Kleptocrats' boy in Sacramento speaks

 Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force (and Peripheral Canal Campaign Committee) Chair, Phil Isenberg, former mayor of Sacramento, former state Assemblyman and presently a registered lobbyist representing at the state Capitol among others Sacramento developer Angelo Tsakopoulis, AIG (the insurance company too big to fail), Irvine Ranch Water District, a San Diego Indian casino and a group of Orange County health insurance companies, has apparently become so besotted with his power and wealth that he makes no more sense at all. In his recent letter to the editor in the McClatchy Chain’s Sacramento outlet, he starts with a typical bit of lobbyist bullying – we have to face his version of the facts about California water. Big Phil spares us the horrors of what we might face if we don't swallow his "facts."  His first “fact” is a complete absurdity: “The water supply in California is static …” In fact, we are in a DROUGHT. That means we are getting less water than normal and are likely, as global warming increases, to get even less or at least in a different pattern of runoff from the mountains, which is where our water comes from.  Starting from this absurdity, Big Phil continues down the developer litany, including hypocritical lip service to the environment of the Delta, concluding with another absurdity: that we must “recognize that all of us live in one state, with a common future.” In fact, with respect to water, we live in as many as seven states: the state where the water comes from; the North Coast; the Bay Area; Central California, where the flows; Los Angeles and surrounding counties, the Inland Empire (to the Nevada line); and San Diego. There is also a discontinuous state called the Desert.  In fact, with regard to water policy, we do not recognize that we all live in one state with one common future nor ought we to unless we wish our state government to continue to be dominated and manipulated by hacks like Isenberg and the kleptocrats he represents. ------------------------ 10-16-08Sacramento BeeMy View: Delta Vision: Facing facts about California water...Phil Isenberghttp://www.sacbee.com/opinion/story/1317793.htmlLet's start with some facts:The water supply in California is static; it is not growing. Individual use of water has moderated slightly in California in recent years, but more people, businesses and farms means more water is required. We do not appear to be taking conservation seriously.The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem is in serious decline, as is the complex water delivery system that runs through the Delta. Improving the Delta ecosystem is a legally required condition of improving the water delivery system in California.The current system of governing water in California – letting more than 220 government agencies, federal, state and local, independently operate in the Delta – just does not work and needs to be changed.Few of us think about these things when we turn on the tap and watch the water flow.But as President John Adams said many years ago, "facts are stubborn things." The current drought is not good news, but it could be beneficial if it forces us to face up to our problems. We have to.The Delta is the source of much of California's water – a vast network of sloughs, wetlands and islands that supplies at least some of the drinking water to two-thirds of the state's residents.In 2007, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger established the Delta Vision Task Force and told us to develop a vision for sustainable management of the Delta and a strategic plan to implement that vision. He told us that we were an independent body, and he wished to receive our independent recommendations. We have spent the last 20 months holding hearings, reading, thinking and debating ways to meet the governor's challenge.Today and Friday, the task force will meet in West Sacramento to complete its recommendations for the strategic plan. While our recommendations are as complex as the problems of water and the environment in California, they flow from seven overarching goals that should be state policy:• Legally acknowledge the co-equal status of restoring the Delta ecosystem and creating a more reliable water supply for California. Yes, these can occasionally be in conflict, but using the 'beneficial use/no wasting' language of our constitution and the long-established public trust doctrine will allow us to resolve any conflicts.• Recognize and enhance the unique cultural, recreational and agricultural values of the Delta. Apply for designation of the Delta as a federal natural heritage area, and designate the Delta as a state recreation area. Establish and fund a Delta Investment Fund to promote appropriate recreation, tourism and other uses, but adopt land-use rules that make sure urban development does not occur on flood-threatened lands.• Restore the Delta ecosystem as the heart of a healthy estuary. Put approximately 100,000 acres of land in the Delta into protected status by the year 2100 in order to achieve the goals of Delta Vision.• Promote water conservation, efficiency and sustainable use. Whatever else is done, there is no dispute that conservation must be undertaken by every user of water in California. If voluntary efforts are not successful, then mandatory measures are needed, and they must be coupled with increased water recycling.• Build facilities to improve the existing water conveyance system and expand statewide storage, and operate both to achieve the co-equal goal. Over the next decade or two, the state must have new water storage, above and below ground, and must also build new Delta water conveyance facilities. The task force prefers the "dual conveyance" approach, where water is transported both through and around the Delta.• Reduce risks to people, property and state interests in the Delta by effective emergency preparedness, appropriate land uses and strategic investments. People and property located in much of the Delta are exposed to great risks from flooding, sea-level rise and earthquakes. Increased protection must be provided, but new growth should be discouraged in areas subject to extraordinary risk.• Establish a new governance structure with adequate authority, responsibility, accountability, scientific support and funding. The task force recommends a five-person statewide commission appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate. The commission would oversee actions of various state and federal agencies in the Delta. The full details of our proposals can be found at www.deltavision.ca.gov.Is this easy to do? Not at all. We have over 150 years of habits and laws that have led to the current situation.Unfortunately, the habit of asserting regional or economic interests cannot solve our statewide problems. Delta Vision is based on the premise that California can progress when we act boldly and recognize that all of us live in one state, with a common future.