I find it interesting that Westlands is pouting and sulking because of a meeting they had with Interior a few weeks back. Does that mean they think they would otherwise be getting their way, if it weren’t for the Feds? Maybe that’s so for the last month of the Schwarzenegger/Snow state administration, which has openly backed the west side and a Peripheral Canal, going so far as promoting the faux-grassroots efforts of the Latino Water Coalition. But California is about to change administrations, and who knows where Gov. Brown will come down on this issue? (I know there’ve been different readings of his campaign statements, but none of them persuaded me.)
In a few weeks, BDCP could look very different. What if the Brown administration changes directions enough that Interior’s position ends up being relatively favorable for Westlands? Then won’t Westlands feel awkward for stomping about and sending nasty notes to the people they need as allies? I loved their offer in the article: We’ll come back if we get everything we want. I hope the fact that they’re sending signals out through the paper means that no one is chasing them down and begging them to stay. Their money was lovely and all, but there cannot be a promise that they’ll reliably get the supplies they want. They might reliably get far smaller supplies, or intermittently get supplies like they got in the 90’s. Westlands shouldn’t believe a promise for reliable large supplies anyway; climate change and demography are inexorably against them. Perhaps they are playing a long game, and what they really want is some sort of guarantor fund for when the water isn’t delivered. No one should offer that. No project nor government can back that promise; we would end up paying out far more than the $140M that Westlands has put into this.