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BLOG: A Backup Plan for the Delta Smelt

Luke Ellison is holding something most of us will never get to see: a delta smelt. Graceful, iridescent and about as long as my finger, these fish are so rare in the wild that just six adults were found during a sample survey of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta last spring. And the Delta is the only place in the world where this endangered species lives – in the wild, that is.

Delta smelt also live in enormous round outdoor tanks and smaller tanks inside dimly lit trailers filled with the sound of running water.

OPINION: Stop the Delta Tunnel Water Madness

Every Bay Area resident has a vested interest in the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s decision on whether to support Gov. Jerry Brown’s $17 billion plan to build two tunnels under the Delta.

The governor’s top lieutenants came to San Jose for a formal presentation to the water board Tuesday to make their case — knowing that the board had just fired CEO Beau Goldie, who was a cheerleader for the tunnels from the start. The district already has contributed nearly $14 million toward studies, and Goldie had expected ratepayers to provide at least $500 million more.

 

Desert Crop Production for Export Prompts Outcry

In eastern Riverside County, almost to the Arizona border, is the Palo Verde Valley, where scorching summers, mild winters and access to Colorado River water have made it an agricultural hot spot, especially for alfalfa.

Some of the hay crop grown in the valley is used for domestic cattle and the rest is sold to other countries where land or water shortages preclude industrial-scale growing operations. The same is true in the Coachella Valley, the high desert of San Bernardino County and other Inland growing areas.