A water bond without tunnels

“There are many other smaller, non-controversial projects all over California that could help local regions survive droughts and global warming. Projects like purifying drinking water, capturing storm water, recharging aquifers, recycling, desalination and watershed restoration. Also, shoring up delta levees.

“And, although there’s some controversy, the project list includes building reservoirs.”

That’s George Skelton writing in the L.A. Times about various water bonds that can and should be passed — minus the tunnels. Like the bond authored by Sen. Lois Wolk (D-Davis).

“We want a bond with no controversy — one that doesn’t harm any part of the state,” Wolk says. “Tunnels are where we leave the area of non-controversy and move into a north-south war. There’s no reason to fight over the tunnels today. We can fight over them next year or for the next 30 years.

“Everyone acknowledges there are tremendous needs statewide. In a north-south war, we all lose.”

Driven by power politics, Gov. Brown’s BCDP process started with a foregone conclusion — a canal or tunnels — and  pushed folks from the Delta region out of the room. His casual willingness to subordinate our region, a zero-sum approach, created implacable opposition. Now, this new meme has emerged of finding solutions that are “tunnel-neutral.” This evolution is definitely a victory for our region. Wolk praises the governor in the story, but in crafting legislation that doesn’t create losers she has surpassed him.

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    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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