From News Line, a daily compilation of farm water news distributed to CFWC members and others upon request. To receive News Line, click here.

Viewpoints: State needs more water, not just improved sharing

Coalition response…In 2009 the California Legislature directed water officials to create a reliable water supply and restore the ecosystem of the Delta. This directive did not include increasing our state’s water supplies. The development of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) is following the legislature’s direction and is the best opportunity to help secure a reliable water future for California.

Attempts to delay BDCP implementation while developing a “comprehensive state water plan” fails to recognize that a water plan for all of California is a constantly evolving process. Many of the actions that people claim should be in a plan are already taking place. Conservation, recycling, development of local supplies and more are already underway throughout our state.

The cost of constructing tunnels, restoring habitat and improving the Delta ecosystem as part of BDCP will be paid by those who benefit. Water users who will benefit from the tunnels will pay their share of the construction costs, estimated to be $14 billion.

California law mandates that existing water rights shall not be negatively impacted by new projects. This means that the BDCP is restricted from harming someone else’s water right. Comparing the future of the Sacramento Valley to the Owens Valley is a serious misrepresentation of the benefits BDCP offers to all of California. Mayor Johnson should have known better that to enflame the public discussion with this type of politically charged rhetoric.

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