On February 27, 2023, ECOS submitted comments on the lack of public participation and regulatory compliance in GSA implementation of the Annual Reporting requirements under Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).
Category Archives: ECOS Updates
Sacramento Region’s Water Future 3/29
At the ECOS MTG/Board on March 29, 2023, join us for a presentation, Sacramento Region’s Water Future.
Jessica Law, Executive Director of the Sacramento Water Forum and Ashlee Casey, the Forum’s Senior Engineer are joining the ECOS membership and guests on March 29 at 6:00 pm to present and discuss the results of a Water Forum Ad Hoc Technical Team GAP Analysis Report. This Report is an important step in the Water Forum’s efforts to revise the current Water Forum Agreement to accommodate the Region’s anticipated water demand growth and potential impacts from a changing climate. Ashlee managed the staff and consultant effort to develop the Report. Jessica and Ashlee will describe the findings of the report including the significant changes in Northern California hydrology brought about by the increasing temperatures that are projected to occur over the next decades. These warmer temperatures and shifting global conditions will cause longer and more frequent droughts and will shift the region’s runoff pattern earlier in the season. Coupled with planned increases in water use, our region will likely experience significant water management and environmental challenges.
Some of the Report’s findings indicate that the greater Sacramento area’s future water supply reliability will be reduced as the result of both planned growth and increasing temperatures caused by climate change. These rising temperatures will reduce the “snowpack reservoir” and increase the probability that in some years Folsom Reservoir will be at or near deadpool conditions. Surface water modeling of these impacts indicates lower flows in the Lower American River that will affect our ability to preserve the fishery, wildlife, recreational, and aesthetic values of the lower American River causing the region’s salmonid species to encounter near‐fatal or fatal conditions in many years primarily due to higher water temperatures.
Completion of the GAP Analysis Report is a significant step in the Water Forum 2 negotiation process. Water Forum members are beginning work on discussions and proposed actions for a new Water Forum Agreement to address the issues described in the Report. Jessica will provide insights into some of the areas the Water Forum members are discussing, and the process being used by the Forum to reach agreement on a new Water Forum Agreement 2. One that provides a roadmap for the region’s water future.
Join us on March 29 at 6:00 pm to learn about the GAP Analysis Report findings. Bring your questions and suggestions on what we should do to provide a reliable and safe water supply for the region’s economic health and planned development through 2040 and beyond; and preserve the fishery, wildlife, recreational, and aesthetic values of the lower American River.
Link to join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6656164155
To phone in: 669-900-6833, Meeting ID: 665 616 4155
Guest Essay: The Color Wheel of Life
By Anushka Kalyan
High school student in Granite Bay, CA
It’s that time of the year again – the sun is setting later and the flowers are blooming. Now that we’ve all hopefully settled into 2023, let’s recognize the true meaning of this new year. Oh no, not fulfilling gym resolutions or going vegan, but rather shifting our focus onto something called “Viva Magenta,” this year’s “Color of the Year” as deemed by Pantone, the color system mogul.
In 2023, using this shade of dark pink is supposedly the key to success in marketing, fashion, social media, and industry. I mean, we already have sneakers, wallpaper, and even cell phones in the marketplace sporting this color. It’s all “Viva Magenta!” But what happens when this color becomes “so last year”?
The market cycle of rapid consumerist trends is known as “fast fashion.” By mass replicating high-fashion designs and quickly making them accessible to the public at a low price, retail companies make money and we consumers wear trendy products. “Viva Magenta” was announced as the “Color of the Year” in December of 2022, and just a month later, new pants in this color were on the racks because of rapid market response.
However, just because trendy products are available to us in a short period of time, that doesn’t mean it’s all good. According to the UN Environment Program, fast fashion production and shipping account for 20 percent of global wastewater and a significant amount of carbon emissions. They also highlight that fast fashion is responsible for more carbon emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined, worsened by the fact that this industry is responsible for massive human rights violations in outsourced production. Finally, according to Earth.org, when a new Color of the Year is announced or big brand names release a new style, the average US citizen throws out 81.5 pounds of clothing each year, resulting in 92 million tons of landfill waste per year. That’s a lot of trash and many more years gone into breaking this waste down! This travesty can be avoided if consumers don’t give in to very fickle trends. As a society, we buy more and more, perpetuating a cycle of consumerist greed and massive production, to the detriment of humanity and our planet.
