Fate of the San Joaquin River hangs in the balance
The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) will hold a workshop to receive comments and technical information related to its draft Technical Report on the scientific basis for alternative San Joaquin River flows and southern Delta salinity objectives. The Technical Report is intended to serve as scientific support as the SWRCB considers revised flow and water quality standards over the coming year.
CSPA and C-WIN submitted extensive comments on the Technical Report, including exhibits by CSPA’s consultant Carl Mesick. Dr. Mesick provided a review of the Report and exhibits on the high risk of extinction faced by salmon, as well as specific recommendations on flows necessary to maintain the viability of salmon populations. Dr. Mesick will also serve on the Flow Panel during the workshop.
Lack of adequate instream flow and poor water quality have led to the relentless decline fisheries on the San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced Rivers over recent decades. Water quality standards are routinely violated.
CSPA/C-WIN and The Bay Institute/NRDC have joined with National Marine Fisheries Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Fish and Game and South and Central Delta Water Agencies in advocating higher flows and more protective water quality standards. On the other side, an assortment of water agencies, including the State Water Contractors, San Luis & Delta Water Authority, San Joaquin River Group Authority, DWR, US Bureau of Reclamation, California Farm Bureau and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission are seeking to maintain the status quo.
The workshop notice and several of CSPA’s comments and exhibits are attached below. Workshop Notice, CSPA Comments, Mesick Comments, Mesick Flow Recommendations, Mesick Merced Extinction, Mesick Tuolumne Extinction
Following the workshop, there is another opportunity to submit comments and information for the review and potential modifications to San Joaquin River flow and southern Delta salinity objectives included in the 2006 Water Quality Control Plan for the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary that will not be covered by the January workshop. That comment period ends 8 February 2011 and the notice letter is attached. Public Comment Notice