Saturday, April 18, 2015
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 [email protected] 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

 
 
Child care program helps teen parents, students

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 6 Comments | Gallery

 
Wood students entertain guests at Epcot

By Susan Hiland And Susan Winlow | From Page: A2

 
 
 
Solano County Science Fair continues to grow

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
 
Fairfield police log: April 16, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: April 16, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Weather for Saturday, April 18, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B10

.

US / World

Family awarded rights to rare coins

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
 
Dog flu outbreak sweeps across the Midwest

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
AG announces anti-bias training program

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Iraqi officials believe Saddam’s top deputy killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Germany mourns citizens lost in plane crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Following Alps crash, debate over pilotless planes heats up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

 
Time for meaningful financial reform

By Paul A. Volcker | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in history: Saturday, April 18, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 18, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: April 18, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
My daughter is upset that I didn’t attend my former in-law’s funeral

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

Idea from Adam Sandler film used to soothe dementia patients

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Entertainment

.

Sports

Prep softball: Seldon powers Rodriguez to victory over Armijo

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
JC baseball: Falcons win as Pavlovsky, Evans homer

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Prep badminton: Mustangs roll to 15-0 win over Wolves

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Prep baseball: Haney hurls Vanden to 3-2 win over Benicia

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Armijo nears girls soccer title with 2-0 MEL win

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
SCAC girls roll past MEL 55-28 in All-Star hoops game

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

SCAC boys slip past MEL in entertaining All-Star game

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Athletics fall to Royals 6-4 in rematch of AL wild-card game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Warriors, Pelicans enter series with different pedigrees

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Big Ten’s Delany lays out plan for freshman ineligibility

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Collmenter shuts down Giants, gets three hits in D-backs win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Merritt’s 61 trumps Masters champion Spieth’s 62

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
2 minor league baseball teams to test game with 5-pitch rule

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NBA could alter schedule, but no change to playoffs, lottery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Coonan stepping down as Santa Clara’s athletic director

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel says he “let down” fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers fullback Miller at home in Georgia after March arrest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rockhold hopes win over Machida launches him into contention

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Martina Hingis to make singles comeback in Fed Cup match

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Injured Giants fan throws out first ball in San Jose

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Flyers fire head coach Craig Berube after 2 seasons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Hornets GM Cho: Stephenson ‘didn’t work like we expected’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Brazil eyes historic medal haul in 2016 Rio Olympics

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
2 weeks before Mayweather-Pacquiao, not a ticket to be seen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Before ruling out an upset in NBA East, listen to these guys

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Western Conference teams face perilous path to NBA Finals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
This date in sports history for April 18

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Back on the USA Network: Sports return with NHL playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Business

Secrecy shrouds decade-old oil spill in Gulf of Mexico

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5 | Gallery

 
Frederick’s of Hollywood reveals closing of retail stores

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Don’t plan to line up for Apple Watch next week

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Glaxo recalls flu vaccine due to potency problem

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 4 Comments

 
California home prices hit new 7-year high, sales rebound

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Obituaries

Douglas Craig Sparks

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7