First off, as probably noticed, the comment deadline of the USBR Two Gates Project got extended by two weeks until November 30th – a small victory, and a direct result of your comment submissions. One of the many links I got on that subject was the Delta E-news letter from the California Department of Water Resources.
Therefore: Please, keep your comments going to the people responsible for these gates. We updated the web site, on your right we have now three links under “Speak up” which lead directly to the Two Gates Project Manager, the Project Manager from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and to the U.S. Department of the Interior Comment Form for the California Delta. Please use them, let them know we’re not just going to roll over and play death.
We have one more week until November 30th.
Let’s use it!
In other news, the Executive Director of the Sierra Club, Carl Pope, asks on Huffingtonpost “Is California Really Solving Its Water Crisis?“. In this article, he notes that practically nothing has been done to solve the water problems in more than 35 years, and he goes on to say:
The San Francisco Delta is dying as an ecosystem, eroding as a levee network, and utterly unreliable as a water-conveyance structure. The Colorado River, upon which much of the southern part of the state relies, is gradually drying up. And the Salton Sea is on the verge of becoming the world’s second-largest toxic waste dump (after the mess the Russians made of the Aral).
And the response from the governor and Sacramento? Essentially, more of the same. Instead of recognizing that we first need to use every drop of water that falls near us and only then rely on long-distance transport and surface storage, the governor’s proposal continues excessive reliance on outmoded water-storage solutions, lowers the emphasis on protection provided by existing law for the health of California’s waterways, does almost nothing to enhance local self-reliance on water supplies, and fails to guarantee commonsense reforms of water policy.
Unfortunately, almost none of the commercial and public buildings I frequent have simple water-conservation technologies installed. There is no serious talk about reengineering urban areas as sponges. Instead we continue to guarantee water shortages by treating the the urban landscape like a roof and gutter, designed to get rid of (instead of soak up) precious rainfall. Farmers are still paid to dump toxic chemicals in the state’s most precious resource, but cities have no money to develop water recycling, storm-water capture, or groundwater storage.
From the PLF Liberty Blog via Aquafornia, we learn of a recent statement by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar concerning new California water legislation and the forthcoming National Academy of Sciences reviews of the delta smelt and salmon biological opinions. Secretary Salazar’s statement begins as follows:
Today, Governor Schwarzenegger is signing milestone water legislation in Fresno County, one of the counties hardest hit by California’s water crisis – a crisis caused by the brutal combination of a three-year drought, the collapse of native fisheries in the Bay Delta, and the fact that California’s investments in water conservation and infrastructure have not kept up with its growth.
This is a gross oversight by Salazar. The Secretary has implied that the current water crisis has nothing to do with his own department’s Endangered Species Act restrictions. In so doing, Salazar has defied what is clear to the San Joaquin Valley and those who see through environmental extremism — the Endangered Species Act has turned California’s water crisis from bad to much worse.
Read the rest of the story over at the PLF Liberty Blog.
In a response from First District Senator Dave Cox to the Executive Director of the California Delta Chambers & Visitor’s Bureau Bill Wells, we get some insight into the process by which those water decisions are being made. Senator Cox says about the passage of the recent water bill:
Unfortunately, the package was never subject to public input or debate, in direct violation of the rules of governance of both the Senate and Assembly. This was also a failure by the Legislature to provide Californians with the transparency and accountability to which our legislative leaders regularly ascribe – apparently only when convenient.
And, the “Save the San Francisco Bay and Delta Foundation” is also finally getting press: the Central Valley Business Times has a story about us, and our own Mike Guzzardo was on the KGO afternoon news. And the turn-out at tonights meeting in Discovery Bay was beyond expectations. Our PR-Master Mike Guzzardo will have an article on that tomorrow.
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