Area of origin rights to future water.

Both the editorials from the source areas assert their right to enough water for future growth.

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.

I get that the local interests are protecting their own, but considering the god-awful ugly tacky crap developers built in their cities in the last growth streak, the mayors of the foothill towns should pray to be saved from growth. More foothill vineyards and mansions in poor taste, Tuolumne? Good lord. Why?


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6 responses to “Area of origin rights to future water.

  1. Putting aside for the sake of disscussion the oxymoronic question of how one would rationalize calling themselves “On the public record” while maintaining anonymity, I tend to agree with the bulk of your offering(s).
    It just makes it more difficult to , as my dad used to preach, consider the source.
    The question really ought to be, should areas of origin be required to develop less so other non area of origin water users can develop instead ?
    While it is an interesting question it raises the spectre of some entity
    choosing winners and loosers in the development game.
    Is a McMansion in Sonora any more or less tacky than one built in San Gabriel or the Oakland hills ?
    BTW, do you have some basic dislike of Toulumne Co. or have you never been there ?

  2. The public record is my subject matter, not my identity.

    Don’t consider the source. Why do you need to? The content is right there, and you have plenty of it to evaluate.

    No no. The McMansions are universally tacky.

    I’m sure that Tuolumne is lovely. That’s why I hope it doesn’t get covered in vineyards.

  3. “Don’t consider the source. Why do you need to?”
    That could easily be the title of a future blog.
    Why would one need to consider the source ?
    Well, we digress,but, I think it is invaluable when attempting to separate facts from spin. For example Mike Wade,by putting his name and his employers name on every comment, takes ownership of his rhetoric.
    I rarely agree with him but by considering the source I’m able to better interpret his spin. This is particularly important, at least to me, when discussing water in California as I believe everyone has a slant or perspective if you prefer.
    So, should areas of origin be required to develop less so other non area of origin water users can develop instead ?
    Should a farmer in Yuba be asked to use less water so another farmer on the Westside can grow pomegranites ?

  4. I think a source provides a shortcut that most people use instead of thinking about the content. I link to most of what I assert, or give my chain of reasoning. You can look at those to decide how much is false rhetoric.

    I don’t think any area of the state should be counting on future development. I think our best bet from here is managed retreat and densification of urban locales.

  5. We can go ahead and agree to disagree on the value of knowing the source, however, the use of shortcuts is not by definition mental laziness
    rather they are a tool to more efficiently utilize one’s time.
    Rhetoric is never false to the one using it to support their position.
    Facts, on the other hand, are always debatable.

    I don’t think there is one area of the state that will not see some,
    ongoing future developement.
    Whether that is ultimately our downfall remains to be seen.
    The fact remains that if you grew up in a particular town,
    let’s say Sonora, and you choose to stay and raise your family
    and your children choose to stay etc.etc. then developement will naturally follow. Homes will be built and business will appear.
    To follow your concept to it’s logical conclusion,
    would the goverment mandate that Sonora can no longer expand
    while informing your children there is a nice highrise apartment available in Fresno ?
    I don’t see that happening.
    BTW, water will still be required to sustain future generations regardless where they live.

  6. Chris… dude works for DWR or SWRCB or something…. he’d be crazy to blog under his real name.

    Even if he’s got some sort of civil service protection, it could make things very uncomfortable at work and likely torpedo his career.

    In a perfect world, maybe, in the real world… not so much. I work in the news business, and in my experience state agencies go to some trouble to ensure rank and file employees don’t speak up with an opinion that goes against the party line.

    BTW, ” Methodically insulting all my possible future employers,” f***ing brilliant….