Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cal Water Crisis Action

I just received an update from Restore the Delta regarding the current Cal Water Crisis and the Dueling Proposals. It is not yet online at their site, (I would guess that it soon will be) so I am copying all of it here.

Delta Flows – Weekly Highlights from Restore the Delta for the Week of September 24, 2007

“The robb’d that smiles steals something from the thief.”

--from Othello by William Shakespeare

Robbing the Delta of Fresh Water and Delta Water Users of their Rights to Delta Water

Restore the Delta staff has been working with other groups and statewide organizations to decipher what is happening with legislative proposals regarding water bonds and legislation during this season’s special legislative session.

To date, we have learned that SB 3xx (referred to as the Governor’s water bond, but actually sponsored by Senator Cogdill, Senator Ackerman, and Assemblymember Villines) allocates over $1.9 billion for support of water agencies working toward the construction of such an alternative conveyance system.

Restore the Delta is 100% opposed to (and will encourage voters across California to reject) any water bond, such as SB 3xx, that promotes this type of alternative conveyance, even if it promises other funding for supposed ecosystem restoration of the California Delta. To put it plainly, the Delta cannot be restored if the Sacramento River is diverted from the Delta. And the promise of ecosystem restoration in trade for new conveyance exemplifies a disingenuous concern for the fate of the Pacific Coast’s most important estuary.

In addition, the Restore the Delta campaign is distressed to learn that the language in SB 3xx moves to revoke the area of origin for the Bay/Delta estuary and all water users within it. We believe that it is an attempt to repeal the Robie decision in D-1641, and would be devastating for the California Delta’s economic and environmental future. In other words, the bill would strip Delta farmers and landowners of their right to Delta water and, thereby, of water quality protections associated with these rights.

Without a doubt, this bill is not only a water grab that would destroy the ecosystem, but it is also a full attack on the people, history, and culture of the five-county California Delta region.

In contrast, we are in support of SB 1002, Senator Perata’s bill to provide $611 million to improve Delta habitat and infrastructure, including much needed repairs for levees that protect Delta residents, and the drinking water supply for our neighbors in other parts of the state. Likewise, SB 2xx, Senator’s Perata’s water bond, seeks to promote greater regional water self-sufficiency and Delta restoration without providing the means for a conveyance system that will deal the final deathblow to the California Delta.

Here’s What Restore the Delta Supporters Can Do to Help Get the Word Out…

  1. Share this newsletter with your friends, family, and colleagues throughout the state.
  2. Look at the following letters sent this morning by Restore the Delta staff to Governor Schwarzenegger and President pro Tempore of the Senate Don Perata. Use them as a template to fax or email your own letter to them and to your local representatives. Contact information can be found at the bottom of each letter. [letters will be linked separately].
  3. Correct media accounts of the bond issue when they need correcting through letters to your local newspaper’s editor.
  4. Keep October 4th open on your calendar. If you can only take off a few hours one day this year from your life to advocate for the Delta, October 4th will be the day to do so. Restore the Delta will be sending out details so that you can attend the legislative hearings that will be held on these water bills at the State Capitol. Stay tuned into your email [and this site] for more specifics in the days to come.

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