We ran across this in the news today which shows just how slanted the proponents of the tunnel’s reasoning can be. The California Farm Water Coalition (CFWC) posted this “response”: (For the original, see http://www.cfwc.com/Current-News/).
“Coalition response…While Ken Vogel would like you to believe that California is suffering under an oversubscribed water supply it is important to note that South of Delta CVP water users received 100 percent of their supplies from 1952 to 1989, with the exception of 1977, a severe drought year. Today those supplies have been decimated, not because of an oversubscribed water supply but because of environmental regulations that limit water exports that once served several million acres of productive farmland. Sadly, those regulations have not helped endangered species recover and people like Vogel want to continue to try and fix the problem with a solution that is proven not to work.”
Clearly, the exported supplies have not been “decimated because of environmental regulations”. Rather the opposite, the requests for more water have continued to increase significantly with expansion of desert farm acreage on the westside, near I-5; primarily to expand almond exports to the growing markets in Asia. It is the ongoing increase in paper water contracts that continue to be bought by the agribusiness owners and sold by the state that exacerbates the problem.
The CFWC writer is correct though, the regulations have not helped endangered species recover. That is because the amount of water that continues to be exported is more than the environment can afford to lose. To recover, they need more fresh water. Until the state excepts the Delta Flow Report, the environmental regulations are the only thing that saves the salmon and other species from extinction.
It is unfortunate that false statements like those in the CFWC bulletin continue to fan the inability for the various stakeholders to come to a real solution.