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Sacramento San Joaquin River Delta

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 22, 2010 | By Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times
Californians need to take significantly less water from the state's single largest supply, according to a state report that could lay the foundation for more limits on water shipments to the Southland. The State Water Board document provides new ammunition in the intensifying battle over the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a source of water for roughly two of three Californians and a long-time victim of the state's great thirst. The draft report, released Wednesday, acknowledges that the delta's many environmental problems extend beyond water diversions.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 31, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
Officials Friday said that for the first time ever, the State Water Project that helps supply a majority of Californians may be unable to make any deliveries except to maintain public health and safety.  They also said they were cutting releases from large reservoirs in the northern part of the state to preserve supplies in the face of what could be the worst drought in modern California history. “It's about holding back water so we've got it tomorrow,” said Chuck Bonham, director of the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2010 | By Bettina Boxall
Sen. Dianne Feinstein has drawn up legislation that for the next two years would loosen Endangered Species Act restrictions on pumping water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to increase irrigation deliveries to San Joaquin Valley growers. Feinstein has not released details of the proposal, which she is calling the Emergency Temporary Water Supply Amendment and which is expected to be attached to a jobs bill. In a statement Thursday she said that the language had not been finalized and that she was open to "alternative ways" of boosting water supplies for the valley's west side, which has been hit hard by delivery cuts caused by the state drought and the pumping limits.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 19, 2014 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - So it's official: We are in a serious drought. That means this: Next comes serious flooding. But we'll still be in a declared drought. That's just the nature of California weather patterns - and water politics. A drought proclamation, as issued by Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday, changes the political climate. It focuses public attention on the need for costly new waterworks. Therefore governors and water officials are always reluctant to declare a drought over, even when rivers again leap their banks, fill reservoirs and send torrents of muddy snowmelt, uprooted trees and drowned livestock cascading into the Pacific.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 25, 2009 | GEORGE SKELTON
Take a good look because you won't see this often: The Legislature's majority party trying to surrender power. It's power that Democrats have been incapable or unwilling to exercise anyway. And it's not like they're giving it to Republicans. They're attempting to create an independent governing body to decide how to restore the ecosystem and remodel the waterworks of the deteriorating Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a major source of drinking water for Southern Californians and irrigation for San Joaquin Valley farms.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2012 | By Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times
Federal biologists have concluded that another native fish of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is headed toward extinction, underscoring the region's severe environmental problems. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Thursday that it has determined that longfin smelt in the delta deserve Endangered Species Act protections. But the finding won't expand restrictions on the delta's water operations because the agency is simply designating the fish a candidate for listing.
OPINION
March 6, 2008
Canal: A March 3 editorial stated that an initiative campaign for a peripheral canal in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta was defeated in 1982. It was a referendum.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 24, 2008 | From the Associated Press
A federal judge says California water managers need to redo their plans to ensure that the state's pumping systems don't push native, wild salmon closer to extinction. Environmentalists say the order issued in Fresno on Wednesday could force regulators to temporarily change the way they move water to ensure that endangered winter-run Chinook salmon can spawn and migrate safely. The ruling affects two salmon species as well as the threatened Central Valley steelhead. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the state Department of Water Resources will have to rethink how they'll operate water projects in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2008 | Eric Bailey
The delta smelt, a tiny endangered fish causing big headaches for California's water kingpins, could soon get help. A Central Valley lawmaker wants the state to build a hatchery to boost the smelt's flagging population. Sen. Dean Florez (D-Shafter) has proposed a Delta Smelt Preservation and Restoration Act with the primary goal of building at least one hatchery by 2001 to breed the fish. Smelt have been a victim of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta's flagging ecological health and the pull of giant aqueduct pumps that send delta water south.
OPINION
November 8, 2008
Re "State could reduce water supply," Oct. 31 Your article correctly reminds Californians of the water crisis. However, saying that water allocations to local water agencies may increase if we have a wet winter lulls readers into a state of false security. Even torrential downpours will not make it possible to fulfill local water agencies' needs because there is a regulatory noose tightening its hold on California's primary water delivery system, the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
BUSINESS
September 24, 2013 | Michael Hiltzik
STATEN ISLAND, Calif. - The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is one of the most biologically diverse and ecologically sensitive areas in the country and the source of 30% of Southern California's water. It's also broken. Those may be the only facts about the delta on which everybody agrees. Because of oxidation of the area's unprotected peaty soil, the level of farm tracts on some of its 57 levee-ringed islands has dropped to as much as 30 feet below sea level. That makes them especially vulnerable to a rise in the water level, deterioration of the levees and contamination by saltwater flowing in from San Francisco Bay. Habitat for countless species of fish, bird and mammal has been destroyed.
