Letters to the Editor

Tim Stroshane: Delta group wants more water to help salmon populations

Re “State’s plan for river flows spells disaster” (Page 7A, March 20): Restore the Delta agrees that Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels proposal and the San Joaquin water plan by the State Water Resources Control Board will be a disaster economically and ecologically for the Delta, and that the State Water Board ignores the Delta’s area of origin rights (Water Code Sections 12200-12205).

But we disagree with San Joaquin County Supervisors Chuck Winn and Katherine Miller’s treatment of fish issues.

The State Water Board’s flow recommendations do not measure up to mandated state and federal goals to double all Central Valley salmon and steelhead populations. The economic benefit of restoring abundant salmon runs has yet to be seriously studied, and is underestimated by water agencies and politicians. Shared sacrifice requires increasing flows to protect and restore the salmon runs of the San Joaquin River Basin. More flows from San Joaquin River tributaries to the Delta, and reduced exports to the major state and federal water contractors like Westlands Water District and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California are needed to achieve mandated fish goals.

To be a life-giving river, not a mere irrigation ditch, a river must have at least half its normal flows.

Tim Stroshane, Policy Analyst, Restore the Delta, Albany