| Starting in June 2004,
California media, DWR, the governor, and many others made a big deal about a
"sunny day levee failure" at Upper Jones Tract in the southern end of the
Delta. The media reported the incident as happening June 3rd.
DWR documents say the levee breached on June 3rd. USBR operations log
for the Delta Cross Channel Gates closed the gates due to the "Jones Tract
Levee Failure" on June 1st. Department of Interior (DOI) website
documents reflect June 1st Jones Tract Levee Failure. Their 2004
annual newsletter says June 2nd. And was the levee failure an
"accident" or the field study of planned In-Delta storage.
A few documents related to the modeling of
Delta Island flooding or use as In-Delta storage...The Lower Jones Tract
study of June 2004
See the maps and more document links at the Jones
Tract page and the
In-Delta water storage map page.
After reviewing the
Delta island flood modeling studies and funding from 2002 to 2005, a natural
conclusion is to question if the flooding of Jones Tract was really an
INTENDED verification of the modeling studies conducted by
RMA prior to the Jones Tract
break? Just prior to the flooding, DWR and other agencies had been
requesting special funding from Congress. From Senate and
Congressional hearing notes, its not clear the requested funding was going
to happen. However, very soon after the Jones Tract flood, legislation
was signed providing the funding. One other curious thing to note is
the LACK of common sense response to a flood event in the Delta like the
Jones Tract levee breech. One would assume all the reclamation
districts would have met and conducted extensive investigations of the
levees in their charge. Available records don't show that. One
would assume the publications and trade newsletters of the time period right
after the Jones Tract break would be all about this "sunny day" incident.
The media coverage of the event at the time was unusually limited as well.
And we later find out that, according to some DWR reports, DWR or the State
spent up to $90 million on repairs and compensation to the farmers.
Hmmm. At the same time, studies were conducted by URS and other DWR
contractors which helped to answer the questions of different agencies like
EBMUD as expressed in their comments letters for the proposed In-Delta
storage use of Bacon and Webb Islands.
Below are just a few of the documents gathered related to this subject.
Click on the smaller graphics to see enlarged viewable versions. The
online locations where the documents were found show in the graphics so the
viewer can go see the full document referenced if interested.
Note that at the bottom of this page is a large file which is a video of the
RMA simulation of the Jones Tract break and island flooding, reflecting the
salinity intrusion into the Delta area.