Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Work to do.

Ok, I have some work to do today and so this won't take long. I was watching the 11:00 News on KGO (ABC in SF) last night when I noted a very clear advertisement from the Association of California Water Agencies. The message was clear. We are on the cusp of a series of water crises and the time to act is running out.

I note in passing that the ad did not send you to the Association site, but rather to a special site that they have set up just to carry their message to the public. That is called CalWaterCrisis. You can watch the same ad that I saw at this link. (Windows Media format).

The basis of the CalWaterCrisis site is public education, and we need a lot of that. Fortunately, the funding for this does not allow CalWaterCrisis to be used for legislative advocacy. However, the way that the story is being told makes it clear that the objectives of ACWA are for engineering some sort of mega-project solution and it does not include conservation.

Governor Schwarzenegger has called for a special session of the legislature to deal with this "crisis". It should be noted that the reason it is a crisis now is that the governor, and past governors, and the legislature, and past legislatures, have failed time and again to deal with this solution. It was always something that was coming in the future, something that could be put off until tomorrow. Well, this is the future and this is tomorrow and it can not longer be put off.

I have been writing about the delta and water since before the 2006 election. Just search this blog regarding Water, Metropolitan Water Board, California Delta, Delta Vision. There is a wealth of material. Follow any of the Delta Links in the right side menus. There is more.

The governor and Fabian Nunez are poised to spend some $6 Billion on the wrong solutions. ACWA will continue to push for anything that guarantees them a growing supply of a finite resource... Water.

It is time to get off our asses and do something about it in an organized, effective manner.


Orval Osborne said...

"It is time to get off our asses and do something about it in an organized, effective manner."

What is the something that we should do? I am willing to oppose the peripheral canal (again). Is there anything else? A statement that we need to look to conservation? Anything specific?

Wes said...

I thought no one would ask.

Here are a few things to do:

Restore the Delta is in dire financial straights. It is the only organization that is trying to educate the people who actually live in the delta what all of this is going to do their lives, their homes, their livelihoods. Any support would be welcome.

We need ongoing education in every community that gets it's water from a water agency. The means learning about the issues and getting into the local press. The water agencies all have the same goal: guarantee a supply of water for all future needs no matter what the consequences.

Pay attention to the efforts at Cal-Win (California Water Impact Network). Their leadership has expressed and interest in meeting with Green Party officials (state / county level). No one has taken them up on that. Maybe we should.

If every California Green who reads this were to bring two or three more acquaintances (Green or not) into the conversation, and they did the same, etc. we might begin to have an effect.

If we ignore it, we will get what we deserve, a developer driven, resource exploitation policy. Alternatively, I would like to see every county council, every local, set aside a little resource to see what they can do. I have already started with an OpEd in my local newspaper (Morgan Hill Times).

I don't have all the answers. Let's build a better list.

Lisa said...

Thanks, Wes.

We'll try to get Dorothy Green of Cal-Win to speak at an LA City Greens mtg.

I know you had mentioned it before, but I was unaware that she/the organization is local to us.

Lisa Taylor
LA City Greens

Alex Walker said...


The Los Angeles Times finally ran a lead editorial on the water crisis last week.

Editorial: Coping with Drought
The Los Angeles Times
September 13, 2007.

In the late summer of a bone-dry 2007, 2008 is already looking like another bad year for water supplies in Southern California. It's past time for Los Angeles to start paying attention...

...low local rainfall, diminished Sierra snowpacks and prolonged drought conditions on the Colorado River have combined to make this year L.A.'s driest ever. The effects of global warming on future water supplies are still unknown. And endangered species aren't the only threat to delta pumping: A breach in the region's unstable levees could shut down operations at any moment.

A more inspiring and productive response would capitalize on the sense of urgency and call on Los Angeles to do its part to address wider water woes now. Careful consideration of proposals to re-engineer the delta should be one part of the effort; serious dedication to conservation, another. Planners across the state should think twice before they allow development of lush suburbs or vast farmlands in hydrologically-challenged regions. All Californians will have to work for a water system that works for everyone.

Better late than never, I suppose.

Wes said...

Thank you for catching the LA Times item. At least, they are setting reasonable priorities.

Unfortunately, the governor's plan is complete pro-development and is aimed to funnel water to support development no matter what the cost. It is all in the name of our economy and it is all without any concept of the future consequences.