Viewpoints: Peripheral Canal can aid fish habitat

By John McCamman

In 1965 the director of the Department of Fish and Game, Walter T. Shannon, presented his annual report to the Fish and Game Commission. In that report, he noted the “significant accomplishment” of selecting the peripheral canal “as the best method of transporting water from the north to the south across the Delta.

This conclusion was the product of the “Delta Fish and Wildlife Protection Study,” a joint federal-state project that evaluated alternatives to enhance wildlife protections in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. In fact, that report concludes that the peripheral canal is “the only opportunity to both protect and enhance these resources.”

There has been no change in that position, or in the relative benefits of the peripheral canal when compared to other options for the export of water since that time.

If the state and federal governments continue to export water from the Delta, the fishery agencies’ obligation is to ensure that those exports will do the least damage, and may provide an opportunity to conserve and enhance natural communities, including the fish, wildlife and habitat that are a part of those communities.

Read more:


REGION: Inland leaders explore remedies for uncertain water supplies

Twenty-eight years ago, Northern California voters killed a bond issue that would have paid for a canal to carry water from the big rivers in the north to fast-growing Southern California.

The Peripheral Canal, as it was called, is still being debated, and now officials are talking instead about building tunnels to carry the water more than 40 miles underground at a cost that could top $14 billion. The tunnels would carry supplies under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the pumps that feed the California Aqueduct.

The Delta may be hundreds of miles from Inland water taps, but its aging levees, declining fish populations and water pumping limitations have Southern California water purveyors again looking for a big fix.

Read more…

Brown calls for delta canal in Calif. water plan

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown hasn’t changed his mind about the peripheral canal, which voters defeated when he was governor in 1982.

A water plan he released Wednesday calls for building a canal or tunnel around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as a way to more efficiently funnel water to Southern California and Central Valley farmers.

If elected governor, Brown says he would take action to restore the delta’s ecosystem while meeting California’s water needs.

Read more…

Secret meetings over Delta canal enrage lawmakers

SACRAMENTO – Important players in the development of a plan that could lead to construction of a peripheral canal or tunnel are meeting behind closed doors, to the consternation of Delta-area lawmakers who signed a letter of protest late last week.

Meanwhile, a document to help spur discussion in those meetings contains details that some Delta advocates find alarming.

Read more…