Calaveras and Tuolumne editorial:
Lopez said the draft could also affect future water rights and does not recognize communities’ rights as “areas of origin” to eventually use available water for future development. Lopez said that would slow economic development in Calaveras County… .
Folsom and Roseville editorial:
…the deal was that Northern California water suppliers would always be able to use our local water to meet local demands. … The Delta plan proposes to make it more difficult for us to use water supplies … needed to meet future water demands.
Different Sac Valley folks are testing the strength of their Area of Origin rights in law, and I have no idea how those court cases will turn out. But, in practice, I can’t imagine that the foothill and Sac Valley folks are going to get wide sympathy for “and whatever water we ‘need’ to grow.”
Everything I’ve seen points to the state receiving less water, in less catch-able forms overall. The shocking thing about Sites and the Peripheral Canal is that they are essentially a $12-15B project that doesn’t create new water. They just help the State deliver the water it does now, and MWD is saying “Yep, that’s worth it to us.” SoCal isn’t expecting to get additional water. You’ve seen my predictions that any new urban and enviro water will come from ag, to the tune of 10MAF. They’re going to take a huge hit. Given that everyone else is aware that they’re going to make do on the same water or less, I have a hard time believing that the source communities will hold on to even more future water than they use now.
Aside from my skepticism, there interesting questions embedded in the idea of calling dibs on more future water, to which you could make up interesting answers. Do they have to have real plans for the water, like, zoned into their General Plan? Should they get to reserve water at the shameful Sac County per capita water usage, or should new water demands be a lot closer to the state average per capita use? Does it make sense for the source areas to continue to grow, in a “move users to the water-rich areas” kinda way? Those are neat questions, but it is worth remembering that the value of the Delta Plan doesn’t depend on answering them. The Delta Plan is judged against the meeting the co-equal goals.