Wednesday, July 30, 2014

San Joaquin confusion

From page A4 | April 03, 2013 |

We have always been baffled that the San Joaquin River was allowed to disappear from its source after the Friant Dam was built. The dam and its irrigation commitments left 60 miles of the San Joaquin River as just sand. After 18 years of  litigation, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation agreed to release water from the Friant Dam for fisheries purposes.

That agreement was reached in 2006. By next year irrigators will lose 12-20 percent of their water allotments. Because this change was phased in over the last seven years, farmers have had enough advanced warning to make adjustments in their crops and irrigation practices.

The increased flows and channel restoration work have allowed conservationists to release salmon into the upper San Joaquin River and observe some spawning taking place for the first time since 1944 when the river valves were closed and Friant Dam began filling the 520,500-acre-foot Miller Lake. It was dedicated in 1949 by Gov. Earl Warren.

In 2009 the first water was released from Friant Dam at the rate of 185 cubic feet per second. By next year the flows will be increased to 417 cfs, equal to 302,000 acre-feet. That is where it should stop.

Now, additional requirements proposed by the State Water Resources Control Board may be going too far. The state water board is proposing to curtail irrigation uses of the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers to add to the San Joaquin flows. The proposals would cut water deliveries to the Modesto, Turlock and Merced irrigation districts by 15-25 percent. The California Fam Bureau estimates this would reduce water deliveries to 1 million acres of irrigated farmland.

Irrigation is what makes California farms productive in such a wide array of agricultural products. The staff report to the water board estimates the proposal would result in 10,000 acres of prime farmland being converted to uses other than farming. The staff also estimates a $50 million reduction of crop values and 300 lost farms jobs.

The Farm Bureau’s managing counsel notes that it is “a marvelously productive agricultural landscape that has been watered for generations by very senior water rights on these rivers, and the certain negative environmental impacts to groundwater.”

Water for fisheries is being released from the Friant Dam. Fisheries flows are already in place on Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers. They are flowing just fine. Don’t mess with something that isn’t messed up.



Mountain Democrat



District 2 candidate statements tell of goals

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

Sand Fire nears containment: 66 structures destroyed

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Schedule for Highway 50 blasting closures

By News Release | From Page: A3

Tails wagging over dog park approval

By Julie Samrick | From Page: A3

Quarter-acre fire in Kelsey

By Rebecca Murphy | From Page: A3



My Turn: Privatization of public services

By Mark Belden | From Page: A4

Policy book

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4



Large bangs

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

Private property gets no respect

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

GDPUD management report

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

District 2 supervisorial special election

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

Piano replaced

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Comments sign-in policy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Save the Guinea Worm

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment



Sierra Sharks finish middle of the pack

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

Roundup: July 29, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

Taz pull through for SSL trophy

By Patty Pope | From Page: A8

Ex-Bruin lends a helping hand

By Steven Shaff | From Page: A8 | Gallery



Nuns discover a pleasant place

By Lexi Boeger | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Bargains can be found everywhere

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

At a glance: Game time

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

Barbecue dinner to benefit Blue Star Moms

By Mount Aukum Winery | From Page: B2

Stagecoach story takes riders on a trip

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: B3

Help needed to make cool ties

By Sew 4 | From Page: B3

Stroke and osteoporosis screenings planned

By Life Line Screening | From Page: B3

Gold Rush Days activities cancelled this year

By Sacramento Convention And Visitors Center | From Page: B4

Master Food Preservers: Tomato time

By Monique Wilber | From Page: B4

Build an author platform at the Library

By El Dorado | From Page: B5

Sacramento area museums offer summer fun

By Sacramento Association Of Museums | From Page: B5



Weather stats 7-29-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Building permits 6/2-6/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

Crime Log: July 17

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2



Merlyn Wilbur Adams

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Lisa Oliver Rose

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Wallace Murrel Thomas

By Contributor | From Page: A2


Real Estate




Women’s Health

Love the skin you’re in

By Noel Stack | From Page: WH4

Dump stress and improve your health, productivity

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: WH7Comments are off for this post

Women’s Health Expo

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH8

Find the confidence you need to fight back

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH12

Our choices directly affect our health

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH14

They’re NOT your mother’s hearing devices!

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH17