BOR: Stop the Trump Water Plan, Restore Salmon Rivers Instead.

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A new proposal by the Trump Administration to maximize water deliveries from the Central Valley Water Project comes at a time when salmon returns and Delta Smelt numbers have reached record lows. This proposal could impact flows on the Sacramento, Feather, American, San Joaquin, Trinity, and Klamath Rivers. When coupled with the impacts of the Twin Tunnels proposal and the Sites reservoir proposal, this plan could be the final blow to salmon runs and commercial and recreational fishing economies.

These increased diversions would also impact the quality of the drinking water supply for 25 million Californians. 

Beyond the massive impacts to the San Francisco Bay Delta it tributary rivers and Tribes, this plan could also increase diversions from the Klamath’s River’s largest and coldest tributary, the Trinity River. Increased diversions would impact California’s three largest Tribes, the Yurok, Karuk and Hoopa Valley Tribes, which are dependent on salmon as a major food source. The Tribes have fought tirelessly to increase flows and take down dams to restore salmon runs in the Klamath River watershed. Despite these efforts salmon returns have never been lower, and widespread poverty, poor diets, and suicides have resulted from the loss of salmon.

In fact just last year, Californian’s salmon fleet and Tribes suffered a tremendous blow as California declared disaster due to record low salmon returns. The Klamath River suffered the worst salmon returns in history, and the Sacramento/ Bay Delta Run only had 230,700 projected salmon returning, down from 650,000 only years before. 

These low salmon number were directly the result of water managers letting the majority of juvenile salmon die during California’s drought. In the Klamath River upwards of 90% of juvenile salmon died due to low flows three years in a row, and in the Sacramento River 98% of winter run salmon died in just one year, and the Delta smelt populations are now reduced to just a hand full of fish. 

Despite these crises the Trump administration wants to take more water from our rivers.

The new proposal would not only call for maximizing water deliveries and power generation, but also to  increase storage opportunities (new dams) and increase export capabilities (new diversions and tunnels), and it would undermine the Endangered Species Act.

This plan will reward California’s richest corporate agriculture interests for their support of Donald Trump who famously said water going to the ocean is wasted.

New efforts from the state of California and Winnemem Wintu Tribe to provide fish passage for salmon and restore flows and habitat for fish are threatened by this proposal. It is time for California to fight back.


Send send other written comments to Katrina Harrison, Project Manager, Bureau of Reclamation, Bay-Delta Office, 801 I Street, Suite 140, Sacramento, CA 95814-2536; fax to (916) 414-2425; or email at kharrison@usbr.gov.


Public hearings will be in Sacramento at on July 23rd at 2pm at the Stanford Room, 650 Capitol Mall in Sacramento, with a rally at 1pm, in Chico on July 25th at 6 at the  CSU Chico - BMU Chico, California 95928

 



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