That old threat?

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger last night dropped threats to veto more than 700 bills unless the legislature brought him a water package to his liking. Rather, saying a deal was near, he declared the legislature in special session.

While the official reversal was more dignified than the Tweet that the Governor sent out reading, “going all out, signing two bills at once,” the proclamation for a special session itself is loaded.

Even if the governor enjoyed the consensus necessary to resolve differences over whether or not to build a peripheral canal around the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the proclamation makes a difficult task all but impossible.* It bundles with a Delta fix demands for two previously rejected dam projects — current estimated costs between $4 and $5bn.

The Los Angeles Times has the story on some of what got signed and what didn’t.

UPDATE: *Politicians disagree and are out in

Have a nice day, Governor Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger's breakfast, via Twitter. His previous twitter from last night: "Water is biggest crisis facing CA. 40% unemplymt in Cent Val. Delta close to collapse. Leg must deliver water Friday or see lots of vetoes." Click on the smiley face if you can stomach more.

ONE month ago, the Sacramento Bee, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Contra Costa Times, Capitol Weekly, Aquafornia, this website and others followed the California legislature 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 bills aimed at securing the future of safe water supplies from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta might pass.

They didn’t. Arnold Schwarzenegger threatened legislature that unless Delta

Calls to California Legislature to save Delta salmon

Delta salmon. Photo: California Department of Water Resources

FOLLOWING Saturday’s editorial pointing to a tide of water bills about to surface in Sacramento, today the San Francisco Chronicle carries a guide to those bills along with calls to protect the Bay-Delta’s historic salmon fisheries.

Samples, links below along with a guide to the bills.

From “As the Delta goes, so go our salmon:”

“The estuary is dying. California has long viewed the delta as a massive reservoir it could endlessly plumb for agriculture and development. Water “wasting” to the sea is seen as a massive leak. In reality, the delta is an ecosystem – it is our Everglades, our Chesapeake Bay. An estuary’s lifeblood is its freshwater inflow mixing with saline tidal flows to create a rich, brackish water that nourishes salmon, crabs, sole, oysters and shrimp. As the estuary dies, so do California salmon.”

From “Limit

Secret water bills to emerge in Sacramento, claims op-ed

JULY 4, 2009: “Several secret bills are set to emerge this week to cover some contentious water issues, including governance of the Bay-Delta region, water conservation, new dams and an updated proposal for a peripheral canal, which was overwhelmingly rejected by California voters in 1982,” claims an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle. Click here for text.…

Beverly Hills Billionaires Bilk Bay-Delta, Taxpayers Too

Poor farmers, except Stewart and Lynda Resnick. The Contra Costa Times reports that in addition to owning more than 115,000 acres in Kern County and the largest pistachio and almond growing and processing operation in the world, the Resnicks’ holding company, Roll International, also owns Fiji water, Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice, and Teleflora, the largest floral wire service in the world. Evidently that wasn’t rich enough, reports an excellent series by Contra Costa Times reporter Mike Taugher. The Resnicks have found a nifty way to profit from water, gleaning 20 cents of every dollar spent on Delta preservation — at the expense of the taxpayer and the environment. Taugher’s stories are linked below. If the links fail, you may need to register with the Contra Costa Times.

1. Farming’s Power Couple

2. Paper Shuffle Allows for Easy Money

3. Pumping Water and Cash from the Delta

4. Water Ownership Murky,

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