NEWSOM ADMINISTRATION’S WATER RESILIENCE PORTFOLIO
A step in the right direction but fails to protect rural farming communities
January 6, 2020
The Newsom Administration’s highly anticipated Water Resilience Portfolio presents an impressive suite of actions that will certainly advance California water management. The Natural Resources Agency, CalEPA, and California Department of Food & Agriculture’s plan offers new opportunities to improve the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem by enhancing monitoring and incorporation of adaptive management based on the best available science, enhancing conveyance and storage, and addressing the impacts of climate change.
“The Coalition for a Sustainable Delta remains concerned, however, that the portfolio fails to address the growing impacts of water scarcity on rural farming communities throughout the Central Valley of California. While the portfolio recognizes land fallowing resulting from implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and increasingly limited surface water supplies, it stops short of providing real solutions to address the impacts to residents, farms and small businesses that depend on reliable water supplies,” said Bill Phillimore, Coalition for a Sustainable Delta President. “The state needs to provide more concrete solutions to a problem that will have far reaching impacts on millions who live and work in these regions.”
Stakeholders Make Progress on Important Water Management Efforts
March 4, 2019
Friday, the Newsom Administration and 42 other stakeholder groups including water users and NGOs agreed to move forward with efforts to develop a comprehensive water management and habitat restoration plan in connection with the State Water Board’s Water Quality Control Plan Update. The Coalition for a Sustainable Delta is excited and encouraged by this commitment from such a diverse group of participants.
“After decades of failed management policies and destructive conflict we are encouraged to see the Newsom Administration lead our State to better water management policies. The development of a constructive and comprehensive plan to meet the water needs of California families, farmers, and our environment is an historic step forward and can quiet the roiling waters of conflict we have lived with for so long,” said Executive Director, Jason Peltier. “It is crucial that non-flow measures are included as we move forward with water management and habitat restoration efforts, and we are pleased to see those elements in Friday’s announcement.”
Reclamation Moves Towards Long Overdue Project Operations Update
February 6, 2019
The Coalition for a Sustainable Delta (Coalition) is pleased that the Bureau of Reclamation has taken a long overdue step to update the operational criteria of the Central Valley Project (CVP) and the State Water Project (SWP). With the release of a new Biological Assessment for the Coordinated Long-Term Operation of the CVP and SWP, Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) are recognizing advancements in science and an improved understanding of the Delta that has emerged in the ten years.
“We are encouraged by the effort to implement an improved regulatory regime. Regulations governing project operations over the last ten years have failed fish, families, and farms across California. A change must be made to improve endangered native populations and ensure continued water reliability for millions of Californians,” said Jason Peltier, Executive Director. “The Coalition appreciates the years of work that has gone into this re-consultation process, with more to come over the next few months. The Coalition is encouraged that Reclamation is prioritizing increased operational flexibility while improving native endangered species through habitat restoration, improved monitoring, and a more strategic distribution of flows in the Delta. It is critical that the result of this re-consultation process recognizes and addresses the many stressors in the Delta and takes a holistic approach to improving native populations,” he added.
Jason Peltier to Lead New Chapter in Coalition’s Efforts
May 7, 2018
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. – Today the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta (CSD) announced the appointment of Jason Peltier as its new Executive Director, bringing enhanced leadership and tremendous experience as the Coalition expands its role in addressing and acting upon California water management, ecosystem improvement and the myriad of Bay-Delta issues.
The Coalition has long been an effective voice in Delta issues and a leader in addressing key Delta stressors such as harmful ammonia discharges and predation by non-native species. The Coalition continues to confront a system of policies and regulations that have failed to improve our fisheries, while certainly harming the social and economic fabric of California
“We are very excited to have someone with Jason’s experience leading our renewed and expanded efforts on California’s most challenging water issues,” said Bill Phillimore, Coalition for a Sustainable Delta President. “His leadership, knowledge and relationships will be an asset to these critical efforts.”
