The Peripheral Canal emerges from the dead like Dracula

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The Chron has pretty much signed off on the inevitability of a giant set of tunnels moving water from the Sacramento River to the San Joaquin River, screwing up even futher the ecosystem of the San Francisco Bay and Delta:

The water world has already separated into three camps: the water contractors, the federal government, the governor and the state Department of Water Resources, which support the “conveyance” as a necessary part (but only one element) of providing future water supplies;

the environmental community, which does not speak with a single voice but, conceding that the $14 billion facility probably is inevitable, is focusing on how it might be operated.

The last group, the delta residents and the Northern California congressional delegation, is opposed, seeing a loss of water and productive farmland and little tangible benefit in return.

But let's remember: When this came up in 1982, it was voted down statewide, with something like 80 percent of Northern California saying "no." And it wasn't just the pumps and the Big Suck -- it was the whole concept of shifting more water to unsustainable agriculture in the desert. That point hasn't changed at all. Until we get a handle on why the state allows farmers to grow rice and tomatoes in the US version of Africa's Serenghetti, I don't see why we're spending a whole lot of money to make things worse.

 

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