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NRDC 'Small Ball' Strategy

By the way, the NRDC doesn't call their plan the 'screw the farmer and Central Valley plan' which it what it should be called, but rather the 'portfolio-based conceptual alternative'

Feb 25, 2013

The strategy the left is developing when it comes to the delta tunnels is becoming more and more apparent. The Bay-Delta Conservation Plan has been going through its various evolutions over the past few years and they've concluded that twin tunnels with a capacity of 9-thousand cfs (cubic feet per second) are necessary to reach the co-equal goals of a healthy Delta ecosystem and a reliable supply of water heading south to the Central Valley and Southern California.

It has been our concern from the very beginning that whatever plan is finally agreed upon will either leave farmers out of the equation entirely or make water so expensive that only SoCal residents can afford it. The NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) would, no doubt, like to stop the plan entirely, but not being able to achieve that goal is pushing for a smaller tunnel plan with a capacity of 3,000 cfs as compared to two tunnels with a capacity of 9,000 cfs. We know and they know that the voters of SoCal (20-million residents) are going to get their water one way or another. So why the 'small ball' variation of the plan? Who gets left out if there's less water available? Do we really need to answer our own rhetorical question? We might remind you that the NRDC was behiind the San Joaquin River Restoration Agreement that was supposed to let us get water back that was sent down the river to the delta, but then sued to stop pumping it back into the system because of the Delta Smelt.

By the way, the NRDC doesn't call their plan the 'screw the farmer and Central Valley plan' which it what it should be called, but rather the 'portfolio-based conceptual alternative' to the governor's plan. Nice touch, don't you think? Oh, by the way, it appears that some of the SoCal water districts (San Diego County Water Authority, Otay Water district, City of San Diego) are taking the bait by joining a coalition composed of The Bay Institute, the Contra Costa Council, Defenders of Wildlife, Environmental Entrepreneurs, the Planning and Conservation League and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Bad company.

Dueling Proposals Are The Latest In Plan For Sacramento Delta

By Megan Burke, Maureen Cavanaugh, Peggy Pico

San Diegans heard dueling proposals last night to fix the problems of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River delta. A water forum featured a panel of experts debating the environmental and supply problems facing the delta, which provides as much as 30 percent of Southern California's water.

In his State of the State address last month, Governor Jerry Brown said his solution to the Delta's problems is, "two tunnels 30 miles long and 40 feet wide, designed to improve the ecology of the Delta, with almost 100 square miles of habitat restoration. Yes, that is big, but so is the problem."


Those tunnels would be built under the delta. The price tag comes in at $14 billion.
Barry Nelson, a senior policy analyst with the Water Program for the Natural Resources Defense Council, told KPBS that plan misses the mark. He said one concern is that if we "take too much water with that big facility, we'll fundamentally harm the delta ecosystem."

"We've done too much of that in the past," he said. "We think we need stronger standards that reflect the current state of the science."

Another concern, he said, is how much water that system "will reliably deliver and whether it's worth the investment."

"Whether we should be putting $14 billion worth of eggs in one basket or whether we'd be better off with a broader approach, investing in a delta solution," he said.

Nelson's plan involves just one tunnel that he said is smaller than the governor's.

The smaller, less expensive plan is now being proposed as a so-called "Portfolio-based conceptual alternative" to the Governor's proposal.

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