A Look at the Delta through the years and the latest attempt to mess with Nature or Revise the Delta!

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Delta REvision.com  Delta REvision.com Delta REvision.com
(i.e. what the government is doing right now to revise  the Delta-
not restore it but "revise it" )

The Delta is the cornerstone of California’s agricultural economy, the cornerstone of California’s water supply resource,an important natural causeway for many native fish species such as  salmon, the prime northern California freshwater recreation area with 700+ navigable miles of freshwater rivers and sloughs to explore from over 100 marina and camping facilities, and emerging world class wine grape production region.  The Delta and San Franciso Bay area, combined, are the cornerstone of California’s history, as the first major population areas were in the bay and the cities along the transportation routes…the Sacramento River and the San Joaquin River.

Basically the "preferred alternative" of a central canal, as described in the CalFed 2000 ROD is being built in sections RIGHT NOW even though the vast majority of Californians said NO in the 1982 vote on a Peripheral Canal!  And several new water intakes are already built, but not necessarily turned on yet.  The modified central canal is being built in sections, as "regional projects", and under other names while the intakes are called "fish screens" and "conjunctive use" projects.  Go ahead and take a drive around the Delta...go to the end of Empire Tract for example...watch the Sacramento County lot line adjustment (and levee setback) of Dead Horse Island,  Notice the levee improvements of the last 5-7 years along the Mokelumne River sections within the Delta region, take a good look at the information on the Freeport Pumps,  take note of the plans for physical barriers to stop fish from getting to the export pumps, notice the completion of the intertie, notice that CCWD built a siphon on Victoria Tract per photos on their website....all of this adds up to the 2000 CALFED ROD, revised in 2004.  They are on schedule for construction of much of the conveyance portion of the ROD...its just the "restoration" projects that are lagging behind.

(click on graphics to open full sizes of each)  To get a quick understanding of what is being planned in the Delta, you can go to the 2004 "call to action" slideshow of the Metropolitan Water District found at http://www.scag.ca.gov/wptf/pdfs/wptf20040408_deltapack.pdf  or go to our "2004 documents" list to see a copy of the same.  .  This whole CALFED process to validate taking more water out of the Delta was planned out and funded years ago, and the "Blue Print" is the 2000 Record of Decision found on our 2000 documents page.  Here's a graphic to show what has been planned: New page: Near Term Central conveyance building blocks

  The purpose of this website it to provide the reader with easy access to documents, maps and visual aids related to the last 15 years of planned attack on California's Delta. 
     As we continue to research the different agencies that have been involved in developing the studies, maps and reports, it has become very clear that the true goal is the building and operation of the CENTRAL canal in the near term, which will by itself take the Sacramento River water away from a majority of the Delta lands, thereby creating a salt water marsh "estuary" on the southwest side of the canal.  Please click on the map to the lower right for a visual summary of the central conveyance and in-delta water storage plans already in process and "shovel ready" to be built by 2012.
Page links you should look at:  Timeline  Summary  Planning Maps  All Maps  1998  2000  Central conveyance building blocks

     Once the Central Canal is completed, the Delta will be split East and West, and the West side of the Central Conveyance will become more salty over time, to look more like an "estuary" than the historic Delta.   Central and South Delta farmers with riparian water rights will probably no longer be able to grow their produce on their Delta lands if this central canal is built.    We are compiling a table showing how many additional acre feet of water will be taken from the Delta through the Central Canal.  It appears water districts from outside the Delta met in 1998-2003 and resolved to move forward with their plans to take more Delta water, despite the clear ongoing damage to the environment of the Delta.  You might want to look up the 1998 "Environmentally Optimal Alternative" report funded by the David & Lucille Packard Foundation that promotes the central conveyance option or canal, and the 2003 supposed "Napa Proposition" and "preferred alternative" when the water & power brokers met in Napa to determine the Delta's fate without Delta landowner's input.

     The facts are that from 2001 to 2005 various legal processes were completed so that "Maps of conveyance and storage" (IDS) and the central canal plan could move forward with or without voter approved funding, since Metropolitan Water District, and Westlands Water District could put up funding for the conveyance part of the project.    In bits and pieces they put together the building blocks for the Central Canal, and will now move forward with the "near term actions".  The 2 gates are a necessary ingredient of the overall central canal.  The two temporary gates will most likely lead to at least four permanent gates, as the rest of the Central Canal sections are completed, in the author's opinion.  Click on the map to the right for enlarged version, or go to the  2 to 4 Gates Project maps update which shows many other maps and concepts. 

The summary map below was compiled from EIR/EIS maps and reports from 2001 to 2005, combining several sources, each of which indicate permanent barrier gates will be needed to keep fresh Sacramento River flowing to Clifton Court Forebay.  Near Term Central conveyance building blocks

The "In-Delta" storage plans are finally being shown to the general public, with notices sent out about a 30-day review which was received on 5-14-2010.  http://deltawetlandsproject.com/ has the EIR/EIS docs.
The Delta Stewardship Council have only met a few times and already state-approved actions to destroy the Delta are being presented...so what will the Delta Stewardship Council do about these plans?




