Why isn’t anyone looking at desalinization as part of the plan?

Save the California Delta Alliance submitted a formal set of comments in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Delta Plan. A contingent of concerned citizens traveled to Sacramento Thursday January 24 to show their concern and present comments at the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) hearing. We told them about our community and boating concerns and questioned why the DSC is not reviewing alternatives to the BDCP/Peripheral Canal.

Various alternatives have been proposed including Dr. Pyke’s concept for a new intake at Sherman Island or restructuring the current location with state-of-the-art fish screens. Or better still, options which avoid removing additional water from the Delta by leveraging the millions of acre feet of water now diverted into the flood control structures on the Sacramento River north of the proposed point of diversion or the Tulare Lake Basin Restoration proposals.

It seems obvious any alternative should include desalinization plants to improve regional self-sufficiency for the Central and Southern portions of the state.

The position the Delta Stewardship Council has taken is that they are responsible for guidelines protecting the Delta and the Bay and Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) is responsible for the Tunnel project. The DSC says therefore they are only responsible for reviewing the BDCP proposal. That doesn’t make sense to us. That leaves no one in the state looking for better alternatives than exporting even more water out of the Delta after the current level of exports have sent the environment into crisis mode. The BDCP’s plan will increase salinity, deteriorate our water quality, impact the fish and waterfowl. We think the Council can and should evaluate the merits and feasibility of various options.

There are many options much better than huge twin tunnels. One of our Discovery Bay residents, a prior engineer, has offered a new variation that has some unique ideas. I think his ideas combine the best of the best solutions and would save our Delta from the damage we all know would result if the twin tunnels (aka Peripheral Canal) is built.

This is Eric Jensen from Discovery Bay.
My background is in Engineering with my last 20 years at Hewlett-Packard.

I have studied the water problem that faces California and have come up with a solution that will benefit all Californians.

Water solution:
1) Cancel the twin tunnels and instead spend the money to build large desalinization plants inland, close to the existing canal infrastructure. Run them full time, with the excess water being sold to Arizona and Nevada or even further inland.
2) Create water storage solutions for Southern and even Central California [Store excess in Lake Mead, restore the Tulare Lake Basin, replenish ground water]
3) Improve the existing pumps by installing numerous large self cleaning fish filters, saving millions of fish from death at the pumps. This type of filter already exists, you can see one in use near the intersection of Bixler and Denali in Discovery Bay or I can send you photos that I have taken.

Why this the best solution:
1) This eliminates the “all your eggs in one basket” twin tunnel concept, because it prevents the drought situation that is inevitable (look at Kansas wheat today or the Mayan civilization that perished in an extended drought).
2) Population throughout California will continue to increase, as will the need for water. We do not need a different distribution of the existing water, we need more water.
3) Allows for storage of excess water when California has an excess rainfall.

1) Yes, water will cost more, but the cost will be shared by all Californians not just those using the more expensive per acre foot desalinized water. Selling the excess water will lower Californians cost.
2) We have purchased an “insurance policy” that California will have water during drought, not just for now, but for it’s future generations.
3) With the improved fish filters, the existing pumps can safely send less expensive water south when water is available or to storage during excess years.
4) We have created more water, not fought over the distribution of existing water that will disappear in an extended drought that is inevitable.

Hope you like the concept, thanks,

Eric Jensen

Dr. Pyke’s Open Letter August 28, 2012
January 9, 2013 – Dr. Pyke’s Addendum to the Proposal

3 Responses to “Why isn’t anyone looking at desalinization as part of the plan?”

  1. 1 Jeff Schuitema January 27, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Please give Governor Brown a call.

  2. 2 Connie Skoog September 25, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    The future belongs to new answers and new technology. Too bad our governments are populated by old white men and the obsolete ideas that they cling to. So many have studied this problem. Are these tunnels all that we can come up with????

  1. 1 Monday blog roundup: Bloggers discuss the BDCP, the Delta Plan, regulated rivers, groundwater, and more | MAVEN'S NOTEBOOK Trackback on February 4, 2013 at 9:10 am

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