Archive for the ‘Delta & Environment’ Category

Tiered water rates still in effect in Antioch, restricted watering days no longer required

Monday, August 15th, 2016

Some prohibited water activities still in effect

By Steve Duran, City Manager

Tiered water rates are still in effect and were calculated to reflect the cost of service to treat and deliver water to the community. These rates were developed independent of the drought status and will remain in effect. The State has officially declared the drought is over and removed the 25% statewide water conservation goal.

Beginning in June of this year, the City of Antioch is mandated to conserve water based on a three year projected “stress test” formula provided by the State. This will remain in effect until January 2017. Based on our results, we have a sufficient water supply for our water production rates and will not have a conservation target.

The City of Antioch is no longer requiring restricted watering days. We still encourage all conservation efforts where possible to protect our valuable resource. All of the “prohibited water activities” as outlined by the State are still in effect. This includes: washing off driveways and walkways, irrigating 48 hours after a measurable rainfall and irrigating in such a way that causes runoff to non-landscaped areas.

To see a complete list, search saveourwater.com or other similar websites on the California drought. Water customers did a fantastic job with their water conservation efforts. We were able to meet our State mandated goal of 28%.

Thank you all for the conservation efforts and success we achieved. Please continue to protect this precious and limited resource.

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Frazier issues statement after approval of Delta tunnels audit

Friday, August 12th, 2016

Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D – Oakley) issued the following statement after the Joint Legislative Audit Committee approved a request by a coalition of Delta representatives to take a closer look at the funding of the Delta tunnels project, now known as the California WaterFix:

“Since being elected to the Assembly, I have continuously fought against any new water conveyance project in the Delta,” Fraizer stated. “Major concerns have been raised regarding a secure financial plan with both the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and the California WaterFix/EcoRestore.

“As the representative and a long-time citizen of Assembly District 11, known as ‘The Heart of the Delta,’ this issue has always been a priority. As chair of the Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee, I held the first legislative oversight hearing on the BDCP’s funding structure, allowing the public and Legislature a forum to voice concerns and identify shortfalls. I’ve also carried legislation to address these worries; such as AB 2583, which would have resolved many of the concerns raised in the recently approved audit request.

“Little by little, each of these attempts has resulted in increased awareness and understanding of this critical issue. I am pleased that my colleagues on the Joint Legislative Audit Committee understood the importance of taking a closer look at these uncertainties and I look forward to reviewing the results.”

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Contra Costa County joins other agencies, groups to sue L.A. water district over Delta islands purchase

Friday, April 15th, 2016

On Thursday, Contra Costa County, the Planning and Conservation League and Food and Water Watch, as well as two other Delta local agencies, Central Delta Water Agency and San Joaquin County announced they will file a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Met) over their plan to purchase several islands in the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary.

On March 14, 2016, Metropolitan Water District had filed a Notice of Exemption under the California Environmental Quality Act for the purchase of the Delta islands, claiming the purchase was for Delta habitat restoration purposes.

However, Met’s General Manager, Jeff Kightlinger, admitted to the press at the time of the island purchase announcement that the islands could facilitate building the $15.7 billion Delta tunnels project championed by Governor Brown by “reducing eminent-domain needs and providing a storage place for construction dirt.”

In addition, Mr. Kightlinger made additional public statements regarding the uses and benefits of the Delta islands that contradicted the CEQA exemption statement.

At a rally in Stockton in support of the lawsuit, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director, Restore the Delta spoke.

“Based on this improper CEQA filling, we are calling on the Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors to reverse the bad vote that they made at their General Manager’s urging to purchase the Delta islands,” she said. “Clearly, the purchase of the Delta islands is Met’s attempt to anchor the Delta tunnels in our region so that construction could begin, despite the fact that the plan is still not approved or financed.

“The $175 million purchase price for the Delta islands does not count the costs to Southern California ratepayers for the inevitable litigation that begins with today’s filing,” Barrigan-Parrilla continued. “If Met loses in court, they will not be able to ever sell these islands for the same price. That means Southern Californian water users will become owners of a very expensive duck habitat hundreds of miles to the north. Met will also be on the hook for maintenance of hundreds of miles of Delta levees, an ongoing cost that will be paid year after year by Southern California ratepayers.”

“Our 35,000 members from throughout California agree there are better ways for Southern California water agencies to plan for their water future.  More than 7500 area residents have already signed letters that will be sent to Metropolitan Water District’s Board of Directors urging them to drop the Delta islands purchase and to instead invest the $175 million in solutions that build sustainability in Southern California like storm water capture and water recycling,” she added. “Met has already spent nearly $100 million on Delta tunnels planning, but the process at the State Water Board has recently ground to a halt, and there is no financial plan between Met and agricultural water districts, like the SEC fined Westlands, as to who will pay what proportion of the $15.5 billion construction costs.”

