For 2013 information go here
For documents earlier than 2012 go
The California state Conservation office had a telephone meeting to let
concerned citizens call in to ask questions about Fracking regulations in
California...there are NO regulations right now in place. Here's a
description of Fracking. I find it really odd that the state has
been so concerned about the "risk" of levee failures in the Delta, yet the
state allows fracking operations to be conducted without regulations in
highly seismic areas of California. And the people answering the
questions from reporters from all major media in California and beyond
said it IS possible that a "seismic event" could be triggered by the
injection wells made necessary as part of the overall fracking process.
So I asked the following questions and here is a summary of the answers is
to the right. In the meantime, a documentary on the effects of
fracking just came out staring Matt Damon:
the Youtube trailer
So finally the latest round of water wars in California
makes a bit of sense. Cities like Woodland and Davis want to get
surface water rights from the Sacramento River because they probably
became aware of the fact more diversion of Sacramento River water north of
the Delta & around it will result in lowering the aquifer tables in the
NorCal area, and allow saltwater encroachment into bay area freshwater
aquifers. In addition, the fracking operations that are allowed to
happen in California with NO oversite could result in contamination of
both public and private wells. DWR decided in 2000 to make all well
owners that "serve the public" have to greatly increase reporting and
testing of the wells. The huge industry of well management was
created overnight and from what I can tell there is no purpose for the
reporting except for the state to make to track possible contaminants from
fracking operations. At the very least shoudn't the fracking
companies pay for the costs of testing the wells monthly?
Q: "When a seismic event happens which is caused or suspected
to be caused by fracking operations, how many billions in Bond or
insurance is the state rquiring the operator(s) to carry to
compensate California taxpayers from loss?"
Q: I then said that Delta water conveyance, or the cost of
exporting Delta water to the south, is subsidized by California
taxpayers. Will francking use subsidized water?
no regulations proposed for what water will be used.
operators will get water where ever they can in the area they are
The state charges us marinas a lease fee to let docks and boats
float on the water, and we have to be bonded and insurred. Our
operations will not bring on a seismic event. So why doesn't the
state require bonding and insurance for fracking actions that COULD
cause "the big one" DRMS and USGS predicts will happen?
Farmers and sewage disposal companies are very closely
regulated regarding the quality of the water that is allowed to be
"injected" into the waterways. I would assume this applies to
surface water injections as well as injections into wells to put the
water into the aquifer system for natural filtration. And only
NOW the state is talking about creating regulations to monitor those
residue injection wells?! Grand scale hydraulic mining was
outlawed in California in the 1880's, more than 140 years ago!
The state is STILL dealing with the environmental damage from the
gold, silver and mercury mines that used hydraulic methods for
mining when California was first a state. Why arn't those laws
being applied to protect California?
A member of the Delta Stewardship Council, which
is pushing the "Delta Plan" decides that the BDCP plan will result in a loss
for NorCal water rights, land uses, etc. This same DSC board member
has been intimatly involved in the latest round of water wars, as he was
a key player in the American River/Freeport Intake negoations 8-10 years
ago. He's sat in on the DSC "science" reports, yawned through the
BDCP updates, and listened to the people of the Delta who already feel
some of the impacts of the "reoperation" of the waterflows in the Delta.
(At least he does seem to listen and care a bit about the area) And just now he recognizes the
BDCP which will be incorporated into the Delta Plan is bad for NorCal? Seems a
bit odd for an intelligent, savy politician, doesn't it? Still,
thanks for being honest Mr. Nottoli...maybe more Sacramento area people
will pay attention now!
River News Herald article about the BDCP, Snug Harbor mentioned
Questions submitted as part of the BDCP public hearing today in
Sacramento. The draft BDCP EIR/EIS and related documents are
supposed to be available for review and comment very soon. In the
meantime the drafts simply ignore important issues for water quality and
waterways and Delta landowner rights.
BDCP QUESTIONS Submitted 11-29-2012.pdf
Last year I did a short video about how DWR plans to use the Mokelumne
River, McCormack/Williamson Tract and maybe Staten Island and Bacon Island
for "flood control" and "in-delta water storage". It will be
interesting to see if they do the flooding this winter, even though the
final eir/eis is scheduled for sometime 2013. Anyway, if the media
makes a big deal about a levee breaking on any one of these islands, 99%
sure it was no "accident": McCormack/Williamson Tract, Dead Horse
Island, Staten Island, Bacon Island, Webb Tract, Boudin Island. If
interested in seeing the huge volume of documents, a few can be found at
Delta flood history at:
Many meetings happening this month, all about the different plans to
revise the Delta, but who's in charge, who's paying for it, etc is still
not publically recognized. In the meantime Fish and Game publshed an
updated website and Delta map which includes the Suisun Marsh area...and
calls Steamboat Slough "Sacramento River"...again. Guess its time to
do a bit more research on this one!
