Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Climate change threatens Folsom Lake

EDITOR:

In Assemblymember Beth Gaines’ “My turn” (Nov. 20), she explains the importance of Folsom Lake and acknowledges that all Californians must work together to solve our water supply crisis. However, she incorrectly identifies the threat to Folsom Lake. Instead of blaming the real culprit — climate change — she blames the best available solution to the ongoing water system/ecosystem crisis in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The state has done extensive modeling of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan’s proposed operations, including an analysis of the performance of upstream reservoirs such as Folsom Lake. State laws and policies require that BDCP’s environmental analysis also include potential impacts of future climate change. The results show that BDCP actions do not have any material effect on future water levels at Folsom Lake. However, the analysis does show that potential changes in climate will significantly decrease the amount of water in the lake.

The state has worked for seven years to develop a solution that will protect the water supply for 25 million Californians and restore the failing Delta ecosystem. The BDCP proposes a set of twin tunnels that would move fresh water underneath, instead of through, the Delta, protecting it in the event of sea level rise or a major earthquake. Currently this water is protected by 100-year-old dirt levees that are vulnerable to collapse in the event of such an earthquake.

We agree on the importance of water to the economy. However, if we take no steps to protect our water supply, we will face the possibility of a catastrophe that would result in $40 billion in economic losses and water shortages for two-thirds of California. And if the Sacramento Region fails to address the effects of climate change on Folsom Lake, effects that will occur with or without BDCP, the region will face the same dire consequences.

All Californians must work together to ensure a safe and secure water supply for our state; we all depend on it.

TERRY ERLEWINE
General Manager, State Water Contractors

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 25 comments

  • JimBoNovember 20, 2013 - 10:48 pm

    Terry, what do Politics, Liberalism, Environmentalism and Propaganda have to do with good Civil Engineering? Blaming Folsom Lake's recent low levels on Climate Change (Global Warming) is disingenuous, unfounded and surprising for someone with a Civil Engineering background - however, I guess those are the politics of keeping a State Job under the Liberal Green Jerry Brown Regime which also supports many other "green energy" scams, a high-speed rail boondoggle, runaway immigration, an exploding California population that is ever dependent on shipping water to Southern California and making water a contentious, precious commodity that is fought for between end users. How many years have I passed Folsom Lake at near capacity only to find out the much of the water was intentionally released by government officials to make more capacity in fear of flooding only to create a drought scare later. It is that same "environmentalist" mentality that has kept large water projects from being built in California for the last several decades due to poor politics, bad science and liberal environmentalism that has crept into the minds of our government employees and has been preached by a poorly run Democratic majority State Capitol.

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  • NonsenseNovember 21, 2013 - 6:09 am

    The greatest increase in water allocations in this state since the last large dam was built has been for "environmental" use. These are largely court order mandates that have become the largest allocation in the state surpassing agriculture. These unaccountable decisions seemingly override historical water rights without the slightest consideration to a finite capacity or cost. The courts may rule but they write no checks. The BDCP moves around the deck chairs, but it does not address the mythical climate change as capacity is still the same. ANY plan that does not increase storage capacity is a waste of time and money.

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 21, 2013 - 7:00 am

    Nonsense, you are right in identifying "environmental " water as the big allocation. But translate "environmental" to "push back salinity" from Banks pump Station. The tunnels deliver that "environmental" water directly to Banks Pumps.

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  • Foaming at the MouthNovember 21, 2013 - 11:52 am

    JimBo - "The State Water Contractors is a non-profit association of 27 public agencies from Northern, Central, and a Southern California that purchase water under contract from the California State Water Project." In other words, Erlewine is not a state employee and not a government employee at all. And if the operators of Folsom Lake (also not the state) believe that climate change is real and will cause more and bigger future floods, do you think they'll store more water or less? Yeah, less. So the problem is real, whether or not you buy the science.

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  • JimBoNovember 21, 2013 - 8:03 pm

    See description below. SWC is a consortium of 27 "public agencies" which equals the GOVERNMENT! The State Water Contractors is a non-profit association of 27 public agencies from Northern, Central and Southern California that purchase water under contract from the California State Water Project. Collectively, the State Water Contractors deliver water to more than 25 million residents throughout the state and more than 750,000 acres of agricultural lands. As public agencies, the State Water Contractors’ members have an obligation and mandate to provide reliable and safe drinking water, protect the environment and public health, and promote water conservation and greater efficiency. Each and every day families, businesses and farms throughout California depend on us. Our commitment is to secure our state’s water future.

