top
North Coast
North Coast
Indybay
Indybay
Indybay
Regions
Indybay Regions North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area California United States International Americas Haiti Iraq Palestine Afghanistan
Topics
Newswire
Calendar
Features
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature

Coalition Unveils California Water Solutions Report at Million Boat Float

by Dan Bacher
A broad coalition of 23 fishing, public health, conservation, environmental justice and tribal organizations today unveiled a ground breaking report, "California Water Solutions Now," at a rally against the peripheral canal at the State Capitol, the final event of the Million Boat Float from Antioch to Sacramento.
logo-header.jpg
Coalition Unveils California Water Solutions Report at Million Boat Float

by Dan Bacher

A broad coalition of 23 fishing, public health, conservation, environmental justice and tribal organizations today unveiled a ground breaking report, "California Water Solutions Now," at a rally against the peripheral canal at the State Capitol, the final event of the Million Boat Float from Antioch to Sacramento.

"California Water Solutions Now is presented to show that, with real reforms, California can have a sustainable water future," said Nick Di Croce, Lead Author. "It's a game-changing report. The report is unique in that it marries reduction in water usage to the ability to reduce water exports."

Based on multiple scientific and engineering studies, it demonstrates how sustainable water management, including groundwater cleanup, water recycling, local storm water capture and cost-effective water conservation can provide the water needed to serve California’s projected population, economy and environment through 2050, according to Di Croce.

The cost of the actions detailed in the report by the Environmental Water Caucus (EWC) will provide water to people and the environment "almost immediately," at far lower costs and with significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions than new dams and their associated infrastructure, said Di Croce. The report also expresses strong concerns about the proposed Peripheral Canal, which could route even higher levels of water away from the Delta than the already-harmful export levels of recent years.

The groups have produced this report as the legislature is rushing to consider a package of bills that fails to include fundamental improvements in how we manage our water supplies. Canal opponents fear that the bill package, developed with little input from the people of the Delta, will serve as a road map to the building of a peripheral canal that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his allies in the Legislature are promoting as the "solution" to California's water supply problems.

The report contends that savings in urban water conservation alone will carry California through the expected population increases through 2050. "It calls for Delta exports to be reduced by half from the recent levels in order to save, protect and restore the Delta," said Di Croce. "The report is based on existing, authenticated studies and data produced by the Department of Water Resources, the Pacific Institute and Planning and Conservation League and is assembled in a way that tells the game charging story."

The report also recommends fish passage over major dams, improved instream flows, and cold water releases for fish. All of these measures have been reinforced and supported by the last two biological opinions from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service regarding Delta smelt and Sacramento River Chinook salmon.

The report was released as Central Valley salmon, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, green sturgeon, Sacramento splittail and other species are in an unprecedented state of collapse, due to increased water exports to San Joaquin Valley corporate agribusiness and southern California, poor management of Central Valley dam operations and declining water quality.

The 42-page report highlights 10 Strategic Goals and 65 specific Recommendations that can carry California into the future, and in particular describes how the state can use current supplies and existing sustainable strategies more efficiently and cost-effectively. The report also shows how we can improve our valuable river habitats, eliminate discharges from contaminated agricultural lands, and improve other water quality problems, increase regional water self-sufficiency, and provide funding for environmental agencies.

Croce was one of a group of speakers who condemned the mad rush of the legislature to build a peripheral canal when many other solutions to solving California's environmental and water supply needs are available. The other speakers included Senator Mark DeSaulnier, Assemblymember Alyson Huber, Assemblymember Mariko Yamada, Bill Jennings, California Sportfishing Alliance, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, Debbie Davis, Environmental Justice Coalition, Jonas Minton, Planning and Conservation League, Larry Collins, salmon fisherman and President of the SF Crab Boat Association; Mike Hudson, President, Small Boat Commercial Salmon Fishermen’s Association; Robert Johnson, Jr., Californians against the Canal, and Bruce Connelley, Chairman of the Million Boat Float.

Over 200 people including recreational anglers, Delta farmers, commercial fishermen, recreational boaters, environmental activists and Delta residents attended today's rally. Today's event was preceded by a rally on Sacramento River at the Delta King last night after a flotilla of canal opponents converged on Sacramento.

"We are here today to convey the story of the people of the Delta, who are being excluded from input into this legislature process," said Barbara Daly, who owns farmland in the Clarksburg and Rio Vista areas. "They are not hearing or considering better alternatives to a peripheral canal or tunnel in the Delta to address California water problems."

Bruce Connelley, an Oakley City Councilman, organized the two-day flotilla to show that boaters, fishermen and Delta residents are united in the defense of the Delta against plans by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Legislators to build the peripheral canal.

“We organized this flotilla because we felt it was time for the people to speak and have their voices heard,” said Connelley. “Legislators here in Sacramento seem determined to push through this legislation that will destroy the greatest estuary in the western hemisphere.”

The California Legislature will be holding a joint hearing of the Assembly Parks and Wildlife and Senate Resources and Water Committees to review the controversial package of water bills on Tuesday, August 18 at the State Capitol, Room 4202, at 9 a.m.

The document is available online on the EWC website: http://www.ewccalifornia.org/reports/. For hard copies, please contact Nick Di Croce (Troutnk [at] aol.com) and note the number of copies needed.

Fore more information about the report, contact:

David Nesmith, Facilitator, Environmental Water Caucus
ewc [at] davidnesmith.com, 510-893-1330

Nick Di Croce, Lead Author: California Water Solutions Now
troutnk [at] aol.com, 805-688-7813

Steve Evans, Friends of the River
sevans [at] friendsoftheriver.org, 916-442-3155 x221

Bill Jennings, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance
deltakeep [at] aol.com, 209-464-5067

Linda Sheehan, California Coastkeeper Alliance
lsheehan [at] cacoastkeeper.org, 510-219-7330
Add Your Comments
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!

Donate

$ 140.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.

Publish

Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network