15 Jan 2010

Lester Snow puts some lipstick on that pig

BP sent me this summary of Lester Snow's talk on the water bills:
  1. He touted that the mandatory conservation did apply to agriculture. He said that:
    • All irrigation districts will have to "measure their water" and develop a pricing system that at least in part considers how much water a farmer uses.
    • All irrigation districts must develop a plan for conservation that considers all cost effective best management practices.
  2. He defended "co-equal goals" for the delta.
  3. He said that a project like a dam is paid for by 50% by the public for the public benefit, and then 50% by the agencies that receive the water supply benefit. He did not mention anything about cost-benefit analysis of the projects.
  4. He said that there is a lot more $ in the bond for conservation than just the $250M specifically called out because agencies could elect to use other money (integrated water resources management plan funding for example) for conservation projects.
  5. Regarding ground water, sets up a process so that a basin or area can decide who will submit monitoring data. If that fails the DWR will step in an help out as best they can. the "hammer" is that an area that fails to monitor ground water will not be eligible for grant funds.
Excusing BP from any errors, I will reply to these comments as if they are the ones that Lester made. (I don't have time care to listen to it.)
  1. Farmers already use best practices based on cost-benefit; they already base pricing on measured consumption.
  2. "Co-equal" is like having two winners of the Super Bowl.
  3. If cost-benefit don't come in, the project should not be built. 50% "public" benefits is ridiculous -- he's just trying to shift costs from water users to taxpayers.
  4. And my salary will go up if the State government decides to send me some of its "other money" -- maybe Lester's salary? -- but that's not bloody likely.
  5. "As best they can?" Did DWR get a budget for that? personnel? Do ground water users NOW get grants? What bullshit.
I'm not sure if it's good news or bad news that Lester has moved up in the bureaucracy -- to head of California's Natural Resources Agency.

Bottom Line: The water bills were bad, and these excuses and rationalizations only show how bad they are. You can put lipstick on it, but it's still a pig. (And no, Sarah, I am NOT talking about you.)

1 comment:

  1. It's horrible bad news, because he can now coordinate staff in the departments (DWR & DFG, for example). In addition, the Administration moved a good lawyer out of water issues (at DFG) this week.

    As for #1, it is disingenuous to say that "measuring" is a definition of "mandatory conservation".

    I'm going to measure my water use this week, and then claim that I'm conserving because I measured it.


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