CB’s Green Report: California’s Water System Gets Federal Bailout
Salazar & Schwarzenegger.jpg

Big news for California and its water supply — Interior Secretary Ken Salazar pledged $260 million in federal stimulus money to help California modernize its outdated water system and ease its water problems.

Salazar and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger went on a helicopter tour of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Wednesday. The federal official saw first-hand California’s overtaxed water system of reservoirs, pumps and canals (designed to supply water to only half of the state’s 37.7 million population), which were built more than 50 years ago.
The federal funds will help California deal with the drought and institute an updated system.

“It is time to modernize, it is time to make hard choices and it’s time for the federal government to re-engage in full partnership with the 21st century water system for the state of California,” he said to the Associated Press.

Salazar plans to use money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to create jobs in California and aid its water supply problems.

“From boosting water supplies and improving conservation to improving safety at our dams, these shovel-ready projects will make a real and immediate difference in the lives of farmers, businesses, Native American tribes and communities across California,” Salazar said to Reuters.

Gov. Schwarzenegger also used the tour of the Delta with Salazar to promote his plan to build a peripheral canal around the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and more dams. Delta environmentalists are either outright opposed to the canal or believe it requires more research.

Doug Lovell of the Northern California Federation of Fly Fishers says the canal is in the “maybe category” because there are still too many questions that need to be answered with scientific information.

The main question is “what happens to the water quality of the Delta if we change the point of diversion (with the canal)?” said Lovell. Other considerations include the nature of the water deviations like when will it be diverted and how much?

For others like Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla of Restore the Delta, the canal is simply a bad idea.

“Building a 6.5 acre canal will kill off species in the Delta and cause it to salt up,” said Barrigan-Parrilla.

So, although the “bailout” funds are good for California, they also open up a can of worms concerning the best way to solve the state’s water shortage problems.

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  • profileCARAMEL BELLA: This is my place to write about my adventures and mis-adventures in this thing called life. I discuss my passions: the environment, politics, art & culture, writing as well as yoga, health and spirituality. The one thing you can expect from this blog is that it is not what you expected. Thanks for reading! To reach me email thecaramelbella at gmail.

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