February 2011

By: Alex Breitler

Portions of a bill first proposed three decades ago are back on the table.

That’s California water for you.

State Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, has introduced a bill that would require a series of “safeguards” be put in place before officials can move forward with construction of a peripheral canal or tunnel.

Her Senate Bill 200 takes much of its language directly from the 1980 legislation that first authorized a canal and other changes to the state’s water delivery and storage systems. The original SB 200 made it into law and was signed by then- and now-Gov. Jerry Brown, but was overturned by public referendum in 1982.

“Now a new canal or tunnel is being proposed at the highest levels with even weaker protections than we were promised before, so it’s time to have those critical guarantees written into state law,” Wolk said Friday.

Those guarantees include improved water quality in the south Delta; development of groundwater supplies to make other portions of the state more self-reliant; and restoration of fish species and assurances that large fish screens on new water diversion structures will protect species.

Click here to read more at Recordnet.com


A cash-strapped local water district will work with private landowners to apply for grant money to pump more water out of the Mokelumne River. The directors for the North San Joaquin Water Conservation District voted unanimously Thursday evening to spend up to $4,000 on legal costs to apply for a grant that, if approved, could divert river water into Tracy Lake, where it would be used by surrounding landowners.

While many of the details are still to be sorted out, landowners would front most of the money to match grant funds and would be repaid with district water.

Click here to read more at Lodinews.com


San Joaquin County backtracked last week after sending state officials written comments strongly questioning the fundamentals of climate change science.

In a Jan. 25 letter to the state’s new Delta Stewardship Council, the county said it appears the “level of climate science currently available is unreliable and the ability of climate models to actually explain past temperatures is in serious doubt.” Climate change was just one of many subjects in the letter, intended to help shape a new plan to govern the river estuary west of Stockton.

The document also quoted portions of a paper by former University of Pennsylvania economist Jason Johnston saying that the “climate establishment” has used “a variety of stylized rhetorical techniques that seem to oversell what is actually known about climate change while concealing fundamental uncertainties. …”

Click here to read more at Recordnet.com

The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors seems to be establishing themselves as Climate Skeptics, according to comments  on their letter to  the Delta Stewardship Council Notice of Preparation Draft Environmental Impact report for the Delta Plan.

I found the part especially interesting where they said: “It appears that the level of climate science currently available is unreliable and the ability of climate models to actually explain past temperatures is in serious doubt”

Click Here to Read an Excerpt: Delta Plan Must Rely On Best Available Science