Second look at Restoration? What took so long?
Thousands of acre feet could have been saved just in the past few months, but the restoration was 'off the table' for re-negotiation according to Senator Feinstein.
Mar 10, 2014
Is it possible that Senator Dianne Feinstein is starting to see the San Joaquin River Restoration project as the unrealistic dream that it really is? We don't have to tell long-time readers of our newsletter how we feel about the restoration project. Environmental advocates said it would cost $250-million while farmers on-the-ground knew it would be at least a billion. The editorial below calls it 2-billion. There is no money, no promise of funding. Yet, water has needlessly been sent down the river instead of to farms. Thousands of acre feet could have been saved just in the past few months, but the restoration was 'off the table' for re-negotiation according to Senator Feinstein.
Just for review, remember, House Republicans passed legislation that would have dealt with the river restoration, but according to the Bee Washington Bureau, "Dianne Feinstein said "today's bill is another irresponsible proposal that puts politics ahead of the needs of California, and candidly, it's very disappointing," Feinstein also said in a statement that the House bill "is disingenuous, it is irresponsible and it is dangerous." It was also what needed to be done. While it wasn't being done, water kept flowing down the river.
Senator Feinstein, according to the Bee editorial below, is having second thoughts, as is the Bee itself. We're pleased they're beginning to see the real world as it exists, instead of the rose-colored world they prefer. Better late than never.
The Bee says that "with the possibility of a long-term drought ahead and so many questions unanswered, it's worth taking a second look at today's restoration plan and weighing alternatives." We have an alternative: a warm water fishery, a 'live' river 24/7, 365 days/year. It will not provide salmon, but will provide a robust fishery like exists for 40 miles below Friant Dam now, and it will allow East Side losses to be mitigated.
This is something that should be 'on the table' for discussion when and if the Senate will pass their drought bill and meet Republicans for compromise in conference committee. We're still waiting for that Senate bill to get a vote. Why the delay?
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