Watching the current debate in Sacramento on how to fix California’s broken and outdated water supply system is like dumping the pieces of six giant jigsaw puzzles onto a table and then putting the pieces together to make a single picture.
Impossible — the same reaction I get from the articles coming from hearings held on a half-dozen legislative bills written to solve the deepening California water disaster.
Leadership void is another term that seems to fit the situation that can best be described as a Chinese fire drill (I apologize to my Chinese friends); everyone is running around in different directions trying to solve the crisis while California’s economy unravels partly in fear of a water supply is that is rapidly being depleted.
For example: Democrats say they will not give the governor a water crisis solution package that includes above ground storage. The governor says he will not sign legislation that does not include at least two new dams, one in Northern California and one on the East Side of the San Joaquin Valley.
Political leaders representing more than two-thirds of the state’s population want the Delta upgraded in order to more efficiently and reliably move water south. Farmers and cities in the Delta say no way. Fishermen join them.
Southern California water interests say a dam in Northern California will not do them any good, unless the Delta is fixed. They are apparently not interested in supporting a dam until the Delta is fixed.
The Delta debate reached a new low with a legislative proposal that a commission be created with the authority to fix the Delta. I think something similar has already failed. Say Bay Delta. Sacramento has long been notorious for passing the decision buck, as evidenced by the numerous statewide ballot propositions where voters are asked to do the job elected officials are elected to do, but failed to act. Can you imagine the angst and controversy in trying to put together a Delta council in the midst of the current crisis?
The one comment that continues to spew from urban legislators is that new water storage proposals are just to pacify agribusiness.
Yes, agriculture needs water to survive, just as the legislative lamebrains who make such comments need food to survive.
The one thing everyone seems to agree upon is that it is going to be expensive to fix the problem. Duh!
A $10 billion bond issue is far too much to spend now to fix the problem, according to the Democratic legislative majority. They say the state is so broke and its credit rating is so bad that a payday check cashing place would not take a California state IOU.
A perceptive legislator says dams are too expensive. Yep, they are, and the price tag for dams, fixing the Delta, underground storage and everything else necessary to restore water reliability in California keeps going up each year when there is no bold, intelligent leadership to put the very complicated water puzzle together into a clear package of solutions.
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