Parochialism in its best guise.

Here are another pair of upstream diverters, becoming aware that the Delta Plan will have an impact on them. They do a nice job making a moderate and sober case:

We are ready to participate in a responsible Delta solution, integrating our current water management efforts into a solution that works for all. Unfortunately, the Delta plan that is currently under development would make no clear environmental gains and would impose serious restrictions on water supplies in our communities.

They go on to say why Folsom and Roseville, and all of Northern California, shouldn’t have to give up any water. Then they say that Folsom and Roseville definitely shouldn’t have to pay any fees, especially in these hard times.

I have a question for them. Water and money to fix the Delta will have to come from somewhere. Instead of just saying “Not us”, where, precisely, should water and money to fix the Delta come from? Honestly, everyone who writes an editorial saying “the Delta Plan sux because it will impose costs on us” should have to say where those costs should fall instead.

The mayors assure us that they stand ready to help the Delta:

Our region will, of course, do our part to help develop water solutions for our state.

So long as that help doesn’t cost real money or real water. Folsom and Roseville are more than prepared to donate cheap words to the cause.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Parochialism in its best guise.

  1. Sure, in some perfect world, it would be nice if the mayors took more engaged positions looking for broad Delta solutions, even at some cost to their provincial (not used perjoratively) concerns. The folks in Roseville and Folsom aren’t paid to fix the Delta, they are paid to make sure the taps and irrigation lines work in Roseville and Folsom. I think you should continue to expect this response from everywhere that sources water, while expecting hand-wringing and foot-stomping from all the water sinks in the drier parts of the state.

    I thought their choice of words was interesting when they said “Part of the deal was that Northern California water suppliers would always be able to use our local water to meet local demands”. Demands are infinite, needs are much smaller. But who decides what they really “need”?

    And I wonder aloud if you were a bit harsh in your last sentence. How much have Roseville and Folsom conserved in the last 10-20 years? Has their overall use gone down or at least their per capita use gone down as a result of conservation programs? If so, they are doing _something_ besides writing editorials.

    I continue to read your stuff on the Delta, and feel guilty for not reading more about it elsewhere. I guess it feels like the current plan projections lack sufficient vision (or a sufficiently horrible vision?) to convince people around the state to change what they do in the future. I’m reminded of Jimmy Stewart handling the run on his bank in “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Someone needs to convince people to change their withdrawal from “all the water in the bank” to “just what they really need”. Who is that? What is the source of their credibility? And will the citizens actually listen and change their withdrawal habits??

  2. ScottB’s thoughts are on point. He seems to suggest that the question is whether a so-far intractable problem, despite the new co-equal goals framing, can be solved absent transcendent leadership or absolute catastrophe. Or is Polanski’s The Tenant, and not Chinatown, the appropriate analogy for CA water policy endeavors?

  3. Jay Lund

    The game of Delta chicken continues. If each party points to others being responsible for the money and water needed to help the Delta, then the Delta will continue to deteriorate, and raise the eventual reckoning. If each Delta user were charged for each denial of responsibility, the solution would be fully-funded by now.

  4. “I have a question for them. Water and money to fix the Delta will have to come from somewhere. Instead of just saying “Not us”, where, precisely, should water and money to fix the Delta come from? Honestly, everyone who writes an editorial saying “the Delta Plan sux because it will impose costs on us” should have to say where those costs should fall instead.”

    -SoCal. I live less than five miles from the confluence of two great rivers. I have no intention of subsidizing the Colorado Desert, er, Imperial Valley.

  5. I think Jay Lund pretty much covered it.