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View Full Version : Restore the Delta Water Bond Update



Dan Bacher
09-26-2007, 12:47 PM
Here is the latest update on what is happening with the two competing water bond measures in the state legislature from Restore the Delta, a coalition of fishermen, conservationists, farmers, Delta residents and their allies.

Dan


Delta Flows – Weekly Highlights from Restore the Delta for the Week of September 24, 2007

“The robb’d that smiles steals something from the thief.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *--from Othello by William Shakespeare

Robbing the Delta of Fresh Water and Delta Water Users of their Rights to Delta Water

Restore the Delta staff has been working with other groups and statewide organizations to decipher what is happening with legislative proposals regarding water bonds and legislation during this season’s special legislative session.

To date, we have learned that SB 3xx (referred to as the Governor’s water bond, but actually sponsored by Senator Cogdill, Senator Ackerman, and Assemblymember Villines) allocates over $1.9 billion for support of water agencies working toward the construction of such an alternative conveyance system.

Restore the Delta is 100% *opposed to (and will encourage voters across California to reject) any water bond, such as SB 3xx, that promotes this type of alternative conveyance, even if it promises other funding for supposed ecosystem restoration of the California Delta. *To put it plainly, the Delta cannot be restored if the Sacramento River is diverted from the Delta. *And the promise of ecosystem restoration in trade for new conveyance exemplifies a disingenuous concern for the fate of the Pacific Coast’s most important estuary.

In addition, the Restore the Delta campaign is distressed to learn that the language in SB 3xx moves to revoke the area of origin for the Bay/Delta estuary and all water users within it. *We believe that it is an attempt to repeal the Robie decision in D-1641, and would be devastating for the California Delta’s economic and environmental future. *In other words, the bill would strip Delta farmers and landowners of their right to Delta water and, thereby, of water quality protections associated with these rights.

Without a doubt, this bill is not only a water grab that would destroy the ecosystem, but it is also a full attack on the people, history, and culture of the five-county California Delta region.

In contrast, we are in support of SB 1002, Senator Perata’s bill to provide $611 million to improve Delta habitat and infrastructure, including much needed repairs for levees that protect Delta residents, and the drinking water supply for our neighbors in other parts of the state. *Likewise, SB 2xx, Senator’s Perata’s water bond, seeks to promote greater regional water self-sufficiency and Delta restoration without providing the means for a conveyance system that will deal the final deathblow to the California Delta.

Here’s What Restore the Delta Supporters Can Do to Help Get the Word Out…

1) * * *Share this newsletter with your friends, family, and colleagues throughout the state.

2) * * *Look at the following letters sent this morning by Restore the Delta staff to Governor Schwarzenegger and President pro Tempore of the Senate Don Perata. *Use them as a template to fax or email your own letter to them and to your local representatives. *Contact information can be found at the bottom of each letter.

3) * * *Correct media accounts of the bond issue when they need correcting through letters to your local newspaper’s editor.

4) * * *Keep October 4th open on your calendar. *If you can only take off a few hours one day this year from your life to advocate for the Delta, October 4th will be the day to do so. *Restore the Delta will be sending out details so that you can attend the legislative hearings that will be held on these water bills at the State Capitol. *Stay tuned into your email for more specifics in the days to come.

September 26, 2007

The Honorable Don Perata
President pro Tempore of the Senate
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

Regarding SB 1002 and SB 2xx

Dear President pro Tempore Perata:

On behalf of the Restore the Delta Campaign, we are writing to express our support for SB 1002 and SB 2x, as part of a comprehensive water package that will help to restore the California Delta, while producing the most water for our neighbors throughout California for the least cost.

First and foremost, supporters of the Restore the Delta Campaign are happy that funds for Delta restoration in the aforementioned are not tied to an alternative conveyance system for moving water around the Delta. *The reemergence of the peripheral canal or pipe is a shift back to a dated paradigm – one that is being dressed up as the answer to environmental sustainability and restoration for the Delta. *In truth, by diverting the last major fresh water source around the California Delta, the construction and operation of the peripheral canal would destroy the region’s ecosystem, economy, and communities.

