California's Bay Delta Water Grab

  Drought conditions would occur much more frequently at Lake McClure as a result of the Bay Delta SED.
 

The latest news on the Bay Delta Plan SED

In November, the State Water Resources Control Board delayed adoption of the Bay Delta SED Plan until mid-December. It was the second delay in the past few months and was prompted by a joint letter from out-going Governor Jerry Brown and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom. The Board similarly delayed the final adoption of the Bay Delta SED Plan in August.


The State Water Resources Control Board has stated the delays are intended to provide more time for voluntary settlement agreements to meet the objectives of the Bay Delta SED. The purported intent of the Bay Delta SED is to support salmon in the Delta and San Joaquin River system. MID has countered that simply diverting water away from eastern Merced County will do nothing to address the main stressors affecting the salmon lifecycle. 


MID continues to advocate its Merced River S.A.F.E. Plan as an alternative compromise to the Bay Delta Plan SED. 


To watch MID General Manager John Sweigard’s testimony at the August 22 hearing, please click here  


 

For years, the State Water Resources Control Board has been proposing to divert water from our community and send it to the San Francisco Bay Delta. This would have a direct and harmful impact on:

  • Local groundwater used by cities and agriculture alike
  • The local environment
  • The region’s economy
  • Future development and land values

In July the State Water Board released its most recent – and apparently final version – of its Bay Delta Water Quality Control Plan Update, or Bay Delta SED. Members of our community and MID have both provided hundreds of comments and scientific input in recent years. Merced Irrigation District has advocated the Merced River S.A.F.E. Plan as an alternative: it would have provided increased flows at reasonable times, improved habitat, hatchery improvements and more. MID had attempted to negotiate with the State and various stakeholders but was forced to abandon negotiations when it became clear the only interest was diverting 40 percent of the water flowing into Lake McClure.

The State Water Board has remained unmoved and is intending to proceed with its plans to divert up to half of the water flowing into Lake McClure away from our community.

MID adamantly condemns the plan and considers it to be a completely irresponsible water grab, one that will place undue harm on our already significantly disadvantaged communities in eastern Merced County.

The State Water Board intends to adopt its latest version of the Bay Delta SED toward in August. Additional information about the public hearings for this plan will continue to be provided.

Important links:

 

Lake McClure -- 2015

 

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