In an interview earlier this week with the Central Valley Business Times, Jonas Minton of the Planning and Conservation League provided some background on this meeting of “principals.” Click here to read.
Exporters undertook the BDCP process to secure water supplies. Minton notes that we now have overwhelming scientific evidence that if the Bay-Delta Estuary is to be saved, we cannot continue exports at anything like their historic levels, let alone increase exports.
According to Minton, “When confronted with those conclusions [that the estuary has had too much fresh water taken from it], the exporters just withdrew” from the public process.
In these recent meetings, “They’ve been frantically trying to come up with some kind of agreement that could be signed before this governor leaves office.”
The State of California is the instigator of the BDCP efforts, which have so far cost over $100 million in taxpayer funds and will cost many times more than that if the plan goes through.
Says Minton, himself a former Deputy Director of the Department of Water Resources, “The State has a single-minded focus on maintaining or, as this paper lays out, increasing . . . diversions, and anything [such as increased water conservation] that would be seen as checking that drive is just not acceptable to them.”
Is the proposal in this Issues for Discussion paper a “done deal”?
No. Minton notes that there is no indication that environmental groups or science-based regulators have any intention of accepting the proposal. He suggests that the exporters will probably run into a dead end in a month or two. “It will become apparent even to them that this is not a proposal that passes the red-face test.”