Monday, January 4, 2010

Water is Always Politics

The Draft California Water Plan is now up on the State's website for public review. It's interesting that its focus is on climate change as official policy, and all the arguments for integrated water management are based upon this premise. This document is in preparation for the Final Water Plan Update 2009 in Febuary 2010.

This addresses a comprehensive view of all of the water issues, especially the critical Bay Delta component. The competing interests are, as usual, the water and farming interests as well as the urban and suburban demands, particularly in the southern part of the state. An indication of the powerful politics around this issue is a critique by Jane Wagner-Tyack (Restore the Delta) of 60 Minutes' program on the issue which had a chance to take on agribusiness and water, but instead left many issues unaddressed.

Whether California's water system ends up with an old-style plumbing upgrade focused on a peripheral canal revival or a new approach grounded in ecologically effective systems remains on the political table.


Land and Water in California in the Twentieth Century. This is an excellent presentation on the big historic overview presented by a UCLA professor to the Public Officials for Water and Environmental Reform Conference in 2002.

California Ecology and natural water distribution (cites Kharl). MWD's growth beyond its historic original charter is here (download pdf document for a fascinating read).

Note that the
1979 California Water Atlas was produced by William Kahrl, as a premier government resource for the water infrastructure industry in California.