DWR and the Bureau have plans to drain the delta this summer: CSPA objects!
February 7, 2009 -- CSPA has just received a copy of a letter from the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the the U.S. Bureau of Reclaimation (the Bureau) to the State Water Board regarding an Urgency Petition they intend to submit in the near future that would relax X2 and the San Joaquin River flow conditions in their permits. Attached is CSPA's quick response to the State Board. It is understood that Representative Radanovich (California 19th Congressional District) has introduced a bill in Congress to to the same purpose. Relaxation of X2 and flow requirements would be a disaster for fisheries and the Delta. In response CSPA has immediately directed a letter to Ms. Dorothy Rice, Executive Director of the State Water Resources Control Board, objecting to the relaxation of permits with the following justifications.
"Over the last several years, CSPA has repeatedly cautioned the State Water Board that DWR and the Bureau were cannibalizing storage from Northern California Reservoirs without regard for the likelihood of successive dry years. We urged the State Water Board to proactively pursue actions that would ensure that threatened and endangered species would not bear the consequences of gross mismanagement by DWR and the Bureau. The state and federal projects are required to operate on a multi-year timeframe that anticipates the possibility of successive dry years. DWR and Bureau contracts anticipate that water deliveries may be reduced or even unavailable (Continued)... under certain circumstances. While D-1641 provides for some relaxation of standards during drought conditions, DWR and the Bureau’s mismanagement should not be rewarded by further relaxation, especially considering that several species are hovering on the brink of extinction. CSPA believes there is still storage in San Luis Reservoir that is available to meet X2, San Joaquin flow requirements and southern Delta salinity standards. Finally, any unilateral decision suspending X2 and river flow requirements would contravene fundamental provisions in federal endangered species biological opinions."
Should the Urgency Petition be granted, CSPA will pursue the matter further as necessary.
CSPA's response to the Proposed Urgency Petition by California Department of Water Resources and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation