Alfredo Pedroza, Chair
Napa County Board of Supervisors

On December 13, 2016 you and the rest of the Board voted to approve the Napa
Valley Subbasin Analysis Report which concluded that the Napa Valley Subbasin
was now and will continue to be sustainable for the next 20 years. The report
was prepared by Luhdorff & Scalmanini at a cost of over $600,000. This report
provided extensive modeling in an attempt to prove its assertion of sustainability.

At the hearing on December 13, 2016 on this Report (Agenda item 9A), using
data from the consultant’s slide presentation, I raised concerns about how the
county would protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens if the projected
water budget were on the negative side as the consultant presented. These data
slides which do not appear in the final report that showed a projected water
budget (2016-2025) deficit of 14,300 AFY, projected for hot and low rainfall
conditions. The report also made an assumption that the State Water Project
allocation would remain at an average of 42%. This is not realistic as the
allocation has been dramatically cut in recent years to as low as 5%. I raised the
possibility of our municipalities needing to use ground water for their supplies
under these conditions.

Neither you nor staff ever discussed or answered these important questions.
And then last week on February 24, 2017 the County presented its Draft Climate
Action Plan at a Special Meeting of WICC. The draft plan reached an opposite
conclusion about the future Napa environment and water supplies more dire than
those in the Subbasin Report. The draft conclusions were essentially the issues I
had raised in December. I quote the report below:

“… the County is still currently vulnerable to water supply
issues due to drought and other factors. The County will face
challenges in providing sufficient water supplies in the future
due to climate change effects, coupled with an increasing
population (i.e., mostly in the incorporated areas) and increasing
water demand. While the County has already taken steps
towards achieving long-term groundwater sustainability, there is
still a possibility that water supply availability may change in the
future and will need to be further addressed. [Appendix C 21/26]”

So my question is, which report is correct? One says our water situation is fine
thanks and the other concludes Napa County has water vulnerability. One report
was issued by Public Works and the other by Planning, Building & Environmental
Services. The County paid substantial money to consultants to produce both
reports in addition to devoting what appears to be considerable staff time.

Both reports were reviewed by WICC. Which report is correct?

Has anyone actually read the reports other than the volunteer members of Napa
Vision 2050?

Does no one see the contradictions?

When will our community see our governing officials address this glaring
important and expensive inconsistency?

The future health, safety and welfare of Napa’s residents depends upon getting
the right answer.

Will you act to get the County’s money refunded if you determine that one report
is found to be erroneous?

Will you act to have Napa County rescind its Subbasin report from the DWR?

“We can no longer afford to make infrastructure decisions that do not explicitly
account for climate change. Instead, the [government] must tackle adaptation
issues head-on. This will require more research to better model and understand
future impacts, a commitment to incorporating such research findings into
planning, and on-the-ground projects that protect vulnerable communities and
industries.”[Alex Hall and Mark Gold (Institute of the Environment and
Sustainability at UCLA), Sac Bee, 02/26/17]

Napa Vision 2050 recommends that WICC to hold a Public Forum on the
methodology used to create these reports and their conclusions. Methodology
should also be the main topic at the May Watershed Symposium.

Daniel Mufson, President
Napa Vision 2050
PO Box 2385
Yountville, CA 94599
Napavision2050@gmail.com
www.NapaVision2050.org
CC.
Diane Dillon
Ryan Gregory
Belia Ramos
Brad Wagenknecht
________________________________________________________________
Notes from Napa County Climate Action Plan, Appendix C, Climate Change
Vulnerability Assessment for Napa County, February, 2017

“For purposes of this assessment, where possible, climate change effects in the
County are characterized for two periods of time: midcentury (around 2050) and
the end of the century (around 2100). Historical data are used to identify the
degree of change by these two future periods in time. The direct, or primary,
changes analyzed for the County include average temperature, annual
precipitation, and sea-level rise. Secondary impacts, which can occur because of
individual or a combination of these changes, are also assessed and include
extreme heat and its frequency, wildfire risk, and snowpack (CNRA2012a:16-
17).”

• Increased Temperatures
• Increased Frequency of Extreme Heat Events and Heat Waves
• Changes to Precipitation Patterns
• Increased Wildfire Risk
• Increased Likelihood of Flooding
• Sea-Level Rise (with elevated groundwater and salinity intrusion)

“… the County is still currently vulnerable to water supply issues due to drought
and other factors. The County will face challenges in providing sufficient water
supplies in the future due to climate change effects, coupled with an increasing
population (i.e., mostly in the incorporated areas) and increasing water demand.
While the County has already taken steps towards achieving long-term
groundwater sustainability, there is still a possibility that water supply availability
may change in the future and will need to be further addressed. [Appendix C
21/26]”

“Increases in temperature, along with the frequency of extreme heat events and
heat waves, can also affect the agriculture industry, which is a large driver of the
County’s economy. The significant, overall outcome of warming is the likely
reduction in yield of some of California’s most valuable specialty crops (CNRA
2014: 21). More specifically, climate change could have serious effects to the
wine industry in Napa County, which produces an average of 90 percent of
American wine (Mayton 2015). The County currently has 400 wineries,
C-14 Napa County Draft Climate Action Plan producing more than 9.2 million
cases of wines totaling over $1 billion dollars in sales. The wine industry in
Napa accounts for $10.1 billion of $51.8 billion economic impact from
winemaking and related industries in California (Napa County 2013:28).
Increases in temperature and moisture could impact the growing of wine
grapes, by causing late or irregular blooming and affecting yields (Lee et al.
2013:1). [C-13]”

“Increased average temperatures and a hastening of snowmelt in distant
watersheds, along with local and regional changes in precipitation and timing of
runoff in local watersheds, could affect both surface and groundwater supplies in
the County. As a result, the County could struggle in the future in providing
Napa County Draft Climate Action Plan C-15 adequate water supplies to its
residents. Water users could face shortages in normal or dry years, if demand
continues to increase. The points of sensitivity identified because of changes in
precipitation patterns are shown below in Figure 14.”

“In terms of agriculture, changes in timing and amounts of precipitation could
affect local aquifer recharge for groundwater supplies in the future, which could in
turn affect water supplies for agricultural uses. Conversely, as the weather gets
warmer with climate change, agricultural demand for water could intensify
because in extreme heat conditions water evaporates faster and plants need
more water to move through their circulatory systems to stay cool (CNRA
2014:21). More specifically, attempts to maintain wine grape productivity and
quality in the face of warming may be associated with increased water use for
irrigation and to cool grapes through misting or sprinkling (Lee et al. 2013). [C-
15]” The use of GW for misting was not mentioned in the Subbasin Report.

“A changing climate is expected to subject forests to increased stress due to
drought, disease, invasive species, and insect pests. These stressors are likely
to make forests more vulnerable to catastrophic fire (Westerling 2008:231). While
periodic fires are natural processes and an important ecological function,
catastrophic fire events that cannot be contained or managed, can cause serious
threats to homes and infrastructure, especially for properties located at the
wildland-urban interface (i.e., where residential development mingles with
wildland areas) (California Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection 2009). Ecological
functions are further impacted as the risk of fire increases. When it does rain in
burned areas, more soil washes off the hills and into roads, ditches, and streams.
[C-16]”

Napa Valley Ground Water Sustainability-A Basin Analysis Report for the
Napa Valley Subbasin

“The ability of the SWP to deliver water to its contractors in any given year
depends on a number of factors, including rainfall, size of snowpack, runoff,
water in storage, and pumping capacity in the Delta. Biological opinions on
threatened and endangered fish species are new significant factors affecting
SWP deliveries. The actual delivery, or yield, varies from year to year and is
described as a percentage of the contractual entitlement. Annual SWP deliveries
are a percentage of Table A water, including additional amounts in some years
from the carryover of unused allocations from prior years or water purchased
from the allocation of other SWP contractors. While 100% of the Table A
entitlement may be available in wet years, lesser amounts are delivered in
normal, single-dry, and multiple-dry years. The current SWP Final Delivery
Capability Report 2015, issued in July 2015, projects that under existing
conditions (2015), the average annual delivery of Table A water is estimated at
61%. [78]”
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