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Billionaires’ influence felt in state water policy

Lynda and her husband Stewart Resnick The Resnicks made $270,000 in contributions to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, $350,000 to support Gov. Gray Davis, and $102,000 to Gov. Jerry Brown

By Barbara Barrigan-Parilla. Reposted from sfgate.com To track the outsized influence of Stewart and Lynda Resnick is tough because they have so many subsidiaries and so much money. There are Paramount Farms, Westside Mutual Water Company, a subsidiary of Roll International called Roll Global, which exports almonds – the list goes on and on.

The influence of the Resnicks and their cohorts in the Westlands and Kern water districts has been brought to bear so heavily [...]

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Internal memo reveals ‘the fix is in’ on Delta tunnel plan

Save the Delta protest

by Dan Bacher

Advocates for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, Central Valley salmon and openness and transparency in government have often stated that the “fix is in” on Governor Jerry Brown’s peripheral tunnel plan.

Their contention that the process is rigged and unjustly manipulated by state officials and water contractors was only confirmed in a May 6 memorandum sent to Department of Water Resources (DWR) staff from DWR Director Mark Cowin indicating that the Brown administration is stepping up its [...]

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Crystal Geyser, small town locked in bitter water fight

Mount Shasta

By Peter Fimrite, reposted from sfgate.com – The clean freshwater that squeezes out of the crags and burbles up into springs and creeks around Mount Shasta is cherished far and wide as a curative natural serum for every ailment short of hurt feelings.

That may explain why the mineral-rich water is now a source of so much pain in the picturesque city of Mount Shasta, at the base of the Siskiyou County volcano.

To the dismay of [...]

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With Drought, New Scrutiny Over Fracking’s Water Use

Drilling in the Bakken

KQED reports that California’s historic drought and shrinking water supplies are putting a spotlight on hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” and its thirst for freshwater. In other states, the controversial technique is a heavy water consumer, using millions of gallons of freshwater to extract oil or gas from each well.

In California, fracking uses less water on average than in other states, according to industry data. But that trend is shifting, as oil companies make a play for the [...]

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Hundreds of Tribal representatives and water activists join huge rally to oppose fracking

Stop Fracking Around. Klamath Justice Coalition gather in Sacramento

Based on an original article by Dan Bacher

Hundreds of indigenous people from California and across the country as well as water activists involved in fighting the Delta Water and other water infrastructure projects gathered with a crowd of over 4000 activists at the State Capitol in Sacramento on March 15 to send a clear message to Governor Jerry Brown: ban fracking, an environmentally destructive oil extraction practice that pollutes groundwater, rivers and the oceans.

Many of the speakers [...]

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California can’t tunnel its way out of drought

California aqueduct. Credit: Don Barrett http://www.flickr.com/photos/donbrr

Crossposted from Restore the Delta. Opponents of Gov. Brown’s rush to build Peripheral Tunnels that would drain the Delta and doom salmon and other Pacific fisheries, today called the tunnels a flawed solution for a drought-plagued state. The experts criticized the tunnels as an outdated, inappropriate solution to California’s water challenges, one that would create no new water, be of no use in dry years, and drain $70 billion that could otherwise be spent on projects that create [...]

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Campaigners call for more consultation as Delta plan costs rise to $67 billion

Sacramento River

By Dan Bacher. Campaigners have called for the Brown Administration to extend the time for citizens to comment on the massive Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) as news emerged that the total costs for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan could be as high as $67 billion.

This new figure was revealed at a Westlands Water District board meeting in November 2013 by a Westlands staff member and a Citigroup bond consultant. It counters the claims by Brown administration officials [...]

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10 reasons to oppose the Bay Delta tunnel project

Thanks to Restore the Delta for the suggested points.

It will cost a lot of money: close to $17 billion to construct the Peripheral Tunnels, plus $8 billion for conservation measures. This doesn’t include financing costs over the 50-year term of the project, which bring the total to over $50 billion. When was the last time that you saw a major public works project that didn’t far exceed initial cost estimates? [...]

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 Bay Delta Conservation Plan is not the ‘most realistic plan’

Stop the tunnels

by Dan Bacher

Dennis McEwan’s opinion piece in the Sacramento Bee glorifying the Bay Delta Conservation Plan to build the peripheral tunnels is a classic example of the triumph of political science over natural science that characterizes the agency that he works for, the Department of Water Resources (DWR).

Nowhere in this piece does the DWR biologist mention that federal agency scientists skewered the BDCP’s draft environmental documents – and have repeatedly said that the [...]

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Winnemem Wintu Reject Bay Delta Conservation Plan

Carleen Sisk, chief of the Winnemem Wintu

Chief Caleen Sisk re-affirmed the Winnemem Wintu opposition’s against the construction of the peripheral water export tunnels and the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), as Governor Jerry Brown’s administration released the preliminary Environmental Impact Report and the BDCP plan to the public on December 9 2013.

As California’s State Water Project currently operates, far too much water is sucked from the San Francisco/Sacramento Delta, the largest estuary on the Pacific Coast, and sent to the state’s water brokers, who support [...]

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