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…Installing “state-of-the-art fish screens” at the south Delta pumps would not benefit fish, as claimed by the author, but would increase their risk and exposure to predator fish. Fish are currently pulled to the pumps along a channel that has become heavily populated with predators. BDCP’s proposed tunnels and screens would divert water from the north Delta. Instead of trapping the fish at the end of a channel like in the south Delta, fish would continue their journey along the Sacramento River toward the ocean. The letter-writer’s suggestion is a death sentence for fish.
BDCP provides the best choice to provide a supply of water to public water agencies that already have legal contracts for a certain amount of water. That supply becomes reliable under BDCP for 25 million Californians and thousands of farmers who are growing food for a world market. Reducing the delivery to only 3 MAF per year falls short of the existing contracts and would create higher water rates to urban users and force farmers to idle thousands of acres that would result in an increased reliance on imported food. Also, no criteria exists from the State Water Resources Control Board to support the author’s position of reduced exports.