Water Narrative Blindness

In another example of ideological blindness—always seeing caused scarcity rather than real abundance—this article in the Sacramento Bee discussing the peripheral tunnels, while acknowledging the scarcity of water storage, fails to note the solution to the scarcity is the construction of Auburn Dam and the raising of Shasta.

An excerpt.

“In Stuart Leavenworth’s “Scope and impact of Delta twin tunnels is starting to hit home” (Forum, March 17), we were happy to see his growing concern regarding the extreme damage that will be done to Delta communities if the tunnels are built. His descriptions of the extraordinary impact of all the “tunnel muck” these tunnels will generate should give everyone pause.

“We also applaud his recognition of the unprecedented financial costs associated with the project, coupled with the fact that it has not been proven that the project will restore native salmon populations.

“However, Leavenworth’s assessment that this project will not drain Northern California is based on a misinterpretation of the facts. The export system suffers from a permanent shortage resulting from the state’s failure to develop 5 million acre-feet of water per year on which promises of supply were originally based. For decades, exporters have been taking water the system was never intended to provide, and they’ve been taking even more in very dry years. Even the minimum number of acre-feet the tunnels will deliver is several million acre-feet more than the system can provide without destroying both the ecosystem and agriculture in the Delta region.

“As California’s normal cycle of droughts meets up with changes in timing and amount of snowmelt, the gap will grow between what water users in other parts of California have come to expect and what the Delta and its watersheds can deliver. Export interests do indeed have the ability and the will to “suck Northern California dry” and drive Sacramento Valley irrigators to further draw down their shrinking groundwater supplies.”

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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