OPINION
October 10, 2012
Re "Drumbeat of water war," Column One, Oct. 5 Rather than reigniting the water wars of the past, it would make better sense for the farmers of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, along with big agribusiness and the millions of Northern and Southern Californians who rely on water from the delta, to instead consider the shared benefits of the proposed tunnels and the repair of the delta. The project to build tunnels carrying freshwater from the Sacramento River to southbound aqueducts guards against the impacts of a major earthquake that would flood local farms, render the freshwater of the Delta undrinkable and further destroy the estuary.
OPINION
August 8, 2012
The Bay Delta Conservation Plan has the potential to untangle some of the expensive and inefficient knots in California's water supply system while repairing some of the damage done over the decades to the landscape and wildlife of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Gov. Jerry Brown's "preferred alternative" of tunnels around the delta may work - or it may not, and Californians still need to know more before committing the state to a new water diversion project. Analysis and environmental review are ongoing.
OPINION
July 15, 2012
So much for the Safe, Clean and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2012. Earlier this month, lawmakers pulled the $11-billion bond measure off the Nov. 6 ballot because the time wasn't right, which is another way of saying there was no way voters were going to approve a multibillion-dollar bond this year, and in the course of defeating it they were more likely to prowl for other tax or spending measures to reject, like the temporary sales and...
OPINION
July 8, 2012
Southern California's most important lake is located in a distant part of the state and has a name most of us wouldn't recognize. Clifton Court Forebay, between Oakland and Stockton, forms the manufactured headwaters of the manufactured river known as the California Aqueduct, which over four decades has supplied millions of residents from the Bay Area to the Mexican border with drinking water and thousands of growers from Santa Clara to Santa Maria...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2012 | By Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times
Federal biologists have concluded that another native fish of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is headed toward extinction, underscoring the region's severe environmental problems. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Thursday that it has determined that longfin smelt in the delta deserve Endangered Species Act protections. But the finding won't expand restrictions on the delta's water operations because the agency is simply designating the fish a candidate for listing.
OPINION
October 10, 2012
Re "Drumbeat of water war," Column One, Oct. 5 Rather than reigniting the water wars of the past, it would make better sense for the farmers of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, along with big agribusiness and the millions of Northern and Southern Californians who rely on water from the delta, to instead consider the shared benefits of the proposed tunnels and the repair of the delta. The project to build tunnels carrying freshwater from the Sacramento River to southbound aqueducts guards against the impacts of a major earthquake that would flood local farms, render the freshwater of the Delta undrinkable and further destroy the estuary.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 31, 2014 | By Bettina Boxall
Officials Friday said that for the first time ever, the State Water Project that helps supply a majority of Californians may be unable to make any deliveries except to maintain public health and safety.  They also said they were cutting releases from large reservoirs in the northern part of the state to preserve supplies in the face of what could be the worst drought in modern California history. “It's about holding back water so we've got it tomorrow,” said Chuck Bonham, director of the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
OPINION
March 12, 2012 | Jim Newton
When Gov. Jerry Brown wrapped up his tenure last time through, he left a huge unresolved question for California: In the wake of a failed 1982 initiative to fund the so-called peripheral canal, how would the state distribute and safeguard its water supply? How to maximize the water supply and allocate it fairly has been debated often in the years since without producing a solution. But it now looks as if Brown intends to finish up this piece of unresolved business. Earlier this month, state water officials presented him with the basics of a plan that would have profound implications for the future of California, as well as the legacy of its governor.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 13, 2011 | By Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times
The imperiled fish that has been at the center of California's water wars may be at its highest numbers in a decade, judging by the results of a recent survey. Every month in the fall, state biologists tow nets in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, sampling for the threatened delta smelt to estimate the native fish's population. The September catch this year, though still small by historic standards, was the biggest since 2001, when the numbers of smelt and other delta fish started to plunge to dangerously low levels, triggering cutbacks to water customers in the Central Valley and Southern California.
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