South American Subbasin Alternative Comments

July 25, 2019

Dear Mr. Eck:

As you are aware, ECOS and Habitat 2020 have been following the Sacramento Central Groundwater Authority’s (Authority) development of the South American Subbasin Alternative (South American Alternative), and the Department of Water Resources (DWR) review and decision regarding its acceptability under the terms and requirements of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).

The letter you received, dated July 17, 2019, from DWR’s Deputy Director Taryn Ravazzini, and the accompanying staff report, form a well-reasoned determination that the South American Alternative will not satisfy the requirements of SGMA. While the Authority is given thirty days to provide information to refute DWR’s findings, it seems that devoting time to this pursuit is not in the best interest of the Sacramento region and the Authority.

Ralph Propper and Rob Burness

Full letter here.

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Never mind those earthquakes: Atmospheric rivers could put Sacramento 30 feet under water

July 9, 2019
Candice Wang
The Sacramento Bee

The biggest freshwater rivers on Earth don’t flow along the planet’s surface.

Instead, they surge and whip through the atmosphere thousands of feet above our heads, carrying 2½ times the amount of water that gushes through the Amazon River at any given time.

They’re called atmospheric rivers, or, more aptly, rivers in the sky.

These rivers are capable of burying Sacramento under 30 feet of water.

A research team led by Sasha Gershunov at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego published a new study on atmospheric rivers in Nature Scientific Reports this week that places atmospheric rivers under scrutiny as the driving cause behind California’s increasingly extreme, infrequent bouts of precipitation.

Gershunov’s team used 16 global climate models to analyze the expanding role of atmospheric rivers as contributors to precipitation in California. The results show that atmospheric rivers are getting stronger and wetter, and catastrophic events like the Great Flood of 1862 could happen again.

Read more here.

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Environmental meeting for controversial proposed Elk Grove hospital draws dozens of questions, concerns

June 24, 2019
Elk Grove

“A so-called scoping meeting covering the environmental impact report (EIR) for a proposed hospital was held tonight in Elk Grove.

That facility, a 400-bed $750 million trauma level II hospital proposed by the for-profit California Northstate University will be located in Elk Grove’s master-planned Stonelakes neighborhood. Since its introduction last December, the project has become a source of contention for many Elk Grove residents.

The purpose of Monday’s meeting was for the city of Elk Grove and an environmental consultant to explain the process for the EIR for the CNU hospital. That report is expected to be completed, certified in about one year and the Elk Grove City Council is anticipated to approve CNU’s project.”

“Another question the representatives did not answer was about changing the designation of the flood plain area where the proposed hospital lies. Elk Grove resident Lynn Wheat noted there was a discussion of changing the flood area in the city’s 2020 budget – a financial document – suggesting taxpayers may pay for the change in the designation for the benefit of CNU.”

There are other major issues involved with planning a level 2 trauma center in a major 200-year floodplain. For more, read here.

Read the full article at

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