DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

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DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby WB Staff » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:17 pm

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The idea that California Department of Water Resources can offer $1 billion in contracts for a project that has not been permitted by State and Federal agencies is an outrageous use of public money. We are calling on the Delta Legislative Caucus and other legislative budget committee leaders to hold immediate hearings as to what is transpiring with the Department of Water Resources. They are in a rush to circumvent regular public permitting processes so as to hold “a theatrical groundbreaking” to appease Governor Brown before he leaves office. This is a blatant misuse of public money, regardless of whether it is paid for by state taxpayers or water ratepayers. The project is not permitted, not yet approved, and the offering of contracts now puts the financial cart before the horse.

Read our full press release below:

Notes from CA WaterFix Industry Day: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process & Financial Analysis

Sacramento – Officials for CA WaterFix Industry Day announced that while not all funding is available for WaterFix presently, that the first $1 billion for four contracts will be made public today, December 7, 2017. The Design Construction Enterprise (a CA WaterFix unit staffed by Metropolitan Water District employees and associates embedded in the Department of Water Resources), will be organizing into a Construction Joint Powers Authority and awarding contracts despite reports of dubious financial arrangements and project management qualifications as reported by the State Auditor.

Friends of the Restore the Delta campaign attending CA WaterFix Industry Day noted that program presenters barely acknowledged that the permit process is far from finished, or which agency sourced the initial $1 billion in funding. These notes can be read here, while official program materials can be accessed here.

Project officials also claimed some sort of groundbreaking ceremonies will take place during December 18, 2018, despite project design stated to be 5% complete—a shift from the original 10% designed status noted by project officials before the State Water Resources Control Board and at other public agency meetings.
Restore the Delta executive director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla said, “It is my sincere hope that our union brothers and sisters working in construction and veterans business groups will take heed of the findings by the State Auditor regarding the project’s finances before making business plans with the state for the project. Hearings for the Validation Suit filed by the Department of Water Resources and associated responses have been delayed; permitting for the project is far from complete; and the majority of water agencies have not committed to paying for the project.

“The idea that DWR can offer $1 billion in contracts for a project that has not been permitted by State and Federal agencies is an outrageous use of public money. We are calling on the Delta Legislative Caucus and other legislative budget committee leaders to hold immediate hearings as to what is transpiring with the Department of Water Resources. They are in a rush to circumvent regular public permitting processes so as to hold “a theatrical groundbreaking” to appease Governor Brown before he leaves office. This is a blatant misuse of public money, regardless of whether it is paid for by state taxpayers or water ratepayers. The project is not permitted, not yet approved, and the offering of contracts now puts the financial cart before the horse.”
To learn more about what happened at CA WaterFix Industry Day, tune in to a special episode of Delta Flows on the Voice of Stockton Radio tomorrow morning. Press can listen live from 10-11am via the KXVS Facebook page or YouTube page. For those who are unavailable at this time, the episode will be posted to the KXVS Facebook and YouTube pages, as well as the Restore the Delta Facebook page after the episode has aired.

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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby mark poulson » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:34 pm

They're probably hoping that the companies who win the bids will get on board with the PR campaign for approval, and put pressure on the Legislature to "protect jobs" by supporting this underhanded scheme.
If they wind up not getting the permits, and the project is cancelled, will we get our $1 billion in tax money back?
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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby Winxp_man » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:44 am

Nothing to see here guys! Yea not much at all......... :evil: :evil: :evil: :|

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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby MGJR » Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:45 am

Anybody else kinda get the feeling that no matter what...it will get pushed through? Holy smokes...this whole thing is so dirty.

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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby stratosman » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:31 am

Moonbeam has his train legacy and now is going to improve his dad's legacy. It's all about what's Brown coming out of Sacramento.

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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby mark poulson » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:18 am

stratosman wrote:Moonbeam has his train legacy and now is going to improve his dad's legacy. It's all about what's Brown coming out of Sacramento.


Are you saying Sacramento is full of Brown? :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby stratosman » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:28 pm

It's has politicians doesn't it?

