Tuesday, September 2, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Temporary Delta barriers concern local officials

19 berryessa 1

The Glory Hole by Monticello Dam remains dry at Lake Berryessa, Feb. 18. Water last topped the Glory Hole in spring 2006. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | March 19, 2014 |

NAPA — A three-year drought has brought up the issues of temporary salinity barriers going up in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Lake Berryessa reservoir water possibly going to Napa County in case of a water shortage emergency there.

Solano County supervisors and mayors met Tuesday with their counterparts from Napa County to discuss water issues. They met as the boards of the Solano County Water Agency and the Napa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District.

Both counties get water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta through the State Water Project’s North Bay Aqueduct. The North Bay Aqueduct pumps are in Barker Slough near Highway 113 in rural eastern Solano County between Dixon and Rio Vista.

The Department of Water Resources plans to put up rock barriers at three locations in the Delta to keep salt water from intruding into the central Delta because of the drought. One barrier is to be placed along Steamboat Slough, which is an eastern boundary of Solano County. The Delta is a major source of fresh drinking water for much of the state.

“Nobody wants to see the Delta become a salty sea,” Solano County Water Agency General Manager David Okita said, adding it might take years until fresh water flows flush the salt out.

But barriers could make water quality saltier in Barker Slough and at the North Bay Aqueduct pumps. They could make water saltier in sloughs that eastern Solano County farmers use to get water for crops. They would make Delta boating more difficult, with boats having to be hoisted over the temporary barriers.

Solano County Supervisor Skip Thomson had attended a meeting in Walnut Grove that morning on the barriers. He said he couldn’t get in the room because the meeting was so crowded.

“I see this process as one that will be very complicated, very divisive and very heated,” Thomson said at the Napa meeting.

Laura Moon, chief deputy director of the state Department of Water Resources, said the state could install the barriers in April and have them operational in May. She said the state would talk with local officials as it moves ahead.

“There may be issues in your area we need to work through,” Moon said.

Solano County Supervisor John Vasquez, looking at his computer, found outdated information on the barriers posted on the Department of Water Resources website. If the department wants to be transparent, it should update its website, he said.

Whether the barriers make Barker Slough water too salty to be used for the North Bay Aqueduct might be a moot point. Because of the drought, the state may make no water allocations available at the aqueduct this summer in the first place.

Okita said Solano County cities could use Lake Berryessa reservoir water to handle such a situation. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation reservoir is almost 70 percent full.

But Napa County doesn’t have this flexibility. Though Lake Berryessa is in Napa County, its water goes almost solely to Solano County farms and cities.

That had Napa County officials wondering if, during an emergency, their county could get Lake Berryessa water.

It would be difficult, Okita said. For one thing, new pipe would have to be put in to get Lake Berryessa water to such locations as American Canyon, which Okita said would be particularly hurt by a North Bay Aqueduct shutdown. But it is something that could be undertaken in an emergency, he said.

“We are taking your situation very seriously,” Okita told the Napa County officials.

Moon said the state is beyond a critically dry year. There might be one more storm this rainy season next week and that might be it until the fall.

“The tough times are still really ahead of us,” Moon said.

Another issue of mutual concern for the two counties is the proposed alternate intake project for the North Bay Aqueduct. Local water officials say the Barker Slough location faces water quality problems from organic materials even during years without drought. Also, state plans to restore tidal wetlands in that area could attract more rare fish to Barker Slough, possibly leading to pumping restrictions.

The proposed solution is to build North Bay Aqueduct pumps on the Sacramento River near West Sacramento. The project, which includes building the pipes to transport the water to local water treatment plants, would cost an estimated  $550 million.

Mayors and supervisors from both counties talked about working together for their common water interests.

Solano County Supervisor Jim Spering said there’s a divide-and-conquer approach in water issues. The two counties can’t let that happen. If they don’t work together, they might be victims, he said.

Tuesday marked the first time the Solano and Napa water agency boards had a joint meeting, Okita said.

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

Labor Day not a holiday for everyone

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Labor Day breakfast introduces union-backed candidates

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Pool provides last dose of summer fun in the sun

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
SafeQuest schedules peer counseling training course

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

Labor Day sees more Solano freeway crashes

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

VP Biden says workers deserve ‘fair share’

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Obama: ‘Revving’ economy calls for higher wages

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Senegal monitors contacts of 1st Ebola patient

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
San Francisco to be 1st to test urban farming law

By The Associated Press | From Page:

GOP challenger tries novel tactics against Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Texas’ Perry says disparaging tweet unauthorized

By The Associated Press | From Page:

US eating habits improve a bit – except among poor

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
No gray area: Beliefs shape views of Brown killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Iraqi prime minister pledges to root out militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Poland’s PM: Ukraine’s war must be stopped now

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Pro-Russian rebels lower demands in peace talks

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

US helicopter crashes in Gulf of Aden; all rescued

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Opinion

.

Living

Community Calendar: Sept. 2, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
.

Entertainment

Inquiries begin into nude celebrity photo leaks

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
‘Guardians’ tops Labor Day, summer box office

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

Kirk rallies to win the Deutsche Bank

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Rockies top Giants after losing end of suspended game

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Dunn homers in 1st at-bat as A’s top Mariners

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Right guard Boone passes physical, rejoins 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Raiders name rookie Derek Carr as starting QB

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Armijo beats Vanden 2-0 to claim All-City boys soccer title

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Armed with new deal, Chiefs’ Smith looks forward

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Column: Stewart’s Chase status doesn’t matter

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Raiders ink CB Dowling, 9 others to practice squad

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Serena Williams, Djokovic roll to US Open quarters

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Houston Astros fire manager Bo Porter

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Hamels, 3 Phillies relievers no-hit Braves

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Business

Markets drift as Wall Street has day off

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Austerity debate flares as Europe recovery fades

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Civil disobedience expected in fast-food pay fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Zits Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Bridge Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Blondie Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sudoku Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

B.C. Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Dilbert Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Garfield Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Word Sleuth Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7