DFG came up with yet another revision to calculating flows using DSMII and
MBK and other local engineers have their names on a rather curious map
showing a new route for the Sacramento River. Even more important,
the - - - - - line shows how the water from Folsom Dam will be diverted
instead of flowing into the Delta. At least that is what the map
appears to indicate. For that matter, note the name labels on the
DWR's new flow calculations method:
If you are interested in what the Delta was like before the latest water
wars started revising historical data:
As more studies about the Yolo Bypass emerge online, or become available
to the "outsiders" or people of the Delta, it is interesting to see
projects alread underway. The Yolo Bypass and Liberty Island area is
one of the ongoing projects. Here's some of the maps from studies.
You need to click on the maps to see larger sizes, and to see link to full
presentation of the ongoing studies on Yolo Bypass flows.
Random maps and reports I am posting. Note the changes to the
streams in the Delta on the EPA latest report, and that SR 160 is listed
as SR 84 along Brannen Island area. The Sutter Island intake map is
a curosity too!
images2012/deltastuff/solano_final_irwm-2005.pdf found online
today but it was published in 2005 and the Solano website indicates it
was uploaded to the internet sometime March 2012. What is
interesting about this is the indication of use of Sutter Island and/or
Sutter Slough for an intake area for NBA. Also note the in-delta
water storage area and the "exchange" map with the SoCal dessert area!!!
Salinity in the Delta used to be measured at 1 ppt. Now the proposal
is 2 ppt which DOUBLES the salinity in the West Delta and makes it a much
larger brackish area.
Presentation by NSS at the request of the Delta Protection Commission to
give a short summary of water conveyance planning history 1850 to
Delta conveyance History-ss.pdf(shorter version used for the
Delta Protection Meeting)
video of presentation
Delta conveyance History.pdf
Today the Delta Stewardship Council will review the proposal for a
National Heritage Area for the Delta and Suisun Marsh area,
Go NHA page
showing proposed NHA area, with Snug Harbor location added.
Notice how state and federal maps fail to list the island and waterway
Why did the author(s) of the latest SFEI report/publication misrepresent a
sketch from an 1850 and 1852 map that shows the confluence of today what
we call Sutter Slough and Steamboat Slough? It can't be an
accidental mistake, given how much funding they had to complete their
study. So what is the purpose of the SFEI revision of historical
do I care if SFEI is wrong regarding Ryer Island and Steamboat Slough
history? Because "scientists" should not be allowedt to erase or
revise the past Delta history to validate changing the future of the
For a review of just a few of the maps I use to verify why SFEI is wrong:
I have contacted SFEI to request a meeting to go over several
of the instances of use of false or misleading data by SFEI in their
report, online maps and presentations.
(9/26/2012 update: "Robin" acknowledge they may have made a mistake
or "clerical error" and may do an update with corrections to the report.)
While reviewing some past documents online, I came across a summary by DWR
for the Delta Vision Blue Ribbon team which was making decisions long
before we Delta folks had an opportunity to provide input. This
summary seems to indicate what has been planned all along...
And if you are interested in learning more about the historical aspects of
the Delta and California's water wars, the word document with links is
updated every month or so to add links to different online sources:
A close look at some of the "draft" maps of the Delta Plan:
This month the CA Dept of Water Resources said they were basically going
for option 4 of the BDCP, with 3 intakes on the Sacramento River diverting
9,000 cfs, but the tunnel would be designed to divert 15,000 cfs.
The BDCP divides the Delta into various conservation zones (see map right)
but the only item I see repeated in some documents is the concept to set
back the levees or else create shelves along the banks of Steamboat
Slough. The EPA also issued their assessment of the condition of the
Delta, (huge decline in native fish populations) but still supports the
BDCP plan to divert more water. In the meantime, many north Delta
levees were "decertified" by USACE, even the super-levees just built up in
the Natomas to Sacramento areaa apparently, per the maps! So we're
told DWR sent out about 250,000 letters to Delta property owners telling
them to get flood insurance, apparently. We haven't seen a letter
yet, but then, we of course have been in the flood plain as a waterfront
facility! In the meantime, the CVFPP is supposed to be the new plan
to address any future flooding in the Delta-this one seems to promote
pushing more water down Steamboat Slough in rainy times-not great for us.