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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby MichaelB » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:23 pm

Interesting ..... no permits, no financing, no economic study. Although the federal government is not providing financing, the project needs their approval as "federal waterways" are being impacted.

No construction can start without financing in place and permits. The "project" is 5% designed. I suspect the Co-Sleazy Partners.... Metropolitan Water District and Department of Water Resources are writing themselves design and construction management contracts for $1b to fund their own operations.

Someone needs to take the ceremonial groundbreaking shovel and beat Governor Brown over the head with it.

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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby Steve » Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:53 am

Just playing the devils advocate here.

Did you do your homework? What makes you, or anybody else, think that the WaterFix has not received permits?

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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby MichaelB » Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:36 am

Steve wrote:Just playing the devils advocate here.

Did you do your homework? What makes you, or anybody else, think that the WaterFix has not received permits?

The entire premise of the news release from "Restore the Delta" is the project had not been permitted. They have not completed the economic/financial viability studies, they have less than 50% of the as yet to be finalized cost of $17b in place and the federal government is not going to make up the shortfall.

Not trying to be confrontational here, we can only hope that these points will be enough to bring down this heinous project.

http://www.restorethedelta.org/2017/12/ ... -analysis/

http://auditor.ca.gov/pdfs/reports/2016-132.pdf

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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby Steve » Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:37 am

I think if you do your online homework, instead of believing what your read as factual on blind faith, you will find that indeed the WaterFix has received multiple permits.

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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby mark poulson » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:13 pm

Steve wrote:I think if you do your online homework, instead of believing what your read as factual on blind faith, you will find that indeed the WaterFix has received multiple permits.


Sources?
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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby Marc » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:45 pm

I agree with Steve on this...fake news.
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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby mark poulson » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:11 am

Marc wrote:I agree with Steve on this...fake news.


Marc, do you have a source that shows which permits the DWR has for their tunnels? I'm asking because all of my information has come from Restore the Delta, so I'm relying on their information.
Here's were I got my information:

https://www.facebook.com/KXVSradio/vide ... 668474337/
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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby Steve » Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:40 pm

Mark:

Get on the internet and search for the permits. You will get frustrated because they are buried, but you will find them. DWR has a WaterFix website, thats a good place to start.

I only point this stuff out because if the fishing community wants to have leverage as a group, we have to do a better job at understanding issues, fact checking everything, and not taking spun news/propaganda at face value.

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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby mark poulson » Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:53 pm

Steve wrote:Mark:

Get on the internet and search for the permits. You will get frustrated because they are buried, but you will find them. DWR has a WaterFix website, thats a good place to start.

I only point this stuff out because if the fishing community wants to have leverage as a group, we have to do a better job at understanding issues, fact checking everything, and not taking spun news/propaganda at face value.


Steve, I don't trust Gov. Brown and the DWR Waterfix people.

I checked the Waterfix site and the only permit they show they've actually obtained is the Incidental Take Permit.
Here's the link to their permit page:
https://www.californiawaterfix.com/reso ... s/permits/
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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby Marc » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:34 pm

Mark,
If I get time this week I will show you that the necessary permits to begin construction have been approved; but I am very busy, and like Steve, have to be judicious with my posts. It is not hard to find the truth, but you do need to fact check the vocal sources. I have tried to lay low on much of this discussion because I realize I have a minority opinion among my fellow bass anglers, and do not have time nor the desire to fight with my bass friends. When I have tried to explain what I have learned as both a fisheries biologist, and a water professional, I bump against emotional rhetoric by people with closed minds who believe all will be fine if everything with the Delta remains status quo. The Delta is a disaster waiting to happen if we don't make some changes.