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  • Foaming at the MouthNovember 21, 2013 - 10:24 pm

    JimBo - do you read your own posts? "The politics of keeping a State job". It isn't a state job.

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  • JimBoNovember 22, 2013 - 5:23 am

    I did read the article and went further to do some research. "The California State Water Project, commonly known as the SWP, is a state water management project in the U.S. state of California under the supervision of the California Department of Water Resources." If you think the SWP is not being run by the State government, then you are living in a delusional world. Review the history of Erlewine's resume, a former State DWR employee and now a SWP employee which is supervised by DWR. Check out the SWP history and involvement with DWR. SWR is just a consortium of a bunch of State and local "public" agencies managed by DWR, it's certainly not the private sector. Also check out the pictures of Jerry Brown's dad at the Oroville site under construction, don't think the Brown Green Agenda is influential??? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_State_Water_Project http://www.water.ca.gov/state_water_project_home.cfm http://www.water.ca.gov/swp/contractor_intro.cfm http://www.linkedin.com/pub/terry-erlewine/11/573/65

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  • JimBoNovember 22, 2013 - 5:24 am

    I did read the article and went further to do some research. "The California State Water Project, commonly known as the SWP, is a state water management project in the U.S. state of California under the supervision of the California Department of Water Resources." If you think the SWP is not being run by the State government, then you are living in a delusional world. Review the history of Erlewine's resume, a former State DWR employee and now a SWP employee which is supervised by DWR. Check out the SWP history and involvement with DWR. SWR is just a consortium of a bunch of State and local "public" agencies managed by DWR, it's certainly not the private sector. Also check out the pictures of Jerry Brown's dad at the Oroville site under construction, don't think the Brown Green Agenda is influential???

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  • JimBoNovember 22, 2013 - 5:26 am

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_State_Water_Project, http://www.water.ca.gov/state_water_project_home.cfm, http://www.water.ca.gov/swp/contractor_intro.cfm, http://www.linkedin.com/pub/terry-erlewine/11/573/65,

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  • MartinNovember 22, 2013 - 4:54 am

    Climate change is the only way that the environmentalist has to line their pockets with green. The oceans are rising at a rate of 3mm per year which for us old timers is .11 inches; by the time that the oceans rise far enough to cause any significant damage to the delta our grandchildren’s great grandchildren might have a problem. I remember when the entire environmental population wanted no part of building the Auburn dam which would have put enough water aside for any short coming. The cost of the Auburn dam would be less than the tunnels and would supply all with needed water; the tunnels don’t increase the water supply one drop all they do is rob Peter to pay Paul, the only loser is Northern California agriculture and of course us tax payers.

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  • cookie65November 22, 2013 - 5:36 am

    Simply amazing. Is there less water on planet earth than there was 1 million years ago? Or lets use the time frame established by the global warming religion. Is there less water on earth than there was prior to the industrial age? Because that is the argument you are making. Your sad attempt at making any sense is based on the pseudo science that there is less water on the planet and man is the cause. Where did the water go? How did it leave the planet? Folsom lake is roughly 18 sq. miles in size on a planet that is 197 million sq. miles. So a man made reservoir that is 0.000000009% of the surface of the earth is evidence of global warming/climate change because of a lower water level? In 1976 you could step across the biggest puddle at the bottom of Jenkinson Lake. The size of the lie doesn't matter, just keep repeating it.

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  • cookie65November 22, 2013 - 7:21 am

    When the Volvo payment and the kids college tuition is based on the propagation of a lie is there a conflict of interest?

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  • cookie65November 22, 2013 - 8:14 am

    Foot cheese. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2511272/Would-eat-cheese-HUMAN-FEET-ARMPITS.html

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  • Foaming at the MouthNovember 22, 2013 - 9:08 am

    Good God. JimBo - Erlewine works for a non-profit association made up of local government agencies that have contracts with the state for water from the state project, of which Folsom is NOT a part. Can you get that thru your head? Cookie - California's biggest "reservoir" is the snowpack. If more precipitation falls as rain than snow, then that "reservoir" holds less water for "release" (runoff) in the dry months when it's needed. And if the dam operators at Folsom think that more winter precipitation will fall as rain, they'll keep more empty space in Folsom to protect Sacramento from floods. THe water hasn't gone away, it just runs out to the ocean where it's unusable. it doesn't matter whether you believe in climate change, it matters what the dam operators do. Savvy?

