There’s light at the end of the Delta tunnels, so what’s next for California water policy?
There’s light at the end of the Delta tunnels, so what’s next for California water policy?.
For the last dozen years and more, California has been entangled in heated debate over updating the state’s water system.
The state’s WaterFix plan — the focus of contention — proposes to secure drinking water supplies for 25 million people in Southern California and the Bay Area, and enable farmers to continue providing fresh produce to the rest of the country and the world.
Late last month, two federal fisheries agencies, after reviewing more than 40,000 pages of environmental analysis, concluded the new “conveyance” wouldn’t “deepen any harm” to the Delta’s endangered species and habitat.
State and federal regulatory agencies overseeing the effects of the new delivery system could impose so many restrictions that some communities may not be able to afford the water.
Nonetheless, the recent progress on WaterFix is real, and its implementation would enable California to look beyond basic supply issues.
If access to water is a right — and it should be — then it must be enforceable.
In a state as sophisticated as California, with its natural and financial resources, this is obscene.
At the same time, we emphasize the importance of funding individual water-related projects on the basis of their efficiency.
The state is home to Silicon Valley, a resource of unprecedented innovation, capital and progressive thinking — and yet California has done little to engage its leaders in the creative disruption of water policy.