A resident of the Delta, Peltier brings a lifetime of work in water management and an intimate understanding of Delta issues that will allow the organization to evolve and expand efforts in the region. Most recently, Peltier served as the Executive Director of the San Luis & Delta Mendota Water Authority and the Deputy General Manager of Westlands Water District prior to that. He also served for six years as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the Department of the Interior in Washington D.C. as part of the management team responsible for the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Geological Survey. Peltier was raised on a diversified farm in Kern County, he received his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Chico State and is a graduate of the California Agricultural Leadership program.
Peltier’s background uniquely qualifies him to position CSD as a leader in an evolving era of increased collaboration. CSD will remain focused on the many Delta stressors that continue to plague the region, while working to increase cooperation between water users, NGOs and government stakeholders. In addition, the Coalition will work to promote and implement projects that will make a difference in Delta ecosystems that benefit fisheries and water users.
“For generations, competing interests have been battling in the Delta while the status quo continues to deteriorate for all,” said Peltier. “We have recently seen in our collaborative science efforts that government, NGOs and water agencies can work together constructively. That collaboration can be expanded to expediting actions to solve fishery and water problems. I’m looking forward to a new opportunity to help solve an old set of challenges.
Peltier will be based in Sacramento.
Jason Peltier can be reached at:
Coalition for a Sustainable Delta
925 L Street, Suite 800
Sacramento, California 95814
Office: 916 441-7685
Cell: 559 994-2255
California Farmers Are Leaders in Water Efficiency
March 1, 2018
A recent editorial by the Mercury News & East Bay Times Editorial Boards suggested that Central Valley farmers employ wasteful irrigation practices and should be subject to the same water rules that the State Water Resources Control Board is currently contemplating for urban users. This shockingly uniformed viewpoint made it clear that we needed to provide a refresher on some points we’ve made over the course of the most recent drought.
First, California farmers employ some of the most precise irrigation technologies and methods in the world. These state-of-the-art design, delivery and management practices increase production efficiency and conserve water. For example:
- Farms use satellite weather information and forecasting systems to schedule irrigation.
- Growers employ evapotranspiration and soil moisture data to maximize efficiency.
- Water suppliers throughout the state have upgraded and automated their systems to enable accurate, flexible and reliable deliveries.
- Millions of acres have been converted to precision irrigation systems such as sprinkler, drip and micro-spray irrigation and more acres are converted each year.
- Mobile labs are used to conduct in-field evaluations of irrigation systems.
- Farms and water suppliers are increasingly utilizing geographic information systems (GIS) and global positioning systems (GPS) to improve overall farm water management.
The editorial boards suggest that California’s agricultural abundance and role in providing more than 400 different commodities and 99 percent or more of the U.S.’s supply of almonds, artichokes, dates, dried plums, figs, garlic, kiwifruit, olives and olive oil, pistachios, raisins, table grapes, and walnuts is an “irresponsible choice.” Maybe a more responsible choice would be to encourage consumers to save water and stop eating!
The simple fact is that it takes water to grow food. There is always room for improvement, and California’s farmers continue to invest in more efficient irrigation practices. Drip and micro-irrigation systems are more prevalent than ever, especially in the almond industry, where 70 percent of almond growers use micro irrigation systems and more than 80 percent use demand based irrigation scheduling.
California farmers provide a safe and reliable food supply for our residents and millions more around the world, not to mention the thousands of workers the industry employs. Pointing fingers at hardworking farm families and farm workers does nothing to further the debate or work toward solutions.
Statement by the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta regarding release of WaterFix Biological Opinions:
Statement by the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta regarding Water Flow Analysis:
Statement by the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta regarding Southern California Water Committee Economic Study:
Statement by the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta regarding recent federal water actions:
California Legislature Calls on Fish & Game Commission to Address Predation
Statement Regarding Predation Issues & Petition Withdrawal
Coalition Urges US Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to Consider the Science of Recently Proposed Outflow Modification
Business and Water Coalition Petitions Fish and Game Commission to Address Predation
A Million Acre Feet of Water Lost to Ocean Amidst Drought – Huge Loss for California Taxpayers
State Water Board to Take Up Controversial Water Temperature Control Plan
Stormwater Pollution Suit Settled