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May 05, 2019


Kevin Cox

Complete Pat Brown's California Water Project. That Jerry cancelled when he was governor the first time.


Matt Grocott has been writing for the DJ as a columnist on this same topic. Yesterday he added some detail to my point that I did not have. Here it is:

One may ask: “What has California done lately to increase its storage of fresh water?” The answer would be, for the past 40 years, next to nothing. No new dams and no new reservoirs have been built. In fact, the last major reservoir California saw constructed was on the Stanislaus River in Calaveras County. New Melones Lake is a man-made reservoir constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers and completed in 1979. Since then, California’s population has increased nearly 100%. It’s as though we invited in everyone living in Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana … and still there’d be room to invite in half the state of Arizona.

To its credit, in September of last year, the federal government began preliminary work to add 18.5 feet of height to the Shasta Dam near Redding. When completed, capacity of the lake will be increased by 14 percent or 630,000 acre-feet of water.


There is some background on the Shasta project here: https://www.usbr.gov/mp/ncao/shasta-enlargement.html


Let's just tack this little thought onto the water security concern:

PG&E’s plan to prevent wildfires with widespread power shut-offs means no lights, no refrigeration and no internet in many parts of California.

It could also mean limited use of toilets and taps, an inconvenience that water and sewer districts across the state are scrambling to address before a blackout comes and nature calls.

Utilities, including several in the Bay Area, simply don’t have the backup power to replace the electricity that Pacific Gas and Electric Co. normally provides for water delivery and sewage treatment. While many of the state’s utilities have backup power to draw water from key supplies, say a reservoir or a well, and to run their sewage treatment facilities, the alternative power sources are not typically designed to last multiple days.



I'm resurrecting an older water post as a place to put the Newsom news about the Delta tunnel. This from today's Mercury News (snippets):

Editorial: Kill the Delta tunnel boondoggle before it’s too late

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s $16 billion zombie water project keeps returning to life because of Big Ag’s political influenc

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision Monday to concede defeat in fast-tracking the Delta tunnel raised hopes that the $16 billion boondoggle was, at long last, dead.

Californians should be so lucky.

This a project that has never penciled out, wouldn’t add a drop of new water to California’s supply and would be an environmental disaster for the largest estuary west of the Mississippi. Yet Newsom, like former governors Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger before him, keeps seeking ways to keep it alive. It’s the zombie water project that state officials won’t let die. Be very afraid.

Newsom’s latest effort was part of an 11-bill legislative package that the governor waited until May 19 to unveil, knowing that it would move through the Legislature without the sort of scrutiny major projects such as the Delta tunnel deserve. Newsom sought to limit the timelines for environmental litigation and simplify the permitting process for the Delta tunnel, along with other coveted transportation, energy and infrastructure projects.

Scientific studies have for years called on California to pump less water south in order to preserve the Delta’s health. The tunnel would add to the pressure to take more water from the Sacramento River.

Instead, the governor continues to do Big Ag’s bidding in the Central Valley as it helps finance his political ambitions. For example, Stewart and Lynda Resnick, whose orchards produce more almonds and pistachios than those of any other landowners in California, donated $314,800 to the Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom and Newsom for California Governor 2022 campaigns. It’s likely to get worse. Newsom’s apparent presidential ambitions will require winning the favor of ag interests throughout the Midwest, starting in Iowa.

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