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Location: Redding, CA, United States

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Water Isssues in the Delta and the Effect Upstream

I am constantly asked by folks, "Why are you involved in Delta issues - you are from up north and the delta is way south?"

I have to wonder if these folks know where the water in the delta comes from and how, when diverted, like the proposals for a new, Panama Canal sized conveyance canal, will affect the salmon and all of the estuary residents as well as those in streams and creeks up and down the state's water system.

The plans being presented represent the worst in long term thinking imaginable: water for people, not for fish, is a big campaign hot button these days as well as the really swell "congress created dust bowl" signs along I-5 from Tracy to Bakersfield. What is not being looked at is that these large agribusinesses have usurped the small farms and are hoarding water (see Dan Bacher's articles on Westlands), development is rampant in areas that, we all know to be arid, desert like places, and while the water we have is sufficient, if conserved through water efficient systems, the cry is for "More, More, More!"

Folks need to take a better look at the plans being pushed and those that should be pushed and help make better decisions for our "leaders". Those in the State Legislature have good hearts, their heads however, keep them from seeing the entire picture.

I spoke recently at the Capitol and likened the situation we face to a patient (the state) being pushed to take on dialysis because its Kidneys (the Delta) are in bad shape. The bad shape comes from the body, once a powerful California Indian Warrior now reduced to a fat lazy hybrid who won't take any action to lose the fat that is causing the body to shut down. I say, reduce the fat, take better preventative measures (like water use efficiency and conservation) stop being wasteful and thinking that you just have to have that extra doughnut (like another dam or swimming pool) and start looking at how to fix the body rather than subject the delta/kidneys to an unnecessary procedure that is sure to cause more harm than good.

I invite your comments to this and hope this opening salvo makes some sense, coming from this old brain.