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Big Deal or No Bid Deal?

We would expect more from what is billed to be the biggest water news since the advent of the Delta Smelt and the San Joaquin River Restoration Act

Mar 13, 2013

The preliminary draft of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) is set to be released Thursday afternoon with very little fanfare by the media. We would expect more from what is billed to be the biggest water news since the advent of the Delta Smelt and the San Joaquin River Restoration Act. The BDCP is the result of 2009 legislation that created the Delta Stewardship Council which is overseeing the co-equal goals of water supply and Delta protection.

If you've been paying attention (which you have if you've been reading our newsletter), you've seen most of the attention being paid to the idea of twin tunnels planned under the Delta that will deliver 9,000 cubic feet per second (cps) to Central California farms and Southern California residents. This process has been going on since 2009 with hundreds of public meetings and imput from all sides. Not suprisingly, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)is sandbagging at the last minute to try to downsize the project to a single tunnel of 3,000cps which would not be enough to deliver water to both SoCal and CentralCal. Guess who we think would be left out? Farmers on the West Side of the SJ Valley or 20-million voters in L.A. and San Diego?

But, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Just because the NRDC has stabbed us in the back every chance they get, it doesn't mean they'll do it again. We'll just watch this movie play out and see what plan rolls out tomorrow, then see what happens after that. The Governor says he wants the bigger plan as do Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, but many Democrat state legislators around the Delta do not, as is the case with Congressional Democrats like John Garamendi, George Miller, Doris Matsui, Jerry McNerney and Jackie Speier.

Our guess is that this process will limp along until the next election in 2014, see if Jerry Brown is re-elected (will the next governor support it if he's not?), see if the water bond passes, then see if anything real happens after that. Or, are we in for another Lucy/Charlie Brown football pull-away like we've seen so many times before? 

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