I can't help but say, though, I am very concerned some of the extreme environmental groups are convincing the bass anglers they are on the same side of this issue as the bass anglers (to gain our support); this is dangerous to bass angling and will come back to haunt us. I get that those who distrust government will not likely change their opinion, but there are many public servants that actually do look after the public interests and are professionals in their work. Believing the propaganda of the very organizations that ultimately want to destroy bass fishing in California should be a clear warning signal to all of us about the truth of their claims.
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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby mark poulson » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:01 pm

Marc,
I trust government. By and large the people in government are trying to help.
I just don't trust Gov. Brown and the DWR Waterfix people.
Building two tunnels to divert more water from the Delta is the death knell for the Delta, and the San Francisco Bay Estuary as we know it. Estuary systems rely on fresh water flowing through them to flush out the salt from the tidal flows. Less fresh water means deeper salt intrusion, and a degraded ecosystem.
The Delta is already suffering from water diversion, so taking more water will only do more harm.
And if they aren't going to be able to take more water, then why build them in the first place?
With the forecast of continuing drought cycles, even the DWR concedes they will only be able to provide more water than they can right now in flood years.
This whole project is a water grab scheme, originally proposed by the southern San Joaquin water districts that Jerry Brown adopted and made his legacy project. Wasn't he the governor back when the Peripheral Canal was proposed and defeated?
And now, even Westlands, the most powerful water district in the southern San Joaquin Valley, is unwilling to underwrite their portion of the project fully, as they originally promised to, because they see it won't produce the water they want.
We need to find alternatives to killing the Delta in order to give Agribusiness more water to grow their almonds for export.
We need to reinforce the levees and rebuild the existing infrastructure with the billions that Brown and the DWR want to waste on the tunnels.
I lived in SoCal back in '82, and I vote against the Canal back then. So did a lot of other people down there.
We need real, feasible solutions to today's problems, not recycled solutions that were already rejected once by the people of California.
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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby Marc » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:25 pm

Mark,
There are very good answers to your questions, if you are willing to consider them. We will have to have a discussion over coffee one day. The irony is that the very things you fear about this project are destined to happen to the delta without this project. There is much more at stake than the agribusiness; just consider the water needs of both northern and southern California, the effects of the drought, the industrial need for water (think Silicon Valley for one), the wildfire situations we are suffering all over the state, the fisheries affected, the economic impact of water availability to generate tax revenue this State needs, and yes, the global need (including National Security) for the food produced by this water and relied upon by much of the world.

It is hard to imagine northern California would prefer all the southern California residents leave SoCal to revert back to a desert and all move up to northern California?
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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby Whoopbass » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:49 pm

Yeah Marc were just a bunch or close minded hillbillies stuck in our way. You're argument is weak and just confirms its all about the money. Feeding the world....hogwash. The world doesn't survive on almonds. Wildfires, c'mon. You're right about municipalities needing water so they can charge exorbitant rates for water that's not fitting to drink.
Nobody in Socal is going to move up here so that is a moot point you're trying to make.
Backup your claims with something substantial or take it elsewhere.

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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby mark poulson » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:59 am

Marc,
And if they aren't going to be able to take more water, then why build them in the first place?"
The DWR has admitted that the tunnels will never be able to supply more water than is currently available, and much less in drought years. That's why Westlands has cut way back on their support for the tunnels.
There are alternative ways to supply more water, but so much money and time is being focused on the tunnels that there is no money left for those alternatives.
Agribusiness is only 2% of our State's GDP, a drop in the bucket. But they already control more than half of all drinking water. And they don't employ enough people to make a serious dent in our State's employment numbers.
Water wise farmers will survive.
Farmers who rely on water intensive crops will suffer.
Eliminating water intensive export crops, like almonds, in the southern San Joaquin Valley would go a long way toward eliminating water shortages.
People and companies don't have a right to make profits at the expense of the rest of us.
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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby Otay Michael » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:06 am

mark poulson wrote:Marc,
And if they aren't going to be able to take more water, then why build them in the first place?"
The DWR has admitted that the tunnels will never be able to supply more water than is currently available, and much less in drought years. That's why Westlands has cut way back on their support for the tunnels.
There are alternative ways to supply more water, but so much money and time is being focused on the tunnels that there is no money left for those alternatives.
Agribusiness is only 2% of our State's GDP, a drop in the bucket. But they already control more than half of all drinking water. And they don't employ enough people to make a serious dent in our State's employment numbers.
Water wise farmers will survive.
Farmers who rely on water intensive crops will suffer.
Eliminating water intensive export crops, like almonds, in the southern San Joaquin Valley would go a long way toward eliminating water shortages.
People and companies don't have a right to make profits at the expense of the rest of us.
Mark

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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby Steve » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:25 am

There is alot to be said here, but I wanted to just point of a few things out as it relates to us as fishermen. Upfront I want to say that I have no opinions, wouldnt matter anyway since nobody cares what my opinions are!