For more information on Restore the Delta and their efforts to stop the Delta Tunnels, visit www.restorethedelta.org.

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Keep Antioch Beautiful Day annual, citywide cleanup, Sat., April 23

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

KAB-2016_FlyerFor the month of April the Antioch Police Department is encouraging citizens to participate in the citywide, KEEP ANTIOCH BEAUTIFUL DAY clean up event April 23, 2016 from 8:30am-11:00am. This is a collaborative community effort, which involves active participation from the Antioch Police Crime Prevention Commission; Neighborhood Watch Program; Volunteers in Police Service; Keep Antioch Beautiful Committee; community volunteers, and the Public Works Department.

Check in sites for the April 23, 2016 citywide cleanup are at the following locations:

Nick Rodriguez Community Center, Turner Elementary, Mission Elementary, Carmen Dragon Elementary, Park Middle School, Antioch High School and Deer Valley High School

The targeted areas are within walking distance. Excluding inclement weather, future Neighborhood Cleanup events are scheduled for the first Saturday of every month and the locations will be announced in advance.

For a list of locations and to sign up visit http://art4antioch.org//Keep-Antioch-Beautiful.asp or call 779-6137.

Sponsored by City of Antioch, Republic Services, Honeywell, NRG, Antioch Unified School District, Walmart, East Bay Regional Park District, Central Self Storage, Arts & Cultural Foundation of Antioch, Pinky’s Klassy Kar Wash, Dick Straub (in Memorium), Police Crime Prevention Commission, Paradise Skate & Paintball Park and Undead Bettys Roller Derby.

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Residents urged to speak against Contra Costa Water District deal on Delta Tunnels, Wed., April 6

Friday, April 1st, 2016

Restore the Delta says to tell the Contra Costa Water Board “Say no to back room deals that sell out Delta water quality for the region”

By Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director, Restore the Delta

The Contra Costa Water District Board of Directors will soon be reviewing the settlement agreement that they recently signed with the Delta Tunnels plan effort. The settlement drops CCWD’s protest against the tunnels plan in exchange for a separate pipeline to deliver drinking water to its customers. We are urging all concerned residents to attend the meeting.

This may be your only opportunity to register a public comment on how you feel about CCWD’s self-interested approach to secure a water supply at the expense of the community it serves.

What: CCWD Public Board Meeting

When: Wednesday, April 6, 2016, 6:30 to 9:00 pm. (Come at 6:00 pm if you would like to organize with us prior to the meeting)

Where: 1331 Concord Avenue, Concord   

The Contra Costa Water District is choosing to exchange its present contract for Delta water deliveries for an intake above the Delta that will remove even more fresh water from the estuary. This not only puts all other Delta communities at risk for even worse water quality, but also leaves their own customers within their own district with degraded Delta water for other uses. Additionally, their decision leaves the San Francisco Bay Estuary with degraded water quality which will negatively impact that magnificent ecosystem.

Contra Costa County residents recreate in high numbers in the Delta, live around its water ways, and have regular contact with the water.  Environmental justice communities and recreational anglers fish Delta waterways for sustenance and professional tournaments, and Contra Costa County farmers depend on quality Delta water for their businesses.

Furthermore, the impacts will be exacerbated for residents in Discovery Bay for all water uses — from toxic algal blooms to waterways polluted with salt, Selenium and human carcinogens. Reducing flow through the Delta will put the estuary in a state of “permanent drought.”

CCWD’s willingness to settle is an indictment of how bad the Delta Tunnels plan really is. The Tunnels Project will have egregious water quality impacts in the Delta. CCWD should drop the settlement, and rejoin the unified opposition to the Tunnels plan launched by the entire Bay-Delta community, not cut a self-serving back room deal!

Lastly, Restore the Delta and collaborating environmental groups have in the past supported an expansion of Los Vaqueros Reservoir (and an intertie between Contra Costa Water District and Santa Clara Valley Water District) as ways to meet water needs for the greater Bay Area.  However, we are reconsidering our support of such measures seeing that Contra Costa Water District would now become a party to depriving the Bay-Delta estuary of needed flows through the Delta tunnels project. CCWD is effectively transforming the expansion of Los Vaqueros from a solution to a tool of the Bay-Delta estuary water grab.

Read our opposition to this settlement here. If you have questions, about this alert, please feel free to call our office at 209-475-9550.  We will see you, our members, at 6 pm in order to organize before the meeting on April 6, 2016. If you cannot make the meeting, submit a public comment here.

Thank you for your continued support.

The Contra Costa Water District service area includes Antioch, Bay Point, Brentwood (portion), Clayton, Clyde, Concord, Martinez (portion), Oakley, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill (portion), Port Costa and Walnut Creek (portion). To find your Director on the Board visit http://www.ccwater.com/426/Division-Map—Find-Your-Director.  If you can’t attend the meeting you can also email your Director by visiting http://www.ccwater.com/416/Board-of-Directors . and clicking on their name and then link to contact them. Antioch is represented by Directors Bette Boatmun and Connstance Holdaway.

