Delta Tunnel's science-denying premise: diverting more water out of Sacramento will 'restore' fish




By Dan Bacher | 

Here is the transcription of my 3-minute comment on the Delta Tunnel Draft Environmental Impact Statement that I made today in the virtual hearing held by the California Department of Water Resources.

I’m an independent journalist that’s covered fish, environmental justice, and water issues for 40 years. Different versions of this same gigantic and wasteful public works project — the Peripheral Canal, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, the California Water Fix and now the single Delta Conveyance — have cast a dark, toxic shadow over California water policy since it was first decisively rejected by California voters in November 1982 as the Peripheral Canal.




Tunnel proponents claim the tunnel will protect the reliability of water transport infrastructure, address the impacts of sea level rise, and “improve” the Delta’s aquatic conditions. However, the project will do none of these things, instead hastening the extinction of Sacramento River winter and spring-run Chinook salmon,  Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt and green sturgeon. It’s feared these fish species will die off as the multi-billion tunnel keeps indebting Californians for generations to come.

According to a recent blog post by Doug Obegi of NRDC, “DWR’s proposed operations of the Delta tunnel are significantly less protective of the environment and than the operations that the National Marine Fisheries Service and other agencies required for the proposed twin tunnel project only a few years ago (California WaterFix), as we explained in this letter to DWR last year. As a result, all of the alternatives in the DEIR substantially increase water exports from the Delta on average by approximately 500,000 acre feet per year, including significant increases in water diversions in dry and critically dry years (200-300,000 acre feet per year.”

“Yet inexplicably, DWR’s DEIR refuses to consider any operational alternatives.  Even worse, DWR’s proposed operations of the Delta tunnel are significantly less protective of the environment than the operations that the National Marine Fisheries Service and other agencies required for the proposed twin tunnel project only a few years ago (California WaterFix), as we explained in this letter to DWR last year.  As a result, all of the alternatives in the DEIR substantially increase water exports from the Delta on average by approximately 500,000 acre feet per year, including significant increases in water diversions in dry and critically dry years (200-300,000 acre feet per year), as the table below from the DEIR shows.”

To read the full article, go to: on.nrdc.org/... 

All of the available science reveals that the Delta and longfin smelt, Sacramento winter run and spring run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, green sturgeon and a host of other fish species need more water flowing down the Sacramento to the Delta to survive and thrive — not less, as the DEIR proposes under the Delta Conveyance Project. 

The entire Delta Conveyance project is based on the irrational and unscientific premise that diverting more Sacramento River before it reaches the Delta will somehow “restore” the Delta ecosystem while providing water supply reliability.

I don’t know of any water diversion project in world or U.S. history where taking more water out of a river or estuary has restored that river or estuary. The Delta Tunnel project, if ever constructed, would be no different. 

Below is all of the information on the remaining upcoming hearings:  

Delta Conveyance Project Draft EIR Hearing Schedule and Access Information

Format and Logistics

  • The hearings will be held via Zoom webinar and will feature a brief background presentation. The majority of the meeting time will be preserved for public comment.
  • For instructions on how to use Zoom, click here.
  • If participating by phone, please use the call-in information that corresponds to your preferred language.
  • Each commenter will have 3 minutes to make a verbal comment. Longer or supplemental comments are encouraged via writing.
  • The hearings will offer simultaneous in-meeting Spanish and Chinese interpretation.
  • To preserve as much time as possible for public comment, the meeting will not include a Q&A.
  • A Draft EIR provides an important opportunity for members of the public to review and comment on a number of environmental review considerations. Please see our tip sheet to learn more.

Materials

  • The English presentation will be posted here prior to the first hearing date.
  • The translated Spanish and Chinese presentations will be posted here prior to the first hearing date.

Additional Ways to Comment on the Draft EIR

Additional Information
Visit the Draft EIR website to access the Draft EIR and accompanying informational materials and to learn more about the proposed project and the public review process.


You may not like us, but here you are!
Follow us on Twitter @ElkGroveNews
Follow us on YouTube
Copyright by Elk Grove News © 2022. All right reserved.












Related

Government & Politics 3590437946395827861

Post a Comment Default Comments

Follow Us



Popular

Archives

Elk Grove News Podcast








Listen to other podcasts in our archives here

Elk Grove News Minute








All previous Elk Grove News Minutes, interviews, and Dan Schmitt's Ya' Gotta be Schmittin' Me podcasts are now available on iTunes

More Than Three Minutes Podcast




Ya Gott be Schmittin' me Podcast






item
[image src="IMAGE LINK"/] google.com, pub-5438620617508054, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0