The CA bass fishing community has many members who are on the inside. However, they rarely step forward at any capacity because of the response of other bass fishermen. Marc touched on this in a response above, and the response to him by Whoopbass is an absolute classic example of this. This is why its not worth our time to engage with the general public concerning complex, heated issues such as the WaterFix. I learned a long time ago that its pointless to disagree with hunters and fishermen and point out why you disagree; hunters and fishermen are experts on all things having to do with fish and wildlife, and no matter how you lay out facts, you will never come close to them even contemplating that they may be looking at things wrong nor will they ever likely even consider alternatives to how they think.

Take a look at this link https://californiawaterblog.com/2017/08 ... lta-smelt/. What you have here is Peter Moyle "cautiously supporting" the WaterFix. I read another paper he wrote, and I could not find it tonite, where he said (and Im sure this is not verbatim, but I remember reading it because it was a strong statement and made alot of sense to me) "Im cautiously supporting the WaterFix, and if for no other reason Im doing so because the status quo is not working; we need to try something different." Yes, much of what he talks about has to do with native species, but operations having benefits to native species also benefit the ones all of us love so much, largemouth and stripers. The WaterFix has many benefits to fish built into it, and if you truly care about the future of the Delta and its aquatic resources, you owe it to yourself to find answers on your own. Dont fall into the trap of just believing what others tell you or believing articles written by those with political agendas.

I have heard so many times that the WaterFix would cause saltwater intrusion farther upstream, and this in turn would cause major problems for farmers and would alter the fish assemblage (to the detriment of largemouth). Delta salinity is measured and monitored by a metric called X2 (google it), and this metric has very powerful legal ramifications. Operations under the WaterFix can not legally alter the temporal and spatial location of X2 as set forth in regulatory, binding documents. If it did there is no way the project would get permitted. Additionally, WaterFix operations may push X2 further downstream (i.e. a larger portion of the Delta would have lower salinity) from January through June (for benefits to Delta and longfin smelt during a critical time period), and this time period coincides with the largemouth spawning period. I dont know, that kind of seems like a benefit to largemouth to me.

The other big issue is increased exports. Increased exports, if the increase were of a large enough magnitude, could
allow X2 to move further upstream and outside of legal standards due to decreased outflow. This is a legal no-no, and a proposed project whose operations would do this would not be permitted. I will say that the WaterFix could provide the facilities and added capacity to increase exports at some point in the future. Thats an unknown, a lot of political haggling would have to go on for that to happen, and it would take a very long time.

Just a few things to think about as we all try to figure out whats going on here, how its going to affect our resources and our lives, and where we may invest our time on this and other similar projects.

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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby mark poulson » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:29 pm

Steve,
The history of the Waterfix tunnels shows a consistent disregard for laws and regulations that are already on the books by the DWR and the water districts. As we speak, they are being taken to court for their actions.
There is no way I will trust them, based on past performance.
We need to spend the tunnel money on protecting the existing levee system from future failure, instead of installing a drinking straw for the south San Joaquin farmers and water districts in case the levees fail.
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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby Steve » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:03 pm

Fair enough Mark, everybody sees things through different eyes.

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Re: DWR to Award up to $1 Billion in Contracts for Proposal, Before Completing Permit Process

Postby mark poulson » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:57 pm

Steve wrote:Fair enough Mark, everybody sees things through different eyes.


I agree. I think we all want what's best for the Delta, now and down the road.
I just trust that the Restore the Delta people do, too, more that Gov. Brown and the DWR/Waterfix people.
I hope that, whoever winds up prevailing, the Delta, and the San Francisco Bay Estuary, don't become casualties of the battle for water.
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