Thursday, August 21, 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

Potrero Hills Landfill legal appeals exhausted

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Railroad crossing stalemate continues

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 10 Comments

First day back to school brings laughter, jitters

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Breakfast after the Bell wins support

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2, 5 Comments

 
Suisun city employees get pay raise

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

 
Fairfield candidates hear about lean, nimble city staff

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

College finalizes police department takeover, OKs bond plan

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Free e-waste collection to benefit Scarlet Brigade

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Fairfield mayor to appear at GOP dinner

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

Girls on the Run seeks volunteer life coaches

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

 
Weather for Aug. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B10

Fairfield police log: Aug. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

.

US / World

US official: More airstrikes in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Beheading spurs new attacks on Islamic militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 9 Comments

Militants use British killer as propaganda

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Governor criticizes new-hire pension enhancements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

US mission to rescue hostages in Syria failed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Police seek mystery pair in selfies after burglary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

School sorry for making special ed kids sort trash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Teens deny threatening boy in school shooting plot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Panel OKs state librarian despite initial concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
8 homes destroyed, 1,500 threatened by wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Drought has state debating its unregulated pumping

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Holder says he understands mistrust of police

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 5 Comments

Liberian slums barricaded as Ebola sets new record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
North Korea insults John Kerry over his looks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Ukrainian govt troops take over much of Luhansk

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Picture emerges of officer in Ferguson shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 9 Comments

Navy kicks out 34 for nuke cheating

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

 
CHP says officer may face serious beating charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

.

Opinion

Tell the story, don’t be it

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A7

 
 
We’re spending way too much on raising our kids

By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A7

Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
California needs pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 5 Comments

.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Aug. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
Why do parents drink alcohol after their children’s games?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
And the Emmy winners are…? We’re happy to guess!

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Aniston, Hamm, Hudson set to Stand Up to Cancer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Emmys: Billy Crystal to pay tribute to Williams

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

.

Sports

Fairfield boxer Avila set to put perfect 15-0 record on the line

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Giants win protest, rain-shortened game to resume Thursday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

A’s stumble and must regroup with Angels coming

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders FB Reece’s injury not as bad as feared

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Peavy pitches Giants to 8-3 win over Cubs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
WR Stevie Johnson adds depth to 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Las Vegas spoils Mo’ne’s night, beats Philly 8-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sharks F Torres undergoes surgery on right knee

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

US routs Dominicans in exhibition as Rose rests

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Schilling blames chewing tobacco for mouth cancer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Reality check for Phelps at Pan Pacific Champs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kent State starting center dies at 21

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Serena Williams seeded No. 1 at US Open; Halep 2nd

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tony Stewart skipping 3rd straight race after Ward’s death

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

This date in sports history for Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Sports on TV for Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B4

.

Business

BofA reaches $17B settlement with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Brine firm sues over biblical fracking billboard

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Apple’s stock bounces back to hit a new high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Obituaries

David G. Gibson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Charles (Chuck) H. Doty

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9