From News Line, a daily compilation of farm water news distributed to CFWC members and others upon request. To receive News Line, click here.
Coalition response…Once again while efforts are ongoing to reintroduce salmon to the river, farmers and water agencies are still waiting for the legislated construction of several projects along the river that are necessary to protect adjacent land owners and water agencies’ diversions which allow a continuing supply of water to users. These projects are estimated to cost more than $1 billion (Bureau of Reclamation’s own figures) and there is no sign of getting the federal dollars to complete them in a timely manner. Meanwhile, the necessary mitigation measures that are required in order to safely increase flows down the river have not been completed. In 2010, the BOR created damage to farmland from seepage; BOR paid the landowner for the damages in 2012. Meanwhile, flows in the seepage prone areas cannot resume until mitigation measures are installed. As of this article none have been installed.
Returning salmon to the river is one part of the settlement agreement but taking spring-run salmon from another part of the state where they have a chance to survive and placing them in a hatchery on the San Joaquin River, with no necessary infrastructure completed and therefore no chance of survival, seems wasteful of limited and precious resources. Other areas, including construction projects, seepage and more, are important and water users are waiting to see action taken in these areas that will provide safeguards to landowners.