Friends,

 

In case you’re interested in checking out comments submitted on the Bay Delta Water Quality Control Plan, they’re posted at http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/public_notices/comments/2016_baydelta_plan_amendment/

 

We were particularly disappointed in a comment letter signed by eight members of the Bay Area Legislative Caucus, led by Assemblymember Phil Ting.  The letter had a number of erroneous statements, including, “If approved, the SWRCB’s current plan would substantially cut water supplies to 2.6 million Bay Area residents in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and the East Bay by up to 50% at the first sign of any future drought.”  What?  Under the current proposal, the most additional water the SFPUC would be required to produce is just 7% of the Tuolumne’s unimpaired flow.  Had the Plan been in effect during the recent drought, and there had been no water conservation (when in fact there was considerable conservation), we would have managed fine and would currently be in the exact same position we are today, with enough water in storage to last six years.

 

Other signatories to the Bay Area Caucus letter were Assemblymembers David Chiu, Kevin Mullin, Bill Quirk and Tony Thurmond, and State Senators Jerry Hill, Nancy Skinner and Scott Wiener.  We can’t totally blame them because they were fed a lot of false and misleading information.  The good news is that the majority of the Bay Area Caucus declined to sign the letter, demonstrating that our outreach efforts had an impact.

 

The SFPUC and irrigation districts are now pushing for what is called the SFPUC Alternative.  This proposal downplays the importance of instream flows, on which the Bay Delta Plan is based, and instead emphasizes non-flow measures, such as habitat restoration and attempting to control non-native predators.  You can see our brief response in a letter to the editor posted in today’s Modesto Bee —http://www.modbee.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article155207729.html

 

Thanks again for all your support!  We’re making good progress toward protecting our rivers and the Bay-Delta.

 

-Peter


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Peter Drekmeier

Policy Director

Tuolumne River Trust

peter@tuolumne.org

(415) 882-7252