1/3/2014   This is the second of 2 index pages.  Many of the links below are important and should be reviewed.

     We all know there is not enough water in the state to satisfy all the wants of the developers, growers, industry, humans and the environment.  Most of the water is in Northern California, but the political power base is in Southern California.  How the water is conveyed is not nearly as important as HOW MUCH water is taken.  Take to much water from the Delta, as the state has allowed for the last few years, and species start to go extinct, water quality goes down, and the water wars heat up.  This website is serving as an archive of some of the huge volume of documents that have been generated by water contractors and their government associates to validate their decisions made long before the most affected stakeholders-Delta landowners-even got a chance for meaningful input into the decision process.  As you review the documents and process ask yourself....WHO?  Who are the individuals who benefit most from the transfer of more Delta water-this latest round of California water wars is about wealth transfer first, water transfer second.


There are many different planning agencies coming together in the latest attach of the Delta.  http://www.deltacouncil.ca.gov/draft-eir passed the 60 day comment period & was approved.  Go to this PDF for the links to some of the other major agencies that have been planning the revisions to the Delta:deltalinks.pdf

updates added to "Issues" section as quickly as possible each week!



Updates:   Intakes and other ongoing construction

Wrong Maps of the Delta  Focus:  Waterways

"Surplus" Water planning 1940-1979

CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS HAPPENING NOW IN THE DELTA and some photos added 2013.  Impacts to Delta Water

Land Use & Ownership-Natural Gas page
Delta conveyance planning 1945 to 2012, with proposed 2012 projects

Delta Recreation maps, documents and Reports
 Impacts to NorCal aquifers
Delta Transportation Planning &   INTAKES  (see new INTAKES map) 
Salinity in the Delta-Historic data and the future as predicted by computer modeling 
 Other issue document sets: Elevations-Fact vs Fiction, Computer Modeling.  See also past uploads "Science Challenge" (water flow data), Survey Maps, including the Atwater maps for 1978-82.  Also see: "Wrong Maps of the Delta"

Other videos: Controlled flooding of the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta

Links to online videos covering important Delta-related  topics:  LEARN THE FACTS!  Cut & paste web address to your web browser address bar:

One reason for the New Delta Plan: http://aquadoc.typepad.com/waterwired/2009/10/video-presentation-lloyd-g-carter-on-californias-water-mess.html

Delta People & places on Youtube:

Interesting UC Berkeley seminar...skip past introductions if you want

Learn how the DRMS is WRONG regarding certain Delta islands and flood history

Click on any map in the website to see the full size of the map




A staggering number of bills and amendments to bills, all related to the New Delta water plan were introduced, revised and amended within a few days time the beginning of November.  And then the bills were passed by the legislature on 11-4-09 after an all nighter  (Bills and summary below)  The governor has signed the bills, and the destruction of the Delta as we know it today will move forward.  If you think water costs a lot now, look back in 5 years!
SB 1 x7 STR.pdf  (A legislative summary submitted
to this website -author at end of doc)


Go to the Planning Maps pages to get a visual idea of the complexity of the proposals.  The maps showing here on this page can be clicked on for larger view.  The map to the right shows the "central conveyance" canal which is a near term project so they will build that or connect the existing rivers, sloughs and canals in the next 1-3 years (personal opinion)>  The 4 gates are needed to direct Sacramento River water down to the suction pumps to send the water elsewhere. 

 The Central Canal is already halfway dug and Statten Island and Bacon Island could easily become "In Delta Storage" facilities according to visual records:  Connect the Delta Dots report and decisions from studies reported in 2005.  Here's and interesting link and pay special notice all the reports from 2003-2005:  http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/wq_control_plans/2006wqcp/revised_app2_refdocs.shtml#cbda

What is being proposed now for "near term" actions to be completed between 2010 and 2014 looks like the "Preferred Alternative" of the National Heritage Institute papers funded by Bay Area nonprofits before 2000.  (see Timeline)  There's also an interesting series of maps developed 2004-2006 showing the concept of the SoCal water districts to very quickly do a "Eco-crescent central canal" in the Delta, using gates to stop possible salt water intrusion if islands to the west happen to fail in a flood or seismic event.  In this map the "two gates" project seems more like a "5 gates" project.  Compare maps  This type of canal would split the Delta in half, east and west, and lands to the west of the central canal would be encroached by salt water, lands to the east would still have the fresh water of the Sacramento River.  So it seems the folks at Bethel Island and DiscoBay do have valid reason to voice their concerns!  Go to the 2006 documents.  The 2006 UC Berkeley Colloquium on Water talked about a "Delta Central Park" concept or a "Delta National Park" also.  You can go to Youtube to see those interesting lectures. 

