The response to the “tunnel vision”

In contrast to the government’s closeted announcement, close to 300 opponents of Delta plumbing rallied at noon on the West Steps of the Capitol. Among those who spoke at the combined rally/press conference was Congressman John Garamendi, who flew to Sacramento from Washington, D.C. for the event.july 25 rally

The Congressman spotlighted major gaps that the BDCP needs to address:

  • A 9,000 cfs facility is only economically viable if South of the Delta exporters are provided guarantees of 5.3 million acre feet (maf) per year. That’s 1 maf more than the Delta can sustain.  So “it is absolutely imperative that the Governor make a firm commitment to ensure adequate flows to the Delta and that existing water rights for those in the Delta and upstream are not at risk.”
  • The current proposed facility is sized to suck the Sacramento River dry. “For this reason, as the BDCP process moves forward, a full range of alternatives, including no new facility and a 3,000 and 6,000 cfs facility must be given full and equal consideration.”
  • The current proposal calls for plumbing before policy. “Thus, an enforceable policy must be put in place to address issues of Delta flows, water quality, species recovery, and ecosystem restoration before any commitment is made to a particular conveyance facility.”garamendi
  • The dual conveyance proposal fails to address degraded Delta levees. “As the BDCP process moves forward, the plan must incorporate a strategy to strengthen the Delta levees that the exporters have been highly dependent on for nearly 80 years and will continue to be under any dual conveyance proposal.”

Concluded Garamendi, “We need a comprehensive water vision for California.”

A diverse group of speakers joined in opposing the Governor’s BDCP proposal: Senator Lois Wolk; Assembly Member Bill Berryhill; Assembly Member Cathleen Galgiani; Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli; Stockton Mayor Ann Johnston; Winnemem Wintu Chief and Spiritual Leader Caleen Sisk; Kristen Lynch of Food and Water Watch; Jim Metropulos of the Sierra Club; Bill Jennings of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance; Bruce Resnick of the Planning and Conservation League; and Nick Di Croce of the Environmental Water Caucus, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla of Restore the Delta.

For highlights of their comments, both at the rally and in related press releases, see Dan Bacher’s AlterNet post on the day’s events.

Also, check out Restore the Delta’s Facebook page for more photos, videos, and news from the Rally!


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