From the San Francisco Chronicle, in a commentary by Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla:
“The outsize influence of delta water exporters can be seen in the recent ‘drought relief’ action by state and federal regulators, which undid with the stroke of a pen Endangered Species Act protections for fisheries that were the result of a decade-long legal challenge.”
“Hood, California, is a farming town of 200 souls, crammed up against a levee that protects it from the Sacramento River. … I’ve come here because this little patch of land is the key location in Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed $25 billion plan to fix California’s troubled water transport system.”
“A critical portion of the governor’s twin tunnels plan is hard to understand, overstates the benefits for fish and fails to make clear that much uncertainty remains over the outcome, an independent panel of experts has concluded.
“The Bay Delta Conservation Plan, as the tunnels plan is formally known, has been scrutinized in a number of similar reviews since planning began in 2006.
“Property owners in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are celebrating a legal victory involving a controversial proposal to build two giant water diversion tunnels, though state officials say the ruling is unlikely to delay the project significantly.”
“A California appeals court has sided with landowners fighting the state over test drilling for a proposed water tunnel system in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
“In a 2-1 decision, an appeals panel ruled Thursday that the state needed to go through the eminent domain process to gain access to private property on which it wanted to take soil samples and conduct environmental surveys.”
“A state appellate court dropped a bomb late Thursday on the early stages of the state’s plan to divert fresh Northern California water under or around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta on its way to Central and Southern California.”
From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):
“The comment period for the draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and its accompanying environmental documents has been extended 60 days by federal and state officials, allowing the public until June 13 to comment on the documents.
“’Keeping with our continued effort of transparency, additional time has been granted for review of the Draft BDCP documents facilitating greater public involvement,’ California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird said in release announcing the extension.
“Call it a deep reality check. In a severe drought year, with the comment period winding down on Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed twin tunnels project to divert water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the Standard & Poor’s credit rating agency has issued a sobering report.”