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View Diary: Brown administration official claims 'Delta can't be saved' (104 comments)

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  •  In the past 20 years (0+ / 0-)

    a great deal of housing has been built in the Sacramento area right next to the river, with substandard dikes having been put in.   Look at a Map along highway 4.   Natomas, for sure.  There have been hearings about permits having been issued to allow housing in the low lying areas.  

    And houses don't need to be close to the river to flood -- only lower than the riverbank, even if it's far away.  There are a lot of lower lying areas in the valley -- before the irrigation systems were built, it was actually a great swamp, which accounts for it's fertility now.  

    Have you ever seen the Sacramento Bypass flood under highway 80 in a heavy rain year?  Incredible amounts of water as far as you can see.  

    In the 1980's there was considerable flooding along the San Joaquin river throughout Manteca and parts of Modesto.   A huge area was under water, including recently built housing developments, and the built up areas were threatened when the water that spring almost went over and through the old levees.

    There was a huge flood in the 1850s that nearly wiped out Sacramento -- 10 feet of water in the downtown area.  

    If you look at a contour map of the valley, you will see that there are a very great number of areas all up and down the basin that are below the level of the river.  

    About every 50 years there is a really heavy winter, followed by a warm heavy storm that washes everything down all at once, and there's helll to pay.  All the cows drown.  Everbody holds their breath that the levees won't break, then when the water drops, they go back to normal.  

    If we had an earthquake at the same time (and California's big quakes do tend to occur in the spring months) it would be terrible.  Even without an earthquake, those levees are not very stable nor well maintained.

    California has lost its collective memory as all the new techies have moved in, who've little interest in nature and her habits.  Farms are managed from far away now, and the oldtimers have moved out or died.  

    •  natomas ≠ the delta (1+ / 0-)
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      mrsgoo

      manteca ≠ the delta. i live in and grew up in davis, so i know all about floodwaters and the yolo bypass. there are river levees that need a lot of work in the valley, but they have nothing to do with the peripheral canal project, and they're not part of the delta, and they're not anywhere near a geologically active fault system (we're one of the only parts of california free of quakes). as for farms, there are lots and lots of farmers who still live here, and have been in farming for generations, it's not all absentee agribiz.

      you're conflating totally different things, and unintentionally passing on misleading talking points in the process.

      •  Yep! Can't rec this enough. (0+ / 0-)

        if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

        by mrsgoo on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:14:08 AM PDT

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    •  Fer chrissakes - Mike Wade? Is that you? (0+ / 0-)

      if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

      by mrsgoo on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:15:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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