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Contra Costa Water District signs agreement with Department of Water Resources on water from Delta Tunnels

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

The Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) announced, Tuesday that they have signed a settlement agreement with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) that will protect its customers, facilities, and operations if the Bay Delta Conservation Plan / California WaterFix (CWF), aka the “twin tunnels,” is built. The agreement is an insurance policy to protect the unique water quality and supply issues raised by CCWD.

Since studies began in 2006 to evaluate alternative conveyance strategies for Delta water serving those dependent on the export pumps in the south Delta, CCWD has publicly raised concerns about several issues including potential impacts to the operation of its facilities in the Delta that provide high quality water service to its customers. The state approached CCWD to discuss the water quality and supply concerns unique to CCWD and an agreement was reached that will provide protections for CCWD’s customers if the project is built.

“We take our role to protect our customers seriously and cannot gamble with the future of our water supply or quality,” said General Manager Jerry Brown. “Should this project move forward without these assurances in place, CCWD’s facilities and operations would be negatively impacted. We are confident this is an iron-clad insurance policy for our customers, we wouldn’t have reached an agreement otherwise.”

Key to this settlement is the fact that it will not result in rate increases for CCWD customers nor redirect any potential impacts to other areas. It is a legally binding agreement to protect CCWD’s ability to use the facilities its customers have invested over $1 billion in the past 20 years.

“We are confident knowing we have taken actions to protect our customer’s future if the tunnels are ever constructed,” commented Brown. “The state is committing to a significant investment to ensure CCWD customers will be made whole, and this agreement protects our ability to deliver high quality water to those we serve.”

“We’re pleased to have reached an agreement with CCWD that is good for their customers and good for the 25 million Californians who depend upon the State Water Project,” said DWR Director Mark Cowin. “We appreciate CCWD’s reasonable, efficient, and effective approach to resolving concerns about California WaterFix.”

CCWD is not a proponent of the CWF. This settlement does not change that position, but instead is a way to safeguard CCWD and those it serves if a larger statewide plan is ever implemented. CCWD will remain an active participant in finding statewide solutions and continue to protect the drinking water interests of our customers.

The Board of Directors will review the details of the agreement at the April 6 Board Meeting held at 1331 Concord Ave. in Concord at 6:30 p.m.

For further details related to this settlement, please visit http://www.ccwater.com/317/Bay-Delta-Conservation-Plan-Comments.

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Diane Burgis receives Women Improving the Environment Award from the Contra Costa Women’s Hall of Fame

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Diane Burgis, a trustee on the East Bay Regional Parks District Board and Executive Director of Friends of the Marsh Creek Watershed received the Women Improving the Environment Award from the Contra Costa Women’s Hall of Fame, Tuesday night in Concord.

The Board of Supervisors established the Contra Costa Women’s Hall of Fame in October 1997 to acknowledge those exceptional, multifaceted women who have enhanced life in Contra Costa County through their careers and volunteer activities.

The honorees have made a difference through their efforts towards equity, innovation, service or achievement in commerce or community outreach.

Burgis was nominated by Susan Morgan, a Director on the Ironhouse Sanitary District Board.  “Through Diane Burgis’ leadership as Executive Director of the Friends of the Marsh Creek Watershed, the protection of natural resources including creeks, water quality and open space has become a priority to our community and its leaders,” said Morgan.  “Much of Diane’s work has been funded part time and she was able to accomplish great things for our environment and the Watershed by working beyond her paid hours and by recruiting and encouraging support from volunteers in the community.”

Marsh Creek is one of the fastest urbanizing watersheds in California, and the creek flows for 30 miles through the rapidly growing communities of Brentwood, Oakley and Antioch in eastern Contra Costa County and into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

“I am honored to receive this award on behalf of the many volunteers who contribute their time and talent to protecting, conserving and restoring the Marsh Creek Watershed,” said Burgis.

Burgis is a candidate for County Supervisor in District 3 in the June election. This is the second honor for her since she entered the race.

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Viewing party of Open Roads with Doug McConnell featuring a segment on Marsh Creek, Sunday

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

Friends of Marsh Creek WatershedBy Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed

Join us Sunday March 20th at 6PM for a viewing party of Open Roads with Doug McConnell featuring a segment on Marsh Creek.  Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed invited our friends from Save Mount Diablo, the John Marsh Historical Trust & the Independence High School Outdoor Wetlands Learning (OWL) Program to participate in a quick look at Marsh Creek top to bottom.

We will have food and soft drinks for $10.  This is a family event!

You can attend without eating just sign up for a free ticket.

When: Sunday, March 20, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM (PDT) – Add to Calendar

Where: Providence Bar & Eatery – 2085 Main Street, Oakley, CA 94561 – View Map

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