California Water Wars

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California withdraws approvals for Delta Tunnels, begins planning process for single tunnel

The Newsom administration today shelved the plan to build twin Delta Tunnels  — and announced it will start a renewed environmental review for a single Delta Tunnel to facilitate the export of northern California water to San Joaquin agribusiness and Southern California Water agencies. By Dan Bacher As the Delta smelt moves closer and closer to extinction in […]

May 2nd

California water wars: The Sacramento Delta is a water colony of SoCal and Big Ag

Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay), co-chair of the Legislature’s Delta Caucus, spoke out in frustration when his bill to increase local representation on the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) died in a committee hearing after Southern California water special interests lobbied against it. By Dan Bacher The DSC consists of seven voting members; only one of […]

April 18th

David Bernhardt’s corruption at DOI continues to face scrutiny (and lawsuits)

Just five days after the U.S. Senate confirmed former oil industry and agribusiness lobbyist David Bernhardt as Trump’s Interior Secretary, The Western Values Project (WVP) today filed suit in Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Fresno against Bernhardt’s former client, Westlands Water District, for three unfulfilled public records requests under the California […]

April 17th

Don’t frack California!

California politicians constantly portray the state as the nation’s “green leader,” but in fact California is a major oil and natural gas producer. Since 2011, California regulators under Governor Jerry Brown approved over 21,000 new oil and gas well drilling permits throughout the state, including over 200 offshore wells in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. […]

April 11th

Senate will vote on Bernhardt for DOI – as House investigates his corruption

A day after the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 14-6 to move the nomination of Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to a floor vote, Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Water, Oceans, & Wildlife Subcommittee Chair Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) today launched a new inquiry seeking documents associated with Bernhardt and California’s […]

April 8th

Trump admin launches “frivolous lawsuit” against California water board

The Trump administration today filed a lawsuit against the State Water Resources Control Board for “failure” to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for its approval of increased flows for salmon, steelhead and other species on the San Joaquin River. By Dan Bacher Fishing and environmental groups called the litigation a “frivolous attempt” to divert more water and […]

April 1st

Fishing Groups: Voluntary Agreements to Replace Bay Delta Plan Update Are All ‘Smoke and Mirrors’

A coalition of fishing, river and environmental groups today released a 10-page analysis challenging a controversial voluntary settlement proposal submitted last week by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) as an alternative to the Bay Delta Plan Update now before the State Water Resources Control Board. By […]

March 7th

Feds allow just 2 weeks for comment on Klamath Environmental Assessment

The Bureau of Reclamation yesterday announced a controversial 2-week public review and comment period on a draft environmental assessment for the Klamath River titled, Implementation of Klamath Project Operating Procedures 2019-2024. By Dan Bacher “The draft evaluates the proposed action for the Biological Assessment that was transmitted to the National Marine Fisheries Service and the […]

March 7th

Delta Tunnels: What’s next for California’s Waterfix after downgrade from twin tunnels to single

The California Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation today sent a letter to Hearing Officer Tam Doduc requesting  the State Water Resources Control Board to temporarily place the petition for a change in point of diversion for the California WaterFix (WaterFix CPOD) in abeyance and issue a temporary sixty (60) day stay on all […]

March 3rd

California Gov Newsom has backed down from Jerry Brown’s water-stealing Delta Tunnels. But not far enough.

Bill Wells, the Executive Director of the California Delta Chambers & Visitor’s Bureau, has issued a statement regarding Governor Gavin Newsom’s call to end the twin Delta Tunnels project and support a one tunnel plan instead. He said his organization continues to oppose diverting Sacramento River water around the Delta, the largest estuary on the […]

February 24th

Gov Newsom names new chair and new member to Cali State Water Resources Control Board

California Governor Gavin Newsom just announced two key water appointments today when he appointed Joaquin Esquivel as Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board and Laurel Firestone as a new member of the Board. Under pressure from San Joaquin Valley agribusiness interests, Newsom failed to reappoint the current chair of the board, Felicia Marcus, who supported […]

February 15th