15 Aug 2008

Lame Responses

I recently blogged in support of the Peripheral Canal. I did this after reading the PPIC report on how to "fix" the Delta and participating on a panel of "experts" (I wasn't one) who prepared the report.

I've taken a quick look at the "solutions" of the Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council. They are lame because they merely advocate reduced exports from the Delta as a way of "saving it."

I am not sure that they read the science sections of the PPIC report. If they did, they would know that the collapse of Business as Usual is not far in the future. The combination of higher sea levels (global warming), earthquake risk and dodgy levees (really dikes) means that the Delta ecology is going saline and farming will end.

Combine this "soon to be fact" with the political necessity of continued water exports (otherwise agriculture in the south Valley will end as water is diverted to cities), and we arrive at the "Peripheral Canal Solution".*

As far as I can tell, EDF and NRDC are off in la-la land. They need to get behind the "solution" that will serve the fish (the PC will restore natural saline flows and harm invasive species) while maintaining the status quo of water exports from the Delta.**

Bottom Line: Too much ideology and not enough reality from these enviro groups.

* And, no, I do not buy the "Bechtel corruption" notion that funding from a member of the Bechtel family (a big engineering firm in SF) motivated these results. The report authors are academics -- and way too proud of their work to get bought off by Bechtel. Still, it would be good if Bechtel is NOT involved in PC construction.

** No, I don't think the PC will be used to send EVEN MORE water (on average -- seasonal flows will vary) to SoCal. (It would be easy to control those flows, assuming competence from bureaucrats.)