Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
The same purpose, issues, and deliberating associated with today’s “Twin Tunnel” water project were raised and discussed many years ago regarding the then proposal and construction of two concrete water channels along the west side of the Valley. The purpose then was to provide water for the growth occurring in the LA Basin and water to allow farming of the arid lands located at the south end of the Central Valley. Unfortunately, as we now know, a majority of the water is diverted to Southern California while the farmlands starve for water.
The issues and impacts highlighted then and now are virtually the same. Such as, altering the natural water flow and discharge to the Bay will harm the quality of the water (salt-water intrusion), harm the natural migration of native fish, less water access and availability for area farming and communities, more stringent water quality implications forcing communities to continually spend money to upgrade the discharge of sewer plants, limiting river associated recreational opportunities, adverse impacts to fish and wildlife, and so on.
The “process” of deliberating the issues then and now is familiar as well. First, create a diversion project (in this case high-speed rail) to draw attention away from the “real” project, funneling more water to Southern California. Previously, the diversion was the economic and food opportunities resulting from farming the arid lands at the south end of our Valley.
Frankly, we should be tired of being “managed” by the less than transparent motives and marketing ploys of Southern California water politics that is siphoning the Colorado River, the Owens Valley, and the San Joaquin Delta. Instead of forcing all California residents to pay for the “Twin Tunnels” project, why not require Southern California to spend their money on more desalination plants and reverse osmosis wastewater facilities. Let the rivers return to their natural ecosystem.