Re "A way forward on water," Editorial, July 8
The Delta Reform Act's "co-equal goals" of ecosystem restoration and water supply reliability sound like deja vu to this old water warrior.
That's what the state and federal water contractors were promised when the CALFED Bay-Delta program was created in 1995. CALFED then spent more than 10 years and $100 million on ecosystem restoration while doing nothing to improve water supply reliability.
Southern California relies on water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, and no amount of additional conservation can change that. Environmentalists have demonstrated no limits to their obstructionism to shut off delta water deliveries. You need to support the Bay Delta Conservation Plan lest L.A. become a modern-day Owens Valley.
When (not if) the levees break, the ocean tides will pump salty water into the delta and Southern California will quickly go dry. We need check valves in the delta rivers such as rubber dams that inflate during high tide to stop ocean water in-flow and deflate during low tide to let the river flow to the ocean.
Meanwhile, the state fritters away scarce billions on bullet trains to nowhere. But without water, California won't need a high-speed train.
Here is a better plan: Reduce delta water exports below the harmful level of the last few years and allow greater flows through the delta.
Such a plan would also consist of an aggressive statewide water conservation and efficiency program that would reduce demand and provide "new" water through recycling to more than make up for the reduced exports.
This alternative would help the delta recover and avoid the need to build a $15-billion set of tunnels under the delta. Californians need to be aware of this kind of alternative.
Nick Di Croce
The writer is co-facilitator of the California Environmental Water Caucus.
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