This op-ed by MWD pretty well sums up my reasons for supporting the Peripheral Canal, even though some of the other people supporting the Peripheral Canal are politicking in terrible ways. I can believe that the studies that show the benefit of the Peripheral Canal are artifically inflated, and still think that LA will need water from the north after they max out every local option. (I have no interest in a Peripheral Canal to delay the inevitable salt death of Westlands. Retire the west side, says I.)
I don’t think the dual-function Delta is working. Right now it is neither a healthy ecosystem nor adequate conveyance. I think of a canal as a way to separate those. Conveyance would be covered. But I think it offers a chance to let an ecosystem just be an ecosystem (if not a mostly farming and human habitation ecosystem). I know some of you are scared that the Canal will take everything and no water will trickle out to the Delta. Considering the history of water in the state, that’s not a ridiculous scare-tale. But I don’t think it is inevitable either (in a “plumbing is destiny” way). I wouldn’t suggest that you trust DWR’s good word, although I don’t think DWR leadership is crossing their fingers behind their backs when they talk about Delta stewardship. (I think they mostly mean what they present to the public.) But there are more options now, laws to protect smelt and salmon. A judge could enforce those in a universe with a Peripheral Canal, just like one is enforcing those laws in a world without a Peripheral Canal. I know. That’s not much. But it can hardly be worse for the Delta as living place than what we’re doing now.