22 December 2009

DWR has always been into the environment

SH gave me a copy of the California Water Plan for 1970 (Bulletin 160-70). On pages 163-164, the Department of Water Resources says:
The regulation of streamflow extremes is another significant environmental benefit inherent in the operation of the Central Valley Project conservation facilities

[snip]

Since 1944 water released through operation of Shasta Reservoir has prevented serious intrusion of saline water into interior Delta channels. Had no releases been made, salt water would have advanced well into the interior of the Delta in 7 of the 10 years from 1955 through 1964. The State Water Project will share responsibility for, and maintenance of, water quality in the Delta.*

[snip]

Consideration of fish and wildlife ecological requirements had much to do with the choice of the Peripheral Canal** as the Delta facility of the State Water Project. The canal was proposed... as the best means of conveying water to the pumps... while at the same time providing for controlled releases into the Delta channels for salinity repulsion, maintenance of a balanced ecology necessary for preservation and improvement of sports and commercial fisheries, and improvement of the general Delta environment as it relates to agriculture and recreational use.
I am not sure that DWR's interpretation of "environmentalism" was (or is) shared by others.

Bottom Line: DWR works for humans, not fish. If the humans don't care about fish, neither does DWR.
* Shasta Dam is part of the federal CVP. In 1970, DWR was still bringing the SWP online; this claim refers to an expected improvement on those results, via DWR's contribution.
** Remember, this is 1970!

2 comments:

  1. I would propose that based on what you have posted here that the DWR is actually a conservation organization, and not an environmental organization. The former deals with humans managing natural resources; the latter deals with protecting the environment (from people).

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  2. Actually, DWR doesn't have to care about fish if about 500 or so people don't care about fish, so long as it's the right 500 or so people.

    DWR's claims about the PC remind me of snake oil and George Bush's claims about tax cuts: It does everything! It cures everything! Need water? It'll get you water! Need to save fish? It'll save your fish!

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