Coachella Valley California Delta by nyut545e2


									                                      What You Can Do To Help
                                  Study the Issues: We encourage you to                                            The California Delta
                                learn more about the Delta, its problems,
                                possible solutions and its important role as                                  California’s two largest rivers converge
                                a supply of water in the Coachella Valley.                                 near the capital to form the Sacramento-
                                                                                                           San Joaquin River Delta. This is the largest
                                  Get Involved: Efforts to find solutions can                              estuary on the west coast of the Americas,
                                be adversely affected by partisan politics or                              and encompasses close to 750,000 acres—
                                special interests. Lawmakers and others in                                 nearly 1,175 square miles.
                                positions that can make a difference need
                                to know how important this issue is to you.                                   The Delta is 450 miles north of Coachella
                                                                                                           Valley—a drive of at least seven hours—yet
                                  Conserve Water: By using less water, you                                 what happens there has tremendous impact
                                reduce the Coachella Valley’s dependency                                   on quality of life here. Much is wrong in the
                                upon imported water and help the region                                    Delta. If solutions are not found, Coachella
                                become more self-sufficient and less likely
                                to be affected by what happens elsewhere.
                                                                                The                        Valley will suffer the consequences along
                                                                                                           with the rest of California.

                                        COACHELL A VALLEY
                                                                                California                    Two crucial conveyance systems— the
                                                                                                           State Water Project and the Central Valley
                                         WATER DISTRICT
                                           Post Office Box 1058                 Delta                      Project—rely upon water that is pumped
                                                                                                           from the Delta into the California Aqueduct

                                        Coachella, California 92236
                                        Telephone: (760) 398-2651
                                                                                is as close as your next   and several canals and other waterways.
                                                                                                              Twenty-three million people depend on
                                            Fax: (760) 398-3711
                                                                                glass of water in          the Delta for at least some of their water.
                                         Website:                                                Millions of acres of farmland are irrigated
                                          (Published in August 2008)            The                        statewide with water taken from the Delta,
                                                                                                           which has thriving agriculture of its own.
                                     Photos by Dale Kolke, California DWR
                                           & Robert Keeran, CVWD                                              The Delta is a popular destination for
                                                                                                           fishing and boating enthusiasts, naturalists
             Coachella Valley
                                                                                                           and others who enjoy its unique features.
                                                           A Delta in Crisis                         A Tiny Fish, Big Problems
                                                  The reliability of Coachella Valley’s supply     Delta rivers are major commercial routes,
                                                of State Water Project water is in jeopardy.     and its natural and man-made waterways                   Looking for Answers
The Valley Must Import Water                                                                     extend for 1,000 miles. The region is home
                                                                                                                                                     Delta stakeholders represent very diverse
                                                  More than 1,100 miles of earthen levees        to more than 750 species of wildlife and
  Although Coachella Valley is blessed with     protect farm “islands” and other land from                                                         interests and haven’t yet reached consensus
a vast aquifer, the region has relied upon                                                       plants —some are unique to the Delta and
                                                flooding. Most were built 130 years ago by                                                         on a list of priorities or responsibilities.
imported water to protect and replenish                                                          others are protected by state and federal
                                                dredging sloughs and are little more than        endangered species laws.                            Previous attempts to find solutions to
groundwater supplies since the late 1940s,      unstable piles of dirt subject to collapse.                                                        the Delta’s myriad of problems are viewed
when the Coachella Canal brought Colorado                                                          Delta water quality is adversely affected       by many as a failure because of piecemeal
River water to the region’s farmlands.            Due to subsidence and soil erosion, the        by agricultural and urban by-products. The        approaches, which led to spending a lot of
                                                islands are dropping further below rising        introduction of non-native invasion species,
  Deliveries of State Water Project water—                                                                                                         money but garnered very few results.
                                                sea levels. Climate changes mean less snow       accidentally or for sports fishing, has further
through a unique exchange agreement for         pack, more immediate runoff during rainy         damaged the Delta’s ecosystem.                      A governor-appointed Blue Ribbon panel
Colorado River water with the Metropolitan      season and higher water levels at those                                                            has recently identified major problems—
Water District—began in 1973. Since then,                                                          The native Delta smelt is on federal and        including land subsidence, seismicity, rises
                                                times. All contribute to levee instability.      state threatened species lists. While several
more than two million acre-feet of water                                                                                                           in sea level, climate changes, exotic species
has been used to replenish groundwater.           There is fear that a major earthquake will     factors likely contributed to its demise, the     and ecosystem changes, population growth
                                                cause numerous levees to break, allowing         only action so far has been the ruling by a       and urbanization. All could adversely affect
 The entitlements of the Coachella Valley       brackish water to contaminate fresh water        federal judge that because some guidelines        current and future water supplies.
Water District and nearby Desert Water          for a decade or longer, making it unsuitable     associated with the “taking” of the fish were
Agency—if combined—would rank third                                                              not followed, the pumping of water from             Panel research continues and a long list
                                                as drinking water and for other purposes.                                                          of possible solutions is being developed.
among the 29 State Water Contractors.           Those who have studied the issue report          the Delta has to be reduced significantly.
                                                                                                                                                   This will require cooperation among water
  To keep pace with demand by residential       such an event would be a catastrophe for           As a result of this legal decision, drought     providers, land developers, agriculture,
and business consumers, the agencies seek       the state on a scale equal to or exceeding       and other issues, Coachella Valley is among       lawmakers, environmentalists and other
to add to entitlements whenever possible,       the effects of Hurricane Katrina on New          regions seriously affected by the reduced         special-interest groups
although these do not guarantee deliveries.     Orleans and surrounding areas.                   availability of imported Delta water.
                                                                                                                                                     There exists a growing consensus among
  State Water Project average reliability has     The Delta’s problems are not limited to          Without solutions, the area’s development       stakeholders that fixing the state Delta and
gone from 68% to 63% in two years. Delta-       geography, however, and already contribute       and growth could be adversely impacted by         solving the state’s water crisis must receive
related issues reduced most deliveries to       significantly to the statewide water crisis      the lack of a reliable, sustainable supply of     equal attention. Solutions to one crisis will
only 35% of entitlements in 2008.               and the dire economic consequences.              State Water Project water in the near future.     never be found by ignoring the other.

To top