Dear Mr. Fisherman
Thank you for writing to express your opposition to the Two Gates project. I appreciate hearing your concerns, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.
As you know, the Two Gates Demonstration Project would install temporary structures in Old and Middle Rivers. If the project works as intended, more water could be pumped to Central Valley farmers without endangering the Delta Smelt. I am hopeful that the Two Gates project could allow increases flows of water to the Central Valley to provide near-term relief to struggling agricultural communities while maintaining environmental protections.
I also understand that there are concerns that the Two Gates project may negatively impact the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem as well as recreational boating opportunities. You may be interested to know that the Bureau of Reclamation recently released the Draft Environmental Assessment/Finding of No Significant Impact (EA/FONSI) for the proposed Two Gates Fish Protection Demonstration Project for public comment. According to the Draft EA/FONSI, boat ramps would be used to portage vessels of less than 24 feet and 10,000 pounds when the gates are closed. Boaters with larger vessels would have to schedule their trips during times when the gates were open or seek alternate routes. The Draft EA/FONSI is available on the Bureau of Reclamations website, and the public review and comment period is open until November 30, 2009. If you wish to submit a comment, you can do so by postal mail, email or fax to the Bureau of Reclamation at the following address.
Mr. Mario Manzo
Bureau of Reclamation
2800 Cottage Way, MP-730
Sacramento, CA 95825
(916) 978-5094 - fax
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for the chronic water shortages devastating California, but it is clear that the status quo is no longer viable. California has a water infrastructure built for a population of 16 million people, but today our population is rapidly approaching 40 million. The modernization and improvement of our State's water infrastructure is long overdue. The Two Gates project is potentially one part of the comprehensive solution that is needed to address the State's chronic water crisis.
I applaud the California Assembly and Senate for passing a comprehensive package of five water bills, including a water bond, on November 4, 2009. The legislation passed by the State Legislature represents a major milestone, laying the groundwork for a comprehensive, long-term plan to repair the Delta and build the new water infrastructure that is essential to ensuring that California can meet its current and future water needs. It is now time for the voters to approve this critical water bond in order to move forward with the important work that must be done to address California's aging water infrastructure, restore the Delta ecosystem, and increase the quality and reliability of the State's water supply.
Again, thank you for writing. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.
United States Senator