“Gross mismanagement by water officials”

I oppose the Delta tunnels for two reasons. First, it is an ultra-expensive expression of bad government, government that favors the powerful over the poor, the good of the few over the good of the many, outdated engineering solutions to modern conservation and recycling.

The other reason is that California state government itself had demonstrated either such corruption or incompetence in its water management that it simply cannot be trusted to abide by any regualtion, even its own.

Time and time again, Department of Water Resources officials have drained the Delta to the point of morbidity at the behest of the Westlands and other south-Valley Big Ag interests. Whatever limits are placed on water exports via those tunnels, whatever environmental assurances are made, the state’s dismal track record makes it clear that when greedy corporate farms demand more water, the state will oblige them.

Even if it has to break every one of its laws to do it. Even if it maims fisheries and harms our way of life.

It is heartening that the editorial board at the Sacramento Bee grasps this, as evident by this splendid editorial (subscription). We can be glad Stockton’s Bill Jennings has helped inform them.

The short version is that thought here is a drought there is no water crisis in Los Angeles. L.A. has managed water wisely. The water crisis exists only where land management (planting crops in a semi-arid region with insufficient water rights) has been as bad as DWR water management: in the Westlands, a tail that should not be allowed to wag the California dog.

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  • Blog Author

    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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