Saturday, November 06, 2010

California Water Bureaucracy

I live in the living reality of "the bureaucracy reigns supreme". This impacts decisions on water, where projects are voted on every year and state employees and advocacy groups that are hired as contractors get out the vote to increase the bureaucracy. I live in a state where corrections unions increased the size and multitude of prisons for their members. I live in a state that can't balance its budget because of state employee pensions. I live in a state that uses massive diversions of water to allay political centres of power in Los Angeles and San Francisco. I live in a state where sustainability is defined by people living in San Francisco as the ability to get by with 85% of its supplies of water imported from Hetch-Hetchy. I live in a state where Owens Lake was drained for the benefit of Los Angeles water appetite. I live in a state where the city manager in Bell with a population of 37,000 received $787,637 a year. I live in a city that is planning to spend $4.6 billion dollars to "earthquake proof" its supply of water from the Sierras and spends $6.2 billion dollars on the Bay Bridge reconstruction. I live in a state where "San Diego imports 85-90 percent of its water" and then declares: "these conditions put considerable stress on the City's water system."

I live in a state where energy used for water pumping consumes about 8% of the total statewide electrical use.

I live in a state that never heard of regional water planning with transparency and open input such as the Middle Rio Grande Water Assembly had. I live in a state where administrators, such as those in Middle Rio Council Of Governments, reign supreme and legislators change the rules of governance every year through the referenda process. Little towns such as Antioch and Owens Valley have no say. The issue is not a liberal ideology. That is simply window dressing that stamps the character of public debates. The fundamental law of political physics in California is that those in power tend to stay in power, and those who are marginalized tend to stay marginalized.

We have seen this in the Middle Rio Grande already with the water plan and how it was drowned in its own tub.

Enough said.


Ross Levin said...

Forget it, Martin. It's Chinatown. Err...California.

Wes said...

Ross, as apt as your comment is for water, it goes far beyond that. Governing class has long ago learned to write legislation that puts decisions in the hands of unelected boards and then appoints the board members to do what the bosses want.