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Build desalinization plants instead of canal
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Dennis Wyatt’s recent columns regarding the high speed rail and the peripheral canal not only hits the nail on the head and he uses a 10-pound hammer to do it!  Not only will they be colossal flops, California is broke!

Where the heck do they expect to get the monies needed to do this with?  The politicians are sucking money from the taxpayers, the cities, the counties and businesses at record rates and they expect to float more bonds and taxes to build their nonsense.

High speed rails?  We don’t need high speed rails.  Never have and never will.  We have the best highway systems in the world here and we are already paid for.  As to the canal, rather than raid the taxpayers’ pockets for money that is no longer there, why can’t California enter into business deals with private concerns and then build saltwater-purifying plants throughout Southern California such as those built around the world?

Yes, they exist; in fact, the largest saltwater-purifying plants in North America, Tampa Bay Water, helps quench Tampa residents’ water needs.

The plant was built to pump about 66 billion gallons of freshwater to Tampa Bay daily, according to as well as providing about 10 percent of several surrounding counties’ drinking water.

There are desalination plants in many arid Middle East countries, e.g., Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Iran, and Australia.  There are several advantages to building these plants vs. their canal fantasy.

• 1. They can be built and maintained and with far less damage to our area’s farm land and our current water supplies.

• 2. Private enterprise (SSJID or PGE or some such other concern) can invest in this and charge Southern California resident for their water instead of the whole state paying for their swimming pools.

Dennis wrote: “It is no big secret that a peripheral canal, water conveyance or whatever fancy name you want to give it will ultimately devastate farming in the Delta as well as change the quality of life in the intricate web of nearly 1,000 miles of waterways that currently serves as the switchyard for the transfer of more than 70 percent of California’s fresh water supply”.

Private concerns working with state and federal assistance can make these saltwater-purifying plants a reality and probably do more to save California’s precious farm land than their canal fantasy would.
Al Barth
Dec. 2, 2009