In the meantime, many other plans and documents from DWR propose using the
Yolo Bypass and Sacramento Ship Channel for diverting water around the
North Delta, which would also result in less water on Steamboat Slough,
Sutter Slough, Miner's Slough and "Old River" Sacramento River at about
Ida's Isle to Georgiana Slough. What does all this mean for Snug
Harbor? Your guess is as good as ours after 4 years of following the
$1 Billion plus of "studies" of the plans to revise the Delta to validate
more water exports!
EPA status of the Delta:
BDCP 9,000 cfs diversion effects:
UCLA scientists/engineers conduct a study on the deepest peat in the
Delta, on Sherman Island, to see what possible effecft an earthquake might
have IF there was such an earthquake in the Delta. The fact that no
levee has ever failed from all the major earthquakes in the last 150 years
in California doesn't seem to matter. If someone wanted to assess
risk for the whole Delta, wouldn't the tests also be done on levees where
peat is not so thick? Or does the state plan to take the "deepest
peat" scenerio of risk and apply it to the whole Delta levee system?
NSS watched the tests. You could really feel the ground move.
But there were no descernable cracks in the soil anywhere around were we
were standing, not just at the fake levee they made. So it appears
the peat absorbs the earthquake movement. Several others expressed
the same observations that day!
Some random information: Salmon NEED cool clear water to migrate
through...so due to operation by DWR and USBR Steamboat Slough has been
expecially NOT clear and the water is very warm. That means DWR is
discouraging salmon from using Steamboat Slough, and encouraging another
route...perhaps to Yolo Bypass to see how they migrate via that route
Your tax dollars and mine hard at work, folks!
Something else to note: We keep hearing about the public benefit
aspect of the Delta water wars. Where do the PEOPLE fit in the war?
Private Property rights?
In January 2009 there was a BDCP presentation that showed the effects of
9000 cfs North Delta diversion:
I compiled some of the slides that apply to Steamboat Slough specifically,
to show the BDCP stated effect on not just us but other waterways of the
North Delta. You can click on the graphic to the right, or else open
this pdf so you can easily enlarge the file to see each map or graph:
In 2009 the BDCP did effects analysis for twin 33 foot tunnels that would
convey 15,000 cfs Sacramento River water from the North Delta. In
July 2012, we're told the same 33 foot twin tunnels will only convey 9,000
You might also want to note that there was no mention of turning off the
existing export pumps...
We're told its a big day for announcements about the New Delta Plan.
In the meantime, today NSS will present a slideshow on Delta History:
Navigation and boating Focus, the Delta Conservancy is hosting a "Delta
Branding" meeting, the governor and Secretary of Interior called a meeting
at the Resources Bldg in Sacramento, and the Delta Coalition meets.
Restore the Delta and other groups promoting their various versions of
Delta restoration are meeting at the State Capitol building at 12:30 to
protest whatever the governor is announcing at 10:30 am. Such media
hype makes it all so orchestrated one wonders if ....
Delta History.pdf used for presentation
1850 to present water
conveyance plan alternatives
Link to video online to be added here
This year is supposed to be a big one for salmon in the Delta.
However, based on the fish chart to the right, which came from the BDCP
current documents, it appears the water tempertures are to warm for adult
chinook salmon. The water temperature is lowered by opening the dams
north of the Delta to allow more natural runoff. But that means less
water saved for later export to other areas of the state...
There is also a new "FLASH" study planned for this year, with the draft
summary to the far right. It is a study of smelt and "x2".
The map to the right shows the channel benches that are being studied to
see how the man-made "natural" channel bench helps the fish..or not.
The benches on Steamboat Slough are clogged with egeria densa, which must
have been part of the plan since the water weed was very present in the
area at the time the studies were planned and initiated.
Perhaps the extra sediment in the water at times is part of these studies
Map showing errosion sites, some new, after the benches were installed on
Steamboat Slough. The charts show flows and links to track flows.
Links to some of the latest documents:
It is no surprise that the water bond was again pulled from the ballot.
We've been saying sing 2008 that the "conveyance" would be built and there
would be no funds for restoration, and California would be left with an
even worse long term environmental mess in the Delta (think extinct fish
species and ruined prime farm lands) which will cost California taxpayers
billions in litigation costs the combined new export pumps become fully
operational. In the meantime, we are seeing impacts here on
Steamboat Slough and other natural waterways of the Delta, where lower
fresh water flows result in several negative impacts to our area.
