When I awoke this morning, our yard was covered in snow. Its beauty was breath-taking. Had I not known it was snowing when I went to bed, I would not have anticipated what awaited me this morning. The snow fell silently all night without announcing its presence through blustery wind and deafening downpour.
There’s something going on now in Sacramento and elsewhere that isn’t making much noise here. As we go about our business, studies are being released, decisions are being made, and an outcome we may not like is falling into place silently, or so it would seem. Just like the snow last night, by the time most of us notice what’s being talked about for the Delta and peripheral canal, our world could look much different.
Locomotive-like support is building to restore the health of the Delta and build a peripheral canal to take water from above Sacramento and speed it more directly south along the east side of the Central Valley. If you are suspicious, you might suspect that water exporters finally found the sweetner they need to sell the deal to Northern California.
Sacrificial lambs identified so far include agricultural producers on the islands that may be flooded as part of the Delta restoration, historic and traditional practices and lifestyles, cultural resources, and local economies (including counties that receive tax revenues from ag producers). Oh yes, and there was a little sentence in one of the plans that referred to conservation actions that might need to be implemented upstream from the Delta (that’s here).
The recommendations of scientists, conservationists, blue ribbon panels, and Southern California water interests may lead to mountain counties being required to consume less water to slake the thirst of natural and human communities elsewhere. We do need to conserve, but may be required to go beyond voluntary compliance. You don’t want to sleep through this one.
Lest you not anticipate what’s now being decided about water resources in the state and wake up unhappily surprised, the Sacramento Bee has compiled a good section on what’s happening in the Delta and peripheral canal dialogue. Check it out:
No matter your opinion on the proposed Delta restoration or a proposed peripheral canal, you will likely be asked to vote on it because it will cost billions of dollars. And expect impacts in our own backyard.
We are planning a joint Board meeting with Tuolumne Utilities District, likely in January. We’ll study our current water consumption, TUD’s system, future needs based on population growth, see how we can better work together as agencies, and discuss what’s going on down in the Delta, as well. I’ll announce the date here and we’ll publicize it in the paper and on radio. Don’t miss it.