You know what would be good and productive? If I read the Delta flows report and gave a sophisticated and nuanced interpretation that solved everything. But what I’m actually going to do is read everyone else’s commentary and make fun of that. Starting with the SF Chron’s op-ed.
The chief friction point, now as before, is cutting the flow of southbound water for Central Valley farming and Southern California drinking supplies. The report suggested cuts of 30 percent or more in these categories.
Heh. You know what else the report suggested, two lines down (pg 5) ? Higher inflows on the San Joaquin River. They recommend 60% of unimpaired San Joaquin River inflows, as compared to the 20 – 50% the San Joaquin is delivering now. My map says that
the Mokelumne meets the Consumnes near Thorton, and both flow into the San Joaquin near Isleton* the Tuolomne flows into the San Joaquin near Westley. This isn’t just a question of Central Valley farmers and So Cal cities taking less. There’s a direct chain of rivers going back to SF’s supply too. Look, smug Northern Californians. We’re in this together. The State Board report also wants half again as much Sacramento River inflow, so we can all start kicking any junior appropriators in the Sacramento Valley we can find. Or, we can admit that this is a collective problem that touches directly on all of our lifestyles and our choices for what to do with the landscape.
This is a battle over allocating scarcity, hopefully shoving it onto someone else, even better if it is someone you don’t have to look at the results directly. But the civilized approach would be to spread it evenly, and the Delta is so entwined with everything south of Shasta, east of the Sierras and north of Imperial that there is cause for everyone to contribute to the inflows that would keep it alive.
I’ve got more, from other op-eds, but I’ve got to run. Hopefully I can check back in a couple more times today. The next (and my favorite) opinion piece I’ll look at is this awesome one, from the Stockton Record.
*My bad. SF drinks the Tuolumne River; Berkeley and Oakland drink the Mokelumne River. You’re on the hook too, EBMUD!