**Table and graphics excerpted from sources cited in Tall Tales from Southern California
SOME GOOD QUESTIONS
Can you help solve the puzzle?
Why does the San Joaquin/Southern California water lobby worry about an earthquake that won't happen? Why are they not worried about the real problem? The real problem is the six-year drought that can happen at any time and decimates both farmers and fishermen. Why did this lobbyist group block AB 2422 which sought funding for the Western Delta Intakes Concept? It is the only solution that fixes the Delta's problems and provides more water for Southern California by making better use of surplus flows in wet years.
Another puzzling question is, “Why is the San Joaquin – Southern California water lobby so insistent on the need for the tunnels?" It does little to nothing to address their short or long-term water problems. They say it is so that they can obtain 50-year “incidental take permits,”. It will allow them to operate without continual harassment over saving endangered species. The problem is, however, that the Twin Tunnels do little or nothing to improve our water delivery issues, in addition to the fact that the BDCP effects analysis goes not justify the granting of incidental take permits, and even if they got them, they would still be subject to constant legal harassment unless all the listed species were magically lifted out of their endangered status.But what is the primary reason that they keep repeating over and over for needing this toy? The recent letter from 18 California legislators to the California Secretary for Natural Resources stated “...as each day passes, the threat of a major earthquake in the Delta region and the impact of weather changes threaten the water supply …” Ah yes, using scare tactics. Using fear of earthquakes and climate change as their cover. Both of which are real, but are relatively small potatoes with respect to the real water issues in the Delta or in Southern California.
So, what is the REAL reason?
So, then Governor Jerry Brown did the right thing back in 1980 by renouncing those additional diversions from the northern rivers forever, but in doing so he shot himself in the foot relative to the idea of an isolated conveyance around or under the Delta.But why has now again Governor Jerry Brown still been pursuing the idea of an isolated conveyance? From a political perspective, it makes perfect sense because he did not want to lose the support of Southern California residents and wealthy San Joaquin Valley farmers before scaring off any possible threats to his fourth term as Governor. His argument that we need to invest in the future of California also makes good sense. But spending $25 billion on a plan that will neither restore the Delta ecosystem, nor solve our water conveyance and storage problem, MAKES NO SENSE.
The tunnels are just an update of “the canal”, an old idea. They will do little or nothing to provide a more reliable water supply. They do not restore the over-stressed Bay-Delta-Rivers ecosystem. They do not account for the big swings in precipitation between periods of flooding and periods of drought.
“The canal” was an idea that made some sense when it was planned 40 years ago. Diverting additional water from the northern rivers into the Sacramento River to improve the flows through the Delta had some merit back then. This plan would have maintained the flow of water through the Delta and there were intermediate discharge points from the canal to help Delta water quality. The problem was that this plan would have also decimated the ecosystems of the northern rivers just as the Trinity River had been decimated.