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Twin tunnels will make Delta ‘a backwater’

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POSTED August 31, 2013 2:24 a.m.

Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

No delta has been known to prosper when its freshwater inflows are reduced.  No region has been known to prosper when 20% of its prime farmland has been converted to wasteland and swamps.  No town has been known to prosper when its tourism industry is driven away by industrial noise, traffic and pollution.  Deputy Secretary of the California Nature Resources Agency Gerald Meral is either being disingenuous or he lives in a bureaucratic bubble. 

According to more than one economist, BDCP’s financial analysis is deeply flawed.  Take a look at economist Jeff Michael’s “Valley Economy” blog (he’s at the University of Pacific’s Eberhardt School of Business and did the financial analysis for the Delta Protection Council’s report on Delta sustainability).  Or read the reports of Rodney Smith on “Hydrowonk Blog” .  The BDCP is revealed to be deficient in its funding plan (but looking at taxpayers to make up the difference).  Also, farmers using this BDCP tunnel water better get out their checkbooks — it will cost between $ 500 and $ 750 (or more) at the pumps.

As for the statement that the BDCP plan is “affirmation of the vital role that the wise use of water has played in the prosperity of California...”,   Meral must have forgotten the closure of the salmon fishing industry for two years because the water diversions ruined the fishery.  Not to mention how “wise” it is to grow permanent crops in a desert served by contingent contracts for surplus water.   Not to mention how “wise” it is that the flows in Middle River and Old River go backwards when the pumps are on.

In 1974, in the first Jerry Brown administration’s “California Water Atlas”, the statement is made (pg 104):  “The present yield of both projects (State Water Project and Central Valley Project) is insufficient to cover existing export water supply contracts while still meeting Delta quality and quantity needs.”  Nothing has changed, and the use of the resource has not been “wise”.

If the BDCP was good for San Joaquin County or the other four counties encompassing the Delta, it would be welcomed.  In fact, every city and county is deeply opposed to being targeted for no more than backwater status because if the tunnels are built, that’s all we will be... a backwater.

Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

Rogene Reynolds
South Delta
Aug. 30 2013

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