The governor’s pitch to farmers, as reported in this Sacramento Bee article, to support his tunnels might be strengthened if he would support increasing Northern California’s water storage to compensate for more conveyance of Northern California water to Southern California by increasing the height of Shasta Dam and building Auburn Dam.
The bottom line, as always, is having enough water to satisfy agricultural, environmental, recreational, and residential needs, and increasing dam capacity, as we noted in a previous post, could satisfy all of those public interests.
An excerpt from the Bee article.
“COLUSA – Gov. Jerry Brown knew the room was against him when he showed up for a farm show here Wednesday.
“But Brown has a controversial water project to promote and is trying to make inroads in rural California. He put on a flannel shirt and opened with a joke.
“I checked out the voting history of Colusa County,” Brown said.
“Not only has the county opposed the Democratic governor every time he has been on a ballot, Brown said, but it overwhelmingly voted against a similar, unsuccessful, water plan Brown championed when he was governor before, in 1982.
“The vote in Colusa County was 3.6 percent ‘yes,’ Brown said in a breakfast address. “So, guys, I’ve got some work to do.”
“Later – after Brown had toured the farm show, sat on a tractor and announced that he will build a house on family land nearby – even his second cousin’s reaction suggested how difficult it may be for Brown to find support among area farmers for his $14 billion plan. Brown is proposing to build two tunnels to divert water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the south.
“The tunnels, I don’t know,” said the relative, Walt Seaver, a Brown appointee to the local fair board. “I think everybody’s waiting to see what the final version’s really going to be.”
“Brown’s effort is a massive and uncertain undertaking. Yet the Democratic governor is in a politically favorable position following passage of his November ballot initiative to raise taxes. Jack Citrin, director of the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley, said he appears to have “a lot of confidence in his persuasive powers right now.”
“Appearing at a farm show in a rural, relatively tiny county is indicative of how significant the project is to the governor.
“Brown said there are deep divisions “between north and south, between farmers and environmentalists, between people living in the Delta and people living … further down south. But I intend to meet with all the groups, conduct a very intensive, prolonged and complete effort of involvement and listening and taking into account what people suggest.”