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​CALENDAR ALERTS​​​​​​


May 8              Deadline to submit 2015 water diversion reports to SWRCB and avoid administrative fines

May 11-12        Delta Independent Science Board meeting on peer review of WaterFix EIR/EIS, Ryde Hotel, Walnut Grove
May 18             DPC board meeting, Peter’s Steakhouse, Isleton, 5:30-7:30 pm
May 24            DSC meeting, 980-9th St, 2nd Floor, Sacramento, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

June 7               NDWA board meeting, approve agency budget & set annual assessment rates, Walnut Grove, 9:30 am


SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

lease see attached agenda 

Notice of Water Board Enforcement - May 8th is deadline for Delta water users to avoid fines and penalties.  The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) sent Notice of Violation for Failure to File Supplemental Statement of Water Diversion and Use that were due July 1, 2016 to 208 water right claimants within the Delta, informing water right holders that administrative civil liability fines will be imposed unless compliance is achieved before May 8, 2017.  The Delta Watermaster released a list of diverters in the North Delta that are delinquent in reporting their 2015 water use.  

Final WaterFix EIR/EIS Released - Certification and approval of the WaterFix EIR and EIS by DWR and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is expected 30 days after a notice of availability is published in the Federal Register.   Approval of biological opinions by USFWS and NMFS are anticipated in spring of 2017, which paves the way for approval of WaterFix permits such from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, SWRCB, and other agencies.  California law (CWC Sec. 85088)requires approval by the SWRCB of a change of diversion petition  (see info on Petition Hearings below) before construction of WaterFix can begin.  Timing of permitting approvals will likely result in phased construction of WaterFix.  The Clifton Court Forebay expansion and modification could begin first, and possibly the twin tunnels, but the three new intakes cannot proceed without the USACE issuing a 408 permit, which requires project to be at 65% of design.  Waterfix is currently at a "conceptual" 10% level of design.

WaterFix Petition Hearings - Hearings will resume on April 25th  with rebuttal witnesses and evidence responding to protest cases presented earlier in the year.  NDWA recently filed a legal request  for DWR to produce documentation of any modeling results done to evaluate water surface levels and water quality at monitoring locations identified in the NDWA 1981 Contract.  A new March 15, 2017 SWRCB ruling  responds to various motions submitted by  entities protesting WaterFix change of diversion and project opponents.  The WaterFix hearing can be watched live on the internet, with each hearing posted  afterwards in case you want to watch later.  To attend in person, the hearings are at CALEPA, 1001-I St., in downtown Sacramento.


LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES


  • Delta Congressional Delegation Introduces ​National Heritage Area Designation Legislation  - Delta Congressmen Garamendi and McNerney jointly introducedH.R. 1738 as a companion bill to S. 731 jointly sponsored by Senators Feinstein and Harris to establish the Delta as a National Heritage Area.  S. 731 passed out of the Senate  Energy & Natural Resources  Committee last week.  The national designation would come with $10 million in federal funding over 15 years to assist the implementation of a locally developed management plan.
  • Delta Pumping Approved by President Obama - Controversial language allowing increased amounts of water be exported from the Delta by existing CVP/SWP pumps was inserted into a popular federal infrastructure bill that authorizes levee construction in the Sacramento Valley, and approved by Congress and signed into law by President Obama.
  • Delta Legislators Request State Audit of WaterFix- Questioning the source of funding for DWR's costs to continue planning of the WaterFix twin tunnels project, nine legislators requested a State Audit of where funding is coming from.
  • State Audit of WaterFix - Senator Lois Wolk and Assemblymember Susan Eggman  announced they will be requesting a state audit of the WaterFix project to answer questions about how the project planning has been funded  so far and who is going to pay if it proceeds to construction phase.
  • Expedite Delta WQCP Update - A coalition of state legislators representing the Delta and Bay Area sent a letter to State Water Resources Control Board  requesting they expedite completion of establishing new flow standards  in the update of the Bay-Delta water quality control plan (D-1641) .
  • Senator Wolk Hearing on WaterFix - The video of a 2016 Select Committee on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, chaired by Senator Lois Wolk, includes CA Natural Resources Secretary John Laird acknowledging that the WaterFix project won't move ahead unless it pencils out fiscally for water districts that would receive benefit.    