Senator Cogdill, Senator Ackerman, and Assemblymember Villines recently introduced a $9.1 billion bond proposal (SB 3xx). Their proposal would allocate over $1.9 billion for support of water agencies working toward the construction of such an alternative conveyance system. *We are 100% opposed to (and will encourage voters across California to reject) any water bond, such as SB 3xx, that promotes this type of alternative conveyance, even if it promises other funding for supposed ecosystem restoration of the California Delta. *To put it plainly, the Delta cannot be restored if the Sacramento River is diverted from the Delta. *And the promise of ecosystem restoration in trade for new conveyance exemplifies a disingenuous concern for the fate of the Pacific Coast’s most important estuary.

In addition, the Restore the Delta campaign is distressed to learn that the language in SB 3xx moves to revoke the area of origin for the Bay/Delta estuary and all water users within it. *We believe that it is an attempt to repeal the Robie decision in D-1641, and would be devastating for the California Delta’s economic and environmental future.

In the twenty-first century, voters expect the state to invest resources to address ecosystem health in addition to water supply reliability in the most cost effective manner possible. *The residents of California expect real value for bond and tax dollar given to their government.

We urge you to continue leading the legislature toward embracing twenty-first century water management practices in California – practices based on water recycling, ground water desalinization, and conservation. We believe that SB 1002 *and SB 2xx will help to ensure the future of California’s water needs, while sustaining and restoring the California Delta.

Sincerely,

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla
Campaign Director
Restore the Delta


President pro Tempore of the Senate
The Honorable Don Perata
Senator.Perata@sen.ca.gov
Fax: *(916) 327-1997


September 26, 2007

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Re: SB 2xx *and SB 1002 *(Perata) – Request for Signature

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:

On behalf of the Restore the Delta Campaign, we are writing to request your signature on SB 1002 and SB 2xx by Senate President Perata. SB 1002 would allocate bond funds from voter-passed Propositions 84, 1E, and 50 to protect the California Delta’s ecosystem and to improve the state’s water supply reliability. * SB 2xx would help to promote water self-sufficiency within each region of California.

The idea of a peripheral canal or alternative conveyance system around the California Delta was first proposed in the 1960’s and was rejected by voters for the very good reason that it would do more harm than good to the California Delta. Canal proponents are ignoring the current plight of the most important estuary and flyway region on the Pacific Coast, as they cling to the last century’s science and engineering concepts as the answer for current water needs. *The reemergence of the peripheral canal is a shift back to a dated paradigm – one that is being dressed up as the answer to environmental sustainability and restoration for the Delta. *In truth, by diverting the last major fresh water source around the California Delta, the peripheral canal will destroy the region’s ecosystem, economy, and communities.

In the twenty-first century, voters expect the state to invest resources to address ecosystem health in addition to water supply reliability in the most cost effective manner possible. *The residents of California expect real value for bond and tax dollar given to their government.

SB 1002 provides $611 million to improve Delta habitat and infrastructure, including much needed repairs for levees that protect Delta residents, and the drinking water supply for our neighbors in other parts of the state. *SB 1002 takes an immediate approach to managing California’s water crisis. The bill will direct funds to improve emergency response in the event of a catastrophic earthquake or flood in the Delta. SB 1002 offers real and immediate value for the dollar.

In addition, numerous studies have shown that increases in water use efficiency can more than make up for court imposed cutbacks that may be imposed to restore the Delta’s fisheries. The Pacific Institute calculates that by 2030, total water use in the state could decline by 20 percent through sound conservation practices, even as the population and the economy continue to grow.

SB 1002 will allocate funds to implement “no regrets” ecosystem restoration actions to improve conditions for the Delta smelt and other species. Nearly $60 million will also be appropriated for groundwater clean-up to improve local and regional drinking water supply in areas of water need. *Developing regional drinking water supplies is an essential step to lessening state-wide dependence on the Delta.

We urge you to lead by promoting twenty-first century water management practices in California – practices based on water recycling, ground water desalinization, and conservation. We urge you to sign SB 1002 and SB 2xx to ensure the future of California’s water needs, while sustaining and restoring the California Delta.

Thank you for considering our views.

Respectfully yours,

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla
Campaign Director
Restore the Delta * * * * * * * * *

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
E-Mail: *Go to www.gov.mail.ca.gov
Fax: *916-445-4633 *-- Capitol Office: *916-445-2841 *

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla
Campaign Director
Restore the Delta
Making the Delta fishable, swimmable, drinkable, and farmable by 2010!
Barbara@restorethedelta.org
www.restorethedelta.org
ph: 209-479-2053
PO Box 691088
Stockton, CA 95269