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Delta Water Wars: 2012 Documents and comments from meetings


  For 2013 information go here For documents earlier than 2012 go here
updated 1/6/2013
     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:
: is 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?"

The answer: none.
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?

The Answer: there are no regulations proposed for what water will be used. The operators will get water where ever they can in the area they are fracking.
     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?
12/14/2012      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
12/1/2012 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


November 2012  

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
video at:
Delta flood history at:

November 2012 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!


October 2012 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 map.

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. 

10/11/2012 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!!!

9/30/2012 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.
9/27/2012 Presentation by NSS at the request of the Delta Protection Commission to give a short summary of water conveyance planning history  1850 to 2012

Delta conveyance History-ss.pdf(shorter version used for the Delta Protection Meeting)
video of presentation (summary)  Delta conveyance History.pdf

9/27/2012 Today the Delta Stewardship Council will review the proposal for a National Heritage Area for the Delta and Suisun Marsh area,   Go NHA page Map showing proposed NHA area, with Snug Harbor location added.
Notice how state and federal maps fail to list the island and waterway names!
10/18/2012 Really?.....Really? 

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 facts? 
Why 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 Delta.

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.)

9/4/2012 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:
8/31/2012 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:  images2012/deltastuff/2012_pulseofthedelta.pdf
BDCP 9,000 cfs diversion effects:
8/15/2012 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!
8/3/2012 Some random information:  Salmon NEED cool clear water to migrate 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 instead?

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? 
7/25 In January 2009 there was a BDCP presentation that showed the effects of 9000 cfs North Delta diversion:  1.30.09_BDCP_IT-ND_Diversion_Effects_Presendation.pdf

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 cfs.  Really?

You might also want to note that there was no mention of turning off the existing export pumps...
7/25/2012 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
7/13/2012 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".

7/13/2012 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 as well?

  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:


7/9/2012 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.

6/24/2012 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 webpage
BDCP webpage
6/19/2012 Graphics used in the waterflows presentation waterflows2012.pdf
6/19/2012 In the next weeks the Delta Stewardship Council will approve their version of the "Delta Plan" and the Central Valley Flood Protection Board will approve  their 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

6/14/2012 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

See also 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 NSS.
  The 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, etc.
Delta Stewardship Council   or saved here at deltaplan2012.pdf  map: 

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 Drive
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!  
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