Delta flow criteria report ratchets up conflict, tension

The San Joaquin flows up and the Sacramento River flows down to the Delta, California Water Projects System Map, Department of Water Resources

A draft State Water Resource Control Board (SWRCB) report on criteria for establishing instream flow requirements through the Delta was released yesterday. 

While it’s good news for the Delta’s natural environment, it’s not so good for the rest of us. There’s gonna be a rumble, me thinks.

Here are some articles about the report and folks’ responses:

Californians should use less delta water, report says, LA Times

Delta survival requires major cutbacks in water use, state study finds, Contra Costa Times (CCT)

The CCT says, among other things: “The report also details flow requirements for the two biggest rivers flowing into the Delta — the Sacramento and the San Joaquin…”

“Meeting all of those requirements would require San Joaquin farms, Southern California and portions of the East Bay and South Bay that rely on pumps in the southern Delta to cut their Delta water use by one-third in addition to recent cutbacks required to meet endangered species rules.

For other water users upstream, including utilities serving Oakland and San Francisco, the effect could be even worse — up to 70 percent, because the goal to increase river flows would make more water available in the Delta for pumps to export.

But those figures do not take into account water rights laws that say agencies with older rights — including some in the Bay Area — should not have to give up water for newer users, and that agencies closer to water sources also should not have to give up water to those relying on Delta pumps.”

Report: Delta in need of water. Too much is being diverted to reverse lengthy decline, Stockton Record

Here’s a link to the full draft report, due to return to the State Water Resource Control Board on August 3rd.

SWRCB Report

Expect fireworks.

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