If you happen to run into Gavin Newsom persuade him to go with you to your friendly neighborhood 7-Eleven and buy him a politically incorrect Super Big Gulp.
Fill it with Coca-Cola. It’s a poison — as defined by Michael Bloomberg who wants you to vote for him as Nanny in Chief on March 3 in the California primary — that more people chose than let’s say Sprite and Orange Crush. With a little luck the Coca-Cola will run out of syrup just as he finishes filling the cup.
Make sure that you grab a politically incorrect plastic straw as well, although a paper straw will do.
Now look toward the Delta. Ask the governor to put the straw into his Super Bug Gulp and take a swig or two. Once he’s got the soda down about an inch or two ask Newsom to top it off. Since the Coca-Cola is maxed out, he’ll have to select another source to fill the cup back up.
As any self-respecting pre-teen of days gone-by would know, Newsom is taking the first step toward making a soda concoction that’s called a “suicide.”
You have just given the governor a perfect analogy for his myopic Delta tunnel plan as well as coined a rallying cry for the next generation of victims of the incredible thirst of the Los Angeles Basin as well as large corporate farmers that are a large source of the late Assembly Speaker Big Daddy Jesse Unruh’s mother’s milk of politics — political campaign contributions.
If you siphon Sacramento River water from the Delta it will create a void that has to be filled from somewhere else unless you want severe saltwater intrusion that would turn the Delta into a toxic wasteland for birds, native fish, flora, and even inconsequential things. Those inconsequential things are farmers and people that depend on Delta water or water pumped from aquifers in and around the Delta that would be impacted as salt water replaces fresh water.
Let’s return to the 7-Eleven for a second. Most offer other soda flavors such as Mt. Dew, Sprite or Dr. Pepper. There are usually two Coca-Cola options due to the larger volume that also requires more tanks of syrup as opposed to the other flavors that have less demand and therefore less syrup.
The Sacramento River is Coca-Cola. The Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced rivers are the other three soda flavors. Once the Pepsi is siphoned out of the cup that is used to flush the Delta, some soda has to replace it. That’s when the state will create a “suicide” mix increasing the water flows from the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced watersheds to flush the Delta.
Of course, anyone living in the next Owens Valley — better known as the Northern San Joaquin Valley — would be committing suicide to favor such a move.
This is why big water interests in Los Angeles as well as corporate farmers have managed to convince yet another governor that the Northern San Joaquin Valley needs assistance to commit suicide which is where the myopic tunnel comes into play.
The Department of Water Resources this week officially repackaged the double barrel shotgun aimed at the Delta ecological system as well as Northern San Joaquin Valley cities and farms as a single barrel by issuing a notice of preparation for the project. That’s the prelude to the lengthy eye-popping environmental review process that is much like the impeachment of Donald Trump as you already know how it is going to end. In the case of the myopic tunnel we will be told it will be the best thing for California since gold was discovered. That’s an appropriate analogy given 172 years later we are still dealing with environmental disasters perpetuated in the name of growing the economy including filling in a third of the San Francisco Bay and reshaping and poisoning waterways.
As for two tunnels versus one tunnel, it’s just like a gun. It only takes one bullet or shot to kill a person. The same is true for siphoning water and what it will do to the Delta.
One of the more interesting things about the Peripheral Canal 3.0 reboot rolled out this week is the reason why the state must sink upwards of $20 billion in an investment that doesn’t increase the amount of water delivered to Los Angeles or big corporate farms by one drop.
Originally we were told the twin tunnels were needed due to the imminent collapse of levees in the next big quake that would reduce water flow to the intake to the California Aqueduct pumping stations northwest of Tracy for six months or more forcing Beverly Hills mansion owners to convert their expansive green estates into hues of yellow and brown.
Given the science was underwhelming, the lack of nearby major fault lines, and the historic impact of major Bay Area quakes such as the 1906 and 1989 tremblors didn’t give the theory much traction with the public, the had to hang the reboot on something else. And they did.
We are now being told its all to stop the horrors of climate change as the current way fresh water is conveyed through the Delta from the Sacramento watershed to hoses of people washing down sidewalks in Los Angeles is just 3 feet above sea level.
That means rising sea levels due to warmer temperatures will swamp the Delta with salt water making water that “passes through it” no longer suitable for drinking or applying to crops unless it first flowed through a desalination plant just before the water flows into the pipelines of Big L.A.
But if the real issue is now climate change which some models say will mean less snowpack with each passing year due to snow in the Sierra being replaced extensively by rain, is the myopic tunnel the best investment the state can make? A major reduction in nature’s reservoir — the Sierra snowpack that provides most of the above ground source of water in California — will substantially reduce available water.
Toss in the fact a saltier Delta would be a disaster for the ecological system that is home to nearly 750 species of plant and wildlife wouldn’t a barrier system — a modified dike to regulate flows to and from the bay — address the most concerns?
The real reason for the myopic tunnel is to assure the impacts of out-of-basin water users — the west side of the southern San Joaquin Valley and Los Angeles Basin — have minimal loss of water supplies during droughts and/or meeting state-mandated or court-ordered fish flows.
In short, Los Angeles will actually get an even bigger gulp of water while the state replaces what they siphon off via a $20 billion straw that takes water from cities and farms dependent upon the Stanislaus, Merced and Tuolumne rivers.