Can’t Kill the Earthquake Bogey

In August, 2014, I wrote Can we Kill the Earthquake Bogey Yet?

Unfortunately, the answer is “No”.

December 14, 2014, the Sacramento Bee printed another article: UC Davis study finds next Napa earthquake could imperil Delta levees.

Of course, the BDCP re-distributed that on their BDCP Facebook page January 21, 2015.

I commented both places – anyone else who wants to add a comment and chime in is appreciated. (I’m always kind of wordy – any pithy smart one-liner responses would probably make more of an impact. Help me out here.)

——————————- Jan’s Comment ————————————-
Why do we keep repeating this erroneous incorrect storyline? First, if there were a big risk of levee failure in the Delta, wouldn’t the state be taking rapid action to insure that human lives aren’t lost if levees fail and Delta communities flood? Would the state really be risking the economic issues of the railroads and major highways in the Delta flooding? Of course they wouldn’t. They are not taking action because the “Earthquake Bogey” is a false, erroneous scare tactic.

The scare tactic was thought up by the proponents of the BDCP tunnels (i.e., Big Ag) following the Katrina disaster and it has been effectively used since to scare Southern California water users into thinking there are risks to their water supply to try to get their buy-in to the expensive BDCP plan.

The fact that there are no active fault lines in the Delta should have put this issue to rest long ago. The Hayward Fault (the nearest active fault line) is 30-60 miles away from the Delta. Levees have been shown to not be affected by shaking.

Immediately after the Napa shaker, the civil engineering firm Kjeldsen Sinnock and Neudeck (KSN), the Stockton civil engineering company that maintains about half the levees in the delta, went out to inspect the levees. Delta Levees once again proved the “Earthquake Bogey” argument of the BDCP to be what it is – just a scare tactic. Just as during the Loma Prieta earthquake, the levees were unaffected. Neudeck insists delta levees are now even wider, taller and stronger. He also said inspections are done constantly by the engineers hired by reclamation districts.

The article states that during the last “century”, 162 levees have failed. It does not add that since 2004, no levee has failed. Levees are continually being expanded and improved. The article does not also identify that not one of the 162 levee failures was due to earthquake – not even during the 1906 earthquake when the levees were narrower. Nor during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

Shame on the Sacramento Bee for printing this biased, un-researched article. Please get input from non-biased sources and show both sides of the story.

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