Fixing The Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta
My earlier post on the water history of Santa Clara County tells the full story of why Silicon Valley's future is tied to the Delta. As the current governor (and the next) fight the uphill battle to fix the Delta to assure that fresh water can continue to flow to the State's farms and metropolitan areas, this historical account will be lesson to help avoid the knee-jerk reactions that doomed the attempts to fix the problem in 1982 by then Governor Jerry Brown. If Jerry Brown runs again for governor and wins that election, he may get the biggest taste of deja vu ever.
Below is a letter printed in the San Jose Mercury News in response to their reporting on the current negotiation to revive the Peripheral Canal, although the political spin doctors will surely smith many new names to try to avoid the old responses to this most dreaded and maligned piece of plumbing:
Subj: Delta Fix
Date: 9/6/2007 4:08:35 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Despite the Mercury News' support of the Peripheral Canal during the 1982 referendum, Northern California voters crushed the only feasible method of fixing the broken Delta water delivery system. When the State Water Project was designed during Governor "Pat" Brown's administration, the canal was an essential part of the plumbing to make it safe and efficient. Without it, most water officials knew the rivers would run backwards, and fish would suffer serious declines. When his son, Gov. Jerry put restrictions on pumping in dry years to avoid pumping more salt to cities and farm lands, the greedy interests took to the job of conning voters to dump the canal proposal and the restrictions that were tied to it in the enabling legislation. Since then, 2 million tons of extra salt per year have flowed with the diverted water, most of it onto farmlands, with guarantees that the land would no longer support agriculture and then it would be easier to justify paving it over to hold down the dust. We have lost the fish, tomorrow we will lose the farm produce.