LATEST NEWS​

  • Water Measurement Compliance Guide Available - To provide assistance to water users required to comply with new water measurement and reporting requirements, the CA Farm Bureau Federation has developed a guidance document that is available at local farm bureau offices.
  • Seattle's Tunneling Machine Reaches Target - After four years of delays due to equipment repairs and a labor strike, video shows the "Big Bertha" tunneling machine  reaching end of its 2-mile long journey.  A double-deck highway will be constructed inside and opened to Seattle drivers in 2019.
  • Court Allows Property Access for WaterFix, With Conditions - Despite landowners claiming State's proposed use of their land is an unconstitutional taking of their private property without fair compensation, the WaterFix twin tunnels project was provided partial victory by CA State Supreme Court.  Decision issued on July 21, 2016 approved the Department of Water Resources proceeding with these preliminary engineering associated with construction of the WaterFix tunnel project, but gave property owners new rights than they had under existing law.  Assemblyman Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) and Restore the Delta both issued press statements regarding the ruling.
  • MWD Delta Island Purchase Completed - After State Supreme Court ruled against legal appeals by Delta stakeholders, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern CA finalized purchase of five islands and became owners of approximately 20,000 acres in the Delta.  NDWA received notification from legal counsel of prior landowner, Delta Wetlands, that they were abandoning their water storage project and cancelling all related water rights applications pending at the SWRCB.
  • Governor Enlists Help on WaterFix - Gov. Brown has tapped former U.S. Interior SecretaryBruce Babbitt to assist in facilitating approval of permits needed for the WaterFix twin tunnels project to move ahead to construction.
  • Delta Plan Declared Invalid -  Judge's clarification ruling on June 24, 2016 declares the entire Delta Plan approved by the Delta Stewardship Council in 2013, and associated EIR, are invalid and must be shelved until revisions are made in accordance with Delta Reform Act statutes to include quantifiable (numeric) targets for certain components, such as reducing reliance on the Delta.  DSC's initial declaration of victory in May was therefore premature, and Restore the Delta's claim that original court ruling was a "bullet to the heart" was more accurate.  Now DSC must go back to the drawing board to re-draft the plan and EIR.
  • NDWA Water Quality - The most recent  water quality charts include compliance with the NDWA 1981 Contract criteria through May based on the April 1, 2016 Bulletin 120 forecast.
  • Science Review of WaterFix - Pursuant to request from NOAA, an independent science panel recently issued a final report regarding their peer review of the aquatic science CA WaterFix proposes for federal and state fish/wildlife agencies to develop Biological Opinions and Incidental Take Permits.  Remarks from panel discussion of Part 1 and Part 2 available.
  • Delta Water Operations - Representatives from State Water Project, Northern CA Water Assoc., and the San Luis-Delta Mendota Authority provided their views on2016 water operations  to the Delta Stewardship Council .
  • Delta Water Quality Standards - A large coalition of Delta and environmental organizations submitted letters to the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and U.S. EPA urging the federal government to step in and update the Delta water quality standards (D-1641) by 2017.  A coalition of conservation groups also filed lawsuit against U.S. EPA for failing to protect water quality in the San Francisco Bay-Delta.
  • Congressional Investigation of Westlands - Congressman Jared Huffman has requested an investigation of two items: 1) a recent drainage settlement agreement between Westlands Water District (WWD) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) that would waive funding debt and environmental responsibilities for WWD; and 2) a Securities Exchange Commission fine issued against WWD for improperly stating financial assets in two bond sales.
  • Inspector General Investigation of WaterFix Funding - In response to a complaint filed by an anonymous federal employee through the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, an investigation of possible illegal use of federal funding by the State of California for the WaterFix project has been initiated by an Inspector General with the U.S. Interior Department.
  • BDCP/WaterFix Permitting Process -  On October 7, 2016 DWR announced it submitted application for an Incidental Take Permit from the CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife for the operation of the WaterFix project, which follows the submission of a Draft Biological Assessment to federal fish agencies explaining how the WaterFix twin tunnels project will avoid killing or harming endangered species.  Pursuant to the new schedule for the WaterFix petition hearings, Part 1A begins with DWR/USBR submitting their testimony and evidence (case in chief) by noon on May 31, 2016 and oral presentations starting on July 26, 2016, including policy statements by parties.  Entities that are protesting the petition in Part 1B, such as NDWA, are required to submit testimony and evidence by noon on September 1, 2016 and present oral testimony on October 20, 2016.   A science panel is separately conducting an independent peer review of the WaterFix Biological Assessment in a two-day public meeting.   The BDCP/WaterFix informational webpage is where all hearing testimony/evidence and notices can be found. due on April 6, 2016

DROUGHT ISSUES

  • BBID/WSID Enforcement Dismissed - The SWRCB officially dismissed enforcement actions against both BBID/WSID, including a record $1.5 million fine.  The dismissal order acknowledges that the water board's own Prosecution Team failed to prove there was not sufficient water available in the system to meet the priority water rights of both Delta districts.  Water board now plans to proceed with public workshops to develop a better methodology for determining water availability in the Delta.
  • Curtailments - Soon after issuing anadvance notice of probable curtailmentthe SWRCB, Division of Water Rights,  issued formal notification that any permit and license holders having Term 91 as a condition of their water right will be immediately curtailed.  The water board will be updating their watershed drought analysis webpage weekly regarding the availability of water under permits/licenses with Term 91 conditions, as well as any official announcement when Term 91 curtailments may go into effect.
  • Consumptive Use - The Delta Watermaster released an interim summary of ongoing study intended to provide better data regarding how much water is consumed within the Delta.  In addition to developing protocols for comparing the methodologies for measuring consumptive use, the work group has been doing land surveys with twenty crop types, and installing five new weather stations in locations throughout the Delta.
  • Water Diversion Reports - Despite improved precipitation condition in Northern CA, the SWRCB announced monthly water use reports still must be submitted for the Delta and Sacramento-San Joaquin watersheds in order for the water board to monitor irrigation season water usage.  Therefore, all diverters must submit monthly use reports for March 2016 through September 2016.


910 K St., Suite 310, Sacramento, CA, 95814

(916) 446-0197

​Melinda Terry, Manager


NDWA Board Meetings
2017 Schedule
  • February 1 -  9:30 a.m.
  • April 5 - 9:30 a.m.
  • May 3 - 9:30 a.m. (added)
  • June 7 - 9:30 a.m.
  • August 2 - 9:30 a.m. 
  • October 4 - 9:30 a.m. 
  • December 6 - 9:30 a.m.

​​CONTACT INFORMATION:

 North Delta Water Agency

910 K Street, Suite 310 Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone        (916) 446-0197                   Fax             (916) 446-2404 

melinda@northdeltawater.net                                         cindy@northdeltawater.net 

Assuring a Dependable Water Supply of Suitable Quality for North Delta Water Users

The California Legislature formed the North Delta Water Agency in 1973.  By law, the Agency has two general purposes:

1) Protect the North Delta's water supply against saltwater intrusion; and 2) Assure a dependable supply of water for North Delta landowners.




North Delta Water Agency