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Restore the Delta, a coalition opposing Governor Jerry Brown's Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels, has launched an action alert to oppose the "Emergency Water Delivery Act," HR 3964.

The legislation, a virtual wish list for heavily subsidized corporate agribusiness interests on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, threatens to drive already imperiled Central Valley salmon and Delta fish populations over the abyss of extinction. The reduction in Delta water quality that would result from the bill's passage also threatens to put Delta farmers out of business.

"Please tell your congressional representatives to oppose HR 3964, dangerous legislation being put forward by southern San Joaquin Valley congressmen using the drought as an excuse to play politics with California’s water management challenges," the group urges.

"This bill by Representative David Valadao of Hanford is being described as an “Emergency Water Delivery Act,” ignoring the fact that there is no water to deliver and that they over pumped the Delta last year by 800,000 acre feet, when they should have been holding water for an extended dry period," the alert states.

Like similar legislation (HR1837) that died in the Senate two years ago, HR3964 would reduce water quality and water reliability for Delta communities and Delta farmers.

“It seeks to ensure water flows to agribusiness in the western and southern San Joaquin Valley at the expense of smaller Delta family farmers," said Bill Jennings of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, an expert on Delta water quality issues.

If passed, this law also would:

• Strip Endangered Species protections for iconic Central Valley Chinook salmon and other endangered species that are required under both California state law and federal law.

• Overturn the court approved San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act that, after twenty years of litigation, provided water for the San Joaquin River and salmon. The Settlement and the Act were supported by all parties to the litigation and numerous water districts in the San Joaquin Valley.

• Gut the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA), a landmark law that made fish and wildlife a purpose of the federal project for the first time in history. It requires compliance with state law, encourages water conservation, makes modest reforms to reduce water subsidies, and contributes water for the recovery of endangered fish species.

• Override current protection for the Merced River under the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and modify water contracts for certain contractors to provide significantly more water than they are entitled to under their current contracts.

Tell your representatives to resist this effort to use California’s drought to justify a water grab taking water from one region of the state to benefit unsustainable corporate agribusiness practices in another region.

Call your house representatives:
District-CA 11: Representative George Miller : (202) 225-2095
District-CA 5: Representative Mike Thompson: (202) 225-3311
District-CA 6: Representative Doris Matsui : (202) 225-7163
District-CA 3: Representative John Garamendi: (202) 225-1880
District-CA 9: Representative Jerry McNerney: (202) 225-1947
District-CA 7: Representative Ami Bera: (202) 225-5716

Send a postal letter to your house representatives:
The Honorable George Miller, 2205 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Mike Thompson, 231 Cannon Office Building Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Doris Matsui, 2434 Rayburn Building, Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable John Garamendi, 2438 Rayburn HOB, Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Jerry McNerney, 1210 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Ami Bera, 1408 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

In addition to contacting your representatives, the group encourages you to use social media to also send a message to your house representatives to oppose HR 3964, with hashtags #savethedelta #stopthetunnels, or #HR3964.

Email your house representatives and post on their facebook files by going to:

Meanwhile, go to to sign up for action alerts against Governor Jerry Brown's Bay Delta Conservation Plan to build the twin tunnels.

Originally posted to Dan Bacher on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:14 PM PST.

Also republished by Sustainable Food and Agriculture, EcoJustice, SFKossacks, Southern California Inland Empire Kossacks, Central Valley Kossacks, California politics, Los Angeles Kossacks, and San Diego Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If you hate the Brown Delta Destruction act (5+ / 0-)

    then you have another reason to love State of Calif. representative  John Garamendi.

    The Delta: Garamendi plan offered as alternative to ‘destructive plumbing plan’ of tunnels

    By Donna Beth Weilenman
    Staff Reporter

    Last Spring 2013

    U.S. Rep. John Garamendi is so disappointed in the Bay Delta Conservation Plan that he has suggested an alternative. Among the proposals in his plan, Garamendi is recommending increased storage, particularly south of the Delta. San Luis and Los Vaqueros reservoirs could be expanded, new dams could be constructed at Los Banos Grandes, and some of the San Joaquin Valley aquifers might be used to store water, he said.

    Such storage already is being employed, when recycled water — another key to Garamendi’s plan — is put into underground water basins for use during dry years. “When needed, it is pumped out, used, cleaned and returned to storage,” he said.

    If the state expanded that process, it could create as much as 2.5 million acre-feet of new water, he said. He said water storage needs to be expanded north of the Delta, such as an off-stream reservoir at Sites, west of Williams. He said it would provide greater flexibility in managing salmon runs, water demand and Delta outflow in the Sacramento River, and could save as much as half a million acre-feet of water.

    Other aquifers in Sacramento Valley also could be used in the state water management system, Garamendi said.
    “Raising Shasta Dam is also possible,” he said.

    Garamendi said the BDCP’s tunnels and its continued use of the Delta channels that move water to the Tracy pumps threaten the Delta’s ecology and its agricultural economy, and has the potential “to suck the Delta dry.”
    I especially like his idea that instead of a $$20 billion plus project that would “rival the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in China,” Garamendi has been urging the state to take small steps that are evaluated scientifically.

    I also like his idea of having improvements to the Delta flood plain and its fresh- and saltwater marsh habitats. Although  the BDCP speaks to restoring flood plans and marsh habitats to improve fisheries, “those who have created the ecological problem should pay for the restoration,” he said.

  •  What about Tom McClintock? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mettle fatigue

    He's my Republican Representative here in CD-4.

    Any idea what his position might be on this bill?

    I'm happy to call him but I suspect he's there to represent the big money donors and could care less about the environment.

    My invisible imaginary friend is the "true" creator

    by Mr Robert on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 03:01:03 PM PST

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