     Historically, the state has come close to doing a major water project, then "couldn't find the funding" and the feds stepped in and "saved the day".  Californians then were happy because their perception was that someone else was paying for California benefit (ignoring its our own federal tax dollars that fund the fed projects) and since the federal legislators were for the project the EPA-types and other environmentalists or opposition of those bygone days backed off somewhat.   For example, part of the "Project Levees" were built/paid for in part by "New Deal" Federal Funds when the state legislators of that time agreed they wanted to improve the levees but couldn't find the funds.  Our prediction for the last few months:  We would not be surprised if a "big name" from Washington DC came to California to "save the day" so that infrastructure monies can flow into California like water through the aqueduct after a rainy winter!  That would make many Californians happy, but would in effect take away the land rights of the Delta landowner.  (Since this prediction was made in August 2009, the Feds have clearly gotten involved & Senator Feinstein is working on the "biggest bill" of her career as of October 14, 2009)

The amount of California tax dollars that has been spent to generate reports in support of the new Delta Plan is staggering.  From documentation it appears that a decision was made by the water czars in 2000 to switch to a new Delta Plan, and the lead agencies were advised in January 2001 their Delta restoration focus should be Delta-wide, not just the South Delta area.  Take a look at the document trail starting with 2001 to 2005.  Of course, the studies can be validated (if one would ask) by the decisions in the 1990's regarding safe water flow for the Delta.  Note the 2003 letter from our governator, sent to our senators BEFORE he was governor.  Note the 2006 letter from the governator to several CA state legislators.  We have not been able to get a clear picture of the total funds or where the funds came from so instead we will start uploading the literally hundreds of thousands of pages of studies, slideshows and reports generated in the last few years to support the "dual conveyance" plan while also looking at areas of the delta that could be restored as mitigation for the damage to be done by taking extra water.  Over the next few weeks, we will be uploading the documents, most in pdf format and all assumed to be indented for public viewing as they were generated by public entities or else private entities paid for by public funds, and therefore appropriate for public viewing at this time, without infraction of any copyright laws.

     Then, as now, the state may pay for levee improvements to protect STATE interests, like avoiding flooding in Sacramento area and stopping salt water intrusion into the Delta so that the water will be good enough for transport to other areas of California.

A short history of California's water wars from the perspective of a Delta landowner:

     In the 1850's to 1900's the state sold lands owned in the Delta area to individuals who wanted to reclaim land for farming and other beneficial uses.  People purchased their lands and built up the existing natural levees to protect against floods.  In the meantime, refuse from the gold mines washed downstream in the winter months, literally filling up some of the formerly naturally deep waterways with silt and mining muck.  The "Middle Fork" of the Sacramento River, a naturally deep passage for boats traveling from San Francisco to Sacramento, later renamed Steamboat Slough, is an example.  By 1880's this river was not useable in low tides due to all the silting.  In the 1910's and thereafter, the Federal government agreed with California state politicians that protecting some levees and waterways in the Delta were important to assure flood protection for Sacramento area, and also to assure fresh water supply through the Delta.  Hence using some of the "New Deal" infrastructure monies, certain levees were improved and thereafter labeled "project levees".  The Federal government also built the first of two main water channels or aqueducts to carry some of the water from the Delta down to the growing SoCal cities, especially Los Angeles.  Later, California decided to do another water project, so that more water could be taken from the Delta to send to barren lands of the Central Valley, like Fresno and Kern counties.  The farmers on the east side of the Central Valley had primary water rights because their water had been taken from the San Joaquin River where they riparian water rights.  The farmers on the west side of the Central Valley, however, had to contract for water, and their contracts allowed them water ONLY when there was enough water in the Delta to ship out.  Their water rights are called secondary and in low rain years they might not get the water allotment they had contracted for.  The Westland Water District was formed to protect the water contract rights of these farmers, and to work with the state to find more consistent sources of water for the Central Valley farmers on the west side of the valley.
      In the 1960's the State of California water wonks came up with an idea for a California-built canal that would go around the Delta, taking the fresh Sacramento water to the then-new California aqueduct to send it on down south.  1965 Map.  It didn't get built because folks thought it was a bad idea to mess with the wonderful Delta.  In 1980 the same "peripheral canal" idea was put to a vote of the people of the state and again it was turned down as a bad idea.  Starting in 2003 and earlier, a group of mostly SoCal large land owners started pushing for the idea again and the current governor allowed millions in state funds to be used for studies to validate why NOW would be a better time to build that same canal that was considered a bad idea before.  This time they call it "Dual Conveyance".

 Index Summary 
Compiled by Delta citizens and Delta Voices Last Modified :01/15/14 04:34 PM Copyright 2009-2013 ,