Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Crux of It

The video above, from the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta, runs at 8.5 minutes or so. Sit back and relax. It summarizes the Bay Delta issues I've been covering for over a year now, in these posts.


Just days away from a program scoping process comment deadline, northern California water irrigation districts stand firm behind their February 2nd letter, which states they will not agree to sell their water to Central Valley water contractors.

The proposed U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s 10-year “Long-Term North to South Water Transfers” program, would ship up to thousands of acre-feet of water from northern California to the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority; which represents agricultural water districts in the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. The realization of this program is contingent on the willingness of northern California sellers and that willingness has yet to be seen.

A week few weeks ago, Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District, Maxwell Irrigation District, Natomas Central Mutual Water Company, Pelger Mutual Water Company, Princeton-Codora-Glenn Irrigation District, Provident Irrigation District, Reclamation District No. 108 and River Garden Farms, all rallied to formally submit a letter withdrawing their participation in the long-term water transfer program. In the letter, the districts voiced concern for the long term protection of the right to their water supplies. The letter further explain, “[the Bureau of Reclamation’s] position threatens landowners within our service areas of not having enough water to irrigate crops, puts at risk endangered species and water fowl that rely upon the continued irrigation of their lands, and could ruin the regional economy.”

With this in mind, it begs the question: In these cash strapped times, is it necessary to spend state, federal and local money on pursuing the development of the water transfer program when a vital component is not willing to participate?

From Public Policy Institute of California:
The pdf section "path to reform" on this website is an excellent outline of proposed statewide policy that asks for integrative balance of resources and environmental restoration in watersheds.

So we are at a critical point in the dialogue between the state government, private interests, cities and counties, and the residents of this State over its most important resource, water. Hopefully things will break along the lines of conservation dialogue, not the "pumping out the Delta to its limits" dialogue, that's the old MWD and Army Corps of Engineers "rape pillage and burn" approach. The regenerative and life cycle positions are critical for the preservation of this resource for future generations. In other words, a sustainable approach.

The impact of short-sighted policies and infrastructure are being debated right now because of the 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan. The intelligent view of the world and allocation of resources and effort are a result of learning the limits of resources and the human intervention into natural cycles. That's the lesson of systems. You can't push into natural systems without consequences, our human impact is that large now. That means not building in flood plains and fire-prone areas, for example. Pull back. Conserve energy, money and resources for societal benefit as well as the conservation and restoration of the natural world that provides life for all of us.