Water grab, part II

The fix is in on the Delta Water Plan

Burt Wilson a member of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan’s Conveyance Committee and the Forum Sub-Committee of the 2013 State Water Plan

“One state, one water!”

I heard a Department of Water Resources employee blurt that out at a recent Delta Water Plan hearing. It’s the latest DWR propaganda to get us to believe that Northern California water also belongs to Southern California. It has about as much credibility as compassionate conservatism.

Still, it ranks second to the so-called “co-equal goals” of the Delta Water Plan. They’re described in the California Water Code as 1. “providing a more reliable water supply for the state of California,” and 2. “protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem.”

In my view, these dual goals actually constitute a logical fallacy—a statement that may appear logical on the surface but is contradictory in fact. Ask any teacher of rhetoric; the dual goals are not co-equal, but mutually exclusive because they falsely propose that the Delta ecosystem can be saved by taking even more water from it!

Hey! The Delta ecosystem was ruined years ago by huge water diversions to the south.

Allow me to also decode these dual goals for you: 1. a “more reliable water supply for the state of California” means sending more Delta water south and, 2. “enhancing the Delta ecosystem” means they need a “cover story” to make their water grab appear to be an environmental benefit to the Delta.

You ask, “How can the Delta Stewardship Council get away with proposing billions of dollars be spent under the aegis of such spurious goals?” The answer lies with the state Legislature. This is the body that wrote the co-equal goals into state law. So no matter how dubious and deceptive the Delta Water Plan may be, the DSC will be able to declare “We’re only doing what is mandated to fulfill the law,” as they continue to plot the ruination of the Delta.

How will the plan be financed? The latest hair-brained scheme to come out of the DSC is that instead of raising taxes they will “make the beneficiaries pay.” This sounds good until you figure out that it means raising your water rates with impunity. In fact, this is already happening around the state.

In my 46 years of political and consumer activism (I worked on the campaign against the Peripheral Canal in 1982, which we won by a two-thirds vote statewide), I have never seen a state water project where the “fix” has been more “in” on so many cross-party levels. The fact that everything possible is being done to keep the Delta Water Plan from being voted upon by California citizens is indicative that something nefarious is going on.

In past writings I have said that the California Business Roundtable and the construction industries in the southland need water to develop the high desert areas east of Los Angeles. Well, on October 27, the Obama administration unveiled its plans for solar-energy development in desert lands in the western United States. Thus “solar energy zones”—many in the Mojave Desert—will eventually open land for development. But they can’t build if they can’t certify there is enough water to sustain development. Can you guess where they’re expecting the new water to come from?

Do you think the feds are so dumb they will invest billions in solar energy in the desert before the water for development is secure? Or do you think someone in government knows something we don’t and isn’t telling us?