December 2018

Big setback for Gov. Brown's twin tunnels delta water project

A crucial certification needed to build two tunnels that officials believe would help solve California's water delivery problems was withdrawn Friday, ensuring that Gov. Jerry Brown's pet water project won't be approved before he leaves office in January.

San Francisco Chronicle, December 7, 2018

Editorial: Brown, Feinstein betrayal of the Delta is unacceptable

Just as two state agencies are about act to protect the environmental health of the Delta, the governor and California's senior senator are trying to undermine them. Californians should urge their congressional representatives to oppose this travesty and demand that Brown and Feinstein stop their collusion with the Trump administration to weaken federal water protections.

The Mercury News, December 4, 2018

November 2018

Could this obscure California agency derail Jerry Brown's Delta tunnels?

Brown's successor, Newsom, has been lukewarm on the project, saying on the campaign trail he favors "a more modest proposal" that might include scaling the twin tunnels envisioned under Brown's WaterFix plan to just one.

Sacramento Bee, November 30

Huge Delta water deal backed by Dianne Feinstein, Jerry Brown, Kevin McCarthy

California's most senior Democrat and most powerful Republican in Washington are teaming up to extend a federal law designed to deliver more Northern California water south, despite the objections of some of the state's environmentalists.

Sacramento Bee, November 30, 2019

Editorial: How California can chart new approach to water woes

What if, instead of seeking to build more dams or find new ways to divert more water from California's rivers, Newsom focused on how we can conserve water and create vast new supplies of renewable water through increased recycling, new treatment plants, additional gray water systems, efficient irrigation systems, large-scale storm water capture and more.

San Jose Mercury News, November 10, 2018

October 2018

Trump orders fewer 'regulatory burdens' for diverting water to CA farms

President Trump dived headfirst into one of California's most contentious fights Friday, signing a memorandum intended to divert more water to farmers and "reduce regulatory burdens" that include protections for endangered species and environmental laws.

San Francisco Institue, October 19, 2018

Proposition 3 mostly benefits billionaire investors

A fundamental principle of California water law states that those who receive water are strictly responsible for their water projects. Proposition 3 turns this water policy on its head by robbing billions of dollars of taxpayer money to cover repairs that would normally be financed by specific water agencies.

Sacramento Bee, October 1, 2018

September 2018

Restore the Delta compiles report in debate against WaterFix

[T]he report argues that WaterFix will reduce freshwater flows from the Sacramento River and allow salty and polluted water from the San Joaquin River to reside in the ecosystem longer as well as allowing greater intrusion of salty water from the San Francisco Bay. Degraded water quality will impact farmers dependent upon Delta water for irrigation, recreational and subsistence fishing and drinking water quality for Delta communities.

The Press, September 27, 2018

Prop. 3 promises more California water projects. Too bad so many are the wrong projects

The measure promises money for quite a few local agencies, nonprofits, private water companies and others, which is great for them. It's not clear, however, that these are the projects that California needs most right now, or that they couldn't get the money elsewhere.

September 24, 2018

Editorial: Reject Prop. 3 $8.9 billion pay-to-play water bond

Proposition 3 is a classic "pay-to-play" initiative that California voters should soundly defeat on Nov. 6. The $8.9 billion water bond package points to some serious water issues that demand the Legislature's attention. But loading up an initiative with giveaways to special interests and local public agencies is no way for the state to conduct its business.

Mercury News, September 19, 2018

Farmers thought they had 20 years to use groundwater as they wished -- maybe not anymore

California farmers are laboring under a daunting edict: They must stop over-pumping groundwater from beneath their ranches. The saving grace is that state law gives them more than 20 years to do it. Now, however, a landmark court ruling could force many farmers to curb their groundwater consumption much sooner than that, landing like a bombshell in the contentious world of California water.

Sacramento Bee, September 17, 2018

Editorial: Delta hearing opens door to twin-tunnels water grab

This plan would not create a drop of new water, and would destroy the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Western Hemisphere.

Mercury News, September 14, 2018

California's WaterFix was always a dangerous deal. Now the Trump administration is making it worse

There are many reasons to oppose the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta water tunnels project, now called the California WaterFix. The Trump administration has just added a few more.

