Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
This is an open letter to Gov. Jerry Brown:
I am a member of a large five- eneration family living in Northern California; all of us live in the Bay Area or further north. The Delta has been under attack in one way or another for most or all of our lives.
First, we were to send our water via canal to Southern California; not satisfied, they now want to steal it before it even enters the Delta. Our Delta ecological system must be one of the largest in the world because it begins in the Sierra Nevada and ends where fresh water has become seawater; in other words, somewhere near the Golden Gate. It extends to the south into the San Jose area where rivers and streams also enter the bay and environmentalists are restoring bay mud flats. Water from the Delta flows down our rivers and underground into our aquifers supplying our wells with fresh water. This water comes from the snow in the Sierra Nevada. It waters our immense agricultural system and without it the area will wither.
I read that you believe the tunnels will lessen the impact of earthquakes on the delta system - how might that be? The tunnels will be in the earth where earthquakes originate. In what way will it lessen their impact? Do you believe that the Delta waters will be lower than at present and therefore no levees will be required?
That is untrue because what will happen when the flow of water entering the delta is lessened is the heavier salty sea water will press into the Delta, into our aquifers causing wells to become salty, killing aquatic populations (fish, toads and frogs, etc.) that live in briny or fresh water, killing native plant life as well as causing great (maybe irreparable) harm to our farming industry, pressing up into the rivers and streams that empty into the Delta, causing harm to one of California’s greatest industries - that of wine-making. The levees will still be needed as water levels will not lessen; just that fresh water will be replaced by salt water which is heavier than fresh. Salt water is intrusive and the power of oceanic tidal action is greater than that already existing in our Delta, hence the briny water.
Your legacy, Governor Brown, will be the destruction of Central California’s major industries as well as natural environments - do you really want this on your conscience? Don’t you want to be remembered for the good you left behind you and not for actions reminiscent of that done to the people of the Owens Valley? These tunnels will make the Owens Valley fiasco look like the damage done by kids in a sandbox! It is extremely difficult to believe that anyone could think all of this could be done without studying the impact on this vast area! It causes one to wonder if you are afraid to have a timely and honest evaluation done on this project.
Aug. 5, 2012