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

Emilia Berol ema.berol at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 18 00:36:54 PDT 2013


I love this comment, many good points. I especially like, 

>  The west side on the San Joaquin Valley is, by nature, a wasteland. Prior to getting CVP water in the 1960's, the best crop in  that area were tumble weeds.  That is a fact because I had to be careful of them when  driving Hwy. 41 between the coast and Fresno. Oh yes, Jack Rabbits did pretty well out there also.  So, you folks are making a pretty damn good living from our North State water. Quit your bitching.  The bottom line here is the water. 

I have never understood how anyone in their right mind could justify damming the Trinity for the purpose of growing crops in a desert wasteland, while at the same time urbanizing some of the best Ag land in the country. It's truly idiotic. Shouldn't we have protected the good lands and left the westside to the rabbits and tumbleweed? How interesting that there is oil out there, and a huge Naval Air Base that receives its power and water via Westlands Water District. Maybe the crops are just a ... distraction. 
The bottom line isn't really water, it's money, and power. Any fool can grow lettuce, even I do it, almost effortlessly, and the world market has been flooded with cotton for over a decade.
Salmon are far more valuable to society as a food source, for what they contribute to ecosystem health, and economically. And it is not right that the Trinity's ecosystem should be held hostage to the needs of the Sacramento River ecosystem, just because the water from THAT ecosystem has been over allocated and poorly managed. The hypocrisy and cynicism are mind boggling. 

One more thing: I read a while ago that Ag uses 85% of the State's developed water resources, and that the dairy industry uses half of that. (Please correct me if that is wrong. )
I can't help but wonder, why is there even a dairy industry in the southern part of the arid SJV? 
Wouldn't it make better sense not to subsidize water to this industry, and encourage it to flourish in the wetter, greener parts of the state where water is plentiful? How much water exactly is being used by dairy in the SJV ? 

Sent from my iPad

On Aug 17, 2013, at 9:50 AM, "Clark Tuthill" <cltuts at att.net> wrote:

> Inconvenient truths abound. let's go back to the winter of 2011-2012. Drought throughout  the west, and California certainly.  Only in Trinity county did we have a "normal " rainy season? Numbers were  "managed" to show a "normal" year.  Restoration and BOR released to much water out of Trinity Lake. One wonders about the validity of their claims from one season to another.  Another issue, one that has not been part of any of the current conversation, is the  current condition of the mouth of the Klamath River. It is closed down.  Is the water needed to open the river to let the fish in or cool the water temperature?  Which is it?  Perhaps if the mouth were left to natures whims, the fish would move in at a slower rate and the river would not be overwhelmed by these large numbers of returning salmon.  Mr. Robinsons comments about the flows during pre-dam days are correct. Inconvenient but true. In late August-September one would see 200cfs or less going by our home in Poker Bar.  The Trinity flows are based on snow runoff and by late summer, the snow  is gone from the back country.  Prior to the construction of Trinity Dam, the waters on the entire Trinity river drainage had warmed and flows dropped dramatically by this time. The fish still made it.  And in greater numbers. Let's look at another inconvenient truth. The west side on the San Joaquin Valley is, by nature, a wasteland. Prior to getting CVP water in the 1960's, the best crop in  that area were tumble weeds.  That is a fact because I had to be careful of them when  driving Hwy. 41 between the coast and Fresno. Oh yes, Jack Rabbits did pretty well out there also.  So, you folks are making a pretty damn good living from our North State water. Quit your bitching.  The bottom line here is the water. It is an important resource to all of us. The 2000 ROD gave a lot of water back to the Trinity River system. And, rightfully so.  BOR and the TRRP (restoration) had best do a better job of "honest" management or they could lose what has been gained after such a long battle.  You folks to the south: there is only so much water up here. If you want to farm a wasteland, consider reviving the desalinization plant projects. There is a construction remnant left from years past on the central coast.
>  
> From: env-trinity-bounces+cltuts=att.net at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us [mailto:env-trinity-bounces+cltuts=att.net at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us] On Behalf Of Paul Catanese
> Sent: Saturday, August 17, 2013 7:06 AM
> To: Robinson, Eric
> Cc: env-trinity at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us
> Subject: Re: [env-trinity] Chico ER: Put water to local use first
>  
> Eric should be commended for telling an inconvenient truth. No one want salmon to die other than Mother Nature occasionally.  Be careful what you ask for when dams are removed. In addition what impact does this water have other species other than chinook salmon such as steelhead and coho? Would we not be artificially changing the timing of their return? 
> I would imagine that having less nets in the water or none at all for one year would save a lot of salmon. I live on this river and guide it and have a vested interest in more water but how can one argue for a natural free flowing river then ask for a wall of water in August. Seems unnatural to me. 
>  
> With all the money going to restoration and tribes and the building of canneries  one has to scratch his head about the science behind this proposal for augmented flows and perhaps call it politics instead. 
> 
> Sent from my iPhone
> 
> On Aug 16, 2013, at 10:20 PM, "Robinson, Eric" <erobinson at kmtg.com> wrote:
> 
> 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…
>  
> Patrick
>  
>  
> From: Ara Azhderian
> Sent: Friday, August 16, 2013 8:53 AM
> To: Tom Stokely ; 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
>  
> From: env-trinity-bounces+ara.azhderian=sldmwa.org at velocipede.dcn.davis.ca.us [mailto:env-trinity-bounces+ara.azhderian=sldmwa.org at velocipede.dcn.davis.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
> 
> http://www.chicoer.com/editorials/ci_23866945/editorial-put-water-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 concern.
> 
> 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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