Delta divided

Posted on | September 12, 2009 | 3 Comments

Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta

ON A DATE synonymous with American heroism in the face of emergency, yesterday the California State Legislature undertook to solve the state’s water crisis by midnight — and failed.

Looming over negotiations was California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose threats to veto any legislation that did not include new dams and reservoirs in spite of the state’s budget crisis only sound like they come from a comic book. This one, from yesterday, comes from the Associated Press: “Don’t send me Mickey Mouse bills. Send me the big stuff.”

With no way to find billions to pay for the “big stuff,” or new water to fill new reservoirs, last ditch efforts to move a sweeping package of water bills failed. Aquafornia, the newsfeed of the Water Education Foundation, has the latest reports, starting with this one from AP.

Senate President pro-tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) retreated early this morning with promises of an as yet un-scheduled special session.

Left without a coherent management plan is the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, pictured above, source for water for two out of three Californians. Click here for recommendations of the Delta Vision Foundation, whose mission is reforming management of the largest delta on this country’s Pacific coast.

For further background on the Delta and the challenges facing it, click here or on the image above, to be taken to NASA’s Earth Observatory, then scroll down for an essay by the Science Team.

For rolling coverage of the lead up to the vote and a background piece to it, click here.


3 Responses to “Delta divided”

  1. Friday clean up | Chance of Rain
    October 9th, 2009 @ 11:04 am

    […] down to the last weary minutes of regular session (intro here, news roll here, conclusion here). For the first time in a quarter of a century, there was a slim chance that a package of water […]

  2. “One earthquake, one flood away from collapse” | Chance of Rain
    October 28th, 2009 @ 12:43 pm

    […] Even extreme warnings have for a quarter of a century not broken the deadlock between legislators representing fisheries, Delta residents, Central Valley farmers, and Southern Californian cities over how to manage the largest estuary on the Pacific coast of the US. For past coverage of the bill-making process during regular session, click here, here and here. […]

  3. “One earthquake, one flood away from collapse” | Chance of Rain
    November 2nd, 2009 @ 12:38 pm

    […] For past coverage of the bill-making process during regular session, click here, here and here. […]

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