What is the SJV Water Blueprint? (2 of 3)

Far as I can tell, it originated with the Friant Water Authority. Here is the mission; here is an interview that touches on it; here is the  engineering proposition (Item 6); here is a draft of the lovely brochure (pages 6-7, after some budgeting).  I could do a whole post on how visual language is converging for all the water documents and you can’t tell them apart anymore. But first, let’s figure out what the Valley Blueprint IS. In their language (top of pg 2):

Foundational to the Water Blueprint will be the development of a set of projects and associated operations that would bring the Eastern San Joaquin Valley into balance while avoiding as much land retirement as possible. This plan will include a comprehensive look at local, regional, and statewide activities and investments that, collectively, will aim to resolve 2.5 million acre-feet per year or more of regional overdraft. Given the magnitude of the problem being addressed, this plan will need to look ambitiously beyond the range of projects that have previously been contemplated for the region.

Full props. They did indeed take an ambitious scope. The premise is that no lands should go out of production in the Valley as a result of SGMA. Because growers over-expanded their current water supplies by a million acres, the shortfall when they are not allowed to mine groundwater is 3 million acre-feet/year (but we all know it was 5MAF/year during the drought). The Valley Blueprint aims to get that back by resuscitating every project that has ever been scrapped for failing a cost-benefit analysis or an environmental analysis. And why not! Now is their moment. The Trump administration doesn’t give a shit about either of those and the Newsom administration appears to be playing along as well.

Here is how the Friant Water Authority shows the problem and the solution:

MBK Sustainability Blueprint for Friant 022819_Page_04

The problem is that they are using 2-3 (but sometimes 5)MAF/year more water than they have, and they believe no land should go out of production. The solution?MBK Sustainability Blueprint for Friant 022819_Page_06

Their solution is every expensive piece of water they can engineer to them. I do not exaggerate.
MBK Sustainability Blueprint for Friant 022819_Page_07
MBK Sustainability Blueprint for Friant 022819_Page_23

There is more in the powerpoint; some reservoir operational rules that will screw fish and amplify droughts. But what there isn’t is any cost or history or analysis. Because none of this is new. Most of these projects have been rejected for cause every time they’ve come up. It isn’t like these were good options that we happened to reject because we’ve never wanted water before.

But now, I guess, is the moment. Trump’s Interior will support this, at every cost. It is the times for grandiose proposals; just weeks ago I proposed a spectacularly expensive set of recommendations with no consideration of cost. Still, as the Newsom administration debates whether to include the San Joaquin Valley Water Blueprint into the Resilience Portfolio, I remind them that the purpose of the Blueprint is that the lands pictured here continue to generate hundreds of millions of dollars for millionaires for a few more years. I invite them to consider an alternative. They could add up the costs of the Water Blueprint and give every agricultural worker on the West Side a check for millions. It would be cheaper and do less damage.

11 Comments

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11 responses to “What is the SJV Water Blueprint? (2 of 3)

  1. Noel Park

    Drumpf and his stooges might be happy to gut the ESA and every other environmental protection they can, but does anyone believe that they are going to front billion of dollars to the hated CA to pay for all of this s__t?

    And, if not, how is it going to get paid for? I’m sure as hell not voting for any more “water bonds”. Maybe Westlands, et al, will pay for it through “revenue bonds”. Oh wait, we saw how that worked with the “conveyance”. Dump it on the MWD ratepayers. Maybe they (we) will balk at that eventually.

    With any luck, maybe Drumpf will be out of office in 18 months and some degree of sanity will return.

    Friant Water Authority would be well advised to stop these fantasies and keep working on their schemes to get free money ($400 million plus) from the taxpayers to fix their sinking canal. I wonder why their customers who overdrafted the ground water and caused the damage don’t pay for it.

    Didn’t the BuRec build the canal? I wonder why their buddy Drumpf doesn’t just write them a check?

    • onthepublicrecord

      I think he would write them a check, but he isn’t able to use the legislative process effectively.

      There is also mentions in the meeting descriptions about the Feds transferring the project to the water users.

  2. Noel Park

    Throw all the s__t at the wall and see what sticks.

    I’ve heard of most of these zombies, but what is the “mid-valley canal”?

  3. Noel Park

    Just trying to be polite.

  4. Noel Park

    I doubt very seriously if the water users plan to pay for anything themselves. Aside from the artful dodging of Westlands to get out of paying for the”conveyance”, the maneuvers of Friant-Kern have been amazing. Since the$400+ million they stood to get out of the latest “water bond” failed, they have managed to get SB599 into the legislature, which would get the taxpayers to put up the $400+ million through a “grant” from the DWR.

    Free money is a wonderful thing.

  5. Noel Park

    Just to be clear, although I have been going on about the financial aspect of this stuff, my true concern is for the disastrous environmental engineering impacts.

    I’m probably just whistling past the graveyard, hoping that financial reality will stop these terrible projects.

    I truly believe that the human race is flirting very seriously with becoming part of the latest Great Extinction.

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