Ultimately, as a youth-written New York Times article so eloquently put it, it’s a privilege to fall into the trap of fast fashion. It’s a privilege to buy clothes for their aesthetics, rather than their utility. The fashion industry preys on this privilege, especially for members of my generation. We largely buy from the internet even in the post-pandemic period. This has led to the rise of hallmark fast fashion companies, such as SHEIN, H&M, and Forever 21, as they attempt to quickly please their consumers. My friends and I joke about the plastic, nylon, tacky quality of clothing at fast fashion stores, thinking who would ever wear lace-up metallic leggings, but the fact that these products exist serves as a reminder that companies are willing to compromise quality for mass production just to catch up with fickle trends.
There’s an interesting dichotomy presented by my generation’s actions. On one hand, we’re supposedly “the most environmentally woke generation,” using social media to our advantage to organize climate strikes and to advocate for… wooden toothbrushes…, but we can’t resist the urge to indulge in just a little more SHEIN, because what can I say, most of what they sell is cute! Clothing is almost exclusively the one thing uniquely defining ourselves and our lifestyles, and if a nice design presents itself at a relatively low price point, you bet we’re going to take it. Plus, yeah, yeah, human rights, but like, what’s the worst that can happen if I just get one dress. And oh my god, if I post a picture today wearing the same dress I wore in my last post, that’s Gen Z heresy! Ok, that seems like a lot of buying – let me try getting some “sustainable products” instead. Let me see what’s online… woah, I can’t buy this, it’s $50 for a regular cotton T-shirt!
This is an issue my generation contends with. I’ll leave it up to you to come to your own conclusion, but I don’t fully blame us. Adolescence is the time to figure out one’s identity — but when it meets fast fashion industry trends, it can be a dangerous bomb for the environment and human rights. Climate is different, meaning that responsibilities to address it typically fall upon the shoulders of older generations. Fast fashion however is an issue that my generation must fix, despite the fact that we have almost no control over it. To start, we can buy secondhand clothing from affordable small businesses and rent clothing to be worn once. These are modest steps, but they could lead to a world where Viva Magenta breaks away as a Color of the Year and joins the Colors of Time Immemorial. Until there’s a cooler name next business cycle. . .
SACOG delays MTP/SCS to align with MTC and SJCOG to enhance interregional coordination
On March 3, 2023, ECOS sent a letter of support for Assembly Bill 350, which would facilitate greater interregional collaboration by more closely aligning the Sacramento Area Council of Government’s (SACOG) sustainable communities strategy update with those of its regional partners, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG), both for SACOG’s current plan update and into the future.
Click here to view the letter.
Fact Sheet – Proposed Developments in the Natomas Basin
Three projects are currently proposed for development in the Natomas Basin:
- South Airport Industrial
- Upper West Side
- Grand Park
All of them are located outside of Sacramento County’s Urban Services Boundary (USB).
Consider this important paragraph in the County’s General Plan, Land Use Element, Amended October 6, 2020:
The Urban Policy Area and the Urban Services Boundary are the “backbone of Sacramento County’s urban planning philosophy . . . intended to protect the County’s natural resources from urban encroachment, as well as to limit costly sprawling development patterns. . . the USB is intended to be a permanent boundary. . .”
The sites for all three projects total several thousand acres and are zoned agricultural in the County’s General Plan.
None of the sites is in an area permitted for development under the Natomas Basin Conservancy Habitat Conservation Plan (NBHCP). See the map: https://natomasbasin.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/TNBC-BaseMap-2023.pdf
The NBHCP was adopted in November 1997, revised in 2003. It was designed to promote biological conservation along with economic development and continuation of agriculture in the Natomas Basin. The federal- and state-listed species protected by the NBHCP are described here: https://natomasbasin.org/education/the-nbhcp-species/
If the three projects are built, the remaining land will be inadequate for viable habitat, the protected species will be diminished, and the NBHCP will fail.
This will be a significant planning failure for the Sacramento region, subverting local, regional, and state goals for biodiversity and climate. Specifically, failure of the NBHCP will undercut the City of Sacramento’s goals for greenhouse gas emission reduction and climate adaptation (2012 Climate Action Plan) and the State of California’s goal of conserving 30 percent of our lands and coastal waters by 2030 (30×30 California – Accelerating Conservation of California’s Nature.)
If you would like to get involved, please contact us:
ECOS Climate Committee Meeting 3/20
Monday, March 20 – 6:30 pm start (Note date and time change!)
Link to join: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6656164155, To phone in: 669-900-6833, Meeting ID: 665 616 4155
Before the meeting, we recommend you familiarize yourself with LAFCo by visiting the following two resources.
LAFCo 101 Presentation https://calafco.org/sites/default/files/documents/LAFCo%20101%20Presentation.pdf
Airport South Industrial Project: Scoping Meeting