Now that the State’s budget problems are solved (!), Governor Jerry Brown is moving on to big infrastructure projects: high-speed rail and the peripheral canal. Brown told the Fresno Bee’s editorial board this week that in the next year, his administration will have a detailed proposal to build a water conveyance system around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
According to Jim Boren, writing on the Fresno Bee’s opinion blog, “Brown was vague on details of a proposed conveyance system to move water from Northern California around the Delta and to the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. In his first administration, Brown supported a ‘peripheral canal,’ but voters shot down that project. But he told the editorial board today that he doesn’t want to pre-judge any proposed solutions that will be announced over the next 12 months.”
The Governor is right to be vague at this juncture, since the process put in place by the 2009 legislation to implement co-equal goals for the Delta and to provide protections for the Delta itself is still moving forward.
Furthermore, a detailed proposal to build a water conveyance will just gather dust if it can’t guarantee habitat protections. And it can’t guarantee habitat protections if the conveyance takes all the water that the water contractors want.
Writes Boren, “Fixing the fragile Delta and moving water south is crucial to California. The estuary is pivotal to transporting water to Valley for agricultural purposes and to 25 million California residents for drinking.”
Sigh. The Delta isn’t fragile. It isn’t true that 25 million California residents rely on it for drinking water. Stop with this nonsense, already.