Sixteen Delta region community groups and political leaders have joined Restore the Delta in signing on to a letter to Congressman Tom McClintock, Chair of the House Sub Committee on Water and Power, to express opposition to HR 1837 (Nunes). Click here to read the letter.
HR 1837, the San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act, would put holders of junior water rights who receive federal project water ahead of Delta agriculture, Delta municipal water users, and fisheries. Congressional leaders from western states outside California are viewing with alarm this proposed federal attack on state water law.
Since HR 1837 will eliminate almost all protections for fisheries, it threatens the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, which is supposed to balance Delta restoration with water supply reliability. We have to wonder why the State Water Contractors, and especially the Metropolitan Water District, are going along with this gift to the San Joaquin Valley’s west side.
Have they all decided that the BDCP is somehow irrelevant? Do they think they can somehow have their conveyance without it?
That would explain why representatives from the State Water Contractors, the San Luis Delta-Mendota Water Authority, and the Metropolitan Water District are already meeting with the Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources to create a finance plan to build a peripheral canal.
These meetings are not open to the taxpayers and rate payers that will be paying in the long run.
Video from the June 28, 2011 Metropolitan Water District Special Committee on the Bay Delta confirms that water contractors, including Metropolitan Water District’s General Manager Roger Patterson, are already working with government officials to create the finance plan for new conveyance. (Here is a link to that meeting; grab an iced tea and check the mail while waiting for the video to load.)
All processes related to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan are supposed to be transparent, according to Resources Agency Deputy Secretary Jerry Meral. You would think that would include discussions about how to pay for it.