Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bay Delta Crisis

From the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, this 10-minute video and essay on the critical water issues in California.

This is part of the larger issue that includes the big farming interests and the demands of the urban areas developed on a water system engineered for a climate that no longer exists. The Bay Delta is the critical asset in this picture, and the picture needs to include not just the land and water supply issues, but the entire ecosystem of the Pacific. To cite the article:

Feinstein, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who collectively have received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Resnick for their political campaigns, are also pushing for a peripheral canal and the destruction of the Bay-Delta Estuary in order to benefit Resnick and other rich corporate agribusiness tycoons at the expense of fish, fishermen, coastal communities, California Indian Tribes, Delta family farmers and environmental justice communities.

Resnick is one of the biggest, most wasteful "water hogs" in the state. The Beverly Hills billionaire "farms" 120,000 acres, which would use around 480,000 acre-feet of water every year. By comparison, the residential use of the city of Los Angeles is 432,594 acre-feet per year, according to the LA Department of Water and Power (LADWP).

In reaction to the State's "business as usual" approach in its Draft Vision for the Bay Delta and the allocations to large, wasteful agribusiness practices, these groups are finding "common cause" to share water equitably and protect the resources that are the source of prosperity for people and businesses throughout the state. At some point, the will to craft a solution to the Bay Delta, and pay for it, must emerge.