Thursday, June 21, 2007

Greens Blast Governor's Call for Peripheral Canal

That was the Subject line of a note from the editor of The Fish Sniffer, a wet waders fishing magazine. I worked hard with GPCA press secretary to get out a release yesterday.

News Advisory

Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Contacts: Susan King, spokesperson, 415.823-5524
Dr. Bob Vizzard, spokesperson, 916.206 8953,
Cres Vellucci, press secretary, 916.996-9170

Schwarzenegger's resurrection of an antiquated plan for the Delta is the wrong solution for the wrong problem, says Green Party

SACRAMENTO (June 20, 2007) – The Green Party of California reacted to the Governor's announced plans for a peripheral canal by outlining the basic requirements for a sustainable water policy, and criticizing Schwarzenegger's move as a return to old solutions that have been rejected in the past.

"We understand the Governor's frustration, but the Peripheral Canal does not solve many of the problems of California water needs. While it would seem to make it easier for managing water exports from the Delta, other consequences are not acceptable," commented Green Party National Eco-Action Committee member, Wes Rolley. "This would include a decreased flow of fresh water through the Delta, an increase of saline water and the need to abandon much of the agricultural use in the south, central and western islands."

Water policy in California, Greens charge, needs to be based on current reality, not on some 19th Century idea of exploiting inexhaustible resources for unlimited growth. That current reality is the fact that the state's major source of water is the Sierra snow pack and that itself is being threatened by Global Warming, and the entire Southwestern U.S. has sustained a 7 year drought. As a result, water use at its current rate is not sustainable and any plan that does not include a reduction in demand only substitutes wishful thinking for responsible action.

The GPCA has long called for sustainable water use. It's platform proposes policies which "Preserve and restore the state's natural water features - California's streams, rivers, lakes, bays, wetlands and groundwater aquifers...vital to achieving sustainable use of state water resources."

"It makes little sense to provide subsidized water to grow federally subsidized cotton in the desert, but that is what we are doing. It makes little sense to irrigate crop lands containing selenium and allowing that toxic water to drain back into rivers, but that is what we are doing," explained Rolley.

A sustainable water policy would, according to Rolley: Recognize that the future promises a dwindling seasonal water supply; reduce demand for water to protect that supply, reduce exports from the to preserve the lands that are there, enforce current state and federal clean water regulations to preserve the quality of that water, work with agricultural interests to reduce demand including changing the types of crops that are grown, protect the Delta's current residential, agricultural and water export facilities through levee improvements to avert the possibility of a New Orleans scale failure.

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