Those who oppose the Peripheral Canal fail to include all of the facts in their arguments because the facts do not support their position. Claims that a canal would "remove so much water" are just that---claims. Operational limits of a proposed canal have yet to be finalized yet draft elements of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) already include limits on exports when natural river flows are lower.
There are a myriad of factors impacting salmon (and other fish) populations including water quality, invasive species, predatory fish, and ocean conditions. A recent report by the National Research Council stated that improving ecological conditions in the Delta will fail if they don't target multiple stressors, contrary to the constant drum beat calling for a reduced water supply for farms, homes and businesses.
The Sacramento River fall Chinook escapement, ocean harvest and river harvest index clearly shows population (and harvest) peaks in 1988, 1995, and 2002 with corresponding dips in the intervening years. It is normal to expect a rise in salmon numbers now and in the next few years and that's exactly what we're seeing.
Blaming the pumps or deliveries of water that flow through the Delta as the primary cause of reduced salmon populations is simply an exercise in hiding the facts.
California Farm Water Coalition
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