November 23, 2010 · :
Westlands is throwing a temper tantrum? How fun. They’re stomping out of BDCP because an Interior official told them that they cannot be sure they will continue to get their record high water deliveries from the early 2000’s? Good. After that bullshit they pulled with Feinstein last year, I thought they should have been kicked out of BDCP. I thought they had shown that they weren’t working towards a cooperative solution in good faith and had forfeited their right to be there. But they were let back in, and now they’re quitting in a huff. Because I’m a small, petty person, I particularly enjoyed this:
At a meeting last week in Washington, D.C., representatives of the Westlands Water District, a huge irrigation agency in the San Joaquin Valley, reportedly stormed out of a meeting with David Hayes, an Interior Department undersecretary. Other meeting participants told The Bee the trigger was a discussion that the plan may include reduced water deliveries.
It was only two years ago that Jason Peltier himself
was Mr. High-up Interior Water Guy. Now he’s representing Westlands at meetings with Interior and hearing the inevitable. They will not reliably get the deliveries they want in the future. There will not be as much water in California, because of climate change. The obvious, that the Delta itself will need flow, has been substantiated. Westland’s deliveries will go down, because Los Angeles’s will not. This has been coming for years, but it took a new administration to say the words.
I think it is perfectly appropriate for Westlands to withdraw from BDCP. They shouldn’t pay for a Peripheral Canal that can’t reliably deliver water to them. Without the west side arguing for a large Peripheral Canal (for ag deliveries), the conversation about a small Peripheral Canal (to assure that L.A.’s water supply isn’t dependent on Delta levees) can go forward. We’re watching the future happen, in jerky steps like this. I hope the politicians don’t yield to Westland’s temper tantrum on this. It’ll only drag the process out.
8 responses to “A whole cartload of schadenfreude for me.”
Petty or not, I’m enjoying this as much, if not more, than you are!
And I agree with your last two sentences: “I hope the politicians don’t yield to Westland’s temper tantrum on this. It’ll only drag out the process”.
Now, if we can eliminate or stop any more of Feinstein’s bullshit in Delta matters, we just might be able to come to the proper methods and means to solve the genuine problems of California’s complex water system.
I know this isn’t your position, but I was glad to hear that Hayes is still saying the Peripheral Canal is necessary. Seems like he is delivering hard news to people on all sides of the conflict.
These plans are being proposed today to meet a myopic S. Cal vision…It is the size of the conveyance I object to; I also object to riding roughshod over Area of Origin protections and practically ignoring the fact (as stated in DSC documents) starting this decade 2010-2020 through 2050, Northern California will surpass Southern California in growth and development. What are we going to do up here as people wise up and begin to relocate where the water originates??
Also, I support as much thru-Delta flows as possible before a single drop of water is exported. It seems to me instead of wasting over $140 million sitting around a table trying to literally re-engineer the Delta, more storage options should have been pursued, as one of the immediate ways in which we can address fish at the pumps, is to send water down south during the times of the year fish that are known to not be near the pumps, nor really in the system. Or say, I don’t know, try restoring some or all of Tulare Lake Basin.
In my humble, layperson opinion, we have the answers to the questions, as you say, hard answers all around. We already know what should be done to achieve that fine line between ‘enough’ and ‘too much’.
What we need to do is remove the politicians, career bureaucrats and corporate interests from the process and give the real people in charge of the watershed an opportunity to achieve attainable compromises and workable solutions…the sooner the better.
That said, anytime there is a well-deserved, (even better when self-inflicted) slam to WWD, I do enjoy a little spiteful pleasure. Sometimes it really is Karma at her best!
Much has been said and written about the action of Westlands Water District’s announced withdrawal from the BDCP process. Many participants involved in the BDCP process have echoed this same frustration but Westlands is the first participant to publicly act upon these frustrations. The frustration was magnified in a meeting last week in Washington, DC, in which Interior officials gathered the BDCP participants. Also invited by Interior were other interests who refused to work as partners of the BDCP planning process and instead have consistently acted to derail the efforts. When Interior officials announced the need for $100 million from water contractors to conduct further studies and could only answer with “I think we need more water for fish” when asked by the contractors for the science to back up their request…well, it’s not difficult to understand Westlands’ response.
The BDCP planning process remains an important factor in resolving California’s water problem. Its co-equal goals of a reliable water supply and restoring the Delta environment remain just that—co-equal. Efforts to place one in front of the other will not benefit the process. Just as important are past agreements made by federal officials relating to water deliveries. Those agreements must be upheld.
California Farm Water Coalition
My first comment from Mike Wade! I’ve been waiting, and he comments everywhere but here. I’m so proud!
Mr. Wade’s comments are still myopic and one-sided in that the BDCP Planning Agreement was written in such a manner that organizations from Northern California and the Delta could not in good consciousness sign.
If the BDCP process is supposed to be open and inclusive, then rewriting the Planning Agreement in such a manner that all interested parties, including the very people in the bullseye in this CAN sit down and participate in the process. The problem with that PA was a phrase basically stating you had to commit to coming to the predetermined conclusion of a Peripheral Canal and one at 15,000 cfs.
Mr. Wade is adamant about the Feds upholding agreements, well guess what? Northern California has written agreements that precede Westlands’ agreements. He’s more than willing to have our agreements stomped all over and reneged upon…well ‘my friend’, what goes around, comes around.
Personally, I’m of the opinion this is just a ploy by Westlands, it’s all a matter of what the politicians decide to to…practice a little ‘tough love’ and mean what they say, or give in to petulant behavior. Seems to me, the ball is in their court.
And Congratulations, you finally got Mike Wade to acknowledge your blog!!!
“When Interior officials announced the need for $100 million from water contractors to conduct further studies and could only answer with “I think we need more water for fish” when asked by the contractors for the science to back up their request…well, it’s not difficult to understand Westlands’ response.”
My guess is that’s not exactly what the exchange was, but that’s what Westlands wants to hear. Brinksmanship is part of their playbook.
Walking out is a show to get media attention and give Devin Nunes and Sean Hannity something to talk about.
Westlands knows it is screwed. It is a water contractor with no actual water (property) rights to the water it wants. As such, the Feds have contractual right to decrease water deliveries. The contract between CVP and Westlands contains a clause, Article 11(a), that precludes government liability for “any damage, direct or indirect, arising from a shortage on account of errors in operation, drought, or any other causes.”