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Supervisors oppose Delta task force recommendations

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Posted: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 10:00 pm

Issuing a strong statement that San Joaquin County must protect itself against Delta water being exported to the south while acknowledging the water needs in Southern California, the Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution Tuesday opposing a second attempt of a Peripheral Canal.

"Right now, we're in a huge tug-of-war between north and south," Mel Lytle, the county's water resource coordinator, told the Board of Supervisors.

The proposal was put on the table by the Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force, a group appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to advise on how to deal with California's divergent water interests. It's the second generation of the so-called Peripheral Canal, which was defeated by voters statewide in 1982. The proposal was to divert Delta waters to Southern California.

Lytle said that diverting water to urban areas in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas, along with farms in Kern and other south San Joaquin Valley counties, would be detrimental locally.

A "Peripheral Canal," also known as a "dual conveyance system," could result in loss of water and quality in San Joaquin County, decrease agricultural production and create poorer fisheries and fish habitat, Lytle said. It would also harm the county's business and economy, he said.

  • The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors adopted a permanent ordinance Tuesday to govern entertainment in unincorporated communities and an interim ordinance defining "adult entertainment." The adult entertainment ordinance is valid for 45 days, when the board will consider a permanent ordinance.
  • The board agreed to install a traffic signal on Highway 88 at Alpine Road, south of Eight Mile Road. The purpose is to reduce the number and severity of traffic accidents, according to Public Works Director Tom Flinn. The intersection has two-way stop signs. Estimated project cost is $432,000, with the county spending up to $180,000 and the remainder by Caltrans.
  • Brandt, Golfview and Morse roads will be improved, probably in June. Brandt Road in Lockeford will get four-foot paved shoulders on each side between Highway 88 and Jack Tone Road, while all three roads will receive repairing and resurfacing.

    A biological assessment or preconstruction survey by a wildlife biologist must be completed prior to construction, because the project may substantially affect biological resources such as nesting birds, including the state-listed threatened Swainson's hawk.

  • The Board of Supervisors approved a subdivision agreement for a small subdivision on the west of Thornton Road, south of DeBroggi Road in Flag City. The project calls for almost eight acres of commercial development.

    - News-Sentinel staff

"'Dual conveyance' is just a sham to make us feel better," Supervisor Leroy Ornellas said.

In opposing the task force's report, Supervisory Larry Ruhstaller asked that the seven cities in San Joaquin County go on record as either supporting or opposing the resolution. Lytle said that the Manteca City Council has already adopted the resolution.

Lytle added that the Delta Blue Ribbon Task Force seems to be re-naming the region to the "California Delta" rather than the "Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta."

"I think we're outnumbered," Supervisor Steve Gutierrez said. "I think it's hardball. I think we need to take a stand."

Highlights of Delta task force recommendations

  • The Delta ecosystem and a reliable water supply for California are the primary co-equal goals for sustainable management of the Delta.
  • New facilities for conveyance and storage, and better linkage between the two, are needed to better manage California's water esources for both the estuary and exports.
  • The current boundaries and governance system of the Delta must be changed. It is essential to have an independent body with authority to achieve the co-equal goals of ecosystem revitalization and adequate water supply for California while also recignbizing the importance of the Delta as a unique and valued area.
  • Discourage inappropriate urbanization of the Delta.

For more information on the task force report, visit www.deltavision.ca.gov/DeltaVision-DraftTaskForceVision.shtml.

Source: Delta Blue Ribbon Task Force

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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