Hun talks on water

"There's no better place in California to illustrate the water crisis happening right now
in our state," the governor said (standing on the shores of the San Luis Reservoir in
Merced County
) -- Merced Sun-Star, July 17, 2007

No, Governor, the state does not have a water crisis. It has a population crisis: the natural resources -- land, water, air -- can no longer carry the population in a healthy way. Puppet governors like you call it a water crisis in drought years (quite common in California) and an air pollution crisis because of urban sprawl in Central California, particularly the San Joaquin Valley. We also have a financial crisis in the north San Joaquin Valley caused by urban development "led" by local government: the northern three counties now lead the nation in per capita mortgage foreclosures.

The second worst air pollution area in the nation is in the most rapidly growing part of Southern California -- more dependent than ever on water from the San Joaquin Delta.

You cannot fix the levees in the Delta. You can't stop the overpumping from the Delta that is now extirpating aquatic species. You can't control snow and rain. You cannot improve air quality and slow the increase of asthma for children and the elderly. You cannot stop the extinction of wildlife species. You cannot improve the quality or quantity of groundwater.

So, now you propose that the people of California indebt themselves another $6 billion on top of the billions the state has already been indebted by governors and the Legislature since January 2001, when the state had a $12-billion surplus? To build two storage dams and a peripheral canal around the Delta?

You want to build Temperance Flats Dam above the Friant Dam on the San Joaquin, which would wreck the San Joaquin River settlement that would permit the river to once again flow through 60 miles of riverbed that has been dry sand for 50 years? For what? For the developers of Oakhurst? For a new Temperance-Kern Canal? So that Fresno can expand up the Sierra to 7,000 feet?

You come down to the land of subsidized cotton and bemoan the lack of subsidized water, meanwhile proposing to stop the state subvention of Williamson Act contracts for property-tax relief for farmers. Do you have any idea how much land in farming will be sold for real estate if that plan is realized? Probably, you do, and finance, insurance and real estate special interests, whose puppet you are, have told you to break the back of agriculture so that it will no longer compete with municipal and industrial water demand. Incidently, you will destroy what's left of wildlife habitat in the process.

Do you also support selling San Luis Reservoir to Westlands Water District? How about finally building the San Luis Drain so that all the selenium-rich agricultural drainage can flow into the Delta to feed its species and improve its drinking water?

How much Wall Street money does it take to make another snowflake? A peripheral canal around the Delta won't add water. Because the government refuses to fix the levees, you propose to create this bypass to lower the flow of fresh water through the Delta so that Los Angeles can still get fresh water, Southern California can still keep growing and the salt water flows up the Delta to Sacramento?

Finance, insurance and real estate speculators have made fools out of federal government. Increased off-stream water storage in California means -- as do more highways -- more growth, the destruction of more natural resources including air and water, and more risk to public health and safety for residents.

And what is our return for supporting policies designed by finance, insurance and real estate lobbyists? Better education? Better jobs? Better health care? Better quality of life? A better environment? More culture? More leisure? Better government? Cleaner air? More water?

No, but we get more comedy. We get to see another Big Shot from Hollywood make a fool out of himself while trying to make fools out of all of us. If California really is in the weather condition water people are describing as "La Nada" and the drought does continue, we look forward to seeing you trying to seed clouds over the Sierra with Wall Street dollars and the ash from your expensive cigars.

Bill Hatch

Merced Sun-Star
Governor in county to float $5.9B water bond...Michael G. Mooney, Modesto Bee

With a depleted San Luis Reservoir at his back, Gov. Schwarzenegger touted his $5.9 billion comprehensive water plan Monday, saying California must have more storage and new delivery systems. "There's no better place in California to illustrate the water crisis happening right now in our state," the governor said. ...the reservoir, which serves as a giant holding tank for San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta water bound for Central Valley farmers and Southern California city dwellers...state Department of Water Resources, which operates the federally constructed reservoir, said capacity was at 21 percent, or about 424,000 acre feet of water. "That's very low," the spokesman said, "even for this time of year." The reservoir normally is drawn down during summer months to provide irrigation for thousands of acres of farmland, as well as 25 million Californians. This year's draw-down is more problematic, however, because of the dry winter and persistent
droughtlike conditions the state is experiencing. Last month's nine-day shutdown of delta water pumping stations near Tracy exacerbated the situation. Without the pumps pushing water through the California Aqueduct, there was less available to divert into the reservoir — a vital cog in the state's complex water storage and conveyance system. Additionally, water districts in Sonoma and Santa Cruz counties have initiated mandatory water rationing. The governor's plan would provide:
About $4.5 billion to develop new surface and underground water storage.
Another $1 billion to rebuild aging delta levees and new delivery systems such as a new
peripheral canal project.
About $450 million for a variety of projects, including restoration and new conservation
Senate leader Don Perata, D-Oakland, said he supports putting a bond measure on the 2008 ballot to fund water supply and conveyance projects. But under Perata's plan, the state's different regions would have the authority to select which projects to pursue with the money...the measure would dovetail with legislation already authored by Perata, SB 1002, which would use money from recently approved state bonds to protect the delta and boost groundwater supplies. "Rather than re-living the water wars of the past over false
choices like dams and canals," Perata said in a statement issued Monday, "I have advocated since January for a new water policy that delivers the least expensive, quickest and most flexible solutions to water supply."