Wednesday, July 30, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

County prepares responses to state Delta water plan

Delta Waters Flyover with Joel Carey

An aerial photo of the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta. (Daily Republic file 2012)

By
From page A1 | January 29, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — Solano County is reviewing more than 30,000 pages of the state’s elaborate Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta rescue plan and has begun listing such concerns as farmland lost to habitat restoration and diminished water quality.

The county, along with other agencies and the public, has until April 14 to submit comments to the state on the draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan. The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday discussed the county’s still-evolving responses.

Supervisor Skip Thomson didn’t question the motives of Gov. Jerry Brown and others who support the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, but criticized the results.

“In my humble opinion, their plan is going to destroy the Delta as we know it,” Thomson said.

The Delta is 730,000 acres with rivers, sloughs, islands behind levees, farmlands, marinas and small communities. Eastern Solano County contains 86,000 acres of the Delta, much of it farmland in such places as near Cache Slough and on Ryer Island, which can be reached by ferry.

A major problem is that massive pumps in the south Delta used to put water into aqueducts bound for Central Valley farms and Southern California cities change flows in south Delta sloughs. This can kill fish protected by the Endangered Species Act, such as the Delta smelt. Court decisions to protect the smelt have limited water shipments from the Delta, causing Central Valley farmland to go fallow.

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan focuses on trying to save 56 species of rare creatures and plants while also keeping Delta water flowing to farms and cities. A key proposal is to build twin tunnels from the Sacramento River north of the Delta to take water for more than 30 miles under the Delta to the aqueducts. Another is to restore, create and protect up to 146,000 acres of habitat.

Many fish species can be found in Solano County’s Cache Slough and Yolo Bypass areas, said Roberta Goulart, a consultant to the county on Delta issues.

“This is indeed a very hot area for preservation of species,” Goulart said.

Solano County has preserved its farmland in the eastern county, Thomson said. Compared to areas in other counties that have subdivisions, the eastern Solano County farmland is “easy pickings” for the state to take for habitat, he said.

County officials have been working with the state to find out how much habitat might be created in the eastern county, Goulart said. No answer is yet available.

In addition, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan addresses Suisun Marsh. The marsh is 115,000 acres of wetlands, sloughs and uplands south of Suisun City. Much of the land is owned by private duck clubs and by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Much of the marsh is managed wetlands behind levees. Duck clubs and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife flood and drain the land at certain times of the year to grow plants favored by waterfowl.

The state could breach levees to create tidal wetlands to benefit rare fish. But Suisun Resource Conservation District Executive Director Steven Chappell voiced a concern to the Board of Supervisors.

This done on a large scale would create a bigger tidal area. Unless fresh water flows through the Delta to fill this area, salt water from the ocean will fill it, Chappell said.

Suisun Marsh has brackish water. Having enough fresh water in this brackish mixture has long been a concern of the district, which represents marsh property owners.

Another county concern is how much fresh water will enter the Delta, given that the twin tunnels pumps would be located north of the Delta. Less fresh water entering the Delta means less fresh water flowing out the southwestern end in Solano County. Chappell said it’s difficult to tell what would happen under the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, because one factor is how the water conveyance system gets operated.

Supervisor John Vasquez noted that state and federal reservoirs north of the Delta release water at certain times under state water quality laws to maintain an X2 zone. This is the zone where fresh and salt water mix.

But that may be no guarantee that fresh water under a twin tunnels regime would continue to flow as far southwest as it does now and at the same times. Goulart said the regulations could change.

County officials have heard reports that the comment time for the draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan could be extended by 60 days.

County Resource Management Director Bill Emlen said his department will continue to give the Board of Supervisors updates on the Delta. Eventually, the board will be asked to approve the county’s written responses to the draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or beberling@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Solano County Fair set to open Wednesday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Marketing study looks at Berryessa resorts

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Library teens plan summer reading party

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

Fairfield tries to end Cordelia Road detour

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 15 Comments | Gallery

 
Caltrans makes I-80 lane change

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

Rio Vista woman died in Suisun City crash

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Police arrest suspected intruder

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Activity is Medicine program coming to Suisun senior center

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Big-rig crash shuts down freeway onramp

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
 
Big-rig driver strikes telephone lines in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Icon sends first A5 into the skies on maiden flight

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B7

 
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ primed for big screen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Fairfield police log: July 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: June 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: July 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: July 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Weather for Wedneday, July 30, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B14

 
.

US / World

Hamas demands for cease-fire and Israel’s concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Fist bumps less germy than handshakes, study says

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
New California fines for wasting water take effect

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California lifeguard injured by lightning improves

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
PG&E charged with obstruction over San Bruno blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Chevron California refinery overhaul up for vote

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
4 charged with murder in death of USC student

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Crews make gains on 2 California wildfires

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Tuberculosis patient who refused care is arrested

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Last crew member of Enola Gay dies in Georgia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Poll: Immigration concerns rise with tide of kids

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Shelling adds to mounting civilian toll in Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
US, Europe impose tough new sanctions on Russia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Senate confirms McDonald as VA secretary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
Body of young stowaway found in US cargo plane

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Report: Health premiums rose significantly in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Highway, bridge money at risk: Senate to vote

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Senate bill would end NSA phone records collection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Generation of tanners see spike in deadly melanoma

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Liberians in US worry about Ebola outbreak

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Top doctor dies from Ebola after treating dozens

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

.

Opinion

Some people have missed the drought memo

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
What kids don’t know would shock you

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
Cemetery support committee thanks sponsors

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

.

Living

What to do when ‘it’ hits the fan

By Barton Goldsmith | From Page: A2

 
.

Entertainment

Music aside, Queen of Soul is pumped for fair food

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Sarah Palin launches online subscription channel

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment | Gallery

‘Sharknado’ sequel has bite and lots of laughs

By Frazier Moore | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Sports

49ers WR Brandon Lloyd enjoying return to NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Schaub settles in as Raiders starting QB

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Fairfield Indians blank Next Level Athletic to win SRL tournament title

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
No joke: Kings’ Cousins hopes for Team USA shot

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Liriano fans 11 in Pirates’ 3-1 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Athletics rally for 6 runs in 9th, beat Astros 7-4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Husband arrested in death of NBA player’s aunt

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Triple-A brawl results in 11 suspensions

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Broken water main floods UCLA; 5 people rescued

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers sign former Cardinals RB Alfonso Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Vin Scully to return for 66th season in LA in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Mudcats tie Vacaville Admirals

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Wednesday, July 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
McDonald’s could be liable for labor practices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Food writers subpoenaed in ‘pink slime’ lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Stocks end lower ahead of economic data

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Twitter 2Q results soar, stock flies high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Obituaries

Robert Dale Myers Sr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Clifford C. Hemler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Jeanetta M. Hale

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Patricia Jo McDonald

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Jack L Hudack

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5