Thanks Tom,


Here's another perspective to consider from the Chico Enterprise-Record
editorial comments section:


The judge's decision has nothing to do with north state or south state
water "desires." There are quantities set aside for both under federal
law. What is in question is whether or not the U.S. Bureau of
Reclamation can take more water than the law provides. Reclamation had
more than 400,000 acre-feet of water, enough to farm about 160,000 acres
or to meet the daily needs of 800,000 Californians, to use for fishery
protection this year. Rather than properly plan to legally provide
supplemental flows to minimize the effect of diseases that exist on the
Klamath River on an expected near historic number of salmon returning to
spawn, they choose instead to try and take this water from other legal
uses including protection of endangered species, management of
waterfowl, clean power generation, recreation, industry, daily human
needs, and, yes, farming. Regarding the question of what the judge's
ruling means for the future, northern California residents should take
comfort from a decision to not allow an illegal infringement upon water
rights to occur.

Mike Wade
California Farm Water Coalition


env-trinity-bounces+ara.azhderian=sldmwa.org at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us
[mailto:env-trinity-bounces+ara.azhderian=sldmwa.org at velocipede.dcn.davi
s.ca.us] On Behalf Of Tom Stokely
Sent: Thursday, August 15, 2013 2:55 PM
To: env-trinity at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us
Subject: [env-trinity] Chico ER: Put water to local use first


Editorial: Put water to local use first



Chico Enterprise-Record

Posted:   08/15/2013 12:41:01 AM PDT

Our view: A judge shouldn't allow this year's salmon to be sacrificed
for next year's crops in the distant San Joaquin Valley.

In a shocking decision that should make all Northern Californians wary
of those in the south state who covet our water, north state water needs
are taking a backseat to south state desires.

Let's hope this is just temporary insanity. The federal court, even
though it's based in the San Joaquin Valley, should be able to figure
out that this year's salmon, not next year's crops, are a more pressing

For now, San Joaquin Valley farming interests have won out. The massive
Westlands Water District and a couple of others filed a lawsuit
challenging the federal government's release of water from Trinity Lake
to help salmon downstream of where the Trinity River runs into the
Klamath River.

A decade ago, tens of thousands of salmon died in the lower Klamath
during a drought. Low flows and warm water contributed to the killing.
The federal government hoped that releases of cold water from Trinity
Lake would help matters this year.

But the San Joaquin Valley water district thinks the water many hundreds
of miles away belongs to its farmers, not to the North Coast residents
and their salmon. Much Trinity Lake water - too much in our opinion - is
already piped down to the San Joaquin by our state's convoluted plumbing
system. It's sent through a mountain into Whiskeytown Lake, into Clear
Creek, then the Sacramento River, which allows Westlands to suck more
water out of the delta.

That whole Rube Goldberg contraption works just fine until there's a dry
year, then everybody starts fighting and the Westlands farmers forget
the water really isn't theirs to begin with.

They sued to stop the releases, which were supposed to begin Tuesday. A
U.S. District Court judge from Fresno agreed to halt them, at least
until Friday. Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill said holding off for a few days
would allow the court to "consider a reply and perform a more measured
analysis of the issues."

Maybe three days without colder water won't kill any adult salmon. We'll
see. But we're surprised the judge would take that risk.

Let's hope the "measured analysis" includes the fact that the salmon
runs were in poor shape just a few years ago, and anglers were
restricted from fishing until the salmon stocks recovered. We see no
reason San Joaquin Valley growers shouldn't have to make similar
sacrifices during a drought. There's never been a guaranteed water
supply to them, nor should there be. They decided to plant in an arid
area augmented by imported water.

The farmers aren't worried about water in the next couple of months,
like the salmon are. Harvest is upon us. They don't need more now.
Rather, they're concerned that lowering the lake this summer could make
it harder to fill this coming winter. But this year's salmon should take
precedence over next year's cotton and grapes, because it might indeed
be a wet winter. Don't sacrifice the salmon on account of unpredictable
Mother Nature.

Beyond that, though, it makes us wonder what would happen if Gov. Jerry
Brown built the twin tunnels he is advocating. In a dry year, would
everybody south of the delta believe they owned the water that comes
from the north? Would they tell us we need to sacrifice a few fish in
our rivers so they could have more water? Or that we should fallow our
crops so they can grow theirs? Yeah, probably - and that's why we don't
like the idea.

# # #





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