From News Line, a daily compilation of farm water news distributed to CFWC members and others upon request. To receive News Line, click here.
Shore up the state’s imperiled water supply
Coalition response…This editorial correctly explains the importance of moving forward with a two-tunnel conveyance project in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This project would separate a water supply that goes to 25 million Californians and several million acres of farmland from ecological concerns in the Delta, including the Delta smelt.
Farmers, families and businesses are still losing water because of the conflict in protecting the smelt. The loss of more than 775,000 acre-feet of water as of Feb. 13, which is more than 250 billion gallons, could have grown nearly a billion dollars in fresh fruits and vegetables or served the household needs of 4.5 million people for a full year. Instead, it went unused to the ocean with no proof of any benefit to the ecosystem. More information of the economic impacts of this lost water can be found at farmwater.org/watersupplycutshurtusall.pdf.
Critics of the two-tunnel conveyance project argue that a single tunnel would do the job for California at a much lower price. A single tunnel would cut San Joaquin Valley farmers’ water supplies by a third, leaving roughly 750,000 acres of farmland with no water supply in a normal year. Locally-grown food production would decline, leaving consumers to rely on more imported products to feed their families. Is that the California we want?