Ken Vogel can’t find a fault connected with the Twin Tunnels project.
And neither can semiologists.
Yet one of the major impetuses for the state to push the Twin Tunnels to allow Sacramento River water to bypass the Delta and go directly into the California Aqueduct is how vulnerable the 1,000 plus miles of Delta levee are supposed to be in major earthquake.
Failure of the levees, as the Twin Tunnel project justification goes, would disrupt water supplies for much of the state’s population for an extended period of time.
Not only, as Vogel pointed out, have active faults not been located in the vicinity of the Delta capable of delivering a devastating jolt but many researchers believe should a 8.0 to 9.0 Richter scale quake strike that the levees would act more like jelly and not snap such as solid buildings may.
Vogel noted that during major quakes in 1906, 1958 and 1989 that caused widespread damage in the Bay Area no damage was done to the Delta levees
Vogel — a Linden farmer and former San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors member — is running as a Republican in the June primary leading up to the Nov. 2 election for the 12th Assembly District. He is making water policy including opposition to the Twin Tunnels as a major cornerstone of his platform.
Vogel spoke on water issues last Thursday before the Manteca Rotary during their meeting at Ernie’s Rendezvous Room.
The farmer was critical of extensive state water releases aimed at protecting fish while California is in the fourth year of severe drought.
Vogel noted that before man built California’s extensive system of reservoirs, aqueducts, and levees that there was far less water to sustain fish during a severe drought.
“Yet they managed to survive,” Vogel noted.
Instead of releasing massive amounts of water needed to cities and farms that have already have cut back water use extensively, Vogel said other approaches are needed to manage fish.
As an example, for years when the San Joaquin River has stopped running in spots the state collected fish and trucked them to where they would have gone if water was flowing in the river. The state used the same strategy this past summer on the Sacramento River to make sure fish reached the San Francisco Bay.
Vogel is against efforts by the state to significantly increase unimpaired flows on the Stanislaus, Merced and Tuolumne rivers in a bid to provide more water for fish in the Delta.
He noted it will just exacerbate an already bad water supply problem that exists in California even when there isn’t a drought.
Vogel pointed to the fact there are components of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project that were not completed yet projected water storage from the phantom reservoirs were used as the basis of water contracts for cities and farmers.
“We had 16 million people in California when the last reservoir was built and now we are closing in on 40 million people,” he said. “Fifty years have gone by without any additional storage and there wasn’t enough water when the last dam was completed (to fulfill the water contracts).”
Vogel favors water solutions that include more storage, additional desalination plants, and effective use of treated recycled wastewater.