“In a reversal potentially impacting the water supply to millions
of Californians, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently
upheld a biological opinion issued by the United States Fish and
Wildlife Service (FWS) regarding the effect of California State
Water Project (SWP) and federal Central Valley Project (CVP)
operations on the delta smelt—a small fish located in the
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The Ninth Circuit held the
biological opinion valid, largely based on general principles of
deference to federal agencies.
“The Bureau of Reclamation today [March 17] released the final
report on the Central Valley Project Integrated Resource Plan.
Reclamation investigated climate change impacts on water supplies
and demands in the CVP service area and performed an exploratory
analysis of potential adaptation strategies to address these
impacts. The Plan was authorized by the CALFED Bay Delta
Authorization Act (P.L.
“Newly confirmed Deputy Secretary Michael L. Connor has praised
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell’s decision to appoint
Lowell Pimley to serve as acting Commissioner of the Bureau of
Reclamation until a new Commissioner is selected by President
Obama and confirmed by the Senate.
From The Sacramento Bee, in a commentary by Jim O’Banion:
“The negative impacts of the dry water year will be multiplied
many times over if a proposal by a state agency becomes
reality. It would overturn water rights held by water districts
for more than 100 years.
“In this water-short year, the state Department of Water
Resources and the U.S.
“A state water official said Thursday that despite the
‘horrifying’ drought gripping the state, there’s still a chance
that farmers will get San Joaquin River water this summer instead
of the ‘zero allocation’ announced.”
“Northern California crops are dominated by orchards and rice,
which make up the bulk of farm income. …
“Both the Department of Water Resources and the Bureau of
Reclamation have said water deliveries will be very low or
nonexistent for growers. Some districts with senior water
rights have been told water delivery will be 40 percent.
During a marathon Shasta Lake City Council meeting Tuesday
night, councilors approved an excess-use penalty fee for water
customers and established a plan on how to replace resigning
council member Ron Dixon.
“In response to California’s extreme drought conditions that,
though helped, have not been fixed by the recent rainfall, the
“Until the federal government fulfills water obligations in the
north, don’t send it south.
“That was the message from Sacramento River settlement
contractors, through an attorney, to the Bureau of Reclamation,
which recently forecast the water deliveries to the districts
and water companies along the river would be cut by 60
From the Northern California Water Association (NCWA) Blog:
“In a viewpoint in the Sacramento Bee, Roseville Chamber of
Commerce President Randall Wilson paints a compelling picture of
the dynamics surrounding Folsom Reservoir and the need to rethink
water management in the future.”
“The strain on water supplies in this serious drought year was
evident this week, as major landowners in the Sacramento Valley
protested the federal government’s forecast that it will deliver
only 40 percent of usual water supplies.
From the Stockton Record Alex Breitler Environment blog:
“Some observers were surprised when Central Valley Project
contractors on the Stanislaus River — namely, Stockton East Water
District and Central San Joaquin Water Conservation District —
were told they would receive 55 percent of their requested water
this year, unless conditions change.”
From The Salinas Californian, in a commentary by Dennis Taylor:
“While farmers in the Salinas Valley are increasingly worried
about future irrigation water, the federal Bureau of
Reclamation told farmers in the Central Valley on Friday that
they will have a zero allocation of water from the Central
Valley Water Project.
“Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats in Sacramento are
introducing water bills that often serve only to counter the
other party’s water bills.
“In a crushing reminder of the state’s parched plight, federal
officials announced Friday that the Central Valley Project –
California’s largest water delivery system — will provide no
water this year to Central Valley farmers and only 50 percent of
the contracted amount to urban areas such as Santa Clara and
Contra Costa counties.”
“After weeks of speculation on how much water from Millerton Lake
might be released this year to South Valley farmers and
communities that depend on it, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
made its announcement on Friday.”