1 May 2008

Delta Myopia

We're going to be under-under water
Global warming could put the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta under much deeper water than previously estimated.

A panel appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is urging him to prepare for a sea level rise of 55 inches in the Delta by the end of this century. That's a lot more water than any estimates currently in use by the state.

The Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force, in fact, found during its research that many state agencies still have no target number at all to plan for sea level rise. That includes Caltrans, which is planning to widen Highway 12, a cross-Delta route between Lodi and Fairfield that already lies 20 feet below sea level in places.

A sea level increase of 55 inches, or about 1.4 meters, would probably overwhelm most levees in the Delta.

It would also likely flood thousands of acres of low-lying urban land surrounding the Delta, including some neighborhoods, urban water intakes, sewage treatment outfalls, highways and other utilities.
Is anyone listening?!? Will they stop approving new construction in places that will be underwater? Probably now while campaign donations are today and floods are 40-50 years away. Too bad for the homeowners who will lose their stuff and the taxpayers who will pay for it.

Bottom Line: Update the flood maps, remove government flood insurance and then let people decide what they want to do. Stop subsidizing "dumb" growth.