A look at the interim federal Delta plan

As I pointed out three months ago, the federal government has awakened from its 8-year Bush administration slumber to notice that the SF Bay-Delta is an important environmental and economic resource whose management requires federal input. On December 22, the Obama administration issued an Interim Federal Action Plan for the California Bay-Delta. The best news …


60 Minutes flubs the California water story

Last night, 60 Minutes had a long story on the California water crisis, featuring Lesley Stahl interviewing (among others) Arnold Schwarzenegger and UC Davis professor Jeff Mount. On the positive side, the story accurately portrayed the vulnerability of California’s fragile through-Delta water delivery system to a major earthquake or catastrophic levee break. But CBS News …


Feds re-engage on the Delta

Last week brought a lot of good California water news. Restoration of the San Joaquin River took a giant step forward, as the first flows were returned to the channel in accordance with a settlement agreement negotiated in 2006, ending years of litigation by NRDC. As Steve and I noted, removal of four dams on …


What’s new on the Delta?

Quite a bit, and most of the news is bad. American Rivers has declared the Sacramento-San Joaquin the most endangered river in the United States. The longfin smelt has been listed as threatened by the state, but it is not going to be federally listed, at least not yet. Commercial salmon fishing off the California …


Delta news roundup

It’s been a busy and discouraging ten days for those interested in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as either an ecosystem or a water source. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the return of fall chinook salmon to the Sacramento River hit a record low last year. The Pacific Fishery Management Council released a gloomy preseason …


Preview of a long dry summer

It’s still the rainy season, but California’s drought is already beginning to affect operation of the state and federal water projects that divert water from the Sacramento and San Joaquin watersheds to serve cities and farms from the Bay Area to Southern California.  Yesterday the California Department of Water Resources and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, …