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  • cookie65November 22, 2013 - 3:41 pm

    oh brother, your comment to me suggests not building the Auburn dam was another example of letting the children drive the school bus. Of course that is what happens whenever the left gets their way on issues of importance. I think they should stick to what they do best. Make believe in Hollywood and leftist media.

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  • cookie65November 22, 2013 - 3:44 pm

    Opps, my bad foaming, my 3:41 comment was directed at you and not oh brother. You know you leftists all sound alike. Individuality isn't your best attribute.

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  • cookie65November 22, 2013 - 4:17 pm

    Foaming, believing IN climate change isn't the issue. The reason the confiscators changed the threat of doom from global warming to climate change is because climate change is constant and it would allow them to confiscate wealth regardless of whether is was hot in the summer or cold in the winter. Heck, they could even blame climate change for all their predictions of global warming fizzing out. See how handy climate change turned out to be for them. Take a constant, assign man's activities as the cause of said constant, restrict behavior and tax the he// out of it. A leftists dream. How many trillions would you guess has been confiscated and redistributed based on the fraud? Leftism needs what capitalism creates in order to survive. What a useless way to think. The IQ's of those who subscribe to it must be lower than worm castings.

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  • JimBoNovember 23, 2013 - 3:28 pm

    "The California State Water Project, commonly known as the SWP, is a state water management project in the U.S. state of California under the supervision of the State of California Department of Water Resources." If you think the SWP is not being run by the State government, then you are living in a delusional world

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  • rodNovember 22, 2013 - 1:26 pm

    TERRY ERLEWINE, “…all Californians must work together to solve our water supply crisis”. Not true Ms. Erlewine, Northern California has no “water supply crisis”. It’s Southern Calif that has a water crisis so stop with the propaganda bull. We here may HAVE a crisis if we allow more to be taken by the LA basin democrat controlled congress. You should never forget, a substantial portion of Southern California’s lawful water came from the Colorado River, but it was given to Mexico by our gracious president, go cry on his shoulder. And hey, we are wise to the liberal vomit, continually using the global warming argument, now ‘climate change’ to pettifog naked attempts at more control of our water. It’s wise to consider ‘potential’ effects of a changing climate, but to impose a potential effect on reality is not science, just more propaganda. Secondly, you state because the tunnels are underground, water delivery is protected from earthquake? That’s utter nonsense as well as a HUGE error in logic. History shows us underground gas lines are most vulnerable by earthquake. And finally, current water flow into the Delta is by far more beneficial to “Delta conservation” and our local agriculture than shunting it south and bypassing the Delta altogether. How stupid do you think we are? The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDC plan) is everything but a plan to conserve the Delta… and you know it.

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  • beyondhelpNovember 22, 2013 - 1:35 pm

    Uh...Folsom Lake is a man made lake. Of course it goes up and down.

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  • kggNovember 22, 2013 - 6:58 pm

    rod writes: TERRY ERLEWINE, “…all Californians must work together to solve our water supply crisis”. Not true Ms. Erlewine, Northern California has no “water supply crisis”. kgg writes: hmmm, perhaps rod, you haven't been living in el dorado county. we have a water supply crisis. pretending we don't will not help solve the problem.

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  • cookie65November 23, 2013 - 10:56 am

    kgg, reading comprehension isn't your calling. Perhaps you should just stick to hallucinating on some utopian mirage of a chicken in every pot. Roughly 75% of California's water comes from north of Sacramento while 80% of the demand comes from the southern 2/3's of the state. Your ignorance is excused though given that intellectual curiosity and critical thinking doesn't manifest itself in those content with being told what to believe.

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  • new to the foothillsNovember 24, 2013 - 8:44 am

    sunday sj mercrury new editorial says that the delta is the source of water doesn't mention a thing about Folsom lake whats the fuss

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  • cookie65November 24, 2013 - 10:06 am

    Another one bites the dust. http://trib.com/business/energy/energy-loses-m-on-loan-to-electric-car-maker/article_5024b073-ae8f-58e7-b452-c2edfc72a1fd.html

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  • MartinNovember 24, 2013 - 4:31 pm

    Cookie this is bundle of tax payer money ($139,000,000.00). Gee I love our government.they are so thrifty; How may billions of the mighty ones investments have we lost???

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