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CC County Doesn't Want Us To Do What They Do!

Contra Costa County joins other 'water grabbers' like the City of San Francisco and the East Bay who get their water before it gets to the Delta, but don't want others to do the same.

Oct 16, 2013

Contra Costa County Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho is concerned that the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan is 'another water grab' from the Delta. If she means that 'another' water grab is like Contra Costa County's water grab, I guess she's right. Contra Costa County takes its water at the Rock Slough Intake at the very east side of the Delta, pumps it 52-miles South of the Delta and to the West through the Contra Costa Canal, and never goes through the Delta. Contra Costa County 'grabs' its water before it gets to the Delta. Yet, they are concerned that the BDCP will 'grab' water before it gets to the Delta. Has Supervisor Piepho ever heard the phrase 'people in glass houses..."?...you know what we're saying?

Contra Costa County joins other 'water grabbers' like the City of San Francisco and the East Bay who get their water before it gets to the Delta, but don't want others to do the same. We would like to remind the good supervisor that San Joaquin Valley farmers would be more than willing to let our water flow through the Delta like it does now to the pumps at the Southern end before it heads further South, but because of the Delta Smelt the pumps are mostly shut down. By the way, all those upstream diversions increase the unnatural reverse flows in the Delta which brings the smelt toward the pumps. That's what's forcing farmers to look at alternatives like the $25-billion BDCP, money they would much rather not spend. If San Francisco and CC County and the East Bay would allow their water to flow through the Delta, maybe the Delta would be healthier and we'd all be happier. Can anyone say hypocrisy?


Barnidge: Piepho finds little to recommend in Bay Delta Conservation Plan

Today's special is two topics for the price of one:

Too bad more people didn't attend Saturday's "People's Equity Summit" at Holy Rosary Church in Antioch -- most of the 400 chairs sat empty -- if for no other reason than to hear Contra Costa County Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho share her concerns over the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.
"We are at risk of losing a major resource and suffering a devastating effect on our environment with another water grab from the Delta," she said of the water conveyance project backed by Gov. Jerry Brown. She fears reduced water flow into the estuary will inevitably result in damage to the ecosystem.

The project, which awaits an environmental impact report next month, would tap into the Sacramento River above the Delta with two 40-foot-wide tunnels capable of redirecting 9,000 cubic feet of water per second to the Central Valley and Southern California.

Piepho worries that "political science" will outweigh real science when the time comes to evaluate the conveyance's environmental impact.

Among her biggest regrets are the lack of regional representation afforded the Delta counties -- Contra Costa, Solano, Yolo, Sacramento and San Joaquin -- at the decision-making table in Sacramento and the influence of moneyed stakeholders.

"The costs are estimated at $24 billion," she told the audience. "Those are costs that exporters and Central Valley farmers will need to pay, but we will be expected to pay for mitigation to preserve and protect the environment that the tunnels will devastate.

So don't think it doesn't affect you, because it does."

Piepho, who likened the project to the peripheral canal rejected by voters 30 years ago, holds out hope for an alternate proposal that would utilize smaller pipes and fund more storage facilities for when water is plentiful. There are occasions, she said, when it makes sense to tap into the rivers that feed the Delta.

"There are times when we've seen floods in our communities when we've had great snowmelts," she said. "I'm happy to share water when there's excess, but don't take it when we need it."
Here's hoping more people are listening than were Saturday.
The Walnut Creek City Council deserves commendations for checking the pulse of the community with a recent telephone survey of registered voters. But it may take a psychic with tarot cards and a degree in analytical math to interpret findings that seem to negate one other.
For instance, 76 percent of all respondents are optimistic about the direction of the city, but 67 percent said they knew nothing about Walnut Creek's anticipated deficit of more than $2 million in the next fiscal year. Maybe that's the reason they're optimistic.
And 70 percent said they trust the council to properly manage the city's tax dollars at the same time 59 percent said they either aren't sure or believe the city does a poor job of managing its finances. So residents trust the council with their money except when they don't.

Plus, 68 percent of respondents think the best way to remedy the deficit is to attract new businesses, but the No. 1 worst thing about the city is excessive traffic. So new businesses are welcome to generate new revenues in Walnut Creek as long as they don't generate new traffic.

Aren't surveys fun?

Contact Tom Barnidge at tbarnidge@bayareanewsgroup.com.

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