Tuesday, December 17, 2013

News articles and links from December 17, 2013

Water Supply 

From: Myron Gomes, Sacramento Bee

Re "Delta details unveiled - in 34,000 pages" (Page A1, Dec. 10): So we've got this pork barrel Delta project that will allow Gov. Jerry Brown to spend more than $25 billion to supposedly protect our future water supplies. Yet, the same day's paper informs us that a multicountry Dead Sea/Red Sea desalination project, costing just $500 million, will solve a drinking water shortage in that area. Why aren't we pursuing desalination in California? Even if just for agricultural needs. It seems like it could be a bargain and leave our terra firma alone."

From: H. David Knepshield, Sacramento Bee

Re "Red Sea project will boost Dead Sea" (Page A6, Dec. 10): This story about building a desalination plant in the Middle East says the cost is $500 million and that the plant will produce millions of gallons of fresh water. Why does California need to build Delta tunnels costing about $15 billion to move water from Northern California to Southern California, when we could build more than 28 desalination plants there for the same cost? It seems to me that desalination plants will eventually need to be built, simply because of the uncertainty and randomness of rainfall. Besides, moving water through tunnels and canals and pumps is so last century.

Bay Delta Conservation Plan

From: Staff, Modesto Bee

Jerry Meral announced his retirement Friday. In a career at the Department of Water Resources and as deputy director of the California Natural Resources Agency, Meral championed many projects, but his latest will likely define his legacy. Meral is considered one of the primary architects of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, just as he was a key figure in formulating the peripheral canal in the late 1980s. Now, as then, a lot of people are refusing to buy into his plan to send a vast portion of the Sacramento River's flow directly south via two tunnels to water-craving fields in the South Valley and thirsty cities beyond.

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