Is it any wonder that Southern California has difficulty in getting needed water legislation enacted? Setting aside the formidable, if not always rational, opposition from Northern California legislators, we are also treated to the opposition of some Southerners who simply should know better.
The inaccuracies in the article (Op-Ed Page, Aug. 19) by state Sen. Art Torres (D-Los Angeles) are illustrative.
The senator reported that the state Senate has passed a bill that would appropriate $1.3 billion for water projects for Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley. In effect, Southern Californians will pick up the bill, but not see the water, he said.
Actually, the bill in question--SB 32, authored by state Sen. Ruben Ayala (D-Chino)--describes no particular facilities and appropriates no funds. Rather, it sets forth objectives for the state Department of Water Resources to meet in order to improve the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta water transfer capacity, so the State Water Project can be operated more efficiently, thus increasing the supply to state water contractors. SB 32 received an overwhelming endorsement by the Senate.
Torres said Southern California would pay most of the costs of the project and receive little or no water, and would pay the outrageous sum of $15,000 per acre-foot. He further states that the benefits of this water supply would go to the San Joaquin Valley farmers.