The next 5 days brings us meetings where various Delta construction plans
might be approved, where a flood control plan for the Delta and much of
Central California might be approved, where a revised "Delta Plan" may be
also incorporated into the other plans, and yet the BDCP which is supposed
to be a part of all of this is still not finalized and the "science"
behind all of the planning is being severely criticized due to its lack of
credible foundation. So it looks like the central conveyance option
of the CALFED 2000 "preferred alternative" plus some modifications, will
go ahead and be turned on...much of it is built anyway. The problem
is that all those new intakes north of the Delta mean waterflow into the
Delta will be much less than the past, diversions for water exports will
be more than the past, and the state of California will be left with the
issues of how to manage a whole new ecosystem and what to do with the
prime farm lands of the Delta and original navigation routes that will be
destroyed in the process, over time. See below for links to the
documents or plans to be approved. In the meantime, the two graphics
to the right are of interest. One is from a new report by PPIC
Delta Conservancy Strategic Plan
Delta Plan webpage
Flood Control Plan
Graphics used in the waterflows presentation
In the next weeks the Delta Stewardship Council will approve their version of the
"Delta Plan" and the Central Valley Flood Protection Board will
version of a plan for a large portion of the Delta. While the Media
talks about the BDCP, which is NOT finalized and is greatly criticized,
the other two plans themselves will work to convey much more water from
the Sacramento River to the export pumps of the East Bay, Kern County,
lower San Joaquin Valley, west side, and SoCal Urban areas. What
will be left for NorCal farmers, NorCal aquifers, NorCal cities that want
to develop in the future? Very important to the Delta is the fact
that new construction will not be allowed, basically taking away real
property rights of many of the Delta land owners. Links to some
important documents to the right and below:
Summary of Delta and waterflow-not
entirely accurate but a good review
Flood Control Plan:
Map on the far left appears to be a fair representation of our
understanding of the general overall flood control plan as it applies to
the North Delta region, Steamboat Slough included. The other map comes
from an effects analysis that shows the effects of a 200-year level of
flooding into the Delta, and the impact to Ryer Island apparently from
flows of the Yolo Bypass backing up. That part of the analysis is
not clear but the end result, if computer models are trusted, is of great
concern, of course! For links and more data, go to
more CVFPP documents on the SH
website, or go to the state website at
summary report with map
comments on the plan (NSS comments the first one-but not all attachements
were uploaded by the board)
but note the comments were made before the effects analysis
documents that are part of the "attachments" of the CVFPP were viewed by
attack on the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta region kicks into even higher
gear this year! While the "through-Delta" expansion of
"conveyance" using the McCormack/Williamson Tract, the Mokelumnke River
and Old River (San Joaquin River) is being constructed in sections labeled
as "restoration" and "flood control", we also are seeing the final
versions of different elements of the overall plan for the future of this
area. Here's links to the various government websites...the
documents and attachements appear to represent more than 100,000 pages of
plans! And several still refer to and use the false data from DRMS
Phase 1 report, and the skewed water flow data from several computer
models. Anyway, for anyone who wants to guess what will be the
future of the Delta's fresh water flow, grab a gallon of hot coffee and
start clicking on the links!
And by the way, if I was a betting person (I'm not) I would say the West
Side tunnel option appears to be what is being built IN ADDITION to the
reoperation or revisions to the Delta Cross Channel gate area and
Mokelumnke River system. Since the BDCP draft maps show a "barge
landing" near the tunnel entrance on Ryer Island, which matches a DFG map
showing a "ferry" landing at the same place, and given the new Rio Vista
Ferry was clearly NOT designed for use at its current ramp, and given that
there was some major construction in the middle of the night on Ryer
Island last December/January and some reported to us a "constant hum or
weeeeerrrrr sound at night" and given that Hidden Harbor does NOT show up
as one of the "privately-owned" marinas of the Delta region...well, alot
seems to add up to the West Side. On the other hand, the East Side
sections of a canal could easily be connected-but going underground is a
better plan to protect the water supply and avoid loss from evaporation,
Delta Stewardship Council
or saved here at
Several other series of documents are incorporated into the Delta Plan,
even though those studies, plans and documents are not in final form.
Appears to be a whole new way or process to effectively eminent domain
private lands by severely limiting uses for no verifiable valid reason:
Bay Delta Conservation Plan (draft)
channel bench restoration that causes backup of waterflow onto Snug Harbor
page 67 and the maps ... make the original transportation route through
the Delta during the steamboat days be shallower river habitat instead?
particle insertion means adding sediment to create murky waters to track
how fast DWR can fill in the waterways, right?
There are sooooo many different agencies and
reports about the Delta this year, this section is now divided into
several pages, so the page will upload easier. Please go to
California Delta Water Wars
Page 2 for more improtant information!