26 Apr 2012

Proposed water laws in California

I read these on my news feed. No idea if they will become laws, but here's what they mean (to me):
Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Merced, has co-authored legislation that seeks a reliable federal allocation of a natural resource with a notoriously unreliable supply — California water.
A law requiring reliable allocation is easy to implement: water contractors will get a RELIABLE allocation of, say, 25 percent of their "rights" (the amount equal to the LOWEST possible flow), since that's 100 percent reliable. Additional, UNRELIABLE flows will be allocated if/when they arrive (as they are now).

That's not what Denham wants, of course. He prefers that the Feds TAKE water from where it's needed, to give it to contractors. That's a taking theft, but not when it's "legal," right?
A Central Valley Republican wants to mandate that officials determine the total cost before constructing a canal or tunnel to move water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta... In addition to requiring a total cost determination, the bill would also require that officials explain who would pay for the project.
Why isn't this a law already? Or is it a government habit to project a cost that's far lower than the actual cost, as well as allocate those costs to people who have no benefit from the project? Oh, right.

These politicians crack me up...


John Bass said...

Exactly correct on both counts, David.

The Pasadena Pundit said...

The call for a cost-benefit study of the proposed Peripheral Canal or Tunnels is itself a redundant waste. There would be two other cost-benefit studies - one by U.C. Berkeley and the other mandated as part of the environmental review process. And this third cost benefit study would cost $1 million.

This is mostly political pandering to commercial fishing, commercial recreation, lodging, and real estate development interests having no firm water rights, no impacted land, or other tangible losses who want to shake down the review process for gains and benefits.

As for Rep. Jeff Denham's proposed bill for a minimum 25% Federal water allocation to farmers, no less than U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein has proposed the same thing as part of the Agricultural and Energy Bill pending in the U.S. Senate - only DiFi is proposing a 45% minimum allocation.

David Zetland said...

@PP -- The costs should be well known (and who will guarantee/pay if there's an overrun?), but the benefits will be MUCH more controversial.

Not sure that your second claim of "no firm rights" would hold up in court or public opinion...

re: 25% -- I just made up that number; the point is that it's low...

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