Los Angeles Times, September 7, 2018

Clendaniel: Stop the Delta debacle before property owners get gouged

Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown's administration will try for a third time to secure a political mega-deal that would commit millions of California property owners to pay for the $19.9 billion Delta twin-tunnels water grab. Without approval of voters or the Legislature.

Mecury News, September 6, 2018

Trump administration talks of boosting Central Valley water deliveries. But is it just talk?

With talk of boosting water deliveries to Central Valley agriculture, the Trump administration is telling growers exactly what they want to hear. But given California's complex water system and a web of federal and state environmental regulations, such promises could prove more political than practical.

Los Angeles Times, September 2, 2018

August 2018

Jolting California officials, Trump administration looks to rewrite rules for Delta water

In an unprecedented move, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation served notice to California officials Aug. 17, stating it wants to renegotiate a landmark 1986 agreement governing the big federal and state water projects and how they pump water through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to their member agencies in southern half of the state.

Sacramento Bee, August 23, 2018

July 2018

The Great Era of California Dam Building May Be Over. Here's What's Next

During the height of the California's 5-year drought, state voters approved new funding for water storage as part of Proposition 1. This week, the California Water Commission will allocate those funds to the eight projects that have qualified after a lengthy analysis. Some projects are classic dams, but several won't get the windfall they'd been hoping for. Instead, next-generation projects are in the running, like using the state's vast network of natural underground aquifers for water storage.

KQED, July 23, 2018

New California water plan aimed at boosting fish habitat

California water officials on Friday released a plan to increase flows through a major central California river, an effort that would save salmon and other fish but deliver less water to farmers in the state's agricultural heartland.

San Francisco Chronicle, July 6, 2018

June 2018

These fish are at the heart of California's water debate. But extinction could be close

State biologists have found hardly any Delta smelt in their sampling nets in the past two years. Consecutive surveys in late April and early May found no smelt at all.

Sacramento Bee, June 1, 2018

May 2018

California Sued Over Delta Tunnels Project Changes

Environmental organizations sued the California agency in charge of managing a massive water project Friday, saying the state illegally altered the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta management plan to favor the project over environmental restoration.

Courthouse News Service, May 25, 2018

Why a bill before Congress is such a big threat to the Delta

Backed by southern California interests, the House Appropriations Committee just unveiled the fiscal year 2019 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. It includes language that would prohibit any judicial review of anything associated with the disastrous twin tunnels project, also known as California WaterFix, under federal or state laws.

Sacramento Bee, May 17, 2018

This one stretch of river could decide the future of Shasta Dam

Now the $1.3 billion project has returned with force. Congress in March appropriated $20 million for pre-construction planning. The appropriation, part of a massive federal budget bill signed into law by President Donald Trump, was enough to touch off a political fracas stretching from Washington to Sacramento.

Sacramento Bee, May 7, 2018

Separating water and politics isn't easy in California

The challenge of California water "is that we expect more than there is to get," said Doug Obegi, a Natural Resources Defense Council attorney who attended the hearings."Prop 1 tried to depoliticize that by making it about specific public benefits. But over and over again you saw the commission struggling with the broader implications."

Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2018

Editorial: More water storage doesn't mean build more dams

The commission -- and all Californians -- should bear in mind that water storage doesn't necessarily mean a dam with water behind it. The commission's charge is not to fund the biggest new dam but to fund projects with the greatest net benefits to California cities, farms and wildlife.

San Francisco Chronicle, May 2, 2018

California is dammed enough already

The largest river in Southern California, measured by volume and flow, is the Santa Ana, which empties into the ocean near Huntington Beach. But the second largest, again in terms of volume and flow of water, is the virtual river that flows out of the Hyperion sewage treatment plant. Hyperion is, in fact, the major component of L.A.'s sanitation system and its water is -- to put it gingerly -- dirty. But it is water, it can be cleaned, it can be stored, distributed and reused. When we have bond funding for storage projects, it makes sense to spend it where the water is, and it's increasingly in urban outflow.

Los Angeles Times, May 1, 2018